An old story of my farming days (Ut mine Stromtid) Vol. III.

In three Volumes
Autor: Reuter, Fritz (1810-1874) mecklenburgischer Schriftsteller, Erscheinungsjahr: 1878

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Themenbereiche
Enthaltene Themen: Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Rostock, Rahnstädt, Demmin, Landleben, Gutsverwalter, Landwirtschaft, Sitten und Bräuche, Norddeutschland, Plattdeutsch, Volksdichter, Fritz Reuter
In 1861 Fritz Reuter wrote Ut Mine Festungstid, a narrative about his prison years without any bitterness or self-pity. In 1862-64 Ut Mine Stromtid tells of his days as a tenant farmer and is considered his masterpiece. It is full of detailed portraits of Mecklenburg characters, customs and countryside as well as what life was like in those times. It was translated in 1867 anon. as Seed Time and Harvest and also as An Old Story of my Farming Days trans. in 1873 by M.W. McDowall

Reuter is regarded as a master of German humor, especially the unique culture of the North German Mecklenburgers.

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The day after Christmas was passed very busily in Mrs. Behrens' house in Rahnstädt. Louisa was continually to be seen running up and down stairs, for she was finishing the arrangement of her father's room. Whenever she thought it was quite ready, and looked really nice, she was sure to find something to improve, some alteration that must be made to ensure perfection. Dinner-time came, but her father had not arrived, though she had prepared some little dainties especially for him. She laid a place for him, however, as perhaps he might come before they had finished dinner. — "I don't know why it is," she said to little Mrs. Behrens, "but I feel as if some misfortune were going to happen." — "What?" cried Mrs. Behrens, "you've only lived in town for three months, and you have presentiments already like a tea-drinking town-lady! What has become of my light-hearted country-girl?" and as she said this, she stroked her foster-child's cheek with a tender touch and loving smile. — "No," answered Louisa, taking the kind hand, and holding it tight between her own, "such indefinite presentiments never trouble me. Unfortunately it is a very definite fear lest my father should weary of the inactivity of a town-life, after what he has been accustomed to in the country." — "Why, child, you talk as if Rahnstädt were a great city; no — thank God! — the geese go about bare-foot here just the same as at Pümpelhagen, and if your father likes to see farming-operations going on around him, he has only to watch the two manure-carts belonging to our neighbour on the right, and the three belonging to our neighbour on the left. If he wants to talk about farming he need only go to our landlord Mr. Kurz, who will be too happy to harangue him about grazing fields and town-jails till he's as sick of these subjects as we are." — Louisa laughed, and when the dinner-things were cleared away, she said: "Now, mother, suppose you lie down and have a little nap, while I go down the Gürlitz road, and see if I can't meet my father."

She put on her cloak, and a warm hood, and set off down the road, which had always been her favourite walk since she came to Rahnstädt, for it was the one that led to the place where she had been so happy. When she had time she used to go to the hill from which she could see Gürlitz village, the church, the parsonage, and the church-yard, and when she had a little more time she used to run down to the parsonage to see Lina and Godfrey, and have a talk about the old days and the new. She walked on and on; her father was not in sight; the east-wind blew in her face, and made her cheeks bright and rosy, so that her lovely face, framed in her dark cloth hood, looked for all the world like a sunny spring-day which gives the promise of hope and joy to man. But her eyes were full of tears. Was it because of the rude east-wind? Was it because she was looking so keenly down the road in search of her father? Was it because of her thoughts? It could not be the east-wind, for she was now standing still, and gazing out into the west with her eyes full of tears. It could not have been the keenness of her search for her father, for she was now looking straight over at the place where the sun was setting behind the black pines on the horizon like a red ball of fire. It must have been her thoughts that made her weep. Such thoughts as come to the young making their joy and sorrow, which sometimes crown their brows with gladness unspeakable, and at others make them weep in agony, when they suddenly feel the thorns in what they had thought was only a garland of roses. Why was she gazing towards the west? She knew that he whom she loved was there, and her heart repeated the words of the poet:

      "Haste westward, ever westward ho
      Thou boat at my behest!
      E'en dying, I should long to go
      Where all my hope doth rest!"


She blushed, when she found what she was saying to herself, and how she was dreaming of happy days to come.

She reached the place where her father had stood a couple of hours before, and had drunk his cup of sorrow to the very dregs. She stood still, and looked down upon Pümpelhagen and Gürlitz, and let the thought of all the love she had been blessed with overflow her heart. Where the poor old father had stood and cursed those who had so cruelly injured him, the daughter now stood and prayed, weeping tears of love and gratitude, and her prayers and tears washed away the curse from the tablet on which all human events are noted down. ...... (CHAPTER I.)

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Reuter, Fritz (1810-1874) Mecklenburger, Dichter und Schriftsteller der niederdeutschen Sprache

Reuter, Fritz (1810-1874) Mecklenburger, Dichter und Schriftsteller der niederdeutschen Sprache