• Madison White

A Story a Day #62: Maxim Gorky

April 25th, 2020

"The Nightingale"

Maxim Gorky

Four passengers sit on a steamer boat in silence when they hear a nightingale call. They are delighted and while sometimes they try to leave and make for their cabins, they end up staying to listen. When the song stops, a sailor comes up to them and informs them that they weren't hearing a nightgale, but a boy who imitates birds. He comes up as well and performs for them. Having heard him, the people are upset that it was just a boy imitating and not the real bird itself.

I must admit, when I opened this story I thought "oh no, not another Russian story." I generally find them to be drab and dark and a bit too long. On the contrary, I found this story to be quite beautiful and precise. I love what the bird represents, something dreamy and natural that you feel lucky to be a part of. On the contrary, when that is taken away, people react negatively despite the talent of the boy. I thought this was a lovely, short tale of how our expectations can ruin reality.

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