sobota 23. dubna 2011

Tove Jansson - The Summer Book

The tent
Sophia's grandmother had been a Scout leader when she was young, and, in fact, it was thanks to her that little girls were even allowed to be Scouts in those days. The girls never forgot what good times they had had, and they often wrote to Grandmother and reminded her of this or that incident, or quoted a verse of some song they used to sing around the campfire. It all seemed a little out of date to Grandmother now, and she thought the old girls were being just a bit sentimental, but she would thing some friendly thoughts about them all the same. Then she'd think about how the Scouting movement had grown too large and lost its personal touch, and then she's forget the whole thing. Grandmother's children had never been Scouts. No one had had the time, somehow, and it never came up.
One summer, Sophia's father bought a tent and put it up in the ravine so he could hide there if too many people came. The tent was so small that you had to crawl in on all fours, but inside there was enough room for two if they lay close together. But no candles or lamps were allowed.
"Is it a Scout tent?" Sophia asked.
Grandmother snorted. "We sewed our own tents," she said, remembering what they had looked like - huge, sturdy, grayish-brown. This was a toy, a bright yellow plaything for veranda guests, and not worth having.
"Isn't it a Scout tent?" asked Sophia anxiously.
So her grandmother said maybe it was, after all, but a very modern one, and they crawled in and lay down side by side.
"Now you're not allowed to sleep," Sophia said. "You have to tell me what it was like to be a Scout and all the things you did."
A very long time ago, Grandmother had wanted to tell about all the things they did, but no one had bothered to ask. And now she had lost the urge.
"We had campfires," she answered briefly, and suddenly she felt sad.
"And what else?"
"There was a log that burned for a long time. We sat around the fire. It was cold out. We ate soup."
That's strange, Grandmother thought. I can't describe things any more. I can't find the words, or maybe it's just that I'm not trying hard enough. It was such a long time ago. No one here was even born. And unless I tell it because I want to, it's as if it never happened; it gets closed off and then it's lost. She sat up and said, "Some days I can't remember very well. But sometime you ought to try and sleep in a tent all night."

Babička a vnučka spolu tráví léto na ostrově. A protože to napsala Tove Jansson, není to slizké sladkobolné, ale podobné opravdovému světu, se všemi nedorozuměními, trucováním, nepochopením. Na ostrov připlouvá loď jen občas, zato tam pořád fouká vítr a dospělí jsou zvláštní tvorové. Kniha je rozporná, divoká a krásná a měl by ji někdo brzy vydat česky. Příhoda se stanem mi připomíná léta u mojí babičky, kdy jsme čtyři holky spávaly na zahradě samy ve stanu, vyprávěly si hrůzostrašné historky a bály se a babička, když nás chodila v noci kontrolovat, vrhala na stěnu stanu strašidelný stín.

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