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Anechka and Grandpa Vanya (Introduction)
 

Anechka and Grandpa Vanya
(Introduction)*

Once upon a time, not long ago, a little girl lived in a big city. Her name was Anechka.

She had a wonderful mother, father, and two grandmothers: her mother’s mother and her father’s mother. This big and amicable family lived in a really large apartment, which was called a communal apartment at that time. It meant that other families lived in other rooms of the same apartment, and one really really lengthy corridor was common for all rooms.

Anechka was the only child in this communal apartment. Even though all the people in this apartment quarreled with each other from time to time, they all loved Anechka very much.

Anechka loved everyone too. She loved her mother, father, and both grandmothers. She loved the neighbors too, and she was always the first person to politely greet the other person.

In one room of this big apartment, there lived a wife and a husband. Their names were Ivan Petrovich and Akulina Andreyevna. They lived in love and harmony and were elderly. Their children had already grown up long ago and lived separately from their parents in other places.

Anechka had two grandmothers but did not have any grandfathers.

But she wanted to have at least one, so she chose Ivan Petrovich to be one for her.

One day she came to visit him and simply asked him to become her grandfather. He agreed without even a momentary hesitation!

After that, a miraculous friendship began between the youngest dweller of that apartment and the oldest one.

Even though Anechka was a child, she understood that grandpa Vanya was not her real grandfather. However, this fact made him even more wonderful, for real grandfathers, just like grandmothers, had to not only praise their grandchildren but bring them up strictly as well. Grandpa Vanya was a little “magical”: he was never angry with Anechka, he played and talked to her as to a best friend.

He also would tell her fairy tales and true stories and allowed her to do whatever she asked for.

However, it should be noted that Anechka never wanted anything bad because she was a kind and intelligent little girl.

Usually Anechka asked permission of her grandmothers or parents to visit grandpa Vanya, and if they allowed, she visited him.

She would gently knock on the door and ask:

“May I come in?”

“Who is there?” grandpa Vanya would ask.

“It’s me!”

“Then come in!” grandpa Vanya would say greeting Anechka in this way, and Anechka would come in gladly.

Then she usually gave a “performance”, for example, she danced or read a poem that she learned, and every time Akulina Andreyevna and grandpa Vanya would applaud and praise her.

Afterwards, Akulina Andreyevna would invite her to taste some delicious refreshments, such as mushroom patties, which she cooked with great mastery, or tea with jam. Then Akulina Andreyevna would quietly sit down on a chair to do her needlework or would begin to cook in the kitchen. She never interfered in the conversation between Anechka and grandpa Vanya except for those occasions when she was asked for.

Grandpa Vanya would also drink tea with Anechka, and she would ask him to tell her something interesting.

Usually grandpa Vanya asked before beginning his story:

“Well, what would you like me to tell you a fairytale story or a true one?”

“Please tell me a story that has a little bit of fairy tale and a little bit of truth!” Anechka would answer.

So, grandpa Vanya began to tell her his story.

This amazing friendship started when Anechka was a very little girl, and the fairy tales would change as she grew up.

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