Friday, February 26, 2010

Something incredible has happened

I've been so busy with the Jubilee that I've hardly had a minute to think. I decided to run away for a little while and disappear in the garden at Peterhof—probably the only place I can do that, since the gardens are so big and full of little nooks and corners. It was just before lesson time, and I knew I wouldn't get away with it for long, but I was just tired of all the parties and visits to hospitals and schools. I know I should count myself lucky, but it just gets to be too much sometimes.

Anyway, I found a place alone: no gardeners, no guards that I could see (the Okhrana, our secret police, watch everything we do—very annoying!) and I just sat down by myself on the grass.

Then I heard a balalaika being played, very prettily, an old Russian song that I love. Some of the servants play, but none would dare to do it in the garden, so I thought perhaps it was someone just outside the gate.

I went to explore, but the wind kept tricking my ear and I'd think I'd found it and then the sound would come from somewhere else.

Finally, I turned a corner that led into the deepest, farthest part of the garden, and I saw the person playing the balalaika. He was young. And handsome! and a member of the guards.

I don't have time to write more, but I promise I will soon!

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