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The Little Humpbacked Horse
Translated by L. Zelikoff; N. Giroux
Past the woods and mountains steep,
Past the rolling waters deep,
Where the skies black earth behold,
Lived a peasant weak and old.
Of his sons-and he had three
Eldest sharp was as could be.
Second was nor dull nor bright,
But the third-a fool all right.
But, upon an evil day,
Dire misfortune came their way-
Someone, when the day was through
Took to trampling wheat they grew.
Never had such grief before
Come to visit at their door.
Day and night they sat and thought
How the villain could be caught,
Till at last they understood
Nightly guard would do them good.
You, Ivan just go around.
Watch the field and space abound
We'll lay low and watch this spot-
Soon the loathsome thief be caught!
Stars, stars one, two, three
All night long, I count thee
Four, five, six and... there's seven!
Fingers ten can't count all heaven!
Oh, ho ho-so this is it!
You're the rogue-but wait a bit!
Since you sat me, I confess
I am yours now to possess
But if you will set me free
Two brave stallions I would give thee
And such handsome steeds I'd bear
As have ne'er been seen, I swear.
And a third I promise you,
Only twelve hands high, with two
Little humps upon his back-
Ears-a yard long...
If you wish, why, sell the two,
But, Ivan, whate'er you do,
Part not with the little steed,
Though you be in direst need.
Faithful friend to you he'll be,
Where you go, on land or sea.
So, farewell, Ivan
For now I will roam free...
-Not in our fieldshopefully!!!
Log house, stove all swing around,
No place for their master to lay down!
Where in this hangover dread
Shall I hide my rowdy head ?
Hey, stomp with your foot!
Dont you worry bout the boot!
Drunks knee-deep all seas shall measure
But their heads they do not treasure...
Lord, be merciful and fair!
Just you look what lovely pair
Our young fool has hidden there
Upon meadows, fields around
At dawn's early hours
From Sun's beard sprinkle down
Rainbow-clad gem showers.
Oh, the field, the field of mine
Roaming free just feels so fine!
Oh, my horses black as night,
With your golden manes so bright!
Did not I look after you?
What foul devil stole you? Who?
Dont blame devils for their deeds-
Your two brothers stole those steeds.
Yes, your loss is great, I know-
But I'll help you in your woe.
Mount my back-when I say: 'Go',
Hold to me for all you know.
Now, this is a'curious flame.
This could fill six capfuls square!
But no smoke or heat-I swear!
This brings you delight, I gather?!
Nothing but a Fire-Bird's feather.
Yes, Ivan, for your own sake,
Take it not, for in its wake
Many sorrows, many woes
Follow everywhere it goes.
What you say 'bout this or that?
Pass this up? -Oh, I think not!
Many sorrows, many woes
Follow everywhere it goes.
Capital City
Now, there was an old tradition
That, without the Mayor's permission,
Nothing could be bought or sold,
Nor for barter, nor for gold.
As the church-bells called for prayer,
On his palfrey rode the Mayor.
Golden trumpet gaily sounding,
Voice stentorian resounding:
Guests and honest merchants there,
Open up and sell your ware!
You, my watchmen, guard their stalls
Keep the order, squash the brawls!
Then the merchants loudly call,
As each opens up his stall:
"Honest masters-come this way!
See what wares we have today!
Sables, ferrets different furs
Pick and choose, you lovely girls!
Here I have the yokes renowned
Saddles and some horsewhips sound!
Tawed reins!
Honey cakes!
Spiced brine apples!
Tasty bakes!
Come young maidens and young lads!
Savor all my gingerbreads!
-Tsars approaching!
-Redhead chamberlain side him-
Hes horse keepers chief supreme.
Oh dear father!
Oh dear mother!
What a sight theyre to behold
Just to me, you will be sold!
My good people, who
Owns these handsome chargers two?
Tsar, these steeds belong to me.
I'm their owner, too, you see.
Will you sell them
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