Fisherwoman Sonia

The Baraboy Homestead The Baraboy Homestead is an excellent option for hosting corporate parties, panels, workshops and other major events against the beautiful backdrop of Ukrainian nature. The Homestead is located on the shore of the unique Baraboy river, 25 km southern of Odessa.

   I am a couch potato to a certain extent, but I do enjoy going out as much as the next man. If invited to a party, I would promptly leave my easy chair, turn off the PC and go for it. I get anxious whenever there’s something interesting going on and I’m not there to see it. Moreover, my intuition has gotten self-aware over the years and signals me to get out whenever it ‘feels right’. Besides, and I know this for a fact, the most interesting of things tend to take place in the neighbourhood rather than inside your comfy flat.

   That time I was headed for Baraboy, a little village south of Odessa, famous for its eponymous river and many ponds perfectly suited for fishing and vacationing. I myself was there once before as a student and partook in various fishing activities of which I since remembered fondly. Thus, I had very little hope of any sort of surprise Baraboy might hold for me; yet something kept telling me that I was wrong. After all, there should’ve been a reason why I was going there.

   After a gentle turn, the car left the ‘Gribovka’ sign far behind and made a leap for the final destination. Twenty five years ago Baraboy was nothing but crop fields. I had a suspicion that something might’ve changed since then but I had no idea that the changes would’ve affected the river, too. The deserted beach now hosted a vast homestead with kempt alleys, a swimming pool, and a few hunting lodges peering out intriguingly out of their green shade.
Soon after settling in, I decided to take a walk in the area. I made a quite interesting discover near the dam: there was reed as far as I could see with a scarecrow guarding sunflower and millcake on the shore – everything kept for the small fry. «I say!» — I gasped. — «They manage to actually feed the fish before they catch it.»

   The night was young. The water lilies were glistening in the shadow of the dam, the birds were flying high in the evening sky, and the reed was drawing strange shadows on the water hyaline which were sometimes distorted by a passing fish. I was strolling on the dam and admiring the view of the homestead: the pier became the natural extension of the beach with the main building dominating the scenery. The hunting lodges added some new colours to the beach pallet, as did the ostrich aviaries nearby. I went there, and noticed some rabbit cages on the right side. The big white-furred mother was feeding her bunnies, encouraging the most needy one by gently biting its belly. There was a cage on the left side as well with a certain someone kept inside. This someone stopped its routine, jerked its head few times as if saying ‘hello’ and began examining me closely. «Sonya, — I remembered from what the owners told me about the rescued little otter, — «I have to say, young lady, you grew up into a very pretty otter.»

«What do you have in mind, stranger?» — Sonya asked.

«Don’t know yet. I just got here.»

«Are you going to scare away all my fish?»

   «I would never,» — I reassured her and tried to stroke her head. She seemed to have liked that and proceeded to stand on her feet, stretching her neck towards me. That’s when the strong smell of fish stroke me – now I knew why Sonya was so worried about me scaring off her prey. I tried to scratch her belly but I didn’t hear any purring in return. «Wrong species,» I thought. I thought a little more, but nothing good came out. I wasn’t too keen on zoology. «It is definitely not a cat. It can swim, for one thing.» Sonya nodded, agreeing.

   Later that night the owners told me Sonya’s story.

— Found her last year, she was washed away on the shore. We thought it was a puppy.

— She’s mustelids family! — I exclaimed, finally renembering.

— Exactly. So we saved her, nursed her, and now she’s living with us.

— In a cage, — I added.

— There’s no other way, our neighbours breed chickens, and she might want some on her table. There’s that. And yet she’s out every night, fishing. Comes home with a fish in her mouth and shares with us, always.

— Oh come on! You’re practically breeding fish here, it’s no task for an otter, let alone everybody with a rod!

— «Everybody» gets their fish in a supermarket; fishing ain’t that easy.

— Stuff and nonsense! Grab some bait, take a rod, and you’ve got your hands busy for a long time.

— It’s a deal. Here’s your rod, grab the bait, the shore’s over there. Think you’re lucky enough?

— You bet I am!

   So I spent the night in a folding chair with a rod in my hand. Unfortunately, the Duck à la Baraboy proved to be a fine soporific as I nodded off halfway into my fishing course only to be woken up several hours later by a hullabaloo of cheering voices:

— How did you manage to catch that many?!
At my feet there were plenty of fish of all shapes and sizes.

— How? Well, they jumped right in.

   I didn’t want to disclose any information on the subject. After all, I could’ve fallen asleep after I had caught enough fish for the night, who knows? Besides, my hands were pretty stiff.

— Are you taking those with you?

— No, I’ll give them to Sonya. It’s not fair for her to make her living on her own.

   Sonya refused my treat with a snort. But then she finally winked and gave me the look, «Come some other time!»

The Baraboy Homestead

Rest in Baraboy year round


Ukraine, Odessa,25th km Ovidiopol Road, st. Polevaya, 27
«Baraboyskaya Estate»

2 комментария to “Fisherwoman Sonia”

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