/thieves in the night
crappy photo: me
oil on panel. 10" x 12"
coming along nicely.

one of my favorite eras is the Middle Ages. i've long been fascinated by this period. and i've always been fond not just of the history but the literature. one of favorite works of this period is a German book, Till Eulenspiegel. so what i am working on now is a collection of paintings where Hector and Achilles co-exist with Till and participate and/or are victims of his pranks and adventures. the following is one such story. it is my translation and i've adapted the narrative to include Hector and Achilles.

thanks for looking!

Who Till Eulenspiegel Met in a Beehive

Once upon a time Eulenspiegel went into the village of Kirchweih. There he drank until he was drunk. Then he went looking for a place where he could quietly sleep. He found empty beehives in the back courtyard in one of which he curled up in like an empty basket. He wanted to sleep only a little. However, he slept from noon until late into the night.

During this very same night the thieves Hector and Achilles came into the yard, looking to steal a beehive. Hector said: i have always heard that the heaviest beehive is the best.’ Thus they checked the beehives, one after the other until they came to the one Eulenspiegel was using as his nest. It was the heaviest.

Achilles: ‘this is the best one’, and they took it on their shoulders and carried it off. The movement woke Eulenspiegel.

It was completely dark, so that they could hardly see one another. Till reached out a paw and grabbed a handful of Achilles’ tail and gave it a good tug.

This made him angry with Hector, that he should have pulled his tail. Hector said ‘Are you dreaming or are you asleep? How could I pull your tail? I can barely hold the beehive with my paws!’

Eulenspiegel laughed and waited till they began to move again and stretched out a paw toward Hector and gave HIS tail a good yank.

Hector became angry and said: ‘I’m carrying this thing until it is nearly breaking my neck and YOU say i pulled YOUR tail! And then you pull MY tail. This tears me up!’

Achilles said ‘You lie! how could i pull your tail. I can hardly see anything in front of me!’ Thus they continued quarreling. Not much later Eulenspiegel tugged Achilles’ tail so sharply that his head banged off the beehive.

They both grew so enraged that the fur started to fly.

This caused the beehive to fall and they were tripping over one another. They forgot about the beehive and went to it. Eulenspiegel smiled and looked out from his beehive nest.

It was still dark. He curled up in the basket and went back to sleep. When morning came he crawled out and headed home.

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