Alone For 43 Years

It is 1947. In a small town in Russia, some people are talking. They are talking about their leader. His name is Stalin.

"Stalin is not a good leader," a young man says. The young man's name is Ivan.

Suddenly everyone is silent. It is dangerous to say "Stalin is not a good leader." The people look around. They see a policeman. The policeman is listening to them.

Ivan is afraid. "Maybe I will go to prison," he thinks. He runs home. He throws some clothes, some tools, and some pans into a bag. Then he runs into the forest.

Ivan runs for 18 hours. Then he sleeps. When he wakes up, he builds a small house.

Ivan lives in the small house in the forest. He drinks water from a river. He eats rabbits and berries. He is very lonely, but he doesn't go home. He is afraid.

Ivan lives in the forest for 43 years. Then, in 1990, his family visits him. "Come home, Ivan," they say. "Russia is different. Stalin is dead, and Russia has new leaders. It is not dangerous for you now." They give Ivan a newspaper.

Ivan reads the newspaper. "Yes," he says, "Russia is different now."

And finally after 43 years alone, Ivan goes home.

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