ONFIM’S SCHOOLWORK. Seventeen of the birch bark documents that have been found in Novgorod are school work assignments written by a boy named Onfim. This wikipedia entry for Onfim—he has his own wikipedia entry— says that the writings seem to have come from when Onfim was 6 or 7. The writings include copying the alphabet, repeating syllables, and writing psalms (most of Onfim’s writing consists of citations from the Book of Psalms). Onfim’s drawings, some of which are reproduced in the wikipedia entry, are charming and seem to me to be those of a child of 6 or 7. Item 199 has a drawing of a beast which either has an arrow with feathers in its mouth or is spewing fire; one of the accompanying texts says “I am a beast”

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