Cœṽėni Dueniovlėdhi (Part 2)

I tried to be more of a man than a fox. I thought that if I was in front of people more often, they would be able to treat me more kindly. I was only partly right. Some indeed softened their hearts, but others burned even more with a strange, unsubstantiated hatred. Perhaps I could understand them if I were in their place.

While transforming, I tried to stay away from home. Not only so that they would not notice me at this very moment of my conversion, but also so that they would not shoot me out of fright. The larger my human body became, the more menacing my animal appearance looked.

For it seems to me that there is such a law in nature: nothing goes anywhere without a trace and something does not arise from nothing. The horse eats grass and hay, and fruit trees take strength from its manure. The baby, growing up in the mother's womb, feeds on the juices of her body - but often this is not enough for him, and in return for his birth, he takes the life of the mother who gave birth. An ordinary fox is small, and in order to become one, what must happen? Unless pieces of my flesh would fall off completely, and excess blood would mix with the ground - but how then to return them back later? A red-haired beast the size of a large wolf could scare anyone, so I tried not to catch my eye.

Her name was Gwenneda[1]gwenneðọ, from Prabetan *windiya, from *windos "white". Wed modern Botian name Gwynedd, duat Gwenez.and when I saw her for the first time, my heart turned to stone. As if spellbound, I watched as she combed her hair, sitting on the river bank. Her black braids burned with crimson fire in the rays of the setting sun, and my breath settled in this brilliance forever. When she turned around, I was speechless - her eyes reflected the blue of the sky.

She knew who I was, but she was not afraid to speak to me first. That day we sat on the rough sand until the very night. I don’t have any memories of what we talked about - I only remember her ringing laugh and the warm spring wind.

Since then we have met many times. She didn't hate me or hate me, as if I was a person like everyone else. But she showed no pity or sympathy either, and because of that, I was finally able to feel like I belonged.

The day came when I made up my mind. I don’t remember ever experiencing such horror and trembling in the knees before that time. I offered her my love. She, bowing her head, first burst into tears - and then quietly laughed through her tears.

"Oh, woe to me," she whispered in a barely audible voice. “I love you with all my heart, but I can’t be with you yet!”

It's like I'm deaf. She had to repeat it two more times before I finally got it.

She loved another.

Then I laughed too, realizing how the Gods played an evil trick on me and on all my family. When I finally fell in love with a virgin, I received what other virgins had previously received from me and from other men of my tribe.

But then she took my hand and looked firmly into my eyes.

“Years will pass, and they will start asking me to marry,” she said. - Will you wait for me?

There is not much left, my heart. Gwannada! I'm waiting.


1 gwenneðọ, from Prabetan *windiya, from *windos "white". Wed modern Botian name Gwynedd, duat Gwenez.

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