The Three Chilly Saints of May

You might have noticed it was quite cold this past week in May just like last year. According to my husband it had to do with St. Pankrác, St. Servác and St. Bonifác. It seems that other Czech’s know about these three Saints that come in May, even though there isn’t a lot of information out there on these guys. It is weather folklore (pronostika in Czech) and reminded me of anecdotes in the Farmer’s Almanac we had at the ranch.

I was trying to relay the story to my daughter as I offered why it might be snowing at the ranch last week and she wanted to know more about these weather saints. So it seems I needed an explanation and used the topic in my monthly writing group.

Our writing exercise was to use the following words, starting with the first word in the first sentence; reprimand, mend, dream, delirious, clammy, burial, bridge, money. Time limit 30 minutes.

The Iceman Cometh in May

St. Pankrác, St. Servác and St. Bonifác were meeting to discuss the weather.

Pankrác, a thin lanky man with a long white beard looked over at the plump Bonifác, who was slumped in the chair and reprimanded him for suggesting they come earlier to help out the idiots that had planted their tomatoes too soon. Servác, the smallest of the three, just rolled his eyes and continued to mend his socks while the three iceman argued over changing their dates from May 12, 13, and 14 to something earlier in April. With global warming and all it was just getting too complicated to stick with this schedule.

Even though Servác was the youngest of the bunch his real dream was to retire his iceman role and just be another Saint’s day. He hated when the Czech parents avoided naming their children after him just because of the cold May weather. All of the millennial Czechs were naming their children more British names which was ridiculous, given they didn’t follow the Czech grammar rules. Servác was such a cool unique name. Plus he was so tired of being tied to these other two morons since that year back in the 1900’s when they all three got sick and were delirious with the Spanish flu in May.  He was pretty sure Bonifác got it and spread it when he sneezed all over them. Obviously he should have worn a mask. The horrible memories of clammy hands and fevers made him tremble just thinking about it. Servác just wanted to be on his own and be his own man.

Bonifác continued talking over Pankrác about all the reasons they needed to change the dates. He brought up the time his beloved cat, Fluffy, died during Ice days and how difficult it was to give a proper burial due to the frozen ground. It took all three of them to dig the hole.

Bonifác, unlike Servác loved his reputation and status as the Chill Dudes in May. In fact recently he had been into making TikTok videos of a cool dance he invented played to funky music as frost hit the plants. Or, he thought, maybe he would take some old video of a previous year they hit the crops with the biggest hail stones they could make. Boy that was a lot of work!  He really wished there was Internet a few hundred years ago when the farmers really took them seriously.  He wanted to be respected again. He wanted to go viral.

Pankrác was the self appointed leader of the trio of winter in May. For him, it was all about the money. He knew Babiš, Minister of Finance, owned most of the agriculture in Czech Republic and he felt it was time to take him down. Pankrác had recently partnered up with some foreign investor and made a secret deal to freeze all of the lands owned by Babiš so they could buy it on the cheap.  Pankrác had a strange obsession to get revenge on Babiš. The other two icemen didn’t know what it was about, but thought it had something to do with the time Pankrác played Bridge with Babiš and his wife. He came home screaming that they were cheaters and he would get them back!

Anyway, the three cold brothers realized their hot tempers had probably gotten to all of them given this strange pandemic. Finally, Bonifác suggested they invite Saint Zofie over for dinner and they would watch cute polar bear youtube videos to get back in the mood of being the iceman. That always worked.

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