The Hare and The Hedgehog.
The Hare and the Hedgehog.
This story, my
dear young folks, seems to be false, but it really is true, for
my grandfather, from whom I have it, used always, when relating
it, to say, it must be true, my son, or else no one could tell it
to you. The story is as follows. One Sunday morning about harvest
time, just as the buckwheat was in bloom, the sun was shining brightly
in heaven, the east wind was blowing warmly over the stubble-fields,
the larks were singing in the air, the bees buzzing among the buckwheat,
the people in their Sunday clothes were all going to church, and
all creatures were happy, and the hedgehog was happy too.
Der Hase und der Igel
ist eigentlich gelogen, Kinder, aber wahr ist sie doch, denn mein
Großvater, von dem ich sie habe, pflegte immer, wenn er sie
erzählte, zu sagen: "Wahr muß sie sein, mein Sohn,
sonst könnte man sie ja nicht erzählen." Die Geschichte
aber hat sich so zugetragen.
hedgehog, however, was standing by his door with his arms akimbo,
enjoying the morning breezes, and slowly trilling a little song to
himself, which was neither better nor worse than the songs which hedgehogs
are in the habit of singing on a blessed Sunday morning. Whilst he
was thus singing half aloud to himself, it suddenly occurred to him
that, while his wife was washing and drying the children, he might
very well take a walk into the field, and see how his turnips were
getting on. The turnips, in fact, were close beside his house, and
he and his family were accustomed to eat them, for which reason he
looked upon them as his own.
stand vor seiner Tür, hatte die Arme verschränkt, er guckte
in den Morgenwind hinaus und trällerte ein kleines Liedchen vor
sich hin, so gut und so schlecht wie am Sonntagmorgen ein Igel eben
zu singen pflegt. Während er nun so vor sich hinsang, fiel ihm
plötzlich ein, er könnte doch, während seine Frau die
Kinder wusch und ankleidete, ein bißchen im Feld spazierengehen
und nachsehen, wie die Steckrüben standen. Die Steckrüben
waren ganz nah bei seinem Haus, und er pflegte sie mit seiner Familie
zu essen, darum sah er sie auch als die seinigen an.
No sooner said than done. The hedgehog shut the house-door behind him, and took the path to the field. He had not gone very far from home, and was just turning round the sloe-bush which stands there outside the field, to go up into the turnip-field, when he observed the hare who had gone out on business of the same kind, namely, to visit his cabbages. When the hedgehog caught sight of the hare, he bade him a friendly good morning. But the hare, who was in his own way a distinguished gentleman, and frightfully haughty, did not return the hedgehog's greeting, but said to him, assuming at the same time a very contemptuous manner, how do you happen to be running about here in the field so early in the morning. I am taking a walk, said the hedgehog. A walk, said the hare, with a smile. It seems to me that you might use your legs for a better purpose. This answer made the hedgehog furiously angry, for he can bear anything but a reference too his legs, just because they are crooked by nature. So now the hedgehog said to the hare, you seem to imagine that you can do more with your legs than I with mine. That is just what I do think, said the hare. That can be put to the test, said the hedgehog. I wager that if we run a race, I will outstrip you. That is ridiculous. You with your short legs, said the hare, but for my part I am willing, if you have such a monstrous fancy for it. What shall we wager. A golden louis-d'or and a bottle of brandy, said the hedgehog. Done, said the hare. Shake hands on it, and then we may as well begin at once. Nay, said the hedgehog, there is no such great hurry. I am still fasting, I will go home first, and have a little breakfast. In half-an-hour I will be back again at this place.
getan. Er schloß die Haustür hinter sich und schlug den
Weg zum Feld ein. Er war noch nicht sehr weit und wollte gerade um
den Schlehenbusch herum, der vor dem Feld stand, als er den Hasen
erblickte, der in ähnlichen Geschäften ausgegangen war,
nämlich um seinen Kohl zu besehen. Als der Igel den Hasen sah,
wünschte er ihm freundlich einen guten Morgen. Der Hase aber,
der auf seine Weise ein vornehmer Herr war und grausam hochfahrend
noch dazu, antwortete gar nicht auf des Igels Gruß, sondern
sagte mit höhnischer Miene: "Wie kommt es, daß du
hier schon so am frühen Morgen im Feld herumläufst?"
Hereupon the hedgehog departed, for the hare was quite satisfied with this. On his way the hedgehog thought to himself, the hare relies on his long legs, but I will contrive to get the better of him. He may be a great man, but he is a very silly fellow, and he shall pay for what he has said. So when the hedgehog reached home, he said to his wife, wife, dress yourself quickly, you must go out to the field with me. What is going on, then, said his wife. I have made a wager with the hare, for a gold louis-d'or and a bottle of brandy. I am to run a race with him, and you must be present. Good heavens, husband, the wife now cried, are you not right in your mind, have you completely lost your wits. What can make you want to run a race with the hare. Hold your tongue, woman, said the hedgehog, that is my affair. Don't begin to discuss things which are matters for men. Be off, dress yourself, and come with me. What could the hedgehog's wife do. She was forced to obey him, whether she liked it or not.
ging er, und der Hase war es zufrieden. Unterwegs aber dachte der
Igel bei sich: "Der Hase verläßt sich auf seine langen
Beine, aber ich will ihn schon kriegen. Er ist zwar ein vornehmer
Herr, aber doch ein dummer Kerl, und das soll er bezahlen."
