Pete's Stuff

A Story with a Moral

I came across this very short little story a couple days ago, while re-reading some of Grimm's fairy tales on Project Gutenberg. It's usually titled The Old Man and his Grandson, and it's hardly a fairy tale, so that's probably why I don't remember it from the (abridged) collections I read as a child. Anyway, I was so struck by it that I went and read it in the original German.

Of course, not a lot of my readers are familiar with German (and to be fair, I'm pretty bad at it too), so I figured I'd offer up a translation as well.

Part of the reason I tried it was just to see if there were any words or phrases or nuances or shades of meaning in the original that were left out in the translation. Although my vocabulary has dropped to near zero by now, the grammar is still familiar enough that I was able to piece it together with the help of a dictionary. Of course, it helped that I'd read the one translation already, too! Mine is barely different, simply because it's such a short and simple piece of prose. So without further ado:

Der alte Großvater und der Enkel

Es war einmal ein steinalter Mann, dem waren die Augen trüb geworden, die Ohren taub, und die Knie zitterten ihm. Wenn er nun bei Tische saß und den Löffel kaum halten konnte, schüttete er Suppe auf das Tischtuch, und es floß ihm auch etwas wieder aus dem Mund...

Click through the link to see the rest of the original, and even if that doesn't interest you, be sure to read the translation in green.