Sunday, December 5, 2010

St. Nicholas: Homicide Investigator



This is a folk tale about three kids who get lost in the woods, chopped into pieces by a murderous butcher, and then brought back to life by St. Nicholas. I do not speak French, so I can't give you the line-by-line translation. But over at the blog Belgian Waffle, they tell the tale:

The butcher lures them in, feeds them and puts them to bed, then... chops them up into little pieces and places them in a barrel of salt.
Seven years later, St Nicolas is mooching around the forest, as third century Greek bishops are liable to do, and decides to knock on the butcher's door. The butcher offers him dinner, and St Nicolas says "No, give me some 'petits salés'", which is a sort of pork dish, but also means "little salty things." The butcher brings him some pork, and St Nicolas says "no, I want some of the petit salés you made SEVEN YEARS AGO" with a special, significant, saintly look (I made that bit up).

Then St. Nick saves the kid's. And in one version of the tale, the butcher becomes a dark assistant to Santa. Probably the one who handles naughty kids who need killin'. And if you want to see a version of the story in English formatted for what looks like the worst child's coloring book ever, just check it out here.

I think that just about ruins Christmas. My work here is done.

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