National Geographic : 1938 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph by Rudolf Balogh AT THE END OF THE HARVEST TRAIL, THERE'LL BE A THANKSGIVING FEAST Men with scythes have slashed for days at one big field of wheat; women with sickles have cut stray stalks, then raked and shocked the grain. At last they shoulder their implements and march to the landowner's house. Paprika chicken and wine await them, and all will dance the csdrdds in the farmyard (page 30, and Color Plate V). a dog; a squatting shepherd emerged turtlewise from his cone-shaped sheepskin mantle (page 38). "American? Americans are rich; let's take him into the woods," he suggested genially to my guides, and seemed to be drawing a knife. He drew only a long pipe. Peasants buy clay bowls for a cent or two, then make their own wood stems. Proffering finely shredded tobacco from a leathern pouch made of a ram's scrotum, he struck a light with flint, steel, and the skill of centuries. "Chop down that snag and sit by a fire," I suggested, indicating the gaunt gray ghost of a long-dead tree beside a shallow pond. A SHEPHERD'S TALE OF STORKS Beneath shaggy old brows, two tired eyes swept the plain, as a lighthouse keeper's scan the sea. As they rested upon the spectral landmark, he shook his head. "Nearly 20 years ago," he began, "I watched two storks build a nest of sticks in a high crotch of that tree. I called them Istvan and Ilonka. They became my friends in an aloof, storkish way. I helped them sometimes when food was scarce. I returned to the nest many a little stork who'd fallen. So I guess they liked me. "Last year they worked mighty hard for old folks-to feed four hungry fledg lings. One September day, just before they flew south, Ilonka circled near me several times, as if to say goodbye. "I never saw her again. Istvan came home in May, after his long African sum mer, alone and sad. He's a widower now, like me-I know Ilonka's dead. He'll no more have another wife than I will. He's company, like my dog, though he never really comes near. "Burn up his old home? Never!" The shepherd said it grandly. Then he pulled his head turtlewise into his mantle.