Down the long Zadiel valley

– Taši, Taši..., why are you so restless?! You ought to relax for a while! – I`m talking to myself. However, that`s a miracle, and I have to keep on walking once I`m in those heavy boots. Where did I find myself? The rocks, trees one one side, even bigger rocks and tress on the other, and under them a plopping stream of crystal clear water. – Woof, woof, woof... – I barked at a certain young lad with a rucksack on his back, and a staff in his hand. – Where are you heading so briskly? – but he just shot past me! He said he didn`t have time for chatting for he had to get across the whole valley, and even get back. When I shouted after him why such a hurry, he would only grunt: - We`re just at the beginning of the Zadiel gorge, and the Sugar cone as well as the Royal cave are still waiting. – A strange friend – I meditated. – He didn`t stop to talk to me for a second, just treading and trampling, whirling dust in his wake. And he mentioned some peculiar words – the gorge! Sugar, I know that, but... cone – what is it?! – the young lad has excited my curiosity. – If you are a friend, then you`ll take me with you! – I ran after him, with the intention of licking that sugar. It wasn`t that easy to run in those heavy boots, at least I won`t bruise my paws on the rough stones. We were walking next to each other for a longer time without saying anything. – Good that we have met... – I tell him happily. And he – nothing. – It`s better to walk in a twosome, at least there`s someone you can talk to – I was cajoling, all in vain. But before we reached the Sugar cone, he`d told me a bit about the mysterious Zadiel valley at last. Even the very king Matej would supposedly go hunting here, even Hussites did flash through the region... Then he showed me a variety of rare and precious flowers, named each little bird flying over our heads, even a lizard scurrying in front of us. And when I bustled about a rather ordinary plant somewhat awkwardly, he even brandished his staff: – Watch out! These must be preserved and protected, not be trampled upon! They only grow here and nowhere else in the world! – Well, I was more careful about my steps afterwards... Time was flying quickly and soon we happened to be standing at a very tall white rock of a strange shape. As if it had grown from the bank of a swift creek around which the valley meanders. Or does the creek meander through the valley?  – What was first? The creek or the valley? – I`m asking rather baffled my more experienced friend. – Of course the creek, you wiseacre! – the lad grinned for no comprehensible reason. – It was this creek which, in times when there were no people living in this world, had separated the Upper cliff from the Zadiel plain. And during long centuries this Blatný creek – for that`s what they call it – was creating this karstic beauty... – the lad raised his eyes to a spiky tip of the Sugar cone. – How come it grew that much?! – I`m not hiding my amazement. – Well, my great-grandfather once told me that in these surroundings, a long time ago, an old shepherd had been living, getting angry with his guard and herding dog one day – a small Slovak cuvac, because on a certain evening, instead of driving a flock back to the pen he ran after a little hare right into a forest. And as a result his sheep scattered in all directions.. – this was how an old tale had begun which, however, had a very sad ending. – You know, the cuvac was just as inexperienced and playful as you. But the grumpy shepherd expelled the poor dog from home... When the old man calmed down, he regretted his act bitterly. Still, he would search for his loyal dog and call out to him to no avail – no one had seen the dog. The shepherd felt such remorse that he couldn`t even sleep peacefully. He decided to consult a clairvoyant – a shrewd woman who knew everything, and she advised him the following: Not every bad act can be undone and atoned, but try to display your goodness, you`ll be relieved. However, the shepherd was a simple and ordinary man who hadn`t received much goodness in his life, so he did not quite get the meaning of her words. But he recollected that the little dog had loved curd; and because he wished to be as good as that curd, he couldn`t come up with a better idea than to pile small lumps of sweet curd one on top of the other. For many days, months, maybe even years... lump by lump. At the end of the day, made from all that curd, there was a rock standing there. – – But why is the rock called the Sugar cone if it`s made from curd?! – I asked, totally bewildered. – Why, that was just a folk tale, you goofy dog! It`s not from curd, and it`s not from sugar either... People simply couldn`t account for its white colour, so they would make up a different story each time. Did you forget? – the truth is that the cone`s shape had been formed by the  Blatný creek as it had been washed by it for ages. And that it`s white just like sugar? It`s because it contains calcite. – It was such a treat to listen to such wise narration, and since I was an attentive listener, he took me to the mouth of a dark cave in order to tell me something about it: – A long time ago they named