En Monster düt et Wåter stromen / A Monster makes the Water flow

Sassisk

English

Eyn van wearld höär oldste vortellingen (in al val, dår wy weyt van hebben dat e unmöynig old is), et geit mindestens 6000 jår torüch (man wårskynlik länger), is dee van sint Joris med de dråk. Okey, good, neet precys dee versioon, dee kümt uut de 11. eyw, meskeen. Wat sint Joris düt, dat is en dikke dråk ankampen, seen wy al in et olde Ugarit (wår of nowdestyds Libanon en Syrien ligget) en et olde India, üm man enkle byspillen to geaven. Sint Joris en de dråk is en variant van de chaoskamp, de stryd tüsken chaos en örde, tüsken bende en disse bende üp de rygel krygen.

Süksen vortelling geit oft üm en god van de lucht, of de störm med weyrlicht, dee slågs råket med en unhold, dee sik et wåter teagenholdet. Dit wåter kin ouk geyligheyd weasen, dårmed al unse frukten en grüünten groien kinnen. Süksen vortelling geit düs dårüm: lüde, sünderlik boren, wassen höär bange, dat et land neet geyl weasen sel. Disse vortelling låt höär dårümreaden seen, dat de god, dee an höär syd steit, ouk et alderbeste med syn boren vöär hev. Disse god sel hum et monster vordryven, dat et land dröyg holdet, dat et såd neet düt wassen. Neavens Jordan Peterson gån disse vortellingen meyr üm de stryd in en mensk sülv, tüsken et gode en kwåde in eyn persoun. Man, lykas ofter, weyt Peterson der niks üm.

Now is dit en olde vortelling. Calvert Watkins hev stark argumenteard, dat disse vortelling al by Indo-Europeanen to vinden is, seakers 6000 jår torüch (in How to Kill a Dragon: Aspects of Indo-European Poetics (1995)) üp de Russiske steppe tüsken et Swarte en Kaspiske Meer in. En en vortelling leavet wyder, döär tyd üp tyd vannys vorteld to wurden. By elke wydervortelling wurdet de vortelling anpasd an de nye kultuur, de andre lüde, de sünderlike situatsioon. Med sükse anpassings kin de vorteller meyr sukses hebben, dat lüde syn vorhål miråkels skyr vinden. Sou geit dat: et is neet wichtig, of süksen vortelling ouk stuv by de ‘originale’ versioon blivt. As eyn allennig dat düt, dan wurdet süksen vortelling gauw oldmoudsk, en sel et vorswinden. Dan leever en mål an de nye tyd anpassen. Ouk de vortelling vöär ditmål is an de nye tyd anpasd, leas mål wyder:

“Der was ies een jongeman van adel, Antonius … Zien va, de graaf, was verstaandig genog um ok een boer op zien dak te sturen, die de jongeling alles bijbracht over gewassen, grondsoorten en het weer. Dat leek de jonge graaf wel wat en zo kwaamp het dat hij achter het kasteel een stukkie grond ummespitte en daor gruunten begunde te verbouwen. De spinazie, bonen en de slaot kwamen wel op, mar ze verpieterden al rap. ‘Wat doer ik toch fout?’ vreug Antonius zuch of.

“De boer wus ok gien antwoord, mar hij keek zörgelijk. ‘Ie mut ies te raode gaon bij de grote Foem,’ sprak hij toen langzaam. Antonius mus lachen um die rare name, mar het lachen vergung hum geliek toen hij naor de boer keek die ernstig veur hum uut staarde en een keer op de grond speide.

“‘De grote Foem is een tweikoppig monster dat in een hol in de bargen woont,’ zee hij. ‘Hij hef de helfte van alle belastinggeld van het hiele laand in zien hol, mar gien meinse kan derbij kommen. Foem lig altied veur de ingang op de loer en aj te dichte in de buurte komt, bet hij oe de kop of.’

“Antonius zag gien enkele reden waorumme hij zien leven zul waogen um gezondere en betere gruunten te verbouwen, dus hij sleug de road van boer Freek totaal in de wiend en leefde, net as de rest van zien femilie, op stoete, gebak en melk.”

Jenny Anna Linde, ‘Antonius en het Monster’, in Zinnig 5.2 (2021), s. 8.

Julüde kinnen jü vöärstellen, dat dat geyn good gesünd leavent is. Mor sou lange künnen see et ouk neet völholden:

“Het begunde in de laanden um heur hen, en plotsklaps hadden zij der ok mit te maken: de grote hongersnood. Het graan wol nargens meer gruien en de koenen, geiten en schaopen wurden steeds magerder en gaven gien melk meer.”

