A Hungarian Short Story
(About Crossbreeding? wink)
The short story "Kasparek" by Akos Kertesz is part of a collection of 25 Hungarian short stories translated from Hungarian to English in 1988 by Corvina. The story is about a Hungarian named Kasparek who is of the middle class, lives downtown & is a garbage picker.
Ironically another US repatriated citizen named Frank Kasparek was pivotal in California Vizsla clubs. However the US Kasparek was likely above the middle class as he was not a 1st-generation Vizsla owner.
Even so the Kasparek of the short story is quite proud of being a part of the garbage industry. He clearly realizes his role is important as he strives to be of more service to his community when he becomes a dog walker. One of his clients is a Vizsla named Bruno.
Due to copyrights, the short story in its entirety will not be presented, just the words that talk about the Vizsla. To get the rest of the short story, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Even so, the short story about crossbreeding will unfold in a quite enjoyable way. Once upon a time, as a historican, I postcast speculated that I wouldn't be surprised to learn that one of the many crossbreedings to the Vizsla through the ages would come from Vizsla....X.....Herding Breed.
What really surprised me about this delightful dog/person story is how little the Vizsla or their peoples change, regardless of decade, country or owner.
This story originates from "NOTHING'S LOST-25 Hungarian Short Stories" by Corvina (c.1988) It is more likely than not that this story took place well before 1988. (mo). The short story titled "Kasparek" is skillfully written & has encouraged peeking into the other 24 Hungarian stories. It's a grand escape for any Vizsla fancier who loves the written word.
Europeans commonly did not capitalize dog breeds. Quotes & punctuation appear as in hard copy original. Expect commas before the word "and". And expect the word "and" to be spelled out & not abbreviated.
Brown text notates the short story.
Teal text are dlb insertions connecting the quotes involving Bruno, the vizsla & Kasparek.
The story starts off with Kasparek talking about garbage & his first client as a dogwalker. She was a Dachshund named Daisy. And a "daisy" she was. Rebellious, cantankerous & knowing how to get her way with public temper tantrums, Daisy was quite the temptation for a murder victim, until she meets Bruno the Vizsla. All three are first introduced at the same time when Daisy is acting up & acting out when Kasparek takes her for a walk past Bruno's lair.
"The distance between the dog and the old man grew greater & greater and it looked as though Kasparek's tactics were a complete failure, when a vizsla appeared on the horizon. He caught sight of Daisy and stoped dead, his leg stiff as if he were pointing game. He sniffed the air, then made a dash straight for the dachshund. The old bitch backed away growling, but the vizsla was irrepressible, he jumped around her like a madman, his big ears flapping. (What are you so bucked about, kid, grumbled Kasparek, can't you see how ugly she is?")
The vizsla jumped in front of her, behind her, while Daisy rushed along as if the old man were pulling her on a string. As soon as she reached him she withdrew to safety between the old man's legs. The vizsla sniffed Kasparek's shoes, his apron, his hand, and offered his good-natured face to be stroked.
"So you're the one for chasing old women, are you" said Kasparek as he stroked the silky head. "Aren't you ashamed of yourself?"
The vizsla pricked his ears, his forehead creased into puzzled wrinkles, but he gave Kasparek the benefit of the doubt, and galloped off in the opposite direction. Kasparek and Daisy looked at each other, Daisy from between Kasparek's les. "So how's things, old girl" asked Kasparek with the smile of a winner, "Had second thoughts?" Daisy wagged her tail behind her padded backside (this was the first sign of friendship from the dachshund) and started on the road for home in front of the old man.
From the first meeting the story moves to Daisy becoming friendlier with Kasparek. This ability of Kasparek to charm Hungarian dogs led to his becoming a dog-walker that also had increased community status. And of course, the vizsla they first met as Bruno would become a daily part of the dog string. One of the dog string was a Puli named Shaggy (so dubbed by Kasparek). Her real name however, as she was a prized pure-bred was Ludmilla. Shaggy would figure prominently in a crossbreeding "afternoon delight" to a serious drop in status for Kasparek as a reputable dog-walker. How Kasparek regained his lost status enfoils the rest of this short story.
Please pay attention below to the bolded word "yellow". The correct Hungarian word that was used to translate from was "SARGA". There is no Hungarian/English color words used for Vizsla, except "yellow". When a Hungarian writes the word "yellow", it does NOT mean the English version of "yellow". The word "sarga" is similar to the color of baked bread crust.
Kasparek just gave a whistle outside their window? (like a village swineherd) and Bruno, the vizsla, like yellow lightning discharged from a high voltage of love and joy, struck the little group; his spine wriggling frantically out of happiness he poked his head between Kasparek's knees, then rushed off to frisk round the other dog. Because the vizsla with his boisterous and irrepressible outbursts of love adored every living being who came near him; be it man or animal, friend or stranger, his sleek body writhed in bursts of giddy, tempestuous happiness. Having soothed the rapturous dog with difficulty Kasparek continued with his pack to collect Nestor, a tiger-striped boxer from number 43.
