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356 Shabarsha 151. So-ooo, shall I amuse you with a little tale? It’s a tale miraculous. In it are wondrous wonders, miraculous miracles, and the laborer Shabarsha, a rogue among rogues. Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound! So this Shabarsha set off to find work as a laborer, and times were bad. There was no grain at all. The vegetables hadn’t grown. But one owner thought this very deep thought. How could he chase away his misery, what could he live on, where could he get some money? “Don’t worry about it!” Shabarsha said to him. “The day will come when there’ll be both grain and money!” Then Shabarsha set off for the millpond. “At any rate, I’ll catch some fish and sell them, and then I’ll have some money. But I’ve no line for a hook. Wait a minute, and I’ll make one.” He asked the miller for a bit of hemp, sat down on the shore, and started weaving his tackle. He wove and wove, and then out of the water and onto the bank jumped a boy in a black shirt and red hat. “What are you doing here, Grandfather?” he asked. “I’m weaving a line.” “What for?” “I’m going to cleanse this pond and pull all you devils out of the water.” “Oh, no! Wait a bit, and I’ll go and tell grandfather!” The imp dove into the depths, and Shabarsha once more set to work. “Hey, just a minute,”he thought,“I’ll play a little trick on you cursed ones, and you’ll bring me some gold and silver.” And Shabarsha began digging a pit, and when he’d dug it, he placed his cap with a hole cut out of it over the top. “Shabarsha, hey, Shabarsha! Grandfather says that you and I should make a deal. What will you take not to drag us out of the water?” “Fill that hat full of gold and silver.” The imp dove back into the water He came back and said,“Grandfather says that you and I should first wrestle.” “What do you mean, milksop? Why should I wrestle with you? You couldn’t even contend with my middle brother, Misha.” “And where is this Misha?” “He’s there. See, he’s resting in that gully under a bush.” Shabarsha h 357 “How can I get him to come out?” “Go up to him and hit him in the side. Then he’ll get up himself.” The imp went into the gully, found the bear, and whacked him in the side with his club. Misha rose up on his hind legs and grabbed the imp such that all his bones cracked. He forced himself out of the bear’s paws and ran to the old man water spirit.“Well, Grandfather,” he said in his fright,“Shabarsha has a younger brother, Misha, and he was going to wrestle with me when he cracked all my bones. What would it have been like if I’d had to wrestle Shabarsha?” “Hmm, go and have a foot race with Shabarsha. Who will outrace whom?” So the boy in the red cap once more appeared alongside Shabarsha. He related his grandfather’s words, and Shabarsha said in reply: “Why should I race with the likes of you? Bunny, my little brother, would leave you far behind!” “And where’s your little brother, Bunny?” “Over there, lying in the grass. He wanted a rest. Go up close to him and touch him behind the ear—and will he race with you!” The little imp ran up to Bunny, touched him behind the ear, and the hare started up. But the imp was right after him!“Wait, wait, Bunny, let me catch up even with you . . . . Oh, you’re gone!”“Well, Grandfather,” he said to the water spirit,“I tore out running after him. But he wouldn’t even let me come up even. And that wasn’t even Shabarsha running, but just his little brother.” “Hm!” muttered the old man, screwing up his brows.“Go to Shabarsha and try this: Who can whistle loudest.” “Shabarsha! Oh Shabarsha! Grandfather tells me to try to see which of us can whistle loudest!” “Well then, you whistle first!” The imp whistled so loudly that Shabarsha could barely stand on his own two feet, and the leaves fell off the trees.“You whistle well,” said Shabarsha.“But it...


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MARC Record
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