The Pigeon rock and cold water from Hrhov

All at once I happened to be standing near a tall hunched rock. In a meadow below the rock, amongst fresh flowers and bushes, was sitting a whole bunch of kids. And in the middle there was a shepherd with two small colour-patched she-goats that didn`t care about anything else but eating up everything around with a good appetite.  They even liked the prickled bushes. The shepherd is puffing on his pipe, recounting and relating... I`m stretching out my ears as much as I can in order not to miss a single word... – Stop begging...! Ok, ok, I`ll tell you a fairy tale about that rock... – the old man says pointing at the rock with his staff not far from which I squatted too. The kids didn`t utter a word. They just turned their heads in that direction, goggling in amazement, with their curious eyes wide open. – In the old days good things as well as bad things would happen. Our noble king, his name was Belo IV., lost a battle against a mighty Tatar commander Batuchán and his merciless rears near the river Slaná. The king`s army was big, but no match for the Tatar phalanxes – they were innumerable. By means of thousands of arrows they chased not only the king`s soldiers but the very king himself and his loyal retinue. What else could they do but run away?! – The kids were listening so eagerly that they were hardly breathing. Uncle Jánoš, as little youngsters would call him, resumed in a grave voice: – Hungry and thirsty they hid themselves in these mountains, where there were only forests, cliffs and rocks – the old shepherd brandished his staff in the air, as if he was threatening the whole region. Meanwhile, he let a cloud of smoke out. – It was the infamous escape! Our noble king and his entourage were totally exhausted and very hungry, starving. Suddenly his faithful soldiers caught sight of a flock of pigeons. They quietly watched in which direction the pigeons were flying. And they indeed managed to observe it! A shaggy nest was sticking out atop the highest, hunched rock. They would even have shot those flying pigeons down if they hadn`t run out of arrows after the lost battle...! – the shepherd turned and pointed towards the highest rock with his staff. – The starving soldiers of the king did not take their time and despite being on their last legs they galloped across the Upper cliff and clambered to the bird`s nest at the top of the rock. They took all laid pigeon eggs. They used the raw eggs for feeding their ruler and something was left for them as well..., - the shepherd lowered his voice, but saying it even more gravely, intending to return to his she-goats. Still, something must have crossed his mind and he hesitated: - Why, I forgot to tell you the most important thing! Since then this rock above us has been called the Pigeon rock. And you should also know that only one flower grows on this rock, carnation. Even when nothing else blooms anywhere around whatsoever...! – – How come...? – children marvelled, but it wasn`t clear to me either. – And as a remembrance of our king, he is said to have built a castle atop the rock. But I have also heard a different truth; the king fled from the Pigeon rock down to some near gorge,  waiting in one of caves until the Tatars had left the country... But nobody knows if it really happened this way, and no one is ever going to know... – the old man was muttering, leaving slowly for his colour-patched animal friends.          I couldn`t help but listen secretly; I speeded away from under the mysterious rock and caught up with the shepherd and his she-goats. I showed him the ring with pigeon feathers tucked in it. – Where have you got these, the wretched dog! – Well, I tried to explain that to him, but he would not believe. We walked together down the valley through odd rocks which looked as if somebody had drilled small holes into them. They say that local farmers call them the bee stone. And with those small holes they really resemble beehives although uncle Jánoš said that is the tufa stone. What a weird word – tufa – I thought to myself, but I could see that people from Hrhov had carved caves and cellars in those rocks, and built their dwellings. And that was not amusing – I couldn`t take my eyes off them.          We eventually reached the waterfall behind Hrhov houses from which the water was falling like from the heavens. – Not from the heavens at all! – the annoyed shepherd said  – ... from the spring above the village, from under the Upper cliff, from there it falls from a great height and rushes downwards. It roars and rumbles... with the deafening effect. –  Then the old man took out a flask, scooped pure water from the edge, and meant to give it to me so that I would taste it. Suddenly, ... what is it?! – That`s nothing else but the flask from my  chamber?! – I stared at the shepherd with amazement. He would only smile under his moustache and jabbed it in between paws: – Don`t be fussy, take a good gulp, water from Hrhov is fresh, healthy...! – and instantly there was no trace of the shepherd or his colour-patched she-goats. And what about me, the dog Taši? I have no idea how, or when, but I was in my refuge, the castle chamber, yet again. • – Phew, phew! At last I`m in my burrow, my stomach was growling because of hunger. – I immediately took a big mouthful of dried game meat with the flask full of water taken directly from the Hrhov waterfall. – Wow, very refreshing and mouth-watering... Now I`ll rest for a while, and then...? – I was about to stretch my tired limbs when I got entangled into a long string which was sticking out of some old shoe. – They`re heavy boots, aren`t they? –  And indeed they were. I couldn`t resist. I removed a cobweb, brushed them off, and without thinking twice I jumped into them with my front paws. – But who`s going to do the laces? – I contemplated aloud when my attempts to tie a bow on them had failed even though I`d tried all possible acrobatic positions. I was left with no option but to put the boots on my hind paws, tie them properly, because who knows where these fairy-tale shoes will take me?! Hardly had I grabbed the stick, slammed the heavy door when I happened to be at the beginning of some unknown path...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gros en > Fairytales > The Pigeon rock and cold water from Hrhov

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