#144 Kashtanka

Please find the 7785 word story here: http://www.chekhovshorts.com/stories/144.html

Travis review:

This is the second time that Chekhov has used an animal’s POV to tell a story. The last time it was from the point of view of kitten in a few sections from Who Was To Blame. This a full 7000-plus word story broken into seven parts from only a single animal viewpoint. It follows Kashtanka, “a reddish mongrel, between a dachshund and a “yard-dog”….” This description reminds of a picture of Chekhov with a dachshund. Because Kashtanka is a dog, it is like seeing the world through a child. Often there are things that the reader knows that confuses her. It is a fun, fascinating tale as Kashtanka loses his owner in the first section titled “Misbehavior” and is taken in by a new, kindly owner who has several different trained animals. I felt sorry for the kind-hearted man as he not only lost his prize goose, but that Kashtanka/Auntie leaves in the middle of his act. The most interesting part was when Kashtanka noticed death’s presence as it entered the room. I wonder Chekhov had seen this behavior from a dog as he was attending a dying patient in his medical practice. And on another note, this story was published 16 years before Call of the Wild. Did Jack London ever read this story as the inspirational source for his classic?

Rating: 7


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