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Mennonite Heritage

Reuben Goertz, Speaker
Updated:

Germans from Russia Heritage Society Convention
Fargo, North Dakota
July 10, 1993

Transcription and Proofreading by Jane D. Trygg


Introduction: Our speaker this afternoon is a graduate of the Freeman High School and Freeman Junior College during the World War II. The U.S. Army sent him to the University of Indiana to learn Polish. And after that, all that hard training they sent him to serve in Iwo Jima. Now he is a life long member of the Salem Mennonite Church, member of the South Dakota Historical Society, the South Dakota Archeological Society and various county historical societies. He has served on the Board of the AHSGR and is presently a member of the National Advisory Council for a sector of Center for Western Studies at Augustana College. He and his wife Florence are parents of four children and the grandparents of ten children. After that introduction, I give you Reuben Goertz.

Reuben Goertz: For those of you who have never had the opportunity to stand behind a podium before a large audience, yes, it is a honor, yes, it is terrifying and especially when you see the road up here is stewed with pitfalls. My good friend Daha Prathmartel (16) Prof Arnaed Marzolf asked me over a year ago whether I would be here at this dinner to talk to this group about the Hutterites and the Mennonites and the difference between them; how you can tell one from the other. Since I had a talk like that prepared, I agreed to do this.

This Spring I get a letter from a certain Victor Knell in North Dakota, informing me that he is a co-chairman of this thing, and I should keep it light. That was a (23) Note that I
I felt now that Mennonites are being equated with beer and you can have your choice of light or regular. And I wrote to both gentlemen protesting that my subject if it was assigned to me is not light. Mr. Knell wrote back and in a very convincing manner and Prof. Marzolf walks with a big stick, you notice. But Mr. Knell writes with a voice of authority.

And he said, and I quote from his letter, "Surely there must have been times when the Mennonites and the Hutterites used humor.”

Even the proverbs and folktales used by them to teach their children and to make a point for instance with sometimes a dry whit.” And of course Victor was right, but Victor made it very clear by that letter that he had never read James Michener, because James Michener in his book Centennial spends a little time writing about the Mennonites. I am sure if there would have been Germans from Russia in Pennsylvania, he would have included them as well as just the Mennonites. I want to read just three short paragraphs from Michener's Centennial.

"In most other parts of the world the Mennonites would have seen them possibly wrenched, but when compared to the Amish they were down right frivolous. For they indulged in minor worldly pleasures, were experts in conducting business and allowed their children other choices than farming. An expert in conducting business. I've known your ancestors as well as I knew mine. My father was in business on Main Street of Freeman and your people drove just as hard to bargain as any Mennonite that I knew. Some Mennonite children even went to school, but when they did farm they did it with vigor and were wonderfully skilled in extracting from the soil its maximum yield. When this was accomplished, they became uncanny in their ability to pedal it at a maximum profit.

Mennonite women in particular were gifted in selling. They knew to a penny what they could demand of a customer, giving him in turn such a bargain he was likely to come back.

And I've known a lot of you who are not Mennonites and your women too have conducted big sales and provided the stuff for the auction sale, an uncanny ability to raise money, and they are not Mennonites.

So it makes me sort of bristle. When the Scotch are thrifty, they are canny. The Yankees are shrewd and even you fellow Germans from Russia, you are considered quite the sparing, but prudent in your business deals, but the Mennonites they're accused of being down right geizig. The merchants in Sioux Falls and Yankton, and they shudder when they see a Mennonite coming. They start laughing and they say "Here come the Mennonites, a ten dollar bill in one hand, the ten commandments in the other and a firm resolve in their hearts not to break either.”

I want to read just one more paragraph of Michener and I won't finish it. But if you can just substitute your family name from Mennonite, you will see how hard it is to tell the difference between you and me and consequently big stories which are just truly Mennonite.

