El pequeño espantapájaros

Chulilla, 23 de enero de 2021

Es el relato que el lugar me inspiró , el mismo que todas las villas medievales me susurran. Quizás por una obsesión personal, un recuerdo que no es mío del todo o porque todos los pueblos tienen historias similares que contar.

La muchacha salvó la baranda de un salto, y siguió corriendo calle abajo. Sus perseguidores la habían perdido de vista por un momento en la madeja de callejones del pueblo, pero los escuchaba pisarle los talones. El Sol hacía un rato que se había puesto y corría casi a tientas desesperadamente en busca de un refugio. Pero no lo había. Todos los habitantes del pueblo le habían cerrado sus puertas y escuchaban la cacería tras los postigos sellados, o se encontraban entre los perseguidores, portando horcas, hoces y antorchas. La joven estaba exhausta. Desde que habían prendido fuego a su cabaña hacía tres días sólo había encontrado un momento de descanso escondida en la caseta del molino de agua, pero el viejo lechero la había visto y la hicieron salir para ajustarle las cuentas de una vez por todas.

Escuchaba a la turba acercarse, agazapada tras una de las chozas con paredes encaladas, y podía oler el fuego de las antorchas con las que sin duda pretendían encender la hoguera bajo sus pies. Tragó saliva y reemprendió su frenética carrera. Consideró esconderse en las cuevas, pero lo descartó al instante. Allí sería donde primero la buscarían, y no habría escapatoria posible. Siguió corriendo, resollando, casi sin aliento. Apenas notaba los guijarros bajo sus maltrechos pies, tan sólo sentía su corazón retumbando aterrado entre sus costillas, recordándole que todavía estaba viva, que todavía no la habían cogido.

Echó la vista atrás para ver dónde quedaba la turba, y entonces tropezó con un montón de macetas enfrente de una casa y cayó. Trató de levantarse, pero el agotamiento y algo que vio la hicieron detenerse: un pequeño espantapájaros, no mayor que la palma de la mano, hecho con unos trapos y unas cañas, a todas luces por un niño. Lo habían puesto en una de las macetas para proteger el sembrado, pero resultaba más ornamental que amenazador para los pájaros.

La muchacha cerró los ojos mientras lágrimas de rabia caían por sus mejillas. Con la de veces que había procurado por aquel ingrato pueblo. Las incontables ocasiones en las que había sanado a sus hijos, la de veces que sin saberlo había bendecido sus cultivos y hallado sus pertenencias extraviadas. Jamás les había causado daño alguno. Nunca, aun pudiendo. Y no había sido ella, en absoluto, la que había traído aquella sequía horrorosa. Al contrario. Si supieran… ay, si supieran.

Y entonces tomó la decisión. No la cogerían viva. Ni hablar. Jamás permitiría que le hicieran lo que a la vieja Ruth, vecina suya cuando ella era una niña. Se levantó de entre las macetas rotas y siguió su camino, dejando un pequeño rastro de sangre tras de sí. Iba barruntando el conjuro que le ahorraría su aciago final, un encantamiento que de atreverse a realizarlo no tendría vuelta atrás. Llegó a una pequeña terraza natural suspendida sobre el barranco en el que alzaba el pueblo. Allí tenía todo lo necesario, y lo haría ahí mismo, con el castillo de fondo como único testigo. Rápida como el pensamiento recogió romero, tomillo y brezo, y extrajo de su cinto sal, ruda y aceite de lavanda. Ya les escuchaba acercarse, estaban muy cerca, tan cerca… pero no lo bastante.

Cuando la turba llegó y se dispersó por el lugar no había rastro de la joven. La terraza estaba vacía, salvo por un gato negro que los observaba con el pelaje erizado, al pie de un pelele de colores que miraba hacia el abismo. Hicieron lo propio y se asomaron al barranco, esperando verla al fondo del risco o suspendida de una de las ramas sobre el vacío. Pero no, era como si se hubiera desvanecido en el aire, que olía fuertemente a romero. La maldijeron por habérseles escapado, y poco a poco fueron abandonando el lugar, con la brisa nocturna meciendo las ramas de un hermoso roble joven, orientado hacia las montañas y el imponente paisaje, bajo un cielo infinito en el que brillaban las primeras estrellas. Entre las raíces del árbol había una muñeca con la forma de un pequeño espantapájaros.

