A.S. Pushkin and the bears
Everybody knows famous fairytales of Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin, the greatest Russian poet and novelist. But there is one unfinished fairytale that isn't as well known as the others.
This is the story about the bears, and this tale shows also the attitude of the poet to the hunters. It is really a significant example of the theme of animal abuse and compassion in culture. And it can be supposed to be an example of Eco-friendly Art.
Once upon a spring warm time
From under white sky at morning,
From the forest from a dense
She-bear was coming
With dear children the bear cubs
To take a walk, to look, to show themselves.
The she-bear sat under a white birch;
The bear cubs started playing to each other,
Tumbling on young grass,
From nowhere a man goes,
He carries in the hands a boar-spear,
A knife is in his belt.
And a bag is behind shoulders.
As the she-bear had seen
The man with the boar-spear,
The she-bear began to roar,
Began to call small children,
Her foolish bear cubs.
— Oh, you tiny children, bear cubs,
Stop playing, tumbling,
It’s for sure that man goes for us.
Stand up, bury yourselves behind me.
I won’t give you away to the man
I myself will eat his ... up.
The bear cubs have frightened,
Rushed behind the she-bear,
And the she-bear has got angry,
Stood up on her hind legs.
But that man was quick-witted,
He went to the she-bear,
He put the boar-spear into her,
That is above the navel, below the liver.
Fell the she-bear on a raw land,
And the man was cutting her belly open,
Cutting the belly open, and ripping off the skin,
Placed into bag her small bear cubs,
And having placed, he just went home.
"Here is a present for you, the wife,
That is a bear fur coat in fifty rubles,
And here is another gift for you,
Three bear cubs in five rubles each".
Not ringings started spreading through the city,
Started spreading news through the whole of the wood,
The news have reached a dark-brown bear,
That a man has killed his she-bear,
Cut her belly so white,
Cut the belly and ripped off the skin,
That bear cubs were placed into the bag.
Then bear became sorrowful and sad,
He hung head down, started howling out loud
About his mistress,
— Oh, you are my light, my she-bear,
On whom have you left me,
Me, widower so sad,
The widower so hapless?
Now me with you, my boyaruinya*,
Won’t play merry game,
Won’t give the birth to dear kids,
Won’t cradle bear cubs,
Won’t cradle and won’t lull.
At that time the beasts were gathering
To that bear the boyarin.
Came big animals,
Came running here smaller beasts.
Came running wolf the noble,
His teeth are biting,
His eyes are jealous.
Came here beaver the merchant guest,
That beaver’s got a fatty tail.
Came swallow a tiny noble girl,
Came little squirrel a tiny princess,
Came a she-fox the podyachikha*,
The podyachikha the treasurer,
Came a tiny stoat the buffoon,
Came bobak marmot the hegumen,
He lives behind the threshing floors.
Came running here a tiny hare the smerd,
Little whitey hare, little grayish hare.
Came a hedgehog the tselovalnik,
All the time that hedgehog shivers,
All the time he bristles.
Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin.
“Tale of the She-Bear” (1830)
* boyaruinya – the wife of boyarin
* podyachikha – the wife of podyachiy
The illustrations are made by an artist Boris Zvoryikin (1915)