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This part just blows my mind

Famine was an ever-present danger in these circumstances, and in 1961 it snowed in June. The hard frost killed everything growing in their garden, and by spring the family had been reduced to eating shoes and bark. Akulina chose to see her children fed, and that year she died of starvation. The rest of the family were saved by what they regarded as a miracle: a single grain of rye sprouted in their pea patch. The Lykovs put up a fence around the shoot and guarded it zealously night and day to keep off mice and squirrels. At harvest time, the solitary spike yielded 18 grains, and from this they painstakingly rebuilt their rye crop.
One grain of rye. I can't even wrap my mind around how they survived all this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm amazed that they did not hunt until one of their sons grew up.  Hunting is something humans - and our ancestors - have done for millions of years.  We made tools for hunting and yet they lived a vegan existence until one of their sons was old enough to catch animals.

I actually have a very vague memory of seeing a documentary about them on Soviet television; I was very young and can't remember the details.  I just remember watching this story of these people living in the Taiga.  There's a link to the documentary on the bottom of the page, though it's in Russian only.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
And I love the fact that the thing the father missed the most was salt!
 
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