Der Tshaynik – A Yiddish Folktale (part 3)

The method of storytelling I wanted to follow in creating this tale is as follows: Turn up each day and find out what happens next! This is the method I used when I wrote ‘The Tale of the Silent Woman‘ several years ago. Somehow, over a period of 100 days, the story had a complete journey from beginning to end, without me having to know in advance what was going to happen next.

‘Der Tshaynik’ is developing its own rhythm, similar but different. While I am uncovering/discovering the story a chunk at a time, it is revealing itself in a series of 8 or so pages rather than a single page. This is probably because there is only room for one short sentence on each page.

Along with each new series of pages, I find myself drawn to change the colour palette, whilst remaining within the same illustration style. This week’s pages introduce three strange visitors and some oranges and reds to mark the occasion.

Here are this week’s pages. I hope you enjoy the new developments in the tale. More to follow soon! You can catch up on the story so far here.

At the door stood three strangers who said they were relatives from far away.

בײַ דער טיר זענען געשטאַנען דרײַ פֿרעמדער װאָס האָבן געזאָגט אַז זײ זענען געװען קרובֿים פֿון װײַט אַװעק.

Bay der tir zenen geshtanen dray fremder vos hobn gezogt az zey zenen geven kroyvim fun vayt avek. 

They called her “Reyzele” and made themselves at home. 

זײ האָבן איר געהײסןרײזעלעאון געמאַכט זיך הײמיש. 

Zey hobn ir geheysn “Reyzele” un gemakht zikh heymish.

The first one took some leaves from a pouch and placed them in the tea kettle.

די ערשטע האָט אַרויסגענומען עטלעכע בלעטער פֿון אַ זעקל און האָט זײ אַרײַנגעלײגט אינעם טשײַניק.

Di ershte hot aroysgenumen etlekhe bleter fun a zekl un hot zey arayngeleygt inem tshaynik.

The second one inspected the books on Ray’s shelves, and demanded to see the great poets. 

די צװײטע האָט באַקוקט די ביכער אויף רײס פּאָליצעס און נאָכגעפֿרעגט נאָך  די גרויסע פּאָעטן.

Di tsveyte hot bakukt di bikher af Reys politses un nokhgefregt nokh di groyse po’etn.

And the third one stood in a corner and swayed back and forth – praying perhaps? 

און דער דריטער איז געשטאַנען אין אַן עק און האָט זיך געשאָקלט אַהין און צוריקגעדאַװענט אפֿשר?

Un di driter iz geshtanen in an ek un hot zikh geshoklt ahin un tsurik – gedavent efsher?

Then they all sat down together and drank the strange, leafy tea.

דעמאָלט זענען זײ אַלע זיך אַװעקגעזעצט צוזאַמען און האָבן געטרונקען דעם מאָדנעם בלעטערדיקן טײ.

Demolt zenen zey ale zikh avekgezetst tsuzamen un hobn getrunken dem modnem bleterdikn tey.

“So, Reyzele!  said the third one.  “We should tell you a little about ourselves!”

נו, רײזעלע!” האָט דער דריטער געזאָגט. “מיר זאָלן דיר דערצײלן אַ ביסל װעגן אונדז!”

“Nu, Reyzele!” hot der driter gezogt. “Mir zoln dir dertseyln a bisl vegen undz!”

“And who better to begin than I?” 

און װער װאָלט אָנהײבן בעסער פֿון מיר?”

“Un ver volt onheybn beser fun mir?”

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