TRIKUARENA THE TALE OF THE HEDGEHOG
Bernardo Atxaga trans. Amaia Gabantxo (from Basque)


Esnatu da tnkua habi hosto lehorrez egindakoan,
eta dakizkien hitz guztiak ekartzen ditu gogora;
gutxi gora behera, aditzak bame, hogeita zazpi hitz.


Eta gero pentsatzen du: amaitu da negua,
Ni trikua naiz, Bi zapelatz gora dabiltza hegaletan;
Barraskilo, Zizare, Zomorro, Armiarma, Igel,
Zein putzu edo zulotan ezkutatzen zarete?
Hor dago erreka, Hau da nire erresuma, Goseak nago.

Eta berriro dio: hau da nire erresuma, Goseak nago,
Barraskilo, Zizare, Zomorro, Armiarma, Igel,
Zein putzu edo zulotan ezkutatzen zarete?

Ordea bertan gelditzen da bera ere hosto lehor balitz,
artean ez baita eguerdia baino, lege zahar batek
galarazi egiten baitizkio eguzkia, zerua eta zapelatzak

Baina gaua dator, joan dira zapelatzak, eta trikuak,
Barraskilo, Zizare, Zomorro, Armiarma, Igel,
Erreka utzi eta mendiaren pendizari eldten dio,
bere arantzetan seguru nola egon baitzitekeen
Gerlari bat bere ezkutuaz, Espartan edo Corinton;
Eta bat-batean, zeharkatu egiten du
belardiaren eta kamio berriaren arteko muga,
Zure eta nire denboran sartzen da pauso bakar batez;
Eta nola bere hiztegi unibertsala ez den
azkeneko zazpi mila urteotan berritu,
ez ditu ezagutzen gure automobilaren argiak,
ez da ohartzen bere heriotzaren hurbiltasunaz ere.


The hedgehog wakes up in his nest of dry leaves
his mind suddenly filled with all the words he knows.
Counting the words, including the verbs, more or less, .......................................they come to twenty-seven.

Later he thinks: the winter is over,
I'm a hedgehog, up fly two eagles, high up,
Snail, Worm, Insect, Spider, Frog,
which ponds or holes are you hiding in?
There is the river, this is my kingdom, I am hungry.

And he repeats: this is my kingdom, I am hungry,
Snail, Worm, Insect, Spider, Frog,
which ponds or holes are you hiding in?

But he remains still like a dry leaf,
because it's just midday and an old law
forbids him sun, sky and eagles.

But when night comes, gone are the eagles; and the hedgehog,
Snail, Worm, Insect, Spider, Frog,
disregards the river, attends to the steepness of the mountain,
as sure of his spines as a warrior
in Sparta or Corinth could have been of his shield;
suddenly, he crosses the boundary
between the meadow and the new road
with a single step that takes him right into my and your time.
And given that his universal vocabulary has not been renewed
in the last seven thousand years,
he doesn't understand our car lights
or see his death coming.

Click here 1 for another translation of this poem.

Copyright © Bernardo Atxaga 2007; trans. copyright © Amaia Gabantxo 2007


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