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The story of the ceramic cock from Petresti, Cluj county
     
 
The story of the ceramic cock from Petresti, Cluj county

Situated at the left side of the Orthodox Church in Petresti, a peasant house bears a ceramic cock on the top of the stall roof. This Christian symbol has adorned the roof of the stall since 1937, when it was built by Sandru Iosif. He fought in the IInd World War as a soldier. His father was also a hero who died in the Ist World War, and his son - Iosif (Joseph) - also served his country. A monument, like many others which can be seen all through Transylvania, attests the martyrdom of many locals who gave their life to defend this land, sometimes entire families whose similar names can be read on the commemorative plaques.

Iosif Sandru's daughter tells us the story of the cock which is soon going to be centennial, just like the tiles of the stable roof. Her father went to a fair and bought the ceramic ornament with as much as he paid for the tiles. Such a cock was nowhere to be found in the village and its owner was very proud of it: 'My father was not a well-to-do, he was just a middle man', the woman remembers her father's stories.

At the end of the war, as her father was in the fixed battalion in Vlaha, when the occupying troupes were withdrawing while taking prisoners the Romanians who had turned their weapons against the forces of the Axis. When he passed by his house, Iosif had been taken prisoner and the Hungarian officer who guarded him made him choose: either he or the cock will be shot. 'My father looked away to the ground', and the Hungarian officer aimed at the cock. The bullet came out on the other side, so the cock remained in place. 'Both were saved', said the woman.

The tiles of the roof have needed no replacement so far, whereas the cock remained in place against all odds, just like the Romanian people on this land.

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