Torkova Cajanka – The first community tale

Last time at Torkova Cajanka workshop we unintentionally created a new literary genre: the community tale. After talking about inspiration, we used our inspiration to inspire each other and to create a tale – told by the community. The tale of Torkova Cajanka was born.

As a game to end the session, I asked the participants to pick 4 sticky notes. To each note, they were supposed to write

  • one character,

  • one place,

  • one happening,

  • and one detail.

All could be totally without any connections, just made up or either they could be forming a whole little story. Then we collected all the post-its and made groups with them, then draw the full storyline of the very first community tale.

My aim was to wake up the collective unconscious and to create a story of women. Emphasizing the participants’ concept of being a woman. I think the result speaks for itself. All the things written on the notes are included in the tale without changes.

Please welcome the tale written by a small group of people who believe in and respect the colors and different ways of living.


Torkova Cajanka


Let me tell you a beautiful story about a strong person who chose to embrace herself because she realized, this is the only way to be able to embrace others also.

Once upon a time in a small, conservative town with strong gender conceptions, there was a special, rare flower growing in the middle of the deep forest. Noone really knew about the power of this special little piece of beauty. They whispered, it had some kind of healing effect but every people who ever consumed the tea made of it, told very different stories about how it worked or how it helped them. One day an Arabian market seller who heard about the legend of the special plant, collected some of the pink flowers and made a decoction. He decided to sell the freshly made hot tea from a thermos at the local market which happened to be in the garden of the uphill Sevnica Castle.

On that very Tuesday, the royal family had their usual tea party in a big garden of their huge weekend house in the middle of a big city close by. Tea parties were meant to be the coziest events when the family could share their thoughts. Obviously, according to the strict British protocol…

This day Prince Harry was wearing lipstick and a weird skirt which couldn’t be considered as a salutation for Scottish culture – not even with the biggest kindliness. His long grey haired grandma was looking at her grandchild wondering how she could communicate her displeasure for the young man’s new-wave taste. Of course, with respecting all the dishonesty of the protocol that determined her all life – and continues to determine her future too. The sun hurt her eyes, so she reached into her purse for a handkerchief. Harry always imagined that she had the whole world in her purse. It always seemed so huge for the eyes of the royal kid. He was always waiting for animals, an army, the Fairy of Forests and the traffic of Picadilly Circus to come out of that big, big purse.

The members of the family were sitting and chatting peacefully in the shadows of the tall poplars when the butler arrived with the tea. Normally, on every tea party, they served some special, difficult to reach tea. This time was no exception. Mr. Griffiths was at the royal family’s service for 20 years already. He already knew all the Queen’s high standards for tea parties. Her taste, her strong attention to the smallest mistakes and her extremist affection to protocol formalities. He was eager to impress Her Majesty with the freshly bought pink tea which he, of course, mixed together with the majesty’s favorite Earl Grey.

– What are we tasting today, Jonathan? – asked the Majesty.

– Today I made a special mixture of your favorite Earl Grey with a local herb’s decoction. With your permission, this pink plant is said to have magical qualities and to cure all diseases. I tried it myself. It has a very nice, sour savor which goes very well together with the Earl Grey’s bitterness… May I?

The Queen nodded apathetically. When Mr. Griffiths was done with filling up all the cups around the table, the family started to sip the pinky tea quietly…


– Jaz sem Zajn zajček. – squawked the pink rabbit in a ridiculous tone. Harry was totally in a coma. He was about to throw up. The world was turning around with him and he couldn’t breathe. But with every second it got better. The rabbit didn’t stop talking for one minute, he was just repeating the same: „Jaz sem Zajn zajček.” When Harry regained his consciousness, he found himself on a grass field with pink trees. The ground was full of smaller-bigger holes.

– Pojdi z mano! – said Zajn. – Pojdi z mano! – he repeated until Harry started to follow him by walking on the soft grass. Poor Zajn suddenly fell into a huge hole but he quickly got out and continued to run. Harry was wondering how he could not see the hole. As he was watching the bunny moving, he understood – Zajn was blind. This is why he couldn’t make difference between holes and ground.

Suddenly, Zajn stopped his run at a huge pink poplar where a lady was standing in a long white dress that was blown by the soft wind. Harry at first couldn’t see her face but as he was getting closer he recognized the lady. She was his mother. Lady Diana was elegant and charming, the same as Harry remembered her. She was smiling and she was radiating unconditional acceptance and love. Harry’s eyes were full of tears when he finally reached her mother. They united in a warm hug and although the son was very nervous, the words just unstoppably came out of his mouth: „Mom, I’ve always been a girl on the inside. From now on I will be one on the outside as well.” As if this moment last forever, Harry felt like he is drowning in a neverending spiral of heartwarming love in a bundle with his beloved mother…

Suddenly a little parrot ended his delirium by miming Zajn’s funny voice, saying: „Jaz sem zajček.” When Harry opened his eyes to look towards the voice coming from the top of the tree, the parrot was not on the branches. Through the tree’s greenery, he could see how the lilac sky was getting to become realistic blue again. And soon all the utopistic environment started to melt down and giving its place over to a well-known ambiance… Harry felt his mom’s hug less and less with every second. And as he moved his look from the sky towards the ground, the picture cleaned out and he found himself in his real life, in a real place, without any pink animals or plants around. Until then, the invisible parrot was continuing his miming show. But as the surroundings became realistic, the parrot’s annoying voice slowly became a dog’s barking. This little 4 legged bastard was shouting at the stone lion next to the stairs that lead to the Sevnica Castle’s park. Harry was looking at the small white dog and was creasing his brows. „What happened? Where was I?” – he was wondering.


As days, weeks and then months and years passed by, Harry felt happier every day. He often returned to Sevnica to meditate on the amazing experience that made him the person who he became then on. Who is the person who he became? An amazing woman that embraces herself and her emotions. Who is speaking up for herself and for other women. Who supports every people around because she knows that everyone who she meets in her life is a teacher for her. She is sheltering animals and sharing food with local minorities, just because she knows that the true way to live is simply to support each other and respect life.

Local people obviously haven’t ever recognized Harry in Henriette. How could they? She is a different person from the outside. She always wears a braid and her flower tattoo of the magical pink flower shamelessly. Yes, she is different, she changed forever. The only thing she had left from her previous life is the unconditional acceptance and love that she has been radiating from herself from the moment she got it under a pink tree, until the end of time.

The magical pink flower healed again. And is waiting for its next patient to cure.

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