"Tale of the Military Secret" Page 2

In those long-ago years, when the thunder of war had just fallen silent throughout the country, there lived a little boy-Kibalchish.

At that time, the Red Army had driven the White forces of the accursed bourgeoisie far away. It was quiet on those wide fields and green meadows where the rye was growing, where the buckwheat was ripening, where, amid lush cherry bushes, stood a little house in which lived a little boy, nicknamed Kibalchish, with his father and older brother. They didn't have a mother.

The father works mowing hay. The brother works, driving the hay wagon. And even the little boy helps first his father, then his brother. Or he simply jumps and plays with other little boys.

It was a good time. Bullets weren't whizzing by, shells weren't exploding, villages weren't burning. You didn't have to lie on the floor to escape bullets, or hide in the cellar to escape the exploding shells, or run into the forest to escape the fires. There were no bourgeois to fear, no one to bow down to. Live and work--it was a good life.

One day, right before evening, the little boy Kibalchish stepped out onto the porch. He sees the clear sky, the breeze is warm, and the sun is setting behind the Black Mountains. All would have been well....except for one thing. The little boy hears something like thunder or knocking. It seems to the boy that the wind does not smell of flowers from the garden or of honey from the meadows; the wind smells of the smoke from fires or of gunpowder from explosions. He told his father, and his father, tired, came out.

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