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Elizabeth Brunner







Fairy Tales around

19th May 1996... 

the story about grandfather's peculiarities



Sunday, the 19th of May 1996 ...  

Hm, this is also a beautiful story my father told me: You see, his father's aunt became the mother-superior in a convent in Pecs [Elizabeth pronounded it Petsh].  -  And, you know, some years ago a student came from Hungary to visit me here. And I was eager to enquire about that place: Pecs. In the gardens of the convent they used to bury their dead. And I was sure this lady was also buried there. My grand-father's sister. But that young man was a well trained communist because he said that place has been turned into a development camp / training institute.

            Because my grandfather loved his sister very much. But once you go into that kind of convent, you cannot see your relations anymore. Anyway, he was so eager to see his sister once more." Dagmar asked, "was that the grandfather with the dog and the Turkish cap and the pipe?" "No no," piped Elizabeth, "this was my father's father. 'Gruss Batshi' was my mother's father in Nagykanizsa. So he (my father's father), in his young age, worked out a plan to rent a house near the convent. Where the windows of the house overlooked the garden of the convent, you see. He achieved this, (as they lived in Pecs anyway). The rule was that, to go into the compound of the convent, the consent of the mother-superior was needed. So very cleverly he trained a parrot in that way that he flew into the garden of the convent and remained there. So he had to go and meet the mother-superior to get his parrot back. Even though he could only talk to her via a screen, he spoke to his sister once again. I don't know whether they smiled in recognition at each other, or ...

            I have never seen these people again and I am so far away, but somehow I feel connected to them.  -  Until now always my mother's family was important.  -  Now, I don't know, these people matter a lot. They come up in my mind many a nights." Dagmar said, "I am sure there must be still relations of your father's side alive." Elizabeth, "somewhere. But they may also think ... or they may not ... their own mistake. Because they have not quite thrown them out, but considered my mother, my father ... outsiders.

            I am sorry, I don't know why I have to talk about these things." Elizabeth concluded. "But it is lovely to hear it all," Dagmar persisted. "And when I have typed it down, I will come to you and read it out, dearest Elizabeth, and you have to say, this is incorrect and this must be different." Elizabeth smiled, "but all this is all ... 'oolter-poolter' (helter-skelter) ... not at all in chronological order!" And Dagmar reassured her, "I do not want any chronological order. Are we not women! Are we not female enough to talk about things when they come up in our hearts? That is what counts. And that is full of life!"


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Copyright Dagmar Barua 1997 Sass Brunner East West Trust, 75, Rabindra Nagar, New Delhi - 110 003