Posts filed under ‘Ion Creangă’

La bourse aux 2 sous

This is a French translation by Eugène Stanciu of the Romanian folktale Punguţa cu doi bani by Ion Creangă

Il était une fois une vieille femme et un vieil homme. La vieille possédait une poule, et le vieillard un coq.
La poule de la vieille pondait deux œufs par jour et…
…la vieille mangeait beaucoup d’œufs, mais le vieillard n’en profitait jamais.
Un jour, le vieil homme lui dit :
– Donne-moi quelques œufs pour apaiser ma faim.
– Si tu veux des œufs, tu n’as qu’à frapper ton coq, lui répondit la vieille grippe-sou.
Le vieil homme écouta le conseil de la vieille, attrapa le coq et le frappa en lui disant:
– Tiens! Ou bien tu ponds des œufs ou bien tu t’en vas de ma maison!
Le coq s’enfuit de la maison. En chemin, il trouva une bourse avec deux sous. Il la prit dans son bec et retourna chez son maître.
Sur le chemin il croisa une riche calèche; dès que le boyard vit le coq, il ordonna au cocher de voir ce qu’il avait dans son bec.
Le cocher retira la bourse du bec du coq, la donna au boyard et continua son chemin.
Le coq n’abandonnant pas sa bourse, il poursuivit la calèche en criant.
– Cocorico! Rendez-moi ma bourse aux deux sous !
Le boyard, furibond, ordonna au cocher de jeter le coq dans le puits, sur le côté du chemin.
Mais, le coq but l’eau jusqu’à ce que le puits soit à sec.
En sortant du puits, il poursuivit à nouveau la calèche en criant.
– Cocorico! Rendez-moi ma bourse aux deux sous !
Le boyard en colère, arrivant à la maison, ordonna à une domestique sans cœur de jeter le coq dans le four.
La vieille attrapa le coq et le jeta dans le four plein de braises.
Mais, le coq répandit l’eau avalée, et le feu s’éteignit.
Il en sortit aussitôt, sain et sauf, courut à la fenêtre du boyard malhonnête et cria:
– Cocorico! Rendez-moi ma bourse aux deux sous!
– Voilà! Je me suis mis dans un sale pétrin avec ce coq, dit le boyard. Il ordonna de le lancer au milieu du bétail. Peut-être un bœuf furieux l’encornerait-il et lui ferait la peau!
Alors, si tu avais vu le coq avaler les bœufs, les vaches et les veaux jusqu’au dernier, tu aurais vu son ventre gonfler et devenir aussi gros qu’une montagne.
Il déploya ensuite les ailes dans la direction du soleil, assombrissant toute la maison du boyard et il réclama encore la bourse aux deux sous.
Quand il vit cette prouesse, le boyard pâlit de peur et jeta le coq dans la salle du trésor où dormait son or… peut-être avalerait-il une pièce qui lui resterait en travers de la gorge.
Et le coq gourmand commença à picorer l’or.
Quand il n’y eut plus d’or, il sortit et demanda encore la bourse. En voyant qu’il ne pouvait rien faire, le boyard lui lança finalement la bourse aux deux sous.
Satisfait, le coq attrapa la bourse dans son bec et partit.
Les volailles de la cour du boyard, éblouies par tant de vaillance, le suivirent.
Sur le chemin de la maison, le coq se pavanait tandis que les volailles marchaient derrière lui en procession.
Arrivé à la maison du vieil homme, il appela son maître pour qu’il lui donnât une couverture.
Il battit des ailes et, aussitôt, la cour du vieil homme se remplit de bétail…
…et sur la couverture, un monticule d’or brillait au soleil.
La vieille crevait d’envie.
– Grand-père, dit-elle, donne-moi un peu d’or.
– N’y pense pas. Quand je t’ai demandé des œufs, qu’as-tu répondu?
Alors la grand-mère attrapa la poule et la tapa.
Dès que la poule s’échappa de ses mains, elle s’enfuit et sur le chemin, trouva une perle en verre. Elle l’avala.
Ensuite elle retourna rapidement chez la vieille femme et alla droit vers son poulailler.
Après une heure ou deux la poule, très fière de son exploit, pondit la perle.
La vieille femme crut que la poule se moquait d’elle…
…elle l’empoigna et la frappa à mort. La vieille avare sans cœur demeura très pauvre.
Mais le vieil homme vécut en paix jusqu’à la fin de ses jours, aux côtés de son coq futé.

