Trafika Europe 13 - Russian Ballet

Val Votrin

work for us to do.” When he saw my face, he noticed that I was saddened by something, and he generously shared with me his smile. For a time, I forgot about the fears that were oppressing me, and it seemed to me that there was nothing more joyful than this news — for we have found work! Let it be harvesting fruit, or building roads — I will now work! Topchu’s words called forth in my heart an ecstatic happiness, and I, seemingly, brightened, because Topchu said with a smile, directing himself to all those gathered: “Good man, Shepchu! Good man!” Just then, from behind the backs of the sbegut, issued the voice of the shaman: “To work for sinners — is to anger the spirits.” Topchu, paying no attention to his words, spoke to us in a loud voice: “Let us go, brothers!” And we walked out, trying not to hear what the shaman was saying behind us about the merciless swords and ire of the Great Spirits. As it turned out, our task was the harvest of the fruit. Gardens flooded by the sun, huge red apples in the baskets, sweat and the joy of work. And the entire time, Topchu’s heartfelt voice was ringing in my ears: “Good man, Shepchu! Good man!” Yes, I worked, drenched in the sweat dripping from my


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