"Un cititor trăieşte o mie de vieţi înainte de a muri. Omul care nu citeşte trăieşte doar o singură viaţă." – George R.R. Martin

Quote of the Day – August 5, 2017: Cavalry Army. Stories of Odessa – Isaac Babel

I loved this song. Saşka knew because both of us, and he, and I, had heard him first in nine hundred and nineteen, at the mouths of the Don and in the Kagalnitkaia stance.

I learned it from a hunter doing his job through the prohibited waters. There, in the prohibited waters, they deposit their eggs and gather countless flocks of birds. The fish breeds in the mouths of the Don with an unspeakable abundance and you can catch it with the warmths or right by hand, and if you put a oar in the water, it stays standing: the fish holds it straight and carries it with it. We've seen this with our own eyes and we'll never forget the waters reserve near Kagalnkaia. All the authorities prohibited from hunting in those places, it was a justified ban; but in 1919 through the mouths of the Don there was a cruel war, and the hunter Yakov, carrying out in our unjust sight of his activity, the eyes of the world gave Saşka Christ, our squadron singer, a harmonic, and taught him to sing the songs on that he knew. Many of them were ancient songs and had profound and disturbing accents. And I forgave all of the cunning hunter, because his songs were necessary; no one then snowed the end of the war and only Saşka was able to wait for us with song and tears our exhausting roads. Bloody footprints stretched on these roads. The song was on our tail. That's the way it was in Kuban and our step marches, that's how it was around Uralsk and at the foot of the Caucasus, and so on to this day. We need songs, no one knows when the war will end, and Saşka Christ, the squadron singer, has not yet farted to die…

So tonight, when the host's soup deceived me, saşka also reconciled me with his swaying and half-strangled voice.

"The star of the plains, he sang, the star of the plains above the parental home, and the sad hand of my mother…"

I was listening to him, lengthened in a corner on a rotten sheet. My dream broke my bones, my dream was shaking under neath me, the moldy hay, and through his rain I was barely clearing the old lady who had propped her cheek with one hand. Leaving her head down full of lice, she stood against the wall unwavering and did not stand out until Saşka has completed her song. Saşka ended up singing and put the harmonic aside, then they'd yak and start laughing, like after a long night's sleep; after that, seeing the paragina in our brothel, this guard's brothel throws the garbage off the lava and brought in a bucket of water.

 – You see, souls, he called him the host after scratching his back on the door and pointing fingers at me, look, your boss came here just now, roared at me, kicked at me, took the locks from all over my house and put his guns up my nose… It's a shame from God to shove his weapons in my nose, that I'm a poor woman…

They scratched the door once more and started throwing some coplay on his son, snoring under the icon, in the big bed, surrounded by all kinds of. The boy was mute, had a whitish head, elongated and swollen, and some giant soles, like an adult peasant. His mother wiped out his nose full of uncleanness, then returned to the table.

 – Aunt, then called Saşka, and touched his shoulder, if you like, I can pay attention to you…

But the old lady was pretending not to hear him.

 – I didn't see soup, nation," she said, leaning her cheek in the palm of her hand, my soups went down the ice; people show me nothing but weapons, and if a nicer man embroiders me, that it would tempt me to sweeten myself to him, look, I've grown so gross, i'm not happy in sin anymore…

He also softens his jelians and, babbling, then pushed to the wall on his mute son. Saşka sleeps with her in the cloth bed, while I was trying to sleep trying to invent dreams to fall asleep with good thought.

Son of the Rabbi

… Remember Jitomir, Vasili? Do you remember, Vasili, Teterev and that night when saturday, the young woman, snuck along the sunset, crushing the stars with the red heel of her shoe?

The moon's thin horn was bathing its arrows in the black water of Teterev. The silly Ghidale, the founder of the 4th International, led us to rabbi MotalA Bratlavski for the evening prayer. Through the red flicker of the insertion, the silly Ghidale sways his feathers of from his hat. The beast's pupils of the candles flashed in the rabbi's room. Leaned over prayer books, slavery Jews sighed deaf, and the old clowns of chernobyl tsars in Chernobyl swam his rampage in his ferfened pocket…


The Cavalry Army Book. Odessa stories can be purchased from:

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