2013. augusztus 8., csütörtök

The Enchanted Garden (A kertből lett palota)

Ezt a mesét nagyon régen írtam egy kedves barátomnak, Kaisnak, aki egyáltalán nem tud magyarul, merthogy szír. Készítettem hozzá apró kis rajzokat. Szerencsére találtam egy megfelelő fordítót Akunthita Golson (azaz a Nagy Okos Nővérem) személyében, aki lefordította nekem a mesét, így most ti is angolul olvashatjátok.

Once upon a time there lived a wandering young man. He traveled alone for many years, until one day he found a large, empty house in the middle of the desert. He was hungry and cold so he decided to enter and seek shelter for the night. As he stepped in he found himself in an unusual foyer; hundreds of lamps were hanging from the ceiling, although only a few of them were lit.

In the dining room the table was covered with all delicacy, set for two. Once he made sure there was no-one else in the house, the traveler set down at the table to take dinner. At an other room he found a bed already prepared, so he spent the night there. The next morning he looked around again. In the dining room the breakfast table was already set, although seemingly there was not a single soul in the house. Not even a teeny-tiny mouse could the traveler find.

A large, unkept garden settled beside the house. Thirsty trees and bushes were standing around. In the middle of the garden stood an ornate stone vase with a tiny, dried up plant. Only a few of it’s leaves seemed to be alive. At the end of the garden the traveler found an old well. He dropped a stone in. After a good while he heard it splash into the water deep down in the well.

The traveler decided that as a gratitude for the hospitality he will help bring the garden back to life. He let the bucket down into the well to get some water. The water-filled bucket felt unusually heavy as if it would have been filled with rocks. The traveler worked until the evening set, but he was only able to get a few buckets of water out. When he returned to the house a hot bath and warm dinner was awaiting him.

Day after day he went down to the garden and watered the trees and shrubs with hard work. After some days spouts started swelling at the end of the branches. The traveler paid particular attention to the small plant in the ornate vase. But he seemed to water it to no avail as all of it’s remaining leaves continued drying up.

By evenings the traveler felt so tired that he slept like a log. Therefore he could not see that during the night, as the clock tolled midnight, all the trees of the garden transformed. The trunks of the trees became ancient looking columns, and the whole garden turned into the fallen ruins of a large hall. The droplets of water that the traveler poured at the base of the trees transformed into building blocks. They came to life, and they started to rebuild the walls of the broken down hall. The ornate vase changed into a throne, and the wilting little plant into a beautiful maiden. She lay unconscious on the throne. The water drops that were poured into the little plant’s vase lay on the maiden’s lap as sharp and heavy rocks.

The next day the traveler continued his work. At night however he could sleep no longer as the dying little plant’s fate weigh him down heavily. He felt that the plant must have been important for the owner of the garden as it had been placed at the prime place. As the traveler was walking around the house deep in thought, he found himself in the foyer again. He noticed in surprise that there were much less lamps lit then on the day of his arrival. From that time on he started counting the lamps every night before taking rest. Each day one less lamp was lit.

One evening the traveler found a glass of sweet, smooth wine served with his dinner. He felt that the wine was refreshing his whole body after the tiresome work. Suddenly he got an idea. As two places were set at the table each night, he grabbed the other wine glass, ran out to the garden, and watered the little wilting plant with the rich drink. The next day he discovered with pleasure that life was starting to come back to the dying leaves of the plant.

He kept nurturing the little plant this way; one day he watered it with fragrant chamomile tea, on the next with sparkling mint beverage. The plant sprouted more and more leaves. Finally a flower bud appeared. The little plant was surrounded by the now very much alive and leafy whispering trees and the sweet smell of the flowers emerging at their base. The traveler was awed by all this change. Long weeks passed when the traveler noticed that only one lamp remained lit in the foyer.

The traveler felt that something was going to happen that night. He went down to the garden. The little plant just started to open its petals. As the clock tolled midnight, the bud suddenly opened. The trunks of the trees started hissing, squeaking and roaring loudly. The traveler watched in amazement as the tree trunks transformed into tall columns and the crown of the trees into a domed ceiling. A gilded throne stood in place of the ornate stone vase, with a beautiful maiden laying on it. Like the bud of the little plant her eyes suddenly opened. She glanced at the traveler with a gentle and sweet smile.

“Look, you have broken the spell!” she said. The traveler looked at his hands that have been hardened by all the work. He replied with wonder, “I did no miracle, but still, everything I see around me is magical. How could all of this happen?” “I have been the queen of a great kingdom, but an evil wizard put a spell on me.”, the maiden replied. “My palace has become a garden, my people turned into flowers. The wizard left a flowery meadow behind, but because no-one looked after the flowers they wasted away. You were the one who rescued the rest of my kingdom by your hard-working hands and thoughtful care.” The beautiful maiden stepped down from the throne and in front of the traveler. She took him by the hand and said, “From now on you are the king of this land.”

Thereafter they lived in the palace-turned garden. The house where the traveler stayed turned back into its original state as the garden of the queen. When by the wizard’s spell the branches of the trees transformed into the walls of the house and the leaves into soft carpets, they still took care of their queen by looking after the traveler who wandered into the house and by inspiring him. It took many long years until the desert became a flourishing kingdom again and the people returned. The king and queen took care of their people just as they took care of their garden. Each afternoon they put down their heavy crowns, the king let the bucket into the well, and the queen watered the flowers with her own hands.

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