The Bouquet – Slavic Legends
Kytice – slovanské pověsti
Vyšlo také v tištěné verzi
Objednat můžete na
Karel Jaromír Erben
The Bouquet – Kytice – e-kniha
Copyright © Albatros Media a. s., 2016
Všechna práva vyhrazena.
Žádná část této publikace nesmí být rozšiřována
bez písemného souhlasu majitelů práv.
Karel Jaromír Erben
The Bouquet – Slavic Legends
Kytice slovanské pověsti
Vybrané balady jako prózu převyprávěla Alena Kuzmová
Předmluva . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
The Treasure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
The Wedding Shirts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
The Willow Tree . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23
The Golden Spinning Wheel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Christmas Eve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
The Noon Witch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45
Záhoř’s Bed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
The Water Goblin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Answers to the comprehension questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Grammatical forms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79
‹ 5 ›
K. J. Erben (7. 11. 1811 – 21. 11. 1870) patřil k významným představitelům lite -
rárního romantismu. Je znám především jako sběratel lidové poezie. Nejvíce
proslul sbírkou Kytice z pověstí národních, vydanou poprvé roku 1853
a podruhé v roce 1861 v rozšířené verzi s názvem Kytice z básní K. J. Erbena. Zkrácený
název sbírky je Kytice a obsahuje dvanáct básní oddílu Pověsti národní, jimž
předchází úvodní báseň Kytice. Je to jediná sbírka básní, kterou K. J. Erben
vydal. Jejím podkladem jsou staré slovanské lidové báje. Námětem básní je vesměs
provinění člověka, které je nadmíru krutě potrestáno řízením nadpřirozených
bytostí či osudu. Sbírka Kytice nepochybně náleží do pokladnice české
literatury a zapsala se již do srdcí mnoha generací. Baladické básně inspirovaly v roce
2000 režiséra F. A. Brabce k natočení filmu oceněného čtyřmi Českými lvy.
Kniha The Bouquet – Slavic Legends vznikla prozaickým ztvárněním
a překladem do anglického jazyka několika vybraných básní z Kytice. Jistě ji ocení
všichni studenti anglického jazyka, kteří čtou rádi romantické příběhy plné
napětí. Zaujme vás nová forma zpracování Erbenových balad, které již důvěrně
znáte. Příběhy si budete moci tentokrát přečíst ve zjednodušené angličtině. Za
každým příběhem najdete anglicko-český slovníček, který vám pomůže
porozumět obtížnějším pasážím. Každou kapitolu uzavírá oddíl “The
comprehension questions”, obsahující řadu otázek k příběhu. Pomocí odpovědí na tyto
otázky můžete pak zkusit příběh vyprávět. Správnost svých odpovědí si ověříte
v oddíle “Answers to the comprehension questions”. V závěrečné části,
“Grammatical forms”, si můžete osvěžit nejdůležitější gramatické jevy ve vzorových
větách vybraných z příběhů.
Milí čtenáři, přála bych si, abyste s touto knihou strávili příjemné chvíle.
Připomeňte si jejím prostřednictvím třeba již poněkud zapomenuté balady ze
sbírky Kytice, procvičte se v četbě anglického jazyka a možná se i naučíte vyprávět
tyto pověsti svým dětem v angličtině.
Va š e
“Oh, Mother of God, help me!” the woman cried out anxiously as she hurried out of the cave.
‹ 7 ›
A big bell rang out from a little village church on a hillock. It was Good Friday
and all the believers in the village were walking in a crowd to prayers. Mean -
while, a white dress flashed through the bushes. It was a young woman carrying
her two-year-old child in her arms, hurrying to church. She went faster and
faster, since the Passion of the Lord Jesus had already begun.
The woman knew the path through the woods very well. She’d already walked
on it many times before. Now, however, she had to stop. There was something
strange there. A great cliff jutted into the path, and it was wide open. Somewhere
deep in its core glared a bright light. The woman gazed at it in wonder, unable
to believe her eyes. ‘There used to be just a big rock on this path. Where has the
cliff come from?’ she wondered. The woman approached the entrance and had to
clap a hand over her eyes. How harsh the glow emanating from that bright place
was! Every now and then it shone like the moon’s clear glow at night, on and
off it was like the sunset in the west. ‘I wonder what it is. What a strange glare!’
she thought. First she was scared to go in. Then, however, she was overcome by
curiosity and took a step towards the glare.
