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Witty soldier

May 30, 2003
Once Peter the First put on a soldier's uniform and went to a tavern. There he saw a sad soldier sitting at a table...

Once Peter the First put on a soldier's uniform and went to a tavern. There he saw a sad soldier sitting at a table. The tsar took compassion on him and, contrary to the custom, told the waiter to bring two cups of vodka. They emptied the cups and the soldier decided to repay Peter for his kindness. But he had no money. So he pawned his sword bayonet with the tavern keeper and got two cups of vodka.
Peter asked him,
"What have you done, featherhead! And suppose the tsar will parade troops!
“Never mind! Can't I play him for a patsy?”
So they parted. Next morning, the soldier came out of soak and started to chip out a sword bayonet, hoping that nobody would notice the replacement.
Next morning, the tsar came exactly to the regiment where that soldier served. The regiment was standing in a line and the tsar recognized the soldier at once. He ordered, “Bayonet your neighbor on the left!” Peter knew that the soldier did not have a sword bayonet to execute his order.
“Your Imperial Majesty!” cried the soldier, “why should the innocent soul die?”
“Execute my order!” repeated Peter.
“I must obey the tsar's order!” cried the soldier, “but I pray God for help. Celestial Father! You are higher than the terrestrial tsar! Accomplish a miracle! Don't allow the innocent soul to die! Turn the iron sword bayonet into wooden!”
With these words, he took the chip out of the sheath and hit the neighbor's shoulder with it. Peter broke into laughter and gave him a silver rouble. 

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Authors: Nikolay Shpakovsky, Elena Novitskaya