Fazekas Anna : The Old Dame’s Deerling

At the Matra, in a country,
Lives my elder and dear auntie,
Warmhearted, hardworker and hale,
She is from whom I know this tale.

A bumbling deerling on a day,
Went astray onto the highway,
He fell over a fallen trunk,
Breaking his leg with crack and clunk.

While the poor was sadly weeping,
The old lady stopped there, seeing.
Taking him up, right to the lap,
She took the fawn home for a nap.

Curing him and cherishing him,
Not just healing his broken limb,
But giving him fresh hay, water,
As if she were his dear mother.

Katy the cat and Doug the dog,
Nestled to him next to the stove’s log,
Sharing humanely their one nest,
They could not hurt the little guest.

The fawn’s leg is quickly mending,
He could dance without pretending,
He could dance since he is not prude,
However, he wasn’t in the mood.

His doleful brown eyes in the far,
Are hanging on the morning star,
While the morning’s red-purple lights,
Are playing on the mountain’s sights.

Evening winds are chasing the haze,
Then, they get lost in the hills’ maze.
“My fresh crops are waiting for you,
Come home, deerling! We all love you!”

Tears sprang into the deerling’s eyes,
He wished to go back, without lies,
Only if his mother wouldn’t worry,
Only if his auntie wouldn’t pity.

Day and night he wants to go back,
Whither the smooth grass is his snack,
Where are fancy fields of flower,
Waiting for their deerling brother.

Where squirrels are jumping around,
Woodpeckers are hitting the trees’ crown,
Cuckoos are singing gay sonnets,
And ants are wearing heavy puppets.

He’s waited by the stream, by the wind,
By the running clouds there sky-pinned,
By the dewy blue-bell flower,
By the fields in colour-shower.

The old dame is weeping for him,
However, she won’t hold back him,
Each one has a home to live in,
Being deer woods or human housin’.

Escorting him until the gate,
The dame must tip-tap back and wait,
Waving to him until seeing:
“Farewell, my dear little deerling!”

Pacing slowly, ambling stilly,
Door is clacking, curtain’s swishy,
She is watching her dear from there,
For last, he may look back to her.

Her helpless little animal,
Hurries more and more his footfall,
And then, as fast as the lightning,
He is on the mountain, climbing.

But on the top, under the sky,
He turns back to say a goodbye:
“God bless you, field, and my old dame” –
Like the wind, he left as he came.

The summer fleets, the leaf falls down,
Every beech tree balds its ex-crown,
Snow blankets the houses, the lawn,
The old lady’s living alone.

Nature’s waking up, flowering,
She doesn’t forget her deerling,
The Earth is turning once and twice,
The gate is knocked by someone nice.

She looks out the window lattice,
What a strange nightly guest that is?
Moonlight beems upon the country,
She opens wide the wooden entry.

Her hands opens in hugging blow:
A deer, deerling and a mother doe,
Standing there, then letting them in,
Her heart’s beating, recognizing:

Her deerling became a deer dad,
Having a son now being sad:
His forefoot’s broken a little;
They visited the hospital.

He asked her with his bare eyes:
Please Dame, cure my son with your ties,
Don’t let him crying dear auntie,
May God return you your bounty.

Mist is afore them, fog behind,
They dressed the cape of night to hide,
Leaving their little in her arm,
Knowing, she will cure all his harm.

The little got cured one by one,
He was almost able to run,
And before the beech throws its mast,
The young buck is in the forest.

At the Matra, village border,
The Old Dame within the portal,
She’s not alone why she would be,
Cold or hot, she’s a busy bee.

She’s surrounded by bucks and does,
They’re coming back as visitors,
Winter-summer, from year to year,
They bow their head to Mother Deer.

The village folks loving her too,
They give her nicknames, one or two:
The Old Lady within the dear,
Or just simply Dear Mother Deer.

Red poppy, carnation, sage bloom,
Are decorating her mild room,
In big vases and little jugs,
Rainbow colours like made of drugs.

A flower from Steven Peter,
Another from Flower Esther,
A third one from Johhny Seral,
Surely, they’ll be good persons all.

The wild flowers followed by songs,
The room’s full of musical tongues,
Children singing is far and near,
While laughes and cries Dear Mother Deer.

At the Matra, in a country,
Lives my elder and dear auntie,
Warmhearted, hardworker and hale,
Her golden heart is in this tale.

Salt loaves wait the little deerlings,
Swiss rolls wait for the new-comings,
Be her guest, you too, I just say:
This is the tale’s end; run away!

Benyamin Bensalah

11.10.2017

Translated from the Hungarian long poem of Anna Fazekas, “Öreg néne özikéje”.

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