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I don’t like dear Siikie, and I’m not like those kinds of people that stick their noses in other’s business... but there are some women, like Tana Papuchkina, who opens their mouths as wide as yard’s doors! That day, I was at home knitting some socks for Gruyo, and I saw her through the window, tin-tin-tin, shaking her waist, dressed up with fur, with a fancy bag in hands, and there she went straight into Doctor’s house. Married woman, dear, she has to stay at home and mind her own work... but she - doesn’t leave the man alone! I watch her for whole year and half... always treating her teeth. What teeth?! Even if they were growing all over her mouth, even they were full of holes; they would have healed till now. She broke the family, shame on her! But I see his wife, they have shouted against each other, fought, but she might started to cheat as well; I always see her going out with makeup and with her hat tilted on the side... fantasy!

It’s not my business, dear Siike, and I’m not like those kinds of people, but her fired maid said that to Bona Kevina, and she told it to our Kitca Subchova. But I heard that the maid also was no better at all! She was jobless for two months and always hanging around some officer from her village. If one day, dear, I have more free time, I would go ask around if someone know where he came from and if he is like one of those modern “cousins”! But it is not my job to stick my nose into others’ problems! One should watch over their house, to clean it, to tide it up... Because yesterday I went to Bona Bozadjiikina for yeast - oh, lord! Their hutches, dear Siike, haven’t been cleaned for two years, the cloths were sticking with burned dough, rolling around in a corner and the cat was sleeping over them. What a shame! Twice a year she curls her hair and she wears patent leather shoes, but her house is... like Tuesday evening after market. But to be honest, it’s her problem. They should do whatever they want. Our Gruyo says this: “Every house has to look after its order, every goat - after her leg. Whoever should do whatever they want!” And Kolchevi... They never make up their bed. They stay all day long as were left. I told the Mistress one day, and she: “It is intentional” - she said - “we left them like this, so the sheets would freshen up”. But the truth is that she is too lazy, why is she lying to people? It is always obvious when a woman is cleaning up the house. Their bedroom is untidy, in the living room, on the couch lays a torn pillow, the needle case is hanging aside, and their face towel - like a hundred gypsies has wiped their hands in it!

Oh, whatever, it’s their problem! One should not gossip, and should warm up to the others - that’s what I know, and whatever they do - it is their business. But I should go, because I left the little one at home to fry onion - if she burn it, it would smell like when you walk near the Parapankini’s house. The bloody house is at a corner! It is not even a real house, but it has windows that one could watch all the way up and down the street. On the first always is the mother, on the other - her daughter, these two would not let a person go unless they learn everything about his family. And around their house always smells like burned food. She is an old lady, dear, but she is at her daughters mind! This engineer has wanted to marry her, that judge has asked for her... like the people have gone crazy about eating burned food whole life! Would she end like Desha Kolikuchkova? The men wanted her, asked her hand, they would even kidnap her, but now she is staying in her home, wrinkled and confused, even Enio, the minor, started throwing eyes at her. But what is he looking for? Like I don’t remember how his mother gave birth four months earlier and how was she walking around the neighborhood down the road!...

Last night, after the sunset, I was collecting the dried clothes from the yard and - tupuuuur - something fell from two-three houses down from mine. I threw the shirts aside on the trees, ran out and - what do you think? Pena Tsankovitchina, the widow, has three tiles fallen from the fence, on the left side, near the door. It was dark, so I could not look around, so early in the morning I went again and found three male rubber boot footprints. I asked her what was with the noise and she: “A cat, my dear” - she said - “a cat has jumped and pushed down some tiles...” Oh, how I know this tomcat that works for the financial bureau and has a female and two little kittens in home, but I don’t like to gossip like this!

On the other hand, I am angry, because she acts like a saint, always in the church and with her head down. But you know what our Gruyo says for those people: “Whose sinister look is faked - thinks about naked!” And it is true, but it is not my business to talk about it! Like in my home everything is smooth, that I can speak about the others! What a daughter-in-law we brought at home, dear Siike, let the Lord protect you and your family till nine generations after! Since the wedding, she is always ill, always in pain. Her gall was perforated, her stomach was nervous, always on a diet, but on the second day of Christmas, she ate half of the pork’s fillet when I was there! It is good think that I go here and there and the people are giving me treats, because I could not win a fight with her for food! She didn’t miss even the sweet, dear sister, neither sugar, nor corned-beef! I thought that when she is on a diet, she won’t touch the pickles, but when a looked at the big jar - only a few peppers were floating inside!

I told to my Proiko: “Listen to me, son, I should choose you a girl, because I know every girl around and in the district!” What I haven’t told him! One day he left and brought her all the way from Gabrovo. The people wouldn’t take even a cat from there and he brought a woman! Our Proiko came out stupid; he is just like his father. He didn’t ask, he didn’t listen, didn’t look into other houses, and like that - in a hurry! Like I haven’t told him enough to go at the vicar’s home, to come into yours, to see what order is! See, Bonyo showed he was smart when he married you. You might be gap-toothed and limping a little, but you won’t be marching around the kitchen, will you?! You look after your home, your children are raised up good and Bonyo is wearing a clean shirt every Saturday. And in my place - dirty, in a mess, full disorder!... I would tell you about it, dear Siike!... But I am not this type!

I’m not like those kinds of people...



© Chudomir
© Stamena Kavrakova, translated
© E-magazine LiterNet, 20.04.2011, № 4 (137)