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February 6, 2009 at 6:05 pm 1 comment

The Little Bag with Two Coins

Here is a translation of the Romanian folktale Punguţa cu doi bani by Ion Creangă
And here is a slightly modified version that I did for my kindercat: pdf

Once upon a time there were an old woman and an old man who were living in the countryside. The old man had a rooster and the woman a hen. The woman was very proud and happy because the hen laid an egg every day but she was also very greedy and never offered a single egg to the man.

In vain the old man asked the woman for some eggs, she never wanted to hear about sharing them with the man.
– “Beat your rooster if you want to eat eggs! My hen didn’t lay any egg until I started beating it!”

Tempted and greedy, the old man ran after the rooster, caught it and beat the poor animal.
-“You start laying eggs or you’ll leave my house, because you are just a burden to me!”

The rooster escaped from the old man’s hands, scared and dazed, started wandering when he saw on the road a little bag with a couple of coins in it. Very happy, he took the little bag in his beak and went to the old man’s house. While it was going back home, very pleased with its little treasure, the rooster met a carriage with some elegant ladies and a landlord. The man saw the rooster and told the driver:
– “Go down and bring me the little bag from the rooster’s beak!’

The driver took the little bag and brought it to the man. The man put the bag in his pocket and ordered the driver to move on.

The rooster, very angry, followed the carriage and yelled:

Cucurigu, mighty man,
Give me back my two coins bag!

The landlord, irritated by the rooster’s perseverance, seeing a fountain, ordered the driver to throw the rooster in it!

What could the driver do but obeying? He went down from the carriage, caught the rooster and threw it into the fountain! When the rooster saw the danger, he started drinking the water from the fountain until he could fly away from there.Then he started running after the carriage again, yelling as loudly as he could:

Cucurigu, mighty man,
Give me back my two coins bag!

Very angry, the landlord said:
— You trouble rooster, I will take care of you!

As soon as the landlord arrived at his mansion, he ordered a woman from the kitchen to throw the rooster in an oven’s fire. The woman caught the rooster and threw it into the fire, putting a rock at the oven’s door. But the rooster started then to pour all the water he had drunk from the fountain and put the fire out flooding the kitchen. Then he removed the rock from the oven’s door and started yelling again:

Cucurigu, mighty man,
Give me back my two coins bag!

— Well, I found my Godfather with this rooster, says the angry landlord! Take it and throw it into the middle of the cattle, maybe he’ll be crushed by an angry bull and we’ll be over with it!

The driver took the rooster and threw it in the middle of the cattle. That was all the rooster was waiting for. He started gobbling one after another all the cows and all the bulls and flew to the landowner’s window, yelling again:

Cucurigu, mighty man,
Give me back my two coins bag!

The landowner didn’t know what else to do to get rid of this rooster! He threw it in his cellar where all his money was kept, hoping that this way, the rooster would choke itself with one coin.

But, the greedy rooster, emptied the landowner’s chest full of golden coins, got out from the cellar and yelled again:

Cucurigu, mighty man,
Give me back my two coins bag!

When the landowner saw that it was not possible to defeat the rooster, he gave it the little bag only to get rid of it. Happy, the rooster took his little bag in its beak and went back to the old man’s house! The landowner was shocked when he saw all his chickens following the rooster, like at a wedding.
— I am happy not to have anything to do with this rooster anymore, said the landowner, he brought me only bad luck!

Very proud with a whole crowd surrounding him,the rooster got to the old man’s house and started yelling: “Cucurigu!!! Cucurigu!!!”

When the old man heard the rooster’s voice, he got out off the house and saw the giant rooster surrounded by a lot of chickens. He had never seen such a thing before in his life! The proud rooster asked for a rug to be put in the middle of the yard. Quickly, the old man got the rug and the rooster beated his wings and soon the old man’s yard was full of cattle and the rug full of money.

The old man’s eyes started sparkling of joy, and he didn’t know what to do for his clever rooster.