Jenny Anna Linde, ‘Antonius en het Monster’, in Zinnig 5.2 (2021), s. 8.

Antonius wil sik wat deran doon, mor wat? Hee hev en skyr oug up et dearntee Antoinette, en hee vorteld üm dee unhold, Fuum. See krigt angst in de boksum, mor wil Antonius doch helpen:

“‘Ja, ik wete wie aj bedoelt en ja, ik deinke dat hij wel een oplossing wet, mar wees hiel veurzichtig!’ Daorbij overhaandigde ze hum een zulvern dolke mit een drakenkop die hij mooi onder zien maantel kun verbargen.”

Jenny Anna Linde, ‘Antonius en het Monster’, in Zinnig 5.2 (2021), s. 8.

Van syn va krigt hee een tårt, en Antonius geit vurd. Hee kümt langs buur Freyk, dee hum en stark touw givt. Now, nå vöär dågen lank döär syn paerd når et kwåde hol van Fuum to drågen wurden, kümt hee müde as en hund dår:

“… Waor de grote Foem al hissend en blaozend op hum lag te wachten … ‘Ie mag dit hebben,’ zee Antonius, ‘een kedogie van mien va,’ en hij zette de halve taorte veur het monster op de grond. Die nam een hap en dee zien veer ogen van zien twei koppen dichte en smakte mit de veer lippen van zien twei bekken. Antonius zag zien kaans schone en mit een behendige beweging gooide hij het touw over de twei koppen en meuk dat vaste an een rotsblok. Foem brulde van ellende, mar kun zuch niet lösmaken.

“‘Help mij, wat wil ie weten? Ik zal alles doen en oe alles vertellen, aj mij mar vrijlaot.’ ‘Goed,’ zee Antonius, mar hij höl zien vingers gekruust achter zien rugge. ‘Wat is het geheim van gruunte verbouwen?’ ‘Oh, is dat alles?’ vreug het monster. ‘Simpel. Ie mut ze plaanten op een nacht mit volle maone en ze iedere dag toezingen. Het gef niks wat aj zingt, van opera tot een kienderliedtie, ze bint overal bliede mit.’

“‘Nou, bedaakt!’ zee Antonius en mit een kordate zwaai hakte hij Foem eerst de iene en toen de aandere kop of. Hij laadde de karre achter zien peerd zo vol meugelijk mit belastinggeld en speerde weer terugge naor het kasteel waor hij metiene zaodties plaantte, want der was net volle maone die nacht. Iederiene in het kasteel kreeg de opdracht te zingen as ze op het laand warkten. Een paar maonden later hadden ze de mooiste en weelderigste gruunten van het hiele laand. Meinsen begunden gruunte te eten in plaats van die zute rommel, die taorten en gebakkies en zo, en al gauw waren ze niet rond, mar mooi op gewicht en gezond. Antonius trouwde mit Antoinette en samen begunden ze een schoele op het kasteel, zodat iederiene in het laand kun leren lekkere gruunte te verbouwen. Heur eerstgeboren zeune nuumden ze natuurlijk Fredericus, naor boer Freek.”

Jenny Anna Linde, ‘Antonius en het Monster’, in Zinnig 5.2 (2021), s. 8-9.

Neavens Lévi-Strauss givt et en bült beteykenis in dee elementen, dee anders binnen, in elke variant van en vortelling. Now, watvöär elementen binnen hyr anders? Et givt wat uppervlakkige andringen. Sou givt et geyn dråk in disse vortelling, mor en tweykoppig unhold. Ouk is Antonius geyn störmgod, mor ouk sint Joris is dat neet, düs wårlik anders is ouk dat neet.

En ander underskyd is dat et now neet geit üm gevangen wåter dat wydervloien müt, mor üm landgeylheyd. How anders is dat wårlik? Eyglyks neet souvölle, dår beident wåter en landsgeylheyd stuv to enkander vorbunden binnen in wearldmytologyen: wåter bringt geylheyd en låt de gewassen groien. Mor wat doch anders is, is how of disse landsgeylheyd torüch kümt. Eyrst bindet Antonius de kwåde Fuum vaste an en steyn, en dernå givt Fuum an Antonius et groute geheim: plant med völle måne, en süng når de plantkes. Dan houwet Antonius Fuum syn koppen of, en bruuket et geheim vöär mensklüde syn eygen gewin.

