“My dear people! Your fealty and trust I shall reward and provide you with an  abundance of water. Right away thirteen lakes, with golden fish, shall spring up here as pride and joy of this countryside.’”

The Story of Plitvice Lakes

Priča o Plitvičkim jezerima / The story of the Plitvice Lakes

Priča o Plitvičkim jezerima / The story of the Plitvice Lakes 

Hinko Krapek  


    Bio je lijep i vrući ljetni dan. U šumi je vladala tajanstvena tišina. I same šumske ptice tražile su sjenovita mjestanca da se sakriju od silne žege. Na plavom nebu nisi mogao vidjeti oblačka, a nije bilo ni traga ugodnomu povjetarcu koji bi rashlađivao zrak. Sunce je stajalo visoko te je svojim žarkim tracima ljubilo i obasjavalo crnu zemlju. Teška sparina morila je već nekoliko tjedana poljane i gore. Ljudi i životinje, livade i vrtovi čeznuli su za okrepom, za blagom kišicom. Pa i sama Crna rijeka, koja je veselo žuborila između strmih litica, bijaše se posušila. Samo u malim kamenim izdubinama zadržavala se po koja kap vode, koju su pomno tražile sitne ptice da utaže ljutu žeđ. Povenula je i trava kraj obale, koja je prije tako bujno rasla i milim zelenilom razveseljavala putnika.     It was a splendid, hot summer’s day. Mysterious silence enveloped the woods. Even the forest birds sought shade and shelter from the scorching heat. Not a single cloud was in the sky, no trace of gentle breeze to cool off the air. The sun stood high above, blazing the dark earth as if kissing it. For weeks heavy heat was tormenting the fields and hills. People and animals, meadows and gardens, all craved for a breath of fresh air and some rain to bring relief. Even the “Black River” that used to gurgle between the steep cliffs went dry. Only a few drops of water remained here and there in the dents in stone, which little birds eagerly sought to quench their parched throats. Once growing so lush, its sweet, green colour delighting travellers, the grass on the lakeside, was withering too.
     Izdaleka i izbliza dolazio je narod ovamo jer je bio naučen da kod Crne rijeke nađe vode, da nađe okrepe. Zabadava je narod molio i vapio za blagom kišicom. Nebo se ne htjede dugo smilovati, premda ga je puk molio na koljenima.      People came from afar to visit this place, as they knew they should find water and cool off by the “Black River”. They prayed for gentle rain, but their prayers were left unanswered. For the longest time the sky denied them mercy, despite their earnest prayers.
     Odjednom začuše se u tihoj dolini trublje i svirale. Narod se okrenuo onamo odakle se čula čarobna svirka i opazi kako prosušenim koritom rijeke korača divna žena odjevena u crno odijelo, a imala je krunu na glavi i žezlo u ruci. Za lijepom ženom išla je sjajna pratnja. Promatrajući šumovite gore i hladovite doline te diveći se ljepotama onoga kraja, okrenu se svijetla gospođa svojoj pratnji te reče: 'Ovdje ćemo mi sagraditi naše dvore.'      But all of a sudden, they heard the sounds of trumpets and pipes coming from the valley. Turning their eyes towards the magical music, they saw a beautiful woman walking through the dried-out riverbed. She wore a black gown; a crown was on her head and a sceptre in her hand. A splendid retinue followed her. Looking upon the wooded mountains and valleys with cool shades, admiring the beauteous scenery, the fair-haired lady turned to her courtiers saying: ‘We shall build our palace here.’
     Kad je to narod vidio i čuo, ohrabri se odjednom te kliknu veselo: 'Bog te blagoslovio, crna kraljice!'     Upon hearing this, people suddenly came to life, and started to hail the lady joyfully, ‘God bless the Black Queen!’
     Narod se nije prevario jer je to zaista bila crna kraljica. Od Kapele pa do Velebita, od Une pa do sinjega mora poznavalo je svako dijete crnu kraljicu i njezina dobročinstva. Gdje je ona boravila, tu je cvala radost i sreća, kamo je ona dolazila, tamo nije bilo ni traga bijedi i nevolji. Od prastarih vremena poznavali su u Lici i Krbavi crnu kraljicu. Sijedi starci pričali su često o njezinoj dobroti i čudesima koja je činila. Ona je čuvala sirotinju, a kažnjavala je silu i nepravdu. U vrletnom Velebitu imala je ona svoje vilinske dvore, te je ponekad silazila u plodonosne ravnice Ličkoga polja i Gacke doline, gdje je svojom dobrotom usrećivala svoj narod.      And sure enough, it was the Black Queen. From the mountain ranges Kapela to Velebit, from the river Una to the grey sea, every child knew about the Black Queen and her gracefulness. Where she dwelled, joy and happiness flourished; wherever she set foot, poverty and misery were unknown. Since ancient times people in areas of Lika and Krbava knew about the Queen. Grey old men often used to tell of her kindness and ability to perform miracles. She was the guardian of the poor; she punished violence and injustice. From her fairy castle in craggy cliffs of Velebit she would sometimes descend to the lush planes of Lika and Gacka valley, touching people with her kindness, bestowing happiness upon them.
     'Vode nam daj, o uzvišena kraljice!' – stade vapiti narod. – 'Vode nam daj jer skapavamo od žeđi, mi i naše blago, a propadoše polja i livade.'      ‘Give us some water, oh noble queen,’ beseeched people. ‘Please give us water, we and our livestock are dying of thirst, for the drought has ruined our fields and meadows!’
     Na to će kraljica: 'Dragi moj narode! Ja ću nagraditi tvoju vjernost i povjerenje te ću ti dati vode u obilju. Ovaj čas stvorit će se ovdje trinaest jezera u kojima će se kupati zlatne ribice i koja će biti dika i ponos ovomu kraju.'     ‘My dear people! Your fealty and trust I shall reward and provide you with an abundance of water. Right away thirteen lakes, with golden fish, shall spring up here as pride and joy of this countryside.’
     Na kraljičinu zapovijed bude brzo zazidan izvor Crne rijeke. Tek što je to bilo gotovo, naoblači se nebo tamnim oblacima. Uz grmljavinu i bljesak spusti se silna kiša na zemlju, koja je okrijepila ljude i životinje, polja i livade. Kiša je padala čitavu noć, a voda je sve više rasla.     At the Queen’s command people swiftly put up a wall around the source of the Black River. Dark clouds soon covered the sky. With thunder and lightning heavy rain fell upon the land, bringing life to people and animals, to all the fields and meadows. All the night rain kept falling and water kept rising.
     Pred zoru stade puhati bura i rastjeravati oblake, a kad je sunce izlazilo, ne bijaše više ni oblačka na nebu. Sunce je obasjalo čitavu prirodu, a njegovi zlatni traci veselo su titrali po vrhuncima zelenih šuma te se ljupko smješkali glatkoj površini novoga jezera, koje je nastalo u koritu Crne rijeke. Obližnje šume gizdale su se svojim svježim zelenilom, a mile ptičice pjevale su vesele pjesme po grančicama vitkih jela i stoljetnih hrastova.      Nearing dawn, a violent storm broke, chasing away the clouds, so when the sun rose, the sky was perfectly clear and cloudless. Golden rays of sunshine lit up all of landscape, flickering merrily upon the green peaks and smiling lovingly upon the smooth surface of the lake which sprang into being in the Black River’s riverbed. The woods nearby flaunted their fresh greenery, and birds sang happily up on the branches of slender fir trees and centuries old oak trees.
     Poput rujne zore pokaza se lijepa kraljica na obali novoga jezera te progovori narodu koji se skupio da vidi to divno čudo: 'Narode moj! Tvoja je prošnja uslišana, te ti evo prvoga jezera koje ćeš nazivati „prošćanskim jezerom“.      Like a ruddy dawn, there at the new lake’s bank, beautiful queen appeared and spoke to the people who gathered here to witness this wonderful miracle: ‘My people! Your prayers have been answered, so there you have the first lake which you shall call the lake of p​​​r​​​a​​​y​​​e​​​r​​​–​​​P​​​r​​​o​​​š​​​ć​​​a​​​n​​​s​​​k​​​o​​​ jezero.’
     Marljive ruke stale su nositi na brijeg kamen po kamen, te se uskoro na vrhuncu brijega dizao ponosit kraljičin dvor. Narod je bio sretan i zadovoljan, a crna kraljica je poput bijele vile bdjela nad onim krajem, radujući se i sama Plitvičkim jezerima.     Diligent hands carried stones one by one up the hill, and soon people built a stately queen’s palace. Everyone gleamed with happiness, and the “Black queen” kept watch over the scenery like a fairy, delighting in the Plitvice lakes.
     I tako je prolazio dan za danom. Od usta do usta širila se priča o Plitvičkim jezerima i o dobroti crne kraljice, ali nju više nitko nije vidio. Velika tuga zavladala je u narodu jer se pronio glas da je umrla. S vremenom je dvor nad Kozjakom postao zapušten te se govorilo da se kraljica povukla u podzemne vilinske dvore kod Galovca i gornjega okrugljaka. Puk je hodočastio na ta mjesta i molio kraljicu da se pojavi ili da barem dade kakav znak da je živa.     And so, days went by. The story of Plitvice lakes and the “Black queen” was passed from mouth to mouth, but no one ever laid eyes upon her again. Great sorrow came over people as word went round that she was dead. Little by little, the palace over the lake Kozjak crumbled away, and the queen was said to have withdrawn into her underground fairy mansions around the lakes Galovac and upper Okrugljak. People made pilgrimages to these places, imploring the queen to show up or at least give them a sign she was alive.
     Jednoga dana začu se iz dubina Galovca ugodna svirka. Odjednom se digla voda iz Galovačkog jezera i stala se uz veliku buku prelijevati preko jedne pećine. Narod je razumio taj šum jer je to bio znak da je kraljica živa, i od tada se štuje taj vodopad.      One day a pleasant music was heard from the depths of the lake Galovac. Suddenly, its waters rose with a roaring noise and overflowed the cave. People knew what that swooshing sound meant: it was the sign that Queen was alive. From that time on people have worshipped this waterfall.
     Jednom je zaprijetila čitavoj okolici velika pogibelj. Silan vjetar diže se naglo i stade rušiti drvlje i kamenje. S brjegova tekli su od velike kiše curkom potoci i nosili mutnu vodu u jezera. Činilo se da je došao sudnji dan. U smrtnom strahu zatraži narod opet pomoć kod svoje dobre majke, crne kraljice. 'Ti, o dobra kraljice, uzmi nas u svoju zaštitu i moli boga za nas grješnike.'      At one time a great peril threatened the whole area. A violent squall rose and began to tear down trees and stones. With heavy rain, streams flowed from the hills, carrying the murky water into lakes. It was like judgement day. In mortal dread, people once more turned for help to their good mother, the Black Queen. ‘O, kind Queen, grant us your protection and pray to God for us sinners!’
     I munja bljesnu zrakom, a vjetar i kiša stadu jenjavati. Vodopad Galovca obasja neko čarobno svjetlo, a na jednoj pećini ukaza se narodu obožavana kraljica. Ljupkost i dostojanstvo sjalo je sa njezina lica, a iz plavih očiju sijevala je plemenitost i dobrota. Ma bila je prava kraljica.     A bolt of lightning flashed across the sky. Some kind of magical light shone on Galovac waterfall, and the people’s venerated queen suddenly came into sight by a cave. Her face was glowing with grace and dignity, and her eyes gleamed with generosity and benevolence; she was a true queen.
     Narod je pred njom pao na koljena kao pred sveticom, a ona reče umiljatim glasom: 'Narode, pouzdaj se u boga i u svoju kraljicu. Narode, ti si dobar, vjeran, poslušan i ustrajan. Ali ipak, doći će vrijeme kad će se tvoja ustrajnost pokolebati. Ali ti se ne daj, već se pouzdaj u boga. Ja ću bdjeti nad tobom i molit ću se za te.'     People fell upon their knees as if she was a saint, and in her sweet voice she spoke: ‘People, have faith in God and in your Queen. You are good, devoted, obedient and persevering. Yet, time will come when your perseverance will be swayed. Still, you must not give in, but have trust in God instead. I will watch over you and pray for you.’
     'A kad ćeš opet, o dobra kraljice, doći u našu sredinu?' – upita narod.     ‘And when shall you, oh fair Queen, again come to our side?’ the people asked.
     'Ja ću doći,' odvrati kraljica. 'Ali prije nego dođem, mnogo ćeš pretrpjeti. Vjeran i odan svojoj zemlji i svojoj vladalačkoj kući, bit ćeš ti dugo na straži kršćanstva te ćeš prolijevati krv za svoga vladara i domovinu. Vodit će se ljuti ratovi u kojima ćeš se i ti, moj narode, boriti da očuvaš slobodu i vjeru svoju. Ali sve to zlo neće uzdrmati tvoje vjernosti i odanosti. Kad u znak radosti usplamti oganj na Velebitu, Plješevici, Kiku i drugim vrhovima ovih kršnih gora, onda znaj da se ja približavam. Ja ću doći! Dim parobroda na jezeru Kozjaku bit će također znak da ja dolazim. Mojim dolaskom, narode, sinut će ti sunce ljepše budućnosti. Onda neće biti zapušteni tvoji hladoviti gajevi i lijepe doline te divna Plitvička jezera. Tvoja kraljica doći će ovamo, mili narode, ona će ovdje boraviti te će k njoj u pohode dolaziti gospoda svega svijeta da je vide i da se dive ljepoti ove zemlje i Plitvičkih jezera. Budi mi vjeran i odan, narode, a za uspomenu do moga dolaska dajem ti ovaj zlatni cvijet koji nalikuje mojoj kosi. Čuvaj taj cvijet, narode, a on će tebe čuvati od zla i sjećati te na tvoju kraljicu. Ostaj mi s bogom!'     ‘I shall come’, the Queen replied,’ but before my coming great suffering awaits you. As people faithful and loyal to your country and this ruling house, for a long time you will defend Christianity, shedding blood for your ruler and homeland. Grievous wars you shall lead here, fighting to preserve your freedom and your faith. But despite all that evil your faithfulness and fidelity will not sway. When, as a token of joy, bonfires flare up to the sky on mounts Velebit, Plješivica, Kik and other craggy peaks, you will know that I am drawing closer. I will come! Smoke from a steamship on the lake Kozjak will also herald my arrival. And then my people, the sun of a brighter future will shine on you. No more will your cool groves, dreamy valleys and beauteous Plitvice lakes be desolate. Your Queen shall come, my dear people, she will dwell here, and men of gentle birth from all over the world will pay a call to her, to see her and admire the beauties of this country and of the Plitvice lakes. Be faithful and loyal, my people. Always remember that I shall come, and take this golden flower resembling my hair as a keepsake. Watch over that flower, my people, and it shall keep you safe from evil and remind you of your Queen. Farewell!’
     I u to nesta kraljice, ali njezine riječi ostale su u srcu naroda. Cvijet se također sačuvao te ga pozna svatko u narodu. Jedni ga zovu Vladislavka, a drugi Košnjak, dok ga učenjaci nazivaju Gentiana lutea. Jezera imaju ljekovitu moć koju im je kraljica dala, a ljekovita je i Korana u koju se jezera izlijevaju. U srcu naroda još živi nada da će vidjeti svoju kraljicu te da će je pozdraviti iz tisuću grla: „Dobro nam došla, mila kraljice!“     And with that, the Queen had left, but her words stayed imprinted in people’s hearts. The flower was also preserved, so now everyone knows about it. Some call it Vladislavka, others Košnjak, while men of letters refer to it as Gentiana lutea. The lakes have healing powers that the Queen bestowed upon them, as well as the river Korana, into which the lakes are pouring. In their hearts people still hope to see their Queen and hail her in thousand voices, “Welcome our sweet Queen!"

