Dancing On The Snow:

Dancing On The Snow

June 10, 2015  |   Galya Morrell



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Once there was a man who danced on the snow. He lived in the coldest village on Earth and just could not stop dancing. A graduate of a famous ballet school in Saint Petersburg he chose to return back to his village in Eastern Siberia and dance for his people. Ladies and gentlemen, please meet my friend Victor Markov who knows how to live a happy and healthy life at the age of 60.

Don’t bother looking for the entrance into Victor’s house. Apparently there is none. At least, not a single visitor from afar was able to spot it right away. One needs to think outside of the box to enter Victor’s wonderful world.

Why have the gate? Why not jump over the fence? This is easy! «Can’t you jump?» says Victor. «Just try and jump! It’s good for you!»


I jump and land in the deep snow. Boom! Victor laughs and so do all his chickens who stare at me with amusement. Victor’s chickens are one of the prides of the village of Debdirge. They wander freely amidst snow banks in his yard and live on a special diet of raw fish, Siberian herbs and indefinite love of their master who dances with them in the snow. No surprise, one needs to stand in a cue to buy the eggs that are told to be so good that they can replace the entire VitaminShop.

20 cows and 50 chickens live in Victor’s barn. Every morning and every afternoon, blizzard or not, cows walk to the frozen lake to drink water from the polynya. Even when it’s -60C outside.


Victor’s house is laconic. One room fits a bed, a table, a chair and a closet with Victor’s costumes. Oversized posters of ballet dancers decorate the walls. His former classmates dance on big stages in big towns. Victor could have too, had he stayed. But he chose to come back to his native village, tiny and unreachable most of the year, lacking running water and indoor toilets, to be with his people and to dance for them in the snow.

I came to Debdirge to talk to Victor about happiness. What special does he do so that at the age of 60 he can fly in the air like a 20 year old one? Why does he never see the doctor? Why does not he take medicines? Why is he laughing all the time and everyone around him laughs too?

– It is easy to be a happy man. Everyone can, but most choose not to. Being happy is cheap. On the contrary, happiness can’t be bought. One has to move a lot, to get up early, to milk cows, to make hay, to catch fish, to cut ice, to clean the barn, and to dance.

– So, what about those who live in the skyscraper, on the 47th floor, like chikens in small cages on top of each other,– can they be happy too?

– Of course, they can! They just need to dance and maybe also walk up and down the stairs instead of taking an elevator.

– You are 60. Most people of your age have health issues. Why are they sick? Why do they have so many pains? Why do they have to take so many pills?

– They are sick because they eat a lot of bad food and don’t sleep at nights. They can’t fall asleep because they live in constant stress, and … because they don’t love themselves. It happens just because they don’t move and don’t dance.

– What is a good food?

– Wild onions, fish, eggs, herbs, berries – everything you do with your own hands with love.


– How many times a day to you eat?

– Eight. Just a little bit each time.

– What makes you happy this morning?

– My chicken laid an egg – and I am happy. A baby cow is born – and I am happy.


– What can make you sad?

– When my parents died, I grieved. But I did not grieve for a long time.

– Do you ever have an insomnia or a depression?

– No. There is no time. When I come home I fall down onto my bed – with a smile on my face. I wake up on a sunrise, again with a smile.


If anyone wants to write to Victor and know him better, you can ask me for his address. But remember that the road to Victor’s heart lies through the heart of his chickens. And those who despise chickens or think that chickens don’t have hearts, better not write him at all.

– Have you ever eaten a candy?

– I did. Just once. It was long time ago.

– Why aren’t you married?

– Because all women I met so far were fretful. They come and complain about my chickens. They complain that my house that is so small. That I don’t have a car. They just complain. And they don’t like to dance.

– Would you ever get married if you find the one who will not complain and dance by your side?

– I need to meet one.



Thank you to all those who continue to support my work and occasionally are crazy enough to jump into a frozen river to see if the whole thing is real!

© Copyright 2010 Galya Morrell. All rights reserved.

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