Pavel watched the crane fly in the sky and wandered further into the forest, where he met the same rangers as him. Along the way he was constantly gathering wood for the fire.
Alex, go on! he shouted at the dog following him. Slipping between the owner’s feet, the animal disappeared into the thickness of the trees. Pavel walked the earth with quiet and measured steps, like a predator. The man did not know this forest square well. Focused on the signs. There were few people who agreed to such a job in the age of information technology and did not pay much money here. Paul often had to wander around areas that did not concern him. He remembered with a smile his first day at work.
– Do you know what the job of a hunter is? asked the boss. Pavel shook his head, agreeing with all the nuances of the upcoming project.
Suddenly a strange dog was heard barking from afar. Pavel went to the dog. Seeing a hut on the glade, the man was very surprised. Judging by its dilapidated appearance, the house stood for at least two centuries.
Alex got closer to the find and barked invitingly.
Pavel approached the hut, but did not notice anything unusual. There were no signs that there were people here. The dog did not stop barking.
“Yes, I’m coming,” the owner threw at his pet and reluctantly approached the hut, where it smelled of moisture and dust. In the middle stood an oven that had broken down at times.
– Nobody is here! Pavel concluded. But turning, he saw the basement, from where it seems, a voice was heard. Alex, follow me!
The man went down the uncomfortable stairs. The dog obediently followed. Imagine the hunter’s surprise when in the basement he met a girl sitting on the floor! Holding the candle in her hands, something buzzed and she did not look at all in the direction of the guests who came to her. She was about 6 years old, she had no shoes on her feet, she was dressed in a long dress that covered her ankles. Apparently, he came here on foot. But where? The nearest tourist camp was 30 km away. Maybe she left her parents?
– What’s your name? asked the hunter.
“Evseniya,” came the reply.
The man started asking the girl where she came from, but did not receive a single adequate answer. He decided to take her on foot to his apartment and then call the office to have someone take care of the baby.
Leaving the hut, Pavel saw that the twilight was coming down to the forest. Deciding to spend the night here, he listened to the girl’s request:
– You can not be here.
– Only you can?
Yes, only me.
It all seemed strange, but Pavel heard Yevsenia and left the hut with her.
– Uncle Pasha, how long do we have to go? the girl asked as she followed the hunter. In order not to freeze the child, the man gave her his woolen socks.
“We have to spend the night among the trees, otherwise it is already dark,” said the hunter. – Do not be afraid, everything will be fine.
Half an hour later, he made something in the form of a tent and made a stew of beans.
– Mm, how delicious! exclaimed the girl, tapping her food.
In vain did Pavel try to learn anything about Jevsenia’s life. He never confessed how he ended up in this forest. Having given the sleeping bag to the child, the man lay down on the second set of his clothes. He hoped that Alex would come to his side and be warmer, but the dog preferred the company of a little girl.
-Traitor! Pavel murmured and soon fell asleep. He was dreaming of his new car again. Marina, his wife, was sitting in the passenger seat nearby. Back – daughter Katyusha. Taking the wheel, the man added a life-threatening speed.
This dream haunted Paul before he even came to work in the forest. A dream car that had fallen on him suddenly woke him up. Dawn was visible over the forest. Yevseniya slept peacefully next to him.
The next day they arrived calmly at the hunter’s residence. Leaving the child to play with the dog, the man went out to make a phone call on the radio.
– Cyril, a girl was found in the next square, about six years old. He could not find out with whom he fought.
– Where is the child from? We have not received any information. So sit down and wait. “I will send you a UAZ today,” the clerk replied.
Pavel entertained little Yevsenia as best he could. She turned on the animation on her phone, showed her a map of the shelter, talked about the forest.
The time has passed. The car never arrived. Pavel could not move on to the next post. For some reason no one picked up the phone. What should I do next? Flying and turning from side to side, the man fell asleep.
He sat down on the sidewalk again, wiping the blood from his forehead. The services that arrived took Marina out of the car, trying not to hurt her. The woman was unconscious. Her legs were pinched. Paul knew what would happen next. Katia did not survive the accident. The car turned and hit a pole. Only it was not the inspector who approached Pavel, but Eusenia. Despair and fear overcame the man.
– Why, uncle pasha? said the girl bursting into tears.
“It’s my fault!” Pavel shouted, holding his head sadly. Why did I stay alive?
And then, together with Marina, they tried to survive the loss of their daughter. Gradually a wall was formed between them, on which their marriage broke.
– Uncle Pasha, you must live. You saved this forest, but you deserve a better life. “I forgive you,” said Evseniya.
The dream broke. Pavel rushed to the girl’s bed, but Gevsenia was not there, Alex was sleeping peacefully in bed. The child appeared to have disappeared without a trace. Going out on the terrace, the hunter heard a quiet whisper:
– Uncle Pasha, what are you doing?
A little later, a car pulled over.
– So, who should I take home? the driver asked, leaning out the window.
– Who? asked.
“I’m in Moscow to see my wife,” Pavel replied. – Yes, and do not forget Yevseniya.