Yuratchka’s Story

Is a good meal all that hard to ask for? Why did we have to go to such extreme measures? All that I, as a noble sailor, ask for is something good to eat for once and to get a good pay after everything my mates and I have done for this ship.

It all started when we were served borscht infested with maggots. The ship doctor said they were only fly eggs and the meat was completely safe to eat. Of course the meat was not! After a hard day of work, they expect me to eat fly eggs?! But I had to remain composure, because I was lucky enough to get a job and food to eat so I had to be appreciative of what I had.

But then later those foolish upper-class people really went overboard. Two men; Matyushenko and Vakulenchuk, suggest we protest by not eating the meat at all. Lunch came but nobody ate any of the meat in the borscht. I don’t blame them, I didn’t either. It was just too disturbing. Borscht is usually vkusno, especially back at home with a glass of vodka.

Anyway, the captain saw this and had us line up on the main deck. He threatened us with death if we didn’t eat the borscht. Was he really this much of a heartless man? But I didn’t want to make him angry and have me lose my job. So when he asked whoever wanted to eat the borscht to step forward, a few of my mates and I did so because we lost our nerve. But a few stubborn ones didn’t. That’s when the mutiny started.

The captain called the ship marine guards to kill those who didn’t want to eat the meat. But just before they could get to us, we took cover at a nearby gun turret. Matyushenko ordered us to take over the ship. This was the time to rebel. We took their guns, armed ourselves and shot the marine guards.

The mutiny on that ship was bloody and brutal. It was too much like a war. We threw men overboard and shot as many officers as we could. I never in a million years imagined myself doing this, but this is all for our sake. All that could be heard were gunshots and yells. The officers never had time to escape, only to be met by the face of death. A few men found the captain hiding in a stateroom and shot him dead.

After that mutiny, I realize now that I’ve been too passive just because I had a job that allowed me to survive. Many of my mates died on the Potemkin but they died with pride and dignity. I want a better Russia. I will gladly join the revolutionaries to overthrow the useless and unkind Tsar. Down with the Tsar!

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