This is a deeply personal story that has been passed down from generation to generation. I swear this is true because I was told this story by many of my older Great-Aunts and Uncles.
It goes like this. My family, the Niezniowskas were living on a farm in Ukraine, near the Russian border. The time is somewhere after the Bolshevik revolution.
It was said that a Russian army camp was just over the border. At night, the Russian soldiers would cross the border and take what they wanted.
One morning Great-Great-Great Grandma Berta discovered much to her dismay that the beloved family cow was missing. Farm animals were so important to survival those days and with 11 children, it was an absolute necessity. She said to her husband, I'm going to go get that cow.
Her husband begged and pleaded with her to not go. "If they kill you, how can I run the farm and raise the 11 children?"
Well, Berta was not to be dissuaded. She put on her boots, hat and babushka, threw a...