European Story Time (05.05.2013)

 European Story Time - Treat your family to tales and activities from the EU as told by partnering cultural centers

Date: May 5 (Sunday), 2013 Time: 2 pm - 3:30 pm

Location: Red Balloon Bookshop

Admission: Free

Hungarian Story: János vitéz/John the Vailant

Time: 3 pm


 John the Vailant (English)

The blistering sun in the midsummer sky
Beats down on the shepherd boy from on high.
No need for the sun to be blazing above,
Inside him, the shepherd is burning with love.


 With fiery young love his heart is blazing.

At the edge of the village his sheep are grazing.
Past the edge of the village they’re grazing all over,
While he lolls on his sheepskin cloak in the clover.

 A sea of bright flowers spreads wide around him,

But it isn’t the colorful flowers that astound him:

A stone’s throw off, where a brook flows, there,

His gaze is fixed in a steady stare.


And it isn’t fixed on the brook’s bright swirl,

But on what’s in the brook, a blond-headed girl,

Fair-haired, and one of the slenderest,

With long golden braids and rounded breast.


Up over her knees her skirt is hooked

While she scrubs her wash in the fresh, clear brook;

And her two pretty knees peep into sight

To Johnny Grain-o’-Corn’s great delight.


Yes, the shepherd lolling there in the grass

Is Johnny Grain-o’-Corn, and the lass

Who’s scrubbing her laundry in the stream

Is Iluska, the pearl of Johnny’s dream.


„Iluska - Nelly - my dear heart’s pearl!”

This is how Johnny cried out to his girl:

„In the whole wide world, you can take my word,

You’re the only one makes me feel like a lord.


„Smile up at me with your sloe-eyed look,

Let me give you a hug, come out of the brook;

For a moment, just give your laundry the slip,

And I’ll plant my soul on your rosy lip!”


„I’d gladly come out, Johnny dear, you know,

I have to get on with my washing, though,

Hurry-hurry, or catch it from-someone-or-other-

You know I’m a stepchild, and you know my stepmother.”


The beautiful Nell answered him with a smile,

While she scrubbed away at her laundry pile.

But Johnny jumped up from his sheepskin coat,

Moved closer, and coaxed her on this note:


„Come out, my dove! come up, my pigeon!

A hug and a kiss won’t take but a smidgeon;

Besides, your stepmother’s nowhere near,

Don’t leave your sweetheart languishing here.”


With his blandishments he coaxed her out,

With his two hands he clasped her waist about,

And he kissed her mouth: one time? a hundred?

Only He-Who-Knows-All-Things could get them numbered.

John Ridland



Publisher    Budapest, Corvina