Evan Carr, age 10, joins our blog as a guest author– but not with a journalistic report of our time together in Croatia. Instead, Evan authored a “Croatian Folktale” while we cruised the blue waters of the Adriatic. Here’s Evan’s original tale. Enjoy!
“Ivon and the Magic Emerald”
Once, a long time ago in faraway Croatia, there lived a poor ﬁsherman named Ivon. Ivon had a good heart, but had very little money, barely enough to feed his wife and 3 children. One day though, Ivon was out sailing, when he caught a large, incredibly colorful Trout. As soon as Ivon went to unhook him, the ﬁsh spoke. “Hold steady, ﬁsherman. You have come across no lowly Trout. You are looking into the eyes of the immortal God, Jarilo, God of ﬁshing, hunting, and farming.”
Immediately, Ivon gently placed Jarilo on the deck of his small sailboat, and fell to his knees in front of the God.
“I am sorry, oh, I am sorry for all pain I may have caused, oh great Jarilo. Please, accept my humble apology.”
“I do accept it.” Spoke Jarilo. “Wise ﬁsherman, you have a pure and kind heart. For this, I give you this emerald.” He then handed Ivon a large, green emerald. “Whenever your life or another’s is in danger, you must simply speak “protect”, then touch this emerald to that person, and they can not be harmed.”
“Thank you, oh Jarilo.” Spoke Ivon. “You are so merciful.”
The next day, Ivon was out ﬁshing, when a much larger boat pulled up next to his boat. Ivon immediately recognized the boat. It was the boat of Uscoci, the most feared pirate in Croatia. He was born the son of a rich man in the town of Uskršnji Otok, but left his family’s legacy for the dogs, and became the king of all pirates.
Instantly, Uscoci, and 20 of his men boarded the ship, and retrieved all of his ﬁsh, and everything else of value, that Ivon had on his sailboat. Then, they tied Ivon to the mast. The captain raised his pistol, preparing to shoot him. He loaded his pistol, just as Ivon rubbed the emerald in his pocket in his pocket, and whispered “Protect.”
Uscoci ﬁred, and Ivon closed his eyes, and then realized he felt no pain. He opened his eyes, and realized the bullet was hovering, a centimeter away from his chest. He took advantage of this moment. “Fools!” Did you not realize that I am Perun, God of War, Thunder, and Lightning!”
Immediately, the crew fell to their knees, begging for forgiveness, while the weeping captain untied him, gave Ivon his ﬁsh, and apologized over and over. “You will only be forgiven,” Spoke Ivon. “if you never bother anyone again. Now go home, cowardly pirates!”
That is the end to Ivon’s story. He lived on, a happy life, and Uscoci never bothered anyone again.