Saturday, 20 November 2010

Faithful Eckart’s infinite jugs

There's a very old story; the oldest known written version dates from 1663, the Grimm brothers tell it, it appears in von Falckenstein's Thüringische Chronik (1737), and Goethe also retells the tale. It tells how the Wild Hunt passes by a village in Thuringia, called Schwarza.

Christmas throughout Christendom - The Faithful EckhartTwo boys carrying jugs of beer home escape with their lives, but have their beer supped by the horde. Faithful Eckart (a much older figure in German mythology) tells the boys to go home and not worry about the beer, but on no account to tell anyone what they have seen. When they arrive back, the jugs have miraculously become full of wonderful beer, and they remain full for three days no matter how much people drink from them. Good old Faithful Eckart!

Until the boys foolishly break their silence, and the beer dries up. The eejits.

This story's survived essentially unchanged since the 17th century and is typical of the guff you accidentally find while trying to learn about beer on Google Books. Nowadays it's somehow supposed to be wrong to send small children through the woods on foot to the next town to fetch your beer. It's political correctness gone mad.

2 comments:

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