When the old woman saw such a racket, she came quickly to the old man’s yard to see what was happening. When she saw so much money,she couldn’t believe it green of envy.

Ashamed, she begged :
— Please, give me some money, old man!
— Eat your heart up, old lady! Did you give me any eggs when I asked you for? I did what you told me and look what my rooster gave me! Beat your hen too if you want she brings you money!

The old lady, greedily looking at the money, and forgetting that what she had told the oldman to do was just a lie, caught her hen and beated it. The poor hen ran to the road escaping from the old woman’s angry hands.

There, the hen saw a little crystal ball, swallowed it and went home feeling very happy! He flew to her nest and after an hour gave the old lady the good news. The old lady ran as fast as he could to see what treasures the hen had brought home!

When she looked in the nest and saw the little crystal ball, the old lady got so angry that the hen, scared, ran away and never came back again. So the old woman became really so poor that she didn’t have even a hen to eat its eggs!

The old man was carrying his rooster with him everywhere with pride. He gave the rooster a golden necklace and red boots. He built many beautiful houses with many fruit trees and they lived happily ever after.

February 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm 1 comment

La chèvre et les 3 biquets

This is a French translation by Eugène Stanciu of the Romanian folktale Capra cu trei iezi by Ion Creangă

Dans une maisonnette avec une véranda en bois ornée de géranium rouge, vivait la chèvre avec ses trois biquets.
Un jour, la chèvre dit aux biquets qu’elle allait dans le bois, pour ramener à manger, et qu’ils ne devaient ouvrir à personne.

Le loup, parrain de la chèvre, désirait depuis longtemps manger les biquets. Il entendit ce que la chèvre leur disait.
Lorsque la chèvre disparut de l’horizon, le loup se lécha les babines, et sans attendre frappa à la porte.
Mais les biquets furent surpris que leur mère revienne si vite. Le son de sa voix les étonna.
– Tu n’es pas notre maman! dit un des trois biquets.
Entendant cela, le loup couru voir l’ours forgeron pour se faire aiguiser la langue et les dents. Grâce à cela, sa voix serait plus douce.
Ce qui devait arriver arriva! L’aîné, sans réfléchir, tira le loquet de la porte.
La porte s’ouvrit. Le loup gronda et entra dans la maison pour manger les trois petits biquets.
Par chance, le cadet échappa aux griffes du loup, mais resta seul pour pleurer ses frères.
La chèvre, ayant découvert la tragédie, échafauda un plan pour se venger.
Non loin de la maison, il y avait un trou. La chèvre alluma un feu qu’elle recouvrit de brindilles. Puis, elle déposa un fin paillasson dessus.
Une fois prête, la chèvre invita le loup pour goûter aux plats qu’elle avait mijotés. Le loup s’assit à table, sur une chaise toute faite de cire, au dessus du paillasson.
Soudain, plouf ! Le loup tomba sur les flammes…
Le loup demanda en vain pardon à la chèvre, malgré ce qu’il avait fait subir aux petits biquets.

February 6, 2009 at 12:06 am 2 comments

The Bear Tricked by the Fox

Here is a translation of the Romanian folktale Ursul păcălit de vulpe by Ion Creangă.
And here is a slightly modified version that I did for and with my kindercat: pdf.

Once upon a time there was a cunning and tricky fox, as all foxes are. She was looking all night for something to eat, but she wasn’t lucky enough to find a single thing. When the light of the day came, she was resting in the tall grass, thinking how to find a way to get some food.

Laying on the ground like that, she suddenly felt some nice smell of fish. Looking around, she saw a cart coming.
– Hmmm! here’s the food I was waiting for, thought the hungry cunning fox.

So she went in the middle of the road and laid down on the ground as if she were dead.

When the peasant who slowly drove the cart approached and saw the fox, he stopped the bulls and feeling so lucky to find a dead fox in the middle of the road, because now he would be able to make a nice coat for his wife!

The man threw the fox in the cart over the fish and continued his way back home.

But as soon as the cart started to move, the hungry fox started throwing the fish down from the cart, on the road. When the cunning fox thought that it was enough fish for a feast, she jumped down from the cart to take all the fish. Then she took all the fish into her den and made herself a delicious meal.
While she was eating the fish, a bear just passed near his den and asked :
– What are you eating there? Wow! Fish!!! Yummy…and you have a lot! Please , give me some, please, I am so hungry too!

