How The Mother-in-law Taught Her Son-in-law A Lesson. A Short Story For Fun. Author A. Ponomarenko

How The Mother-in-law Taught Her Son-in-law A Lesson. A Short Story For Fun. Author A. Ponomarenko

Presenting a short story by the famous author of artistic sketches, Alexey Ponomarenko. ‘How the Mother-in-Law Taught her Son-in-Law a Lesson.’ Enjoy and take pleasure. Happy reading…

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Alexey Ponomarenko. A successful European author of short stories and novellas. The editor-in-chief of the online magazine “Realize Your Dream,” which publishes articles about travel and the world around us. A traveler, creator, and successful leader of an online school for young authors. Published in leading entertainment and literary magazines in Europe. A well-known blogger and publicist in the online space. His motto is “Realize your dream with us.”

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How The Mother-in-law Taught Her Son-in-law A Lesson. A Short Story For Fun. Author A. Ponomarenko


Serafima came to visit her daughter and her husband. She had a large bag in one hand and a big box in the other.

“Is your husband home, I hope?” she asked Alyona as soon as she entered the apartment and put the bag and the box on the floor.

“He’s home,” Alyona replied, looking at her mother with fear. “But please, mom…”

“Don’t worry, dear, everything will be fine. I brought him a gift,” Serafima said, pointing to the big box.

“What is it?” Alyona asked with concern.

“You’ll see,” Serafima replied proudly.

“Mom, please, just…”

“Everything will be fine, don’t worry,” Serafima said confidently. “Your mother knows what she’s doing.”

“Oh,” Alyona whispered quietly. “When you say things like that, mom, it scares me.”

Antip came out of the kitchen into the hallway with a cutlet in his hand. He had been having lunch when his mother-in-law arrived. Hearing that she had brought something for him, he became curious. He left the table, taking the cutlet with him.

“Serafima Yakovlevna,” Antip said slowly and with dignity, still chewing. “Greetings to you.”

“And to you as well,” Serafima replied. “I brought a gift.”

“A gift?” Antip said happily, looking at the big box. “I like gifts. What kind of gift?”

“Open the box and you’ll see.”

Antip finished his cutlet, wiped his greasy hands on his pants, and opened the box.

“What is this disgusting thing?” Antip grimaced. “A vacuum cleaner? What do I need it for?”

“To vacuum,” Serafima replied without blinking an eye.

“Mom,” Alyona said fearfully, “I asked you…”

“Everything is fine, dear,” Serafima said and looked at her son-in-law. “Well, why are you confused, Antip? Don’t you know what vacuum cleaners are for? Have you never used one?”

Antip was so stunned by what was happening that he didn’t immediately understand what his mother-in-law was asking.

“What?” he asked.

“Have you never vacuumed?” Serafima asked. “There’s an instruction manual. Read it.”

Antip still didn’t understand what was being asked of him. He looked confusedly from his mother-in-law to his wife and from his wife to the box with the vacuum cleaner.

“Mom…” Alyona whispered anxiously.

Serafima waved her daughter away.

“Leave me alone. Can’t you see I’m talking to Antip? Well, son-in-law? Do you like the gift?”

By this time, Antip had already regained some of his composure and began to think a little more clearly.

“Just stay calm, Antip,” he told himself. “Try to talk to her nicely. If that doesn’t work, you can talk to her the other way.”

“Of course… thank you very much, Serafima Yakovlevna,” Antip said. “For the gift and all that. But just so you know, we already have a vacuum cleaner.”

“So what? You had one car, and you bought a second one.”

“With cars, it’s clear. One is mine. The other is Alyona’s,” Antip replied.

“Well, it’s the same here. One vacuum cleaner is hers, and this one is yours.”


“Yours, dear. Who else? Alyona already has one.”

“But why do I need one?”

“You don’t know why you need a vacuum cleaner?”

“To vacuum.”

“Well, there you go. You answered your own question.”

“But we already have one.”

“That one is hers. And this one is yours. Personal!”

“Mom…” Alyona whispered fearfully.

Serafima simply waved her hand in response.

“Are you serious, Serafima Yakovlevna? Do you think I’m going to do this?”

“Of course, you will. Right now. I’m not leaving until I see you vacuum the whole apartment. Out of principle. So go ahead. Start. Or I’ll be offended.”

“She has principles,” Antip thought. “She’ll be offended! What a threat! Go ahead and be offended all you want, snake. I don’t care about your offenses and principles.”

Antip grinned crookedly.

“Who do you think I am?” he asked. “I’ve never… I haven’t even washed a dish in my entire married life. I’ve never washed a sock.”

“You’ll learn,” Serafima said enthusiastically. “You’ll learn, dear! Next time, I’ll bring you such a gift, you’ll learn to wash dishes and do laundry immediately. Or do you want me to teach you how to iron right now?”