As she was approaching the bright place, the glare grew stronger. The woman
had to cover her face. When she got nearer, suddenly she saw an entire splendid
scene. She had come into a wonderful hall. Its walls shone with gold, the ceiling
was lined with rubies, and the columns under the ceiling were made of crystal.
On the marble floor flickered two fires: the moon’s fire above a pile of silver on
the left and the sun’s fire above a pile of gold on the right. The hall was alight
in the glare of the flames, which revealed this splendid treasure. ‘There can’t be
such beauty even in heaven,’ the woman thought in astonishment. She stood for
a while, dazzled by the flames, carrying her child on her left arm and rubbing
her eyes with her right hand.
When she’d got over the astonishment, she thought: ‘Good God! I have to
suffer hunger and poverty while such a huge treasure lies hidden here. There’s so
much silver and gold here underground. I could just take a fistful of this heap
and I’d be rich. My little son and I would be so happy!’ The woman blessed
herself and mustered up the courage to go closer to the shining jewelry. She picked
up a piece of silver, but immediately put it back on the ground. Then she picked
it up again and put it into the pocket of her apron. ‘This must be the hand of
God. He’s shown me the treasure to make me happy. It would be a sin not to take
‹ 8 ›
THE BOUQUET – SLAVIC LEGENDS
advantage of it,’ she thought. And so she put her little son on the ground and
started to take silver from the heap. When she’d gathered a pocketful of silver
jewelry, she filled up her headscarf too. Then, as if in a daze, she turned to leave.
At that moment she noticed her child. “Mummy!” her little son shouted to her.
“Mummy! Mummy!” he repeated, stretching out his arms towards his mum.
“Be silent, my son. I can’t carry you. Wait a bit. Your mummy will come back for
you,” she soothed him and turned to run out of the hall.
The woman emerged from the cave, and beaming with joy, she hurried
through the woods to her shack. No sooner had she put the silver into her chest
than she hurried back to the cave. Her little son greeted her, laughing joyfully:
“Ha! Ha! Mummy!” he called, clapping his little hands. However, his mum took
no notice of him. She ran to the opposite wall, which twinkled with gold. She
quickly scooped gold jewelry into her apron and headscarf. Her heart leapt for
joy and she didn’t notice her little son, who had started to cry. “Mummy! Mum -
my!” he moaned, and stretched out his arms towards his mum. “Stop crying, my
son! Be silent and wait for a little while. Look what your mummy has,” she said
and threw two small gold coins into his lap. “Ding-a-ling! Can you hear how it
jingles? Be silent and play, and I’ll be back in a little while,” she soothed him, and
ran out of the cave again, hurrying through the woods to her sorry little shack.
“Oh, you shabby shanty. I won’t need you any more. I’ll go away from these dark
woods. I’ll move to a better country where happiness is in store for me. I’ll go to
a big town and buy a castle and I’ll become a noblewoman. I’m not a poor widow
any more,” the woman thought, and she looked with pleasure into the pocket
of her apron. If only she hadn’t done so! She turned pale with fright and nearly
fainted. “What strange magic!” she cried out. She quickly ran into her closet and
opened the chest where she’d put the silver. What a shock! Instead of silver, she
saw nothing but a heap of stones, and in her headscarf and apron she only had
clay. “Poor me!” the woman started moaning. “Forgive me, God. I didn’t deserve
your blessing,” she cried, wringing her hands over the loss. Then suddenly, as if
something had stabbed her in the heart, she remembered her little son. “Oh, my
child! My dear child!” she called out in the thick forest. With a horrible
foreboding the woman dashed through the woods and towards the hillock on which
the little church stood.
The singing in the church had already stopped when the woman reached the
place where the cliff had been before. Now, however, instead of the cliff there
was only a big rock on the path. “What a trick and illusion! Where’s the hall?”
‹ 9 ›
the woman cried out in horror. She started running around, looking for the
opening in the brush and among the trees, desperately hoping that she’d missed
the path. “Woe is me! It’s not here either,” she cried in despair. Her body was
scratched by the brush, her feet were pierced with thorns, but it was all in vain.