{AVANCE}

¿Qué chica no sueña con ser princesa? Levantarse un día de la cama y descubrir que en un suntuoso palacio la esperan a una, para cubrirla de finas galas y coronar el atuendo con una deslumbrante tiara de diamantes.

Bueno, lo de casi todas es fantasía pura, que se evapora más o menos con la edad. Mas, yo sí conocí a una princesa perdida que vivió el sueño, y os puedo asegurar, que lo interesante es lo que hizo después de despertar.

{Texto completo próximamente }

El Lago y la Hoja

La Luna siempre tuvo fama de vanidosa. A la Luna le gustaba reflejarse en la superficie de un lago. Una noche estaba admirando su reflejo, cuando una hoja salió a la superficie y se quedó flotando en la superficie del lago. A la Luna esto no le gustó, pues estropeaba su reflejo. La Luna intentó deshacer la hoja con sus rayos, pero tan sólo consiguió formar un charquito de luz.

Al poco, llegó volando un hada desorientada por la polución del pueblo cercano, y se detuvo a descansar. El hada se limpió con la luz de Luna, y luego remó hasta la orilla del lago y bajo la hoja se durmió.

La mañana siguiente, llegó un joven del pueblo y recogió la hoja. Le llamó la atención el color plateado y brillante que se le había quedado por el toque de Luna y de polvo de hada. El joven se la llevó a casa y mirándola sintió la inspiración de escribir.

Escribió una sentida carta al Ayuntamiento pidiendo que limpiasen el pueblo y los alrededores del lago, y apagasen el alumbrado público. El Ayuntamiento cumplió sus deseos. El pueblo entero admiró la luz de la Luna y los millones de estrellas que se reflejaban en el lago. Tanta luz atrajo de nuevo a las hadas, que hicieron su magia sobre las cosas que crecen.

Y así, el mundo fue un poco más verde y un poco más bueno, al menos en aquel rinconcito de cuento.

The late flower

In the old days, when mankind was still innocent, and couples were forged in long engagements born from a shy courtship, a humble student would fall in love deeply, and also learn a valuable lesson.

The young man lived in a modest, two-floor little house, with a small balcony in the upper part, which leaded to a tiny studio composed only by a table, a chair, and four walls fully covered by books. Before he sighted his beloved lady, the young man devoted entirely, body and soul, to his studies, but he always found time for his friends, family and hobbies, specially to his dearest books.

One of his secret longings was to write the most moving story ever told. However, in the blink of an eye everything changed completely.

It happened that the student, one day looking out the window trying to get inspiration for his story, realized that his balcony was very cold, lonely, lacking in color. So, without thinking twice, he went out to buy a planter and some plants that were decorative and pleasing to the eye. The sun was shining brightly from the beginning of March and the student enjoyed the walk, just as he used to do when he went out to stretch his legs, feeling the warm rays on his pale skin. Smiling, he greeted the passers-by in the street, elegant gentlemen on the arm of refined ladies who carried colorful parasols with which to protect their marble faces.

The student finally acquired half a dozen hyacinth bulbs that promised to become spectacular flowers, and the young man sank them into the ground with this hope shining in the eyes.

Then he looked up and thought he was in a dream, or perhaps a mirage caused by the bright sun. Because that vision could not be of this world.

In front of his humble little house was another much larger, richer and more important one, where richer and more important people lived. The eldest daughter was a sixteen-spring beauty, with a face chiseled into pale skin with rosy cheeks, high cheekbones framed in golden curls, full lips, and aquamarine eyes that could melt frost. That morning she had come out on the balcony to arrange her exquisite roses, sheathed in a wonder of blue silk brought especially for her sixteenth birthday. And her slender waist girded by that dress that looked like flowing water made the student forget to breathe. Then the world stopped spinning for him, since it had a new king star to orbit around. She.