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Title of the digitized story: The Story of Plitvice Lakes

Title of the book: Priča o Plitvičkih jezerah

Author: po narodnom pripoviedanju napisao Hinko Krapek

Other type of responsibilities: translated by the National and University Library in Zagreb

Place of publishing: Zagreb

Publisher: Ign. Granitz

Date of publishing: 1888

Language: Croatian

Script: Latin

Format: Paper

URL: http://urn.nsk.hr/urn:nbn:hr:238:747128

Rights: Public domain

Description: /

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La historia de los lagos Plitvice

Era un espléndido caluroso día de verano. Un misterioso silencio envolvía los bosques. Hasta los pájaros buscaban sombra y cobijo del calor sofocante. Ni una sola nube surcaba el cielo, ni un soplo de suave brisa refrescaba el aire. El sol se alzaba en lo alto del cielo, azotando la oscura tierra como si de un beso se tratase. Durante semanas, el intenso calor atormentó a los campos y colinas. Personas y animales, prados y jardines, todos anhelaban un soplo de brisa fresca y un poco de lluvia para proporcionar alivio. Hasta el Rio Negro, que solía gorjear entre los escarpados acantilados, se secó. Tan solo quedaron unas cuantas gotas de agua aquí y allá en los resquicios de las piedras, ansiadas por los pequeños pájaros para calmar sus gargantas resecas. Una vez tan exuberante, su dulce color verde había hecho las delicias de los viajeros, ahora la hierba de la orilla también se estaba secando.

