Valera came on leave to his brother to their homeland. In the hut near the gas stove was busy wife of Oleg. The brothers sat at the table, which was piled treats: in front of each of them on the plates lying boiled potatoes with green onions stuck squares. She smoked.
Aluminium bowl with fried carp stood in the middle of the table. Around bowls banks pickles – mushrooms and cucumbers on oblong dish marinated pike with white onion slices, with her urban sausage and cheese, which brought Valera.
Oleg pointed to a bowl of goldfish and said:
– In the autumn of drag-net I have caught a lot, cleaned and frozen. Now, as fresh.
The men took from the bowl of carp. Brown crispy crust crunched on the teeth.
– Like seeds, – Valera said.
He carefully cleaned the bony fish took out the long bones and put them on the edge of the plate.
– Potatoes freezes, – said his wife.
– Nothing will happen to her, – said Oleg.
– Carp have to respect, – Valera joked.
– Okay. You respect, and I’ll run to Darya, – said his wife.
She put on her coat, tied a shawl on his head, slipped her feet into his boots and walked out of the hut.
– As used herein with hunting? – I asked Valerie.
– Hunting is. But to go away. Tracks do not close.
– And our hare alive?
– And what to do with him? For five years, the mountain guard. His ears are seen per kilometer. Otelsya – huge, like a lamb!
– So no one took it?
– We tried it. But you know what hitryuschy. If you go from the forest – he ravine and into the woods behind his back comes. But if the ravine stolen, so he once again in the field of forest leaves. It sits out.
– A dog?
– So they get stuck in the snow. Quickly run out of steam.
– He kept circling in one place? – I inquired Valera.
– One by one.
– Well, let’s take it tomorrow.
– Do not take it.
– On both sides’ll go.
– Well, if only because…
– I wonder whether the gun brought?
– Not in vain. Boasted.
Valera long time washing his hands with soap under the washbasin. While he has uncovered the gun, Oleg also washed his hands.
– Beauty! – said Oleg.
He turned the double-barreled shotgun with vertically paired trunks and saying:
– With this, and the bear is not terrible. It is hard to miss. One trigger, – he asked, – like this?
– The selector has a shot with the transfer.
Oleg opened the chamber, looked down the barrel, then closed the chamber, an example of the butt against his shoulder. Valera said:
– Three months later he made out. That they do not have the forms, the ticket extended… You know, help needed.
At dawn, the brothers left the house. Valerie was wearing white camouflage cloak. They went skiing along the forest. They saw the underbrush.
– Traces is, – said Oleg, – fed. Not today.
Gnawed branches bushes were everywhere. Oleg removed the glove, raised his bare hand and said:
– Pulls to us. Wind to help.
He looked through binoculars field, handed the binoculars to his brother and said:
– Look for a snowdrift, look carefully.
From the snow-drift, like two sticks, with black spots on the tips of protruding gray rabbit ears.
– He is there, – confirmed Valera, – not yet lay down.
– Are you hiding from the ravine. I come out on the other side. Importantly, do not miss your chance.
The brothers parted. Oleg went skiing along the track, and turn his way Valera undergrowth. The field covered hill. You could go openly. Snow fell during the winter a lot. Wide Hollow adjacent to the forest. On the snow here and there were visible traces of hare tracks. They fanned converged on a single point where the ravine began.
On its bottom a thin thread stretched hare-trodden trail. Above the steep slopes of the ravine hanging snow drifts. Valera chose a position before the two low fir trees. Between them hare trail is well viewed in depth. Hunter took skiing, brushed the snow from the ridge, sat on it, and prepared to wait.
In the forest, there was an unusual silence. No sound. If everything stopped. From this unusual silence Valera became uneasy. He lifted his legs and boots trampled the snow, but the snow did not even creaked underfoot. He bent down and looked in the direction of the ravine. From the lowest point of the trail is also a good view. Valera trampled snow in front of fir trees, trampled put skis on site and looked at the clock. Then pulled his gun from the holster, slowly, with pleasure drove in two holes of the cartridge. He went on skis, put under the gun and took a backpack in sight path.
The hare jumped out from behind the bend of the ravine and stopped. The animal was great, he spread his legs, raised ears, sniffed the air, his abdomen and chest were white, and the back is light gray. He sensed no danger in front of him and ran down the path not wide jumps. Thanks to the solid crust was heard the tramp. Light gray hare back glistened. At the tip of the gray ears are clearly visible black strokes.
Valera led the hare in sight guns, and live every moment approaching the goal, if the gun becomes a party to the cause and the long-awaited meeting with the other. The hare jumped out of the ravine to a wide ravine, stopped again, making himself an ideal target, pulled the air and jumped straight to the ambush on the hunter. Valera lay breathless.
Hare in deep snow bounced higher, as if hovering above the snow without fail. He slowly we move to a safe place and close to the hunter. Valery was astonished. He saw the green eyes of a hare. At the same time animal jumped sharply to the side and ran for bush. Valerie stood up and held his gaze goal. Hare was removed at full speed. Hunter raised his gun and fired.
The brothers met in the clearing.
– As the trophy? – Oleg asked, he smiled, – heard one shot took the cuff.
– The gun is good, – Valera said, – offhand bump knocked.
Smile faded from his face Oleg, he asked:
– A cuff?
– He has green eyes.
– What do you mean? I told him to drive the game, and he – eyes are green.
Oleg waved his hand and went sprawling on the track to the village. Valery shouted after him:
– This is our bunny! So many years together!
Oleg stopped and slowly said:
– well yes – our. With it fun. I do not forget, who had green eyes?
Valerie looked away, swallowed and said:
– I remember.
Brothers slowly moved along the track.
Igor Mihaylov20 January 2013 at 00:00