War Of The Rats: Interview Essay

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Interview with: Vasily Zaytev Kate Wallrabenstein: You were born in Russia, right? Vasily Zaytev: Something like that. I was born in Siberia, a part of Russia, and lived in the mountains with my family in a small house. Food was scarce; grandfather and I went out and hunted for game. K: Where and how did you learn to hunt? Z: My grandfather taught me when I was just a boy; only about ten years old. He took me out to the woods in our part of the mountains, handed me a gun, and told me; ‘Don’t come back until you have caught a rabbit. Men show no shame in bringing back nothing.’ So I did, I was out in the forest for two days, holding this gun, waiting. K: And you never saw one rabbit? Z: No, I saw a lot of rabbits and deer and squirrels, I just would see one, and wait for the perfect moment. K: Sounds like you needed a lot of patience. Z: I did. It was hard, I was always impatient, but the hunt really made me realize that the best goes to the ones who wait for it. K: So you finally caught a rabbit? Z: After those two days of sitting in the snow. It was cold; I had a fire every night. I would take branches off dead trees, and that would last me the night. The rabbit I caught finally let me go home. K: How did you catch it? Z: I had been sitting in a small evergreen tree, and the rabbit hopped into my sight, and I scoped it out; it had stopped to clean itself, only for a second. In that second I took my first shot, and hit its chest, killing it immediately. K: So it only took you one shot to catch the rabbit? Z: Yes. I knew grandfather would be pleased, so I took the rabbit and walked back to my family’s house, and showed grandfather. I remember him telling me; ‘Vasha, my grandson, you have learned patience and experience. You may now go with me to hunt for wolf and deer next morning.’ K: Your grandfather sounds very wise. Z: He was, in his own ways.
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