A modern re-telling of the Old Testament story of Ruth.
After Nadzia and Ruth had found a cheap place to live on the outskirts of Wroclaw, they had to find a way to support themselves. They had a little money brought with them that would last a couple of months but after that, if they couldn’t find work they would have trouble.
Nadzia had a distant relative in the nearby town of Siechnice, Bozydar Janda a cousin of her dead husband and she sought him out hoping he might be able to give her some work. He had nothing, at least nothing she could do in his forestry and sawmills. They needed another idea. It was Ruth who came up with it.
Both the women were good cooks, so they began to prepare food that they could take to the sawmill and up into the forest, for Ruth to sell the men working for Bozydar. They had been doing this for a few weeks, not making much money but enough to cover their rent, when Bozydar took on a new manager.
When the new manager arrived to check on some of Bozydar’s lumberjacks and found Ruth selling food and snacks to the men from her basket he ordered her away, saying she was keeping the men from their work. On her way back down the wooded track, a car came bumping past Ruth on the rough ground going in the opposite direction. It was Bozydar, though she didn’t know it. He had noticed her.
Bozydar was a good businessman and employer. He treated his workers well and liked so support those trying to make their way through their own hard work and initiative. After finding out what the manager had done, he was annoyed and at a later date, for another incident the manager was eventually sacked.
Driving back down the hill Bozydar again saw Ruth on her way down, with her basket of food that today would be wasted. He stopped to offer Ruth a lift back down the hill. She was grateful and accepted appreciatively, and as they chatted while they bumped along he said she was still welcome to sell food to his men. They liked it as well as helping her.
Bozydar took Ruth home to where she lived with Nadzia, stopping on the way at his sawmill where Ruth could sell some of her snacks, lessening the days losses caused by the manager. As he dropped Ruth off, Bozydar bought some of Ruth’s food himself to take home for his evening meal. Before he resumed his drive home, he saw Nadzia at the door as Ruth went in. It was then that he knew who Ruth was.
‘Did you realise who that was?’ Nadzia asked as she and Ruth sat down to their own meal that evening, finishing some of the unsold food in Ruth’s basket. ‘It was Elek’s cousin, Bozydar.’ So Ruth told her mother-in-law about how he had helped her that day.
The next day, mid mid-morning, there was an unexpected knock at Ruth and Nadzia’s door and when Ruth opened it was surprised to find Bozydar standing there. ‘I thought you might like a lift’ he said. ‘I shall be going up to the men working in the forest again, if you’d like to bring some of your food to sell.’
After Bozydar had spoken with his men and Ruth sold them food and snacks for thier lunch, they sat down together on a freshly felled log. Bozydar seemed in no hurry to get back to the sawmill from the forest, so they shared food and chatted, until they noticed the men resuming their logging.
Bozydar took Ruth home again after their work that day, and on many more days when he had to check on the work of his men in the forest, which sometimes Ruth suspected was really just an excuse.
Chapter 3 next week.