Cuckoo's boots

Cuckoo's boots

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Status: Finished

Genre: Other

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Submitted: May 29, 2017

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Submitted: May 29, 2017

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Recently I logged on to a social network and saw a photo of my classmate living in my home town near the lake Baikal. She was lying elegantly in the forest on the grass, and before her grew a small bush of beautiful bright red flowers. This photo brought me back to my childhood back to my native place, where I have not lived for a long time.

I remembered one beautiful midsummer sunny day when my father decided to take the whole family to the old railway. This place is called the Circum-Baikal Railway- more precisely, the little piece of it that remains nowadays is referred by that name. The train rails lead to a dead end, along which hardly two trains a day pass a day (and barely that many passed at that time as well). The shortest way there was over the lake, which we took; sitting down in my father’s motor boat we were transported across the surface of a mighty and ancient lake. There was absolute calm.

 I sat on the nose of the boat to feel the full speed with which we cut through the endless masses of air. My hair stood on end, and I was terribly happy, breathing the freshest air in the world. At that moment a song came to mind - the most famous song about Baikal in Russia: "Glorious sea holly Baikal!" I began to sing it softly, enjoying the space along which we flew at great speed.

The old railway practically hangs on the rocks above the depths of the lake, which makes it very picturesque. On a section of 80 kilometers there are 49 tunnels and about 100 other constructions: bridges, overpasses, etc. I still remember the name of the place where we came ashore, it was Sharyzhalgai. This name sounds strange even in Russian, and I do not remember what it means in the Buryat or Turkic languages.There a valley had formed between the cliffs on the edge of the lake, and the debris from this rift had formed a small beach between the railway and the lake. The first thing that caught my eye was that the rocks were covered with a carpet of Cuckoo’s boots. This is the name of a flower, endemic to Baikal, which belongs to the orchid family. I had never seen them before in such numbers. It is considered now and it was considered then very lucky to find a small bunch of these flowers growing in the forest. The whole of the cliffs burned with the red color of their small heads.

We had a small picnic, and then my mother climbed on the rocks to get a better view and admire the rare flowers. On that day I also managed to get very close to kabarg?? - a small forest musk deer. It was sleeping quietly in the bushes a few meters away from us almost the whole time that we were there. It only woke up when we started to go home and we inadvertently scared it. In an instant it jumped up onto the rocks above us, stepped onto the ledge and watched us from a great height for a few seconds. In those seconds, its curiosity was beyond fear. This animal is one of the most timid in the Baikal taiga. Eventually it disappeared into the forest growing on the tops of the rocks.

As we returned home, I admired the sunset over the mountains behind my home town. I was happy, enjoying my childhood and my ideal family, as it seemed to me then. But an ideal family does not exist, and everything in the world appears for a while, and then disappears forever, remaining only a photograph in our memory.


© Copyright 2017 Igor Mit. All rights reserved.

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