A COINCIDENCE

Every day he passed by a tree where there were always crows, no matter what time of day it was. Sometimes they greeted him with an unpleasant “Caw! Caw!” and sometimes they were silent, shifting their weight from foot to foot and watching him with slanted heads. There was nothing unusual about it. But for a time he kept imagining, looking at the open beak of one of the huge black birds, that a beautiful song was pouring out of it, the kind he could always hear on May evenings but which stopped with the first days of June and was silent the rest of the year. The song of the nightingale. An inconspicuous grey bird, which he could never pick out in the grey thicket of the bushes and whose lusty, melodious song didn’t seem to come from such a tiny little throat but from that of a large, strong bird. Like that crow…
Then by pure chance he saw a story in one of the magazines he read that seemed to bring this idea of his into the realm of possibility. It was a short story from China, and it said once in a thousand years a rare coincidence could occur to bring about the very thing he’d been imagining. All it would take would be for two people or animals to dream about the same thing at the same moment. If the dreams were exactly the same, the two dreamers would change places for a day.
Fascinated with the story, he pondered all the feasible options but couldn’t for the life of him figure out how to make a nightingale and a crow have the same dream. Not to mention that a nightingale might not even survive a dream about uttering the hideous “Caw!” The crow was in a better position: a delightful dream about being a soloist of a true concert, uttering sounds as perfect as a pure sinusoid, could at the worst give her life-long depression.
He couldn’t figure out how to do it. It was too complicated for his abilities. Yet spurred by his musings he finally grasped the answer to a mystery that had not yet found practical confirmation despite being whispered for two thousand years: why do animals sometimes speak the language of humans on Christmas Eve? He concluded that once it had really happened. And would never happen again. Unless, again, a little shepherd and a donkey were to dream the same dream…

[Przekład: Saba Litwińska]

Gru 21, 2017 by