The story opens around the holiday season of Easter, with the narrator wandering the prison camp. After a Polish political prisoner utters his hatred for the low bred convicts (both the Pole and the narrator are nobles), the narrator heads back to the bunks to rest. As he lies in his bed, he vividly recalls a memory from his early childhood. While playing near a birch wood, he had heard the shout "Wolf! Wolf!" Panicked, the boy runs away from the wood, finally coming across the peasant Marey. Marey comforts the young Dostoyevsky, reassuring him that there are no wolves in the area. Dostoyevsky is mollified by the peasant's genuine concern, and eventually returns to playing.
Dostoyevsky's narration returns from his memory to prison, comforted by the fact that Russian peasants have such a degree of culture and understanding, while lamenting that the Polish prisoner has never seen the cultured side of Russians. Still, he is sad to imagine that the drunken peasant might be the same Marey he had encountered earlier. (from Wikipedia)