In a kingdom where itís all peace and quiet, And there are no storms, no cataclysms nor war. There appeared a beast, a wild monstrous giant - Could be, aurochs, could be bison, could be boar. Now, the king of that land suffered from colic, All he did was pester folks and talk posh. In the meantime, that wild beast romped and frolicked, Eating men and dragging maids in the bush. And the king then promptly passed a decision: - That foul monster must be shot - thatís my behest! He who carries out this dangerous mission - He will marry our sweet child the Princess." In that kingdom, which was close to distraction. As you enter, just a short walk sideways. Lived a fellow in debauch and inaction - Once the kingís best shooter, now in disgrace. On the floor lay skins, old buddies and strumpets, Singing songs and drinking mead, and what not. There was suddenly a flourish of trumpets, And the shooter was dragged straight to the court. Here the king coughed to the shooter, "Look, youngster, We all know you are a fine shot - the best. If you kill in single combat the monster, You will marry our sweet child, the Princess." "Do you call that a reward?" cried the shooter. "I will do it for a bucket of port! And the Princess you can have, or Iíll boot her; I will shoot the beast - you keep the reward!" In a fury bawled the king at the shooter: "You mill marry her, or end up in gaol! After all, she is my own royal daughter!" And the shooter yelled, "You keep that female!" And while these two went on swearing and screaming, That wild monster - could be bison or boar - Put away almost all chickens and women, And was skulking by the palaceís door. What a stew! The shooter got what he ought to, Shot the monster and skipped off to his place. Thus he put to shame the king and his daughter - Once the kingís best shooter, now in disgrace.
© Sergei Roy. Translation, 1990