“Bille is a little girl just like you, only from the book by Vizma Belshevica. You will manage to read it when you go to school.”

The Star Tram

Zvaigžņu tramvajs / The star tram

Zvaigžņu tramvajs / The star tram 

by Juris Zvirgzdiņš 


    Visu nakti Dacīte grozījās no vieniem sāniem uz otriem, te viņai bija auksti, te karsti, te sedziņa savērpās īstā zirnekļu tīklā, te aizbēga pavisam kājgalī. Mikus, viņas mīļais rotaļu lācītis, kurš parasti gulēja viņai blakus uz spilvena, ar skaļu blīkšķi novēlās uz grīdas, bet pacelts pārmetoši blisināja melno pogu acis.     All night long Dacīte was tossing from one side to another, now she felt cold, now it was hot, suddenly her little blanket curled like a real spider web, now it fled completely to her feet. Mikus, her beloved teddy bear; who usually slept beside her on the pillow, now rolled to the floor with a loud bang, but when raised, blinked his black button eyes with reproach.
    Beidzot pienāca rīts. Mājā valdīja klusums, ļoti, ļoti liels klusums. Vecāki gulēja tā, it kā šodien būtu parasta diena, bet Dacīte zināja, ka beidzot bija pienākuši LIELIE SVĒTKI! Par to runāja visa viņas bērnudārza grupiņa, bija noticis zīmējumu konkurss, kurā Dacīte un viņas labākā draudzene Ingrīda dalīja pirmo un otro vietu. Ingrīda uzzīmēja Latvijas karogu un trīs zelta zvaigznes ar ūdenskrāsām, lai gan tas nav nemaz tik viegli, bet Dacīte - Rīgas panorāmu ar visiem baznīcu torņiem un svētku salūtu.     Finally the morning came. The house was quiet, very, very quiet. Her parents slept as if they expected a normal day today, but Dacīte knew that THE BIG FESTIVITY had finally come! Everybody in her nursery group was talking about it, there had been a drawing contest, in which Dacīte and her best friend, Ingrid, shared the first and second places. Ingrid drew with watercolors the Latvian flag and three gold stars, although it is not so easy at all, but Dace drew the panorama of Riga, with all the church towers and a festive salute.
    Uz pirkstgaliem ielavījusies vannas istabā, Dacīte nomazgājās, pat ausis izmazgāja, iztīrīja zobus. Kas par to, ka neviens neredz? Bet Mikus? Viņš skatījās uz Daci savām spožajām pogu acīm.     Dacīte tiptoed into the bathroom and washed herself, even washed her ears, and brushed her teeth. What does it matter if no-one sees her? But how about Mikus? He was looking at her with his bright button eyes.
    Mamma un tētis guļamistabā turpināja šņākuļot. Šādā dienā tik ilgi gulēt? Protams, viņa varēja it kā nejauši kaut ko ar troksni nomest zemē, bet ko? Nē, labāk nē! Ja nu vecāki sadusmojas? Ir gadījies, un to Dacītei nemaz negribētos.     Mom and Daddy were still snoring in their bedroom. How can they sleep so long on such an important day? Of course she could drop some object on the ground with loud bang - as if by accident, but what exactly? No, better not! What if her parents get angry? Such things have happened before, and Dacīte wouldn't like it at all.
    Beidzot viņi pamodās, visi kopā brokastoja - ēda karstmaizītes ar sieru un dzēra kakao. Dacīte arī Mikum nolika priekšā trauciņu ar medu, bet lācītis neko neēda, varbūt viņš bija satraucies - VIŅI IES vai NEIES, ŅEMS viņu līdzi vai NEŅEMS?     Finally they woke up, all of them breakfasted together - eating hot toasts with cheese and drinking cocoa. Dace also placed a honey bowl in front of Mikus, but the bear did not eat anything, maybe he was excited - WILL THEY GO, or WON'T THEY, SHALL THEY take him along - or maybe NOT?
    Dacīte šķirstīja grāmatas. Viena bija par biezu, cita par plānu, pat viņas un Mikus mīļākā, tā par kaķīša dzirnavām, lasīta un pārlasīta, šodien nemaz nelasījās... Ik pa brīdim viņa pieskrēja pie loga. Jāredz taču vai vēl arvien līst. Varbūt jau pārstājis?     Dacīte was browsing through the books. One was too thick, another one too thin, even the one which she and Mikus liked most of all - the one about the cat's mill, that had been read and reread, today did not interest her at all... Every now and then she ran to the window. After all, she must see if it still raining. Maybe the rain has stopped?
    Tā pagāja diena un pienāca vakars. BEIDZOT! Ilgāk tas vairs nebija izturams. Dacīte iesteidzās vecāku istabā. Abi, kaut kas neticams, šajā dienā sēdēja pie saviem datoriem.     So the day passed and the evening arrived. AT LAST! Dacīte could not endure it any longer. She ran into her parents' room. Unbelievable - even on this day both of them sat at their computers.
    Nu, kas uz sirds manai lielajai meitai? - tētis pagrieza galvu.     - Well, what's on your mind now, my big daughter? - dad turned his head.
    Mēs iesim? - Dacīte uztraukumā gandrīz sāka stostīties.     - Shall we go? - Dacīte nearly started to stotter in excitement.
    Iesim? - tētis pārjautāja.     - To go where? - dad asked.
    "Nu, skatīties u-gu-ņo-ša-nu-u! Uz krastmalu! Tu man apsolīji! - un viņai paspruka lielais raudiens."      - Well, to watch the f-i-r-e-w-o-r-k-s! On the embankment! You promised me! - and she burst into tears.
    Es nezinu, varbūt... - tētis paskatījās uz māmiņu.     - I don't know, maybe ... - Daddy looked at Mom.
    Tu solīji! - Dacīte palika pie sava.     - But you promised me! - Dacīte insisted.
     Zini, es gribēju vēl pastrādāt...     - You know, I wanted to do some more work...
    Varēja just, ka tētis nejutās īsti savā ādā. To vienmēr varēja redzēt. Dacīte paskatījās uz māmiņas pusi.     You could feel that the situation was very uncomfortable for Dad. It could always be seen. Dacīte looked towards Mommy.
    Dacīt, Tu zini... - māmiņa meklēja vārdus. - Varbūt labāk pasēdēsim mājās. Tu vēl nesen slimoji…     - Dacīte, you know ... - Mommy was looking for words. - Maybe we should better stay at home. Recently You were quite ill...
    "Slimoju, bet tagad esmu vesela! Uz bērnudārzu es taču eju! Un tur būs uguņošana! - šoreiz tik grūtais vārds izdevās bez aizķeršanās."     - I was ill, but now I am in good health! Yet I go to the kindergarten! And today there will be the fireworks! - this time she could pronounce such a difficult word quite easily.
    "Uguņošanu mēs varam noskatīties televīzijā, un padomā - tur būs milzīgs pūlis, cilvēku jūra..."     - But we can watch fireworks on TV, and just imagine - there will be a huge crowd, an awful lot of people...
    Bija saprotams, ka vecāki nekur negrasās iet.     It was obvious that the parents did not intend to go anywhere at all.
    Tad es iešu viena pati! - paziņoja Dacīte. Protams, viņa saprata, ka vienu pašu un vēlu vakarā ārā nelaidīs.     - Then I'll go alone! - Dacīte declared. Of course, she realized that she would never be allowed to go out alone so late in the evening.
    Tagad būtu laiks aizmirst, ka viņa ir liela meitene, un palaist LIELO RAUDIENU, bet... Pie durvīm atskanēja zvans, pat divas reizes! Vecmāmiņa! Dacīte metās pie durvīm. Patiesi, tā bija viņas mīļā vecmāmiņa!     Now it would be the right time to forget that she is already a big girl, and to start bitterly weeping, but… And then the doorbell rang - even twice! It's Granny! Dacīte rushed to the door. Indeed, it was her dear granny!
    Tu raudāji?     - Were you crying?
    Jā, no vecmāmiņas neko nevarēja noslēpt.     Yes, you could never hide anything from Granny.
    Tā, nedaudz... Zini, viņi nekur netaisās iet...     - Well, just a little ... You know, they're not going anywhere...
    Nu, nu... To mēs vēl redzēsim! - viņa noglāstīja mazmeitai galvu.     - There, there... We'll see to that! - she stroked her granddaughter's head.
    "Par ko vecmāmiņa runāja ar vecākiem, tā arī palika noslēpums. Pēc brīža viņa atgriezās un paziņoja: - Mēs abas iesim! Ģērbies ātri!"     Whatever the granny was telling to her parents, it remained a secret. A moment later she returned and said: - We are both going! Get dressed fast!
    "Mīļā, labā vecmāmiņa! Dacīte palēcās ar abām kājām gaisā, ja viņai būtu veselas četras kā Mikum, viņa palēktos ar visām četrām! Viņa ies!"     Dear, sweet Granny! Dacīte jumped up with both feet in the air; if she had had four feet like Mikus, she would jump with all four! They are going!
    "Kamēr vecmāmiņa ar vecākiem dzēra tēju, Dacītei mugurā jau bija jaka, Mikus iebāzts kabatiņā, bet tā, lai viņš visu redzētu un dzirdētu. Šoreiz pat zābaciņu aukliņas vai pašas sašņorējās. "     While her Granny with her parents were drinking tea, Dacīte had already put on her jacket, Mikus was stuck into the pocket, but so that he could see and hear everything. This time, even the laces of her boots seemed to have tied as if by themselves.
    Jau uz lieveņa varēja dzirdēt māmiņas piekodinājumu, lai viņas abas nepazūd tajā cilvēku jūrā. Un tad vecmāmiņai pie rokas Dacīte iekāpa liftā. Vēl brīdis, un autobusa pietura bija klāt.     When already standing on the doorstep, they could hear Mommy's admonition to both of them not to get lost in the huge crowd of people. And then, holding Granny's hand, Dacīte stepped into the elevator. In a few minutes they had reached the busstop.