Michener goes on, "The Mennonites of Lancaster County were a lusty lot. They were by no means prudish and their language could be most robust with words that would have shocked ordinary Presbyterians or Baptists. They particularly liked to use barn yard terms”, and he goes on to describe those so vividly that I would be embarrassed to read them in front of you and mixed audience.

But I have heard some of the jokes that you people tell. You gay Schwaben, don't poke fun at my Mennonites. How do I know that they are gale fusich because I know there is another kind, which I will not mention here.

So as I learned as a young boy this afternoon that "Warum sollen wir nicht lustig sein, wenn unsere Katz' hat Junge. Sie hat aber keine Schuld daran, der Nachbars Kater hat sie dazu gezwungen ". For those of you that don't know German it says, "Why shouldn't we be jolly because our cat had kittens, but she didn't have any blame for that at all, the neighbor's tomcat enticed her.” Now I grew up thinking this was a Mennonite poem that all little Mennonite boys learned, but I'm wondering the older I get, if that is a common generic German Russian story. It is not just confirmed to the Mennonites.

Just yesterday at this time the gentleman one of the gentlemen behind the microphone here was talking a little bit about Adam and Eve and had a little joke about them. Well, I grew up with one, and I thought it was strictly Mennonite, now I'm not so sure. I'm probably going to repeat one here that you know that all of you know and relate to. Even yet editorial, interpretation of the thing, I think would strike a little tone of recognition with some of you.

“Adam hat sich hingelegt im Paradies und schlaft und dann hat Gott von ibm ei Frau erschafft.” Adam laid down in Paradise one time and slept, then God created a Woman from him. 0, d arme Vater Adam, du, dein erster Scb1af war seine letzte Ruh'". Oh you poor old father Adam you, your first sleep was your last rest. So I don't know again is this a Mennonite poem or is this one that you have all heard before. It's hard to tell. It makes it awful hard for me to be up here.

Family, important, the most important ingredient I think of our ancestors' lives whether you are Mennonite or not. And I think all of you have experienced in your family history something that quite a few of the Mennonites had experienced in the past when they lived in their little closed communities in Russia. Even in their first adventures in South Dakota, they lived in their little tight knit community .And it was not all that uncommon that on occasion, first cousins got married. I see it in other groups around Freeman, beside Mennonite groups. I see it in the Kasslers and the Schwaben and then the Heilbronner. There are first cousins, married and now all of a sudden we have been, like the entire world, afflicted with divorce. And now that has raised a question in some Mennonite circles. Once this couple is divorced, the one of the first couples was a set of first cousins that had gotten married. And the question now would plague the community was this: we understand they are no longer man and wife, but are they still first cousins?

As all the other people, the Mennonites took care of their young, their infirm and their disabled, their mentally handicapped. And I don't think that was peculiar to the Mennonites either. Now, there was a couple that lived on the highway 81, four miles north of Freeman. And I might say here that highway 81 to Mennonites, is a holy highway.

A Mennonite's idea of a trip to the Holy Land is to get down to Oklahoma, and get on a bus that is going north on highway 81 through many of the little towns, Mennonite towns that lay along side the highway 81 in Oklahoma. And then they get into Kansas and they get up there to (133) McPherson and to Bethel College, North Newton and the Mennonite printing establishment and boy that's almost a Mecca to them. And to keep going north on 81 and they cross into Nebraska and just a few miles off the 81, is Henderson, Nebraska with the second largest Mennonite church in the United States, the biggest being in burn. (SP burn) Berne Ind. And to keep on going and then they get to my home town of Freeman, which is right on the 81, and we are the biggest Mennonite and Hutterite community in South Dakota.

They might make a little detour up to Mountain Lake, Minnesota, which is the biggest Mennonite community in Minnesota. And they come back to the 81 and they come right through Fargo here within in few blocks of where we are meeting, and they keep on going to Winnipeg, which has the largest Mennonite population of any city in the World. So this is the Mennonite holy highway.

Well, north of Freeman about four miles there lived a family who had a retarded son. If we could still call him a retarded son at that time. They took good care of him, and his nickname was Billy Matz. In town our sheriff for a long time had been Jake Hoover, and he was also in the construction business and some of you from Freeman remember Jake Hoover .