The entrance had disappeared. When the woman realized what had happened,
she cried out in horror again: “Oh, who’ll give me my child back? Oh, my dear
son, where are you?” At that moment a soft voice whispered in the wind: “I’m
here, deep under the ground. Nobody can see or hear me. I am at peace here,
without food or drink. I’m sitting on a floor of marble, and my lap is filled with
pure gold. There’s neither day nor night here. I can just play! Ding-a-ling! Can’t
you hear how it jingles?” Hearing the voice, the woman threw herself onto the
ground and started looking for her little son again, tearing her hair out until she
was bloody and deathly pale. The thick forest echoed her moaning: “Woe is me!
My dear child, where are you? Where can I find you, my son?”
Days, weeks and months went by and summer had arrived. The bell in the
little church kept ringing, inviting the village people to mass. Day after day,
a woman with a bent head came to church. She always knelt down and prayed
silently. Her face and lips were pale and she was very sad. After the mass, the
woman usually went to the woods and stood at a place where a big rock lay on
the path. There she only sighed: “Oh, my child!” and her eyes were filled with
tears again and again. Day and night people could hear her moaning: “Woe is
me! Forgive me, good God!” She could never find peace.
Summer, autumn and winter elapsed. Sadly, the grief in the poor mo -
ther’s heart hadn’t abated. Even the first rays of the spring sun, which warmed
up the earth, couldn’t bring a smile to her lips. Good Friday had come again
and the big bell from the little church on the hillock invited the village people
to prayers. The Passion of the Lord Jesus could be heard from within the church.
A sad fi gure with a bent head drifted through the bushes. No, this time the
woman wasn’t in a hurry. Her step was burdened by painful memories of what
had happened a year before. She walked on the path where the big rock had
always lain. But what did she see now? Instead of the rock, there was a great cliff
in its place. The entrance into the cliff was wide open and a bright light emanated
from its core. The woman’s hair stood on end with fright. At that moment she
was beset by sorrow and guilt. She was beside herself with fear, but she entered
all the same, and with new hope she started running into the core of the cliff. She
soon found herself once again in that familiar, magnificent hall. Its walls shone
‹ 10 ›
THE BOUQUET – SLAVIC LEGENDS
with gold, the ceiling was lined with rubies and the columns under the ceiling
were made of crystal. On the marble floor flickered two fires: the moon’s fire on
the left and the sun’s fire on the right. The woman approached in fear and hope,
looking around the room. Was she attracted by silver or gold? Oh no, she didn’t
care for the jewelry any more. “Ha, ha! Mummy! Ha, ha! Mummy!” the woman
heard all of a sudden. “Oh, my child, my dear son! I’ve been grieving for you
the whole year,” she cried out and in a desperate hurry she took her child in her
arms. She immediately started running out of the cave, and heard a horrible
creaking, then a great din as the hall behind her fell into ruin. “Oh, Mother of
God, help me!” the woman cried out anxiously as she hurried out of the cave.
And what happened then? Everything went silent, and a big rock lay on the path
just as before. The cliff and the opening into its core had disappeared without
a trace. At the church, the Passion of the Lord Jesus had just finished.
The woman frantically ran through the woods, pressing her child to her
breast. She kept running until she stopped in front of her sorry little shack.
“Oh, my good God, thank you, thank you!” she cried out in tears, kissing her
child’s forehead, little hands and lips, drowning in happiness. Then suddenly
something sparkled in her little son’s lap. “Oh, this is the pure gold which I gave
you a year ago so that you could play! How much sorrow I’ve experienced for the
sake of the gold! I’ve cried my eyes out. I don’t care for jewelry any more. You are
the most precious treasure for me, my son.”
A long time has passed since then, and long ago the little church was pulled
down and the forest was cut down for lumber. But the people of the village still
tell the story of the widow and her treasure.
