What Pushkin Should Have Done

Written by Earl Grey

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

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Never upset a poet. Or his wife.

The great poet Pushkin sat at his desk. It was late at night and he was busy finishing another epic poem about love and honour. "This will surely win me another award" he thought to himself. Suddenly his wife burst into the room, sobbing.

"My darling, what has caused you so much distress?" asked the poet. "It's the guardsman, Dantes. He is telling all Moscow that I have an enormous wart on my bottom."

Pushkin looked astounded. "How does this Dantes fellow know about your wart? Tell me now, my wife. I must know!" The poet was now out of his chair, pacing up and down the room in a demented manner.

"He saw me bathing in the lake near our datcha" replied his wife. "Now I am the laughing stock of all Moscow."

Pushkin knew that it was time to act. He had to defend his wife's honour. He craved satisfaction. At once he headed to his friend Lermontov to seek advice.

"I will fight a duel with this swine" he told Lermontov. His friend looked at Pushkin, who was shaking with rage. "My friend, first you must understand the following. Dantes is a professional soldier. He shoots people for a living. You are a poet. If you fight a conventional duel you will surely die." Pushkin nodded sadly. There had to be something he could do. "Of course! As I am the wronged party, I can choose the weapons! I will beat that oaf."

The next morning the poet and the guardsman stood back to back. Once the signal was given they began to pace out 30 steps. Then, without further warning they turned to face each other and..... began to compose poetry! Yes, Pushkin had opted to use his skills against Dantes! The soldier struggled, continually crossing out his feeble efforts. Pushkin finished in a flash and began to read aloud. Dantes fell to the ground, wounded. He was carried from the field and died from his wounds two days later.

The pen is mightier than the sword. It is useless against a gun, however.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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