The greedy fox answered then:
– Don’t you even think about it, bear! I took a big risk to get this fish and I don’t take risks for anybody but myself! If you are so hungry, do what I did and go to the pond and try to catch with your tail as many fish as you want!

The innocent bear asked the fox to teach him how to do it. That was all the fox was waiting for!
– You go in the evening to the pond in the woods, and you put your tail into the water and wait until the day comes. Then you give a pull on it and see how many fish you got!
Very happy and confident, the bear went in the woods to the pond and put his tail in the cold water. It was a very cold night and the wind was blowing even colder.The water froze over and caught the bear’s tail in ice.

After a few hours of waiting, the poor bear was almost frozen and tried to pull his tail out from the cold water.

Poor bear! Instead of fish, he lost his tail!

Screaming in pain, the bear went to catch the fox to get his revenge but, the cunning fox was hiding in the hollow of a tree laughing at the naïve bear:
– Hey, bear! You wanted to catch all the fish from the pond and the fish ate your tail!
Angry, the bear found a stick and started searching the fox in the hole.

But when the bear was pulling the Fox’s leg, she was laughing at him saying he got a tree branch.

And when the Bear was pushing the tree, she was crying:
– Stop pushing so hard, you are breaking my legs, was pretending the tricky fox!

In vain tried the poor bear to pull out the fox from the hole, and after a while, tired and angry, he abandoned the idea…

And that’s how the poor bear was tricked by the cunning fox!

More Romanian Folk Tales and Traditions from Resita School

February 5, 2009 at 10:18 pm 1 comment

L’ours et le renard

This is a French translation by Eugène Stanciu of the Romanian folktale Ursul păcălit de vulpe by Ion Creangă

Il était une fois un renard rusé, comme tous les renards. Il avait chassé toute la nuit dans la forêt pour trouver quelque chose à manger. Mais il n’avait rien attrapé.
Alors, au matin, il alla sur le chemin qui menait au village. Soudain, il sentit une odeur appétissante: une charrette de poissons approchait.
« Voilà le repas que j’attendais! pensa le renard. Je vais faire semblant d’être mort au milieu du chemin! »
Le conducteur, voyant l’animal étendu au milieu de la route, arrêta ses bœufs.
– Que fait ici ce pauvre renard? se demanda-t-il.
Il descendit de la charrette, ramassa le renard et le jeta au milieu des poissons.
« Cette fourrure fera un beau manteau pour ma femme, se dit-il. »
En repartant, un cahot fit tomber du poisson.
Alors, le renard sauta de la charrette, ramassa les poissons et s’enfuit.
Il mangeait devant son terrier lorsqu’un ours arriva.
– Bon appétit mon ami ! dit l’ours. Peux-tu me donner un poisson? Je suis affamé!
– Non! répondit le renard. C’est à moi! Si tu as faim, va au lac, il est plein de poissons.
Mais comment faire pour les attraper? demanda l’ours.
– C’est simple! Plonge ta queue dans l’eau, attends jusqu’à l’aube.
Au matin, tu auras attrapé beaucoup de poissons.
L’ours suivit les conseils du renard. Mais, dans la nuit, un vent très froid souffla.
L’eau du lac commença à geler et la queue de l’ours fut prise dans la glace. L’ours souffrait tant du froid qu’il voulut s’en aller. Pour se libérer de la glace, il tira sur sa queue de toutes ses forces.
Alors, le malheureux ours se retrouva sans queue et sans poissons! En colère contre le renard, il alla lui demander des explications.
– Que t’arrive-t-il mon ami? ricana le renard, blotti dans son terrier.
– J’ai perdu ma queue à cause de toi, grogna l’ours.
– Est-ce ma faute si les poissons ont mangé ta queue? se moqua le renard.
L’ours, furieux, se précipita sur le renard et essaya de le faire sortir de son terrier. Mais n’y parvint pas.
Alors, penaud, l’ours s’enfuit vers la forêt. Il avait perdu sa queue, il n’avait pas attrapé de poissons et n’avait même pas réussi à punir ce maudit renard.

