The Fourth Prague Defenestration: 7

by Jerry Ratch


The family castle, Krivoklat, pronounced something like sheevoklat,

where my maternal grandmother's family ran a hotel,

was founded in 1109 A.D.

(how long our family ran the hotel business is anybody's guess,

taken over by the Nazi's, then the Communists)

and it has everything a medieval fortress should have,

according to the guidebooks.


Towers and spires.

Gothic interiors,

hunting trophies,

an ancient library (52,000 volumes

half of which may have been written

in a few of my previous lives)

a working smithy,


and a torture chamber

(with iron maiden)

-- Nobody should try to get by

without one of those.


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Krivoklat - village on a creek in Czechoslovakia where my mother's mother and father came from. Her father used to put the gold leaf on the domes inside churches. Her mother waited tables at the inn that was their family castle on the river, converted to an inn. 7 children. She was the youngest of three daughters. Her father married the oldest sister who died, then the next oldest who then died, then he married her mother. Maiden name of her mother was Janovsky. Then they ran away to America, because it was clear she would never inherit the castle inn.



(section break footnote: Some parts of Austria used to be a part of the greater Kingdom of Bohemia.)



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The Clairvoyant Dwarf, The Jester, and the Tame Elk of Prague




All were part of the household of Court Astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) who lost his nose in a duel as a student, and went through life thereafter wearing a gold prosthetic one instead, and who met and fell in love with a commoner who bore him eight children. 


And whose tame elk eventually died by falling down the stairs after drinking too much, while Brahe himself subsequently died by suffering a burst bladder after a boozy dinner at court, because he was apparently too polite to leave the table to relieve himself. 


These are my people. The Jester was undoubtedly related, and quite possibly the tame Elk as well, as many of my ilk have fallen down the stairs of life. The Clairvoyant Dwarf, now that got me wondering, because roaming around inside my head has been a veritable stream of little images all my life, and I'm guessing they are somehow related. 


And I've always been trying to tame some sort of elk throughout my life, though I was pretty sure it was the Wild Elk of Alcohol, which probably lived in the forest right outside my family's castle west of Prague. Take the train west one hour out of Prague and you could find a sample of my genes there, if not my unwashed Levis.