הנסיך קוקייה: סיפור מאת נל זינק
סוויטה לתזמורת או לשישה נגנים מאת בוריס יופה
טקסט מלא (אנגלית): למטה
Suite for orchestra or six players by Boris Yoffe
Fairy tale by Nell Zink in German or English, Hebrew by Avner Shats
Once upon a time there was a handsome prince. He was ruggedly good-looking, plus he had big, beautiful wings and could fly like a bird.
He said to himself, wow, with my wings I am totally cool. I’m going to be the best king ever. Every day I’ll fly back and forth over my kingdom and look down to see if my people are happy. Nobody else here can fly, so everybody loves me, because I have wings. When I turn twelve my father the king will retire, and then I’ll be king and I’ll be the best king ever.
Then it was his twelfth birthday. His parents the king and queen came and said, hi prince, how are you, we’re awfully sorry, but you can never be king. The reason is that you’re not related to us. We have no wings, and neither does grandma, and neither does grandpa, and neither did great-grandma, and neither did great-grandpa, and so on all the way back to Adam and Eve. None of them had wings.
We don’t know where you got these wings, but you can’t possibly be our son with wings like that. Wings are hereditary. They run in families. So you must be from some totally different family. Please, you are old enough to leave us now! Go and find your true family!
The prince said, I’m like a cuckoo-bird, the bird that grows up in the wrong nest. From now on just call me Prince Cuckoo.
His parents said, go and find your true family. They gave him ten dollars and said, goodbye, our dear cuckoo-bird! It was nice knowing you!
Prince Cuckoo was very, very sad.
He started to walk. He walked and walked, on an on, far away into the distance. He met all sorts of different people. He asked them all, are you my father? Or are you my mother? But no one knew him at all. It was very sad.
He could have flown with his wings, but then he wouldn’t have found any people to ask, because all the people were on the ground. There are no people in the air.
He walked a long, long way.
Then he came to a place where everything was completely different. All the people had wings! They were all flying around through the air. They all had the same big, beautiful wings as Prince Cuckoo. It was fun to fly around and look down at the houses. Everything looked different there. No one had a car, because they could all fly. Even the little babies could fly.
4. La Folia
He asked the people with wings, are you my mother? Are you my father? But they all said, we never saw you before. Who are you, anyway? We haven’t lost track of any children. They’re all right here, where they’re supposed to be, and we even have our own prince.
Prince Cuckoo was extremely sad. He flew down to the ground and sat down on a tree stump.
An old man came walking by. He had no wings.
Are you my father? asked Prince Cuckoo.
No, said the old man. I am a dream-reader. I can tell you what your dreams mean. You only have to tell me about what you dreamed last night.
Prince Cuckoo said, my life is a mess. I’ve been looking for my family for ages and ages. I’m so lonely and always by myself, and when I go to sleep, I always dream the same dream.
Tell me about your dream, said the old man.
I can’t tell you about it, Prince Cuckoo said, because in the dream, nothing happens. It’s only music.
5. Dream Music (oboe)
The old man said, I understand your dream already and I can tell you all about it.
You understand? said Prince Cuckoo. He was amazed.
6. Dream Music (viola) while the old man speaks
The old man said, you dream only music, and you will find your mother and father. Everything is completely different from what you think. You are not a human being with the wings of a bird, but a bird with the body of a human being. You are not a person with wings, but a bird with arms and legs.
You are a bird, and that’s why you dream only music. Music is your mother tongue. It’s much too complicated to explain, but if you just go home, you’ll find your family right away. Plus you owe me ten dollars for reading your dream.
Here’s ten dollars, said Prince Cuckoo. Now I’ll fly home and meet my parents! He still had ten dollars from the king and queen because the whole way he had saved money by eating crumbs and worms like a bird.
He was about to take off and fly away home when he saw a little tiny bird sitting on the ground. The bird was very sad. It was extremely small and helpless. It tried to fly away, but it couldn’t fly. Every so often little bunny rabbits came up and punched it, because it couldn’t defend itself. The little bird looked very unhappy.
Who are you? Prince Cuckoo asked the little bird.
I am Princess Rock, said the little bird. They call me Princess Rock because I can’t fly any more than a rock. I was supposed to be queen of the birds, but they kicked me out for not flying.
I am Prince Cuckoo, said Prince Cuckoo. I was supposed to become king of the human beings, but they kicked me out because I am a bird trapped in the body of a human being like a bird in a cage. I can fly just fine.
Let’s be friends! Princess Rock. I would love to fly, just once.
Then come and sit on my shoulder! Prince Cuckoo said. I’m on my way home to meet my parents for the first time.
Prince Cuckoo flew fast through the air. In just ten seconds he was at home in the royal castle.
The king and the queen were very surprised. They said, hi there, cuckoo-bird! We thought about you and wondered how you were doing!
Hello king and queen, said Prince Cuckoo. I didn’t find any family, but I have a girlfriend now, Princess Rock. We’re going to get married now so we can start a family, since we don’t have one yet. You can come to the party if you bring along something to drink.
And then Prince Cuckoo and Princess Rock celebrated a fabulous party so they could get married.
At the party there were two tiny little birds. They were extremely small and old. The little birds came up to Prince Cuckoo in a shy way and asked him in a soft, squeaky voice, Paul, is that you?
Who are you? said Prince Cuckoo.
We are the little tiny birds of the royal castle garden, the Duke and Duchess of Mikoyan-Gurevitch. We have been searching for our lost son Paul for years and years. He was a giant baby with arms and legs and a body like a human being. Are you perhaps our lost son Paul?
No way, said Prince Cuckoo. I have great big wings, and you only have little tiny baby wings. Wings are hereditary. I am from a totally different family.
Then the tiny elderly birds began to weep because they hadn’t found their son. It was so sad to see them cry that everybody at the party started crying. Pretty soon everybody was doing nothing but crying.
Then Princess Rock said, Prince Cuckoo, don’t be such a jerk. Everybody’s crying because of you! You’re spoiling my wedding.
I’m sorry, said Prince Cuckoo. Dear little old birds, you can be my parents if you want. You can teach me about music. I’m a bird, but I never learned how to sing. Sing me a song!
The tiny, elderly birds started to sing, and it was the music from his dream. He could sing along right away. He was very happy.
Then they all danced until the party was over.
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