‹ 11 ›
abate [ə'beit] polevit, utišit se
apron ['eiprən] zástěra
be beside oneself být bez sebe strachem
with fear [ fiə]
be in a daze [deiz] být jako omámený
be in store [s t o:] for sb čekat na koho (v budoucnu)
be in vain [vein] být marný
beaming with joy rozradostněný
['bi:miŋ wið 'džoi]
bent [bent] sklopený (hlava)
bless [bles] oneself pokřižovat se
blessing ['blesiŋ] požehnání
bloody ['bladi] zkrvavený
breast [brest] hruď, prsa
brush [braš] klestí; houští
burden ['bз:dn] zatížit
bushes ['bušiz] houští, křoví
cave [keiv] jeskyně
chest [čest] truhla
clay [klei] hlína
cliff [klif] skála
closet ['klozit] komora
core [ k o:] nitro
creaking ['k ri:kiŋ] skřípot, vrzání
cry one’s eyes [aiz] out moci si vyplakat oči
crystal ['kristl] křišťál
cut down [kat 'daun] pokácet
dash [dæš] letět, pádit
dazzle ['dæzl] oslepený
deathly pale ['deθli peil] bledý jako smrt
desperate ['despərit] zoufalý
din [din] lomoz
ding-a-ling [ diŋ ə 'liŋ] cililink
drowning in happiness tonoucí ve štěstí
['drauniŋ in 'hæpinis]
echo ['ekəu] ozývat se
elapse [i'læps] uplynout (čas)
emanate ['emə neit] vyzařovat
every now and then chvílemi, občas
faint [feint] omdlít
fistful ['fistful] hrst
flash ['flæš] mihnout se
flicker ['flikə] plápolat (oheň)
for the sake [seik] of kvůli (čemu, komu)
foreboding [ fo:'bəudiŋ] neblahá předtucha
forehead ['fo: hed] čelo
frantically ['fræntikəli] zoufale
gather ['gæðə] nasbírat
gaze ['geiz] upřeně hledět
glare [gleə] záře; zářit
glow [gləu] záře
go by [gəu 'bai] uplynout (čas)
Good Friday [gud 'fraidei] Velký pátek
grieve [gri:v] for sb trápit se pro koho
guilt [gilt] vina
hand of God [hænd əv 'god] prst Boží
harsh [ha:š] ostrý (světlo)
He disappeared Nezbylo po něm ani památky.
without a trace [treis] .
headscarf ['hed ska:f] šátek na hlavu
heap ['hi:p] hromada
Her hair stood on Naježily se jí hrůzou vlasy.
end with fright .
hillock ['hilək] pahorek
illusion [i'lu:žən] mámení, klam
in astonishment v úžasu
in despair [in dis'peə] v zoufalství
jewelry ['džu:əlri] drahokamy, klenoty
jingle ['džiŋgl] cinkat
joyfully ['džoifəli] radostně
jut [džat] vyčnívat
kneel down [ni:l 'daun] pokleknout
lap [læp] klín (část těla)
lined with rubies vyložený rubíny
[ laind wið 'ru:biz]
lumber ['lambə] dříví
magic ['mædžik] kouzlo
magnificent [mæg'nifisənt] nádherný, velkolepý
marble ['ma:bl] floor mramorová podlaha
mass [mæs] mše
meanwhile ['mi:n wail] zatím
moan [məun] naříkat
moon [mu:n] měsíc, luna
‹ 12 ›
THE BOUQUET – SLAVIC LEGENDS
mummy ['mami] maminka
murmur ['mз:mə] mumlat, šumět
on and off chvílemi
opening ['əupəniŋ] otvor
Passion ['pæšən] of the pašije k umučení Ježíše
Lord Jesus [lo:d 'dži:zəs]
path [pa:θ] stezka
pierced [piəst] propíchaný
pile [pail] hromada
pocketful ['pokitful] plná kapsa
Poor ['puə] me! Já nešťastnice!
poverty ['povəti] nouze
pray [prei] modlit se
prayer ['preə] modlitba
precious ['prešəs] vzácný
pull down [pul 'daun] zbořit
pure gold ['pjuə gəuld] ryzí zlato
ring out [riŋ 'aut] rozeznít se
rock [rok] (Amer.) kámen, balvan
scoop [sku:p] nabírat
scorn [sko:n] pohrdnout
scratched [skræčt] podrápaný
shabby ['šæbi] nuzný, ošumělý
shack [šæk] chýše
shanty ['šænti] chatrč
She was beset [bi'set] Zmocnilo se jí hoře.
by sorrow ['sorəu] .
