Posts Tagged Simms Taback

schlemiels and shlimazels

Sam has just finished another Harry Potter book, so it’s time to catch up on a few picture books. Last night it was this one, full of interesting yiddish words (there are lots in English now)and great little tales.

I blogged Simms Taback before once or twice, but I’m coming back to him, because I like the warmth and generosity of his tales and illustrations. His website‘s got better too.

So, one of the smaller tales (in my own words):

§ § § § § § §

Once there was a farmer, he was a bit of a shmendrik, who had two chickens. One of the chickens gots sick, and he couldn’t stop worrying about the sick chicken.

So, he killed the other chicken and made chicken soup for the sick one.

§ § § § § § §

Advertisements

Leave a Comment

try to keep a sense of proportion

1205851924-sc-178

 

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly
I don’t know why she swallowed a fly – perhaps she’ll die!There was an old lady who swallowed a spider,
That wriggled and wiggled and tiggled inside her;
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
I don’t know why she swallowed a fly – Perhaps she’ll die!

There was an old lady who swallowed a bird;
How absurd to swallow a bird.
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
I don’t know why she swallowed a fly – Perhaps she’ll die!

There was an old lady who swallowed a cat;
Fancy that to swallow a cat!
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
I don’t know why she swallowed a fly – Perhaps she’ll die!

There was an old lady that swallowed a dog;
What a hog, to swallow a dog;
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat,
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
I don’t know why she swallowed a fly – Perhaps she’ll die!

There was an old lady who swallowed a cow,
I don\’t know how she swallowed a cow;
She swallowed the cow to catch the dog,
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat,
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
I don’t know why she swallowed a fly – Perhaps she’ll die!

There was an old lady who swallowed a horse…
She’s dead, of course!

Illustrations by the amazing Simms Taback.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NFoNPmi5xU]

It’s amazing how these cousin tales get put to such different uses – keeping you awake at synagogue, a lullaby for bedtimes, warning you not to overreact…

Comments (7)

who is stronger?

1205361262-sc-169
This is the house that Jack built.
This is the malt that lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the cat that killed the rat
That ate the malt that lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the priest all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the cock that crowed in the morn
That waked the priest all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the farmer sowing his corn
That kept the cock that crowed in the morn
That waked the priest all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

I read this to my class, got them to act it out with puppets, made a book of it, and suchlike, like teachers do. Then one of the girls brought in a fantastic version:

It’s by Simms Taback.

I love the illustrations:


He mentions that it comes from an old Jewish cumulative song:

“Had Gadya (An Only Kid, Aramaic) is a popular song sung in Aramaic at the conclusion of the Passover seder along with other concluding songs, to amuse the children and keep them from falling asleep. Composed of ten stanzas the verse runs as follows:

A father bought a kid for two zuzim;
a cat came and ate the kid;
a dog then bit the cat;
the dog was beaten by a stick;
the stick was burned by fire;
water quenched the fire;
an ox drank the water;
a shohet (ritual slaughterer) slaughtered the ox;
the shohet was killed by the Angel of Death who
in punishment was destroyed by God.”

Comments (7)