Wonderful childhood

The coat of arms of the Wyczółkowski family – a horseshoe with a raven, just like the coat of arms of the Krasiński family. [Ślepowron coat of arms]. My father had Ostrów on the Wieprz River, about eighty hectares, a manor house with a thatched roof. I barely remember my father. He died of consumption in 1861, not hereditary, but acquired. He fell under ice, trying to save horses and caught a fatal cold. Very ill, he sold his property for 10,000 Polish zlotys. As far as my siblings are concerned, I had a brother Tolek, Teodor, who lived seven years, a sister, who died when she was nineteen, Andzia, who died when she was eight, and Zosia, who lived for a short time. My wonderful childhood was followed by several sad years in Warsaw.

I like rivers, since I was raised on the Wieprz River; the Brda River reminds me of it a little bit. The Wieprz River was the homeland of carp fish, which were two hundred years old and looked like a moss-covered bottle … It was also a homeland of swallows living in their riverbank habitats, digging birds. When I was young, I used to sleep in a haystack in summer. In the morning, the entire horizon was covered by fog.

My mother remarried a tailor named Tomaszewski, but it was not a happy marriage.