«Gegengabe» in Paremiology, Folklore, Language, and Literature – Honoring Wolfgang Mieder on His Seventieth Birthday
Edited By Christian Grandl and Kevin J. McKenna
The Crab's Walk: Wellerism and Fable (AT 276)
Bo Almqvist (†) – Translated by Marcas Mac Coinnigh
Mon sujet est petit, cet accessoire est grand …La Fontaine Fables XII:10, 'L'Ecrevisse et sa Fille'
Amongst the thousands of proverbs and traditional sayings that I collected from Micheál Ó Gaoithín (An File [The Poet], son of Peig Sayers), from Vicarstown, Dunquin, Co. Kerry, between 1966 and 1974, there were many in which I had a special interest as I hadn't heard them before and they weren't to be found in the published collections of Irish proverbs.1 One of these proverbs was – 'Siúl díreach, a mhic,' mar a dúirt an seana-phortán leis an bportán óg ('Walk straight, my son,' as the old crab said to the young crab). I got another version of the same proverb a few years ago when I was in Carhoonaphuca, Dunquin, from my old friend Seosamh Ó Dálaigh, who had been a full-time collector for the Irish Folklore Commission between 1936 and 1951. This is his version – 'Ná siúlófá díreach?' a dúirt an seana-phortán leis an bportán óg2 ('Would you not walk straight?' said the old crab to the young crab). I have heard the proverb a few times from other people in Dunquin also, although I can't recall who they were or how exactly they expressed it.
As everyone knows, the crab does not walk straight, and it is no surprise that...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.