The young man suffered a change in his way of being. He stopped hanging out with his friends, paying attention to his relatives. He no longer read, he hardly ate, and the rays of the sun seemed cold to him compared to the radiant presence of his beloved, who he hoped to glimpse on the balcony, or in some window, perhaps a glorious piece of her peeking out from the curtains of the big house.

Days turned into weeks, and the student racked his brains for a way to make the splendid girl his own. Meanwhile, the hyacinths timidly appeared from their bed of soil. The six were gradually breaking their lilac outer cover, and dyeing a tender leaf of its cocoon with an intense green. During the weeks in which the bulbs became fat taking strength from the soil, the water and the sun, the student withered for love. He could only get a brief smile to see a beautiful morning to their little bulbs in bloom. But wow! All except one.

The last of the bulbs did not want to flower. Not yet. It was not prepared, because it needed much more time to fulfill its goal in life, to be a beautiful flower.

So, while the other hyacinths were putting on their finery in the spring sun, brightening the street with their vivid blue, pink, yellow, and orange colours, the unopened bulb didn’t even know what its colour would be, but it was sure it would be much more beautiful than the others. That it would dazzle everyone on the street, that it would be admired and desired to adorn the headdress of a young marriageable woman, the bouquet of a blushing bride, a lavish living room or perhaps the cradle of a beautiful baby.

The days passed slowly, and the young hyacinths grew taller and brighter, taking advantage of every drop of sun and every spark of rain and swaying in step with the spring breeze that made them sing. Not for the human ear, of course, but with a much sweeter voice. The little bulb missed all this, since it remained firmly closed, its tender leaves keeping its secret, taking time to dedicate it to each of its petals, to paint them in a color never seen before, to sculpt them superbly as the most dedicated artist.

The student saw spring pass in front of his balcony, but was not aware of its fertile beauty because he had found a way to approach the source of his sleeplessness and have the right to woo her. The young man was determined to finish his career before anyone else in his promotion, and title in hand, he would offer the girl a household and a standard of living comparable to that of her wealthy family, which he would pay for with his efforts. He finally shut himself up in his study and closed the doors on all distractions. He only cared for his hyacinths, hoping that they would draw her beloved’s attention to his window. In his feverish determination, he ended up losing his friends, greatly saddening his relatives, he stopped writing, walking and dreaming. He only studied and studied, but he no longer put heart to his profession. It was just a mean of achieving his goal.

His five hyacinths witnessed for him the height and departure of spring, which put them in their maximum splendour, feeling with pleasure in their leaves the mystery of full life, and in the course of the other seasons, with the already brown leaves, they slept dreaming of everything beautiful in the world, even if his world was a street. It was enough for them.

With the arrival of a new spring, they woke up again with renewed energy, and they watched expectantly the hatching of the last bulb, which finally felt ready. It was a magnificent shade of white with peach highlights. A real flower beauty that would make anyone who set his gaze on it sigh. The hyacinth was filled with pride and stretched its branches to life.

Meanwhile, the young man arrived at the studio, with the coveted title under his arm. He could already appear at his beloved’s house. Satisfied, he noticed the beauty of the late flower. It was the first one he cut for the bouquet of flowers that he would give to his beloved.

After hours of waiting, and when he was finally received at the neighboring house, he was informed that the young woman could not attend him under any circumstances since she was already promised to none other than a young man of the nobility. Someone who would not have worked in his life, but who would give her a title in exchange for being his rich, decorative wife.

The student left the house with his dreams shattered, realizing for the first time in a long year that he had wasted time that he would no longer recover chasing a chimera, regardless of how he lost things on the way, things as important as himself, having become a lonely shadow, a faint reflection of the vivacious young man of yesteryear.

Just like the late flower, who ended its day of existence in a garbage can with its brothers in the ill-fated bouquet, but who nevertheless had enjoyed the life it wanted to put off for a fatuous end.

Readers, do not postpone the enjoyment of life for fear or to achieve a goal since full life itself is the destination of a quick trip without a return ticket and a single stop.

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