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  • STRUWWELPETER [pronounced Stroolvelpayter] OR Happy Tales and Funny Pictures Freely Translated
  • Mark Twain

When the children gentle be, Then the Christchild they shall see; If they eat their soup and yet Still their bread they don’t forget, Handle silently their toys, Taking pains to make no noise, And when a pleasure-walk is planned, Let Mother lead them by the hand, For every blessing they may look, And get, besides, a Picture Book.


See this frowsy “cratur”— Pah! it’s Struwwelpeter! On his fingers rusty, On his tow-head musty,   Scissors seldom come; Lets his talons grow a year, Hardly ever combs his hair,—   Do any loathe him? Some! [End Page 155] They hail him “Modern satyr— Disgusting Struwwelpeter.”

The Story of Ugly Frederick

O waly me! O waly me! Just such a boy I ne’er did see. He caught the flies, poor helpless things, Made hoppers of them, minus wings, He killed the birds, wher’er he could, And catless made the neighborhood; And worst of all that he did do, He banged the housemaid black and blue.

A dog stood drinking at a pump— The way he made that doglet jump! He sneaked upon him unaware, He whacked him here, he whacked him there, He whacked with all his might and main, He made him howl and dance with pain, Until, o’ercome by woe and grief, The dog, desiring some relief, Did bite that brutal boy full sore, Which made the latter prance and roar, And them the dog did grab the whip, And with it homeward he did skip.

To bed the boy had had to go And nurse his bite and wail his woe, The while the Doctor healing brings And loads him up with drugs and things. And all this time the dog below Sings praises soft and sweet and low O’er Fred’rick’s dinner waiting there For Fred’rick (or for Fred’rick’s heir). The dog’s his heir, and this estate That dog inherits, and will ate.* [End Page 156]

He hangs the whip upon the chair, And mounts aloft and seats him there; He sips the wine, so rich and red, And feels it swimming in his head, He munches grateful at the cake, And wished he might never wake From this debauch; while think by think His thoughts dream on, and link by link The liver-sausage disappears, And his hurt soul relents in tears.

The Sad Tale of the Match-Box

Paulinchen was alone at home, The parents they down-town did roam. As she now through the room did spring, All light of heart and soul a-wing, She saw where sudden burst on sight The things wherewith one strikes a light. ”Oho,” says she, “my hopes awake; Ah, what a plaything these will make! I’ll take them on the wall, h’hoo! As oft I’ve seen my Mother do.” And Mintz and Mountz, the catties, Lift up their little patties, They threaten with their pawses: ”It is against the lawses! Me-yow! Me-yo! Me-yow! Me-yo! You’ll burn yourself to ashes, O!” Paulinchen heard the catties not, The match did burn both bright and hot, It crackled gaily, sputtered free, As you it in the picture see. Paulinchen waltzed and whirled and spun, Near mad with joy for what she’d done. Still Mintz and Mountz, the catties, Lift up their little patties, They threaten with their pawses: ”It is against the lawses! Me-yow! Me-yo! Me-yow! Me-yo! Drop it or you are ashes, O!” [End Page 157]

But ah, the flame it caught her clothes, Her apron, too; and higher rose; Her hand is burnt, her hair’s afire, Consumed is that child entire. And Mintz and Mountz wild crying, The while the child was frying, ”Come quick!” they said, “O Sire, Your darling child’s afire! Me-yow! Me-yo! Me-yow! Me-yo! She’s cinders, soot, and ashes, O!” Consumed is all, so sweet and fair, The total child, both flesh and hair, A pile of ashes, two small shoes, Is all that’s left, and they’re no...

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pp. 155-165
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