Jaroš, Peter: Tisícročná včela
Tisícročná včela (Slovak)
O Samovi Pichandovi však treba povedať, že to bol tiež murár vyberaný. Robotu mal čistú a peknú. Neulieval sa, aj keď mohol, radšej druhému pomohol. „Sme ako tie včely,” hovorieval, „iba robota nás spasí. Nič nám nezostáva len robiť, aby sme vyžili, ako sa patrí. Veru, sme my ako tie včely! Pozrite na ne, celé leto usilovne znášajú med, aby zachovali rod, a my nie sme onakvejší a nič iné nás nečaká len robiť a robiť ako tie včely, keď chceme zachovať rod!” Blúznil niekedy o včelách vo dne i v noci, prirovnával sa k nim a všernožne ich chválil. Vyzeralo to tak, že sa ich bojí, keď ich toľko chváli, hoci mu doteraz nijakú ujmu nespôsobili. Prischla mu len prezývka Včela, ale z tej si nič nerobil. Všade zvedavo navštevoval včelíny, nazeral do úľov a viedol s včelármi dlhé rozhovory.
The Millennium Bee (English)
Of Sam Pichanda, however, it must also be said that he was an excellent bricklayer. His work was neat and tidy. He didn't shirk, even when he could have, but he preferred to help others. "We are like the bees," he used to say, "only work can save us. We've no choice but to work if we're to make a reasonable living . Upon my soul, we really are like the bees! Look at them, they work hard the whole summer making honey in order to keep their families alive, and we are no different, we must just work and work like the bees if we wish to keep our families alive!" Sometimes he would to rave on about bees day and night, comparing himself to them and praising them to the skies. Someone nicknamed him Bee and the name stuck, but he didn't let that worry him. He would visit apiaries far and wide, peer into the hives and carry on long discussions with the bee-keepers.
The afternoon before their departure, the whole group of bricklayers gathered in Sam Pichanda's yard. They sat on logs and discussed what to take and what not to forget and where to go. When they had almost agreed, they were joined by two of the local railwaymen, Ján Anosta and Bíro Tolký. They ran their eyes over the bricklayers and pretended to envy them going out into the world to look for building work.
"What have you got to envy?" Ľavák snarled at them. "You've got work at home and so long as you don't get run over by a train, you can work on the track to kingdom come!"
"Who said we envied you?" Bíro Tolký laughed. "You go and break your necks if you like…!"
"I'd rather lounge around at home like you," Pichanda spoke up. "Find me work on the track and I won't budge from here."
"They're not taking anyone on, mate," Anosta said seriously. "They won't be for a long time to come," he added. "We can't be sure of our work, either," he turned to Ľavák. "I've heard they'll soon be sacking workers on the track."
"You should do what Orfanides suggests," Pichanda spoke up. "He is for founding new factories here, so the poor can make a living."
"And who would found them?" laughed Anosta.
"Who'd do that!?" Mudrc spoke up. "Who'd found one here? What would he make in the factory? You don't mean clay pots? Our potters can manage that. Or barrels for sauerkraut? Where would they sell them? Who'd buy them? Everyone's got their own barrel in their cellar… Or spirits? There's plenty of that around, too!"
The men didn't laugh, they just fell silent. As if something that hadn't been said worried them, troubled them, irked them deep down inside.
"You're fools," Mudrc ridiculed them. "You haven't got the capital for a factory, the timber around here doesn't belong to you, and you're building castles in the air… Keep to your trowel, mate, that's the only thing that won't betray you. It'll never be any different for us than it is now. We're stuck with the fields and with our trade for the rest of our lives. And you want to be factory owners all of a sudden, ha ha ha!"
They set out at seven sharp. Seven men and the eighth a woman. The rays of the Sunday dawn pushed them timidly towards the west. Loaded down with all kinds of things, they climbed the hill road until they reached Kameň. Here master bricklayer Žufanko slipped his rucksack off his back.
"We should say goodbye to the village and this land," he said gravely, ceremoniously.
He reached into his rucksack, pulled out a bottle of spirits and poured it into some little glasses. One after another they drank.
"Such a big district and it still can't feed us!" said Melchior Vicien Mudrc. "A lovely, beautiful land, you can feed your eyes on it, but what does that give you? …"
"Why don't you build here in Liptov?" Stázka Dropová spoke unexpectedly.
"It's not that simple! It'd be hard to find building work here," Žufanko said slowly and deliberately. "Look around you! In Východná, in Važec, in Štrba, in Kokava, in Pribylina, in Dovalovo, in Vavrišovo and in Jamník, in Iľanovo and in Ploštín, everywhere there are plenty of bricklayers, and I've only mentioned upper Liptov. You have to fight for bricklaying work here, and then they pay you almost half what they pay elsewhere. That's why, Stázka dear, we have to go out into the world to look for work."