    Te, it kā no gaisa nokritis, ietves malā apstājās tramvajs. Tas pats brīnišķīgais senlaiku tramvajs, ar kuru Dacīte jau vienreiz bija braukusi. Bet... nevar būt! Te taču nemaz nebija tramvaja sliežu, tramvaji parasti brauc pa sliedēm un pieturas pie vadiem vai varbūt pat pie debesīm ar tādiem gariem ragiem kā taureņiem...     Then, like appearing as a bolt from the blue, a tram stopped at the edge of the pavement. It was the same wonderful old tram that Dacīte had once travelled on. But - something quite impossible! There were not any tram rails here, trams usually run along rails and hold onto wires or maybe even onto heaven using such long horns like butterflies...
    Pa tramvaja priekšdurvīm galvu pabāza vadītājs ar tik milzīgu sidrabaini baltu bārdu, kādu Dacīte bija redzējusi tikai filmās un grāmatās. Bārdā mirdzēja savādas zīmes. Dziedošā balsī viņš mudināja kāpt vagonā: - Nāc, nākdama, tautumeita... Beigas Dacīte īsti nesadzirdēja.     Through the front door of the tram, the driver stuck out his head, and the head was embellished with such a huge silvery white beard, that Dacīte had only seen in movies and books. Some strange characters shone in the beard. In a singing voice he urged to climb the wagon: - Come on, come, pretty folk-maid... Dacīte didn't really hear the end of the song
    Tad vadītājs aicināja jau skaļāk, bet tikpat dziedošā balsī: - Laipni lūdzu! Kāpiet iekšā!     Then the driver called louder, but in the same singing voice: -Everybody is welcome! Please, step in!
    Vagonā jau sēdēja daži braucēji, vecākiem klēpī arī vairāki bērni. Tad durvis aizvērās un sākās brīnumainais brauciens. Ik pa brīdim tramvajs apstājās un kāds vai kādi iekāpa.     Some passengers were already sitting in the wagon, and also several children sat on their lap. Then the door was closed and the miraculous journey began. Now and again the tram stopped and one or more persons stepped in.
    Skaties! - vecmāmiņas roka pieskārās Dacītes plecam.     - Have a look! - Granny put her hand on Dacīte's shoulder.
    Tur iet Bille ar savu vecmāmiņu! Viņas vienmēr un visur iet tikai kājām!     - There goes Bille and her grandmother! They always and everywhere go only on foot!
    Bille? - Dacīte nesaprata.     - Bille? - Dacīte could not understand.
    Bille ir maza meitenīte, tāda kā tu, no Vizmas Belševicas grāmatas. Gan jau izlasīsi, kad iesi skolā.     "Bille is a little girl just like you, only from the book by Vizma Belshevica. You will manage to read it when you go to school."
    Dacīte aizdomājās. Kāpēc gan gaidīt veselu gadu, lai izlasītu grāmatu par mazo meitenīti, ar vārdu kā zvaniņš, ja viņa pati jau māk lasīt? Rīt pat viņa aizies uz bibliotēku un paņems to grāmatu!     Bille grew thoughtful. Why should she wait a whole year to read a book about a little girl with the word like bell, if she can already read? She will go to the library and pick up the book already tomorrow!
    Tramvajs apstājās, iekāpa kāds vīrs melnā, garā mētelī ar platmali galvā.     The tram stopped, a man in a black, long coat with a hat on his head stepped in.
    Pats Aleksandrs Čaks! - paziņoja tramvaja vadītājs.     " Aleksandrs Čaks himself!" - tram driver announced.
    Braucēji noelsās – pats Dzejnieks!     The passengers gasped - the Poet himself!
    Vai jaunkundze mani nepazīst? - Dzejnieks vērsās pie Dacītes.     - Doesn't the young lady recognize me? - The poet approached Dacīte.
    Dacīte klusēja, it kā redzēta seja, bet kur? Tad Dzejnieks noņēma platmali.     Dacīte was silent. Most probably she had seen the face, but where exactly? Then the Poet took off his hat.
    Kā elektriskā spuldze, vai ne?     - Just like an electric bulb, right?
    Pazīstu! Jums ir piemineklis pie skolas. Bet tikai tā galva...     - Yes, I do recognize! You have a monument at school. But there is only the head there...
    Nu redzi, te esmu es pats!     - Well, here I am now in person!
    "Ziniet, neviens neticēs, ka es esmu jūs satikusi... - Dacīte kautrīgi nočukstēja.     " - You know, no one will believe that I've met you ... Dacīte whispered shyly.
    Čaks atpogāja mēteli, izvilka no iekškabatas blociņu un melnu pildspalvu. Pajautājis, kā Dacīti sauc, viņš kaut ko ierakstīja blociņā un kopā ar pildspalvu pasniedza meitenei. Dacīte vispirms paskatījās uz vecmāmiņu. Drīkst ņemt? Taču vecmāmiņa tikai pamāja ar galvu.      Čaks unbuttoned his coat, took a small paper pad and a black pen from his inside pocket. Having asked what is Dacīte's name, he wrote something in the pad and handed it to the girl together with a pen. Dacīte looked at her Granny first. May I take it? But the Granny just nodded.
    - Paldies... - nočukstēja Dacīte un iebāza abus dārgumus jakas iekškabatā, rūpīgi aizvelkot rāvējslēdzēju."     - Thank you... Dacīte whispered and put both treasures in the inner pocket of her jacket and carefully pulled the zipper closed."
    Tad tramvajs atkal apstājās, iekāpa vēl kāds.     Then the tram stopped again, and another man came in.
    Kārlis Skalbe, - Dacītei pie auss klusu paskaidroja vecmāmiņa.     - This is Kārlis Skalbe[1], - Granny quietly whispered to Dacīte.
    Kārlis Skalbe! Tas pats, kurš uzrakstīja “Kaķīša dzirnavas”!     - Karlis Skalbe! The very person who wrote the book "The Kitty's Mill"!
    Rakstnieks apsēdās viņām tieši pretī. Kā viņa pati to nebija sapratusi? No rakstnieka kabatas uz viņu skatījās BALTAIS KAĶĪTIS!     The writer sat down just opposite them. Why hadn't she understood that? It was THE WHITE KITTY looking at her from the writer's pocket.
    Vai es drīkstu viņu paglaudīt? - Dacīte pastiepa roku.     - May I caress it? - Dacīte stretched out her hand.
    Bet, lūdzu, meitiņ! - Kārlis Skalbe laipni pasmaidīja.     - Of course, you are welcome! - Karlis Skalbe gave her a kind smile.
    Dacīte noglaudīja kaķīti. Kaķītis (cik viņš bija balts un pūkains!), nopētījis meiteni, iedarbināja savas dzirnaviņas - MUR, MUR, MURR.     Dacīte caressed the kitty. The kitty (how white and fluffy it was!), examined the girl and launched its grinding melody: - MUR, MUR, MURR.
    Mikus sāka kabatā dīdīties, tas nozīmēja: - Laidiet mani ārā!     Mikus began to fidget in the girl's pocket, it meant: - Let me out!
    Dacīte izvilka Miku un pastiepa uz kaķīša pusi. Abi viens otru apošņāja, tad sadevās ķepās, šķita, ka abi viens otram ir iepatikušies. Tramvajs apstājās un vadītājs paziņoja: - GALAPUNKTS!     Dacīte pulled Mikus out and reached it towards the kitty. Both of them sniffed one another, then joined their paws, both seemed to be fond of each other. The tram stopped, and the driver said: - DESTINATION!
    Visi izkāpa, līņāja sīks lietutiņš. Pils tornī smagi šūpojās Latvijas karogs. Augstās sienas pakājē vējā plīvoja svecīšu liesmiņas. Māmiņai bija taisnība, nodomāja Dacīte, te bija cilvēku jūra. Viņa ciešāk pieķērās vecmāmiņai pie piedurknes.     Everyone got out. There was a slight drizzle. The flag of Latvia was rolling heavily in the castle tower. At the foot of the high wall, the flames of small candles were fluttering in the wind. Mommy was right, Dacīte thought, there was an awful lot of people. She clung closer to her Granny's sleeve.

