The Wondrous Wolf
February evening, when the pub was full of men and outside the
wind was fiercely hauling, the door slowly opened.
opened, but nobody came in.
fell silent and waited.
when a door is being opened, somebody should have opened it.
since it is opened by someone, that someone would like to come
tip of his snout showed first.
all of his body sneaked in.
wolf came into the pub.
the bartender exclaimed.
had never had such a customer, though he had been doing this
business for thirty years.
slowly rose from a table and stepped towards the wolf.
far, so good: the wolf, however, snarled and bared his teeth.
Stoimen cried while Ivan was looking right into the wolf’s
going to fix him!”
Ivan rolled up his sleeves and again made a step towards the
Stoimen reached out to stop him, but it was too late.
human being and a wolf grappled into a deadly combat.
was trying to grip the wolf’s
neck but kept failing.
wolf was growling and his teeth were clattering but it was
obvious he only defended himself; he did not attack, he only
protected himself, pushing his adversary away.
Ivan at last managed to nab the wolf’s
neck with both hands and his fingers started tightening, the
animal gave such a growl that everyone’s
hair stood on end.
Ivan loosened his fingers and got up from the floor.
wolf also got up on his four feet, shook himself and made for
that bloody cur!”
the bartender whimpered and deftly leaped onto the bar, despite
his hundred kilograms.
wolf stopped in front of the bar and stared at him with his
wide-opened, wondrous, sad eyes.
couple of minutes lasted the wolf’s
survey and an eternity it seemed to the people. Then slowly he
rose on his hind legs, pointed his snout at the ceiling and
was not a howl, but a cry devilish and ominous. The same way the
women would howl on funerals.
a score of men in the village pub were listening.
the wolf kept howling and they kept standing silent.
was understood, then, that a grief was upon that wolf; a grief
heavy and dark as the night outside, if it was a wolf at all.
as unexpectedly as it had began, the howling ceased.
wolf lay on the floor, placed his head between his front legs
and moved no more.
the men were standing still, watching the wolf.
old Stoimen got up and went to him.
bit their lips, but not a voice was heard to prevent him doing
wolf would probably jump on him and bite his throat! It would be
easy, how much was the old man’s
strength . . .
the wolf kept lying still.
Stoimen squatted, with a low moan, rested one knee on the floor
and bowed over the wolf. He reached out both hands, took the
head, stared at his eyes.
was as if the wolf was confiding something to him, but old
Stoimen did not wanted to admit it.
a long moment he laid the animal¡¯s head between its paws
again and took off his greasy hat.
stood the old man, on his knees as if before a dead man dear to
men perceived the wolf had given away his spirit – to God, to the Devil, or to some Deity of his own kind? . . .
drew closer, watching him with scrutinizing eyes – they saw a most wonderful wolf!
old Stoimen stood up slowly and said:
get the hoes and shovels and let’s
you . . . have you lost your mind?”
the bartender snapped at him, getting down from the bar.
old man ordered and at the authority of his voice everyone felt
he was right.
men quickly fetched hoes and shovels.
they asked old Stoimen.
do you mean where?”
the old man snapped “in
front of the pub!”
filed out of the pub.
was a bitter cold. A blizzard, quite a blizzard. The earth:
ice-bound. But the men set off digging.
were warming up with one gulp of rakia at a time and at last
they dug up the grave.
Stoimen laid the wolf into the grave and bowed to the ground.
a bow, you!”
the old man ordered and score of men bowed to a dead wolf.
what kind of wolf? . . . A wondrous wolf! . . .
filled up the grave and got back to the pub.
was then when the mayor burst in.
what have you been doing again?”
he was mad, it was obvious.
old Stoimen said reprovingly and poured out a drop of his glass
on the floor.
a wolf! In the center of the village! Tell me, aren’t you savage?” raged
the mayor, sipping at his glass of rakia and already starting to
relax with each sip.
poured out a drop on the floor, too.
the powers that watch over us, condone the sins of that wolf!”
