Booth for the ball
... Late autumn 1939 of the year. In the first class of the school of the village of Troyekurovo, Lebedyansky district, there are about thirty children. Young teacher Lyubov Sergeyevna Shumkova conducts a lesson in mathematics. The guys enthusiastically fold the branches of mountain ash and count them out loud.
- Can it be bricks and we build a booth of them for our Sharik? - asked someone from pervachkov.
Lyubov Sergeyevna smiled:
- It hurts the bricks we have uneven. Our boys will grow up and make beautiful wooden boards. Sharik will have to wait.
The guys were upset: they were worried about a puppy who had recently appeared near the school. The ball was small, kudlat and very affectionate. And while he lived in the courtyard, wet in the rain and was blown by the autumn wind.
Suddenly - a knock at the window. Behind the glass are male faces. Lyubov Sergeyevna went out on the porch and saw three fellow villagers. Their children also studied in this school, but in high school.
- What do you want, comrades? She asked sternly. - The lesson is going, you can not distract.
- Lyubov Sergeyevna, we are in business ... - the guests looked down.
- I'm listening.
- Who is Bezukhov? - asked a tight, undersized man.
- Bezukhov? It seems there is no such name in our village. What is he like?
- They say fat, kind-hearted. His wife is Natasha, but her name is different. My daughter said to me, they say, I look like Bezukhov, the same characterless.
Lyubov Sergeyevna was taken aback. She guessed that we are talking about Pierre Bezukhov, the hero of Leo Tolstoy’s novel War and Peace. And I realized that it is necessary to explain this to fellow villagers very delicately.
- You see, there is such a literary work of the great Russian classic Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy. Pierre Bezukhov - one of the main characters. He really is a very gentle person, a little spineless. I don't think my daughter wanted to hurt you.
The men smiled. Long shook hands with Lyubov Sergeyevna, thanked. And then confusedly admitted:
- We would work on education. We understand that we are behind the children, ashamed.
“Come to my lesson,” Lyubov Sergeyevna invited.
- So you have pervachki! More embarrassing. And we work in shifts.
- Why should they know that you are also students? Let them think that you want to master the profession of a teacher. Come on the days when you are working on the second shift.
And the men came a whole month. They sat behind the children and quietly read the books that the teacher gave them. The guys reacted to the "new" with respect. They knew that these adults - their fellow villagers, work in the field. But the fact that men, in their free time from field work, still want to teach children, caused admiration from Pervachkov.
And at the end of the first half of the year, before the New Year, Sharik had a solid booth. Thus, the adults thanked the teacher for understanding and kindness.
First grader Vanya (his name I, unfortunately, could not figure out) was often late for classes. It was dirty on the street, and the boy did not have goloshes, only felt boots. So that they are not too wet and dirty, Vanya went to school a long way, past the field, choosing tracts of land with dried grass. That did not have time for the first call.
One day, Lyubov Sergeyevna left him after lessons.
“You don't want to wake up in the morning?” She said sternly. - Why are you late?
Vanya hesitated, burst into tears and confessed everything.
Lyubov Sergeevna was at first confused, and then asked:
- Do you happen to know your height?
- Not. I only know that I am the smallest in the class. Why?
- Nothing. Become a stench, now we measure you.
Vanya did not understand, but got up.
The teacher got the thread from somewhere and measured the boy.
“Go home,” she said. - And tomorrow I will come for you. And she came in with a huge backpack.
- We will play Masha and the bear! - cheerfully announced Lyubov Sergeyevna. - Get in the backpack.
- And ... legs?
- I cut a hole in my backpack, and you will shake it in them.
- So it will be hard for you ...
- Where did you, Vanya-Masha, meet a weak bear?
- I never met them ...
- That's it. Get in, they tell you.
... For a whole month, until the frost hit, Lyubov Sergeyevna carried Vanya to school in her backpack. And the collective farmers took him back on the cart. Several times the teacher happened to fall, once she broke her knee in the blood. But the boy never once soiled his boots. Lyubov Sergeyevna knew that in the family of Vanya there was only one pair of warm shoes. These boots were brought to a first grader by his father, who before winter walked in sandals. And after the lessons, Vanya gave his shoes to his younger brother, and he went for a walk.
The teacher understood well why Vanya was so afraid to get dirty. After all, she herself had only cold galoshes.
First day of war
Lyubov Sergeyevna worked in the school of the village of Troekurovo for only one academic year. She married a military man, Alexander Ivanovich Shumkov, and he took her to the place of his service - to the city of Brest. There, in December 1940, their daughter Sveta was born. And in the early morning of June 22, 1941, thousands of bombs and shells hit the Brest Fortress. The German command planned to seize the fortress on the first day of the war, by noon. But the Soviet defenders repulsed the attack. And the next day, and the next ...
The whole Shumkov family died on the first day of the war. Their names are carved on the memorial plate of the Brest Fortress. But, unfortunately, I did not find information on Lyubov Sergeyevna on the Internet — only that she was the wife of Shumkov's warrior. And the one that I shared now, I learned from the teacher's former fellow villagers. From them - and the photo. She is very vague, that there's nothing you can do ... And Lyubov Sergeyevna is far to the right.