Dear Alya! Thank you for the letter. I hope that you are now behaving yourself well. I have bought you a few gifts. Not so long ago, Nadia, Andryusha and I went to the steppe. Many thorny bushes grew there, completely dry, with stars on the edges. See more
I wanted to set them on fire, at first they would not burn, the wind put out the fire. But then, I got lucky, and the bush crackled, the stars burned like a Christmas tree. We made a big fire, and every minute threw more and more in. The fire broke out absolutely red. When the last branch was burned, we started trampling the ground. It smoldered for a long while, and sparks were flying from under the boot. Only a gigantic, black, smoldering circle was left from the fire. Everyone is asking me about you here, Alya, what you are like, have you grown up a lot, whether you behave. I respond, “When I was there she behaved herself well, with me not there—I don’t know.”
My dear Alya, I’m sending you some sweets. Lilya can give you one after lunch and one after dinner, provided you’ve been eating well. Do you still remember me? I’m thinking of you all the time. There’s one child here who screams like a toy ram. See more
And what about your own ram, the one your father gave you for Easter – does it still scream? I’m happy for you that the weather’s so fine.
I send you my warmest kisses, Martyshenka, keep healthy and behave yourself. I'll bring you a new book when I arrive.
Vera told me what you said, and I felt bad for the both of us. I dreamt about you the other day. You were much bigger than you are now, with short hair like a boy, in a dirty dress and a dirty apron. But your face was very similar. You ran into the room and stopped when you saw me. See more
“Alya, do you not recognise me?” I asked, and I was really upset. Then you walked towards me but you seemed unfriendly and stubborn. I dreamt about Irina as well, and she was already grown up. She had green eyes and when I looked into them it was like seeing the wings of a butterfly. Alya! Tell the nanny not to put the stripy blue dress on you without me! You probably eat obnoxiously and pour milk all over yourself without me there. Anyway, when the weather’s nice for walking, go to Novinsky Boulevard instead of Sobachya Ploshchadka. There’s more room for you to play there, and it’s not as dusty. Martych! Don’t forget to pray every evening for everyone you love.
Pray now for Irina, and for the fact that Dad didn’t go to war. Big kisses.
I really missed you. Your sister Irina brought me a stork – you know, one of those big white birds with a red beak and long legs. Irina has dark eyes and hair, she sleeps, eats, cries and doesn’t understand anything. She cries just like Alyosha – you’ll like it. See more
I left some drawing paper for you with the nanny; draw a picture of you, me and Irina, and give it to Lilia, she’ll bring it to me. Behave yourself, Alyonka, don’t play with your food, swallow properly. I’ll bring you a new book when I arrive.
Big kisses, write a letter with Lilia for me.