Mor der is wat nüvers med dit geheimnis. Et planten by völle måne, en et süngen vöär de plantkes, dat is geyn gewoun boren. Wår of et noch et meyst üp likt, is biodynamisk boren. Dit is en ard van borenbedryv dårby eyn alle underdeylen as vorbünden med enkander seet: planten, bisten, grund, misse – alles hev invlood üp enkander. Dat is villicht neet sou sünderlik, mor dårby kommen ouk spirituale of esoteriske principes, lykas dat de måne- en sternenstand invlood hev up wannear of de planten good groien. Disse ard borenbedryv kümt van de ideaen van Rudolf Steiner van de antroposofy, en is swår populär in Düütskland, Nedderland, en Australien.

Wat disse versioon van disse vortelling düs düt, is de landsgeylheyd anderen in kentnis van biodynamiske såken. Teagen planten singen is geyn gewoun underdeyl van biodynamisk boren, mor et wurdet wel eyns dån. Ouk et planten med völle måne is doch en gewoune prakteyk – by et saien tydens völle måne sellen de sådkes gode wörtels krygen, deyp de aerde in (Monty Waldin, Biodynamic Gardening (2015), s. 49).

Eyglyks et eynigste wat neet sou good lykt to rymen med de rest van de tekst, is dat melk geyn gode såk is. De tekst stelt, dat döär melk to drinken, eyn swår vet wurdet. Dat rymt neet heydaal med alle biodynamiske borenbedryven, dår et genug biodynamiske melk givt up de markt. Wat disse tekst eyglyks düt, is de ståtus van boren herstellen. Dat is nöydig, dår boren in Nedderland (wår of disse tekst her kümt) teagensworig en swår laege ståtus hebben. See krygen de sküld van et stikstuv-perbleam, van et mishandlen van höär bisten (dår see vöär konsumptsioon to groien), see stinken sou med höär misse – genug to klågen. Jenny Anna Linde vorsöket höär, med disse vortelling, de boren weader hougerüp to krygen. Mor neet vöär alle boren. Et geit benåm üm biologiske, biodynamiske boren, en sülvs dan benåm landbouw, en noch sünderliker allennig see, dee gruunsåken groien (ouk stuut is kwåd spül), en benåm geyn koienpaerden holden.

Neavens Jenny Anna Linde (as eyn de uutkömsten van disse strukturale analyse van disse vortelling as höär meinings) binnen boren good, man allennig as see höär med planten gangs holden. Bistery höyrt dår neet by, is närgens vöär nöydig. Eaven torüch når Lévi-Strauss: en myte is en arbitör tüsken twey positsionen in en såmenleaven, dee neet good voreynd wurden kund. De twey positsionen hyr binnen ouk sou. Eynersyds is der de positsioon wårby der geyn boren binnen, en elkeneyn slim vour vret – slik, tårt, en düs ouk melk. Andersyds givt et de situatsioon med völlige boren – boren med bisten, boren med planten, man neet biologisk of biodynamisk. En as lösing vöär dit alles givt et de biologiske biodynamiske boor: eyn dee geyn bisten hevvet, en et borenbedryv leided döär spirituale principes. De olde situatsioon geit neet länger, dat givt tovölle miliö-perbleamen. Düs de lösning is neet geyn boren länger, man üm boren to hebben sünder höär bistenbodel.

Man vansülv kin dit perbleam neet völlig döär mensklüde sülv löst wurden, allennig döär en supernatuurlik unhold dee et biodynamiske geheimnis kent. Lykas vöär tydstyden haer kümt wårlike kentnis van boaven, van de goden of de monsters. Wy kinnen in disse wearld leaven, döärdat sükse weasens uns helpet. En sou geit et ouk hyr, en wurdet en olde mytologiske vortelling topasd in de moderne tyd.

One of the world’s oldest stories (or, at least, of which we know its antiquity), which goes back at least 6000 years (but probably longer), is that of saint George and the dragon. Alright, perhaps not exactly that version, which stems from the 11th century, probably. Saint George’s task, killing a horrendous dragon, is found in kind in the old Ugarit (present-day Libanon and Syria) and ancient India, just to give some examples. Saint George and the dragon is a variant of the Chaoskampf, the battle between chaos and order, between disorder and attempts to clean it up.

