there were a man and a woman,
they had a he-goat and a ram,
which, when young, was a lamb.
those two were the best friends:
where the one goes, the other ends.
if one goes to eat the kitchen-garden cabbage,
the second will have the same habit.
-oh, my wife, - said the man,
the ram and the goat should be banned
from the garden and the plot,
as they both eat a lot,
if we allow them to go on,
we`ll lose gardens- that is wrong!
- goat and ram, go away!
so that we won`t see you again!
when the goat and ram heard all that,
they decided the man was bad,
and there they left, the poor lads,
they made a sack and left the yard,
which was a tragical part.
they walked and walked
and found a wolf`s head,
that was dead.
- take, ram, the head, as you are strong,
not to take it, would be wrong.
- take, goat, the head, as you are bold,
don`t be afraid, the head`s cold.
so, they both took the head
and put it in the bag
having wrapped it by a rag.
so, they walked and walked,
and saw a fire,
as they were very tired,
they decided to go there
to sleep a splendid night
by the heat,
maybe, some good chaps, they`ll meet.
- we won`t be eaten by wolves, so bad,
otherwise, it will be sad.
they came to the place of the fire-
their instincts were lying!
there were the wolves cooking oats meal!
-can you see it? do you feel?
- hey, how are you doing good fellows?-
asks the ram, the goat bellows.
- very well! the porridge isn`t yet boiled,
and it isn`t even oiled,
you both will go for the meat,
don`t you see, whom you meet?
the goat was scared,
and the ram had been scared before,
it was really very rare,
to get into the trap `thout a door.
the goat started to think,
he could not even wink:
- give me, ram, that wolf`s head!
the ram brought it to the goat,
- not this one, the other, my dear brother!
the ram brought the same head again-
- not this one! the bigger! you don`t have a pain?
the gray wolves got scared,
they started to think and reflect,
how their heads to protect,
how to save their skins and tails,
they needed a plan that never fails:
- as those are such fellows,
that, with them, one can lose even his head,
as one bellows,
and the other jumps, hops and stabs,
we`d better trot our steps
far away from the chaps,
as they bring one wolf`s head after another,
let us run away, oh, brothers,
as the whole story really bothers.
so, one wolf begins:
- the company, brethren, is nice,
and the porridge is boiling,
but we need more water to pour into the meal,
as I feel.
I will go and bring some more water to cook
from the river at that nook.
The second wolf started to wait for the first,
to wait and to pause
rolling over on his paws:
- oh, that low creature went to fetch some water for the meal,
but never is coming back, - no deal!
I will take a bat
and bring him here,
like a dog in fear.
He ran and never came again,
The goat says to the ram:
- let me be who I am!
let us eat the oats meal,
as so hungry I feel,
and let`s get away from this shack
to save our skins and backs.
a wolf though:
-what!? we, three, should be afraid
of the ram and the goat?
take a note!
let`s go and eat them, now!
they are weaker than a cow!
the wolves came back,
but those two were very active,
very active and proactive:
they have left the tepee
and climbed the oak-tree.
the goat is bold,
he climbed to the top-
he was very bold,
the ram was less brave,
but he also saved
his skin in the oak,
lower than the goat
with his soft and fluffy coat.
the wolves told their wolf-leader:
you are older, Fate`s reader,
how to make them down both.
and the old wolf lay his legs upside down,
and began to bode,
looking at the Milky Way,
the Oxcart-Handler Road.
the ram sat on the branch shivering,
and he fell onto the wolf, the old,
but the goat was bold:
- give me the sorcerer!
give me the shaman!
I am their fan!
the wolves got to their fours,
and ran very fast, of course,
so fast, that the dust covered the road,
in their quick wolves` mode,
at their fast pace,
along their paths and ways,
not to come to that place
ever more, ever again,
be it sunny or when it rains.
the goat and the ram
built, for themselves,
a hut to hide in bad weather,
and were safe, and alive,
saved from wolves` teeth and knives.
Ivan Petryshyn, translator & poet