Multilingual Folk Tale Database


Information

Author: Adolfo Coelho - 1879

Translated into English
  by Maarten Janssen - 2014

Original title (Portuguese):
A Formiga e a Neve

Country of origin: Portugal

Translations

English - aligned


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The Ant and the Snow

Adolfo Coelho / Maarten Janssen

An ant put a foot on the snow.

"Oh, snow, you are so strong that you can hold my foot!"

And the snow answered:

"I am not so strong: the sun can melt me."

"Oh Sun, you are so strong that you can melt the snow that holds my foot!"

And the sun answered:

"I am not so strong: a wall can block me."

"Oh wall, you are so strong, that you can block the sun that melts the snow that carries my foot!"

And the wall answered:

"I am not so strong: a mouse can gnaw through me."

"Oh Mouse, you are so strong that you can gnaw the wall that blocks the sun that melts the snow that holds my foot!"

And the mouse answered:

"I am not so strong: the mouse can eat me."

"Oh cat, you are so strong that you can eat the mouse that gnaws through the wall that blocks the sun that holds my foot!"

And the cat answered:

"I am not so strong: a dog can bite me."

"Oh dog, you are so strong that you can bite the cat that eats the mouse that gnaws the wall that blocks the sun that holds my foot!"

And the dog answered:

"I am not so strong: a stick can beat me."

"Oh stick, you are so strong that you can beat the dog that bites the cat that eats the mouse that gnaws the wall that blocks the sun that holds my foot!"

And the stick answered:

"I am not so strong: fire can burn me."

"Oh fire, you are so strong that you can burn the stick that beats the dog that bites the cat that eats the mouse that gnaws the wall that blocks the sun that holds my foot!"

And the fire answered:

"I am not so strong: water can extinguish me."

"Oh water, you are so strong that you can extinguish the fire that burns the stick that beats the dog that bites the cat that eats the mouse that gnaws the wall that blocks the sun that holds my foot!"

And the water answered:

"I am not so strong: a cow can drink me."

"Oh cow, you are so strong that you can drink the water that extinguishes the fire that burns the stick that beats the dog that bites the cat that eats the mouse that gnaws the wall that blocks the sun that holds my foot!"

And the cow answered:

"I am not so strong: a butcher can kill me."

"Oh butcher, you are so strong that you can kill the cow that drinks the water that extinguishes the fire that burns the stick that beats the dog that bites the cat that eats the mouse that gnaws the wall that blocks the sun that holds my foot!"

And the butchers answered:

"I am not so strong: death will get me."