The thoughts left by feathers

The next day, Borbálka was perhaps even quieter, even speechless, even more quietly a little girl than usual.

Yet there was a big lottery run, a big whisper in the village, as the news came from the mountain in the morning that Cyril Tonkanecz had been found dead on the deep road in Volosanka. According to the district doctor, and you know, the murder could have taken place between four and five o’clock in the morning and it is certain that around five o’clock Safranics was smoking in his window, everyone saw it, he measured the world with his usual mocking smile and exceptionally addressed passers-by . Many saw him in the window, some even exchanged a few words with him then, and although the road to Volosanka is about an hour or four hours walk away, everyone in the little village of Rusnyas, from the parish priest to the tiniest child, was convinced that Safranics shot him. kill the hunter.

Barber was also convinced and weird! he felt no remorse. That was the only thing that surprised him, that was insensitivity. He gave up-160-Cyril Tonkanecz, he informed Safranics of what was going on against him and yet no matter how deeply he searched within himself, no, nowhere did he find any pity for the killed game. In vain did he recall the memory of last night, in vain did he think back to the tall, black-cubed figure who had passed so vigorously before him in the evening, whose moving, living shadow slid across his dress and who was now dead, yet felt nothing but remorse. . Only Borbálka was shocked by this insensitivity, only she pondered this, as she had hitherto considered herself to be kind-hearted and even too kind-hearted. How does that find him? Among the contemplation came to mind the words of his fiancé, who always said of him that he was a “mysterious Psyche.” Borbálka didn’t know much about Psycher, she didn’t even mind, but the fact that it was mysterious got a nail in her head. The assistant teacher is smart, a school graduate, Borbálka thought, he was right that he was mysterious. This is certainly an interesting thing to consider, it is worth investigating, because not everyone is mysterious, but who wants to. So Borbálka had another occupation on the apple tree, an examination of her own mysterious nature, which greatly boosted her blonde self-confidence and found the assistant teacher’s claim that she was mysterious more and more true.

This is how a few days passed, while an investigation was being carried out in the village into the murder in Volosanka, slaves, gendarmes were visiting, researching and investigating. But Borbálka didn’t care about all this, he played hide and seek among the folds of his own little self.-161-

The following Sunday, the assistant teacher set it up with great pleasure: the finalization has arrived, the wedding can be held! The good groom was so pleased that he could not have a coffee during the ointment, but walked up and down the room with victorious imperial footsteps, waving a piece of skewer to talk about how angry the second Macchiavelli was now. He gave the impression that he was most happy that his director was angry. He repeated triumphantly: it turned yellow, greenish-yellow when he found out greenish-yellow!

Behold how careful every word is, if a man is a bridegroom! For Barber, these two words were greenish-yellow, which made the biggest impression, because as soon as his fiancé repeated all this and bitten one by one from the toothpick, he involuntarily thought that the assistant teacher’s tooth was greenish-yellow. Later, as an echo, those two words reappeared and he caught himself muttering: greenish-yellow, and at the same time he had to think of his fiancé’s teeth if he wanted to, if not.

The big trouble is when a little girl starts to investigate, to ponder. Surely, the marriage of the assistant teacher was in such great danger, because a little girl does not think with a system, with a nice consequence, her mind bounces. His process began with a yellow tooth, a greenish tooth, and then he slammed it into a mysterious Psyche, a mysterious, a mysterious one (I see how to be careful) and at the same time he found himself barber, wondering if he would be happy with the assistant teacher?-162-

The great sages say that no one can see into the future, especially not into his own, but this only applies to the kind of gentlemanly people, because on Ruthenian land all future things can be scanned, there is enough superstition, which is not cheating, you know it everyone there. Whoever lives, how many children he will have, what line awaits him, all questions can be easily answered, all you have to do is know how and if you don’t know him, he will tell any proposition for a couple of six. Borbálka also soon learned what she had to do to get an answer: will she be happy with the one she loves?

It is certainly a difficult thing to do, which is what it takes. You have to go out into the woods at dawn on Friday, stop at a meadow corner and cut an ax into the ground with your edge. If you see seven deer crossing the meadow right now, when the sun comes up, no more, no less, then you can be sure that you will be happy with the one you love.

Poor Borbálka, oh but scared of this. To make him go to the woods at night! No, he never does that. Yet, yet only on this was his inconsistent particle. How are you? Cut off the ax in the corner of the meadow… Friday dawn. It’s a terrible thing, he can’t go at night. He was determined to be what he was going to be, he wouldn’t go out at night, but he just kept his father’s ax out of his game and hid it under the bed. And he didn’t want to go out, he just took it out of a joke to try out how, how. On Thursday afternoon, the clerk made everything needley because of the ax, but Borbálka did not-163-he said. His father believed that the omniscient had lost and slapped the poor there, in front of Borbálka’s eyes. Barber did not speak then. Borbálka was such a mysterious little girl.

