“I noticed the light was left on in the barn the last couple nights.”
“Yes, it’s to slow down the vampire bats.”
“Whoa! We’ve got vampire bats here in Costa Rica?”
“Yes. They aren’t too much trouble for a full grown cow, but can do some damage to a calf if they’re left out on their own.” Gaura's Canadian pronunciation sounds like ‘oot on their oown’. Carrying a bucket of milk from the barn, with his ragged flannel shirt and unshaven face he looks like a rather thin Canadian lumberjack climbing the hill to the temple kitchen.
A few days later, another Canadian appeared.
We soon learned that Teo is from the province of Transylvania.
“How do Romanians feel about Dracula’s fame?” I had to ask,” Is there any truth to the legend, any accuracy in the movie?”
“They’re not too happy about it. Actually, Dracula is kind of a hero in our country. He was a brutal leader, but very fair and just. There was no crime at all under his regime. If money was found in the street, no one would dare take it. It would be turned in to the guards for fear of punishment.”
“What kind of punishment?”
“He was known as Vlad the Impaler. He would leave the bodies of his enemies on display, impaled on spears as an example to anyone who would disobey the law. It was a very slow and painful death, as I’m sure you can imagine. However, he also did a lot of good for the country. He conquered the neighboring enemies, fixed the economy, eliminated corruption and brought peace and prosperity to the region.”
“But you say he was fair?”
“Yes, because he would punish only those who deserved it. There’s a story of a visiting merchant who heard of a rather fat coin purse that had been turned in to the guards. His greed must have got the better of him because he actually decided to swindle Vlad and claim it for his own.
“How many gold coins are in the purse you’ve lost?” Dracula asked him. “100”, said the merchant who had been tipped by the guards. “Count it and make sure it is yours.” Dracula said after adding an extra gold coin. The merchant counted and succumbed to his greed once again, pretending not to notice the extra coin. “Is this correct? “ Dracula asked, “Yes”, “Then go”. Unfortunately for him, Dracula signaled the guards behind his back and as the happy merchant approached the door, he was stopped by the guards who drew their swords. It is said that the merchant’s wail of terror was heard throughout the entire province when he realized the fate that now awaited him.”
“Out of greed for one gold coin, the merchant lost his life. We live in a brutal world Teo, this is a good lesson for keeping our integrity at every moment."
"Yes, the laws of nature can be brutal, but they are always fair.", replied Teo as he sank his Transylvanian teeth into a Costa Rican melon.
"One who does good is never overcome by evil",quoting Bhagavad Gita(6:40) I commented, "A power stronger than Vlad the Impaler is keeping the balance. Our only concern is to keep proper conduct, we'll get all we deserve."