The Burgeron place has been all aflutter this week preparing for the Bovine County Fairy Tale Festival. Talk about a flutter… My heart nearly gave out as a stork flew in this week, out-of-the-blue. I almost fainted right then and there thinkin’ he was delivering a baby for ol’ Nanalou. I’m far too old for that kind of thing. But no… nothing like that. It was Professor Ryker Teunis Stork, world renowned scholar of Dutch Fairy Tales and Proverbs from the University of Amsterdam. On the invitation of Cousin Ron he had flown in to spend his sabbatical in Bovine County to teach Dutch Folklore workshops.
Cousin Ron has an RV parked behind my shed and is making the place something magical. You just have to see it to believe it. Festival goers are invited to join him on a magical journey into the world of Dutch Fairy Tales. To bring an aire of authenticity to the “Dutch Zone” Ron placed an old cart wheel on the top of my roof- a long tradition in Holland to encourage the Stork to take up residence. He didn’t tell me about it though. And you can imagine the fright I had when I saw this White Stork flying in and landing right there on the top of my shed, and immediately begin calling out to Ron with all those clicks letting him know he’d arrived.
After the two of them calmed me down and reassured me I wasn’t in a “family way” they sat out on my front porch to reminisce their exploits as young dutch”men” growing up in the Netherlands. The proverbs! The proverbs! I had no idea how many of those pithy little sayings like:
“Aan de vruchten kent men den boom” – The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
“Het end is goed, alles is goed.” – All is well that ends well.
originated in Holland.
Ryker has been so thoughtful. To show his appreciation for letting him stay on my roof for the summer, he presented me with a painting Netherlandish Proverbs (Dutch: Nederlandse Spreekwoorden) by the 16th century Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder that depicts a scene in which humans and, to a lesser extent, animals and objects, offer literal illustrations of Dutch language proverbs and idioms.
I’m very excited to learn more about the Dutch culture this summer. Once Professor Ryker and Ron retired for the night, I jumped right into loosing myself with Google as I entered new search terms and followed link after link. Here are a few the family might be interested in.
There have been a few more inquires to reserve space at the festival, but nothing definite. There was one initial inquiry about a Middle Earth shire, but no commitments yet.