These kind of stories often deal with an aerial deity, or a storm-god associated with lightning, who battles a monster that withholds the water. This water can also be fertility of farmland, which feeds all our fruits and vegetables. These stories therefore deal with the following: people, especially farmers, were afraid that their lands wouldn’t be fertile. This story would therefore demonstrate that the god allied to those people would actually come to the aid of his farmers. This god would drive out the monster that keeps the pastures dry and wouldn’t let the seeds germinate. According to Jordan Peterson, these stories are more about the conflict within a person itself, between the good and evil aspects of a personality. But, as is more often the case, Peterson just doesn’t get it.

So this story is pretty old. Calvert Watkins has argued convincingly that this story was present in Indo-European culture, some 6000 years ago (in How To Kill a Dragon: Aspects of Indo-European Poetics (1995)) on the Russian steppes inbetween the Black and Caspian seas. And a story lives on, by being told over and over, time and time again. Each new iteration adapts the story to the new culture, the other people, the specific situation. With such adaptations, the story have more success, enchanting the minds of the audience. That is how it goes: it is not important whether stories like these stick close to the ‘original’. When that is the only concern, then such stories quickly become oldfashioned and will disappear. In that case it is better to adapt a story to the changing times. The story under analysis this time has also been adapted to modern times, please read on:

“Once upon a time there was a noble youth, Antonius … His dad, the duke, had enough brains to put him in touch with a farmer, who taught the youth everything about crops, soil types, and the weather. The young duke enjoyed this, and he tilted a patch of land behind the castle and started growing some vegetables there. The spinach, beans, and lettuce were sprouting, but wilted away rapidly. ‘What am I doing wrong?’ Antonius wondered.

“The farmer didn’t know what to say, but seemed concerned. ‘You should have a chat with the great Fuum,’ he said slowly. Antonius burst out laughing because of that odd name, but his face fell immediately when he saw the farmer staring miles ahead of himself and spat once on the ground.

“‘The great Fuum is a two-headed monster that lives in a cave in the mountain,’ he said. ‘He has half of all tax mony of the whole country in his cave, but no person can get near it. Fuum always guards the front of his hole, and if you get too close, he bites off your head.’

“Antonius couldn’t fathom a reason why he should risk his life in order to cultivate healthier and better vegetables, so he ignored the advise of farmer Freyk completely and lived, like the rest of his family, off of bread, pastries, and milk.”

Jenny Anna Linde, ‘Antonius en het Monster’, in Zinnig 5.2 (2021), p. 8.

You can imagine, that this isn’t a very healthy lifestyle. And they are not able to keep up with it:

“It started in the surrounding countries, and finally hit them as well: the great famine. Wheat didn’t feel like growing anywhere and the cows, goats, and sheep got skinnier and skinnier and didn’t give any milk any longer.”

Jenny Anna Linde, ‘Antonius en het Monster’, in Zinnig 5.2 (2021), p. 8.

Antonius wants to help uot, but how? He fancies a girl named Antoinette, and he tells her about that monster, Fuum. She is terrified, but still wants to come to the aid of Antonius:

“Yes, I know who you mean and yes, I think that he would know a solution, but please watch out!’ With that she gave him a silver dagger decorated with a dragon’s head, which he hid underneath his mantle.”

Jenny Anna Linde, ‘Antonius en het Monster’, in Zinnig 5.2 (2021), p. 8.

His father gives him a pie, and Antonius departs. He visits farmer Freyk, who provides him with a strong piece of rope. Now, after having been carried by his horse to the evil lair of Fuum, he arrives, deadly exhausted, at that place:

“… where the great Fuum awaits him, hissing and sizzling … ‘You can have this,’ Antonius said, ‘a gift of my father,’ and he puts half of the cake down on the ground in front of the monster. It took a bite and closed the four eyes of his two heads and smacked with the four lips of his two mouths. Antonius took his chance and with a swift move threw the rope over the two heads and tied it to a rock. Fuum growled miserably, but couldn’t free himself.

“‘Help me, please! What do you want to know? I will do anything and I will tell you everything, but please let me go.’ ‘Alright,’ Antonius said, but he crossed his fingers behind his back. ‘What is the secret to growing vegetables?’ ‘Oh, is that all?’ the monster asked. ‘It is very simple. You should plant them on a night at full moon and sing to them every day. It doesn’t matter what you sing, opera or children’s songs, they enjoy everything.