La gente venía desde lejos para visitar este lugar, ya que sabían que podrían encontrar agua y refrescarse en el Rio Negro. Rezaban para que lloviese, pero sus plegarias no encontraban respuesta. El cielo les negaba clemencia desde hacía mucho tiempo, a pesar de sus más sinceras oraciones.

“Sin embargo, de repente, escucharon el sonido de trompetas y gaitas que provenía del valle. Al volver la vista hacia la mágica música, vieron a una bella mujer caminando por el rio seco. Llevaba una túnica negra, una corona lucía en su cabeza y un cetro en su mano. Un espléndido séquito la seguía. Tras observar las boscosas montañas y los valles con sus frescas sombras, admirando el bello paisaje, la mujer de cabellos claros se dirigió a sus cortesanos:

“Construiremos nuestro palacio aquí.””

“Al escuchar esto, la gente cobró vida y empezó a vitorear alegremente a la dama.

“¡Dios salve a la Reina Negra!””

Y sin lugar a dudas era la Reina Negra. Desde las montañas de Kapelahasta las de Velebit, desde el rio Una hasta el mar gris, todos los niños conocían a su majestad la Reina Negra. Allá donde moraba, brotaba la alegría y la felicidad; allá donde pisaba, la pobreza y la miseria se volvían desconocidas. Desde tiempos antiguos la gente del área de Lika y Krbava conocían a la Reina. Los ancianos solían hablar de su amabilidad y de su habilidad para obrar milagros. Ella era la guardiana de los pobres, castigaba la violencia y la injusticia. A veces descendía desde su castillo de hadas en las colinas escarpadas hasta las frondosas llanuras del valle de Lika y Gacka, obsequiando a la gente con su bondad y repartiendo felicidad.

“Dadnos agua, oh noble reina,” suplicaba la gente. “Por favor, dadnos agua, nos estamos muriendo de sed y nuestro ganado también, pues la sequía ha arruinado nuestras cosechas y nuestros prados.”

“¡Mi querido pueblo! Vuestra fidelidad y vuestra confianza debo recompensar, os proporcionaré abundante agua. Trece lagos con peces dorados surgirán aquí de inmediato, como así lo harán la alegría y el orgullo de este lugar.”

Siguiendo las órdenes de la reina, la gente, rauda y veloz, construyó una presa alrededor del nacimiento del Rio Negro. Nubes negras pronto cubrieron el cielo. Una gran lluvia con rayos y truenos cayó sobre la tierra, devolviéndole la vida a las personas y a los animales, a todos, las cosechas y prados. Llovió toda la noche y el agua no cesó.

Al acercarse el amanecer, una aterradora tormenta estalló dispersando las nubes, de tal modo que cuando salió el sol el cielo estaba perfectamente despejado y sin nubes. Los rayos dorados de sol iluminaban todo el paisaje, centellando felizmente sobre los verdes picos y sonriendo afablemente sobre la superficie del lago que brotó en el lecho del Rio Negro. Los bosques cercanos presumían de su fresco verdor, y los pájaros cantaban alegremente en las ramas de los esbeltos abetos y robles centenarios.

“Como un amanecer rubicundo en el nuevo lago, apareció la bella reina y se dirigió a la gente que allí se había reunido para presenciar aquel maravilloso milagro:

“¡Pueblo mío! Vuestras plegarias han sido escuchadas, he aquí vuestro primer lago, al que deberéis llamar el lago de la plegaria: Prošćanskojezero.’”

Las manos diligentes de la gente cargaron con las piedras una a una y pronto construyeron un majestuoso palacio para la reina. Todo el mundo irradiaba felicidad y la Reina Negra observaba la escena como si de un hada se tratase, deleitándose con los lagos Plitvice.

Y así, pasaron los días. La historia de los lagos Plitvice y de la Reina Negra fue transmitida de boca en boca, pero nadie volvió a verla. Una gran tristeza invadió a la gente cuando circuló el rumor de que había muerto. Poco a poco, el palacio del lago Kozjak se fue derrumbando, y se dijo que la reina se había retirado a sus mansiones subterráneas de hada en los lagos Galovac y Okrugljak alto. La gente peregrinaba a estos lugares e imploraba a la reina que apareciese o que al menos diese una señal de que seguía viva.

“Un día una agradable música se escuchó desde el fondo del lago Galovac. De repente, sus aguas se alzaron con un rugido e inundaron la cueva.

La gente sabía lo que ese silbido significaba: era la señal de que la Reina estaba viva. Desde entonces, la gente ha venerado esta cascada.”

“Hubo una vez en la que un gran peligro amenazó a todo el lugar. Se desató una fuerte borrasca que empezó a arrancar árboles y piedras. Con laintensa lluvia, riachuelos brotaban en las colinas, llevando agua turbia a los lagos. Fue como el día del Juicio Final. Con un miedo de muerte, la gente volvió a pedir ayuda a su buena madre, la Reina Negra.

“Oh, gentil Reina, ¡concedednos vuestra protección y rezad a Dios por nosotros pecadores!””

“Un rayo iluminó el cielo.  Algún tipo de luz mágica brilló sobre la cascada de Galovac y la reina venerada por el pueblo apareció de repente en una cueva. Su cara reflejaba gracia y solemnidad, y sus ojos brillaban con generosidad y benevolencia; era una reina de verdad.”

“El pueblo se arrodilló como si fuese una santa, y con su dulce voz dijo:

“Pueblo, tened fe en Dios y en vuestra Reina. Sois buenos, devotos, obedientes y perseverantes. A pesar de ello, llegará el día en el que vuestra perseverancia se tambalee, pero no debéis rendiros, sino confiar en Dios. Yo os cuidaré y rezaré por vosotros.”

“¿Y cuándo, oh justa Reina, volveréis a nuestro lado?” preguntó el pueblo.

““Volveré”, respondió la Reina, “pero antes de mi retorno, un gran sufrimiento os aguarda. Como pueblo fiel y leal a vuestro país y a esta casa real, deberéis defender la Cristiandad durante un largo tiempo, derramando sangre en nombre de vuestra reina y vuestra patria. Terribles guerras aquí emprenderéis, lucharéis para preservar vuestra libertad y vuestra fe. Sin embargo, a pesar de toda esa maldad, vuestra lealtad y fidelidad no se quebrantará. Cuando las hogueras iluminen el cielo sobre los montes de Velebit, Plješivica, Kik y otras cumbres escarpadas como muestra de vuestro júbilo, sabréis que me estoy acercando. ¡Vendré! El humo de un barco a vapor en el lago Kozjak también anunciará mi llegada. Y después, pueblo mío, el sol de un futuro más brillante os iluminará.

Ya no habrá más desolación en vuestras frescas arboledas, vuestros valles de ensueño y vuestros hermosos lagos de Plitvice. Vuestra Reina volverá, mi querido pueblo, aquí se quedará a vivir, y los hombres de alta alcurnia de todo el mundo le la visitarán para verla y admirar las maravillas de esta tierra y de los lagos Plitvice. Sed fieles y leales, pueblo mío. Recordad siempre que volveré, tomad como recuerdo esta flor dorada como mi cabello. Cuidad de esta flor, pueblo mío, y os guardará del mal y os recordará a vuestra Reina. ¡Adiós!””

“Y así, la Reina se marchó, pero sus palabras permanecieron grabadas en los corazones de la gente.

