"Good job! Why didn't you tell it all in class?"
Kolya blushed and turned away.
"Please don't think that I'm a coward, Piotr Alexandrovich.
"I don't, Kolya. I don't think you are," the pilot said seriously. "Come on, get into the cockpit."
The invitation sounded a little scary, even though Kolya, like every post-war boy, dreamed to become a pilot (Piotr Alexandrovich guessed correctly, eh?). He leaped into the cockpit. The aircraft made a U-turn and started to taxi down the field, its engine roaring. And then ...
"…and then Piotr Alexandrovich gave me a helmet and I helped him wipe the glass," Kolya told his gathering classmates on the following day. "He even let me hold the steering wheel when we climbed high enough to fly over the Kenozero." He exaggerated a bit, of course. Well, he did hold the wheel, but it was after they had landed.
"You wouldn't believe how stunningly beautiful our place is, guys. Wow! The endless forests around the Kenozero, the villages – I had them in the palm of my hand – the birds, the women washing their linen, the men mending boats in Zekhnova. Takes your breath away! What a big lake the Kenozero is. Want to know what it's shaped like?"
"Tell us," Kolya's friend Sanka said, between gritted teeth, full of curiosity.
"It's shaped like a dragon. The blue dragon with sunlit sparks of gold, flying amid the forests. No joke…"
The boys looked at Kolya with respect. He was the first in the class to board a real plane, hold the wheel, and see the dragon-shaped Kenozero from high above. He was a hero!