27 October 2009

The Great Big Turnip

The Turnip
Russian folk tale
 
An old man planted a turnip. The turnip grew
to be enormous. The old man started to pull the turnip out of the ground. He
pulled and pulled, but couldn't pull it out. So he called the old woman over.
The old woman took hold of the old man, the old man took hold of the turnip, they
pulled and pulled, but couldn't pull it out. So the old woman called the
granddaughter over.
The granddaughter took hold of the old woman, the old woman
took hold of the old man, the old man took hold of the turnip, they pulled and
pulled, but couldn't pull it out. So the granddaughter called the dog over.
The dog took hold of the granddaughter, the granddaughter took hold of the old
woman, the old woman took hold of the old man, the old man took hold of the
turnip, they pulled and pulled, but couldn't pull it out. So the dog called the
cat over.
The cat took hold of the dog, the dog took hold of the granddaughter,
the granddaughter took hold of the old woman, the old woman took hold of the old
man, the old man took hold of the turnip, they pulled and pulled, but couldn't
pull it out. So the cat called the mouse over.
The mouse took hold of the cat, the cat took hold of the dog, the dog took hold of the granddaughter, the granddaughter took hold of the old woman, the old woman took hold of the old man, the old man took hold of the turnip, they pulled and pulled--and finally pulled out the turnip!
--In Russian, the name "Zhuckha" is used in place of
"dog." Also, the translation loses all the the lyricism of this little tale. In
Russian, the similar words repeated patterns combined to make a rhythm that is
almost a tongue-twister! Transliterated, the last line of the tale sounds like
this:Myshka za koshku, koshka za Zhuchku, Zhuchka za vnuchku, vnuchka za babku, babka za dedku, dedka za repku, tyanut-potyanut--vytyanuli repku!
 


Anyone remember this old story? I did not know it was a Russian Traditional Story. I was inspired to hunt down this story, from a post by Jeanne.

If you are interested in a bit of literary exploration, visit Russian Crafts to explore a list of Russian and Ukranian Folktales. I have not read all the stories there yet, many of them I have never heard of before.

5 comments:

Sarah said...

Hello Amy, I followed you here from Ruby's! I haven't heard this folktale, but interesting, thank you for sharing! I really like your blog! I homeschool my two children on the East coast of Victoria and also own and manage a B&B...it's lovely! xxx

Amy said...

Hi Sarah,

Lovely to 'meet' you. I love Victoria, we have travelled there many times over the years.

Jeanne said...

Very good!! Loved this tale. Jemimah says, "It is funny but it wasn't quite that hard to pull the cauli out!"

Jeanne said...

Me again - I've linked your post to mine - hope that is okay!

Ruby said...

I remember that story well. I can even picture some of the illustrations in my mind. I also think it was one my children heard read on Playschool years ago.
When I first saw Jemimah's pulling pics I thought of it too. Thanks for tracking it down.