The Schnitzel Boy, by Michael Fricker

Once on a winding mountain-top trail, little Hansi marched forward not knowing where he was going or from whence he had come. As the boy followed the rocky path up he stopped only once to look behind him seeing nothing. Far off in the distance, past the rocks of the mountain and the green patches of grass on the hills, he saw the red roofs of many a building. With nowhere to go little Hansi trudged on feeling fainter by the step. He pushed forward all afternoon into the evening until he reached the gates he so sought after. Coming up that final hill he was about to fall with a sigh of relief and desperation when his curious nose gave him the strength to go on! Through heavy breaths he leaned against the gate and asked a peddler on his way by, “My friend, I have climbed this high mountain and have been without food all day. I can smell hot food in the air. From where does it come?” The elderly man smiled and with a crooked finger he pointed further into the town. Hansi looked to see a building that sat crumbling on a hill at the center. His nose took him the rest of the way. When he reached the doors he was rushed in and seated at a table. The people with smiling faces pushed a hot plate of food in front of him and a cold beer mug into his hand. The little Hansi smiled in gratitude and ate and drank furiously. When he was finished he was brought another plate. “Thank you, Thank you my saviors!” He said when he finished, “What is this place that sits here like a castle on a hill?” They all laughed heartily and answered him, “This my little Schnitzel-Boy is the United German-Hungarians!”

Michael N. Fricker