    Skaties, tur nāk Rainis un Aspazija! - vecmāmiņa pagrieza Dacīti uz Vecrīgas pusi, bet nokavēja, abi bija nozuduši cilvēku drūzmā. Uz paaugstinājuma vairāki cilvēki kaut ko runāja, bet īsti nevarēja sadzirdēt, vējš no Daugavas puses aiznesa vārdus tālumā.     " Look, there comes Rainis and Aspazija! "- Granny turned Dacīte towards the Old Town, but they were too late, both poets were lost in the crowd of people. Several people on the platform were making speeches, but it was difficult to hear them, the wind from the river Daugava carried the words far away.
    Skanēja mūzika, visi sāka dziedāt Latvijas himnu “DIEVS, SVĒTĪ LATVIJU!”. Dziedāja arī vecmāmiņa un Dacīte. Pēkšņi Dacīte izdzirdēja pazīstamu balsi: - Paskaties uz augšu, debesīs! Tas bija tramvaja vadītājs, un aiz viņa... ak!     The music sounded, everyone started singing the Latvian anthem "GOD, BLESS LATVIA!" Granny and Dacīte also sang. Suddenly Dacīte heard a familiar voice: - Look up, look in the sky! It was the tram driver and behind him ... oh, dear me!
    Tieši virs Daugavas, augstu debesīs, caur mākoņu vāliem šurp lidoja miglas tēli - pelēki vīri, bērni un sievas.     Just above the Daugava, high in the sky, through clouds some misty figures were moving hither - gray men, children and wives.
    Tie ir mūsu varoņi, visi, kas krita par Latvijas brīvību. Strēlnieki Brīvības cīņās, nacionālie partizāni, izsūtītie, kas tā arī neatgriezās Dzimtenē... Lūk, tur pulkvedis Kalpaks, tā ir Elza Žiglevica, viņa krita no lodes tepat – Daugavmalā, 1919.gada novembrī, tur Hermīne Puriņa, kas atdeva dzīvību, sargājot Latvijas robežu no Sarkanarmijas uzbrukuma 1940.gadā, naktī no 14. uz 15.jūniju. Visi, kuri mira ar Latvijas vārdu uz lūpām... Mūžības skartie... Aleksandrs Čaks viņu priekšā noliec galvu... Atceries viņus visus!     - These are our heroes, all, who have fallen for the freedom of Latvia. Riflemen in Freedom Battles, national partisans, the exiled ones, who never returned to their Native land... There is Colonel Kalpaks[1], Elza Ziglevica, she fell from the enemy bullet right here at the bank of Daugava in November 1919, there is Hermine Purina, who gave life, guarding the Latvian border from the Red Army attack in 1940, on the night from 14th to 15th June. Everyone who died with the word "Latvia" on their lips ... The ones touched by the Eternity... Aleksandrs Čaks lowered his head paying his respects to them... Do remember them all!
    Dacītei kaklā sakāpa kamols, viņa norija asaras. Arī Mikum pār vaigu noritēja asariņa, bet varbūt tā vienkārši bija lietus lāse... Sākās ilgi gaidītā uguņošana. Debesīs uzplauka krāšņi ziedi visās varavīksnes krāsās, skatītāji aplaudēja un urravoja līdz pat pēdējai raķetei.     Dacīte was grasping for breath, she was moved to tears. Mikus also held a tear on the cheek, but maybe it was just a rain blob… The long-awaited fireworks started. Gorgeous flowers in all the rainbow colours flourished in the sky, the onlookers applauded and shouted "Hurrah" until the last rocket.
    Tad miglas tēli pazuda. Vēlreiz izskanēja Latvijas himna, pamazām visi izklīda. Tikai svecīšu liesmiņas plīvoja, spītējot vējam.     Then the misty images disappeared. Once again, the Latvian anthem was heard, and gradually all people dispersed. Only the candle flames kept fluttering, despite the wind.
    Nākamajā rītā, vēl samiegojusies, Dacīte tā arī neatcerējās, kā viņa un vecmāmiņa nokļuva mājās. Varbūt ar autobusu, varbūt nākušas kājām? Kas īsti vakar notika? Un vispār - tas bija sapnis vai īstenība?     Next morning, still quite sleepy, Dacīte could not remember how she and her Granny got home. Maybe by bus, or maybe they came on foot? What happened yesterday? And who can tell now - was it a dream or a reality?
    Tad Dacīte plati iepleta acis - uz naktsgaldiņa, pie viņas dīvāniņa, sēdēja Mikus, blakus rotaļu lācītim Aleksandra Čaka dāvinātais blociņš, bet ķepās - melna pildspalva ar uzrakstu MONTBLANC.     Then Dacīte opened her eyes in surprise - Mikus was sitting on the bedside table at her sofa, next to the toy bear there was the block-note presented by Aleksandrs Čaks, but between the kitty's paws was a black fountainpen with the inscription MONTBLANC.
    Kopš vakardienas neizslēgtais radio virtuvē atskaņoja himnu “DIEVS, SVĒTĪ LATVIJU!”     The radio in the kitchen which had not been switched off since yesterday was playing the anthem "GOD, BLESS LATVIA!"

