Syedyshev Oleg
Syedyshev Oleg

Humorous Essays Based on students' memories

"All have died
except for those who are alive, and those whom we remember"Confucius

Essay 144. Experimenters

My dear granny, or like I called her Old Mom, had a vegetable garden, it was even though not big, only six hundred square meters, but we had to work the land ourselves and by hand.

Only digging-up was mechanized, even back then around Yagunovka there were walking people with entrepreneurial abilities, who had a horse and a plow; they dug-up gardens quickly and with good quality. And if to remember those days the best and most stable currency was the one in glass. And my Old Mom became good at making homemade brew, so when her garden was dug-up, the pay by the homemade brew was accepted with pleasure. However, it was also needed to plant potatoes, and that had to be done manually. That spring I was in my fifth year, I passed all my examinations ahead of the schedule and before the annual camp dreamed of flying to Frunze to visit my parents for the whole June. But I had promised my dear Prakseyushka to plant potatoes before my departure. I started pondering on what to do and who to invite to help me though without long persuading and do everything quickly.
Maybe the way I was thinking was not exactly correct, but it was the following. Marik Golubkov since winter had been negotiating with me to make me ask my dear mother in Frunze to arrange for him and his wife discount sanatorium vouchers to Issyk-Kul.

And a discount sanatorium voucher to the famous Cholpon-Ata cost at my mom’s sanatorium seven rubles and twenty kopeks per person for twenty one days with three meals a day, which were though not exquisite, but not absolutely bad. So I made up my mind that he would be the first helper, well, I should not persuade my mom to arrange the sanatorium vouchers for my friends just for nothing anyway, when almost everybody in Kemerovo region and Kedrovka were begging her about the same. Negotiations with Marik were surprisingly easy; Marik even kind of expressed his indignation and even stated that he would have been offended, if I did not invite him to participate in the project. Well, I knew Marik very well. I knew that he was a kind and responsive guy. So together with him we started thinking who else to invite to join us for the agricultural work in my granny’s garden. There it occurred to Marik that at the regional hospital there was one of the first interns Victor from Gorkiy. He was a great guy, lived in a boxroom at the administrative building of the regional hospital, so we decided to invite him; in exchange Old Mom promised to supply him with potatoes and sauerkraut and pickled cucumbers. So said so done. Vitya, of course, agreed for such a fee. We agreed to start the work on the nearest Saturday. By 9 in the morning we got together at my granny’s hut at Yagunovka.

And my granny, the kind heart, she simply could not let us start working without making us eat first. So in the morning she made literally a mountain of pies stuffed with onions, rise and boiled eggs. The pies were so toasted and smelled so appetizingly, that we sure enough immediately concurred. And in Prakseya’s cellar there was a container with homemade brew, and Marik and I went down to the cellar. Just think for yourself, we were about to plant potatoes on the area of six hundred square meters, so it was just blasphemy not to dive into the cellar because of such event. And as soon as we dived there, we could not come back with a small glass. It seems to get warmer? Yeah, it’s time to get out.

So we poured a three liter jar just in case. And the so called “case” didn’t take it too long to wait for.

With the pies, which we dipped into melted butter (my Old Mom recommended us to eat that way saying that that was much tastier then), the three liter jar was quickly emptied. So in a stately manner we swore to Prakseya that after one glass more we would start our work. Well, what can I say, of course the work went on smoothly; Marik kept telling Vitya about what a big container was down in the cellar, he intrigued Victor so much that he demanded that I take him and not Marik with me to the cellar. Our hands, or to be more precise, noses were itching. So somehow without any special agreement we started planting potatoes by a square pocket planting method.

Distance from a hole to a hole was not less than a meter. We threw into a hole not one, but two-three potatoes. The work was going on swimmingly. The area to plant on and the seed potatoes were decreasing in extent and number. However a protest was brewing in the working mass against the intensity of work without any adequate incentives. I was chosen as a mediator, and Marik joined me as a support group. Without any special preparation I told Prakseya about the mass’ protest ad lib very emotionally using such words as “till when?” and “it’s a disgrace”. What could you expect?

She was one of the common people, and it turned out that she had foreseen such progress of events, and she already had prepared a one liter decanter with the homemade brew, last year’s pickles cut in circles, topped with onions and oiled with vegetable oil and three pies on a small plate. However she came forward with an urgent request of her own, that we satisfied our protest not in the house, but in the “field”. We did not start putting on airs or wasting our time. We were in a hurry to finish the planting as quickly as possible, because Marik had to return home by six. Though as they say man proposes, God disposes. With the planting method we’d developed in half an hour or an hour we were done. It should be said that Old Mom was a bit amazed at the speed of the planting and kept asking: “Have you really planted everything?” We all together replied: “Everything!!!”. What a great banquet was waiting for us in Prakseya’s hut, it was a fairytale.

The most important thing was that there was a sea of the homemade brew. Marik was still repeating that he had to be at his place by six, that he had promised so to his father. The brew was tasty and at the same time strong. Marik kept repeating his line, like a spell, when falling asleep next to Vitya in Old Mom’s hut. And Old Mom said: “Good night, my dear workers. Take counsel with your pillow”.

P.S. Old Mom was worried all summer long that she would have not enough potatoes in autumn, however our square pocket planting method produced impressive results. In autumn we dug three times more potatoes than usually. This is what it means not to be afraid of experimenting!

15 July, 2012

© Copyright: Oleg Syedyshev, 2012
Publishing licence #214040200693

Translated by Viktoria Potykinato content