Yashka woke up when the sleepy roosters screamed, it was dark, his mother did not milk the cow and the shepherd did not drive the herd into the meadows.
After eating milk and bread, the boy took the fishing pole and went to the porch. The village was still asleep.
Having accumulated a full can, he crossed the wattle fence and ran along the path to the shed, where his new friend, Volodya, slept in the hayloft.
Yasha whistled, then listened. It was quiet. Yasha once again called Volodya. He spent a long time fumbling and rustling there, then awkwardly tears, asking at the same time a friend – is not it early?
Yashka got angry: he had already stood up for an hour, dug up worms, brought fishing rods. He, in fact, because of Volodya all started, he wanted to show fish places, but instead of gratitude and admiration he heard the word “early”.
For Yashka all the charm of the morning was poisoned. He sarcastically “walked” by the fact that Volodya goes fishing in his shoes, and looked around his bare feet.
He was still a little annoyed at the polite Moscow sissy and was not happy that he had contacted him.
Volodya was already ready to give up fishing, but he was so waiting for this morning. Yashka moved reluctantly after him. They walked through the village, and the fog opened up new buildings before them.
Volodya suffered cruelly, felt uncomfortable, was angry, because he answered Yashka awkwardly.
The boys passed the well, and Yashka stopped, offering his friend a drink, because he considered the local water the best water, which nowhere else. Volodya did not want to drink, but in order not to anger Yashka, he began to drink small sips. Then, to Yashka’s question, is the water good, answered that it is good. Yashka did not fail to hurt his friend, they say, there is no such water in Moscow. I asked my friend if he was fishing in the city. Volodya replied that he had only seen how they catch him on the Moscow River.
Yashka relented and started talking about fish and fishing. Volodya believed all of the said friend unconditionally.
The village was left behind, a short oats stretched, a dark strip of forest barely visible ahead.
Volodya asked if it was too long to go. Yashka replied that he was coming soon, and asked to go “running.”
They went out onto the hill, turned to the right, went down the ravine, crossed the linen field with a trail, and then the river suddenly opened before them.
The sun has risen, the fog has thinned out. In the pools there were heavy splashes – the fish was walking.
Boys almost waist-deep in the dew, when Yashka finally said that they came, and began to go down to the water. He stumbled and flew down, scared away the ducks. Volodya licked his dry lips and jumped after him.
Yashka strangled his friend by the fact that in the pool nobody bathes, because there is “no bottom” in it – it is so deep. Then he informed me that there lived octopuses, and unexpectedly concluded that the village boy, who had told him about it, was lying.
Unwinding the fishing rods, one of them he gave Volodya and showed his eyes the place where to catch, and he strained his eyes at the float.
Volodya also threw the rod, but hooked on the creeper. Yashka glared at him angrily, but suddenly he saw that light circles circled near his float. He heaved it off with a force and felt that the fish had entered the depths. Suddenly the tension of the line was weakened, and an empty hook jumped out of the water. The bite was no more, and he gently thrust the rod into the soft beach. Volodya followed his example.
Yashke was a little ashamed that he missed the fish, and, as often happens, he was ready to attribute blame to Volodya. He thought that if on the spot of his current friend was a real fisherman, then Yashka would only have time to pull out the fishing pole. He wanted to inject something to Volodya, when suddenly the float moved. Yashka, pale, began to cut the fish and as a result pulled out of the water a large cold bream. He turned his shining face to Volodya, he wanted to say something, but suddenly his expression changed. He saw how Volodin’s rod slowly slipped into the water, because someone was yanking a line. At this moment, the ground beneath Volodya’s feet leaned forward, and, as if catching a ball, he threw up his hands and fell into the water with a cry.
Yashka jumped up, cursed Volodya and was about to throw a clod of earth in his face when he came out, but froze. Volodya, three meters from the shore, was hitting the water with his hands, throwing a white face to his face with bulging eyes, choking and trying to shout something.
Yashka was horrified to think that his friend was drowning, and, feeling weak in his legs, backed away from the water. At once the stories about octopuses came to mind. He jumped out into the meadow, ran about ten meters, but, feeling that he could not escape, returned. In the pockets there was no twine, and there was no one to call for help.
Yashka went to the precipice, looked down, expecting to see something terrible. He saw Volodya, but he did not fight, but completely disappeared under the water, only the top of the head was still visible. Yashka jumped into the water and grabbed Volodya by the hand. Volodya grabbed
Yashka took his hand and tried to climb on his shoulders. Yashka realized that Volodya would drown him, that his death had come, and trying to free himself, he hit Volodya with his foot in the stomach with all his might. Feeling heavier on Volodin, he tore him away from him, pounded the water with his hands and rushed to the shore.
He came to his senses, only grabbing hold of the coastal sedge. Looked back – no one was on the surface. Everything was breathing with peace and quiet, but in the meantime a terrible thing happened: a man drowned, and this, he, Yashka, drowned him.
Yashka took a deep breath, inhaled and dived. Volodya lay in the depths, entangled in the grass. Yashka, gasping for lack of air at depth, grabbed Volodya by the shirt and pulled after him, marveling at how easily the body moved. Then he emerged, breathed deeply and swam to the shore. Feeling the bottom under his feet, he pushed Volodya to the land face down and got out himself. Volodya’s face was deadly pale, and Yashka thought with horror if he had not died.
Having got ashore, Yashka began to blow Volodya in the nose and put pressure on his stomach. Then he took a lifeless body by the legs and lifted it, as much as he could. He began to shake, turning purple with exertion. And now, when he was ready to sign in his own powerlessness, Volodya’s mouth poured water and a cramp all over his body. Yashka let go of his friend’s legs, sat next to the ground and closed his eyes.
Volodya grabbed the air, but again * fell to the grass, gasping for a cough. From his mouth, water was continuously splashing.
Yashka crawled away and looked at Volodya with a relaxed expression. He loved nothing more than this pale face now. He gazed tenderly at Volodya and asked how he was.
Volodya spoke in an unfamiliar, hoarse voice and tried, to say that he was drowning. Yashka burst into tears from all that he had experienced.
Volodya remembered everything and cried too, hanging his head helplessly and turning away from his savior.
Water in the pool for a long time calmed down, the fish with Volodina fishing rod had long ago broken, and the rod itself was nailed to the shore.
The sun was shining, the bushes, sprayed with dew, were burning, and only the water in the pool remained the same black. From afar, smells of warm hay and clover flew from the fields. These smells mixed with the scents of the forest and, together with the warm summer wind, were like the breath of an awakened earth, rejoicing in the warm summer day.