So when they had set out on their way together, the hedgehog said to his wife, now pay attention to what I am going to say. Look you, I will make the long field our race-course. The hare shall run in one furrow, and when the hare arrives at the end of the furrow on the other side of you, you must cry out to him, I am here already.
sie miteinander unterwegs waren, sprach der Igel zu seiner Frau: "Nun
paß auf, was ich dir sage. Dort auf dem langen Acker will ich
unseren Wettlauf machen. Der Hase läuft in einer Furche, und
ich in der anderen, und dort oben fangen wir an. Du hast nun weiter
nichts zu tun, als daß du dich hier unten in die Furche stellst,
und wenn der Hase in seiner Furche daherkommt, so rufst du ihm entgegen:
"Ich bin schon da!"
Then they reached the field, and the hedgehog showed his wife her place, and then walked up the field. When he reached the top, the hare was already there. Shall we start, said the hare.
kamen sie zu dem Acker, der Igel wies seiner Frau ihren Platz an und
ging den Acker hinauf. Als er oben ankam, war der Hase schon da. "Kann
es losgehen?" fragte er.
said the hedgehog. Then both at once. So saying, each placed himself
in his own furrow. The hare counted, once, twice, thrice, and away,
and went off like a whirlwind down the field. The hedgehog, however,
only ran about three paces, and then he crouched down in the furrow,
and stayed quietly where he was.
erwiderte der Igel.
the hare therefore arrived at full speed at the lower end of the field,
the hedgehog's wife met him with the cry, I am here already. The hare
was shocked and wondered not a little, he thought no other than that
it was the hedgehog himself who was calling to him, for the hedgehog's
wife looked just like her husband. The hare, however, thought to himself,
that has not been done fairly, and cried, it must be run again, let
us have it again. And once more he went off like the wind in a storm,
so that he seemed to fly. But the hedgehog's wife stayed quietly in
her place. So when the hare reached the top of the field, the hedgehog
himself cried out to him, I am here already. The hare, however, quite
beside himself with anger, cried, it must be run again, we must have
it again. All right, answered the hedgehog, for my part we'll run
as often as you choose. So the hare ran seventy-three times more,
and the hedgehog always held out against him, and every time the hare
reached either the top or the bottom, either the hedgehog or his wife
said, I am here already.
als der Hase im vollen Lauf am Ziel unten am Acker ankam, rief ihm
die Frau des Igels entgegen: "Ich bin schon da!"
the seventy-fourth time, however, the hare could no longer reach the
end. In the middle of the field he fell to the ground, blood streamed
out of his mouth, and he lay dead on the spot. But the hedgehog took
the louis-d'or which he had won and the bottle of brandy, called his
wife out of the furrow, and both went home together in great delight,
and if they are not dead, they are living there still.
vierundsiebzigsten Male aber kam der Hase nicht mehr ans Ziel. Mitten
auf dem Acker fiel er zu Boden, das Blut floß ihm aus der Nase,
und er blieb tot liegen. Der Igel aber nahm seinen gewonnenen Golddukaten
und die Flasche Branntwein, rief seine Frau von ihrem Platz am Ende
der Furche, und vergnügt gingen beide nach Hause. Und wenn sie
nicht gestorben sind, leben sie heute noch.
This is how it happened that the hedgehog made the hare run races with him on the heath of Buxtehude - Buxtehude is a village near Hamburg - till he died, and since that time no hare has ever had any fancy for running races with a Buxtehude hedgehog.
geschah es, daß auf der Buxtehuder Heide der Igel den Hasen
zu Tode gelaufen hatte, und seit jener Zeit hat kein Hase mehr gewagt,
mit dem Buxtehuder Igel um die Wette zu laufen.
The moral of this story is, firstly, that no one, however great he may be, should permit himself to jest at any one beneath him, even if he be only a hedgehog. And, secondly, it teaches, that when a man marries, he should take a wife in his own position, who looks just as he himself looks. So whosoever is a hedgehog let him see to it that his wife is a hedgehog also, and so forth.
Die Lehre aus dieser Geschichte aber ist erstens, daß sich keiner, und wenn er sich auch noch so vornehm dünkt, einfallen lassen soll, sich über einen kleinen Mann lustig zu machen, und wäre es auch nur ein Igel. Und zweitens, daß es gut ist, wenn einer heiratet, daß er sich eine Frau von seinem Stand nimmt, die geradeso aussieht wie er. Wer also ein Igel ist, der muß darauf sehen, daß auch seine Frau ein Igel ist.