Friday, December 23, 2011

Basho on the end of the year

The moon and the snow,
I live and look at beauty,
The year is ending.

Matsuo Bashō (1644-1694)

Posted for the end of the year. Actually a translation from German, which itself, of course, was a translation.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A fairytale

Prince Pygmalian II, on a walk in the forest in the proximity of Castle Tsvitskenstein, could not believe his eyes – there was his beloved Cinderella, rendered immobile by a hideous red-bearded dwarf, who was fondling her to his heart's content with his callous and – most likely – smelly hands, all the while emitting lustful grunts.

Oh what to do to avoid equal immobility, restore Cinderella's mobility and seek retribution?
The prince, counting on dwarves' proverbial greed, thought of a plan that might possibly work.

"Pray, my dear fellow, I would reward you handsomely if you told me how to immobilize someone like this girl you have here," he said, stepping forward.

The dwarf was visibly annoyed but also instantly tempted.
"And what might such a handsome reward be, my dear prince?"
The dwarf had immediately made out that the prince was a prince by his princely garb, the politeness of his speech and a few other princely attributes.

"I have some gold coins with me," said Pygmalian II, "but can also offer you dollars or euros."

Like all princes, Pygmalian II always carried with him a sizeable number of gold ducats and bills in major currencies.

"No, gold is best. The other two have lost a lot of their market value lately."
"Will 15 ducats do?"
"Make it 25, and we are in business. My craft does not come cheaply."
"25 it shall be, then."
"I take cash."
"Of course."

The prince took out his heavy wallet, counted 25 gold pieces and handed them to the dwarf, who counted them scrupulously, which took a while and required some shuffling because he did it using the seven fingers of both hands.

"Shall we shake hands on the deal?" the prince said.
The dwarf proffered his hairy hand.
"But before we do, please tell me your name, my dear fellow. I always like to know who I do business with."

This request clearly did not please the dwarf.
"We normally do not disclose our names to your kind," he eventually replied, "but be it for business' sake. I am called Rumple, and I'm of the illustrious line of the Stiltskins."

The prince shook hands and immediately had to suppress an urge to wipe his hand.

"Now, dear Rumple Stiltskin, please reveal to me the immobilization magic."
"You say, 'Freeze, oh,' and then the name, all the while looking into the eyes of your victim, err beloved," the dwarf explained.

"Thank you, dear fellow. I shall practice this magic real soon. – How would you like to earn some more?"

Rumple licked his fat red lips.

"Wouldn't be adverse to it. Something to add to my stocking for retirement. What other magic is it you wish to know?"
"Well, it might come in handy once in a while to restore mobility to someone. You don't want to leave statues around all over the place."

"I'll take 30 for that one," the dwarf declared smugly.
"As you wish! I've never been known to be stingy."

Once again the prince took out his wallet, counted 30 gold pieces and gave them to the dwarf.
"Thank you, my prince."
"What are the words, then, dear Rumple?"
"They are, 'Unfreeze, oh,' followed by the name. But you have to stand behind the person when you say these words."
"And will they work on any moving creature, big and small?"
"Anything that is alive, guaranteed."

Looking into the dwarf's eyes, the prince said, "Freeze, oh Rumple Stiltskin!"

The dwarf froze instantly, the beginnings of outrage showing in his face.

Then the prince stepped behind Cinderella and spoke, "Unfreeze, oh Cinderella!"

Cinderella was released from immobility and gave the prince her best Hollywood kiss.

And if you take a walk in the forest near Castle Tsvitskenstein and come upon a garden dwarf, do not stand behind him and utter the words, "Unfreeze, oh Rumple Stiltskin!"

Because there is no guarantee that Rumple Stiltskin would react kindly upon his return to life.

As to Prince Pygmalian II and Cinderella, they lived happily ever after, doing whatever princes and princesses do best and gaining exposure through tabloids.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2011)

Written for 3WW (immobile, proximity and retribution) and Sunday Scribblings (Fairytale).

Sunday, December 4, 2011

So what fib no. 7

a hair-
cut this week-
end, played games and drank
beer with friends. So what, you say, that
hardly broke ground. Oh,
I forgot
to men-

– Leonard “In Crisis” Blumfeld (© 2011)