Thursday Very Short Story: Anecdotes from the life of Pushkin by Daniil Kharms

KharmsFrom an online collection of some of Kharms’ short stories.

1. Pushkin was a poet and was always writing something. Once Zhukovsky caught him at his writing and exclaimed loudly: – You’re not half a scribbler!

From then on Pushkin was very fond of Zhukovsky and started to call him simply Zhukov out of friendship.

2. As we know, Pushkin’s beard never grew. Pushkin was very distressed about this and he always envied Zakharin who, on the contrary, grew a perfectly respectable beard. ‘His grows, but mine doesn’t’ – Pushkin would often say, pointing at Zakharin with his fingernails. And every time he was right.

3. Once Petrushevsky broke his watch and sent for Pushkin. Pushkin arrived, had a look at Petrushevsky’s watch and put it back on the chair. ‘What do you say then, Pushkin old mate?’ – asked Petrushevsky. ‘It’s a stop-watch’ – said Pushkin.

4. When Pushkin broke his legs, he started to go about on wheels. His friends used to enjoy teasing Pushkin and grabbing him by his wheels. Pushkin took this very badly and wrote abusive verses about his friends. He called these verses ‘epigrams’.

5. The summer of 1829 Pushkin spent in the country. He used to get up early in the morning, drink a jug of fresh milk and run to the river to bathe. Having bathed in the river, Pushkin would lie down on the grass and sleep until dinner. After dinner Pushkin would sleep in a hammock. If he saw any stinking peasants, Pushkin would nod at them and squeeze his nose with his fingers. And the stinking peasants would scratch their caps and say: ‘It don’t matter’.

6. Pushkin liked to throw stones. If he saw stones, then he would start throwing them. Sometimes he would fly into such a temper that he would stand there, red in the face, waving his arms and throwing stones. It really was rather awful!

7. Pushkin had four sons and they were all idiots. One of them couldn’t even sit on his chair and kept falling off. Pushkin himself was not very good at sitting on his chair either, to speak of it. It used to be quite hilarious: They would be sitting at the table; at one end Pushkin would keep falling off his chair, and at the other end – his son. One wouldn’t know where to look.