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Author: Subject: A. 083. Animal Life
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[*] posted on 5-12-2014 at 03:52 PM
A. 083. Animal Life

From Rachlau
Translated by Joel R. Meador

Behind the floor of our barn
Lies a fallow, unworked piece of feudal land,
Who is going to be the good ploughman,
That can be trusted to turn it around?

The wolf who tills the feudal land
With four goats in a line,
The fox with the tail is the driver,
As he explosively comes running along.

The wolf becomes angry, hurling himself across the clearing,
After the fox, and hits his leg,
The fox is irritated and curses the wolf,
Who goes and leaves him entirely alone.

He (the fox) walks a short distance away from there,
Where he encounters a very tired frog.
“Tell me, where do you come from, my Godfather,
You who are so big and brightly polished?”

“I have been sent to here from Ottendorf,
With written instructions:
Oh, who is so well educated,
That he can read the letter to me?”

The fox reads the letter and glances
Across at the colorful frog,
As he points to the lines with a claw,
He suddenly snapped up the frog as a feast.”

The fox continued walking along only a short distance
Then met an industrious workman there,
Who was chopping wood
With a very sharp broadaxe.

The slivers of wood were falling before him
And he pushed them into a pile like straw.
The fox then wanted to help him,
But steadily broke up the pile.

The crawfish with their elongated claws
Cut their own wood,
And the wrens were splitting wood
Not too haughty with their axe-like beaks.

A stork walked on the barn
And ordered the thrasher,
To have about a bushel thrashed,
Because he had not a sheaf.

The sparrows were thrashing industriously,
The calf was turning, with its strong legs,
And grinding all the corn together,
Mice were nibbling the corn into pieces.

The magpie was on its plowed field,
It wanted to see (a field of corn),
The magpie also had not a single grain of corn
To be found on the barren ground.

Crows were sitting high up in the oak tree,
Both of them were laughing scornfully,
Until the sow that brought the beer,
Stuck his snout up in the air.

The fly had been the bread baker,
Baking dough with prickly thorns,
The ram prepared for war,
Sheep were speaking to him about it.

Don’t go forth, my treasured ram,
There was once also a day,
When I would have sacrificed my wagging little tail,
To go around you as a leather pouch.

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