“Maybe you didn’t understand, Serafima Yakovlevna, I’m not the kind of person who lets anyone…”

“Enough talking,” Serafima said sternly. “Read the instructions and get to work. I want to see how my gift works. Just in case it’s broken. Then I’ll exchange it. Go ahead. Start.”

Serafima sat down on a chair in the hallway and stared at her son-in-law.

“You’re stalling, Antip,” she said. “You know me. I won’t leave until I get my way.”

“What does she want?” Antip wondered. “Doesn’t she understand that her daughter might lose her husband right now?”

“I can be offended too, Serafima Yakovlevna,” Antip said. “Have you thought about that?”

“So what? Vacuum and be offended all you want. One doesn’t interfere with the other.”

“I can leave too, Serafima Yakovlevna.”

“You won’t go anywhere, Antipushka. Because you have nowhere to go. Except back to your mother’s one-room apartment.”

“She doesn’t get it the nice way,” Antip thought and decided to take a harsher approach.

“Serafima Yakovlevna, I can get rough,” he said.

After these words, Serafima took a poker out of her big bag.

“I’ll get rough with you,” she said calmly. “I’ll get so rough you won’t know what hit you. Take out the vacuum cleaner, you freeloader. I told you. Get rough, will he? One guy tried that. He still can’t forget it.”

“Mom…” Alyona whispered.

“Don’t make me angry, dear. Go somewhere. Go to the living room. Watch TV. My favorite show is about to start.”

“Who knows,” Antip thought. “Maybe she really will use the poker. Better not risk it. I could handle Alyonka. She would never dare raise a poker at me. But this one… Better not argue with her now. And don’t look her in the eye. Who knows. Maybe her nerves are weak. I won’t vacuum, but I want to leave here alive and healthy.”

“Fine,” Antip said calmly. “But then explain to your daughter why she’s without a husband.”

“Really going to leave?” Serafima exclaimed, clapping her hands.

“I’m leaving, Serafima Yakovlevna.”

“Mom…” Alyona said plaintively.

“Calm down, dear. He’s not going anywhere. He doesn’t have the guts. He’d rather agree to be a housewife for you than go back to his mother.”

“No,” Antip whispered angrily. “Better a one-room apartment with my mother on the first floor than a three-room apartment on the thirty-fifth with a wife and mother-in-law under the thumb.”

“Well, well…”

“Oh, you really don’t know me at all, Serafima Yakovlevna,” Antip said and started packing his things.

He slowly packed them into suitcases, hoping either Alyona would stand up for him, or his mother-in-law would come to her senses. But Alyona stayed silent, and Serafima wasn’t planning to change her mind. They both just watched Antip pack.

“I’m leaving,” Antip said when he managed to fit all his belongings into two suitcases.

He looked at his wife.

“Alyona, don’t you have anything to say to your husband before he leaves?” he asked.

“Mom…” Alyona said plaintively, looking at Serafima.

“He’s not going anywhere, dear. This is nothing but cheap theatrics.”

“Fine,” Antip thought. “I’ll leave now and come back when the mother-in-law is gone. And everything with Alyonka will be fine again. Just like before.”

Antip was about to leave the apartment, but his mother-in-law stopped him.

“Leaving just like that?” she asked.

“What?” Antip thought. “Is she scared now, the rattlesnake?”

“And how should I leave?” he replied challengingly.

“And you’re not going to leave the apartment keys?” Serafima asked sarcastically.

This was a low blow. Antip definitely didn’t expect this. He turned and looked at Serafima, then shifted his gaze to Alyona.

“Mom…” Alyona moaned plaintively.

Antip didn’t know what to do.

“What are you confused about?” Serafima asked. “Why are you taking the keys? Are you planning to leave and come back?”

“Who do you take me for?” Antip replied proudly.

“Leave the apartment keys, please. Then you can go. Or stay and start vacuuming.”

Antip decided to leave.

“Otherwise, I won’t be able to respect myself,” he thought.

Antip carelessly threw the keys on the floor, dragged the suitcases out of the apartment, walked out himself, and slammed the door with all his might.

Alyona sighed with relief.

“Did he really leave?” Alyona said joyfully, tears of happiness in her eyes.

“As you see.”

“Oh my God, I can’t

believe it. I was so afraid it wouldn’t work.”

“When you told me yesterday that he doesn’t help you and acts like a pig, and you can’t kick him out because you want him to leave himself, I immediately knew how to make it happen. I hope I taught him a lesson for life.”

“Thank you, mom. You can’t imagine how tired I am of him. Not only does he just eat, sleep, and make a mess at home, but he also brings his friends over every other day. And I couldn’t kick him out. He’s my husband, after all. Besides, I’m the one who pushed him to marry me. But now it’s different. He left on his own. I didn’t kick him out.”

How The Mother-in-law Taught Her Son-in-law A Lesson. A Short Story For Fun. Author A. Ponomarenko

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