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The present collection contains three of Yuri Nagibin's stories: The Pipe, Winner, and Winter Oak. The Pipe is a stirring tale about a Gypsy boy who finds a true friend in a Russian farm-boy. This Gypsy child, persecuted by village moneybags, personifies the destitution, the friendlessness, the bitterness of century-long Gypsy vagabondage. But the fraternity of Soviet peoples helped the persecuted Gypsies out of the maze of their vagabond trails and brought them to a happy haven -the first Gypsy Collective Farm. The homeless boy grew up to become an actor in a Moscow theater. Winner is one of Yuri Nagibin's numerous sports stories. The story reflects the sound, comradely contiguity of Soviet sportsmen and tells of a well-deserved ceremonial round of honour made in spite of losing a race by Streshnev, a veteran skating champion. Winter Oak is Yuri Nagibin's best story about Soviet children. The author shows how a schoolteacher finally perceives life's most astounding phenomenon -"this little man, this wonderful and enigmatic citizen of the future."
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