Our next two translations are moral stories possibly used as a school exercise in copying text.
Since many short stories are a part of Tillie’s 1902 Notebook, I thought this would be an appropriate post to mention the ancestral history of Tyrolean folklore and the custom of “Filò” (pronounced fee-lò).
A time of socializing, Filò was an evening gathering of family and friends around the fire to share ancestral folktales and songs. Probably Tillie and her siblings were familiar with this custom and it may have taken place in the lower level of their home where the animals were kept.
In many ancient cultures there is an oral tradition of teaching and the passing down of knowledge through the use of storytelling and song. During the evening gathering of Filò, a storyteller entertained both children and adults with narratives such as those found in Tillie’s notebook. Children learned lessons through the tales told by elders, often concluding with a moral ending. A story containing visual imagery like the translation that follows below (The Chased Fox) is more likely to be remembered and practiced later in life as the imagery embeds itself into one’s memory (along with the moral message).
Obviously Tillie kept her little school notebook throughout her entire life. Perhaps these simple stories had a lasting impact on the little girl from Castelfondo who came to a new and strange country when she was sixteen years old.
Learn more about the communal tradition of Filò by visiting Filò magazine online – click here!
Tyrolean folktales still exist today and have become part of many traditional events in Alpine villages throughout Trentino. One such celebration taking place on December 5th is Krampus Night (Krampusnacht). This event precedes the Feast of St. Nicholas celebrated on December 6th.
During this dark and terrifying evening, the pagan demon named “Krampus” roams the streets, punishing bad children who have misbehaved during the past year. Today he appears in Christmas events throughout the Alpine region as a masked hairy beast, growling and frightening children as he parades through the village.
Click here to view a scary Krampus Parade that took place just last week in Klagenfurt, Austria.
Would you like to read more Tyrolean folktales? Visit our Genetti Family Bookstore to find Tales and Legends of the Tyrol, a collection of folklore from the villages of Tyrol, transcribed by Maria Alker von Gunther. Her original book was published in 1874 and is now available as a reprint in both digital and paperback formats – click here for info (Amazon affiliate link).
And now for our translations of Tillie’s Notebook by Loretta Cologna …
Translation: Page 15, right side
A hunter had a domesticated magpie. This man had some peacock feathers on his bedroom table. One day, after he had left the bedroom window open and had gone away, the magpie came into the room, took the feathers and put them around its neck. It proudly went among its friends but did not greet them. Then the magpie went among other birds that seeing such a well-dressed bird were cheerful.
(Note: Loretta believes this is not a finished story but a study in copying text. Therefore it does not make sense since there is no “punishment” at the end of the story as is referenced in the title “Punished Arrogance”)
Translation: Page 16, left side and top of Page 17, right side
The Chased Fox
On a nice spring day a fox was looking for food when it realized that two hunters were following it. It quickly went near a house where there was a woodcutter and said to him: “Be charitable, hide me because the hunters want to kill me.”
The woodcutter pointed to a hole where it could hide. The two hunters came and asked the man if he had seen a fox. The woodcutter said he had not seen it but he pointed to the hole where the animal was hiding.
The hunters did not pay attention and went away.
When the hunters were far away the fox came out of her shelter and went away without thanking him. The man said: “You are ungrateful, you go away without thanking me because I saved your life.”
The fox said: “You said no with your words but you actually showed my hiding place.”
We must learn from this story!
Castelfondo, March 1902
For More Information:
Tales from Tirol: http://oaks.nvg.org/tirin.html
Filò Magazine: http://filo.tiroles.com/filo-magazine/
Krampus (Wikipedia): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krampus
Krampus: The Devilish Helpers of St. Nicholas: https://www.zugspitzarena.com/en/activities/culture-tradition/krampus
Krampuslauf Klagenfurt 2019 (a scary Krampus Parade that took place November 23, 2019 in Klagenfurt, Austria): https://youtu.be/Xo6bI81J298