She was overcome by Přemohla ji zvědavost.
curiosity [ kjuəri'ositi].
silver ['silvə] stříbro
sin [sin] hřích
soft voice [soft 'vois] tichý hlas
sorry ['sori] nuzný
splendid ['splendid] velkolepý
suffer ['safə] trpět, zakoušet
sunset ['san set] západ slunce
take advantage of sth využít čeho
tear ['teə] one’s hair out rvát si vlasy
thick forest [θik 'forist] hluboký les
thorn [θo:n] trn
treasure ['trežə] poklad
trick [trik] úskok
turn pale [tз:n 'peil] zblednout leknutím
with fright [frait]
twinkle ['twiŋkl] třpytit se
Where has the cliff Kde se tu vzala ta skála?
widow ['widəu] vdova
Woe [wəu] is me! Běda mi!
wring [riŋ] one ’s lomit rukama
‹ 13 ›
The comprehension questions:
1. Why was the woman surprised to see the cliff in the wood?
2. What was it that tempted the woman into the cave?
3. What did the woman find in the core of the cliff?
4. ‘It would be a sin not to take advantage of it,’ she thought.
What does “it” mean in this sentence? What did the woman do afterwards?
5. Why couldn’t the woman carry her little son when leaving the cave?
6. “Oh, you shabby shanty. I won’t need you any more.”
Why did the woman think that?
7. What did the woman see in the pocket of her apron and in her chest instead
of gold and silver jewelry?
8. “Forgive me, God. I didn’t deserve your blessing,” she cried.
What did the woman blame herself for?
9. “Woe is me! It’s not here either,” she cried in despair.
What was the woman looking for?
10. “Woe is me! My dear child, where are you? Where can I find you, my son?”
Why did the woman moan like that?
11. When did the cliff and the entrance into its core appear again?
12. How did the woman feel when she entered the cave a year later? Who did she
13. “Oh, Mother of God, help me!” the woman cried out anxiously.
What happened after she’d said this?
14. “I don’t care for jewelry any more.”
Why did the woman change her attitude to the treasure?
“Now look at me, don‘t fear, and jump after that bundle across that wall,” he encouraged the girl.
‹ 15 ›
The Wedding Shirts
The Wedding Shirts
This ghost story happened one dark night. That night the moon was watching
over a small village from above, like a big bright eye. The lights in every dwel -
ling had already gone out except for a small house at the edge of the woods. The
clock in one of its little rooms had already struck eleven, but a lamp above the
kneeler was still shining. A young girl could be seen through the little window,
kneeling below a picture of the Virgin Mary. The girl’s head was bowed and her
hands were crossed on her chest. Tears trickled down her cheeks and every so
often they made her dress wet. The girl moaned: “Oh, my dear father, where are
you? The grass grows on your grave. And where are you, my mother? You are
lying by my father. And what about you, my little sister? Why did you pass away
so young? And you, my dear brother, what bullet killed you on the battlefield?”
Thus the girl complained about her lonely fate.
“And where did you go, my love?” the girl continued her lament. “You
comforted me before you went away. You told me to sow some flax seeds and think
of you every day. I did everything as you said. The first year, I spun the flax,
the second year, I wove the linen, and the third year, I sewed the shirts. You
told me when the shirts were finished, I should weave myself a wedding crown.
Everything is finished; the shirts are in my chest and my crown is already dry,
and you are still somewhere far away. You’ve disappeared like a stone in the sea.
I’ve already been waiting for three years, but I don’t know whether you are still
alive,” the girl lamented. Then, suddenly, she fixed her eyes on Mary, and began
to plead: “Oh, Mary almighty, help me, please. Bring back my love from abroad.
Either bring him back to me or cut my life short. I don’t want to live without
him. Oh, Mary, almighty Mother of God, stand by me in my sorrow.”
At that moment the picture on the wall moved. The girl cried out in terror.
The lamp sputtered out. ‘Maybe it was just a draught of wind,’ thought the girl.
