She finally came across a small habitat of human beings. It was a small village, but it was in ruins. People were sitting outside, crying and weeping. There were people begging for food and money. A feeling of intense empathy and pity washed over her. However, she was proud of herself as she always believed that there are more people other than just their town people. She walked into the village, looking around everywhere. She was wrong. Nothing was just like she had imagined it to be. Her heart was filled with fear and nervousness. She saw a lady standing at the corner, and approached her. She introduced herself and the kind lady invited Alevtina home. She gladly agreed and joined her for a cup of warm tea. The lady was old and lonely, so she was rejoiced by Alevtina’s company. They chatted for a long time. She told her about the recent happenings in the village. It had been struck by war from the neighbouring kingdom. Houses had been destroyed, people had been hurt, and their homes had been raided. They had hardly any food left, they were all distressed and helpless. Alevtina was shocked to hear this. She never knew things like this happened.
Soon, it was getting dark. Alevtina decided to take a leave and return home. She bid farewell to the lady and left the house. As soon as she came out, she saw a group of women standing outside, staring at her. They looked furious. One of them said, “ Who are you? Where are you from? What do you want from this village? What is the reason you’re here?”
Alevtina was terrified. “Um- I actually- uh..”
“I knew it. I knew you were a spy from the neighbouring village. Those cunning people! I think we should teach them a lesson.”
The ladies troubled Alevtina- they tore her dress, pulled her hair, and pushed her down to the ground. She was helpless. She begged for forgiveness from them and quickly made her way out of the village. She ran back to the dense woods as fast as she could. Huffing and puffing, she got through the forest.
Soon, she returned to her own village. Everyone was surprised to see her. They asked her, “Where had you been? What did you do? How is it out there? What did you see? Are you alright? Did you get hurt?”
She just said, “The outsiders may tolerate your lapses but not your own kith and kin.”