This case was told to me by a wonderful man, hunter and writer Boris Yermilovich Tikhomolov.
In the early thirties, he flew in the sky of Karakalpakia. He transported mail, delivered shepherds and geologists to remote plateaus, fishermen – to the Aral Sea, which was still full-flowing and multi-fishy …
But once a week is a must! – in his squad there were training flights, young pilots honed their skills on light single-engine airplanes, at the sight of which the tanned boys ran a race around the dusty bolshak and, pointing at the sky, sullenly yelled
– Iroplan, Iroplan, put me in your pocket! And in the pocket – empty, grew cabbage …
At one of these training flights, Boris — then a young pilot, with a dashing forelock — glanced overboard and saw a flock of sheep at the bottom, as it seemed at first, lost. Neither close, nor far, as far as the eye could see, shepherds are not visible. Ahead of the herd, as usual, stomped on the leader, in the local serke a bearded goat leader with a bell on his neck and eerily bent horns. Neither give, nor take – two sharp scimitar!
So Boris, young and reckless, decided to joke. He unfolded the winged colony and flew low over the herd from a wide approach.
Holy Fathers, what began here! The sheep from the unexpected and terrible rumble first sat down, then, like waves in a storm, shied away and began to scatter across the steppe. Try to catch up, try to collect!
And only the proud goat-leader, abruptly and discontentedly stomping his front hooves, remained standing still, fearlessly turning in the direction of the “flying beast”. No, he did not flinch, was not afraid, did not rush headlong as far as eyes look like stupid sheep. But it is this steadfastness of the steppe aboriginal that is not what would have angered, but touched Boris’s pride.
He turned around again and turned his car on the newly-born brave man. But even here the goat-leader did not flinch, did not disgrace his gray beard! He froze in fighting stance. His whole appearance – slightly bowed horns, impatient trampling – said that the goat-leader was ready to fight with an unexpected enemy. And when the plane began to approach him, he rapidly ran away and made a high oncoming leap.
“Wow!” – the pilot was surprised, in time he leveled the car.
Both in the second and in the third run, the goat-leader with a fearless challenge demonstrated his readiness to enter into a duel with a rattling monster.
And for some reason, Boris did not want to try the patience of the brave goat.
In addition, an unusual duel could have ended and not in favor of the “joker”. At the last moment, the pilot even became ashamed: why would it draw him to tease a defenseless animal? And then, paying tribute to the courage of the goat leader, he pulled out of his leather jacket a good-looking bagel with poppy seeds and, instead of a reward, threw it to his worthy opponent.
Whether the host accepted the goat leader, Boris, of course, did not see, did not know. But he suddenly caught himself thinking: “And how will you behave if one day you have to fight a monster?”
And then there was a war, cruel and bloody. And the pilot Tikhomolov became the Hero of the Soviet Union …
And the title for living well then did not assign.