Sunday, September 21, 2014

Der Igel als Held

Hier ein Märchen:  Here is a Hedgehog legend -- in English.

Other legends in Europe:

During the 1970s and 1980s, hedgehogs were one of the poster animals for environment activists through Europe. A lot of hedgehogs were killed by traffic, and since the hedgehog already had an aura of a cute little friendly animal, the choice was nearly perfect.

In a Veps legend, the (female) hedgehog appears in a creation myth. According to it, early on, there was no dry land; the entire world was just a big lake. It was a giant hedgehog who brought soil and sand with its needles, creating dry land.[1]

A hedgehog plays a role in a Lithuanian and Latvian creation story as well: when God made heaven and earth, he did not take good measurements, so the earth was made larger than the heaven; on the hedgehog's wise suggestion, God squeezed the earth, so that it would fit into the heaven. (In some version of the legend, the process of "shrinking" the earth resulted in the creation of mountain ranges.) To reward the clever hedgehog, God equipped him with a suite of needles.[1] A similar legend is attested among the Banat Bulgarians and among Romanians as well.[2] [4]

The wisdom of the hedgehog is presented in other folk legend in the Balkans as well. In a Bulgarian legend, the Sun decided to marry the Moon, and invited all the animals to the wedding. The hedgehog was the only one who failed to appear. The Sun went to look for the hedgehog, and found him gnawing on a stone. When the Sun inquired what he was doing, the hedgehog explained: "I am learning to eat stones. Once you marry, you'll have many Sun children born to you, and when they all shine in the sky, everything will burn, and there will be nothing to eat". The Sun then decided to call off the wedding, and the world's inhabitants were saved from starvation.[2]

Theaterfest Ideas? --rsb

PS:  In German, one thing is for sure:  The Igel can not fly!