Historical episode
to V.N.Petov

Once, Ivan Ivanovich Susanin (that particular historical figure, that gave his life to the tsar and ended up as a leading character in one of Glinka's operas) walked into a tavern, sat at the table, and ordered himself an entrecote.

While the tavern owner was frying the entrecote, Ivan Ivanovich was chewing on his beard lost in his thoughts.

About 35 stakes of time have passed, when the owner brought Ivan Ivanovich his entrecote on a round wooden board. Ivan Ivanovich was hungry and according to the time tradition, he grabbed the entrecote with his bare hands and started eating it. But in his tremendous rush to satisfy his hunger, Ivan Ivanovich forgot to take his beard out of his mouth and ate his entrecote together with a piece of the beard.

At that exact time the trouble started to happen: in less than fifteen stakes of time Ivan Ivanovich started to feel acute pains in the stomach. Ivan Ivanovich jumped off his chair and ran out into the courtyard. The owner started yelling after Ivan Ivanovich: "Your beard is all shredded", - but Ivan Ivanovich, ignoring everything and everyone, ran out.

At this, vassal Kovshegub, who was sitting in the corner of the tavern drinking suslo, fist-pounded on the table and screamed: "Who was that?" And the owner, constantly bowing, replied: "That was our patriot Ivan Ivanovich Susanin". - "Oh really!" - said vassal, finishing his suslo.

"Would you like some fish?" - asked the owner. "You and your fish should go to hell!" - screamed the vassal and threw a ladle at the tavern owner. The ladle whistled near the owner's head, flew right out of the window, and knocked Ivan Ivanovich in the teeth, who's body at that moment reminded one of a condors'. Ivan Ivanovich grabbed his cheek and fell on a side.

Suddenly, Karp rushed out through the right of the barn, and, jumping over a pig lying in a trough, ran toward the gates. The owner came out of the tavern. "What are you screaming about?" - he asked Karp. But Karp ran away without answering the owner.

The owner went into the courtyard and saw Susanin lying still on the ground. The owner came closer and looked him in the face. Susanin was looking back at the owner with a fixed stare. "So, are you alive?" - asked the owner.

"Alive, but so afraid that I am going to get kicked by someone else", - said Susanin. "No, - said the owner - don't be afraid. Vassal Kovshegub was the one that almost killed you, but he's already left". "Thank God, - said Susanin while getting off the ground. - Although I am very brave, I don't like to take chances. So I lied on the ground and waited for what's next. If something should happen, I would crawl on my belly all the way to Eldirina. Look how swollen my cheek is! My God! Half of my beard is gone!" - "That's the way it was before", said the owner. "What do you mean, before?" - screamed patriot Susanin - "So, according to you, I was walking around with my beard shredded?" "Yes, this is exactly what I am saying". "I'll show you now, you myapha!" - said Ivan Susanin. The owner closed his eyes and hit Susanin in the ear as hard as he could. Patriot Susanin fell on the floor and stood still. "Get that, you myapha!" - said the owner and went back into tavern.

Several stakes of time Susanin lay on the ground and listened, and not hearing anything suspicious, carefully lift up his head and looked around. The courtyard was empty, not counting the pig, which already fell out of the trough and was sitting in a muddy puddle. Ivan Susanin, while looking around, approached the gates. Luckily, the gates were opened, and patriot Susanin winding on the ground like a worm, crawled towards Eldirina.

This is an episode in the life of a historical figure, that gave his life to the tsar and ended up as a leading character in one of Glinka's operas.


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