Get the Workshop Guidelines here: DOWNLOAD

Title of the digitized story: The Star Tram

Title of the digitized book: The Star Tram

Author: Juris Zvirgzdins

Other type of responsibilities: Illustrator Gundega Muzikante. Tanslated by the Society “Creative Ideas”

Place of publishing: Riga

Publisher: Pētergailis

Date of publishing: 2018

Language: Latvian

Script: Latin

Format: Paper book

URL: /

Rights: CC by SIA “Petergailis”, Juris Zvirgzdiņš, Gundega Muzikante

Description: The story is about a girl and her love for her country – Latvia.

Get the digitized story: DOWNLOAD

Read the story in different languages

Zvjezdani tramvaj

Juris Zvirgzdiņš

Dacīte je cijelu noć nemirno spavala, vrtjela se s jedne strane na drugu, čas joj je bilo hladno, čas vruće, iznenada bi se njezina mala deka smotala poput prave paukove mreže, a onda bi joj cijela pobjegla pod noge. Mikus, njezin voljeni plišani medo, koji je obično spavao pored nje na jastuku, otkotrljao se na pod s glasnim treskom, a kada ga je podignula, zatreptao je prijekorno svojim okruglim crnim očima.

Napokon je svanulo jutro. Kuća je bila tiha, jako, jako tiha. Njezini su roditelji spavali kao da je danas običan dan, ali Dacīte je znala da je napokon došao dan VELIKE SVEČANOSTI! Svi u njezinoj grupi u vrtiću su o tome govorili, organizirano je natjecanje u crtanju na kojem su Dacīte i njezina najbolja prijateljica Ingrid podijelile prvo i drugo mjesto. Ingrid je vodenim bojama nacrtala latvijsku zastavu i tri zlatne zvijezde, iako to uopće nije tako lagano, a Dace je nacrtala panoramu Rige sa svim crkvenim tornjevima i svečanim pozdravom.

Dacīte je na prstima otišla u kupaonicu i oprala se, oprala je čak i uši i zube. Kakve to ima veze ako ju nitko ne vidi? Ali Mikus? Gledao ju je svojim bistrim okruglim očima.

Mama i tata su i dalje hrkali u svojoj spavaćoj sobi. Kako mogu tako dugo spavati na tako važan dan? Naravno, mogla je nešto baciti na pod s glasnim treskom – onako, slučajno, ali što? Ne, bolje ne! Što ako se njezini roditelji razljute? To se već ranije znalo dogoditi i Dacīte to uopće nije voljela.

Napokon su se probudili i svi su zajedno doručkovali – jeli su vrući tost sa sirom i pili kakao. Dace je stavila zdjelicu s medom pred Mikusa, ali medo nije ništa pojeo, možda je bio uzbuđen  – HOĆE LI IĆI ili NEĆE, HOĆE LI ga uzeti sa sobom – ili možda NEĆE?

Dacīte je prebirala po knjigama. Jedna je bila predebela, druga pretanka, čak i ona koju su Mikus i ona najviše voljeli – ona o mačkovom mlinu, koju su čitali i ponovno čitali nije ju danas uopće zanimala… Svako malo bi otrčala prema prozoru. Pa ipak mora vidjeti pada li još uvijek kiša. Možda je kiša prestala?

I tako je prošao dan i došla je večer. NAPOKON! Dacīte više nije mogla izdržati. Dojurila je u sobu svojih roditelja. Nevjerojatno – čak i na današnji dan oboje su sjedili za svojim računalima.

„No dakle, što ti je na umu, moja velika kćeri?“ okrene otac glavu.

„Idemo?“ Dacīte je gotovo zamuckivala od uzbuđenja.

„Kuda idemo?“ upita tata.

„Pa gledati v-a-t-r-o-m-e-t! Na  obali! Obećali ste mi!“ i onda je zaplakala.

„Ne znam, možda…“ tata pogleda mamu.

„Ali obećali ste mi!“ uporna je bila Dacīte.

„Znaš, htio sam još malo raditi…“

Osjećalo se da je ovo za tatu neugodna situacija. To se uvijek moglo primijetiti.

Dacīte pogleda prema mami.

„Znaš Dacīte…“ mama je tražila prave riječi. „Možda je bolje da ostanemo kod kuće. Nedavno si bila prilično bolesna…“

„Bila sam bolesna ali sad sam potpuno zdrava! I idem u vrtić! A danas će biti vatromet!“ sada je uspjela izgovoriti ovako tešku riječ bez poteškoća.

„Ali vatromet možemo gledati na televiziji, a zamisli samo – bit će velika gužva, jako puno ljudi…“

Bilo je jasno da njezini roditelji nemaju namjeru nikuda ići.

„Onda idem sama!“ izjavila je Dacīte. Naravno, bilo joj je jasno da joj neće dozvoliti da izađe sama tako kasno navečer.

Sada bi bilo pravo vrijeme da zaboravi kako je već velika djevojčica i počne plakati, ali…

A onda se začulo zvono – čak dva puta. Evo bake!

Dacīte odjuri do vrata. I doista, bila je to njezina draga baka!

„Zar si plakala?“

Da, baki nikada ništa ne promakne.

„Pa, samo malo… Znaš, oni ne idu nikuda…

„Hajde, hajde… Vidjet ćemo još“! pogladila je unuku po glavi.

Ostalo je tajnom što je baka rekla njezinim roditeljima. Trenutak kasnije se vratila i rekla: „Idemo nas dvije! Brzo se odjeni!“

Draga, mila baka! Dacīte poskoči visoko u zrak s obje noge, da ima četiri noge poput Mikusa, poskočila bi na sve četiri! Ići će!

Dok su baka i njezini roditelji pili čaj, Dacīte je već odjenula jaknu, Mikusa je stavila u džep ali tako da može sve vidjeti i čuti. Ovaj se put činilo kao da su se i vezice na njezinim čizmama same zavezale.

Kad su već stajale na pragu čule su mamina upozorenja da se ne izgube u velikom mnoštvu ljudi. A onda je, držeći baku za ruku, Dacīte ušla u dizalo. Za nekoliko minuta stigle su na autobusnu postaju.

A onda, kao da se pojavio nikuda, tramvaj se zaustavio na rubu nogostupa. Bio je to onaj divni stari tramvaj u kojem se Dacīte već jednom vozila. Ali – nešto je bilo potpuno nemoguće! Ovdje nije bilo tramvajskih tračnica, a tramvaji obično voze po tračnicama i spojeni su s električnim vodom ili možda nebom pomoću dugih rogova koje sliče leptirima…

Kroz prednja vrata tramvaja pojavi se glava vozača, ukrašena velikom srebrnastom bijelom bradom kakvu je Dacīte vidjela samo u filmovima i knjigama. Na bradi su sjajili neki neobični znakovi. Pjevnim glasom pozvao ih je da se popnu u kola: „Hajde, hajde, uđite lijepe djevojke…“ Dacīte nije čula kraj pjesme.

