‘Venus of Petrkovice’
By Sally Madison
Walking back to the castle from the market square, Kolya came to across his daughter, Alma, and her playmates, Alexandria and Wanda. Wanda was taking a drink of the pond water after cleaning a new found treasure. Wanda stretched out her hand to show Kolya, but he stumbled back away. “Where did you get THAT?” he asked harshly.
“Wanda had accidently dropped a coin. While searching the ground for it, she reached her hand in a hole and she found this tiny sculpture. It’s a tiny fairy doll, isn’t it father?” asked Alma.
The pre-historic statuette, measuring less then 2” tall, of a headless torso of a woman was carved from iron ore. “No, it’s not. It is the ‘Venus of Petrkovice’. Show me where you found this.” Kolya instructed, and followed the girls to the cursed spot. Kolya explained, the stature was cursed since the beginning of time. They must return it to the grave, never to look upon it again. Reaching into his pocket he gave Wanda a coin to replace the one she had lost. “Promise me, all of you, to never to go after this statuette again.” And each promised as instructed.
Looking up from their endeavors, they saw an elderly woman in a hooded cape holding a crook. She had been watching them intently, especially Wanda and the statuette.
Wanda continued on her way to the market. Kolya grabbed the hands of Alma and Alexandria and near dragged them behind. He stopped in front of the church; it was his only chance to rid the curse. Quietly he entered with the two little girls and sat in the front pew, he crossed himself and began to pray. The priest heard the activity in the sanctuary and came to investigate. “Oh, Father, please bless us, for we are in danger.” Kolya pleaded.
“What danger are you in?” inquired the priest. Kolya could not lie, but was afraid to tell of the curse.
“Please Father, don’t ask. Bless us for all possible events.” After the priest blessed each one of them, Kolya took a deep breath. It was the best he could do to protect them.
The following week, a boy was running from the market center past the castle, yelling, “They’re stoning the witch!! They are stoning the witch!!”
Kolya grabbed the boy, asking, “What is this you are shouting?”
Breathlessly the boy told him that the child, Wanda, had turned black and died in the night. Wanda’s mother had seen the old witch staring at Wanda, and had put a curse on her little girl. The townspeople were stoning the witch for the curse she put on Wanda.
Kolya realized the curse of the Venus of Petrkovice’ had been true. The child who had touched the statue had died in the night. Kolya ran to the market square to stop the stoning. It was the curse of the statue’, he thought, ‘not the old woman’, but Kolya was too late. The curse had taken another.