The Jablonov big cake
Isn`t that a paradise garden, by any chance? A huge number of various trees, a lot of green, fragrant bushes, little flowers of all kinds. And the sun! Doing nothing but grinning and grinning. Its rays tickling me even in the shade beneath a patulous apple tree. I blinked my eyes, to be sure whether I could see well, pricked up my ears, to see whether I could hear well, wagged my tail with sheer joy, and dashed off among children who were running about and rolling in the grass.
– Come on over here and join us – they shrieked at me merrily.
– What a funny little dog... – girls in flower-printed skirts giggled into palms of their hands; definitely can`t be from our village! How did you stray to us? – the bravest one cried out – ginger-haired, freckled Irenka.
– I`m neither small nor funny! – I defended myself.
– My name is Taši, I`m a dachshund and I live in the Krásna Hôrka castle... Like a noble lord! –
– Tašilord, Tašilord, where have you your dolman? – boys joined girls in laughing and telling nursery rhymes, and they all surrounded me in one big circle.
– Taši, Taši, welcome among us...! – they sang, they were so much agog that it made my heart leap with joy.
All of a sudden they all became silent.
– A feast there will be, he`s coming..., he`s comiiiing! – somebody exclaimed in an excited voice. And indeed, four strong lads and four fancy girls were carrying a huge cake above their heads.
– I must be dreaming...! Never in my life have I seen such an enormous cake! – I yelped because of a gigantic treat scenting everywhere even from the distance. Batter like fine paper, with sweet marmalade spread on it, nuts, grated apples and other delicacies.
– Who is going to eat all this? – I`m asking children who have somehow forgotten about me.
– What do you mean by who??? Each and everyone of us, whole village! The cake is huge, enough for everybody. Everyone who has worked hard in our fields, gardens or the vineyard will savour the cake... –ginger-haired Irenka was explaining gravely this time.
– Don`t worry Taši, you`ll get a share as well. Because we know how to duly entertain and honour travelling guests. –
– What kind words, – I thought to myself, so I could even feel some warmth on my soul. Irenka seemed to be still nicer and nicer to me... And all those freckles she had! – on her nose, cheeks... everywhere.
– Taši, sit down here until I bring you a substantial piece of cake. We can be eating right over there, in the shade under the lime tree, - Irenka said seriously, like an adult. And she ran towards a large bunch of people where everybody, the young and the old were sharing their reward.
It was getting dark slowly... While boys were telling tales about bandits and poltergeists, girls, singing quietly, were weaving colourful wreaths from picked flowers. And what about me? With my tummy filled with the sweet delicacy I was sitting with them as if I had always been one of them. But what I`d like to know is whether the whole year is as generous as this day, or... I preferred to ask nice Irenka, shame or not.
– We preserve this beautiful custom of our ancestors – parents, grandparents, great-grandparents. It was like this: - she got so much absorbed in speaking that her cheeks turned red and her eyes were shining like fireflies.
– Once upon a time a good landlord gave our ancestors a lot of fertile land so that they could grow wheat, vegetables, grapes. They were hardworking, diligent, so they were successful – the whole bounds changed into a real paradise garden. There was more than enough of everything, even more... there was not enough place to hide so much harvest. Then our landlord had the granary built at the end of the village... –
– But what kind of marvel is that gra, gra... – I almost twisted my tongue.
– The granary! A great stone silo where farmers stored one tenth of their harvest. Soon the granary was completely full. Even the landlord himself didn`t know what to do with so much harvest. As it reportedly happens every now and again, he was helped by the good fairy. First she advised him to find a skilful baker who would bake a gigantic cake in order to feed the whole village. However, there was no such baker anywhere, so the good fairy came up with something else... This blossoming fragrant garden had always been full of ladybirds, which the fairy-tale forest nymph changed into small rounded ovens. Then, a large, large number of cakes were baked in them... and all of them at the same time! – Irenka finished, immediately pulling me towards the granary and unusual ovens, so that I would see with my own eyes what she and chattering children had been talking about.
– What a lovely trip... – I stretched myself in my burrow. Even now I`m licking myself, everywhere I can reach, nearly behind my ears! I simply couldn`t forget about the treat, the portion of which I had been given as generously as other children... And it`s virtually impossible to forget about my friend Irenka with cheeks spotted like those ladybirds...
I`m still feeling a little bit „maudlin“, but there are still plenty of unexplored things waiting for me in the secret chamber. I cast my eyes over a sharp sabre which was, as it were, hanging loosely from the knight`s waist. Well, I realised that I was curious, so I didn`t wait a second and at once started to struggle with some iron clothes which were glittering like silver... At long last I managed to put on the heavy armour, grabbed the sword – and because I knew only too well what kind of magical effects the objects had the moment I took them into my hands, or the clothes when I put them on, I hoped to find myself in the old days of audacious and courageous knights.
And so it happened...
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