Bruno, the chestnut vizsla, who jumped about like a colt, dashing forward to the puli, sniffing and shoving her with his nose and giving her a tender bite on the neck. But Shaggy was a stand-offish, strong-willed girl: she moved her backside out of the way, clamped her tail between her legs, bared her teeth, yapped, sometimes snapping at him lightning quick. The vizsla never took offence-he dashed back to Kasparek, licked his hand: d'you see how sweet she is? he asked him. Of course I see, nodded Kasparek, smiling. Bruno galloped ahead, jerking at the lead, almost suffocating because he wore a pull-collar, but continuing his assault with unflagging ardour.
What do you see in that puli? Kasparek asked Bruno. The vizsla stopped dead, raised his eyebrows, his face drawn into worried winkles, but he didn't know what to say. Kasparek laughed. The puli was small, tousled and black-haired. He understood! In those days fast receding into the past he remembered that he too was always attracted by the small, dishevelled, black-haired girls.
Bruno saved the situation by picking up a branch and, in the hope that the spaniel would try nd get it away from him galloped up to Gipsy. The vizsla was a wonderful runner, none of the dogs could ever catch him up. He held the branch high, he teased with it, his neck arched like a thoroughbrd horse. And so they dashed around the Kasparek, Bruno in front, the rapture of the gallop shining in his yellow eyes and behind him the spaniel as if giving chase.
Kasparek finally put a stop to the chase by shouting for the vizsla. Bruno dashed up to him dropping the bit of branch. He put his paws up on his lap, and licked his face." Hey, stupid calm down, will you?" said the old man.
Lifting his finger, Kasparek made the vizsla sit. "Are you a coward" he asked him. Bruno pricked up his ears, his wrinkling brows expressing extreme surprise.
"Let's play" suggested the vizsla: he still did not understand the question and preferred playing to thinking. He leapt up before Kasparek, thrusting himself off the ground with four legs at once, his spine twisting in the air, his great big ears dangling. Then he snatched up the branch and offered it to the old man. Kasparek took hold of one end of it, he dog tugged at it for a while, at the same time growling horrifically in his deep bass voice, and he was happy.
"Give it to me" said the old man. The dog let go, but immediately jumped up at Kasparek, placing his paws on his chest and trying once more to lick his face. Kasparek pushed his head away and gave the dog a quick light slap. Bruno dropped to the ground, but with a frantic tail-wagging that rippled through his whole body, he proclaimed his unchanged devotion. Kasparek, on the other hand, was not easily moved. "You're a whore?" he said giving him a severe look. "You love everybody." The vizsla blinked guiltily with his yellow eyes and had nothing to say, because he was a lyrical soul and really did love everybody.
"Sit", ordered Kasparek.
The vizsla sat down in a flash: he simply loved obeying orders-when he could, because in actual fact he knew very little. He was terribly anxious to oblige so that everybody would love him even more, and now he was quivering with the effort. He sat beautifully, his paws barely touching the ground he held himself so well. Kasparek continued to interrogate him.
"Why are you always running in front of dogs? What are you? A hunting dog or a hare?" The vizsla sat there, a picture of over-eagerness, his rump slightly raised in the hope that the old man would make the gesture to say he could play. But Kasparek remained stern, and did not move. "Keep still" Bruno lowered his behind. The old man noddd. "All right, I know that you are the best runner. You catch them up straight away, and then that's the end of the game, I know." He smiled, "Thank your lucky stars! Because I don't like cowardly dogs. Now you can go!" The vizsla dashed away and Kaparek called the puli over to him and made her sit down.
He like the vizsla because he radiated goodness and naive, catty devotion.
There was nothing about Shaggy to suggest it, but when the vizsla barged into the group that morning he was completely irrepressible. On the embankment he raced mady about, lapping around the puli. Later giving obvious indications that the friendship he felt towards the puli had changed into violent love. Kasparek became suspicious and examined the bitch. His suspicions were confirmed.
What he was afraid of took place barely a week later. Shaggy was saturated with the odour of love and the dogs went berserk. The vizsla was the worst smitten.
The vizsla's forehead ith his wrinkles of anxiety was the picture of disappointment and surprise, as if he couldn't bear to think that Kasparek of all people could do something so inhuman to them. And the old man suddenly bent down and let the puli off the lead.
Kasparek knew about pedigrees, selective breeding and pure breeding, and he knew that a prize-winning, pure-bred dog like Shaggy was very valuable and cost a lot of money. His idea was to let them make love for a bit if they were so mad about each other.
When the time came, Shaggy gave birth to six fluffy little pups which grew, any expert do-breeder would tell you, into horrifyingly-shaped creatures. (The reader can easily imagine them if he thinks of the sort of puppies a smoothed-haired big, skinny chestnut vizsla and a small shaggy coal-black puli would have) Though in other repects they were poleasing, strong and healthy animals, with good action and intelligent, and Kasparek spent long sleepless nights wondering what to do with them. Since no one wanted the mongrels, and on the other hand they peopled his life, the question solved itself: the six puppies , four dogs and two bitches, stayed with Kasparek.
Kasparek paid dearly for his lapse in judgment. He lost his job, his honor, his community pride & now had Shaggy as well as six mixed Puli/Vizsla crosses. He determined to keep all six puppies and gave Shaggy to her old owner, then went back to his life about town as
he proudly walked his six fantastic-looking mongrels on the embankment along with all dogs of class.
and became the dog-expert of the neighborhood.
We are left with that proverbial muddy axiom
"The more things change (regarding crossbreeding this time), the more they stay the same."