‘But what if it was a bad omen?’ Then suddenly someone knocked on the little
window. “Are you sleeping, my girl, or are you awake?” she could hear her
boyfriend’s voice. “I am back from abroad. Don’t you recognize me? Or have you
forgotten about me? Maybe you love someone else,” sounded the voice. The girl
couldn’t believe her ears. Her heart leapt for joy. “Oh, my love, is it really you?
You know that my heart has always beaten only for you. I’ve just been praying
for you,” she said soulfully. “Oh, my girl, quit praying and hurry up! . I’ve come
to fetch you, my bride. Just look at the bright moon! It’ll light the way for us,”
‹ 16 ›
THE BOUQUET – SLAVIC LEGENDS
said the voice impatiently. “Oh dear! What are you saying?” exclaimed the girl
in surprise. “Where would we go in the dark night? Can’t you hear the wind
raging? Let’s wait until it’s daylight,” she suggested. “It makes no difference if
it’s day or night,” answered the voice. “I’m tired and I sleep in the daytime. We’ll
be married before the first roosters crow. Just stop worrying and hurry up! This
very night you’ll be my wife,” the voice outside promised the girl.
It was the thick of night, and only the moon lit the sky. There was silence
all around except for the raging wind. And in the dark night, two pilgrims
marched; he walked ahead and she a step after him. In the silence, dogs howled
as they picked up the travellers’ scent. It was as if they wanted to say that a dead
man was nearby. “It’s a fine, clear night, my love. About this time, the dead climb
out of their graves. Before you know where you are, they are close to you. My
love, do you feel no fear?” asked the man. “Why should I fear?” said the girl.
“You’re by my side, and God’s eye watches over me. But tell me, my darling, if
your father is still alive. And will your mother be happy to meet me?” the girl
wanted to know. “Oh, my dear, you want to know a lot. Come quickly and all
will soon be clear. But hurry, time doesn’t wait and we have a long way to go,” the
man told his bride. “Love, what’s that in your right hand?” he asked then. “I’ve
brought some prayer books,” she answered. “Oh, throw them away right now!”
he ordered. “Those prayers are heavier than stones. Throw them away so you can
keep up with me,” he said. Then he seized her books and threw them away, and
at once they covered ten miles.
They kept on walking and their journey wound through hills, thick forests
and along the rocks. Wild dogs barked all around, as if they had picked up the
scent of some nearby misfortune. And the man always went ahead, while the girl
hurried after him. Her white feet hurt from the wretched journey and left bloody
tracks behind on the thorny bushes and stones. Then suddenly the man spoke
to his young companion again. “It’s a nice, clear night, my love. At this time the
dead walk among the living. Before you know where you are, they’re close to
you. My darling, do you feel no fear?” “Why should I fear?” said the girl. “You’re
by my side and God’s hand shelters me. But tell me, my love, what is your house
like? Is it furnished well? A clean and bright room? And is the church nearby?”
“You want to know a lot, my love,” he answered. “You’ll see everything this very
night. Just hurry up, there’s little time and we’ve a long way to go. What’s that
round your waist, my dear?” he asked his bride. “I’ve brought along my rosary,”
she said. “Oh, it twists around you like a snake and cuts off your breath. Throw
‹ 17 ›
The Wedding Shirts
it away! There’s no time to lose,” he said. Then he seized her rosary and threw it
away and they flew twenty miles at one bound.
Now their journey wound through lowlands, across meadows, streams and
moors. There were blue jack-o’-lanterns fluttering and wheeling around in two
rows of nine, over the moor. It was as if they were accompanying a corpse to
the grave. The frogs in the stream croaked a strange funeral song. And the man
always went ahead, while the girl followed him. Her legs were already growing
weak, and her bloody feet, cut by the sharp grass, stained the ferns. And the
man spoke to his young bride again. “It’s a fine, clear night. Just now, the living
go to their graves. Before you know where you are, the grave is near. Aren’t you
afraid, my darling?” “Oh no, I’m not. You’re by my side and God’s will shelters
me,” the girl answered. “Just don’t hurry so much and let me have a short rest.
I’m exhausted, my legs are failing and pain, like a knife, is stabbing into my
heart,” she begged. “Don’t be afraid, my girl, we’ll soon be there,” he comforted
her. “The feast is ready, our guests await. And time flies quickly. But what are you
wearing on that string around your neck?” he asked. “A cross from my mother,”
the girl answered. “Oh, that damned bit of gold! Its sharp edges prick you and
they do the same to me. Throw it away and you’ll feel like a bird!” he said as he
grabbed the little cross and threw it away. Within a moment they flew thirty
miles at one bound.
