R e p r o n i s    P u b l i s h e r s

Stories from hunting fireplace
(first edition)

written by: © Štěpán Neuwirth
photography: © Jaroslav Kubík, Lenka Kubíková


Aida – immured true-love

It was cracking gently in the fireplace, the glum sky outside occasionally sputtered spring recall that the wood needs rainfall to the windows of hunting cottage at ´Pohár´, sausages and ´Vavřinec´ wine were smelling. Josef was sitting in the corner looking up the ceiling as he would spin his thoughts. ´Mmm,´ he mumbled. ´It is interesting that as I go older, I start to remember my childish years. The wood used to be different, people happier, dogs more obedient. … Or do I only flatter myself?´ I was feeling that one of the stories is coming. He had known a huge number of them and all had an odour of romanticism and were as charming as bygone sagas. ´I used to be a boy who had just left school and my father gave me Aida, a welsh-terrier bitch dog, for my marks at school. Before I managed to stroke this shaggy glove, I had heard the command: You will train her for foxes. She will be the bugbear for all ginger godmothers in the surrounding, so will have to be the best. It is the matter of our name and honesty!
Aida and me had a liking with each other from the very beginning. In fact we both were children so far, so our relationship was direct, guileless and full of roguery. We became inseparable friends and so Aida willingly started to be subordinate to my self-made leadership. After one year of training she masterfully gained first price in test of fox-earth hunting. My father was glancing. His predictions were fulfilled, there was no earth in the district which would not be checked by Aida –and if she found any ginger, she got rid of it. The glory was spreading around, we were demanded and spoilt. One day my father came to me again and told me: ´Poppy, on Sunday you will take Aida to a special choosy society. Connoisseurs are coming to the neighbour district, so you should prove yourselves!
That morning I felt strangely. Bearded hunters and bashaws from the district were enjoying themselves in a pub while I was waiting modestly outside. Aida did not mind. She felt that the hunt is coming but she was sitting orderly at my leg and occasionally jogged me with her nose.
´Be quiet, Aida, we are to go…´ We were waiting one more hour. Hag Borlice finally extracted the competent from the tap-room, everybody aligned, listed to the fiery speeches and then they set out to the sand pit where local hunters had their enclosed and engaged earth…

(extract from the book)