Friday, 29 April 2011

Dragon’s Day

A researcher from the city travels to a backward mountain village, where he learns of the old custom – ‘going back maybe even to pagan times’ – of Dragon’s Day, which involves a handsome young lad and a pretty maiden being ‘thrown to the dragon who lives in a cave by the river’. He happens to be there on the very day of the ceremony, and witnesses the whole thing: the boy whose brow is ‘furrowed by a deep horizontal frown’ and whose ‘jaw trembled’, the girl who is ‘dressed in a silk dress and high-heeled shoes’. The dragon itself is ‘an old, blind, mouldy beast’. At the end, ‘The chairman intoned a song. People sang lazily, in fact no one even bothered to sing the last words. The crowd began to disperse.’

Just thought I’d mention it. The story (like the quote in the last post) is in Andrzej Bursa’s Killing Auntie and Other Work, translated by Wiesiek Powaga, published by CBe a year ago. And now I’m off to my allotment.

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