There are stories that are told over and over again and they never cease to amuse. Several generations later, they are still a staple of any family gathering. This is one of them. A tale of babushka and a plate of borsch.
Imagine a family dinner in a Russian village. An entire family is sitting at a large table, with the father and mother at the head of the table and all the youngest kids at the other side. Everyone is given some freshly made borsch, with a large chunk of fresh bread. There is no chatting, or squabbling, or gossiping. Everyone's eating.
My babushka, the youngest of the children, is sitting at the very end of the table with a plate of hot borsch in front of her. A thought enters her head: 'What would happen if I put my foot into the plate?!'
And so she does.
Imagine the chaos! Her older sisters jump up and take her away from the table, telling her off and simultaneously washing the borsch off her feet and clothes. 'Mariyka, how did you come up with THAT idea?!'
I think she's always been rather pleased with herself for doing it. Even aged 60, when she herself was telling people off for bad table manners, it amused her. She did have a lot of hidden mischief in her.
It is now one of the favourite stories of my eldest son. He's never met babushka, but almost every week he pretends to put a foot into food, grins mischievously and says: 'Just like your babushka!'
And it always puts a smile om my face.