A very short story

Aleksei Panteleev

presented by

"Grandma! Grandma!"

"Well, what is it?"

"Grandma, did you hear? We had a medical examination today!"

Arkasha, the second grader, was so worked up that he even forgot to take off his school cap. His big ears, which already stuck out, stuck out even more and were appetizingly turned pink and white from the cold. They resembled a slice of ham.

"Settle down now," said Grandma, "take off your hat first. What are you going on about? What examination?"

"I'm telling you! An examination! A medical examination! They asked everybody and wrote everything down. Who was sick with what. How many rooms. If you have any bugs. If any of your relatives were sick."


"They asked me, too, and wrote it all down in a notebook. They asked me if anyone in my home drinks."

"Well, and what did you say?"

"I told them my brother drinks."

"What brother?"


"My God! Arkady, what's wrong with you? You think that he drinks!?"

"Hah! He doesn't drink? Didn't he drink at Volodia's wedding? I saw how he gulped down a whole shot of vodka with my own eyes. I even remember the way he winced. He even felt nauseous afterwards."


Translated by: Andrew Glikin-Gusinsky

Other translations by Andrew Glikin-Gusinsky:

The Coward by Aleksei Panteleev
Hey, Driver by Vladimir Vysotsky
In The War by Vasily Grossman
In The Country by Vasily Grossman
The Resident by Vasily Grossman
Rafts by Vladimir Vysotskky
Pictures by Evgeny Zamyatin

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