La flor también se conservó, pues hoy día todo el mundo la conoce. Algunos la llaman Vladislavka, otros Košnjak, mientras que los hombres ilustres se refieren a ella como Gentianalutea.

Los lagos tienen poderes sanadores otorgados por la Reina, así como también el rio Korana, donde desembocan los lagos.

En sus corazones la gente aún espera ver a su Reina y mil voces la aclaman: “¡Sea bienvenida nuestra dulce Reina!””

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Η ιστορία της λίμνης Plitvice

Ήταν μια θαυμάσια καυτή καλοκαιρινή μέρα. Μια μυστηριώδης σιωπή περιβάλλει το δάσος. Ακόμη και τα πουλιά του δάσους ζητούσαν σκιά και καταφύγιο από την καυτή ζέστη.

Δεν υπήρχε ούτε ένα σύννεφο στον ουρανό, κανένα ίχνος απαλό αεράκι για να δροσίσει. Ο ήλιος βρισκόταν ψηλά πάνω, καίγοντας τη σκοτεινή γη σαν να τη φιλάει. Για εβδομάδες υψηλή θερμοκρασία βασανίζει τα λιβάδια και τους λόφους. Οι άνθρωποι και τα ζώα, τα λιβάδια και οι κήποι, όλοι λαχταρούν για μια ανάσα καθαρού αέρα και κάποια βροχή για να φέρει ανακούφιση. Ακόμη και ο «μαύρος ποταμός» που κελάρυζε ανάμεσα στους απόκρημνους βράχους ξεράθηκε. Μόνο λίγες σταγόνες νερού παρέμειναν εδώ και εκεί στις πέτρες με πέτρες, που τα μικρά πουλιά με ανυπομονησία προσπάθησαν να ξεδιψάσουν τους ξεραμένους λαιμούς τους. Μόλις αναπτυσσόταν τόσο πλούσια, το γλυκό, πράσινο χρώμα που απολάμβανε τους ταξιδιώτες, το χορτάρι στην όχθη της λίμνης, ήταν μαραμένο.

Οι άνθρωποι ήρθαν από μακριά για να επισκεφτούν αυτό το μέρος, καθώς ήξεραν ότι έπρεπε να βρουν νερό και να δροσιστούν από τον «Μαύρο Ποταμό». Προσευχήθηκαν για ήπια βροχή, αλλά οι προσευχές τους έμειναν αναπάντητες. Για το μεγαλύτερο χρονικό διάστημα, ο ουρανός τους αρνήθηκε το έλεος, παρά τις σοβαρές προσευχές τους

Όμως, ξαφνικά, άκουσαν τους ήχους των σαλπίγγων και των σωλήνων που έρχονταν από την κοιλάδα. Στρέφοντας τα μάτια τους προς τη μαγική μουσική, είδαν μια όμορφη γυναίκα περπατώντας μέσα από το αποξηραμένο ποτάμι. Φορούσε ένα μαύρο φόρεμα. ένα στέμμα ήταν στο κεφάλι της και ένα σκήπτρο στο χέρι της. Μια μεγαλοπρεπής συνοδεία την ακολούθησε. Κοιτάζοντας τα καταπράσινα βουνά και τις κοιλάδες με δροσερές αποχρώσεις, θαυμάζοντας το όμορφο τοπίο, η ξανθιά κυρία στράφηκε προς τους αυλικούς της λέγοντας:

«Θα χτίσουμε εδώ το παλάτι μας».Ακούγοντας αυτό, οι άνθρωποι ξαφνικά  ζωντάνεψαν και άρχισαν να χαιρετούν την κυρία με χαρά, «Ο Θεός ευλογεί τη Μαύρη Βασίλισσα!»

Με βεβαιότητα, ήταν η Μαύρη Βασίλισσα. Από τις οροσειρές Kapela έως Velebit, από τον ποταμό Una έως τη γκρίζα θάλασσα, κάθε παιδί γνώριζε για τη μαύρη βασίλισσα και τη χάρη της. Εκεί όπου κατοικήθηκε, ευδοκίμησε η χαρά και η ευτυχία. οπουδήποτε περπατούσε, η φτώχεια και η δυστυχία ήταν άγνωστες. Από την αρχαιότητα οι άνθρωποι στις περιοχές της Λίκας και του Krbava γνώριζαν για τη βασίλισσα. Γκριζαρισμένοι ηλικιωμένοι συχνά συνηθίζουν να λένε για την καλοσύνη και την ικανότητά της να κάνει θαύματα. Ήταν ο φύλακας των φτωχών. τιμωρούσε τη βία και την αδικία. Από το κάστρο της νεράιδας ως τα βράχια του Velebit κατέβαινε μερικές φορές στα καταπράσινα πεδία της Λίκας και της κοιλάδας Gacka, αγγίζοντας τους ανθρώπους με την καλοσύνη της, χαρίζοντας την ευτυχία τους.

«Δώσε μας λίγο νερό, ωραία βασίλισσα», την ικέτευαν οι άνθρωποι. «Δώσε μας νερό, σε παρακαλούμε. Εμείς και τα ζώα μας πεθαίνουμε από τη δίψα, γιατί η ξηρασία κατέστρεψε τα χωράφια και τα λιβάδια μας».

«Αγαπημένοι μου! για την αφοσίωση και την εμπιστοσύνη σας θα ανταμείψω και θα σας δώσω άφθονο νερό. Μόλις δεκατρείς λίμνες, με χρυσά ψάρια, θα ξεπροβάλουν εδώ ως τιμή και χαρά αυτής της υπαίθρου ».

Κατά τη διοίκηση της Βασίλισσας, οι άνθρωποι γρήγορα έβαλαν έναν τοίχο γύρω από την πηγή του Μαύρου Ποταμού. Τα σύννεφα σύντομα κάλυψαν τον ουρανό. Με βροντές και κεραυνούς έπεσε πάνω στη γη βίαιη βροχή, φέρνοντας ζωή σε ανθρώπους και ζώα, σε όλα τα χωράφια και τα λιβάδια. Όλη η νυχτερινή βροχή πέφτει και η στάθμη του νερού συνεχίζει να ανεβαίνει

Ανατέλλοντας η αυγή, ξέσπασε μια ισχυρή καταιγίδα, εκδιώχοντας τα σύννεφα, οπότε όταν ο ήλιος ανέβαινε, ο ουρανός ήταν απόλυτα καθαρός και ανέφελος. Οι χρυσές ακτίνες του ήλιου έλαμψαν όλο το τοπίο, τρεμοπαίζοντας χαρούμενα στις πράσινες κορυφές και χαμογελώντας με χαρά στην απαλή επιφάνεια της λίμνης που έφτασε στην κοίτη του ποταμού του Μαύρου ποταμού. Τα δάση γύρω από το δάσος επιδεικνύουν τη φρέσκια πρασινάδα τους, και τα πουλιά τραγούδησαν ευτυχώς επάνω στα κλαδιά των λεπτών ελάτων και των αιώνων βελανιδιών

Όπως μια ξαφνική αυγή, εκεί στην τράπεζα της νέας λίμνης, εμφανίστηκε όμορφη βασίλισσα και μίλησε στους ανθρώπους που συγκεντρώθηκαν εδώ για να δουν αυτό το θαυμάσιο θαύμα: ‘Άνθρωποί μου! Οι προσευχές σας εισακούστηκαν, οπότε έχετε την πρώτη λίμνη την οποία θα ονομάσετε λίμνη της προσευχής-Prošćansko jezero.’ Τα επιμελή χέρια έφερναν πέτρες ένα προς ένα πάνω στο λόφο και σύντομα οι άνθρωποι έχτισαν το παλάτι της βασίλισσας. Όλοι έλαμψαν με ευτυχία και η “μαύρη βασίλισσα” παρακολουθούσε το τοπίο σαν μια νεράιδα, απολαμβάνοντας τις λίμνες του Plitvice.

