Monday, 26 November 2007

Russian National Fairy Tales- 'The Goose-Swan'

This is a translated version of a Russian folk tale we studied in Translation today. We got given the Russian and had to translate it. This proved harder than I thought as it was full of Fairy tale language and diminutives. It seems to be a lesson in not being arrogant, doing as you're told and not to spoil your children. But decide for yourselves!

The Goose-Swan
Once upon a time there lived a little old woman and a little old man, they had a daughter and a little son.
'Daughter, Daughter!' Said the mother, 'We are going to work, we will bring you a roll, sew you a little dress and buy you a little head scarf. Be clever! Watch your brother and do not let him leave the yard'
The parents left and the daughter forgot all that she had been told. She put her little brother down on the grass under the window and ran off into the street where she began to play and run about. Suddenly the Goose-Swan swooped down, picked up her brother and flew off with him under her wing.
The girl returned and looked around for her brother but he was gone! She gasped and burst into tears and lamented how bad it would be when her parents returned. She called her brother but he didn't answer! She ran out into the open field and in the distance the Goose-Swan was flying about but then disappeared over the dark forest.
The Goose-Swan for a long time had gained an infamous reputation and stole many children. The girl guessed where it had taken her brother, threw down everything and ran to catch up. She ran and ran, then came across an oven.
'Oven! Oven! Tell me, where did the goose take my brother?'
'Eat my rye pie' it said
'O! But in my father's house we don't even eat wheat pies!'
The oven said nothing
She ran on further to where the apple tree was.
'Apple tree! Apple tree! Tell me where did the Goose take my brother?'
'Eat my Forest apple' it said
'O! But in my father's house we don't even eat garden apples!'
She ran on further to the milk river and jelly bank.
'Milk river! Jelly bank! Where did the goose take my brother?'
'Eat my jelly with some milk.' It said
'O! But in my father's house we don't even drink cream!'
She ran on further through the fields and wandered through the forest until luckily she came across a hedgehog. She wanted to shove him but was afraid that he would pick her and instead she asked:
'Hedgehog! Hedgehog! You didn't see where the goose flew did you?'
'Over there' he pointed.
She ran and came across a hut on chicken's legs turning in a circle. In the hut sat Baba-Yaga with her vainy mug and clay leg. Sat on the bench was her little brother playing with some golden apples. The girl snuck up on him, grabbed him and ran away. The goose followed in pursuit. 'The villain will catch up! Where can I hide?' She ran to the milk river and jelly bank.
'Mother river, hide me!'
'Eat my jelly!'
There was nothing for it, she ate it. The river hide her under the bank and the goose flew past. She got out and said 'Thank you!' and again she ran with her brother. The goose returned and flew towards them. What to do? Hide! She came to the apple tree.
'Apple tree, mother apple tree! Hide me!'
'Eat my forest apple!'
Quickly she ate the apple and the apple tree hid her under it's branches and covered her with its leaves. The goose flew past. She got out and again ran with her brother but the goose saw them and again she to her. It flew down so low that it's wing touched her shoulder and started to pull her brother from her hands. Fortunately on the road was the oven.
'Madam oven, hide me!'
'Eat my rye pie!'
The girl ate the pie and climbed into the oven. The goose flew and flew, shouting and shouting then flew off with nothing.
She ran home and it was a good thing for she managed to return just as her mother and father returned home.

Bit of an anticlimax there but I still like it. Feel I need to point out that in Russian culture Wheat pie is more expensive then rye pie, and the 'jelly bank' isn't like English jelly but is in fact called 'Kysel' and is a sort of preserve like jam but a bit thicker.

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