Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Grimm and not so grim

Today will be one of those odds 'n' ends days, with no overriding theme.  To heck with continuity, I cry!!


First, a card from Bremen, Germany.  See the statue of the animals one on top of another?  These are the "Bremen Town Musicians" from a folk tale recorded by the Brothers Grimm.  And quite a tale it is.  Here is a synopsis of the story:

A donkey, a dog, a cat, and a rooster, all past the prime of life and no longer useful on their respective farms, knew they would soon be discarded by their masters. They decide to leave their homes and set out together for Bremen, known for its freedom, to live on their own and become musicians. 

On the way to Bremen, they see a lighted cottage. They look inside and see four robbers enjoying their ill-gotten gains. Standing on each others backs, they decide to perform for the men in hope of gaining food. Their music has an unanticipated effect: the men run for their lives, not knowing what the strange sounds are. The animals take possession of the house, eat a good meal, and settle in for the evening.

Later that night, the robbers return and send one of their members into the house to investigate. It is dark and the robber sees the eyes of the cat shining in the darkness. Thinking he sees the coals of the fire, he reaches over to light his candle. Things happen in quick succession: the cat swipes his face with her claws, the dog bites him on the leg, the donkey kicks him and the rooster crows.  The robber runs screaming from the house. He tells his companions that he was beset by a horrible witch who scratched him with her long fingers (the cat), an ogre with a knife (the dog), a giant who had hit him with his club (the donkey), and worst of all, a dragon who bellowed from the rooftop (the rooster).

The robbers abandon the cottage to the strange creatures who have taken it, and the animals live there happily for the rest of their days.

I'm sure there's a lesson in here somewhere, but I'm still trying to figure out why four old animals would want to become musicians. I would think elevator operators, or short order cooks.

Possibly two modern day descendants of the Bremen Town Musicians, who are finding musical gigs a little hard to come by in modern-day Iowa.

Monet Painting in His Argenteuil Garden by Auguste Renoir, 1873.  I wonder if, while Renoir was painting Monet, someone was painting Renoir.  The titles of these paintings could get really out of hand.

Church and statues of St. Vincent de Paul in Chatillon-sur-Chalaronne, France. St. Vincent is known for helping the poor, still a good idea today.

Prince Edward Island, Canada, home of the fictional Anne of Green Gables. The big house on the map card is Green Gables. Hundreds of thousands of visitors come here yearly.  If you go, beware of the giant lobster.

We've talked about multi-view cards before, and with this one from Hungary you really get your money's worth.  Twelve different views of the town of Eger. This town contains the northernmost Turkish minaret, as well as the famous Castle of Eger and some really interesting old churches.

It's a hot day here in Salem, so I will finish with a nice snow scene painted by Claude Monet, called The Magpie, 1869.

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