Και έτσι, πέρασαν οι μέρες. Η ιστορία των λιμνών Plitvice και η “μαύρη βασίλισσα” πέρασε από στόμα σε στόμα, αλλά κανείς δεν την ξαναείδε. Μεγάλη θλίψη κατέλαβε τους ανθρώπους, όταν ακούστηκε πως ήταν νεκρή. Σιγά σιγά, το παλάτι πάνω από τη λίμνη Kozjak κατέρρευσε και η βασίλισσα λέγεται ότι έχει αποσυρθεί στην ονειρική έπαυλή της γύρω από τις λίμνες Galovac και πάνω από το Okrugljak. Οι άνθρωποι έκαναν προσκυνήματα σε αυτά τα μέρη, ζητώντας από τη βασίλισσα να εμφανιστεί ή τουλάχιστον να τους δώσει ένα σημάδι ότι ήταν ζωντανή. Μια μέρα ακούστηκε μια ευχάριστη μουσική από τα βάθη της λίμνης Galovac. Ξαφνικά, τα νερά της αυξήθηκαν με θόρυβο και ξεπέρασαν τη σπηλιά.

Οι άνθρωποι ήξεραν τι σήμαινε αυτός ο ήχος: ήταν το σημάδι ότι η Βασίλισσα ήταν ζωντανή. Από τότε οι άνθρωποι έχουν λατρεύσει αυτόν τον καταρράκτη.

Κάποτε ένας μεγάλος κίνδυνος απειλούσε ολόκληρη την περιοχή. Μια τρομακτική καταιγίδα προκλήθηκε και άρχισε να σκίζει δέντρα και πέτρες. Με έντονη βροχή, ρέουν ρέματα από τους λόφους, μεταφέροντας το σκοτεινό νερό σε λίμνες. Έμοιαζε με ημέρα κρίσης. Με θνητό φόβο, οι άνθρωποι επικαλέστηκαν για άλλη μια φορά την καλή μητέρα τους, τη Μαύρη Βασίλισσα.

«Ω, αγαπημένη Βασίλισσα, παραχωρήστε την προστασία σας και προσευχηθείτε στον Θεό για μας αμαρτωλούς!»

Ένα πλήθος κεραυνών έλαμψε στον ουρανό.Κάποιο είδος μαγικού φωτός έλαμψε στον καταρράκτη του Γκαλοκόβι και η σεβαστή βασίλισσα του λαού ξαφνικά ήρθε ως θέαμα από μια σπηλιά. Το πρόσωπό της ήταν λαμπερό με χάρη και αξιοπρέπεια, και τα μάτια της έλαμψαν με γενναιοδωρία και καλοσύνη. ήταν μια αληθινή βασίλισσα. Οι άνθρωποι έπεσαν στα γόνατά τους σαν να ήταν αγία και με τη γλυκιά φωνή της μίλησε:

«Οι άνθρωποι, έχετε πίστη στο Θεό και στη Βασίλισσά σας. Είστε καλοί, αφοσιωμένοι, υπάκουοι και επίμονοι. Ωστόσο, θα έρθει η ώρα που η επιμονή σας θα υποχωρήσει. Ακόμα, δεν πρέπει να ενδώσετε, αλλά να έχετε εμπιστοσύνη στο Θεό αντ ‘αυτού. Θα σας προσέχω και θα προσευχηθώ για εσάς.

“«Και πότε θα έρθετε ξανά στο πλευρό μας, ωραία βασίλισσα;» ρώτησαν οι άνθρωποι.

«Θα έρθω», απάντησε η Βασίλισσα, «αλλά πριν τον ερχομό μου μεγάλη μου ταλαιπωρία σας περιμένει. Ως άνθρωποι πιστοί και αφοσιωμένοι στη χώρα σας και σε αυτό το κυβερνώμενο σπίτι, για πολύ καιρό θα υπερασπιστείτε τον Χριστιανισμό, ρίχνοντας αίμα για τον κυβερνήτη και την πατρίδα σας. Τους θλιβερούς πολέμους θα οδηγήσετε εδώ, αγωνιζόμενοι για να διατηρήσετε την ελευθερία σας και την πίστη σας. Αλλά, παρά το κακό, η πίστη και η πιστότητα δεν θα επηρεαστούν. Όταν, ως ένδειξη χαράς, φωτιές φλεγόμενα μέχρι τον ουρανό στα βουνά Velebit, Plješivica, Kik και άλλες κορυφές, θα ξέρετε ότι έρχομαι πιο κοντά. Θα έρθω! Ο καπνός από ατμόπλοιο στη λίμνη Kozjak θα δηλώσει επίσης την άφιξή μου. Και τότε ο λαός μου, ο ήλιος ενός φωτεινότερου μέλλοντος θα σας λάμψει. Δεν θα είναι πλέον η έρημη δροσιά σας, οι ονειρεμένες κοιλάδες και οι όμορφες λίμνες Plitvice. Η βασίλισσα σας θα έρθει, αγαπητοί μου άνθρωποι, θα κατοικήσει εδώ, και οι άνδρες της ευγενικής καταγωγής από όλο τον κόσμο θα πληρώσουν να την δουν και θα θαυμάσουν τις ομορφιές αυτής της χώρας και των λιμνών της Plitvice. Να είστε πιστός και αφοσιωμένος,  λαός μου. Πάντα να θυμάστε ότι θα έρθω και θα πάρω αυτό το χρυσό λουλούδι που μοιάζει με τα μαλλιά μου ως αναμνηστικό. Παρακολούθησε αυτό το λουλούδι, λαέ μου, και θα σε κρατήσει ασφαλή από το κακό και θα υπενθυμίζει τη βασίλισσα σου. Σας αποχαιρετώ!’

Και με αυτό, η Βασίλισσα είχε μείνει, αλλά τα λόγια της έμεναν τυπωμένα στις καρδιές των ανθρώπων.

Το λουλούδι διατηρήθηκε, οπότε τώρα όλοι το γνωρίζουν. Κάποιοι το αποκαλούν Vladislavka, άλλοι Košnjak, ενώ οι άντρες γράφουν το γράμμα ως Gentiana lutea. Οι λίμνες έχουν θεραπευτικές ιδιότητες που η βασίλισσα τους έδωσε, όπως και ο ποταμός Korana, στον οποίο εκβάλλουν οι λίμνες. Στην καρδιά τους, οι άνθρωποι εξακολουθούν να ελπίζουν να δουν τη βασίλισσα τους και να της φωνάξουν με χίλιες φωνές,

“Καλώς ήρθες τη γλυκιά Βασίλισσα!”

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Stāsts par Plitvices Ezeriem

Tā bija lieliska un karsta vasaras diena. Noslēpumains klusums valdīja mežos. Pat meža putni meklēja pakrēsli un patvērumu no svelmainā karstuma. Debesīs nemanīja neviena paša mākoņa, nebija ne miņas, ka varētu nākt maiga vēja pūsma, kas atdzesētu gaisu. Saule stāvēja augstu virs galvas, izdedzinot tumšo zemi, gluži kā skūpstīdama to. Nedēļām ilgi mokošs karstums mocīja laukus un kalnus. Cilvēki un dzīvnieki, pļavas un dārzi, itin visi kāroja pēc svaiga gaisa malka un kaut neliela lietus, kas sniegtu atvieglojumu. Pat Melnā upe, kas agrāk urdzēja caur stāvajām klintīm, kļuva sausa. Šur un tur akmeņu iedobumos bija palikuši tikai daži ūdens pilieni, kurus rosīgi meklēja mazie putni, ļoti vēlēdamies dzesēt savas slāpju mocītās rīklītes. Ezermalas zāle, kura kādreiz auga tik sulīga un iepriecināja ceļotājus ar savām maigo, zaļo krāsu, nupat arī grasījās novīst.

Cilvēki nāca no tālienes, lai apmeklētu šo vietu, jo viņi zināja, ka pie Melnās upes varēs atrast ūdeni un veldzi. Viņi lūdzās, kaut nāktu  rāms lietutiņš, bet viņu lūgšanas palika bez atbildes. Jau tik ilgu laiku debesis liedza viņiem žēlastību, neskatoties uz viņu centīgajām lūgšanām.

Bet pēkšņi viņi no ielejas dzirdēja atskanam trompešu un tauru skaņas. Pavēršot acis uz burvīgās mūzikas pusi, viņi ieraudzīja skaistu sievieti soļojam pa izžuvušo upes gultni.Viņa valkāja melnu tērpu; viņai galvā bija kronis un rokā scepteris. Viņai sekoja lielisku pavadoņu svīta. Raudzīdamās uz mežiem klātajiem kalniem un ielejām, kuras sniedza vēsu paēnu, un apbrīnodama skaisto ainavu, gaišmatainā kundze vērsās pie saviem galminiekiem, teikdama:- “Šeit mēs uzbūvēsim savu pili.”

