Ivan, what is your happiest memory?
Being alive for so long makes it difficult to remember everything at times. After all, it is much easier to remember worst memories than happiest ones. I’m sure I have forgotten many happy memories from my childhood - or at least I hope they were happy.
Hmm… (He tugs softly at his scarf, silent as he thinks about the question.)
Though I felt most content as a nation during the Empire, perhaps under Pyotr Velikiy, I would not consider those years to be my happiest memory. They were wonderful times, but true happiness exists only in a moment, I believe. It is something brief, so I don’t suppose I can count those years.
My happiest memory actually comes from a time when I felt far from being a nation. At that time I was feeling rather depressed and overburdened by what I was. I couldn’t stand it, so I left my capital and traveled to the countryside. I wandered all day until I decided there was no point in going back, and fell asleep on a field on someone’s farm, the stars above me and the cool breeze on my face. When I awoke, two children were standing hesitantly above me. They were really quite young, and I figured they wouldn’t remember anything I told them once they grew up, so I revealed everything. I told them who and what I was and they believed me right away. We sat and talked there for a while until finally they grabbed my hands and led me to their house. Their family was truly the kindest I have ever met, and though the parents did not understand, they listened to their children and took me in. We had breakfast together as if we were one family. I felt welcome, like that was my real home. When I think of the awe and admiration in those children’s faces, I am proud for a moment of what I am.
…There you have it. That was the first thing that came to mind, at least.