Story that happened during Leningrade blockade

During the blockade, this little girl was evacuated from Leningrad. Lenochka was her name. She had forgotten her last name, she was so small and exhausted. She had lost her whole family; mother, grandmother, older brother..
And she was found by a special team of emaciated girls – they searched the apartments in the terrible blockade winter, looking for children whose parents had died or were dying.
They found Lenochka and were able to send her to be evacuated. She did not remember how the children were taken in a shaking truck over the ice, did not remember how she got to the orphanage; she was too small. Like an emaciated gnome with a big head on a thin neck.

And she no longer wanted to eat. This happens with dystrophy. She lay in bed or sat on a chair by the stove. Warming herself. And she was silent. They thought Lenochka would die. Many children had already died in the evacuation; severe exhaustion, and no strength to live and eat. And to play. And to breathe..

And then one-legged stoker, uncle Kolya from the front line, twenty years old, made a doll out of an old towel. Somehow he cut it, folded it, sewed it and it turned out to be an ugly doll. He drew the doll’s eyes and mouth with a chemical pencil. And a squiggle nose.

He gave the doll to Lenochka and said seriously: “You, Lenochka, cradle the doll. And teach her to eat well! You are now the doll’s mother.”
Lenochka suddenly clung to the doll and pressed it close to her heart. And she began to cradle and stroke her with thin hands. And at dinner she fed the doll with porridge, whispered something affectionate to her. And she herself ate porridge and a piece of bread, – they were not fed pickles in the evacuation.

Well, Lenochka slept with the doll and warmed her by the stove, hugged her and fussed about the doll. About an ugly doll made from an old towel with painted eyes.

The girl survived. Because she couldn’t die, she had to take care of the doll, do you understand?

For people like this girl. Which became a nurse later and lived a long life. And her hands were always busy. And the heart is filled.

Anna Κiryanova
(c) Useful magazine..