To dzirdot, cilvēki pēkšņi atdzīvojās, tie sāka godbijīgi un priecīgi sveikt sievieti, saukdami: – “Lai Dievs svētī Melno karalieni!”

Un, protams, tā bija Melnā karaliene. No Kapelas kalnu grēdām  līdz Velebitam, no Unas upes  līdz pat pelēkajai jūrai katrs bērns bija dzirdējis par Melno karalieni un viņas labo sirdi. Kur viņa dzīvoja, tur uzplauka prieks un laime; lai arī kur tā spēra kāju, nabadzība un ciešanas nebija zināmas. Kopš senseniem laikiem cilvēki Likas un Krbavas apkaimē zināja par Karalieni. Veci sirmgalvji bieži mēdza stāstīt par viņas laipnību un brīnumdarītājas spējām. Viņa bija nabadzīgo aizstāve; viņa sodīja vardarbību un netaisnību. No savas pasakainās pils Velebita kalna gālēs viņa dažreiz mēdza nokāpt līdz Likas un Gackas ieleju krāšņajiem līdzenumiem, aizkustinot  cilvēkus ar savu laipnību un dāvājot viņiem laimi.

“Dodiet mums kaut mazliet ūdens, ak cienījamā karaliene,”- cilvēki lūdzās. -“Lūdzu, dodiet mums ūdeni, mēs un mūsu mājlopi mirst no slāpēm, jo sausums ir izpostījis mūsu laukus un pļavas!”

“Mani dārgie ļaudis! Es apbalvošu jūsu paklausību un uzticību un sagādāšu jums  lielu daudzumu ūdens. Šajā pašā brīdī te uzradīsies trīspadsmit ezeri, pilni ar zeltainām zivīm, kļūstot par šīs apkārtnes lepnumu un prieku.”

Pēc Karalienes pavēles cilvēki ātri uzcēla valni visapkārt Melnās upes iztekas avotam. Drīz vien tumši mākoņi pārklāja debesis. Vienlaicīgi ar pērkonu un zibeni sāka gāzt stiprs lietus, nesot dzīvību cilvēkiem un dzīvniekiem, visiem laukiem un pļavām. Visu nakti nemitīgi lija lietus un ūdens līmenis turpināja celties.

Tuvojoties rītausmai, iesākās stipra vētra, kas aizdzenāja projām mākoņus, tā ka, saulei lecot, debesis bija pilnīgi skaidras un bez neviena mākoņa.  Saules zeltītie stari izgaismoja visu apkārtni,  līksmi mirguļojot uz zaļajām kalnu virsotnēm un jauki atspīdot uz gludās ezera virsmas – šis ezers bija izveidojies Melnās upes gultnē. Tuvumā esošie meži lepojās ar svaigu zaļumu, un putni priecīgi dziedāja slaidu egļu un gadsimtiem vecu ozolu zaros.

Līdzīga sārtai rītausmai, jaunā ezera krastā parādījās skaista karaliene  un uzrunāja  šeit sapulcējušos cilvēkus, kuri nāca pārliecināties par šo pārsteidzošo brīnumu:- “‘Mani ļaudis! Jūsu lūgšanas ir atbildētas, un tagad jums būs pirmais ezers, kuru jūs sauksiet par lūgšanu ezeru – Prošćansko jezero.”

Čaklas rokas pa vienam vien nesa augšā kalnā akmeņus, un pavisam drīz cilvēki uzbūvēja iespaidīgu karalienes pili. Ikviens staroja aiz laimes, un fejai līdzīgā  “Melnā karaliene” bija nomodā par radušos ainavu, izjūtot patiesu prieku par Plitvices ezeriem.

Un tā pagāja daudzas dienas. Stāsts par Plitvices ezeriem un „Melno karalieni”  gāja no mutes mutē, bet neviens nekad vairs netika viņu redzējis. Lielas bēdas pārņēma cilvēkus, jo izplatījās ziņas, ka viņa esot mirusi. Pamazām pils pie Kozjaka ezera sagruva, un ļaudis runāja, ka karaliene esot pārcēlusies uz savu pasakaino  pazemes mītni, kaut kur Galovaca un augšējā Okrugļaka ezera tuvumā. Cilvēki devās svētceļojumos uz šīm vietām, aicinot karalieni parādīties vai vismaz dot zīmi, ka viņa joprojām ir dzīva.

Kādu dienu no Galovaca ezera dziļumiem bija dzirdama jauka mūzika. Pēkšņi ezera ūdeņi, augstu uzbangojot ar šalcošu troksni, pārpludināja alu. Cilvēki saprata, ko nozīmē šāda šalcoša skaņa: tā bija zīme, ka Karaliene ir dzīva. Kopš tā laika cilvēki ir sākuši pielūgt šo ūdenskritumu.

Kādreiz lielas briesmas apdraudēja visu apvidu. Izcēlās briesmīgs viesulis, sākdams lauzt kokus un kustināt akmeņus. Stipra lietus izraisītas, no kalniem plūda veselas straumes, nesdamas tumši pelēko ūdeni uz ezeriem. Tā bija gluži kā pastarās tiesas diena. Nāves bailēs cilvēki atkal vērsās pēc palīdzības pie savas labās mātes, Melnās karalienes. – “Ak, laipnā Karaliene, dāvā mums savu aizsardzību un lūdz Dievu par mums grēciniekiem!”

Zibens šautra pārskrēja visām debesīm. Noslēpumaina gaisma sāka spīdēt pār Galovaca ūdenskritumu, un visas tautas godātā karaliene pēkšņi parādījās pie alas. Viņas seja izstaroja daiļumu un cieņu, un viņas acīs atmirdzēja cēlums un labvēlība; viņa bija īsta karaliene.

Cilvēki krita uz ceļiem, it kā viņa būtu svētā, un viņa ierunājās maigā balsī: – “Ļaudis, saglabājiet ticību Dievam un savai Karalienei. Jūs esat krietni, gatavi ziedoties, paklausīgi un neatlaidīgi. Tomēr pienāks laiks, kad jūsu neatlaidība tiks iedragāta. Bet jūs vienalga nedrīkstat padoties, jums jāsaglabā uzticība Dievam. Es būšu par jums nomodā, es lūgšos par jums.”

“Ak laipnā Karaliene! Kad gan jūs atkal atgriezīsieties mūsu pusē?”-  jautāja ļaudis.

“Es atgriezīšos, – Karaliene atbildēja, – bet pirms manas atnākšanas jūs gaida lieli pārbaudījumi. Kā ticīgi cilvēki, kas ir uzticīgi šai valstij un šai karaliskajai dzimtai, jūs ilgu laiku aizstāvēsiet kristietību, nežēlodami asinis sava valdnieka un dzimtenes labā. Jūs šeit izcīnīsiet smagas kaujas, cenšoties saglabāt savu brīvību un savu ticību. Bet neraugoties uz visur valdošo ļaunumu, jūsu uzticība un paļāvība paliks nesatricināma. Tajā brīdī, kad kā prieka simbols no Velebita, Plješivica, Kika kalna un citām klinšu virsotnēm augšup vīsies ugunskuru liesmas, jūs zināsiet, ka es esmu ceļā pie jums. Es atgriezīšos! Par manu ierašanos dos ziņu arī dūmi no kāda tvaikoņa Kozjaka ezera ūdeņos. Un tad, mana tauta, gaišākas nākotnes saule apspīdēs jūs. Nekad vairs jūsu vēsās birzis, sapņainās ielejas un skaistie Plitvices ezeri nejutīs izmisumu. Jūsu Karaliene atnāks, mani dārgie ļaudis, viņa dzīvos šeit, un augstdzimuši cilvēki no visas pasaules viesosies pie viņas, lai redzētu viņu un apbrīnotu gan šīs valsts, gan Plitvices ezeru skaistākās vietas. Esiet uzticīgi un lojāli, mani ļaudis. Vienmēr atcerieties, ka es nākšu, un kā piemiņas zīmi ņemiet šo maniem matiem līdzīgo zelta ziedu. Esiet nomodā par šo ziedu, mani ļaudis, un tas pasargās jūs no ļaunuma un atgādinās jums par savu Karalieni. Ardievu!”

