Saturday, 30 September 2017

The Cock Who Fell into the Brewing Vat

There was once, upon a time, a tuppe and a toppe who went out into the field and scratched and kicked and pecked.

Just like that, the hen found a grain of barley, and the cock a hops bud, and they were going to grow malt and brew some Christmas beer.

“I pluck the barley and I malt the malt, and brew beer, and the beer is good,” clucked the hen.

“Is the beer good and strong?” said the cock, flying up on to the edge of the vat, and he would take a taste. But when he should bow himself to drink a drop, he began to flap his wings, and then he fell head first into the brewing vat and drowned.

When the hen saw this, she was so terribly upset that she flew up on to the mantlepiece and began to cry and weep. “Buck, buck, buck, ba-karr! Buck, buck, buck, ba-karr!” she screamed continuously, and would never stop.

“What has upset you, Tuppe mother hen, since you grieve and weep so?” said the hand quern.

“Well, Toppe the father cock fell into the brewing vat and drowned, and there he lies dead,” said the hen; “therefore do I grieve and weep,” said the hen.

“Well, if I can do aught else, then I shall grind and mill,” said the hand quern, beginning to grind with all its might.

When the chair heard this, then it said, “What is the matter, quern, since you grind and mill so?”

“Well, Toppe the father cock fell into the brewing vat and drowned, Tuppe the mother hen sits upon the wall shelf and grieves and weeps, therefore do I grind and mill,” said the hand quern.

“Can I do aught else, then shall I rock,” said the chair, beginning to creak and groan.

This the door heard, and it said to it: “What is wrong with you? Why are you rocking, chair?”

“Well, Toppe the father cock fell into the brewing vat and drowned, Tuppe the mother hen sits upon the wall shelf and grieves and weeps, the quern grinds and mills, therefore do I creak and groan,” said the chair.

“Well, can I do aught else, then I can open and slam,” said the door, and began to fly open and slam shut, and sound and noise so that it went into the marrow of one’s bones.

This heard the sawdust bin.

“Why do you open and slam so, you door?” it said.

“Well, Toppe the father cock fell into the brewing vat and drowned, Tuppe the mother hen sits upon the wall shelf and grieves and weeps, the quern grinds and mills, the chair creaks and groans, therefore do I open and slam,” said the door.

“Well, can I do aught else, then I shall flurry and smoke,” said the sawdust bin, beginning to smoke so that the parlour stood in a fog.

This saw the rake that stood outside, looking in through the window.

“Why do you flurry so, sawdust bin?” it said.

“Well, Toppe the father cock fell into the brewing vat and drowned, Tuppe the mother hen sits upon the wall shelf and grieves and weeps, the quern grinds and mills, the chair creaks and groans, the door opens and slams, therefore do I flurry and smoke,” said the sawdust bin.

“Well, can I do aught else, then I can rasp and rake,” it said, beginning to rake around about.

This the aspen stood watching.

“Why do you rasp and rake so, rake?” it said.

“Well, Toppe the father cock fell into the brewing vat and drowned, Tuppe the mother hen sits upon the wall shelf and grieves and weeps, the quern grinds and mills, the chair creaks and groans, the door opens and slams, the sawdust bin flurries and smokes, therefore do I rasp and rake,” said the rake.

“Well, can I do aught else, then I shall quiver and quake in my leaves.”

This the birds noticed.

“Why do you quiver and quake so, aspen?” said the birds to it.

“Toppe the father cock fell into the brewing vat and drowned, Tuppe the mother hen sits upon the wall shelf and grieves and weeps, the quern grinds and mills, the chair creaks and groans, the door opens and slams, the sawdust bin flurries and smokes, the rake rasps and rakes, therefore do I quiver and quake,” said the aspen.

“Well, can we do aught else, then we will pluck our feathers off us,” said the birds, beginning to pick and pluck so their feathers flurried.

This stood the man, watching, and so he asked the birds: “Why do you pluck your feathers off you, birds?”

“Well, Toppe the father cock fell into the brewing vat and drowned, Tuppe the mother hen sits upon the wall shelf and grieves and weeps, the quern grinds and mills, the chair creaks and groans, the door opens and slams, the sawdust bin flurries and smokes, the rake rasps and rakes, the aspen quivers and quakes, therefore do we pick and pluck the feathers off ourselves,” said the birds.

“Well, can I do aught else, then I will pull the apart the besoms,” said the man, beginning to rip and pull the besoms so that the twigs flew both east and west.

His wife stood cooking porridge for supper, watching this.

“Why do you pull apart the besoms, husband?” she asked.

“Well, Toppe the father cock fell into the brewing vat and drowned, Tuppe the mother hen sits upon the wall shelf and grieves and weeps, the quern grinds and mills, the chair creaks and groans, the door opens and slams, the sawdust bin flurries and smokes, the rake rasps and rakes, the aspen quivers and quakes, the birds pick and pluck their feathers off themselves, therefore do I pull apart the besoms,” said the man.

“Well, then I will smear the porridge around, too,” said his wife, and that she did, too; she took one spoonful after the other and smeared it all around the walls, so that no one could see what they were made of for the porridge.

Then they drank the wake of the cock who fell into the brewing vat and drowned, and if you will not believe it, then you can go thither and taste both of the beer and of the porridge.

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Even the brothers Grimm recognised that Norwegian folktales include the best tales. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

      Delete