Vozač je onda zazvao glasnije, istim pjevnim glasom:

„Svi su dobro došli! Molim uđite!“

Neki su putnici već sjedili u kolima, a nekoliko je djece sjedilo na njihovim krilima. Vrata su se zatvorila i čarobno je putovanje započelo.

Tramvaj bi se povremeno zaustavio i jedan ili više putnika bi ušlo.

„Pogledaj!“ baka stavi ruku na Dacītino rame.

„Evo Bille i njezine bake! One uvijek i svuda idu pješice!“

„Bille?“ Dacīte nije razumjela.

„Bille je mala djevojčica, baš kao i ti, samo iz knjige Vizme Belševice . Pročitat ćeš ju kad kreneš u školu.

Dacīte se zamisli. Zašto da čeka cijelu godinu da pročita knjigu o djevojčici čije ime zvuči poput zvona, kad već sada zna čitati? Otići će u knjižnicu i već sutra posuditi knjigu!

Tramvaj se zaustavi, a u njega uđe muškarac u dugom crnom kaputu, sa šeširom na glavi.

„Aleksandrs Čaks  glavom i bradom!“ najavi vozač tramvaja.

Putnici su ostali bez daha – zar pjesnik osobno!

„Zar me mlada dama ne prepoznaje?“ pjesnik je prišao k Dacīte.

Dacīte je šutjela. Vjerojatno je vidjela ovo lice, ali gdje točno?

A onda je pjesnik skinuo šešir.

„Baš kao električna žarulja, zar ne?“

„Da, prepoznajem te! U našoj je školi tvoj spomenik. Ali prikazana je samo glava…“

„Pa evo me sada ovdje, osobno.“

„ Ali, nitko mi neće vjerovati da sam vas srela…“ sramežljivo šapne Dacīte.

Čaks otkopča kaput, uzme mali blok i crno nalivpero iz unutrašnjeg džepa. Upita Dacīte kako se zove, zabilježi nešto u blok i dade ga djevojčici zajedno s nalivperom. Dacīte najprije podigne pogled prema baki. Mogu li to uzeti? Baka je samo kimnula.

„Hvala vam…“ šapne Dacīte, stavi oba blaga u unutarnji džep svoje jakne i pažljivo povuče zatvarač.

Tramvaj se opet zaustavi i u njega uđe još jedan muškarac.

„Ovo je Kārlis Skalbe “ tiho šapne baka.

„Kārlis Skalbe! Upravo onaj koji je napisao knjigu „Macin mlin“!

Pisac sjedne nasuprot njima.

Što to nije razumjela? Iz pjesnikova džepa gledala ju je BIJELA MACA.

„Mogu li je pomaziti?“ Dacīte je ispružila ruku.

„Naravno, samo izvoli!“ Kārlis Skalbe joj se ljubazno nasmiješi.

Dacīte je milovala macu. Maca (kako je samo bila bijela i pahuljasta!) je promatrala djevojčicu i počela presti: PRR, PRR, PRRRR.

Mikus se počeo vrpoljiti u njezinom džepu što je značilo:

„Pusti me van!“

Dacīte izvuče Mikusa i približi ga maci. Oni su se onjušili, a onda su spojili šape, izgleda da su se dopali jedno drugom.

Tramvaj se zaustavio i vozač reče: „ODREDIŠTE!“

Svi su izašli van. Sipila je lagana kišica. Latvijska zastava se vijorila na kuli dvorca. U podnožju visokog zida, plamičci malih svijeća treperili su na vjetru. Mama je bila u pravu, pomisli Dacīte, bilo je strašno puno ljudi. Primakla se bliže baki.

„Gledaj dolaze Rainis i Aspazija !“ baka je okrenula Dacīte prema Starom gradu, ali bilo je prekasno, pjesnici su već nestali u vrevi.

Nekoliko ljudi na pozornici je držalo govore, ali bilo ih je teško čuti jer je vjetar s rijeke Zapadne Dvine odnosio njihove riječi u daljinu.

Začula se glazba i svi su zapjevali latvijsku himnu „BOŽE BLAGOSLOVI LATVIJU!“

Baka i Dacīte su također pjevale.

Odjednom Dacīte začuje poznati glas: „Gledaj gore, pogledaj nebo! Bio je to vozač tramvaja, a iza njega… o Bože!“

Malo iznad Zapadne Dvine, visoko na nebu, kroz oblake su se magloviti likovi pomicali ovamo – sijedi muškarci, djeca i žene.

„To su naši junaci, oni koji su pali za slobodu Latvije. Strijelci iz borbi za slobodu, narodni partizani, izbjeglice, oni koji se više nisu nikada vratili u rodnu zemlju… Evo pukovnika Kalpaksa , Elze Ziglevice, ona je poginula od neprijateljskog metka upravo tu na obali Zapadne Dvine u studenom 1919., evo Hermine Purina koja je dala svoj život braneći latvijsku granicu od napada Crvene armije 1940., u noći s 14. na 15. lipanj. Svi oni koji su poginuli s riječju „Latvija“ na usnama… Oni koje je dotaknula vječnost… Aleksadrs Čaks pognuo je glavu odajući im počast… Sjećajte se svih njih!

Dacīte je hvatala dah, ganuta do suza. I Mikusu je niz obraz kliznula suza, ali to je možda bila i kapljica kiše…

Započeo je dugo očekivani vatromet. Prekrasni cvjetovi u svim duginim bojama ukrašavali su nebo, promatrači su pljeskali i vikali „Hura“ do zadnje rakete.

A onda su magloviti likovi nestali. Ponovno se začula latvijska himna i ljudi su se polagano počeli razilaziti. Samo su svjetla svijeća nastavila treperiti usprkos vjetru.

Sljedećeg jutra, još prilično pospana, Dacīte se nije mogla sjetiti kako su ona i baka došle kući. Možda autobusom, ili su možda pješačile? Što se jučer dogodilo? I tko sad može reći – je li to bio san ili stvarnost?

A onda je Dacīte u čudu otvorila oči – Mikus je sjedio na stoliću kraj kreveta, a kraj mede je bio blok za bilješke koji je darovao Aleksandrs Čaks, a u šapama je držao crno nalivpero s natpisom MONTBLANC.

Radio u kuhinji je bio upaljen još od jučer i na njemu je svirala himna „BOŽE BLAGOSLOVI LATVIJU!“

______________________________________________________

Get the story in Croatian here: DOWNLOAD

Zvaigžņu tramvajs

Juris Zvirgzdiņš

Visu nakti Dacīte grozījās no vieniem sāniem uz otriem, te viņai bija auksti, te karsti, te sedziņa savērpās īstā zirnekļu tīklā, te aizbēga pavisam kājgalī. Mikus, viņas mīļais rotaļu lācītis, kurš parasti gulēja viņai blakus uz spilvena, ar skaļu blīkšķi novēlās uz grīdas, bet pacelts pārmetoši blisināja melno pogu acis.

