The doodles of a 7-year-old in 1300

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Historians have uncovered the remarkable modern-looking doodles of a 7-year-old boy on bark paper used in Russian in the 13th century.

The sketches we are talking about hark back to circa 13th century AD, and they were made by a child named Onfim. It seems daydreaming and heroism-fueled reveries intervened with this 7-year old boy’s spelling lessons, so much so that he went on to draw himself as an imposing warrior with a sword and spear, after just writing the first eleven letters of his alphabet in the upper-right corner. And on closer inspection, one could also discern the horse upon which the ‘hero’ is mounted, along with the extended spear slaying his adversary – while the label of ‘Onfim’ makes the artist’s name clear.

But of course, the imagination of 7-year old Onfim was not just limited to portraying himself as a hero. At times he took the fantastical route to depict himself as a ‘wild beast’ (as made clear by another label proclaiming – ‘I am a wild beast’). The beast also seems to have a friendly attitude, as it carries a sign saying ‘Greetings from Onfim to Danilo’ – with Danilo possibly being Onfim’s schoolmate.

Take a look at the pictures at the link and tell me you haven’t seen these sketches on someone’s refrigerator recently.


  • hondo

    A literate 7 year old in 1300 Russia? That in itself would be an extreme rarity. Seems it might indicate very high born too.

  • Steve Earle


    Violent drawings by a child?!? Quick, call the police to lock down the school, put Onfim and his friend Danilo on Ritalin, and Court-ordered counseling sessions for the entire family……..

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