“‘Well, thanks!’ Antonius said and with a brisk slash chopped of Fuum’s heads: first the first one, then the second. He loaded the cart behind his horse full of tax money and hurried back to the castle, where he immediately started planting seeds, since there was a full moon that night. Everyone in the castle was ordered to sing whenever they would work the land. A couple of months later they had the most beautiful and lushest vegetables of the whole country. People started eating greens instead of that sweet garbage, those pies and cakes and so on, and soon they lost their round shape and lost weight and got healthy. Antonius married Antoinette, and together they started a school in the castle, so that everyone in the country could learn how to grow tasty vegetables. Their firstborn son was of course named Fredericus, after farmer Freyk.”

Jenny Anna Linde, ‘Antonius en het Monster’, in Zinnig 5.2 (2021), p. 8-9.

According to Lévi-Strauss, a lot of meaning can be discerned from those elements that have changed in a variant of a story. Well, which elements have been changed around in this one? Some changes are somewhat superficial. There is no dragon in this story, but a two-headed monster. Antonius is also not a storm god, but honestly, neither is saint George, so that is not even completely different.

Another difference is that this story now doesn’t concern itself with trapped water that needs to flow on, but with fertility of the land. How different is that truly, though? Actually not that much, since both water and fertility are often closely connected in world mythologies: water brings fertility and makes the crops grow. But what is quite different is the way in which this fertility returns. First Antonius binds the evil Fuum to a rock, and afterwards Fuum provides the big secret to Antonius: plant crops during full moon, and serenade them. Then Antonius doubly beheads Fuum, and uses the secret to improve mankind’s livelyhood.

But something odd is going on with this secret. Planting at full moon, serenading the crops, these are not regular farm activities. What it seems to resemble most is biodynamic farming. This is a kind of farming in which all different elements are connected together: plants, animals, soil, manure – everything has influence on each other. That is perhaps not so significant, but it also includes all kinds of spiritual or esoteric pinciple, such as the the positions of the moon and stars have influence on when which plants are growing well. These kinds of ideas about farm life stem from the Anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner and is very popular in Germany, the Netherlands, and Australia.

What this version of this story therefore does is changing the fertility of the land into knowledge about biodynamic principles. Serenading plants is not a usual element of biodynamic farming, but it is certainly not exceptional. Planting crops at full moon is a common practice, however – sowing seed at full moon provides the seeds with strong roots, reaching deep into the earth (Monty Waldin, Biodynamic Gardening (2015), p. 49).

Actually, the only detail that doesn’t seem to sit well with regards to the rest of the text is that milk is portrayed as bad. The text mentions that one becomes really fat by drinking milk. That does not really match up with all biodynamic farms, since there are enough providers of biodynamic milk in the market. What this text is actually doing is restoring the status of farmers. That is necessary, since farmers in the Netherlands (whence the text stems from) have a really low status. They are blamed for problems with nitrogen, mistreating their animals (by growing them for human consumption), their manure reeks so much – a long list of complaints. Jenny Anna Linde tries to fix that status of farmers with this story. But not all farmers. Specifically organic, biodynamic farmers, and even then specifically agriculturalists, and more specifically yet only those growing greens (even bread is bad), and especially do not raise cattle.

According to Jenny Anna Linde (if one takes the result of this structural analysis of her story to be her opinion), farmers are good, but only insofar they deal with crops. Cattle breeding is no part of that, is not required. Let’s go back briefly to Lévi-Strauss: a myth is an arbitrator between two positions in society which cannot be brought together successfully. The same holds for the two positions here. On the one hand there is the state in which there are no farmers, in which everyone eats bad foodstuffs – candy, pie, and also milk. On the other hand there is the issue with boundless farming – farmers with animals, farmers with crops, but none of these organic or biodynamic. As a solution for this problem there is the organic biodynamic farmer: one who breeds no cattle, and leads the farm according to spiritual principles. The old situation cannot be maintained, causing too much strain on climate issues. The solution is therefore not to abolish farmlife, but to only have farmers without cattle.

Of course these issues cannot be resolved completely by human hands alone, and only through aid of a supernatural monster that guards biodynamic secrets. Just as in the ancient past, true knowledge stems from above, from gods or monsters. We can inhabit this world because such beings come to our aid. The same thing is going on here, by taking an old mythological story and applying it to a current situation.

Die nam een hap en dee zien veer ogen van zien twei koppen dichte en smakte mit de veer lippen van zien twei bekken / It took a bite and closed the four eyes of his two heads and smacked with the four lips of his two mouths

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