it the Royal cave! And do you know why? – he asked, but didn`t really wait for my answer. – Remember this well; the very king Belo IV. used to hide inside when fleeing from the Tatars with his armour-bearers. – I was listening, nearly not breathing, with my eyes popped out, so he could only continue: It was in cruel times when the country was plundered by the Tatars. The troops of the ruler Belo IV. was defeated and scattered. The king had to run away through surrounding plains, the Pigeon rock, the Upper cliff, until he finally ended up in this cave. – – The Tatars didn`t find him here? – I asked with anxiety in my eyes. – It was like this: In a narrow cleft down to the earth`s depth a large spider was spinning a thick web when the king and his retinue entered the cave to hide from their pursuers. Before long the web closed the entrance completely. At that moment a horde of wild Tatar cavaliers appeared in a glade right in front of the king`s hiding place and got down from their horses. They managed to find the entrance to the cave very fast, but supposed that because it was covered in the web, no one could have gone in. So they mounted their horses again, turned their hairy robust steeds backwards and they left as suddenly as they had come. – Just remember, dear dachshund, that you shouldn`t harm spiders, as we never know who they can be helpful to... – It was pleasure to listen to him in the shade, next to the burbling stream. And it was the sweltering summer indeed, so we splashed ourselves with the cooling water from the Blatný creek. – Come, let`s get back..., we can descend along the creek... you`ll see something else! And on our way down I`ll tell you about one nice village. –  I pricked up my tears, bur before I asked what its name was, he was well into his narration: – Once upon a time, when the whole region as well as Košice were despoiled by savage Omodej Aba, the king`s first deputy in this region was the officer Ján Tekuš. One day an unfamiliar merchant came to him with a grave accusation: Noble sir! As I was coming with my goods from the Sádek castle, meaning to offer you the best and most wonderful silk from remote China, precious spices and perfumed oils from India, and when I was about to cross the Blatný creek with my team, I noticed that the bridge was askew. The ties had been sawn! I halted my horses at the last possible moment, they would have plunged with the whole load into the abyss. Suddenly a band of robbers jumped out from behind the rocks! They robbed me of everything, I only saved my life! The officer listened to the poor man very carefully, and he believed him without question. And because he was a man of action and clever spirit,  he sent for a scribe Matej. Write what I dictate to you! – he commanded. Matej dipped a quill pen from the wild goose into ink wrote the officer`s words on a parchment scroll in decorative writing: – I, a Turňa officer Ján Tekuš, order that ten industrious families from the court of the Turňa castle be sent to the bridge of the Blatný creek. Let them have enough drinks and food as well as wood and anything else they need for life. Let them build dwellings on the banks and a watchtower on the highest hill. I allow them to deforest the area of three hundred hectares between the Sádek castle and the Turňa castle, up to the Hrhov bounds. Let them cultivate the soil freely forever, and they should sow wheat and rye, so that no one would ever be starving in this region! – – So here we are, in Dvorníky! In the village that was established by the liege people of the Turňa court... – all of a sudden my companion finished his story and proceeded to recline in the shadow of a majestic oak tree, and … fell asleep. I didn`t even notice how we got there – the tale was so exciting. I guess I could have learnt more about the village... I`m standing in front of a modest house reading: – Mu-se-um... ­– but the dog on his own won`t be admitted! And what about my curiosity – who`s going to satisfy it now? I don`t know if I got a little bit angry, or the boots were pinching me, I quickly took them off and threw them under the tree. I shouldn`t have done it probably, because... • ... there was no sign of either the lad, the villager or the oak tree instantly; only my burrow and treasures of all sorts in the castle chamber – everything untouched. – What kind of wonder is it that can take me here or there in a second, even from one age to another? – I`m mulling it over, stretching my brain.  I didn`t work out or make up anything, so I just extended my hand to take a random book with the intention of running through some pictures... and what did I see? It`s all written there in golden letters: „Folk-tales about the Turňa castle“. I started reading the first of them...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gros en > Fairytales > Down the long Zadiel valley

This project is co-financed by ERDF - „Investing in your future“

ROP Znak SR Vlajka EU KSK

Implementing partner: Košický samosprávny kraj
Website: e-volution, s.r.o.
Fairytales writer: © Štúdio Harmony/Daniela Hroncová-Faklová, Ľubica Škrinárová
fairytales illustrations: © Štúdio Harmony/Róbert Šandor
Realisation 2012