Six men went hunting, but only four returned.
Two, in fact, hadn’t returned.
Oknov, Kozlov, Stryuchkov and Motylkov returned home safely, but Shirokov and Kablukov perished on the hunt.
OKNOV went around very upset the whole day and wouldn’t even talk to anyone. Kozlov walked round behind Oknov with great persistence, badgering him with all manner of questions, by which means he drove Oknov to a point of extreme irritation.
KOZLOV: Do you fancy a smoke?
KOZLOV: Do you want me to bring you that thing over there?
KOZLOV: Perhaps you’d like me to tell you a funny story?
KOZLOV: Well, do you want a drink? I’ve got some tea and cognac here.
OKNOV: Not content with just having smashed you over the skull with this stone, I’ll rip your leg off as well.
STRYUCHKOV AND MOTYLKOV: What are you doing? What are you doing?
KOZLOV: Pick me up from the ground.
MOTYLKOV: Don’t you get excited now, that wound will heal.
KOZLOV: And where’s Oknov?
OKNOV (Ripping off Kozlov’s leg): I’m right here.
KOZLOV: Oh, my gosh golly!
STRYUCHKOV AND MOTYLKOV: Seems he’s ripped the leg off him as well!
OKNOV: Ripped it off and thrown it over there!
STRYUCHKOV: That’s atrocious!
OKNOV: What’s that?
STRYUCHKOV: N-n… n-n… nothing.
KOZLOV: How am I going to get home?
MOTYLKOV: Don’t worry, we’ll fix a wooden leg on you!
STRYUCHKOV: What are you like at standing on one leg?
KOZLOV: I can do it, but I’m no great shakes at it.
STRYUCHKOV: That’s all right, we’ll support you.
OKNOV: Let me get at him.
STRYUCHKOV: Hey, no. You’d better go away!
OKNOV: No, let me through! … Let me!… Let… That’s what I wanted to do.
STRYUCHKOV AND MOTYLKOV: How horrible!
OKNOV: Ha, ha, ha.
MOTYLKOV: But where is Kozlov?
STRYUCHKOV: He’s crawled off into the bushes!
MOTYLKOV: Kozlov, are you there?
MOTYLKOV: Now look what’s become of him!
STRYUCHKOV: What’s to be done with him?
MOTYLKOV: Well, we can’t do a thing with him, now. In my view, we’d better just strangle him. Kozlov! Hey, Kozlov! Can you hear me?
KOZLOV: O-oh, yes, but only just barely.
MOTYLKOV: Don’t you upset yourself mate, we’re just going to strangle you. Wait a minute, now! . . . There, there, there we are.
STRYUCHKOV: Here we are, and again! That’s the way, yes! Come on, a bit more . . . Now, that’s that!
MOTYLKOV: That’s that, then!
OKNOV: Lord have mercy on him!
Daniil Kharms (Russian: Дании́л Ива́нович Хармс; 30 December [O.S. 17 December] 1905 – 2 February 1942) was an early Soviet-era surrealist and absurdist poet, writer and dramatist. One of his pseudonyms, which was signed in Latin alphabet, was Daniel Charms.