February 5, 2009 at 12:06 am 1 comment

The Goat with Three Kids

Here is a translation of the Romanian folktale Capra cu trei iezi by Ion Creangă. And here is a slightly modified version that I did for and with my kindercat: pdf.

Once upon a time there was a goat with three kids. The little one was hardworking and always listening to his mother. But the middle and the big kids were looking for trouble all the time.

One day, the mother goat told her kids:
– Dear kids, I have to go in the woods to bring food. Please, keep the door locked after I’ll leave and don’t open it until you hear my voice. When I am back, you’ll hear this little song:


Three kids, little kids
Open door to your mommy
Mommy’s bringing to you all
Fresh grass on the lips
Milk and salt on the back…

– Do you understand?

And all the three kids answered together:
– Yes, mama!
– So let me kiss you goodbye and I’ll be back soon with lots of goodies!

Mother goat went in the woods, the little kid locked the door and all started playing in the house.

Meanwhile, the bad wolf, having heard the conversation between the mother goat and the kids about the song, started singing the same song to the kids, hoping this way he would trick them and they would open the door to him.

Three kids, little kids
Open door to your mommy
Mommy’s bringing to you all
Fresh grass on the lips
Milk and salt on the back…

The big kid as soon as he heard the song jumped down to open the door, thinking that his mother was there!

But the little one cried:
– Don’t open the door! It’s not mother, she has a lovely voice, this one is rough and harsh!

When the wolf heard such things, he went to the blacksmith to ask him to sharp his voice! Then he came back and started singing again:

Three kids, little kids
Open door to your mommy
Mommy’s bringing to you all
Fresh grass on the lips
Milk and salt on the back…

The big kid was very sure that now it was his mama.
-Who else could be? I’ll open the door, she must be tired and full of goodies.
-My brother! I feel it’s not mama. Please, don’t open! says the little one.

But the big kid didn’t listen and opened the door! The middle kid hid under a blanket and the little one in the fireplace.

The big kid didn’t open the door well and in a blink of an eye the wolf ate it greedily. He started searching the rest of the house, he was sure that other kids must be in the house.

-Well, well…It seems to me that I’ve heard more voices. I’ll rest a little before leaving.

Then he laid on the blanket and felt something under the blanket….It was the poor middle kid! The hungry wolf ate it too.

When the wolf left, the little kid went out the fireplace, blocked the door and started crying inconsolably over his brothers.

Meanwhile, the mother goat came back home from the woods and she started to sing the song:

Three kids, little kids
Open door to your mommy
Mommy’s bringing to you all
Fresh grass on my lips
Milk and salt on my back…

The little kid jumped to open the door and fell in his mother arms, crying desperately and started to tell the sad story to his mother.

Mother goat cried and cried until she decided to punish the bad wolf. She started cooking all kind of goodies, made a hole in the garden, covered it with woods, embers and brambles and made a table and a chair in wax.

When everything was ready, she went in the forest to look for the wolf to invite him to the mourning feast. The wolf was getting some rest in the shadow of an old oak.
“Good day to you, she-goat! What brings you here?”
“A tragedy happened when I was in the woods. Somebody ate all my kids and now I came to invite you to eat something for their memory and remembrance.”
“Glad about your invitation!” says the wolf.

They went to the goats’ house, and while mother goat was crying in pain, the wolf was pretending that he was very shocked by the news and tried all the time to blame the bear for what had happened. Back at the house, mother goat invited the wolf to seat on the wax chair, and started bringing him food.
– Bon Appétit, says the goat!
– Thank you, the wolf answered politely and, being very greedy, he was eating very fast all the tasteful food.

While he was eating, the wax chair melted and the wolf fell in the fire hole!
– Get me out of here, screamed the wolf, I am burning alive!
– Burn there, wolf, like my heart burned of pain in my chest after my babies.
– Don’t let me die! Have mercy! implored the wolf.
– Did you have mercy for my kids? asked the mother goat.

The news about the wolf’s death soon traveled through the forest and were heard by all the goats. And all the goats were pleased with the well deserved end of the bad wolf.

More Romanian Folk Tales and Traditions from Resita School

January 12, 2009 at 4:27 pm 2 comments


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