One morning he was going out north on the Mennonite highway to a construction job. And a little ways ahead of him on the road he saw there was something large in the ditch that he had never seen there before, and as he gets closer he saw that right close to where Billy Matz lived, somebody had gotten too close to the road shoulder with a hayrack full of hay and the hay rack tipped over. And on the top of this load of hay was hayrack wheels pointing up and on top of this whole mess sat a very disconsolate Billymatz. So Hoover Jake stopped his car and he says, "Billy Matz, was is do passiert?” [“What happened?”]

And Billy Matz was very glum and he says that "Der Heuwagen is umgestiirzt". The hay rack tipped over!

“Well I see that, Jake Hoover said, “but do denkst du net, daB sollst dei'm Vater sagen. Don't you think you ada tell your dad?"

Nein , Vater weis, der Vater is unterm Heu. But there does, oh for those of you who don't understand the German, he didn't think it was necessary to tell his father because the father was under that load of hay.

But there does come a point, I think where we can now start, we're old enough with the Mennonite community, and we can start pointing out differences. And I want to point out one big thing, and that was words that we were not allowed to use that you people use in daily conversation. They were denied to us.

One that was very important, because it was in the bible twice. Once in Matthew 5:37 and again in James 5:12. "But above all things my brother and swear not neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath, nor let your yeh be yeh and your nay be nay lest thee fall into condemnation." So that, as far as the Mennonites were concerned, is was an absolute because it is very explicit, it's in the bible twice and it says let your yeh be a yeh, so in my daily conversations, as a child, I was not allowed to use words like " sicher und gewill " certainly and positively and absolutely, because that far exceeded the parameters of yeh and nay.

Also, we were not allowed to swear, take an oath, like in court, of course you weren't supposed to go to court in the first place, but we were not allowed to swear an oath. We could affirm, but we could not swear an oath. When the taxman assessor came around and took your tax, you could affirm that what you have said was the truth and so on.

Well next on the list of forbidden words was the word "God," depending entirely how you use it of course. Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. If I got hurt outside by playing and if I said, "0, God." My elders would pounce on me with a vengeance. My grandmother, who was my staunchest ally when I got into trouble, would pounce on me like a plain old common crow and holler at me. That was not allowed. Still these older people would use "God" in a way that mystified me then, because they were talking about "God", they used "Gott." And they did it with impunity.

This is probably the only story I had that were told by colony Hutterites. One of their ships when they were coming from Russia had one Hutterite, who was absolutely terrified of the ocean. He was petrified and every time the ship rolled a bit, every time a little breeze came by, he would run to the captain, "Oh captain, my captain are we going to capsize or are we going to drown, are we all going to our death."

And the captain soon saw he had a very paranoid Hutterite on his hand. And he told him, "We have not been endangered, I don't anticipate any danger, but if we do get into serious trouble and you come and bother me with your questions, you will distract me from my attention, and add to our danger." He said, "If you really want to know if we're in trouble, the next time you think there is even a chance of being in trouble, you go down to the bottom of the ship where those guys are stoking the furnaces." He says, "There are a wild and tough bunch and they've been all around the world and they know the world going backward and they know the ocean. They can read its moves and they know when we're in trouble, but I must caution you," he says, "They're a lusty lot and they swear terrifically, but that's all right because once they stop swearing, you know they are scared, then you can start your prayers.”

It didn't take long and along comes another little (231) Zephyer and rocks the boat a bit and this paranoid Hutterite, down the ladder, down into the boiler room where these guys were stoking the fires and all his friends, the fellow Hutterites, they gather around the hole where he went to see what his reaction was when he comes back. And it doesn't take long and he comes scrambling up that ladder and he's gray and he's shaken and he is scared, but he clenches his fists together and he passed his eyes heavenward and he says, "Gott sei Dank, sie fluchen noch". The Lord be praised, they're is still swearing. " If someone used the name of the Lord in vain, and he wasn't a Mennonite. It wasn't so bad. We could talk about it.