Then, all of a sudden, a tall building appeared on the wide plain. Its windows
were long and narrow and a bell tower soared from its roof . “Hey, my girl – we’re
here at last! Can’t you see it?” the man asked his bride. “Good heavens! That
church, perhaps?” asked the girl in terror. “A church? No, that’s my castle!” the
man cried out. “That graveyard and the rows of crosses?” asked the girl nervous -
ly. “Those aren’t crosses, that’s my orchard!” exclaimed the man with laughter.
“Hey there, my darling, look at me and leap over this wall!” he encouraged his
bride. The girl was seized with terror. “Oh no, leave me alone! Your eyes are wild
and horrible. Your breath is as fetid as poison and your hands are icy hard as
death,” she said with disgust. “There’s no need to fear, my darling,” said the man
encouragingly. “We’ll have great fun at my place. There’s plenty of everything
there, plenty of meat, but no blood. Tonight it’s going to be different, though.
What have you got in that bundle, my love?” he asked. “Those are the shirts that
I have sewn,” the girl answered. “We won’t need more than two: that’s one for
you, and one for me,” said the man. Laughing, he took her bundle and tossed it
onto the grave beyond the fence. “Now look at me, don’t fear, and jump after that
‹ 18 ›
THE BOUQUET – SLAVIC LEGENDS
bundle across that wall,” he encouraged the girl. “But you’ve gone ahead and I’ve
followed you all this way up till now,” answered the girl. “So be the first to jump
and show me the way again,” she suggested. Not suspecting a trick, the man
leapt over the fence. The girl took advantage of that moment and started run -
ning away. Only her white dress was visible in the darkness as it flowed around
her in her flight. Her evil companion couldn’t see that there was a shelter close
The girl slipped into a little building, whose door wasn’t locked. There weren’t
any windows in the room, merely moonlight flashing through the cracks. She
hastily bolted the door, shaking like a leaf and begging God for help. Then she
fixed her eyes on an odd shape in the middle of the room. She went closer and
almost fainted in horror. It was a corpse lying on a board. Then suddenly some
strange noise could be heard outside. The monsters from the graves started
running around, clattering their jaws and singing their song: “The corpse belongs
in the grave’s dark hole, woe to him who neglects his soul!” And then someone
knocked at the door of the girl’s shelter. “Hey, dead man, stand up and draw back
that bolt for me!” sounded the horrible voice. And the girl recognized it was her
evil companion at the door. At his command the dead man opened his eyes,
raised his head, and looked around. In despair the girl began to pray earnestly:
“Good God, help me! Don’t give me up to Satan’s power! Dead man, lie down,
and do not rise. God grant you eternal peace!” said the girl in mortal fear. And
the dead man lay down and shut his eyes as before. But her evil groom knocked
at the door again. “Hey, dead man, stand up and open your room for me!” he
ordered. And the corpse rose from the board and with his stiff arm pointed to
the bolt on the door. The girl cried out in horror: “Oh, save my soul, Lord Jesus
Christ! Have mercy in my hour of need! Dead man, lie down, and do not stand.
God comfort you and me too,” she said. And the dead man lay down again and
stretched his limbs, just as before. However, the evil companion outside wasn’t
going to surrender. He pounded on the door even more fiercely. “Hey! Dead
man, stand up and give me that living girl!” he shouted. Oh, poor, poor girl! The
dead man got up for a third time and fixed his big, bleary eyes on the poor maid.
She was half-dead with fright, but she gathered her strength and started praying:
“Oh, Mary, stand by me, plead with your dear Son for me. Forgive me for my
wicked prayer. Forgive my sin! Oh, free me, Mary, Mother of grace, from evil.”
And lo! A rooster began to crow nearby and soon all the roosters in the village
responded. And the dead man, just as fast as he’d risen before, suddenly fell to
Toto je pouze náhled elektronické knihy. Zakoupení její plné
verze je možné v elektronickém obchodě společnosti eReading.