goes the world.
a door is being opened, someone is surely to come in. Wolf or a
was it a wolf?
kept asking old Stoimen, who was renowned for his wisdom, but he
only smiled and waved his hand at them:
a wolf? Are you out of your mind? If it was a wolf, would I have
you buried it in the centre of the village, you fools!”
then! What was it?”
it matter, after all?
came, it was gone, it was buried, and the rest is for everyone
from Bulgarian by: Nevena Pascaleva
* * * * *
Stojan Valev was born and live in
Bulgaria, Eastern Europe. He is specialist in Bulgarian language
and literature. He graduated Paisii Hilendarski University in
Plovdiv in 1982 and taught there 5 years as an assistant in
Russian literature of XX century. He used to work as a
journalist in radios, weekly papers and daily papers. He used to
be chief editor of the weekly “Freedom,” the daily press
“Maritza” and “Twenty-four-hour news maker.” He published his stories in the Collection of stories “A
Murder on Christmas” and “A Murder of Love,” in the
following editions “Paper for the Woman,” “Woman’s
Kingdom,” “Review,” and “For the Woman.” In 1999
Hermes Publishing House published his first book “When God Was
In 2000 two Bulgarian theatres put on scene his
play for teenagers “An United Class.” His second book is The
Bulgarian Decameron,” in two volumes published in 2002 and
2003 by Golden Apple Publishing House. The two volumes include
30 stories about the love life of the Bulgarian in the past. His screen script on his story “Unfaithfulness – one time
and a half” won a competition of the Bulgarian National TV in
November 2002. In 2003 Golden Apple Publishing House published a
story collection of 40 stories named “Time for Infidelities.” Some of his stories have been published in many issues in
USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, India, Italy, Poland, Kingdom
of Nepal, Ireland, Canada, Switzerland and some are going to be
* * *
* * * *
Michelle Alexander: US Prisons, The New Jim Crow
Judge Mathis Weighs in on the execution of Troy Davis
The New Jim Crow
Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
mass incarceration of people of color through the War on
Drugs is a big part of the reason that a black child
born today is less likely to be raised by both parents
than a black child born during slavery. The absence of
black fathers from families across America is not simply
a function of laziness, immaturity, or too much time
watching Sports Center. Hundreds of thousands of black
men have disappeared into prisons and jails, locked away
for drug crimes that are largely ignored when committed
by whites. Most people seem to
imagine that the drug war—which has swept millions of
poor people of color behind bars—has been aimed at
rooting out drug kingpins or violent drug offenders.
Nothing could be further from the truth. This war has
been focused overwhelmingly on low-level drug offenses,
like marijuana possession—the very crimes that happen
with equal frequency in middle class white communities.
* * *
The Persistence of the Color Line
Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency
By Randall Kennedy
Among the best things about
The Persistence of the Color Line
is watching Mr. Kennedy hash through the
positions about Mr. Obama staked out by
black commentators on the left and
right, from Stanley Crouch and Cornel
West to Juan Williams and Tavis Smiley.
He can be pointed. Noting the way Mr.
Smiley consistently “voiced skepticism
regarding whether blacks should back
Obama” . . .
finest chapter in
The Persistence of the Color Line
is so resonant, and so personal, it
could nearly be the basis for a book of
its own. That chapter is titled
“Reverend Wright and My Father:
Reflections on Blacks and Patriotism.”
Recalling some of the criticisms of
America’s past made by Mr. Obama’s
former pastor, Mr. Kennedy writes with
feeling about his own father, who put
each of his three of his children
through Princeton but who “never forgave
American society for its racist
mistreatment of him and those whom he
most loved.” His father distrusted
the police, who had frequently called
him “boy,” and rejected patriotism. Mr.
Kennedy’s father “relished Muhammad
Ali’s quip that the Vietcong had never
called him ‘nigger.’ ” The author places
his father, and Mr. Wright, in
sympathetic historical light.
* * *
4 February 2012