How the Turkish were driven away from Hrušov
– Can you tell me, dear soldiers, what castle is it here behind us? – I asked the frowning soldiers amongst whom I had been roving hopelessly for some time.
– That`s the Sádek castle, or as we say here, Szádvár, which was built a long time ago by the shepherd Bebek – a certain soldier explained to me as I curled at his feet.
– But this Bebek was no ordinary pauper! He built not one, but as many as seven such castles. Each one of them on a different hill...! – another armour-bearer affirmed, nodding his head importantly.
At that very moment the drums sounded, the trumpets blew... and the large troops were waiting as one for the command. We`re going to fight, protect the castle against the Turkish.
– We must defend it at all costs! As well as the small village Hrušov which lies near the castle hill – he added resolutely.
But the armour was too heavy for me. And the fear I felt! My small ears were shivering, as well as my tail which couldn`t fit in. I was on the verge of bursting into tears.
The Turkish were expanding throughout the whole country, leaving havoc in places they had been plundering and looting – despoiled town and villages, death and cry. Only a few well fortified castles managed to resist.
But there are more than plenty of the royal regiments here too – everywhere within sight there are a limitless number of soldiers. All of them determined to scatter the Turkish army, drive it away from the country.
There are able-bodied and robust men in Hrušov as well. Winegrowers who are not only diligent but shrewd and cunning too. And they just can`t simply watch the Turkish destroying their crops and houses. So one day these mighty and smart men said:
– Let`s do more than just depend on the troops! Just to be perfectly certain...! – and they made up a clever trick, which was initially simply dismissed by proud generals of the royal troops. This, however, did not dissuade the Hrušov winegrowers at all.
The village had always been well known for its rich and vast ponds. And the fact these waters had but a single master – a water spirit Karas. So the inhabitants of Hrušov went to meet him with a supplication:
– Help us, dear Karas, otherwise we`ll lose not only our homes, but the Turkish will take from us these ponds too. –
The water spirit answered the supplication of hardworking and orderly villagers from Hrušov and lost no time… He gave them such heaps of fish that they were able to cook full kettles of fish soup. Everybody proceeded to work at once – they were chopping, stirring, seasoning the soup with salt, adding green pepper… until they finally prepared the soup which was known by those in Hrušov and its surroundings as halászlé. It tasted very good indeed, but – as real halászlé – it was spicy too.
– Eh, that`s fine, and hot! – they would relish it while tasting. Dear winegrowers were just tittering under their handlebar moustache and continued in devising their plan to defeat the Turkish by playing a trick on them. Most importantly, the kettles were full to the brim. The delicacy could be smelt far away and nothing was hindering them from finalising their common intention. Not just a Turkish captain, but also the whole Turkish army was invited to taste the soup.
Starving Turkish soldiers liked halászlé very much. They were feeding themselves until they were totally fed up. However, after hot and spicy soup they felt a raging thirst. Wine that the winegrowers offered had its power and strength!
So nice Turkish soldiers would eat and drink as well. With stomach completely full and heads utterly intoxicated they were fast asleep before long.
I popped my eyes out, could I see well? : Hrušov is full of the staggering, lying Turkish sleeping like logs. At that very moment the castle captain commanded:
– Attack the Turkish! – the captain from the Sádek castle ordered in a rumbling voice. Soldiers of the castle squad as well as men and women from the undercastle settlement, equipped with pitchforks, clubs – all of them were chasing the vicious good-for-nothing Turkish away from the village and the whole country.
And I, a small dachshund Taši, was fighting too. I was barking so frightfully that part from the Turkish, who were hiding behind tress, I also scared myself! And the sabre and the military armour weighed me down so much that I stumbled a couple of times, even doing a somersault. Indeed, I swore that I would never again take any weapon or military armour.
Inside my secret and silent chamber, hidden behind thick walls of the castle, lies the the whole shining armaments and military finery totally unnoticed. I no longer think about the Turkish, the battles. Tossed coats, hussar boots and trousers – I had hidden everything thoroughly – from myself, and also from others who might feel like fighting sometime in the future.
And still there was a lot to see. A flask for water, a strange yellow-grey stone, pigeon feathers tucked behind the picture frame – where had they got from?! – I wondered aloud. I took them out carefully, examined them meticulously, and when I wanted to give them back, I noticed a large gold ring.
– It had probably fallen out of the fur or trousers and rolled away – I considered without realising what I was doing. Feathers in one paw, the ring in the other... and all of a sudden...!
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