There used to be an Evangelist from (245) Mitchell, SD, by the name of (245) Rev. Krauch. Some of you might be old enough to remember when he used to come and Freeman on lecture nights and hold the bible meetings. In the hall, he would rent off of main street and he would get the people down there and try to get them down the sawdust path. Well, [in] Freeman we didn't have the term then 'homeless people' but we had such a guy. He might have been like have a designated hitter in baseball, now we had a designated homeless guy, he was a (252) Bill Bruchlucker, a derlict and he would pick up scraps off the street. And he didn't have a regular sleeping place.

And one night it was bitter cold and he came into this hall where Reverend(254) Krouch was holding his revival meetings and Reverend (254) Krauch was elated to see Bill come in there and he stopped his service and he looked at Bill and he says, "Brother welcome are you seeking the Lord?" And Bill said, "Golly is he lost!” We could tell that because it wasn't a Mennonite telling it and it was in the English language, so it wasn't too bad. But in church we could talk freely about the mishaps that happened on our daily pilgrimage to perfection. And that is why I had to change my topic title after I got my letter from Victor Knell, because those are the things I'm going to have to concentrate on. Those (266)Prat falls that these people took on their imperfect travels on a road to a perfect life. So we could laugh about the things that went wrong.

And one of the favorite subjects I never knew that gentlemen who died, when I was still a youngster but it was my wife's paternal grandpa. Oh, grandpa (271) Gering. (272) Hanzul was a character. He was not very tall, but he was quite stout. And he was very much a man of firm convictions. And he was a realist and he went up town to buy some clothes, it really aggravated him that he had to pay as much for a suit of clothing or overalls as a fellow that was 6'4” and weighed 300 pounds. That fellow obviously needed much more material for his clothes and he had to pay as much as that fellow did. Why should he pay as much for a size 7 1/2 shoe as that big fellow with the size 12 shoe. It just didn't make sense. So consequently he bought the biggest clothes he could wear without losing them. It was his way of retaliating. He was not going to be victimized. Consequently he was not a bold (283) Beaubraummer of the corn field. He was the most shabbily dressed fellow in East Freeman.

One Sunday morning he was sitting in church and the fellow was sitting beside him, nudged him and pointed down. Here amongst that superfious cloth there were a bunch of unbuttoned buttons. He had forgotten to button his trousers and as badly as they fit, he never even noticed till now in church and the guy sitting beside him points out those unbuttoned trousers. So he bided his time and at that time our people still knelt to pray.
We have gotten too sophisticated for that now; we no longer kneel to pray. But at that time they knelt to pray. And when the congregation knelt to pray and everyone had their hands folded in prayer, he was busy with his hand, matching unbuttoned buttons with unused button holes. Finally, the prayer is over. Amen is said and everyone gets up to sit down except my wife's grandfather. And he stands there like a guy with a HexenschuB. He couldn't get up. All of a sudden, he gives a mighty lurch and bing a button hits the ceiling. What had happened was his vest hadn't been buttoned either. He had buttoned the vest to the trousers.

Now stories like that were legitimate game for humor. Another time we had foot washing in our church. I remember that well. It dropped out in the thirties. About the time we switched from the German to the English in our church service. But after communion they would have foot washing. And the girls would bring the water and the big basins. And then the fathers first would go up in front, two by two, take off each other's shoes, and wash their feet. As an act of humility, as Christ did with his disciples after the first communion. This is always done after communion.

Now the same grandfather, my wife's, was not quite up to the spirit of things, he was not about to wash feet with anybody. So he would loiter outside the church until either grandpa Schwartz or grandpa Senner came to church. Then he would go in with them so that he could wash feet with his best buddies. This particular Sunday morning his children told me Grandpa Schwartz came to church, grandpa (327) Gering was waiting for him, and they went in together, find it was their turn to wash feet and they go up in front. And grandpa Schwartz takes off grandpa (329) Gering shoes and friends will whisper to him, but it was such a loud whisper carried all over the little church but he said, "Ei, ei, ei, das ist aber notig". My, oh my, oh my, but this is necessary." Grandma was so embarrassed, she didn't go to church for two weeks afterward. She just couldn't stand to face the other ladies.

