Jun 30 2011 Mink Stole At Krasnie VorotaCategory: General     04:45AM   0

During military service I had several postings to both 'versions' of Moscow..USSR and Russian Federation. On my last assignment I used the Krasnie Vorota ( Red Gate ) Metro Station from my apartment to duty location.At entrance/exit are numerous vendors selling coffee,cigarettes,and prepared foods. From the start I took notice of a woman I took to be in her 70's 'bargaining' or attempting to sell articles such as books,clothing,jewelry.,etc for meals or rolls and coffee. Invariably our eyes would meet and each time I saw her..incredibly ( Gymnopedie ) would play in the back of my mind. She had a proud,friendly face with a hint of a smile but with sad,pleading eyes. One frigid January morning I exited the station and saw her dressed in a long black overcoat,black leather boots and amazingly,draped across her shoulders was a Mink Stole with a sign attached to the back stating 'dlya prodazhi' ( for sale.) She was having no success persuading the stall owner to trade the stole for breakfast. As it was the same vendor that I purchased  coffee and bread from each day I stood next to her while he filled my order. I took notice that the Stole had a lustrous sheen and appeared to be well made..while not being a furrier, I thought it could well be genuine.While clearly on hard-times, her face was still attractive,with few age lines and lovely contours. Even through her coat I could see she still maintained a fine womanly figure. I envisioned that in better days she could have resided at the House on the Embankment,a Dacha beyond the Ring Road or a cottage on the Baltic.  As the man brought my meal,I ordered a breakfast for her as well, she immediately handed the fur to me ( to repay me for the food ) I held it for a few moments and felt the incredible softness and clearly noticed that inside it was a SAGA Labeled Fur !! Her meal arrived and I handed the fur back to her and said: ' ne dorogie damy on vas ' ( no thank you Dear Lady,it is yours.) Her face took on a look of amazement and a few tears welled up in her tired eyes..she repeated over and over: 'Spasibo-Spasibo' ( Thank You ). Over the years I 've learned to trust my instincts and they told me she was a good woman.  From that day on I never saw her again, I asked the merchants if they had seen her and they remarked that she had not returned since that day. 

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