Surgery

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860–1904)

AZEMSTVO HOSPITAL. In the absence of the doctor, who has gone off to get married, the patients are received by his assistant, the feldscher Kuryatin, a stout man of about forty, whose face wears an expression of amiability and a sense of duty. He is dressed in a shabby pongee jacket, frayed woolen trousers, and between the index and middle fingers of his left hand carries a cigar that gives off a stench.

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The Albino Moose

It is late at night, and I still cannot sleep. No matter how hard I try to fall asleep I still cannot. I tried tea that makes you dose off, a cup of warm milk, and a glass of water, but all it did was make me go to the bathroom. And I still cannot go to sleep! Some fresh air will do, I thought to myself. I slowly got out of bed, so my parents did not hear, I tiptoed down the stairs, past the kitchen, and onto the porch. I sat down on an old rocking chair, and I sat for a while. I do not know why but it felt like I had sat in there for thousands of years, just looking up at the stars peacefully. This is what is needed for sure, I think to myself. Until I heard a crack from the distance. I looked forward, across the road, there was a forest, but that was not the strange part. There was a 12 foot (144inches) tall albino moose, with, what it seemed to be, a big cloth on its head, with two white dots for eyes beaming out of said cloth. There were also two arms coming out of the cloth. With its long sharp fingers, it pointed at me. I did not move. I tried to keep eye contact with the moose. After five minutes, I move my arm, take a deep breath and slowly move away to the door. We do not break eye contact. I took a step inside, and then another step, I was safe. I slowly shut the door; my back was turned to the door. I slammed my back against the wall, I slid down in a fetal position, cold sweat trickling down my back. I held my breath, I wanted to throw up and scream at the same time. Once I finished my trembling, I walked to my parents’ room and with cold shaking hands I opened the door. My mom and dad were asleep, so I woke them up, dramatically whispering: “Mom, Dad! There is a strange moose outside!” “What a strange thing!” my dad said. I burst into tears trying to explain about the weird moose outside. “I’ve never heard of such a thing!” my mom said shocked. I can tell that they are sarcastic, of course they will not believe me, they are parents! “Never mind” I say wiping tears from my face. I walk out of their room, shutting the door behind me. As I walked up the stairs, I looked at the window – whew, the moose is gone, I thought sighing. I open the door to my room and plop on my bed, I was tired, but I could not even close my eyes…

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