Beidzot pienāca rīts. Mājā valdīja klusums, ļoti, ļoti liels klusums. Vecāki gulēja tā, it kā šodien būtu parasta diena, bet Dacīte zināja, ka beidzot bija pienākuši LIELIE SVĒTKI! Par to runāja visa viņas bērnudārza grupiņa, bija noticis zīmējumu konkurss, kurā Dacīte un viņas labākā draudzene Ingrīda dalīja pirmo un otro vietu. Ingrīda uzzīmēja Latvijas karogu un trīs zelta zvaigznes ar ūdenskrāsām, lai gan tas nav nemaz tik viegli, bet Dacīte – Rīgas panorāmu ar visiem baznīcu torņiem un svētku salūtu.

Uz pirkstgaliem ielavījusies vannas istabā, Dacīte nomazgājās, pat ausis izmazgāja, iztīrīja zobus. Kas par to, ka neviens neredz? Bet Mikus? Viņš skatījās uz Daci savām spožajām pogu acīm.

Mamma un tētis guļamistabā turpināja šņākuļot. Šādā dienā tik ilgi gulēt? Protams, viņa varēja it kā nejauši kaut ko ar troksni nomest zemē, bet ko? Nē, labāk nē! Ja nu vecāki sadusmojas? Ir gadījies, un to Dacītei nemaz negribētos.

Beidzot viņi pamodās, visi kopā brokastoja – ēda karstmaizītes ar sieru un dzēra kakao. Dacīte arī Mikum nolika priekšā trauciņu ar medu, bet lācītis neko neēda, varbūt viņš bija satraucies – VIŅI IES vai NEIES, ŅEMS viņu līdzi vai NEŅEMS?

Dacīte šķirstīja grāmatas. Viena bija par biezu, cita par plānu, pat viņas un Mikus mīļākā, tā par kaķīša dzirnavām, lasīta un pārlasīta, šodien nemaz nelasījās… Ik pa brīdim viņa pieskrēja pie loga. Jāredz taču vai vēl arvien līst. Varbūt jau pārstājis?

Tā pagāja diena un pienāca vakars. BEIDZOT! Ilgāk tas vairs nebija izturams. Dacīte iesteidzās vecāku istabā. Abi, kaut kas neticams, šajā dienā sēdēja pie saviem datoriem.

Nu, kas uz sirds manai lielajai meitai? – tētis pagrieza galvu.

Mēs iesim? – Dacīte uztraukumā gandrīz sāka stostīties.

Iesim? – tētis pārjautāja.

“Nu, skatīties u-gu-ņo-ša-nu-u! Uz krastmalu! Tu man apsolīji! – un viņai

paspruka lielais raudiens.”

Es nezinu, varbūt… – tētis paskatījās uz māmiņu.

Tu solīji! – Dacīte palika pie sava.

Zini, es gribēju vēl pastrādāt…

Varēja just, ka tētis nejutās īsti savā ādā. To vienmēr varēja redzēt. Dacīte paskatījās uz māmiņas pusi.

Dacīt, Tu zini… –  māmiņa meklēja vārdus. – Varbūt labāk pasēdēsim mājās. Tu vēl nesen slimoji…

“Slimoju, bet tagad esmu vesela! Uz bērnudārzu es taču eju! Un tur būs

uguņošana! – šoreiz tik grūtais vārds izdevās bez aizķeršanās.”

“Uguņošanu mēs varam noskatīties televīzijā, un padomā – tur būs

milzīgs pūlis, cilvēku jūra…”

Bija saprotams, ka vecāki nekur negrasās iet.

Tad es iešu viena pati! – paziņoja Dacīte. Protams, viņa saprata, ka vienu pašu un vēlu vakarā ārā nelaidīs.

Tagad būtu laiks aizmirst, ka viņa ir liela meitene, un palaist LIELO RAUDIENU, bet… Pie durvīm atskanēja zvans, pat divas reizes! Vecmāmiņa! Dacīte metās pie durvīm. Patiesi, tā bija viņas mīļā vecmāmiņa!

Tu raudāji?

Jā, no vecmāmiņas neko nevarēja noslēpt.

Tā, nedaudz… Zini, viņi nekur netaisās iet…

Nu, nu… To mēs vēl redzēsim! – viņa noglāstīja mazmeitai galvu.

“Par ko vecmāmiņa runāja ar vecākiem, tā arī palika noslēpums. Pēc brīža

viņa atgriezās un paziņoja: – Mēs abas iesim! Ģērbies ātri!”

“Mīļā, labā vecmāmiņa! Dacīte palēcās ar abām kājām gaisā, ja viņai būtu

veselas četras kā Mikum, viņa palēktos ar visām četrām! Viņa ies!”

“Kamēr vecmāmiņa ar vecākiem dzēra tēju, Dacītei mugurā jau bija jaka,

Mikus iebāzts kabatiņā, bet tā, lai viņš visu redzētu un dzirdētu. Šoreiz pat zābaciņu aukliņas vai pašas sašņorējās. ”

Jau uz lieveņa varēja dzirdēt māmiņas piekodinājumu, lai viņas abas nepazūd tajā cilvēku jūrā. Un tad vecmāmiņai pie rokas Dacīte iekāpa liftā. Vēl brīdis, un autobusa pietura bija klāt.

Te, it kā no gaisa nokritis, ietves malā apstājās tramvajs. Tas pats brīnišķīgais senlaiku tramvajs, ar kuru Dacīte jau vienreiz bija braukusi. Bet… nevar būt! Te taču nemaz nebija tramvaja sliežu, tramvaji parasti brauc pa sliedēm un pieturas pie vadiem vai varbūt pat pie debesīm ar tādiem gariem ragiem kā taureņiem…

Pa tramvaja priekšdurvīm galvu pabāza vadītājs ar tik milzīgu sidrabaini baltu bārdu, kādu Dacīte bija redzējusi tikai filmās un grāmatās. Bārdā mirdzēja savādas zīmes. Dziedošā balsī viņš mudināja kāpt vagonā: – Nāc, nākdama, tautumeita… Beigas Dacīte īsti nesadzirdēja.

Tad vadītājs aicināja jau skaļāk, bet tikpat dziedošā balsī: – Laipni lūdzu! Kāpiet iekšā!

Vagonā jau sēdēja daži braucēji, vecākiem klēpī arī vairāki bērni. Tad durvis aizvērās un sākās brīnumainais brauciens. Ik pa brīdim tramvajs apstājās un kāds vai kādi iekāpa.

Skaties! – vecmāmiņas roka pieskārās Dacītes plecam.

Tur iet Bille ar savu vecmāmiņu! Viņas vienmēr un visur iet tikai kājām!

Bille? – Dacīte nesaprata.

Bille ir maza meitenīte, tāda kā tu, no Vizmas Belševicas grāmatas. Gan jau izlasīsi, kad iesi skolā.

Dacīte aizdomājās. Kāpēc gan gaidīt veselu gadu, lai izlasītu grāmatu par mazo meitenīti, ar vārdu kā zvaniņš, ja viņa pati jau māk lasīt? Rīt pat viņa aizies uz bibliotēku un paņems to grāmatu!

Tramvajs apstājās, iekāpa kāds vīrs melnā, garā mētelī ar platmali galvā.

Pats Aleksandrs Čaks! – paziņoja tramvaja vadītājs.

Braucēji noelsās – pats Dzejnieks!

Vai jaunkundze mani nepazīst? – Dzejnieks vērsās pie Dacītes.

Dacīte klusēja, it kā redzēta seja, bet kur? Tad Dzejnieks noņēma platmali.

Kā elektriskā spuldze, vai ne?

Pazīstu! Jums ir piemineklis pie skolas. Bet tikai tā galva…

Nu redzi, te esmu es pats!

“Ziniet, neviens neticēs, ka es esmu jūs satikusi… – Dacīte kautrīgi nočukstēja.

