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The dog

Born into the life of a stray, Pestrushka finds herself being trained for spaceflight

By Vasily Grossman   September 2006

Her childhood was hungry and homeless; nevertheless, childhood is the happiest time of life.

Her first May—those spring days on the edge of town—was especially good. The smell of earth and young grass filled her soul with happiness. She felt a piercing, almost unbearable sense of joy; sometimes she was too happy even to feel like eating. All day long there was a warm green mist in her head and her eyes. She would drop down on her front paws in front of a dandelion and let out happy, angry, childish, staccato barks; she was asking the flower to join…

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