I had been writing about my older daughter's first trip to Poland when she was 3 years old in a sequential order but have decided at this point to just write about it as the memories come back to me.
We are in the mountains of Poland visiting my Wujek's property. My Wujek, Ciocia, my middle cousin with her husband and two children, youngest cousin and her boyfriend, my Tato (Father), my daughter and myself have been spending the day enjoying the day.
All around, trees whisper in the breezes and in the meadow, the grasses bend their stalks gently rippling in the summer air.
The slopes are calling us all quietly. It's time for a spacer (pronounced Spah-tser, and meaning walk in Polish).
My Ciocia, middle cousin, her daughters, one wrapped in a baby wearing wrap safely snuggled against Mama and the other holding my daughter's hand, and myself all start the walk up the road. The road is gravel covered and winding up the mountain.
We pass an old stone structure. It is a Kiln from ages ago used by the villagers further down the slopes. There is finally a plaque in Polish about it's history. My borrowed camera batteries fail as I attempt to take photos.
Walking on, we are embraced by shadows. The hazelnut and pine trees whisper to each other about the people walking in their midst. I tell my daughter to keep her eye out for Krasnolutki and other fairy folk that live in these ancient woods. Her eyes flit left and right in excitement, hoping to find some.
The girls chatter together, one in English, the other in Polish, as they have since they met each other, the adults walking together and just enjoying each other's company and laughing that the girls can communicate together since neither speaks the others language.
The true test of this will come soon, we are to find out.
After a short walk, both start getting tired but more so my daughter. She is very used to long nature walks but the 6 hour time difference is affecting her energy constantly. We turn around to walk back down the mountain.
A bit down the trail, coming out from the cool summer shadows, the girls look down the road and see chickens from the house next door walking around as is common. They both begin to run. And keep running.
I start yelling to my daughter, "Stop running! Slow down!" but she keeps running. I start to run after her but my pregnant belly moves strangely from the motion, uncomfortably, something hard bouncing around inside and I stop running immediately. I call again, "Stop running!" The girls keep running.
Further down the road, brown and white chickens roam freely, chasing bugs in the sunlight without a care in the world. They look as though from the many bajki I read as a child and the folk art drawings my mother always treasured.
"Chickens! Get out of there! Come on (cousin), we have to stop them!" my daughter calls.
My daughter's cousin calls the same words, in Polish.
Running. Running. We start walking quickly behind, by now all of us calling for them to stop. I start envisioning chickens attacking my daughter. Not that chickens are mean, but provoked who knows how they could react to two small running assailants like our children.
Both Dziadeks to the girls, my father and Wujek, come running out onto the road, looking around and finding the girls. They are quickly snatched up and lectured on running away from their mommies and asked why they did so.
A moment later, both "Dziadek"s are laughing loudly. Even though the girls don't speak the same language, their stories completely match up. They were trying to stop the naughty chickens from going into my Wujek's yard. For the next few minutes, the girls are treated to hugs and kisses from the adults and we all discuss how amazing children are to not speak the same language yet be able to think along the same paths and communicate so well.
My Wujek then tells of the time he battled the rooster next door. While I love chickens, he does not. But then, he was awoken by this rooster for several years and it regularly enjoyed patrolling his yard and causing more grief than a rooster has the right to cause.
The two girls walk over to the overgrown fence and yell at the chickens for trying to enter my Wujek's yard, both in English and Polish. The chickens argue back. Both girls flap their arms like chickens and attempt to speak in "Chicken" to them and an argument between the chickens and the two girls occurs. The girls end with a well timed "Buck buck!" and walk away, satisfied that they had lectured the chickens about trespassing into this yard.
The girls run around trees bordering the meadow, chasing each other and pretending to be wood fairies. And the mountains look on in their ancient wisdom at us.
Related Post: My Older Daughter's First Trip to Poland: Coming to Poland