A GOOD GHOULASHING                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Never before have the words, “This is going to hurt me a lot more than it hurts you,” had a more profound, deeper meaning than they do in this following story which is a short obscure extract from Eastern European folklore!  

Like the ancient Greeks and Romans the primordial Hungarians worshipped a myriad of mythological Gods, only they didn’t call them Gods they called them Magyars. Some were benevolent and some were evil but all of them were powerful and this is a gladiatorial story about just two of them; Viz Atya (good) and Guta (bad.)                                                                                           The one named Guta harboured unnatural urges and to satisfy these repellent urges he would often magically take on mortal form and scurry along the treetops lining the labyrinth of lonely tracks and pathways that etched their way through the Hungarian countryside to wait for unsuspecting travellers to pass his way. And whenever any poor unfortunate soul was unlucky enough to cross his path he would instinctively leap down ahead of them and block their path refusing to let them pass unless they engaged him in a fist fight.                       Obviously for mere mortal men this was an exercise in futility, when your opponent has all the powers of an evil God your fate is already sealed. The benign deity would then slowly and deliberately commence punching the poor traveller to death; and even after death had occurred he would continue punching at their blooded remains, punching and kneading until there was nothing left of them except for a crimson mess of skin offal and bone which he would greedily devour before going in search of his next victim.                                                                                                                                     One day whilst he too was disguised in human form the great Viz Atya was casually strolling along a woodland path when without warning his old adversary jumped down in front of him and issued his customary challenge. The insightful Viz Atya immediately saw through the disguise and recognized the evil one for who he was, but the murderous Guta failed to recognize him. In his infinite wisdom the great Magyar concluded that his villainous counterpart had gone too far and decided to teach him an unforgettable lesson by accepting his challenge. Using his own more potent magical powers he cast a spell over Guta in such a way that whenever he threw a punch it would be he himself who would feel the pain and humiliation of every single blow.                                                                                                                Both ‘men’ raised their arms in a conventional fighting pose but it was Guta who threw the first blow; his right fist collided with the jaw of his sacred opponent with enough force to kill a normal mortal being. But it was Guta who felt the impact of the assault and was immediately knocked to the ground. Suspecting his adversary had an unseen accomplice with him he quickly leapt to his feet and scanned the area for this furtive foe, but upon seeing nobody he turned his attention back to his opponent and delivered four stinging punches to his body. But the hurtful attack only served to suck the breath from his own body and he was once again deposited on to the floor. He now knew for certain that he was not dealing with a mere mortal; but he still did not suspect he was fighting with a Magyar, and believed the villain to be nothing more than a powerful warlock.                                                                                            Scoffing at the meagre powers of a warlock compared to those of his own Guta began circling his prey like a predatory cat before launching a counterattack of gargantuan proportions; he threw punches with a force so strong it uprooted nearby trees, and with the speed of lightning bolts he pummelled at the pathetic figure of the man that stood before him, but was aghast when it was he who felt the fiery agony of it all when the bones of the puny body he possessed cracked and splintered under the onslaught. The blood gushed forth from his body like rivulets of wine; he realized he had been tricked but was too weak to revert back to his natural form, what remained of his fighting instinct slowly flickered and died.                                                                                                                             To protect the world from the risk of any future wrongdoings from this bane of mankind Viz Atya raised his great arms towards the heavens; uttered a sacred verse and began disenchanting the broken body. First he removed the Magyar’s spiteful spirit and entrusted it to the wind; next he gave his guile to the foxes, and thirdly he shared his stealth among the snakes. Lastly he implanted a ring of hallowed flowers around his aberrant remains and made it known to mankind that as long as there is at least one of these blessed flowers (tulips) growing in Hungary’s soil Guta’s fiendish life can never be rekindled!