KnightsThere was a house, full of old women. The old women lounged around the house all day and swatted flies with paper bags. There were in all thirty-six old women in this house. The most vigourous old woman, by surname Yufleva, ordered the other old women about. She would nib any disobedient old woman on the back of the shoulders or trip her up, and she would fall and smash her face. One old woman called Zvyakina, punished by Yufleva, fell so disastrously that she broke both her jaws. The doctor had to be sent for. He arrived, put on his white coat and, having examined Zvyakina, said that she was too old for there being any possibility of counting on her jaws mending. Then the doctor asked to be given a hammer, a chisel, pincers and rope. The old women drifted round the house for ages and, not knowing what pincers and a chisel look like, they brought the doctor everything that seemed to them anything like tools. The doctor cursed for a long time but finally, having received all the objects he had demanded, asked everyone to withdraw. The old women, burning with curiosity, withdrew with great displeasure. When the old women, amid swearing and grumbling, had hocked out of the room, the doctor locked the door behind them and went up to Zvyakina.
-- Now then -- said the doctor and, having grabbed Zvyakina, tied her tightly with the rope. Then the doctor, paying no attention to the loud cries and wailing of Zvyakina, placed the chisel to her jaw-bone and struck the chisel hard with the hammer. Zvyakina began howling in a hoarse bass. Having shattered Zvyakina's jaw with the chisel, the doctor grabbed the pincers and, having engaged Zvyakina's jaws, tore them out. Zvyakina howled, shouted and wheezed, covered in blood. And the doctor dropped the pincers and Zvyakina's torn jaw-bones, took off his white coat, wiped his hands off it and, going over to the door, opened it. The old women tumbled into the room with a scream and stared goggle-eyed, some at Zvyakina, some at the blood-stained bits lying about on the floor. The doctor pushed his way between the old women and went out. The old women rushed over to Zvyakina. Zvyakina faded in volume and, obviously, was in the process of dying. Yufleva stood right there, looking at Zvyakina and nibbling at sunflower seeds. The old woman Byashechina said: -- So, Yufleva, even you and I will snuff it some day.
Yufleva kicked at Byashechina, but the latter jumped aside in time.
-- Come on girls! -- said Byashechina. -- Why hang around here? Let's leave Yufleva and Zvyakina to romp around, and we'll go and swat flies.
And the old women moved off out of the room.
Yufleva, continuing to bite into her sunflower seeds, stood in the middle of the room and looked at Zvyakina. Zvyakina had faded away and lay there motionless. Perhaps she had died.
However, with this the author is finishing his narrative, since he cannot find his ink-pot.