“Un to pateikusi, karaliene devās projām, bet viņas vārdi atstāja nezūdošas pēdas cilvēku sirdīs. Zieds arī tika saglabāts, tāpēc tagad ikviens par to zina. Daži to sauc par vladislavku, citi – par košņjaku, bet izglītoti vīri to latīniski apzīmē kā Gentiana lutea (dzeltenā genciāna). Ezeriem ir Karalienes piešķirtās dziedinošas spējas, un tādas pašas ir arī Koranas upei, kurā šie ezeri ietek. Savās sirdīs cilvēki joprojām cer redzēt savu karalieni un sveicināt viņu tūkstoš balsīs:”Esi sveicināta, mūsu iemīļotā karaliene!”

No folkloras avotiem pierakstījis H. Krapeks

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Priča o Plitvičkih jezerah

Bio je liep i vruć ljetni dan. U šumi je vladala tajinstvena tišina. I same šumske ptice tražile su sjenovita mjestanca, da se sakriju od silne žege. Na plavom nebu nisi mogao vidjeti oblačka, a ne bilo ni traga ugodnomu povjetarcu, koji bi zrak rashladjivao. Sunce je stajalo visoko, te je svojimi žarkimi traci ljubilo i obasjavalo crnu zemlju. Težka sparina morila je već nekoliko tjedana poljane i gore. Ljudi i životinje, livade i vrtovi čeznuli su za okrepom, za blagom kišicom. Pa i sama „Crna rieka“, koja je veselo žuborila izmedju strmih liticah, bijaše se posušila. Samo u malih kamenih izdubinah podržavala se je po koja kap vode, koju su pomno tražile sitne ptice, da utalože ljutu žedju. Povehnula je i trava kraj obale, koja je prije toli bujno rastla i milim zelenilom razveseljavala putnika.

Iz daleka i iz bliza dolazio je narod ovamo, jer je bio naučen , da kod „Crne rieke“ nadje vode, da nadje okrepe. Zabadava je narod molio i vapio za blagom kišicom. Nebo se ne htjede dugo smilovati, premda ga je puk na koljenih molio.

U jedanput začuše se u tihoj dolini trublje i svirale. Narod se okrenu onamo, odakle se čula čarobna svirka, i opazi , kako prosušenim koritom rieke koraca divna žena, koja je bila obučena u crno odielo, a imala je krunu na glavi i žezlo u ruci. Za liepom ženom išla je sjajna pratnja. Promatrajuć šumovite gore i hladovite doline, te diveć se krasotam onoga kraja, okrenu se svietla gospoja svojoj pratnji te će reći:

–              Ovdje ćemo mi sagraditi naše dvore.

Kad je to narod vidio i čuo, ohrabri se u jedanput, te kliknu veselo:

–              Bog te blagoslovio, crna kraljice!

Narod se nije prevario, jer je to sbilja bila crna kraljica. Od Kapele pa do Velebita, od Une pa do sinjega mora poznavalo je svako diete crnu kraljicu i njezina dobročinstva. Gdje je ona boravila, tu je cvala radost i sreća, kamo je ona dolazila, tamo nije bilo ni traga biedi i nevolji. Od prastarih vremenah poznavali su u Lici i Krbavi crnu kraljicu. Siedi starci pričali su često o njezinoj dobroti i čudesih, koja je ona tvorila. Ona je čuvala sirotinju, a kaznila je silu i nepravdu. U vrletnom Velebitu imala je ona svoje vilinske dvore, te je kadkad salazila u plodonosne ravnice Ličkoga polja i Gacke doline, gdje je svojom dobrotom usrećivala svoj narod.

–              Vode nam daj, o uzvišena kraljice! stade vapiti narod. Vode nam daj, jer skapasmo od žedje, mi i naše blago, a propadoše polja i livade.

Na to će kraljica:

–              Dragi moj  narode! Ja ću nagraditi tvoju vjernost i povjerenje, te ću ti dati vode u obilju. Ovaj čas stvorit će se ovdje trinaest jezerah, u kojih će se kupati zlatne ribice, i koja će biti dika i ponos ovomu kraju.

Na kraljičinu zapovied bude brzo zazidan izvor Crne rieke. Tek što je to bilo gotovo, naoblači se nebo mrkimi oblaci. Uz grmljavinu i bliesak spusti se silna kiša na zemlju, koja je okriepila ljude i životinje, polja i livade. Kiša je padala čitavu noć, a voda je sve to više rastla.

Pred zoru stade duvati bura i razgoniti oblake, a kad je sunce izlazilo, na bijaše već ni oblačka na nebu. Sunce obasjalo čitavu prirodu, a njegovi zlatni traci veselo su titrali po vrhuncih zelenih šumah, te se ljubko osmieškivali na gladku površinu novoga jezera, koje je nastalo u koritu Crne rieke. Obližnje šume gizdale su se svojim svježim zelenilom, a mile ptičice pjevale su vesele pjesme po grančicah vitih jelah i stoljetnih hrastovah.

Poput rujne zore pokaza se liepa kraljica na obali novoga jezera, te progovori narodu, koji se je skupio, da vidi to divno čudo:

–              Narode moj! Tvoja je prošnja uslišana, te ti evo prvoga jezera, koje ćeš nazivati „prošćanskim jezerom“.

Marljive ruke stale su nositi na brieg kamen po kamen, te se je do malo na vrhuncu briega dizao ponosit kraljičin dvor. Narod je bio sretan i zadovoljan, a „crna kraljica“ je poput biele vile bdila nad onim krajem, radujuć se i sama Plitvičkim jezeram.

***

I tako je ginuo dan za danom. Od usta do usta išla je priča o Plitvičkih jezerah i o dobroti „crne kraljice“, al ona se više ne pomoli nikomu na oči. Velika tuga zavlada u narodu, jer se je pronio glas, da je ona umrla. Dvor nad Kozjakom zapustio se je malo po malo, te se je govorilo, da se je kraljica povukla u podzemne vilinske dvorove kod Galovca i gornjega okrugljaka. Puk je hodočastio na ta mjesta i molio kraljicu, da se pojavi, ili da barem dade kakav znak, da je živa. Jednoga dana začu se iz dubinah Galovca ugodna svirka. U jedanput dignu se voda iz galovačkog jezera i stade se uz veliku buku prelievati preko jedne pećine.

Narod je razumio taj šum, jer je to bio znak, da je kraljica živa, i od tada se štuje taj vodopad.

Jednoč je zaprietila čitavoj okolici velika pogibelj. Silan vihar diže se naglo i stade rušiti drvlje i kamenje. Sa briegova tekli su od velike kiše curkom potoci, i nosili mutnu vodu u jezera. Činilo se je, da je došao sudnji dan. U smrtnom strahu zatraži narod opet pomoć u svoje dobre majke, u crne kraljice.

–              Ti, o dobra kraljice, uzmi nas u svoju zaštitu i moli boga za nas griešnike.

I munja blisnu zrakom, a vihor i kiša stade jenjavati.

Vodopad Galovca obasja neko čarobno svjetlo, a na jednoj pećini ukaza se narodu obožavana Kraljica. Ljubkost i dostojanstvo sjalo je sa njezinoga lica, a iz plavih očijuh sievala je plemenština i dobrota, ma bila je prava kraljica. Narod je pao na koljena pred njom, kano pred sveticom, a ona reče umiljatim glasom:

–              Narode, pouzdaj se u boga i u svoju kraljicu. Narode, ti si dobar, vjeran, poslušan i uztrajan. Al ipak doći će vrieme, kad će se tvoja uztrajnost uzkolebati. Nu ti se nedaj, već se ufaj u boga. Ja ću bditi nad tobom i molit ću se za te.

–              A kad ćeš opet, o dobra kraljice, doći u našu sredinu? upita narod.

