As the news of an American spy being arrested in Russia with an entire Maxwell Smart spy kit in his possession filled the Russian and American airwaves, I realized that sadly the CIA doesn’t read this blog. Just a few weeks ago I provided a set of instructions for the spy to survive in Russia undetected. Things like putting your feet up, sipping and enjoying cocktails, being too smart and hard-working, wigs, money and compasses will definitely get you found out. Or even a lost button from your pant pocket. Here is a song based on a true story, written in 1939 and performed by some kids.
*very free translation mine.
A little brown button was lying on the road,
And no one had noticed it in tons of brown dust.
A bunch of bare feet was stomping on that road,
A bunch of tanned and bare feet by little button passed.
The boys walked in a crowd all from a distant village,
Alyosha walked behind all and raised the most dust.
On purpose or by accident, he couldn’t tell for sure,
He stepped on little button, and stopped in place aghast.
“This button don’t look ours!” – cried out all the children.
“And weird foreign letters are written very large!”
To border patrol station they raced like wild horses
To show little button to someone who’s in charge.
“Please show me exactly,” – told them commander strictly
And opened map of border he right in front of troop.
He asked the name of village and brown dusty road
Where little boy Alyosha felt button with his foot.
Four days they wasted looking for man on every road,
Four days they looked for him, forgetting any sleep
On fifth day the had found the evil-looking stranger
And gave him very thorough search like very very deep.
They found button missing on enemy’s back pocket!
A button wasn’t present on foreign baggy pants.
And deep inside the pocket – a cartridge from revolver,
A map of Soviet border and other secret plans.
Patrolmen praised the children for bravery and courage
And then the border captain shook all of their hands
They gave the children rifle checkpoint had in storage
And little boy Alyoshka was given drum for bands.
That’s how it’s protected, the Soviet sacred border.
And no evil bastard will ever get inside!
Alyoshka kept the button, because he is a hoarder.
A little brown button with praise and lots of pride!