Barber’s evening, when they were all at rest, was finally determined. He’s not going to the woods. For superstition is all this, and superstition is folly. And for just seven deer to go through the meadow and just when the sun is shining, it would be almost a miracle! Then, if only a comfortable little superstition were to be committed during the day, still leaving, but at night! and in that great mysterious forest! No and no. Barber went to bed.

This is perhaps the end of this story if Borbálka had been a consistent little girl. But Borbálka was inconsistent, as evidenced by the fact that long after midnight, when only the largest stars were lit on the forest path above the village, a small figure in a blue dress stumbled upwards with an ax under his arm. No doubt it was Barber.

He wanted to go up a clearing on the forest path, where he once picked strawberries as a child. He wanted to go there, but he had barely taken a few steps in the woods, he was already lost. At first he didn’t notice, but continued on his way through the thread.

It was very dark, terribly dark. Such darkness can only be in a forest. He didn’t see it ten steps away. Slowly, poor man, where he stumbled in some big falling branch, where he bumped into some tree. And the forest has become both wilder and impassable. As if hands, long,-164-thin, squeezed fingers would have gripped him at times, embraced by skinny arms, held back by his scarf, by his skirt. It was as if the ground sometimes slumped beneath him, he started the harass at his feet, sliding with him to depths unknown to the valley. At other times, some giant fallen tree dared towards him long threatening branches that surrounded him, subdued him, and as he escaped, another trouble, another obstacle, stood in his way. Here something unknown wildly jumped up in front of him, ran past him with a big crack, there was a scary sound hissing from the trees. He slipped on smooth, dark slippery things, stuck in snorting tendrils, prickly stubborn thorns: a stone hit and tore him. It was as if the whole forest was protesting, resisting. Poor Barbara would have gladly turned back, but the forest wouldn’t let her anymore, she surrounded her with fingers, it was blocked by branched, bulging tales, crumbling debris walls choked in a crowd of thorny bushes, fern bushes. Barber struggled, struggled with crying and the forest, struggled with all his might feverishly, defiantly, aimlessly, struggled as one fights for his life.

In the fierce fight, Borbálka barely noticed that he was beginning to dawn. Suddenly dawn came, as usual in the woods. It was bright at once, the same gray light. But it was no more reassuring, no, perhaps even more mysterious, even more frighteningly endless in the wild. The shadow disappeared, but it disappeared everywhere. The dim light, the distant and the near objects were evenly shattered-165-converged. It was as if made of milk glass, as if everything was translucent, fabulous, terribly quiet and cursed, lifeless forest and motionless. Carved from agate stone, the tree trunk, the gray mosses, the rock block, even the foliage.

Barber went, went on. He went, he didn’t know where, where, he just went without a goal, for no reason. He stopped, looked around, then walked on in a hurry, as if escaping. But he could not escape the forest. He was surrounded everywhere, surrounded by the forest, and no longer struggled, as if he were sure of his prey, as if to say: mine or Barber!

And there was a terrible silence.

Nowhere, no movement, no sound, not even a stream roaring, no wind rustling, the forest was dead, he was the only living being in this damn lot. But not! Just as he wanted to continue his journey, there was a salamander sitting in front of him on the gallows. Black-variegated salamander pinged with yellow spots, motionless and shiny like a brand new toy. He would have thought it wouldn’t live either if his tiny glassy eyes hadn’t shone better than his black skin. The salamander looked at Borbálka and Borbálka was very scared. He looked around for an escape. Then he turned to the variegated lizard once more, but it was no longer there. It was different there: Safranics.

Safranics spoke first. In a benevolent, albeit somewhat mocking, voice as we speak to a child, who we get on him with something innocent, he asked,-166-

“What are you doing here at such a good time, Barber?”

Borbálka was not scared of this, nor was he surprised, nor did he stare. He told me, from root to step, why he came, what he was looking for, what he was waiting for, that he had come for a miracle. And Safranics nodded to him with a smile, as if he had known it a long time ago, so the raven on his left shoulder nodded as well, even though it might not have known.

“Should seven deer cross the meadow from right to left just as the sun rises?” Come on, Little Barber, and I’ll take you.