Čaks atpogāja mēteli, izvilka no iekškabatas blociņu un melnu pildspalvu. Pajautājis, kā Dacīti sauc, viņš kaut ko ierakstīja blociņā un kopā ar pildspalvu pasniedza meitenei. Dacīte vispirms paskatījās uz vecmāmiņu. Drīkst ņemt? Taču vecmāmiņa tikai pamāja ar galvu.

– Paldies… –  nočukstēja Dacīte un iebāza abus dārgumus jakas iekškabatā, rūpīgi aizvelkot rāvējslēdzēju.”

Tad tramvajs atkal apstājās, iekāpa vēl kāds.

Kārlis Skalbe, – Dacītei pie auss klusu paskaidroja vecmāmiņa.

Kārlis Skalbe! Tas pats, kurš uzrakstīja “Kaķīša dzirnavas”!

Rakstnieks apsēdās viņām tieši pretī. Kā viņa pati to nebija sapratusi? No rakstnieka kabatas uz viņu skatījās BALTAIS KAĶĪTIS!

Vai es drīkstu viņu paglaudīt? – Dacīte pastiepa roku.

Bet, lūdzu, meitiņ! – Kārlis Skalbe laipni pasmaidīja.

Dacīte noglaudīja kaķīti. Kaķītis (cik viņš bija balts un pūkains!), nopētījis meiteni, iedarbināja savas dzirnaviņas – MUR, MUR, MURR.

Mikus sāka kabatā dīdīties, tas nozīmēja: – Laidiet mani ārā!

Dacīte izvilka Miku un pastiepa uz kaķīša pusi. Abi viens otru apošņāja, tad sadevās ķepās, šķita, ka abi viens otram ir iepatikušies. Tramvajs apstājās un vadītājs paziņoja: – GALAPUNKTS!

Visi izkāpa, līņāja sīks lietutiņš. Pils tornī smagi šūpojās Latvijas karogs. Augstās sienas pakājē vējā plīvoja svecīšu liesmiņas. Māmiņai bija taisnība, nodomāja Dacīte, te bija cilvēku jūra. Viņa ciešāk pieķērās vecmāmiņai pie piedurknes.

Skaties, tur nāk Rainis un Aspazija! – vecmāmiņa pagrieza Dacīti uz Vecrīgas pusi, bet nokavēja, abi bija nozuduši cilvēku drūzmā. Uz paaugstinājuma vairāki cilvēki kaut ko runāja, bet īsti nevarēja sadzirdēt, vējš no Daugavas puses aiznesa vārdus tālumā.

Skanēja mūzika, visi sāka dziedāt Latvijas himnu “DIEVS, SVĒTĪ LATVIJU!”. Dziedāja arī vecmāmiņa un Dacīte. Pēkšņi Dacīte izdzirdēja pazīstamu balsi: – Paskaties uz augšu, debesīs! Tas bija tramvaja vadītājs, un aiz viņa… ak!

Tieši virs Daugavas, augstu debesīs, caur mākoņu vāliem šurp lidoja miglas tēli – pelēki vīri, bērni un sievas.

Tie ir mūsu varoņi, visi, kas krita par Latvijas brīvību. Strēlnieki Brīvības cīņās, nacionālie partizāni, izsūtītie, kas tā arī neatgriezās Dzimtenē… Lūk, tur pulkvedis Kalpaks, tā ir Elza Žiglevica, viņa krita no lodes tepat – Daugavmalā, 1919.gada novembrī, tur Hermīne Puriņa, kas atdeva dzīvību, sargājot Latvijas robežu no Sarkanarmijas uzbrukuma 1940.gadā, naktī no 14. uz 15.jūniju. Visi, kuri mira ar Latvijas vārdu uz lūpām… Mūžības skartie… Aleksandrs Čaks viņu priekšā noliec galvu… Atceries viņus visus!

Dacītei kaklā sakāpa kamols, viņa norija asaras. Arī Mikum pār vaigu noritēja asariņa, bet varbūt tā vienkārši bija lietus lāse… Sākās ilgi gaidītā uguņošana. Debesīs uzplauka krāšņi ziedi visās varavīksnes krāsās, skatītāji aplaudēja un urravoja līdz pat pēdējai raķetei.

Tad miglas tēli pazuda. Vēlreiz izskanēja Latvijas himna, pamazām visi izklīda. Tikai svecīšu liesmiņas plīvoja, spītējot vējam.

Nākamajā rītā, vēl samiegojusies, Dacīte tā arī neatcerējās, kā viņa un vecmāmiņa nokļuva mājās. Varbūt ar autobusu, varbūt nākušas kājām? Kas īsti vakar notika? Un vispār – tas bija sapnis vai īstenība?

Tad Dacīte plati iepleta acis – uz naktsgaldiņa, pie viņas dīvāniņa, sēdēja Mikus, blakus rotaļu lācītim Aleksandra Čaka dāvinātais blociņš, bet ķepās – melna pildspalva ar uzrakstu MONTBLANC.

Kopš vakardienas neizslēgtais radio virtuvē atskaņoja himnu “DIEVS, SVĒTĪ LATVIJU!”

______________________________________________________

Get the story in Latvian here: DOWNLOAD

The Star Tram

Juris Zvirgzdiņš

All night long Dacīte was tossing from one side to another, now she felt cold, now it was hot, suddenly her little blanket curled like a real spider web, now it fled completely to her feet. Mikus, her beloved teddy bear; who usually slept beside her on the pillow, now rolled to the floor with a loud bang, but when raised, blinked his black button eyes with reproach.

Finally the morning came. The house was quiet, very, very quiet. Her parents slept as if they expected a normal day today, but Dacīte knew that THE BIG FESTIVITY had finally come! Everybody in her nursery group was talking about it, there had been a drawing contest, in which Dacīte and her best friend, Ingrid, shared the first and second places. Ingrid drew with watercolours the Latvian flag and three gold stars, although it is not so easy at all, but Dace drew the panorama of Riga, with all the church towers and a festive salute.

Dacīte tiptoed into the bathroom and washed herself, even washed her ears, and brushed her teeth. What does it matter if no-one sees her? But how about Mikus? He was looking at her with his bright button eyes.

Mom and Daddy were still snoring in their bedroom. How can they sleep so long on such an important day? Of course she could drop some object on the ground with loud bang – as if by accident, but what exactly? No, better not! What if her parents get angry? Such things have happened before, and Dacīte wouldn’t like it at all.

Finally they woke up, all of them breakfasted together – eating hot toasts with cheese and drinking cocoa. Dace also placed a honey bowl in front of Mikus, but the bear did not eat anything, maybe he was excited – WILL THEY GO, or WON’T THEY, SHALL THEY take him along – or maybe NOT?

Dacīte was browsing through the books.  One was too thick, another one too thin, even the one which she and Mikus liked most of all – the one about the cat’s mill, that had been read and reread, today did not interest her at all… Every now and then she ran to the window. After all, she must see if it still raining. Maybe the rain has stopped?

So the day passed and the evening arrived. AT LAST! Dacīte could not endure it any longer. She ran into her parents’ room. Unbelievable – even on this day both of them sat at their computers.

– Well, what’s on your mind now, my big daughter? – dad turned his head.

– Shall we go? – Dacīte nearly started to stutter in excitement.

– To go where? – dad asked.

– Well, to watch the f-i-r-e-w-o-r-k-s! On the embankment! You promised me! – and she burst into tears.

