Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bishop Daniel’s Fables, IV

Russian, anonymous, first half of the 20th century:

The king of beasts had met the sow
And had insulted her – and how!
She wanted to defend her right
And challenged him to mortal fight.
The king accepted: so a date
Was set, and this did seal her fate.
The fatal meeting drawing near
The sow was dying out of fear
And, wishing to avoid the strife,
She started running for her life,
Being unable to defend
Her rights – and then she met a friend.
Her friend, the boar, said looking at her:
“Now, sister, come, what is the matter?
Tell me – on me you can rely”.
To this the sow made this reply:
“I have nobody to rely on.
I’ve been insulted by the lion
And challenged him to moral fight:
My only hope is now in flight.” –
“Don’t be so rash, my darling, please!
Not far from here, you know, there is
A mud-hole, filled with filth and dung.
‘Tis very potent, very strong.
Its mud, it being very smelly.
With it you rub your back and belly,
Your snout, your feet and both your ears –
Then you should not have any fears,
But you go straight to meet the king.
No other weapons you need bring,
For this you ought to understand:
No other animal can stand
No human being and no god

The smell of this enchanted mud!”
The sow obeyed the boar: she did
Exactly as she had been bid,
Smearing herself from head to toes.
The lion comes, he sniffs – and goes!
Then all the pigs began to shout:
“We won! the lion has backed out!”

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