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The blessed corral

Christmas short story “The fucked-up corral”

by Fotis Kontoglou

Every year, Santa Claus returns from country to country and from village to village, knocking on doors to see who will accept him with a clean heart. So one year, he took his wand and pulled. He was a monk, dressed in some patched old rasa, with a thick on his feet, and with a tagari in his mouth. That’s why they took him as a minister, and they opened the door. St. Basil left sad, for he saw the ness of men and pondered the poor who ministered, because they were in need, with all that he himself did not need from anyone, and neither did he hungry, nor did he.
After he went through many countries and thousands of villages and states, he arrived in the Greek places, where the world is poor. Of all the villages, he saw the poorest, and drew according to him, between the dry mountains where there were some huts, hungry lebesuria(2).
He walked at night and the snow groaned, the creation was very wild. But the soul was alive, but it was heard, out of a jackal that barked.
After walking for a while, he found himself in a need that the old man cut from a small mountain, and saw a mandri stuck to the rocks. He opened the door, which was made of wild rupees(3) and entered the yard. The dogs woke up and caught and barked. They fell on him to tear him apart;

The Saint came to the hut of the chobanus and knocked on the door with his stick and shouted:
“Let me, Christians, for the souls of your dead! And Christ has deaconed us when he came to this world!”
The door opened and a sheep came out, lad as twenty-five years old, with a long beard;
“Go into our lord’s house to warm up! Good day and a good year!”
This chobanis was John the Baikas, who called him Giannis Vlogedon, a man of god to the sheep he grazed, illiterate at all.
In the hut there was a little light on a lamp. John, when he saw you in the light that the mousafiris was an old monk, took his hand and broke it and put it on his head. Then he called his wife, like a 20-year-old girl, who was waving their baby in the crib. And she went humbly and kissed the old man’s hand, and said:
“It’s been a long time since you’ve been here,” he said.
St. Basil stood at the door and saw the hut and said:
“Blessed be you, my children, and all your home! Your sheep shall be as full as I am of Jove with the wound, and as of Abraham and as of Lavan! The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!”
John put wood in the fireplace and the fire broke out(4). The Saint placed his tagari in one corner, then took off his patched robe and left with his life. They put him in and he sat near the fire, and his wife put a pillows on him to hear.
St. Basil turned around and saw around him and said again in his mouth:
“Blessed to be this hut!”
John went in and out to bring the one and the other. His wife was cooking. John put wood back in the fire.
He single-shot the hut with a different glow and appeared in a palace. The beams were smoked, and the rennets(5) hung in them to become golden cantilevers, and the cheese and the hearts and the other paraphernalia that John made, and which were diamond-glued. And the wood that was burning in the fire was in the moscoliva, and they were rubbing, as they rubbed the wood of the fire, even if they were chanting to the angels who are in Heaven.
John was a good man, as God made him.
Poor, he had few sheep, with a rich heart: “The poor rich!”. He was good to me, and he had a good wife. And whoever happened to knock on their door, ate and drank and slept. And if he were bitter, he would find solace. That’s why Santa Claus went to their hut, dawning on New Year’s Day, on the eve of his grace, and gave his blessing.
That night he was waiting for all the states and villages of the world, lords, despots and official people, but he went to no such man, but he went to the man of John the Blessed.
When the sheep settled on you, John came in and said to the old man:
“Old man, it is a great joy that you have come to hear us, too, for we have a church near us, nor will we hear a word. I love many of the letters of our religion, and if I don’t understand them, because I’m a wood that’s inessolable. Once we were brought by an old Saint And he left us this holy leaflet, and if one of us had to pass by a secretary once in a while, I put it and read it. All the letters I know are three words that were said by a secretary, who gave a speech in the village, two of them from here, and from the many times he said them, they were printed in my memory. He said, and he said again, “Sconiti, not his mother, and he said to him: My child! My child! These are the letters I know…”
It was midnight. The old man groaned. St. Basil stood up and stood turned against the east and made his cross three times. Then he leaned over and took a leaflet from his tagari and said:
“Blessed is our God always, behold, and in the ages of the ages!”
John went and stood behind him and crucified his hands. His wife sank the baby, and she went, and she stood near her husband.
And the old man said the “God the Lord” and the apolytiki of the Peritomy “Form of another man you hired”, without saying his own apolytiki, which says: “In all the land you have come out of your envy”. He cried sweetly and humbly, and John and Giannaina listened to him with a laugh and made their cross. And St. Basil said the article and the rule of the feast “See the people, let us go”, without saying his own rule “The voice is present, King”. And then he said the whole operation, and he was discharged.
They sat at the table and ate, St. Basil the Great, John the Blessed, his wife and the barba – Marcos the Vouvos, whom John had cleansed and helped him.
And when they decided to do so, the woman brought the king’s pie and put it on the wise man. And Santa took the knife and crucified the king’s pie and said:
“In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit!”
And he cut the first part and said, “Christ’s”, he cut the second, and he said, “The Virgin Mary”, and then he cut the third, and he said, “The Holy Kingdom”, but he said, “The housekeeper of John the Blessed!”
John pops up and says:
“Old man, you forgot Santa Claus!”
The Saint says to him:
“Really, I forgot about him!”
And he cut a piece and said:
“The slave of God the Kingdom!”
Then he cut many pieces, and in each of them he said: “the housewife”, “the baby”, “the slave of the God Mark of moylalus(6)”, “the house”, “the living”, “the poor”.
John says again to Saint:
“Old man, why did you cut for your sanctity?”
The Saint says to him:
“I’ve cut, blessed!”
But John understood nothing, the good luck!
The woman was made to sleep. They got up to pray. St. Basil opened his hands and said his own wish, which the pope says at the service:
“Lord, my God, I have seen that I am not worthy, but I am not worthy, but I am not worthy of the roof of the house of my soul…”
When he finished his wish and prepared to lie down, John says:
“You, old man, who know the letters, tell us which palaces Santa went to tonight? What sins can the lords and kings have? We poor people are sinners and bad people, because poverty makes us hell!”
St. Basil’s wept. He stood up again, laid down his sorrows, and said again, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I
“Lord my God, I have seen that the slave John the simple, worthy, and able, may come from his roof, that there is a toddler, and that such is the kingdom of the heavens…”
And again, john the good-luck, John the Vloged, understood nothing.


1. I’m walking – I’m tortured on my way back from here and from there

2. Lebesuria – poverty

  1. Rupaki – agrio-oak
  2. I’m going to go out of my way to liven up the fire.
  3. Pythia (h) – magic from which the cheese is made

    6. Moylalos – mute




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