– I don’t know, maybe … – Daddy looked at Mom.

– But you promised me! – Dacīte insisted.

– You know, I wanted to do some more work…

You could feel that the situation was very uncomfortable for Dad. It could always be seen. Dacīte looked towards Mommy.

– Dacīte, you know … – Mommy was looking for words. – Maybe we should better stay at home. Recently You were quite ill…

– I was ill, but now I am in good health! Yet I go to the kindergarten! And today there will be the fireworks! – this time she could pronounce such a difficult word quite easily.

–  But we can watch fireworks on TV, and just imagine – there will be a huge crowd, an awful lot of people…

It was obvious that the parents did not intend to go anywhere at all.

–  Then I’ll go alone! – Dacīte declared. Of course, she realized that she would never be allowed to go out alone so late in the evening.

Now it would be the right time to forget that she is already a big girl, and to start bitterly weeping, but… And then the doorbell rang – even twice! It’s Granny! Dacīte rushed to the door. Indeed, it was her dear granny!

– Were you crying?

Yes, you could never hide anything from Granny.

– Well, just a little … You know, they’re not going anywhere…

– There, there… We’ll see to that! – she stroked her granddaughter’s head.

Whatever the granny was telling to her parents, it remained a secret. A moment later she returned and said: – We are both going! Get dressed fast!

Dear, sweet Granny! Dacīte jumped up with both feet in the air; if she had had four feet like Mikus, she would jump with all four! They are going!

While her Granny with her parents were drinking tea, Dacīte had already put on her jacket, Mikus was stuck into the pocket, but so that he could see and hear everything. This time, even the laces of her boots seemed to have tied as if by themselves.

When already standing on the doorstep, they could hear Mommy’s admonition to both of them not to get lost in the huge crowd of people. And then, holding Granny’s hand, Dacīte stepped into the elevator. In a few minutes they had reached the bus stop.

Then, like appearing as a bolt from the blue, a tram stopped at the edge of the pavement. It was the same wonderful old tram that Dacīte had once travelled on. But – something quite impossible! There were not any tram rails here, trams usually run along rails and hold onto wires or maybe even onto heaven using such long horns like butterflies…

Through the front door of the tram, the driver stuck out his head, and the head was embellished with such a huge silvery white beard, that Dacīte had only seen in movies and books. Some strange characters shone in the beard. In a singing voice he urged to climb the wagon: – Come on, come, pretty folk-maid… Dacīte didn’t really hear the end of the song

Then the driver called louder, but in the same singing voice: -Everybody is welcome! Please, step in!

Some passengers were already sitting in the wagon, and also several children sat on their lap. Then the door was closed and the miraculous journey began. Now and again the tram stopped and one or more persons stepped in.

– Have a look! – Granny put her hand on Dacīte’s shoulder.

– There goes Bille and her grandmother! They always and everywhere go only on foot!

– Bille? – Dacīte could not understand.

“Bille is a little girl just like you, only from the book by Vizma Belshevica. You will manage to read it when you go to school.”

Bille grew thoughtful. Why should she wait a whole year to read a book about a little girl with the word like bell, if she can already read?  She will go to the library and pick up the book already tomorrow!

The tram stopped, a man in a black, long coat with a hat on his head stepped in.

” Aleksandrs Čaks himself!” – tram driver announced.

The passengers gasped – the Poet himself!

– Doesn’t the young lady recognize me? – The poet approached Dacīte.

Dacīte was silent. Most probably she had seen the face, but where exactly? Then the Poet took off his hat.

– Just like an electric bulb, right?

– Yes, I do recognize! You have a monument at school. But there is only the head there…

– Well, here I am now in person!

” – You know, no one will believe that I’ve met you … Dacīte whispered shyly.

Čaks unbuttoned his coat, took a small paper pad and a black pen from his inside pocket. Having asked what is Dacīte’s name, he wrote something in the pad and handed it to the girl together with a pen. Dacīte looked at her Granny first. May I take it? But the Granny just nodded.

– Thank you… Dacīte whispered and put both treasures in the inner pocket of her jacket and carefully pulled the zipper closed.”

Then the tram stopped again, and another man came in.

– This is Kārlis Skalbe, – Granny quietly whispered to Dacīte.

– Karlis Skalbe! The very person who wrote the book “The Kitty’s Mill”!

The writer sat down just opposite them. Why hadn’t she understood that? It was THE WHITE KITTY looking at her from the writer’s pocket.

– May I caress it? – Dacīte stretched out her hand.

– Of course, you are welcome! – Karlis Skalbe gave her a kind smile.

Dacīte caressed the kitty. The kitty (how white and fluffy it was!), examined the girl and launched its grinding melody: – MUR, MUR, MURR.

Mikus began to fidget in the girl’s pocket, it meant: – Let me out!

Dacīte pulled Mikus out and reached it towards the kitty. Both of them sniffed one another, then joined their paws, both seemed to be fond of each other. The tram stopped, and the driver said: – DESTINATION!

Everyone got out. There was a slight drizzle. The flag of Latvia was rolling heavily in the castle tower. At the foot of the high wall, the flames of small candles were fluttering in the wind. Mommy was right, Dacīte thought, there was an awful lot of people. She clung closer to her Granny’s sleeve.

” Look, there comes Rainis and Aspazija! “- Granny turned Dacīte towards the Old Town, but they were too late, both poets were lost in the crowd of people. Several people on the platform were making speeches, but it was difficult to hear them, the wind from the river Daugava carried the words far away.

The music sounded, everyone started singing the Latvian anthem “GOD, BLESS LATVIA!” Granny and Dacīte also sang. Suddenly Dacīte heard a familiar voice: – Look up, look in the sky! It was the tram driver and behind him … oh, dear me!

Just above the Daugava, high in the sky, through clouds some misty figures were moving hither – grey men, children and wives.

– These are our heroes, all, who have fallen for the freedom of Latvia. Riflemen in Freedom Battles, national partisans, the exiled ones, who never returned to their Native land… There is Colonel Kalpaks, Elza Ziglevica, she fell from the enemy bullet right here at the bank of Daugava in November 1919, there is Hermine Purina, who gave life, guarding the Latvian border from the Red Army attack in 1940, on the night from 14th to 15th June. Everyone who died with the word “Latvia” on their lips … The ones touched by the Eternity… Aleksandrs Čaks lowered his head paying his respects to them… Do remember them all!

Dacīte was grasping for breath, she was moved to tears. Mikus also held a tear on the cheek, but maybe it was just a rain blob… The long-awaited fireworks started. Gorgeous flowers in all the rainbow colours flourished in the sky, the onlookers applauded and shouted “Hurrah” until the last rocket.

Then the misty images disappeared. Once again, the Latvian anthem was heard, and gradually all people dispersed. Only the candle flames kept fluttering, despite the wind.

Next morning, still quite sleepy, Dacīte could not remember how she and her Granny got home. Maybe by bus, or maybe they came on foot? What happened yesterday? And who can tell now – was it a dream or a reality?

Then Dacīte opened her eyes in surprise – Mikus was sitting on the bedside table at her sofa, next to the toy bear there was the block-note presented by Aleksandrs Čaks, but between the kitty’s paws was a black fountainpen with the inscription MONTBLANC.

The radio in the kitchen which had not been switched off since yesterday was playing the anthem “GOD, BLESS LATVIA!”

______________________________________________________

Get the story in English here: DOWNLOAD

Get the E-book!

Get the E-book of all the stories in English. Children's drawings included!

Enjoy reading!

Font Resize
Contrast