With their music they had quite a bit of fun. Here again, I don't know if these are generic tales told by all Germans from Russia or if they are just Mennonite tales because this one was one that they accused my great grandfather of. Until a couple of years ago, I found Hutterite minister in the colony and I told him about it and he says, "Oh but that happened in the colonies long before your great grandfather was around." So here is the same story, and it comes from two different places so I don't even know if it originated with the Lutherans or the Reformed or the Catholic. I don't know.

But the deal was that according to the story at home, my great grandfather (347) Blein Andraes Graber was a Vorsinger, which meant he had the song book with the words. They didn't have enough books around, so he would get up and he would read a line and the congregation would sing. Then he would read another line and they would sing some more. And he got up that morning and he announced that they would sing" GroBer Gott, wir loben dich". So now the tune is fixed in the congregation's mind. And gets out his book to look at the words and my goodness.

They had cracklings. They used to grind cracklings up and spread them on their bread like peanut butter. Do any of you remember that? Well they had ground up cracklings for breakfast and he had gotten some on his fingers and got his glasses so greasy he couldn't see the words and he takes off, after announcing the tune, he takes off his glasses. "Was ist denn los mit meiner Brille, sie ist mit Fett beschmiert"? "What's a matter with my glasses, they're so smeared up with fat."

And the congregation starts out singing. "Was ist denn los mit meiner Brille?" He said, " Ach liebe Leit', seid doch stille, ich spreche nur von meiner Brille." "(373 German this repeats).” I don't know how they ever did get that thing.

My Hutterite friends would tell me of an instance that happened; now this is a Prairie Hutterites, so I'm not talking about the colony Hutterites here. A farmer had a cow which had got twin calves, which was very unusual at that time. It is not so unusual now anymore, these multiple births, but at that time this cow had twin calves and it was really quite something. And he and his family were so overjoyed they decided that one of those twin calves was the Lord's calf and the profit they made from that calf would go to the Lord. Low and behold, one of the twin calves died. Guess which calf it was. But that's how the cookie crumbles, you know.

Sunday they went to church. They were just in the process of getting some English hymn books and the choir was singing some of the new songs that they would be learning. And imagine his surprise when all of a sudden the choir starts singing a song, I'm sure that some of you know. I don't know how many of you may not be that familiar, but the 'Half Has Not Been Told'. Do you know that song? Great! Well somebody knows, and then they know I'm not making this up.

So the choir is singing in English the 'Half Has Not Been Told' and he is listening and he doesn't know English very well and he says to himself, "My goodness. They are singing the calf has not been sold.” And he got very disturbed and his family was disturbed. The choir sang all the verses in English, as every eye in the choir was on him. So he went home and the family was in anonymous agreement that that was indeed their calf that had died and the calf that was still living was the Lord's calf.

Then the church discipline was very strict. This goes back to the Matthew chapter 18, verses 15, 16 and 17. "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou has gained a brother, but if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more than an in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word mat be established and if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it onto the church, but if neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican. Four little stories to illustrate that.

They had to take witnesses. If the two guys couldn't settle their difference, take a witness with him and go and try to reason with the oppressed fellow. So this one man took two witnesses and one was the chief witness. And they got the two contestants together and the first man presented his side and the chief witness says, "Bruder, du hast Recht". Boy you got a convincing case. You are right! “But then he turned to the other guy, he had to be fair.” Well what do you have to say? “And this guy was equally convincing and he turns to him, "Lieber Bruder, du hast auch Recht". But brother you are right, too!" Well then the second witness grabbed the elder by the arm and he shook him and he says:" Aber Bruder, sie konne nicht beide Recht haben". But brother they can't both be right." "Bruder, du hast aber auch Recht." "Brother, you are right, too!”

