“Vanka Zhukov, a nine-year-old boy, given three months ago to study with the shoemaker Alyakhin, did not go to bed on Christmas Eve.” He wrote a letter to his grandfather Konstantin Makarych. Vanka is an orphan. He thinks about his grandfather – a 65-year-old “skinny and brisk old man with a cheerful face and always drunken eyes”, who serves as a watchman for the Zhikharevs. Happy grandfather sleeps or jokes with cooks, and at night knocks on his beater. Grandfather has two dogs – Kashtanka and Vyun.
Vanka writes in a simple childish language how hard he is to a shoemaker, and asks his grandfather to take him away. “And in the week the landlady told me to clean the herring, and I started with the tail, and she took herring and started to poke me with her muzzle.” Dear grandfather, take me away from here, or I’ll die. “” I’ll rub you tobacco, and if something happens, then cut me like a Sidorov goat. ” Vanka would like to walk to the village on foot, “Yes, I do not have boots, I’m afraid of frost.” He writes about Moscow: “And Moscow is a big city.” There are a lot of masters’ houses and horses, but there are not any sheep and the dogs are not evil. “
While writing the letter, Vanka is constantly distracted, in his memory various pictures of life in the village come up. He remembers how he and his grandfather went
Have pity on me, the unfortunate orphan, or else I’m all pounded and I want a passion. And do not give my harm to anyone. I remain your grandson Ivan Zhukov, my dear grandfather, come. “Vanka put the letter in an envelope and wrote the address:” to the village of my grandfather. “Then he scratched himself, thought and added:” Constantine Makarych. “Satisfied, Vanka” ran to the first mailbox and stuck the precious a letter in a crack… Lulled with sweet hopes, he slept soundly an hour later… He dreamed of an oven. The grandfather sits on the stove, dangling his bare feet, and reads the letter to the cooks… Around the oven walks and twirls with his tail “…