'ˆ' Myths from Novohradské hory

Funeral wandering to Sankt Michael

The year grep old and on st. Tomas (29.12.) were slowly moving to it’s end. Far sound of bell flew over the silent woods in the almost libely border countryside as well as over three cottages in Staré Šance (Altschanz) by Pohoří na Šumavě (Buchers). To the great meadow near Šance, where axe and saw bit to the forrest wildlife, returned in the days of advent peace and silence. Snow covered treetops of pines, cliffs as well as roofs with white coat. Only the forrest flume, springing from side of Granitzberg, whispered to the silence. Forrest animals were rambling on his bends: in the big rack on the meadow was prepared hay for them. On the southern hillside crossed flume a path. Just in this place stood stone pillar – threeborder – called here Dreiländersäule, which, under the pressure of age and beacuse of wet soil, heavil skewed. In upper third where his round profile fine-axed to three flats with cut bays. They were inhabited in those times by uncommon guests. In bay towards the east stood in stone with crown and sceptre ruler margrave Leopold. In bay towards the north, which faced the rains and winds from czech lands, stood st. Vencelas, princ of the Enns. Those sculptures are now somewhere in the museums, although were made just for this, to God dedicated, hamlet. But even without them was this blinded pillar for people form forrest thein sacred place, gurad, memorial and border that devided prince’s and count’s lands. It was passed by sumgglers, hunters, and pilgrims – those, who také sanctuary in cottages on Šance, when night chased them here. On day of st. Tomas left on the twillight house of lumberjack Leander group of people, which Hradec towards the pillar. Behind the praying column pulled one of the lumberjacks bob-sleigh with strange load. In was a coffin with dead Leander Kronewitter. The procession stopped in front of the pillar. Accoring to the old habit, the dead man sayed goodbye to his home here. After short prayer moved procession on and man in the forward, who deaconed, streamed in his frozen hands bead. The twillight came. Man in forward, now with the lantern in hand, blazed the way through the snow. Small funeral procession early dissapeared in dark of the forrest. Wandering of dead man to the church of st. Michael in Rauchendötu, through Sandl, were still very long. Hour after hour headed there procession through night, until the forrest began to shine through and way started to drop down, to country of the fields and pastures, where on one of the hills stood lonely tower of Rauchenödt church. Aroud the church, on windy hill, spreaded out quite extensive graveyard. Between sepulchres from roty wood slony with metal sepulchres layed also sepulchres hewed from the stone from this rough country. Men from Šance had often to pass the bob-sleigh from one to another, as they were more and more tirád from the voyage. When they in dawn reached the curch of st. Michael the bells began to ring, and their voice sounded like accusation in shakes of wind. „De profundis – from profundity call I to you, Master,“ and also „time ane last hour lays in the hands of God,“ said old pastor in sérech over the grave. When they were lowering the coffin to the grave, one of the men from procession began to recite the Lord’s prayer. The the group like after hard forrest work disperse and guides of dead man went on the hillside down to the Rauchenödt. Men koncked down the snow from their shoes, before they entered the tavern U jelena, and smoked their pipes. Women stucked in the stall of local chander around pots and fashion goods. After short sitting the reciter stood and so appealed to the others to do it, too. Voyage back to the hills was now even more difficult. With silent envy looked they down from the sidehill to the fields of farmers from Rauchenödt, that were spreading to the south, to the land still and all more kind there their own. In addition, their potato and oat field in forrests around Šance belonged all to the owner of domain. Small procession slipe dup further. Sun were sinking in front of them behind well known edge of Granitzberg, and when they stood on home land of meadow in Šance, moon shined over their heads. Their steps become faster, as they saw that smoke, now looking like a row of church candles, from their forrest houses is raising to the winter sky. As tired pilgrims, widow and four older children, that also comped dead father to the Sankt Michael, entered their house, the fire was crackling in huge tille stove and threw flashes to plank floor of great room. Leander’s widow went with lantern to watch over sleeping kids in next-door room, to whom invited aunt in her absence. Jacob, the podest twenty-year son, stayed sitting for a while in the corner of table. Dad took him, and two older sons, to work to forrest, before he died. Now they were alone . Leanders wife stayed dived in memories. Until clock on the wall annouced midnight, pulled her that twelve knocks from dreams. Wide tille stove were blowing the last heat. Room were empty, Jacob also fiound his place to sleep. So the voyage to st. Michael in Leanders house get to it’s end. Just breath of the sleeping ones were heard in room and cabinets…live still bloomed.

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