Nikolai, said Father Kybrlik, run to the market in Charles Square and get the candles for the evening service.
The money disappeared once Nikolai set eyes on Paulina, who sold hand-carved wooden animals for 15 zloty apiece from a stall outside the cathedral.
When Nikolai and Paulina married in the year that war broke out, Father Kybrlik presided over the ceremony, and in the year that peace returned he blessed their firstborn son.
Nikolai’s son is now a grandfather, and the candles in Charles Square have long since melted. Only the small wooden elephant survives, unextinguished by the weeping wind.