What Pegman Saw: As the tanks rolled in again

Aliena stared through the window to the street below.

‘Yes, yes, I know,’ she said, absentmindedly stroking her cat, Mika. ‘We should have left months ago.’

Pulling at the balding, leathery ears, she smiled. She’d so loved Mika that when he’d died her husband, Dimi, had the creature stuffed. How long ago? Too long to remember.

A tank rumbled past, shaking the glass. Wehrmacht. Once it had been Soviets, later the Poles. She and Dimi had watched it all from this same tiny window.

Before that, when they were a young married couple, it was the Cupid bronze in the communal garden that had drawn them to the place. ‘Keeping guard,’ Dimi had said. ‘A good omen.’ He’d smiled, kissed her.

‘Where are your omens now, old man?’ she said.

But she spoke only to the air and to a stuffed cat.


Written for What Pegman Saw, the prompt that uses Google Street View as its starting point. This week we visit Minsk, Belarus. See here to join in.

Minsk has been at the centre of various conflicts for centuries, overrun by various nations. I saw the Cupid statue, that little window overlooking it and wondered what they’d both seen over the years.

See here to read more about the history of Minsk.


15 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw: As the tanks rolled in again

  1. If those walls and statues could talk… I would also trust them as witnesses to history over the politicians who write it. Hope you had a good break over new year Lynn and all the best for 2020.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It certainly has been stamped on. There are certain parts of the world, tipping points, places of access between continents and countries that have been fought over for centuries and are still embattled now. A tragedy raging over generations. Thanks Crispina

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Very true. Though we seem to have been invaded a fair bit, considering we’re out on the edge. Can’t imagine what folk thought they’d find here 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The Romans came looking for gold… and found silver and lead, and grain, and slaves. The Angles came looking for land, their own being flooded, and found wives. The Vikings, like the Romans, came for gold, and like the Angles, found land. The Normans came to rob the English churches, and found aggrevation! Thereafter, those who came were seeking freedom from religious oppression… and I guess that applies even into the present time. But it is a fact, seen most clearly with the early settlers in America, that though they seek religious freedom, they then close ranks and dictate the sternest beliefs. Happens time and again.


      3. It feels very much like the trouble maker British that people kept coming expecting one thing and had to make do with something else. Not sure if that days more about us or our invaders

        Liked by 1 person

      4. And I suppose the question of Us or Them depends on who you indentify with: The English, or the Celt? My ethnic identity is soundly rooted with the Angeln… and later the Huguenot Netherlanders


  2. How well you tell a story, Lynn! This is worth reading over and over again. An entire adult life, including major historical events, summed up in 150 words. And those last two lines –
    “‘Where are your omens now, old man?’ she said.
    But she spoke only to the air and to a stuffed cat.”
    – are just off the scale!
    As Lish says, kudos over and over again!


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