|I Have Hunger, Brother
Author: waterintheriver PM
Prussia reads a story to his younger brother to sleep at night. Contains a lot of German, but the gist of it is translated below the story.Rated: Fiction K - English - Prussia & Holy Roman Empire - Words: 799 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 1 - Published: 06-18-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6063771
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The candle flickered, shadows dancing on the walls. The book was red, a small ribbon marking the place of the beginning of a story. A boy opened it, a yawn escaping his mouth, and he propped up his head on his hand. The boy beside him, smaller and clutching a brown toy bear, held the other side of the book up for him. The room was still as the older boy began to read.
"Am Waldessaume, am Ende eines Dörfchens, stand einst eine kleine, ärmliche Hütte. Dort lebte ein Holzfäller mit seiner Frau. Im Sommer arbeitete der Mann im Walde und im Winter verrichtete er allerhand Handlangerdienste im Dorfe, um sich den kargen Groschen zu verdienen. Seine Frau saß am Spinnrade und spann Garn, welches sie dann zu Markte trug. Die beiden waren rechtschaffene Leute und geehrt und geachtet im ganzen Dorfe. Und dennoch waren sie nicht glücklich, denn ihr sehnlichster Wunsch, ein Kindlein zu besitzen, war ihnen unerfüllt geblieben. Oft hörte man sie bei der Arbeit seufzen:
"Ach, wenn wir doch nur ein Kindlein hätten!""
The older boy yawned again, his eyes slipping closed. A hit from the younger jolted him awake, and he glared at the small boy.
"If you're gonna hit me, you're better off reading it by yourself!"
The younger shook his head, not wanting to be awake alone on such a dark night. The moon seemed to have been swallowed up by that wolf Vati always talked about, and who knows if it came down from the heavens to eat them? Especially with Vati gone. Vati had gone past the river and hadn't come back yet. The older boy rolled his eyes and turned back to the book, reading ahead and skipping the parts he considered boring.
"Let's see... Woodcutter finds root that looks like child, blah blah blah... Oh! The mother sings a song and the child comes to life..."
He trailed off at this point, reading the story to himself. The younger brother hit him with the bear impatiently, and in return was shoved off the bed. The child whimpered slightly and crawled back into the bed, thwacking his brother with the bear before settling back down next to him. The older laid his head down on his arm, completely bored as he read. However, his brother was enthralled with the story. A child who came to life from the wood by such a simple song? It amazed him. At one point, the older brother got a sneaky grin on his face as he read ahead.
"Als die Frau sein Rufen hörte, kam sie in die Stube, um das Brot zu holen, welches sie in die Suppe einbrocken wollte. Doch der Tisch war leer - das Brot war verschwunden! In der Stubenecke aber saß das Holzkind, groß und breit wie ein Fäßchen und sah die Mutter mit gierigen Augen an.
"Gott sei mit uns, Kind, hast du etwa den Laib Brot auch schon aufgegessen?"
"Das habe ich, Mutter, - dich will ich auch noch verschlingen!""
Suddenly, he grabbed the child and shook him, causing the child to wail in fright. Still he wailed even when the brother had stopped shaking him, tears falling down his cheeks and onto his bear, which seemed to glare at the older brother in disappointment. The older brother simply yawned, stretching his arms out and pushing the crying boy out of his bed with a thump.
"Well, good night Bruder! Better get into bed before the wooden child comes and eats ya."
The cries silenced, and all was quiet. Then, the candle blew out and the shadows became one. The older brother was unafraid, or so he told himself, but sat up alert. A low voice cut through the darkness, frightening the boy.
"Bruder, ich habe Hunger..."
The story told is an old Bohemian tale about a mother and a father who wanted a child but could not conceive one. The villagers tell them to be thankful for what God has given them, but they aren't satisfied. Then the father, who is a woodcutter, finds a root that looks remarkably like a child and brings him home. The mother sings a little lullaby to the piece of wood and he comes alive, though still made of wood. The two are over joyed and feed him, since he's hungry. Unfortunately for the couple, the boy began to eat and eat and eat and he even ate his parents! He was stopped by an old lady who struck him in the belly with a hoe when he tried to eat her, having eaten everyone else he came across. Those who had been swallowed jumped out of the stomach and the couple never wished for a child again, being thankful for what God had given them.