Another beautiful description of a young dog’s capacity for joy and playfulness, even when hungry and abandoned. Vasily Grossman seems to have had a particular sensitivity to animals and appears to convey the deeper reverberations of their souls. Whether this is true, of course, we may never know, but it resonates with a wider human experience of animals. This is from a short story in which he envisages the life and feelings of a street dog selected randomly to be the first living astronaut sent into space by the Soviet Union.
‘She had a plump, pink belly and her paws were broad, even though she ate little during that good time of her life. It was as if she were growing plump from happiness, from the joy of being alive.’
Source: Vasily Grossman, ‘The Dog’, The Road: Stories, Journalism, and Essays, trans. Robert and Elizabeth Chandler with Olga Mukovnikova, afterword Fyodor Guber (New York: New York Review Books, 2010), p. 235
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