When you're a child, it's a discovery every day. When you are a city child, it is central heating, breakfast in the morning kitchen under the absent gaze of your mother who has not yet woken up, warm socks heated on a radiator in the bathroom
- You know, Mishka is not just a bully, but a conscious bully! - mum says frustratedly to dad in the evening.
- Well, what is he again? Dad says as he closes the kitchen door.
- I'm not talking about the fact that he only learns from under pressure, probably all the boys are like that, - says mom, - but he doesn't obey at all! I don’t know how to swear at him, I feel sorry for barking at him, but he doesn’t hear words, ordinary words! He told me today after school: “You understand a lot, you found yourself here!” - and closed the door in front of his nose. How do you like it?!
Father, grunting, lights up and shouts: - Michael! Come here!
The bear sighs and slowly walks in front of his father's bright eyes, shuffling his slippers.
- What? - Mishka says, sticking his head in the door.
- Not “cho”, but what,” daddy corrects gloomily. - And be kind, let me and my mother look not only at your face, but also at the rest of you. Go all the way, come on, come on!
Teddy bear stands in front of his parents, hanging his head.
After the brainwashing, Mishka sits in his room and imagines how he will leave to work as a polar explorer. And what? He will run away, get on the train, persuade the conductors, say that he is an orphan - and that's all, and these will never know where their son has gone! Then they will remember how cruel they were to him!
"Slob!" "Why don't you look into my eyes? What, you yourself understand that it’s disgusting - to be rude to your mother, right? Be rude! Yes, if he decided to be rude, my mother would faint! If they knew what words he knows to get nasty, their ears would curl up into a tube! The tip of Mishka's nose turns red from self-pity and the injustice of his parents - and in the end, a traitorous tear still drips onto the knee of the future polar explorer. Dad comes in the evening to say good night. The bear lies proudly turned to the wall.
- Mishuk! - says dad. - You got the job, buddy. And you understand this because you are smart and fair.
Teddy bear lies without turning, but desperately wanting his father to hug him.
- Mishuk! Dad ruffles his hair. - Let's make up? Only seriously, like a man, I ask you - do not offend your mother. She is a girl, it is a shame to offend her. You understand, don't you, Mishuk?
Bear turns to dad, sits on the bed and hugs his dad. He laughs and pricks him with his beard, grabbing Mishka's frail body in his hands.
- Dad, - says Mishka, - is your birthday coming soon?
- In two more weeks, the father replies.
- May I give you a present now? Can? - and Mishka looks into his father's laughing eyes.
- Get it! - agrees the father, who also always lacks the patience to wait for the holiday date.
It's night outside. Mishka's parents are sitting in the kitchen drinking tea.
- Wow, as if back in summer, - says mom, sipping fragrant tea.
- He and I are good, - says dad, - a dunce, of course, but a good guy is growing, you know?
- I understand, - Mom replies and looks, smiling, at the shoe box. In the box - mint, oregano, St. John's wort, lemon balm, currant, cherry leaves - everything that Mishka and his grandfather collected in the village in the summer, knowing how dad loves this kind of tea. The box is pasted over with paper, and on it is written with a felt-tip pen - large, in Mishka's hand: "Tea for dad."