That’s me at twelve, missing a tooth: such a naive young girl.
It was taken in calmer times, before my father put up the fence;
You can see all the way to the dacha on the hill behind me.
Here’s a picture of my boys. No, that’s Vladimir;
he was so small as a child. But he’s bigger than Arseniy now.
And he takes advantage of it. Would you care for some borscht?
Pardon, what? An explosion? Goodness gracious, no.
It’s just the boys playing upstairs. They’re so rough!
You’d almost think they were killing each other.
Excuse me; I’ll just be a moment.
Vlad, are you standing on your brother’s face again?
Well, I warned you: you’ll have to go outside and play.
Inside the palings, not on them. No. I told you before:
it’s too dangerous; they are too sharp and he could —
Vladimir, you remember what happened to the dog.
Such silly boys! So full of life. They must try everything.
But your tea is getting cold; can I warm it up?
Oh, he experimented with the dog and a pointed stick
and learned a lesson the hard way. Really?
Well he impaled — one moment, please.
Will you behave? Your new tutor is just —
If you do not behave, I’ll tell your father:
and he`ll cut off your allowance; then you`ll be sorry.
Where were we? Oh, yes: so you can start on Monday?
You know, brothers can play nicely if
you are firm; otherwise, they try to get away
with murder. See? Already they have quieted down.
Have some borscht; it will put colour in your cheeks.