Provoked by the news that Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer has legalized Shoot, Shovel, and Shut Up for wolves north of I90 (I am pro-wolf, by the way.) I listened to a recording of Peter and the Wolf, which I had not heard in over 50 years, and which was once an immensely popular piece of music for kids.
Written by Sergei Prokofiev in 1936, it’s a short narrative with music telling the highly unlikely story of how a Russian farm boy manages to capture a wolf which is raiding the farm where Peter lives with his grandfather. A band of hunters that has been tracking the wolf wants to kill it, but at Peter’s insistence they take it to a zoo instead. End of story. The problem is, it left too many loose ends, so I have taken the liberty of updating things.
*The wolf was taken to the Leningrad Zoo where it spent years behind bars in abject misery. It eventually starved to death during the Siege of Leningrad, and its body was eaten by persons unknown.
*A month after the wolf episode, Peter’s grandfather was declared an Enemy of the Soviet State for the crime of owning a farm. He was deported to Siberia and died of exhaustion and exposure shortly thereafter. The farm was collectivized. Peter, because of his youth, was not deported, but spent the next four years wandering in destitution until he was conscripted into the Soviet Army.
*Peter fought at Stalingrad, but vanished in the battle, and is presumed to have been killed in action.
I hate loose ends.