«I’m leaving because you don’t love me!» said a 10-year-old boy.

Vanya looked at his brother, sighed heavily, and slung his backpack on his shoulder. On the table he left a note for his parents, which he had written in advance. He had a long journey ahead of him, so he hurried out of the house.

Where was the boy going? He decided to leave his family and live alone. He was not afraid of hardship, nor of the deep night. Vanya walked quickly, so as not to listen or be afraid of anything. The familiar scenery of the village somehow frightened him. Though what is there to be surprised about? He had never even been outside at this hour. And the wind howled as if on purpose, creating fear.

Vanya was not a favorite son. That role in the family belonged to his brother. He was always pampered, pitied, cared for, not even forced to do anything around the house. His mother cooked various dishes for him, while Vanya was forced to eat everything in a row. So the boy decided to leave home, not to tolerate this indifferent attitude anymore.

Vanya knew the approximate route. He had to cross the forest, the river, and then the road to the city would be there. It was quite possible that he would stay there. Or he would go further. In the regional center he could winter, earn money, and move on. Yes, yes, even a ten-year-old could find a job if he wanted to. That was exactly the boy’s opinion.

As soon as Vanya approached the forest, he became quite frightened. He tried to push away bad thoughts and just move forward. He was wildly thirsty and sleepy.

At that time Oleg woke up. He, also, was thirsty because his mother had made too spicy soup for dinner. The boy went to the kitchen to get a drink of water, and when he came back, he found that Vanya had disappeared. He read the note and realized that he had left home. Apparently, he could not forgive his father for snapping at him yesterday. What to do next?

Oleg did not want to wake his parents. He knew that Vanya would get in a lot of trouble if they found out. Parents always punished their brother, for some reason. The boy decided to find him himself and bring him home. Especially since he knew about Vanya’s plan and guessed what road he would choose.

Oleg dressed warmly and went outside. His parents were still sound asleep, which was good for the boy.

When Tamara woke up and went into the nursery, she automatically turned her attention to Vanya’s note. She read it and screamed in horror, waking up her husband. The parents rushed to look for the children, and in the evening they called for help, because they realized that they could not cope on their own. All the villagers went into the woods to find the boys. They should have searched the entire neighborhood before it was too late.

Tamara and Nicholas had never thought that such a thing could happen in their family. They both rushed around, waiting for news, but there was no sign of the boys. Only toward midnight did the rescuers find Oleg’s jacket and his note. It said that Vanya left home because of his parents, because they did not love him. And, most likely, he would not come back, because he was afraid of punishment.

After 12 hours of searching, everyone was sure that something had happened to the brothers. Either they had drowned, or an animal had attacked. And only in the morning did joyful cries sound in the village. The boys had been found! When Tamara heard this phrase, she fainted.

As it turned out, Oleg could not find his brother for a long time. He was very tired, because he was not used to physical exertion. And he chose uncomfortable shoes. The boy barely moved his feet and continued on his way. And then accidentally stepped into a wolf trap.

Hearing a familiar voice, Vanya ran in that direction. Oleg screamed so hard in pain that his brother heard him on the other side of the river. He looked for Oleg and began hastily freeing his leg from the trap. A sharp tooth punctured his palm, but Oleg’s leg remained intact. Once everything had calmed down, the brothers ate some bread that Vanya had brought and fell asleep. And their father found them asleep.

A serious conversation awaited them at home. Their parents explained why they had been softer to Oleg and had always felt pity for him. It turned out that the boy was born very weak and sickly. Doctors barely saved him. But this situation became a demonstration for them, so they realized their mistakes. Not only that, but Vanya also realized a lot and promised to take care of his brother.

Since then, everything in their family has gotten better. Sometimes you have to overcome incredible odds to get to the truth and learn to appreciate those around you.

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