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Mykhailo Kotsiubyns kyi Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors 2. frightening, By now he had been given chores and was sent to graze the cows He would drive Godly and. Blue into the forest and when they were immersed in waves of grass and young firs and the. mournful peal of their bells seemed to be emerging from under water he would sit down on a slope. take out his flute and play the simple tunes that he had learned from his elders Yet this music never. satisfied him He would cast aside his flute in annoyance and listen to the faint and elusive melodies. that dwelled within him, The dull clamor of the river would rise toward Ivan from the valley below and flood the. mountains and the pellucid ringing of the cow bells would echo like drops of falling water The. sorrowful mountains would peer from behind fir boughs imbued with the sadness of the shadows. cast by the clouds which obliterated the pale smiles of the hayfields The mountains were always. changing their mood when the hayfields smiled the forest would frown Difficult as it was to peer. into the mountains changing visage it was just as difficult for the boy to catch the whimsical. melody that fluttered its little wings by his ear and yet could never be caught. Once Ivan abandoned his cows and climbed to the very peak He rose higher and higher along. a barely visible path through thick growths of pale ferns and prickly blackberries and raspberries. He leaped lightly from stone to stone clambered over fallen trees and pushed through thickets The. eternal roar of the river rose after him the mountains grew around him and the blue vision of. Chornohora appeared on the horizon Now long weeping grass covered the slopes the cow bells. echoed like distant sighs and large rocks cropped up ever more frequently until at the very peak they. formed a chaos of shattered boulders covered with lichen and strangled in the snakelike embraces. of fir roots Each rock under Ivan s feet was covered by soft and silky reddish moss Warm and. gentle it preserved the sun gilded water of summer rains and caressed his feet like a feather pillow. The bushy green cranberries and whortleberries had sunk their roots deep into the moss and sprinkled. over it a dew of red and blue berries, Here Ivan sat down to rest The boughs of fir trees rustled gently overhead the sound blending. with the roar of the river The sun filled the deep valley with gold making the grass green the blue. smoke of a bonfire wound its way upward and velvety peals of thunder rolled over the hills from. beyond Ihryts Mountains Ivan sat listening completely forgetting that he had cows to tend. Suddenly he heard in the resonant silence a quiet music that sinuated by his ear so long and so. elusively that it was almost painful Frozen motionless his head tilted forward he listened to the. strange melody with joyous anticipation He had never heard people playing in this manner But then. who was playing Not a single person could be seen in the forest around him Ivan glanced back at. the rocks and was petrified There astride a rock sat the Vanisher his pointed beard twisted his. horns bent down and his eyes shut playing on a floiara My goats are gone my goats are gone. the floiara echoed sadly Then the horns were raised the cheeks filled with air the eyes opened wide. and joyful sounds leaped forth My goats are back my goats are back And Ivan saw to his horror. that bearded billy goats had emerged from a thicket and were shaking their heads. Unable to flee Ivan sat rooted to the spot shouting inwardly in mute terror When he finally. found his voice the Vanisher disappeared into the rock and the billy goats turned into roots of. windblown trees, The boy dashed down headlong blindly fending off the treacherous embraces of blackberry. Electronic Library of Ukrainian Literature, Mykhailo Kotsiubyns kyi Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors 3.
bushes breaking dry branches rolling over slippery moss and sensing with horror that something. was pursuing him Finally he felly He did not know how long he lay there. When he came to and recognized familiar places he calmed down a hit Still shaken he listened. for a while The song seemed to be echoing within him He took out his dentsivka At first he could. not get the hang of the melody He started over and over straining his memory and trying to recreate. the sounds When he finally found what he had been seeking for a long time what had given him. no rest a strange unfamiliar tune floated through the forest Joy filled Ivan s heart flooding the. mountains forest and grass with sunlight gurgling in the streams and lifting Ivan s legs Hurling. his flute into the grass and placing his arms akimbo he broke into a whirling dance He leaped. squatted pattered his bare feet in spinning steps and stood on his hands My goats are back my. goats are back something sang within him In the sunlit meadow surrounded by the gloomy realm. of firs the little blond boy leaped up and down flitting like a butterfly from one blade of grass to. another His two cows poked their heads through the branches eying him in a friendly manner as. they chewed their cud and jangled their bells in time to the dance Thus Ivan found in the forest what. he had been looking for, At home Ivan often witnessed strife and woe During his lifetime the trembita had twice echoed. by the house announcing to the mountains and valleys that death had come once when his brother. Oleksa had been crushed by a falling tree in the forest and once when his brother Vasyl a fine young. lad had been cut to pieces by broadaxes in a fight with a hostile clan The enmity between Ivan s. family and the Huteniuks was of long standing Although everyone in the family seethed with rage. at the devilish Huteniuks no one could tell Ivan exactly how the feud had started He too burned. with a desire for revenge and would grasp his father s hatchet which was still too heavy for him. ready to dash into battle, Although Ivan was the nineteenth child and Annychka the twentieth the family consisted only. of the parents and five children The other fifteen were buried in the churchyard The family was. devout and liked to visit church especially for parish fairs There they could meet distant relatives. who had settled in neighboring villages and opportunities would occur to repay the Huteniuks for. Vasyl s death and for the blood that the Paliichuks had shed so often. They would take out their finest clothes their new wool breeches their embroidered jerkins. their nail studded leather belts and wallets their aprons their red silk kerchiefs and even the snow. white mantle that mother carefully carried on a walking stick across her shoulder Ivan received a. new hat and a long shoulder bag that swung against his legs. The horses would be saddled and the grand procession would set out garlanding the green. upland track like red poppies The festively clad people stretched out along peaks and vales The. green