Till Eulenspiegel - Next story (2)


The first story tells of how Till Eulenspiegel was born, how he was christened three times in one day, and who his godparents were

Like any good Christian family, Till Eulenspiegel's parents ensured him of a fair chance of doing alright in the afterlife by baptising him soon after his birth. In the following 95 stories we'll see how he most likely blew that chance well and truly. They day of his baptism bodes well for an eventful life, though not necessarily for the best place in the Hereafter.

His birthplace of Kneitlingen in today's federal state of Lower Saxony still exists as a village of around 900 inhabitants. It probably hasn't grown much since 1300 but Ampleben, the other village mentioned in this story, has been incorporated into it. The latter, then called Amplewen, is the site of a 13th century church that may well be the one in this story.

Eulenspiegel was born near a forest by the name of Elm, in the village of Kneitlingen in the land of Saxony, His father's name was Claus Eulenspiegel and his mother's was Ann Wibcken. While she was recovering from childbirth, they sent the child to the village of Ampleben for christening and to be given the name of Till Eulenspiegel. The village and the church therein now are in the care of Arnold Pfaffenmeier, the reverend abbot of Saint Aegidius.

Now, when Eulenspiegel had been baptised and they wanted to return the child to Kneitlingen, his godmother wished to hurriedly cross a bridge over a stream that lay between Kneitlingen and Ampleben. The lady,it seems, had indulged in too much beer following the christening (it is customary there that the child be taken to the public house following the rite]and everyone drinks and makes merry on the father's tab). So the godmother, along with the child, fell off the bridge and into the mudhole and got herself and the child so horribly filthy that the child almost suffocated. They were helped out by the other women of the party, went home to the village, washed the child in a cauldron and made it nice and clean again.

Thus it came to be that Eulenspiegel was baptised thrice in a day. Once in the font, once in the dirty mudhole and once more in a cauldron full of warm water.

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English translation based on text in the public domain, made available by the German Projekt Gutenberg-DE web site.
Source URI: http://gutenberg.spiegel.de/bote/eulenspg/eulen01.htm
Commentary preceding story text added and, where applicable, researched by writeup author.

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