Chekhov Shorts: A Day in the Country

Title: A Day in the Country
Date Read: 27th April 2010
Briefly: As a storm approaches, the young orphan Fyokla – a beggar girl of six – is searching the village for Terenty the cobbler. Apparently her brother has his hand stuck in a hole in a tree, and Terenty’s assistance is needed in order to help free him. As Terenty and Fyokla set off for the count’s copse, the first rains of the storm begin to fall.
Afterthoughts: If I’m being honest then I didn’t think that the second half of this story was as good as the promise that the first half built for it (does that make sense?). The story certainly climaxes well enough – certainly up to the standard that one would expect from Chekhov – but the direction that the story takes with the second half is, for me, a wasted opportunity for something better. So what does the story become? A contemplation on the beauty of nature perhaps, or a homage to the knowledge of countryfolk. Maybe even that the simple things in life bring the most joy. Ultimately however, I’ll let you decide this for yourself.
Notable Quote: “The rain has begun,” mutters the cobbler, kicking up the dust with his bare, bony feet. “That’s fine, Fyokla, old girl. The grass and the trees are fed by the rain, as we are by bread. And as for the thunder, don’t you be frightened, little orphan. Why should it kill a little thing like you?”

Rating: ★★★☆☆

*Story read as part of my Checkin’ Off The Chekhov Shorts reading challenge.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn’t bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).