My grandfather got caught playing pool, so he had to apologize to the church or take the consequences of being expelled. Those of you who heard Father Sherman yesterday afternoon, he was telling, you try to translate being behind an eight ball in German: Well, now the preacher was in the same predicament as my grandfather. How do you translate shooting pool into German? Because ya see shooting pool was a Yankee indiscretion and it had been told to him that my grandfather had been shooting pool. So my grandfather admitted it, so Sunday morning after the service the preacher calls the congregation together for this matter on the matter of discipline and he says, "Es ist uns gesagt worden" it had been called to our attention, "daB der Sepp Schlag" that Joe Schlag," my grandfather, "took bull schieBen ". He is shooting the bull."

There was a lady, a very old lady, had three sons and one of the sons built a home for her across the road from where he lived so that they could look after her in old age. And this one Sunday afternoon this old lady looks out of her window and what does she see? Here come a group of Mennonite boys carrying guns on a Sunday afternoon. They were hunting. What to do? Well, there is only one thing she could do and that was to tell the church fathers about it so that they could take disciplinary action.

I must inject here that Parker, South Dakota, is a county seat to Turner County and there was a lot of anti-German feeling there during World War I, and it was just a place of ill repute as far as Mennonites were concerned, but they would have to go there to do some of their business dealings and at the Court House.

When here comes these boys and this lady has to report them to the church authorities so proper actions can be taken. But she doesn't know who they are. So she steps out on the front porch, her arms rolled up and her apron, ya know and she says, "YOU who! Bube. You who, boys! Was sin mer dann? "Who are you?" And little old Charlie who was right closest to the house, he was sharp and knew what she was after. And he says, "Mer sin Englische von Parker". Oh, we are some English dudes from Parker and she said: Ach Gott sei Dank, gehen euch. The Lord be praised, go on your way!

And then my very last one and my favorite one and it takes a lot of these things into consideration. When I was a young man, I'd hear my dad and my uncle Julius and sometimes they would be working together one or the other would say, “(500 German)Zennzeli Vil Baem baom”
And they would both grin and I would say, "What is that all about?

Ah that is something that happened so long ago we had forgotten about it." And they refused to tell me. Came the time that I married my wife and we both had relatives, distant relatives in Kansas. We went to Kansas to introduce one and other to our distant kin. We had to go meet her grandmother's brother, John P 0. Graber. If any of you are from Hutchinson, Kansas or (510) there is a Graber furniture store, which (511-512) he started-John P.O Fetter

And I had to go meet him and he says, "So you're from South Dakota." And I says Yep."And he says, "The home of(514)(Zenngeli vih bam bom) And I says, "You know that."And he says, "Why sure doesn't everybody?"
And I say, "Well would you sing it for me so I can write it down?"

And he was honored and flattered that I would ask him. And he gave me that poem.
So we came home and I'd go wait till my chance is alright, when Uncle Julius and my dad were together. And I say, "Have you guys ever heard this?" And I sang the first verse and they were astounded.

"Where did you get that?"

And I say, "Well, John P. 0. Graber told me. And I think it’s really remarkable, here is a man old enough to be her father and he remembers every word and you guys said it was so long ago you can't remember it."

They said, "He isn't that sharp he left out a whole verse.”

So I said, "He can't cause this whole story is here.” So they sang it for me and I wrote again. Now what had happened, my people were of the Amish background. They were just making the transition when they came from Russia in 1874, and they became members of the General Conference of Mennonites, which is the most liberal outfit, so now they started getting instruments.

John P. 0. Graber could tell this story because he had been kicked out of church for playing a trumpet solo, and now, he was a Presbyterian, so he was no more bound by the rules of our Mennonite church. But what had happened, these people were now leaving the Amish, and they were becoming General Conference Mennonites, and they were kicking over the traces and the started a Swiss Choral Society .They started getting instruments in church, and they started a Literary Society to give budding young artists and writers a chance to show their skills.