hayfields seemed to blossom a multicolored stream sailed along the Cheremosh and high. above against the black cloak of the fir forest a red Hutsul parasol glinted in the early morning sun. Ivan soon saw a meeting of the feuding clans The family was returning from a parish fair where. father had had a bit to drink All at once a commotion arose on the narrow road between the. mountain and the Cheremosh Wagons had stopped and men and women both on horseback and. on foot had gathered in a crowd Hatchets flashed in the fierce uproar that sprang up and the. Huteniuks and Paliichuks clashed like flint and steel Before Ivan could figure out what was. happening his father brandished his hatchet and struck someone across the forehead Blood gushed. Electronic Library of Ukrainian Literature, Mykhailo Kotsiubyns kyi Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors 4. over the man s face shirt and fancy jerkin The womenfolk cried out and ran to pull the wounded. man back His face as red as his breeches he struck at his foe with his hatchet and Ivan s father fell. like an undercut fir Ivan dashed forward He did not know what he was doing But the adults. stepped on his feet and he could not make his way through to the fight. Flushed and furious he ran straight into a little girl who was shaking with fear beside a wagon. Aha This must be Huteniuk s daughter he thought and without hesitating struck her in the face. She grimaced clutched her shirt to her breast and ran off Ivan caught up with her near the river. seized her by the shirt and tore it New hair ribbons fell out and the girl lunged with a cry to save. them but Ivan jerked them away and threw them into the water Then the girl gave him a penetrating. look with her limpid black eyes and said calmly That s all right I have other ribbons much better. ones She seemed to be consoling him, Surprised by her gentle tone the boy remained silent. My mother bought a new apron for me and moccasins and embroidered stockings and. He still did not know what to say, I ll dress up in my beautiful clothes and be a fine young lady.
He felt envious And I can play the flute, Our Fedir made himself a fine floiara When he plays it. Ivan frowned I ve seen the Vanisher, The girl looked at him incredulously Then why do you fight. And why were you standing by the wagon, She thought for a moment uncertain of her answer and then started to look for something inside. her shirt front Finally she pulled out a long sweetmeat Just look She bit off half the sweet and. extended the other half with a grave and trusting motion Here. Ivan hesitated but then took the gift Soon they were sitting side by side oblivious of the. screams of the fight and the angry roaring of the river She told him that her name was Marichka that. she was tending sheep that a one eyed woman named Martsynova had stolen their flour and other. things that were interesting and familiar to both of them as the gaze of her limpid black eyes softly. pierced Ivan s heart, The trembita announced a third death in the lonely cottage on the high peak old Paliichuk died. the day after the fight Hard times came for Ivan s family after the master s death Disorder took root. the possessions disappeared one hayfield after another was sold and the livestock melted away like. mountain snow in the spring, But his father s death made less of an impression on Ivan than the friendship with the little girl.
who had so trustingly given him half a sweet after he had wrongly hurt her A new current flowed. into his old and causeless sorrow It drew him into the mountains carrying him to neighboring peaks. forests and valleys in search of Marichka He found her finally when she was grazing lambs. Marichka greeted him as if she had been expecting him they would graze the sheep together. Of course Let Godly and Blue ring their bells and bellow in the forest He would graze Marichka s. And how they grazed them Clustered together in the shade of a fir the white yearling ewes. watched with dull eyes as the children rolled on the moss their laughter ringing in the silence Tired. they would climb onto the white boulders and fearfully peer into the abyss below from which the. Electronic Library of Ukrainian Literature, Mykhailo Kotsiubyns kyi Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors 5. black apparition of the mountain sharply rose into the sky shimmering with an azure that would not. melt in the sunlight A stream rushed through a crevice in the mountains shaking its gray beard on. the rocks The age old silence sheltered by the forest was so warm lonely and frightening that the. children could hear their own breathing Their ears sought out and magnified every sound in the. forest and sometimes it seemed to them that they could hear mysterious footsteps the dull thud of. an ax and a heavy panting breathing,Ivan can you hear it Marichka whispered. Why shouldn t I hear it Of course I do, They both knew that the invisible ax was wandering through the forest thumping on trees and. gasping for breath in exhaustion Fear would send them scampering down to the valley where the. stream flowed more calmly They would make a deep hole in the stream strip naked and splash. about in it like forest creatures that had never known shame The sun would glint on their fair hair. and beat into their eyes while the icy water would nip their limbs Marichka would be the first to. feel cold and would set off in a run,Stop Ivan would call out Where are you from. From Ya vo riv Marichka would reply her teeth chattering. And whose daughter are you,The blacksmith s, Fare you well blacksmith s daughter Ivan would pinch her and dash after her until exhausted.
but warm they would collapse in the grass, In the quiet stretch of the stream where wolfsbane shimmered and monkshood berries hung. down like blue slippers frogs croaked sadly Ivan would bend down to the stream and ask a frog. Godmother godmother what have you cooked, Beet borsch beet borsch beet borsch Marichka would croak. Beets beets beets they would both shriek their eyes tightly shut forcing the frogs to fall. Thus they grazed the sheep often losing them completely. Their games changed when they grew older Ivan was now a young man as tall and robust as. a fir tree He dressed his hair with butter and wore a wide leather belt and a fancy straw hat. Marichka braided her hair with ribbons signifying that she was ready to give her hand in marriage. They no longer grazed sheep together and met only on Sundays and holidays by the church or in the. forest so that the feuding families would not know that their children were in love. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors 3 Electronic Library of Ukrainian Literature bushes breaking dry branches rolling over slippery moss and sensing with horror that something was pursuing him Finally he felly He did not know how long he lay there When he ca me to and re cog nized familiar place s he ca lmed down a hit S till s haken he listened

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