… In the morning, Father raised Matveyka still dark. I didn’t throw firewood in the stove – they’ll leave now anyway – and it was chilly in the winter hut. We quickly drank warm tea (the kettle stood on the stove all night), and set off. From the tackle my father had only a homemade fortress. In the spring, large fish rubbed near the shore, went to spawn in narrow channels. Here they were shaken up. To go to Charysh they were far away, about three hours on foot.
The predawn taiga seemed to Matveyka to be somehow unfamiliar. Behind every bush there was a bear or a wolf. Serko was calm. And only sometimes he stopped, yawning widely, showing the upper fangs. He clearly did not understand where his friend was going so early.
Matveyka turned his head around, not forgetting to glance even at his feet – here nodular rhizomes appeared from the ground everywhere. My father walked and walked steadily, only the gun swayed over his shoulder. How did he see something in such darkness? Then Matveyka himself began to clearly distinguish the path – it was lighter than the surrounding land.
Father said over his shoulder:
– Beast trail. Elks here in the spring move on. And the other beast goes to the river. Beasts, they, too, do not like to break paws along a windbreak …
Around gradually brightened, and now the birds chased out, somehow together and immediately. And warmer in my heart, all night fears disappeared without a trace. Good as! The sun's rays penetrated the taiga, lying in bright stripes on the bushes and trees, slid across the face with warm paws …
That's Charysh. Beautiful and wayward, with shallows and whirlpools, wedged here from one bank to steep cliffs, and from their side a taiga that goes to the water itself. The river went into the distance, into the mountains, and the panorama was breathtaking …
We went down to the water and walked along the big coastal pellets, jumping from stone to stone and peering into the water. So my father froze, bent all over and hit the spear into the water right under his feet. And immediately someone strong huddled in the water, whipping up fountains of spray and pulling the spear out of his hands. But the father did not give up, pressed the prison down, pressing the fish to the bottom. Matveyka ran closer, and from under his father’s hand he saw a hefty crimson tail, no less than a paddle from a neighbor's boat – a cloud. Wow! Taimen! Similarly, taimen! Here is his black broad, rounded like a log, his back, and a powerful broad-browed head, and a crimson tail spouting on the water. My father kept taimen, leaning on a jail with all the weight. But the prisoner was twitching, trying to escape from the hands or throw the father into the water.
But the river giant was tired and stopped beating. He lay on the bottom and moved his fins and gill covers, he was dispersing small pebbles. Father, still holding the spear with one hand, jumped into the water and leaned on the taimen, sat astride him. Wow giant! Now, when he saw his father sitting on a fish, Matveyka realized that the taimen was much larger than it seemed to him at the beginning. And the taimen fumbled, huddled under his father, but it was too late. My father caught him with both hands under the gills and dragged ashore. Fell beside him, puffing hard. Matveyka looked at the fish, his mouth open with surprise. The dark blue, almost black back gradually passed to lighter sides and absolutely white belly. Bright crimson fins the size of his father's palm and tail, wide and powerful. Lobe head with thick lips and small black eyes. Taimen shook him with its gigantic size. Catching his breath, the father, with quick movements, ripped up the taimen's belly, threw out a large ball of giblets, and tore out the gills. In the stomach of trout, they found a partially digested pike kilogram by four. Oh, and healthy!
Father barely hoisted the fish on his shoulders, passing the rope through the rugged taimen's mouth, and went to the hut. A broad crimson tail dragged along the ground. They walked with respites, and no wonder – the taimen weighed four, no less. But reached all the same.
My father hung taimen on a bitch hammered into the wall, and went to wash his clothes — he was soaked in fish spirit. If you do not immediately wash out, you will have to throw it away in a day.
-Configure, let's go home
Matveyka was upset, but then he remembered the taiga law. One that "do not take more than necessary." After all, if they do not take taimen, and he disappears, it turns out that they mined it in vain. And ran to harness …
Needless to say, with what eyes did everyone in the village look at the taimen lying in the cart? And in the eyes of the boys, Matveyka ascended to an unattainable height – this is a must, such a confusing thing to catch!
At home, father chopped taimen into pieces. A part took it to the glacier, a part was processed into mince and also sent to the glacier – then there will be delicious dumplings with meatballs. Another part was distributed among neighbors and relatives. From the head of the mother cooked a couple of large basins aspic. And on this day there was a big festive cake, to which relatives were invited. This is how one half-village fed half the village …
You have read a fragment of the book "Talking with Herbs".
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