We had two people. One was Johann Muller, who's nickname was (556)Zennzeli,
and he despised it. The other was John M. Schlag who's nickname was Schimmel Johann and he was quite a poet. (561)Zennzeli was going to get married.

He had to go to Silver Lake, north of Freeman on the Mennonite highway, four or five miles north of town to get sand to mortar two (565) field rocks together for a chimney and some for a small foundation for his bride's home. As he was going for that sand he drove by a David Hofer, a Prairie Hutterite, whose dogs came out harassed, the team, he thought he would lose the harness and the wagon. He had to go back again with the wagon loaded and it was more of a disaster. And he dreaded coming back on the next day. So he borrowed a muzzle loading shotgun, and he said he had loaded with corn. Some guys thought it was rock salt and now he came. The dogs came out again. He shot, injured the dog and oh terrible things happened.

And here John M. Schlag has to write a poem for the Literary Society and he depicts his whole topic and he was such a skillful poet, he wrote it to the meter that could be sung to the tune (582 German) Ich bin der doctor der Eisenbahnt
and he sang it and it caught on and it caught on but he was so embarrassed, he went to the church Fathers and complained, and they had Schimmel Johann apologize to (588) Zennzeli
in public and he apologized and the people had to promise never more to sing that song. So my dad and Uncle Julius were honor bound not to let it out. And I wouldn't have heard it if Uncle John wouldn't have tooted his horn in church and got kicked out and wouldn't have told it.

In case you want to hear the song here is how it goes, the first verse just recaps the whole thing, as everyone knows (598) Zennzeli drove after sand and he took along his gun to shoot dogs where ever he might find them and what really got Schimmel Johann keeps repeating that despised nickname.

Wie es an allen ist bekannt,
Der Zenngeli fuhr einmal nach Sand ,
Er nahm mit sich ein' kleine Flint,
Zum HundenschieBen wo er find.

Now the next verse he gets to David's house and actually dogs came out! And he didn't think long at all, just all of a sudden "bang” he let it fly.

BeEin David war das erste Haus,
Da wirklich kamen Hunde raus,
Der Knab' hat sich nicht lang' bedacht,
Auf einmal hat es losgekracht.

That he had loaded with corn. That poppy cock. This is Schimmel Johann's writing again. It had to be a bullet. It penetrated the dog from, hit the dog in the rear and penetrated all the way to the eye.

Es kam dann gar nicht an den Tag, daB er mit Kom geladen hat,
ein' Kugel muBt's gewesen sein,
von hinten flugs ins aug hinein.

Now you really get to see Schimmel Johann's ability as a poet. David Hofer was a Prairie Hutterite and he now in the next verse, it says David heard that shot, he immediately got on the trail of this animal, but he is too lazy to walk, so he takes a horse. Well my Schweizer people they say "RoB" for a horse, the correct German word I guess is "Pferd"; the Hutterisch people say "Gaul". Well, this is a Hutterisch horse, so it had to be Gaul.

Und als den David das eufhr
Macht er sich gleich dann auf die Spur,
Zum laufe war er doch zu faul, und setzte sich auf seinen Gaul,

Terrible things now happen, he comes to the wagon. He takes the gun away from the boy. He smashes it over a wagon wheel into a thousand pieces, crooked and straight.

Als er zu dem Wagen kam,
und gleich die Flint vom Knaben nahm,
und schlug sie auf das Wagenrad,
auf tausend Stiicke quer und grad.

Now the last verse you have to sing with (670)Pathos, pianissimo, legato. Because (673)Zennzeli now this wrecked gun on his hand. He's got to make restitution for it. He more takes quick inventory of all his worldly possessions, mortgages, both of them and still doesn't have enough money left to pay for it.

Dann war der knobe doch sehr besorgt,
denn er hat die Flinte nur geborgt,
Don fer srtzde ehr sun hund und ku
und das reicht ihm noch lang' nicht zu.

Thank You .


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