Butting Heads with the Wonder Deer

A late-summer garden party in a town on the outskirts of Budapest. 

250px-Csodaszarvas.svgA middle-aged couple standing under an apple tree in the half dark, away from the row of tables where the other guests are eating stew prepared in a bogrács, a traditonal Hungarian cooking pot. 

She: Did you see what Éva is wearing? How tacky. It reminds me of Republican taste in the United States. 

He: I’ve got to think that from an intelligent person like her it must be intentional. You know, the principle that something that is in really poor taste actually becomes beautiful again. The part I didn’t like was the Wonder Deer [Csodaszarvas] hanging on her neck. 

She: That part didn’t bother me. I really love ancient symbolism. 

He: The problem is who else really loves it. The anti-Semitic, anti-Gypsy, anti-West, anti-democracy, anti-capitalist people. They have taken these ancient Hungarian symbols,  yurts and archery and horses, and made them into something ugly. 

She: I don’t care. For me they don’t mean those things. 

He: Maybe for you they don’t, but for me and I would dare to say most Hungarians they do, whether they approve of those things or not. 

She: That is what I hate about politics. It ruins everything. 

They look at one another coldly. One of those reemerging disagreements. 

Note: The Wonder Deer is an animal from the mythology of the ancient Hungarians and other central Asian peoples.




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