By Soroka
Illustrator – Daria Apohonchich

Translated by Kristina Aparina
Masha flies on a plane
Masha has two pigtails, a lot of freckles, and a plane named "Nina". Once upon a time Masha had an adorable grandmother, Nina. Grandma would often come to visit Masha and would take her for a ride in her car. Grandma Nina was quirky and very brave, she loved high speed and riding through the fields, going to the woods with a tent, and growing huge mallows and sunflowers in her garden.

Masha and her grandmother would go to the woods to look at butterflies. Masha's friends would go with their grandmothers to pick strawberries and blueberries, and Grandma Nina would take Masha to look at the butterflies: there were more of them in the woods than there were around Grandma's house, big and small.

Grandma Nina would often take Masha to the river and teach her how to swim. They would swim across the river together and sunbathe on the other bank. She was different from other grandmothers. Other grandmothers often had grandfathers, but Grandma Nina had her own house, a cat named Alice, and a favorite old car that she often fixed - she used to be an engineeress.

One day Grandma and Masha were lying in a field on a blanket and looking up at the sky. Then Grandma told Masha that many years from now she would live in the sky, and pointed at a cloud:

- I will be sitting there and jumping!

Masha thought that Grandma would sit on a cloud and sometimes jump on it, or maybe jump from one cloud to another.

- Will we be seeing each other when you are on a cloud? - Masha asked her grandmother.

- Of course we will, - Grandma told Masha, - you will get on your plane and come to visit me.

Since then, Masha often thought that she would surely get her own plane.

Masha grew big and learned to be a geologess. She often traveled for work and could no longer visit her grandmother as often.

One day grandmother Nina was gone: she went into the woods and never came back. Masha could not understand how her grandmother was gone? Grandma Nina was immortal. She had been there longer than Masha remembered herself, she had a garden full of mallows and a beloved car, she had always been cheerful and full of life! She just couldn't be gone!

Masha arrived at her grandmother's house and hung a sign on the gate saying "No one is home at the moment," making sure the car was okay in the garage. She thought:

- Where could Grandma be right now?

Suddenly she remembered about the cloud her grandmother would be jumping on, and about the sky, and how she would fly the plane to visit her grandmother. Then Masha remembered that she had to get her own plane. It took some time and a lot of effort. Still, she was able to learn how to fly a small plane, and then Masha finally got her own plane and named it "Nina".

While Masha was learning to fly on a small airfield, she was worried that she might fall, but when she got used to flying, she started searching for her grandmother among the clouds. After all, she didn't know which cloud Grandma might be on, did she?

One day she unexpectedly found her grandmother sitting next to her on the plane.

- Wow! - said Masha. - And I've been looking for you for so long! But what took you so long to come to me? Will you live here now, as you told me once?

Grandma Nina made a face at her.

- Children will believe whatever you say. I'm always with you, baby, as long as you want me to be, and I've always been with you. The ones you love as a child are there for life. You didn't need an airplane for that.

- But I really like flying, - Masha told her.

- Let's fly together then, if you like it so much, - her grandmother told her.

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