Tuesday, December 13, 2022

The Girl Mouse Seeks a Groom (A Fairy Tale by Photios Kontoglou)

When Photios Kontoglou spoke and wrote about "blessed simplicity", he did not preach "from the pulpit", nor pretend to be a teacher to others about things that are good in theory, but not to put them into practice himself. He was a simple man in everything, since the truth is always simple, and that is why he loved, among other things, simple conversations, simple stories and most of all fairy tales - especially oriental ones.

On the other hand, as he said, "we Greeks have a bad habit of considering foreign things better than our own, so we end up imitating everything, as long as it is foreign. We here can start chanting 'Ti Hypermacho' with instruments and polyphony and everyone will find it normal and a sign of progress. But if we go to La Scala in Milan and start chanting 'Ave Maria' to a tsamiko they will kick us out - and rightly so."

So he tried with his art, with his paintings and with his writings, to highlight "our" things and to prove to us that we have nothing to envy from others.

Thus, in March 1934, he also wrote a fairy tale, in the newspaper National Herald, about a mouse who did not want to marry his daughter to a mouse, because he found mice to be inferior.

The Girl Mouse Seeks a Groom

By Photios Kontoglou

(National Herald, 11 March 1934)

Once upon a time there was a mouse and he had a very beautiful daughter. He wanted to marry her off, but he didn't want to give her to a mouse. As he was thinking he saw the sun shining.

"Ah!" he said to himself, "a groom for my girl," and without wasting time he takes her and goes to the palace of the sun.

"Sun, will you take my daughter as a wife? I don't want to give her, who is so beautiful, to someone else, only to you who are so beautiful and strong."

"Oh," says the sun to him, to get rid of him, "I am not, as you suppose, stronger than everyone in the world. These are the clouds, if they hit me I get dark and I can't do anything about them. Go to them and you will succeed without further ado."

The poor mouse, what was he to do? He gets up and goes to the clouds. But he found it dark there too.

"Do you see the North Wind?" the clouds told him; "When he blows we scatter and lose our pieces. Go to the North Wind."

Then the mouse takes his daughter and goes to the north wind and tells him why he came to him.

"I would gladly, poor mouse, take your beautiful daughter, but I am not as strong as you think. Go there to that tower: Do you see it? Forty years of blowing I could not bring him down."

Without exchanging any more words, he goes to the tower and tells him the same thing. The Tower then turns and says to him:

"Mouse, mouse, do you hear a noise within my walls? What do you think it is? Brave beasts, these mice, that devour me and are about to cast me down. There is no one in the world more brave and strong than mice, and you should not listen to anyone else."

Then the mouse listened to his heart and he gave his daughter to a brave and handsome mouse.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.