PENSIVE COMMANDER

But one man in a leather coat, standing near
the armored train, was silent and pensive

  Now, sit down,  having looked at his watch, the father said,  Now, the most important is beginning.

He went and turned on the radio set. Everybody sat and silenced. First, it was quiet. But soon there came noise, drone, and beeps. Then something knocked, hissed, and somewhere from far away, there started a canorous sounding...

It was from far-off Moscow, under the red star on the Spasskaya Tower, the golden Kremlin bells were chiming.

And that sounding before the New Year  now was being listened to by people in cities, in mountains, in steppes, in taiga, and at the dark blue sea.

And, certainly, the pensive commander of the armored train, he, who had been waiting tirelessly for an order, heard that sounding as well.

And then all people rose, congratulated each other once again with the New Year, and wished happiness to all. Everyone understood what happiness is in his own way...

According to the text "Chuk and Gek" by Arkady Gaidar, 1939

Igor Savchenko, Minsk, June 1995

Russian-English translation: Andrej Bursau