–              Ja ću doći, odvrati kraljica. Al prije nego dodjem mnogo ćeš pretrpiti. Vjeran i odan svojoj zemlji i svojoj vladalačkoj kući, bit ćeš ti dugo na straži kršćanstva, te ćeš proljevati krv za svoga vladara i otačbinu. Vodit će se ljuti ratovi, u kojih ćeš se i ti, moj narode, boriti, da očuvaš slobodu i vjeru svoju. Al sve to zlo neće uzdrmati tvoje vjernosti i odanosti. Kad u znak radosti uzplamti oganj na Velebitu, Pleševici, Kiku i drugih vrhovih ovih kršnih gorah, onda znaj, da se ja približujem. Ja ću doći! Dim parobroda na jezeru Kozjaku, bit će takodjer znak, da ja dolazim. Mojim dolazkom, narode, sinut će ti sunce ljepše budućnosti. Onda neće biti zapušteni tvoji hladoviti gajevi i ljepe doline, te divna Plitvička jezera. Tvoja kraljica doći će ovamo, mili narode, ona će ovdje boraviti, te će k njoj u pohode dolazit gospoda svega svieta, da ju vide i da se dive ljepoti ove zemlje i Plitvičkih jezerah. Budi mi vjeran i odan, narode, na uspomenu do moga dolazka dajem ti ovaj zlatni cviet, koji naliči mojoj kosi. Čuvaj taj cviet, narode, a on će tebe čuvati od zla i sjećat te na tvoju kraljicu. Ostaj mi s bogom!

***

I u to nesta kraljice, al njezine rieči ostale su u srdcu naroda.

Cviet se je takodjer sačuvao, te ga pozna svatko u narodu. Jedni ga zovu Vladislavka, a drugi Košnjak, dočim ga učenjaci nazivaju Gentiana lutea.

Jezera imadu ljekovitu moć, koju im je kraljica dala, a ljekovita je i Korana, u koju se jezera izlievaju.

U srdcu naroda žive još nada, da će vidjeti svoju kraljicu, te da će ju pozdraviti iz tisuću grla: „Dobro nam došla, mila kraljice!“

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The Story of the Plitvice Lakes

It was a splendid, hot summer’s day. Mysterious silence enveloped the woods. Even the forest birds sought shade and shelter from the scorching heat. Not a single cloud was in the sky, no trace of gentle breeze to cool off the air. The sun stood high above, blazing the dark earth as if kissing it. For weeks heavy heat was tormenting the fields and hills. People and animals, meadows and gardens, all craved for a breath of fresh air and some rain to bring relief. Even the “Black River” that used to gurgle between the steep cliffs went dry. Only a few drops of water remained here and there in the dents in stone, which little birds eagerly sought to quench their parched throats. Once growing so lush, its sweet, green colour delighting travellers, the grass on the lakeside, was withering too.

People came from afar to visit this place, as they knew they should find water and cool off by the “Black River”. They prayed for gentle rain, but their prayers were left unanswered. For the longest time the sky denied them mercy, despite their earnest prayers.

But all of a sudden, they heard the sounds of trumpets and pipes coming from the valley. Turning their eyes towards the magical music, they saw a beautiful woman walking through the dried-out riverbed. She wore a black gown; a crown was on her head and a sceptre in her hand. A splendid retinue followed her. Looking upon the wooded mountains and valleys with cool shades, admiring the beauteous scenery, the fair-haired lady turned to her courtiers saying:

‘We shall build our palace here.’

Upon hearing this, people suddenly came to life, and started to hail the lady joyfully,

‘God bless the Black Queen!’

And sure enough, it was the Black Queen. From the mountain ranges Kapela to Velebit, from the river Una to the grey sea, every child knew about the Black Queen and her gracefulness. Where she dwelled, joy and happiness flourished; wherever she set foot, poverty and misery were unknown. Since ancient times people in areas of Lika and Krbava knew about the Queen. Grey old men often used to tell of her kindness and ability to perform miracles. She was the guardian of the poor; she punished violence and injustice. From her fairy castle in craggy cliffs of Velebit she would sometimes descend to the lush planes of Lika and Gacka valley, touching people with her kindness, bestowing happiness upon them.

‘Give us some water, oh noble queen,’ beseeched people. ‘Please give us water, we and our livestock are dying of thirst, for the drought has ruined our fields and meadows!’

‘My dear people! Your fealty and trust I shall reward and provide you with an abundance of water. Right away thirteen lakes, with golden fish, shall spring up here as pride and joy of this countryside.’

At the Queen’s command people swiftly put up a wall around the source of the Black River. Dark clouds soon covered the sky. With thunder and lightning heavy rain fell upon the land, bringing life to people and animals, to all the fields and meadows. All the night rain kept falling and water kept rising.

Nearing dawn, a violent storm broke, chasing away the clouds, so when the sun rose, the sky was perfectly clear and cloudless. Golden rays of sunshine lit up all of landscape, flickering merrily upon the green peaks and smiling lovingly upon the smooth surface of the lake which sprang into being in the Black River’s riverbed. The woods nearby flaunted their fresh greenery, and birds sang happily up on the branches of slender fir trees and centuries old oak trees.

Like a ruddy dawn, there at the new lake’s bank, beautiful queen appeared and spoke to the people who gathered here to witness this wonderful miracle:

‘My people! Your prayers have been answered, so there you have the first lake which you shall call the lake of prayer–Prošćansko jezero.’

Diligent hands carried stones one by one up the hill, and soon people built a stately queen’s palace. Everyone gleamed with happiness, and the “Black queen” kept watch over the scenery like a fairy, delighting in the Plitvice lakes.

And so, days went by. The story of Plitvice lakes and the “Black queen” was passed from mouth to mouth, but no one ever laid eyes upon her again. Great sorrow came over people as word went round that she was dead. Little by little, the palace over the lake Kozjak crumbled away, and the queen was said to have withdrawn into her underground fairy mansions around the lakes Galovac and upper Okrugljak. People made pilgrimages to these places, imploring the queen to show up or at least give them a sign she was alive. One day a pleasant music was heard from the depths of the lake Galovac. Suddenly, its waters rose with a roaring noise and overflowed the cave.

People knew what that swooshing sound meant: it was the sign that Queen was alive. From that time on people have worshipped this waterfall.

At one time a great peril threatened the whole area. A violent squall rose and began to tear down trees and stones. With heavy rain, streams flowed from the hills, carrying the murky water into lakes.  It was like judgement day. In mortal dread, people once more turned for help to their good mother, the Black Queen.

‘O, kind Queen, grant us your protection and pray to God for us sinners!’

A bolt of lightning flashed across the sky.

Some kind of magical light shone on Galovac waterfall, and the people’s venerated queen suddenly came into sight by a cave. Her face was glowing with grace and dignity, and her eyes gleamed with generosity and benevolence; she was a true queen. People fell upon their knees as if she was a saint, and in her sweet voice she spoke:

‘People, have faith in God and in your Queen. You are good, devoted, obedient and persevering. Yet, time will come when your perseverance will be swayed. Still, you must not give in, but have trust in God instead. I will watch over you and pray for you.’

‘And when shall you, oh fair Queen, again come to our side?’ the people asked.

‘I shall come’, the Queen replied,’ but before my coming great suffering awaits you. As people faithful and loyal to your country and this ruling house, for a long time you will defend Christianity, shedding blood for your ruler and homeland. Grievous wars you shall lead here, fighting to preserve your freedom and your faith. But despite all that evil your faithfulness and fidelity will not sway. When, as a token of joy, bonfires flare up to the sky on mounts Velebit, Plješivica, Kik and other craggy peaks, you will know that I am drawing closer. I will come! Smoke from a steamship on the lake Kozjak will also herald my arrival. And then my people, the sun of a brighter future will shine on you. No more will your cool groves, dreamy valleys and beauteous Plitvice lakes be desolate. Your Queen shall come, my dear people, she will dwell here, and men of gentle birth from all over the world will pay a call to her, to see her and admire the beauties of this country and of the Plitvice lakes. Be faithful and loyal, my people. Always remember that I shall come, and take this golden flower resembling my hair as a keepsake. Watch over that flower, my people, and it shall keep you safe from evil and remind you of your Queen. Farewell!’

And with that, the Queen had left, but her words stayed imprinted in people’s hearts.

The flower was also preserved, so now everyone knows about it. Some call it Vladislavka, others Košnjak, while men of letters refer to it as Gentiana lutea.

The lakes have healing powers that the Queen bestowed upon them, as well as the river Korana, into which the lakes are pouring.

In their hearts people still hope to see their Queen and hail her in thousand voices, “Welcome our sweet Queen!”

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