It was in 1985.
It is November: a leaden sky, it snows a little. I put on a backpack with a thermos and I go quickly to the bus stop to take the first bus! The bus from Pskov carries me to the village Tsaplino. From this village I go seven kilometers by fast pace so and in an hour about I come to the village of Skom-Gora.
I am almost came to the place: the swamp is near and the puddles are frozen like brawn. Wading through crisp grass through a pine grove. I am worried with thoughts: the snow lies on the ground all around, how can I find the cranberries? The pine forest ends and as the door opens to the Kingdom of a cold and inhospitable winter. In this kingdom, nobody is waiting for me. Only the sun friendly caresses me by its rays. But they are weak, and it seems to me that it apologizes to be guilty for having overslept. Maybe there are no berries? After all, people begin to pick cranberries back in August ...
I make nearly a kilometer through the swamp: not a soul around. Far ahead I see so-called "islands": lonely groups of tall trees growing in the swamp. To the in two kilometers, I see a whitening bell tower of the Krypetsky monastery. I know that it is abandoned, but earlier monks lived in it, and they also gathered cranberries in the swamp.
Now I will go through and try to look for cranberries in the snow. This will be the excavation! Here I am at the "island". High aspens, with leaves that tremble from incomprehensible fear (and perhaps from cold?) greet me. I squat and peer into the white snow. And I see that something blushes! I dig out it gently with my gloves. Here they are, November berries! I look and see them again and again: such red spots under a white blanket of snow. Hooray! No wonder he came! I dig berries and pick up. The fingers get cold. So good that I took the gloves! Usually I don't take the gloves in the winter, but Today I took it. And it was well done. I am warming up: I jump on the spot, I smoke again. The sun's "behaviour" is better and the cranberries are already seen more and more clearly in the snow, the snow is gradually melting. I collect, moving from one "kupina" (so called locals bumps) to another. There are a lot of berries! If was not this cold wind! However, it's time to get home.
The backpack is weighty: I had luck Today. I walk on the path (and there are dozens of them!) to the direction of a geodesic tower. It is called a "lighthouse" in the village: it is outside the wife’s grandmother's garden, and in clear weather the "lighthouse" is an excellent landmark. But in cloudy weather, it is not visible. You can walk an hour or more and not come to the village. And sometimes it happened to me.
In order to spare the time, I go straight to the bus stop. I go quickly, as far as a narrow path and a heavy backpack me allow. I wait for the bus for a long time ... Finally it comes and with joy and bliss I seat in it. After half an hour's journey, I enter into our warm flat. I can not warm up for a long time and the cheeks are burning: my wife tests the cranberries and praises: what a big, ripe and sweet! And where did you find so much! I reply: under the snow! And I fall asleep instantly.
translated on 30 May 2019
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