They set off. He went from the forester, after Borbálka. Borbálka followed the terribly famous Safranics without any words, without any questions, from whom the bravest people fled trembling, from whom the parish priest also evaded, even if it had been the simplest thing in the world. He even followed her eagerly and a tiny secret smile played on his lips. He wasn’t surprised to come across him with such a surprising surprise, no, he felt it was natural, more obvious, that Safranics was one with his forest. It really fit into the woods! His long, lean, large-bodied stature, his swaying limp arms, his worn clothes mingled with the bark of the tree, the lint, the yellow bark, the raven on his shoulder as if perched on a tree trunk and Barbálka could barely distinguish him from the forest a few steps behind. As they set off, it was more colorful at the same time, he became friendlier in the wilderness so awesome. The forest came to life at every step of Safranics. One would have thought that only the thrushes were waiting for him, the-167- finches, emperor birds and mountain mattresses. Here and there, up in the tree and in the bush, among the ferns, everywhere near and far, they whistled, whistled, danced, called each other and answered: the woodpeckers were barking on the bark of the trees and below the feet of the Barber sat bees roaring on top of the blades of grass, blades of grass bowed and rainbow dew fell from them.

A world came to life around them, a enchanting, mysterious, never-suspected rich world and every voice echoed in the soul of Barber, every song resounded in his heart and Barber went with a feeling of sweet redemption, hope, confidence, conviction in the sure consciousness of a miracle, went through the wonderful forest over to the miracle.

They reached the corner of a meadow. Safranics stopped and gestured to Borbálka: here and he obeyed wordlessly. He cut off his ax in front of him and waited. It was already quite clear. Light, shreds of gray mist floated in the meadow, in which the white trunks of young birch trees were lost, and in the fog that spread over the grass, only the dew-bearing cobwebs shone more sharply. Beyond the meadow, there was the magenta beech forest and the wreath was burning in the light. Up above, torn skies floated in the sky, dark rags from the torn mantle of the night, and blood-stained spots gleamed on the cloud rags, as if the sun had wiped his victorious hands into them.

Barber stared with a stuttering heart in the direction of Safranics’ arm, brown, clawed finger.-168-

Now the first rays of the sun had cut on the birch trees in the meadow, now their vibrating foliage had suddenly turned golden, and under the poplars one, two, three deer were slowly marching out into the meadow. Now one more, then two, then another huge bull and they all came out to the right in the meadow.

Safranics raised his hand. The deer stopped. They all looked at Borbálka with their heads raised, with pointed ears. They stood motionless for a moment, only the huge crown of anxiety of the bull flashing, then slowly, in a row, one behind the other, the bull crossed the back of the narrow meadow, left, into the thick, all seven. They’re gone.

Barber’s wide-eyed eyes were still staring at the meadow that smoked in the wake of the deer. Blood hammered in his temple. He was a little dizzy and his head dropped to Safranics’ vest. This vest smelled awful, but Borbálka didn’t mind, she just felt that the miracle had happened for her sake, that nature had spoken for her to answer her, she just felt that she was unspeakably happy! Even the smell of the pipe, even it was so hot, it made such a living impression… even that was so sweet! How long had Barbálka leaned on the side of the Safranics, he couldn’t tell he liked a lustful eternity.

He snarled loudly, mockingly. The raven creaked on Safranics’ shoulder. Barber shuddered.

They turned, they set off. They went back down.

They went wordlessly. Safranics led, with long, smooth, noiseless steps. It went like something-169-shadow, branch not very beneath the base, leaf not rustling even in the deepest bark. On his shoulders, the raven rocked back and forth at every step, like the sleeping rider in the saddle.

Sometimes Safranics stopped and turned around, wasn’t Barber left behind? Once or twice he took his pipe out from under his long black mustache and at such times Borbálka thought he wanted to say something and felt that he was waiting for a word, something, he didn’t know what, but no, the pipe was back in place again. and they went on. As they got out of the crowd and the forest around them ran out, Borbálka became more and more left behind and had the feeling that she had forgotten something, missed something, something that would be the final word of the cute, sunny forest, the solution to the miracle.

But they reached the edge of the forest. A dense bush broke the thread there. Safranics opened the branches to allow Barber to run through. Barber stepped out of the fairy tale, out onto the road above the village. He turned back after Safranics. But Safranics was not behind him. He waited for a few seconds, then suddenly snuggled back into the bush because he wanted to thank Safranics for his favor! Oh! Barber knew what fit! But he couldn’t find Safranics. Disappeared. Barber was alone. And in spite of the succeeded superstition, in spite of the succeeded miracle, in spite of the bright sun, the bright golden forest, unreasonable sadness surprised his little bird’s heart, as if something had been left behind, as if something great unrighteousness had happened to him.