“Búlka’s And Milton’s End”, Fable by Leo Tolstoy

Russian Fable

Fables for Children By Leo Tolstoy

Russian LiteratureChildren BooksRussian PoetryLeo TolstoyFables for Children By Leo Tolstoy

< < < What Happened To Búlka In Pyatigórsk
The Gray Hare > > >

Búlka’s And Milton’s End

Búlka and Milton died at the same time. The old Cossack did not know how to get along with Milton. Instead of taking him out only for birds, he went with him to hunt wild boars. And that same fall a tusky boar ripped him open. Nobody knew how to sew him up, and so he died.

Búlka, too, did not live long after the prisoners had caught him. Soon after his salvation from the prisoners he began to feel unhappy, and started to lick everything that he saw. He licked my hands, but not as formerly when he fawned. He licked for a long time, and pressed his tongue against me, and then began to snap. Evidently he felt like biting my hand, but did not want to do so. I did not give him my hand. Then he licked my boot and the foot of a table, and then he began to snap at these things. That lasted about two days, and on the third he disappeared, and no one saw him or heard of him.

He could not have been stolen or run away from me. This happened six weeks after the wolf had bitten him. Evidently the wolf had been mad. Búlka had gone mad, and so went away. He had what hunters call the rabies. They say that this madness consists in this, that the mad animal gets cramps in its throat. It wants to drink and cannot, because the water makes the cramps worse. And so it gets beside itself from pain and thirst, and begins to bite. Evidently Búlka was beginning to have these cramps when he started to lick and then to bite my hand and the foot of the table.

I went everywhere in the neighbourhood and asked about Búlka, but could not find out what had become of him, or how he had died. If he had been running about and biting, as mad dogs do, I should have heard of him. No doubt he ran somewhere into a thicket and there died by himself.

The hunters say that when an intelligent dog gets the rabies, he runs to the fields and forests, and there tries to find the herb which he needs, and rolls in the dew, and gets cured. Evidently Búlka never got cured. He never came back.

< < < What Happened To Búlka In Pyatigórsk
The Gray Hare > > >

Russian LiteratureChildren BooksRussian PoetryLeo TolstoyFables for Children By Leo Tolstoy

Copyright holders –  Public Domain Book

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