Juan Rodolfo Wilcock’s The Valkyries.

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Baruch is a friend of the Valkyries but theirs is no ordinary friendship, the kind of friendship between people who meet up from time to time and go to the cinema together or have an ice cream in a local cafe that’s not too crowded to talk about this and that and gossip about a common acquaintance. No, their friendship has something a bit wild about it. Baruch has a small property at the foot of the valley on the green slope which descends into a stream. There are some fruit trees growing on the property, otherwise it is mainly an area of woodland. It is here where the watch-maker and the Valkyries meet up. The latter always arrive on horseback with a deafening roar which makes the whole valley shake. Armour-clad and with uncombed hair they are rather old but still quite agile and rowdy like young girls. The watchmaker waits for them in the middle of the field and the Valkyries straddled beside him brandish their spears in the manner of the Indians of the New World yelling like lunatics “Ho hai! Ho ho hai!. Hi Baruch! Hoio tohoio ho ho hai!” They are very fond of him, they’ve known him since he was a child.

It’s not as though the Valkyries have a lot to do, nowadays, except visiting their friends. There are seven of them, all spinsters and they only eat bread, even stale bread. So when Baruch hears them coming, he gets out his shopping bag of old bread and takes it along with him. While the Valkyries are making a commotion around him with their white hair fluttering in the wind, he breaks the bread and flings it a few metres as though they were hens and they then gather up the bread with the point of their spears. The Valkyries satisfy their primal hunger in the way most becoming to their almost godly nature.

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About afoniya

I am a translator, language teacher, independent film scholar who is interested in many aspects of culture. I have my own blog on Russian and Soviet cinema at http://giuvivrussianfilm.blogspot.com and I have also written for journals such as Film Philosophy and Bright Lights as well as Ribbed magazine. Outside of film my interest runs to language, politics, literature and my world is centred around the Meditteranean, Russia, Southern Ukraine as well as the UK.

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