By Betsy Mayer
During the Revolution in old Russia, many farmers were forced to turn their harvest over to the state and many lost their livelihoods and farms. Those who resisted were often imprisoned or even executed as enemies of the Revolution. There was often no explanation as to why some farms were targeted and others left unmolested.
On one such farm, an old babushka (Russian for grandmother) was left alone with her grandchildren after soldiers had confiscated the family harvest and her son and daughter-in-law had been arrested and imprisoned for resisting. For a time, the babushka had a secret store of rye that she ground into grain to make the hearty black bread common among Russian peasants. Twice a day she gathered her grandchildren around the farmhouse table for a reading from the family Bible and prayer. Then she sharpened the knife and cut a slice of bread for each family
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Betsy Mayer is the managing editor of Last Generation magazine.