Vlad: the Omnipotent Cat

Ivan Krylov published The Mouse and the Rat in 1816. My rough translation follows, without the last quatrain, or the “moral” of the fable.

“Dear neighbor, have your heard the good rumors?”
Said Mouse to Rat, running in.
“They say the cat has fallen into the lion’s claws?
It’s time for us to have some rest.”

“Don’t rejoice, sweetie,”
Rat replied to Mouse,
“And do not hope in vain:
If it comes to claws between the two,
I trust, the lion will not come out alive:
No beast is stronger than the cat.”

[Updated Sept. 6, 2020. One or more of Krylov’s manuscripts has “more frightening” instead of “stronger.” In more colloquial English, one could say “scarier.”]

Igor Irteniev, the Russian ironist poet who became well-known during the Perestroika years, published this in 1991. The translation is mine – not 100% faithful, but close enough.

I wake up hungover,
Not a cent in my pocket.
My liver’s dead,
My throat is dry,
No booze to bring me back to life;
My papers have been stolen,
One eye is swollen shut,
My jacket is all dusty,
My pants are under the bed.
What have you done to us,
Communist bastards!

Everywhere you turn nowadays, you hear some variation on these tunes.

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