THE GREAT ARE FATED FOR SORE TRIALS

An anti-heroic tale or how the most pathetic story can be demythologized

“The great are fated for sore trials? It somehow sounds like discrimination. Why only the great? Why not we – the ordinary people? Or perhaps after going through a sore trial you become great? It must be so. I must become great, I don’t want to be an ordinary person all my life. And if trial will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed will find trial”
These were the thoughts of an ordinary man from a small village. He wanted so much to be a great man that if there was a good fairy, no, her boss really, he would call her. But why did this ordinary man want so much to be a great person? Was it to make his children and grandchildren proud of him? Certainly not because He had no children. Did he want to have his name written in history? It was not that as his history interests went as far as knowing that Skobelev was not only the name of a square in Sofia. He simply sought to satiate his enormous ego. He wanted to look into the mirror and see an unusual person and be filled with pride.
So the decision was made. But what should that great deed be? And because, as I mentioned earlier, he had no aspirations to historical branches, his great deed acquired somewhat different dimensions. And then He had a brainwave. Yes, the big boulder by the slope. That is right, no one had managed to move it although many had tried. He was not a weak man, on the contrary, he was tall and of a strong constitution. A little exercise and he will be ready – the only one, the strongest, the great. Overwhelmed by these thoughts, he was already running to the boulder. He did not mean to try to move it but rather see what he was to face. When he got there, He was taken aback. The boulder was enormous. It was so big that if it was really pushed into the road, it would block it and the road was so wide that a horse-drawn cart would easily pass. It was as tall as its opponent and as I mentioned earlier He was a tall men. Looking at the boulder’s size He at first got discouraged. But then he thought that the more difficult and impossible the enterprise, the greater He would be. Without wasting any more time He started practising. He practised all day, even neglected his work and often visited his opponent. The people in the village watched and unable to explain his behaviour thought he had gone mad. A long time passed after the first attempt to move the boulder. They confronted each other – He and the boulder. There was so much strength in each. He put his hands and mustered all his powers. His strong body bent under the weight and the immobility of the boulder. But He pushed until his palms started bleeding and He fell helpless by the boulder. And yet this was not the end, there followed many long days of practice and numerous unsuccessful attempts. In spite of the efforts, the blood and the pain, the boulder would not budge. The people cutting trees in the wood above wondered at his madness and felt sorry for him. He had forsaken his former life and now only the boulder mattered. He had to prove to himself that he was capable of moving it. Once, before his next attempt, He heard a deafening rattle – several cut trees were rolling down the slope. Then he heard the screams and saw the two children standing in the road. Oblivious of the people’s yelling, they stood petrified with horror and watched the lumber closing on them. Instinctively He placed his hands on the boulder. This time He pushed it as far as the road, the lumber collided with it and stopped dead. He was standing in front of his great boulder, which He had pushed as though it was as light as a feather. He no longer cared, he was unaware that he had moved the boulder but something had come back to him. He was looking at the children still standing petrified and was overwhelmed by a new feeling. It was beautiful, immensely more beautiful than He had imagined. He saw the boulder He had moved and the feeling overpowered him. It was not because of the boulder, He had not moved it for himself. He turned to the children who were looking at him too with eyes full of admiration and gratitude. He understood – He was great because of the others. The feeling became sweeter but not because of the boulder or greatness itself, it was because of truth. He now new the value of greatness in life.


Svetlana Neikova – 11th grade, “Baba Tonka” School of Mathematics – Rousse, special award in the literary competition dedicated to 2nd June – the Day of Botev and those who died for the libery of Bulgaria.


A Blessing for Tomorrow!

Seemingly travelling to myself
but fleeing!
How frightening it is
to have no road.
I stretch my arms, rise and fall,
baffled, startled, unheard!

Where are you, people? I cry in fear.
Where did you go, love, in my day?
People, wake up, the night is dead.
Blind-eyed people, the day is within me!

My hope, stop, don’t go,
why leave me in the big world,
where spite and hatred kill,
and love died in the temple,

stoned by Pharisees ,
kindled with the flame of envy,
condemned, gloomy, desolate, lonely,
devoid of yesterday, today, the joy

to breathe, to love, to be, to fondle a bird, to trumpet for the morrow,
to meet the wind with a flowing mane
of a horse seen in a dream…far away.

Gallop, hope, fix your wings,
so long hidden in a dusty chest,
transcend borders, spaces, spill
the laughter of the free and brave Icarus.

Travelling to myself - with hope,
I head for each one today,
To a heart of love.
The world will be good
and the earth welcomes it
with bread and wine – an eternal blessing!

Martin Damyanov - 11th grade, “Baba Tonka” School of Mathematics – Rousse, first prize in the literary competition dedicated to 2nd June – the Day of Botev and those who died for the liberty of Bulgaria.