By Theodor Etzel and Hanns Heinz Ewers 1901 (TE)
(Der Affe und die Rinder)
From “Ein Fabelbuch”
Translated by Joe E. Bandel
Copyright 2009 by Joe E. Bandel
The Monkey And The Herd Of Cattle
The miraculous trained monkey from the nearby circus ran into the barn precisely at noon. The cattle lay far and wide in their own shit enjoying themselves with idiotic cud chewing. They took the last eaten fodder and regurgitated it once more into their mouths to more thoroughly chew and digest it properly.
The clever monkey thought he would perform for the cattle and gave his best doing some very queer things. He danced the minuet, stood on his head, ran in circles, and did summersaults, cartwheels and death defying leaps.
The oxen, the cows and even the young calves stared stupidly at him–as if they could do such things. There was no loud applause–only the strong movement of their jaws as they started chewing again. The monkey watched as they all went back to chewing and asked the nearest ox:
“What does it mean when you dance all the time with your jaws, grind your teeth and flick your tongues? Good heavens! It is the only sound in this entire muggy cattle pen!”
The ox laughed out of its mouth so the entire barn could hear, “You stupid show-off, you! Is that all you can do? Did you think you could dazzle and bewilder us with your antics when you don’t even understand about chewing your cud? You call us cattle dumb–and yet every calf can do so much more than you can! You see, your skill is only half of it!”
The monkey thought he could show them how clever he was, yet the cattle’s broad laughter followed him in the distance as he left.