Thursday, April 09, 2015

... But the Elefant Is Going

More than 200 years ago, in 1808, our famous Russian fable writer Ivan Krylov wrote one of his masterpieces generations of Russian people have been learning in school by heart. So did my grandparents and parents, so did I and my wife, so did my children, and I hope my future grandchildren will do.

That is, "Elephant and Pug".
     Along the streets Big Elephant was led,
        To show him off, most likely.
Since Elephants are not a common thing to see
   A crowd of gapers followed on his heels.
All of a sudden Pug springs up in front of them.
And seeing Elephant, it raises a great rumpus,
     It lunges, barks and howls
     And does its best to pick a quarrel.
     'Hey neighbor, stop the fuss,'
A mutt intones, 'You? Deal with Elephant?
Look at you barking yourself hoarse, and he just strolls
An image from the film stripe "Elephant and Pug" (USSR, 1986).
An image from a Soviet time film strip
"Elephant and Mug" (1986)
And doesn't care one bit about your noise.'
     'Ho ho!' Pug says,
   'That's just what I enjoy,
        Since I can be a real tough guy
   Without a single blow or bruise.
     That way, the other dogs will say:

     To bark at Elephant this Pug
        Must be a real strong mug!'

Why did I decide to recollect this pearl of Russian poetry? It's that simple: I have seen the first cover of the recent issue of Wprost magazine — a joint Polish project with the Business Week.

1st cover of the recent Wprost magazine (Poland), depicting Putin as a target.
The cover reads: Found each other at war.
Urszula and Piotr are among 30,000 Poles
in paramilitary defence organizaions.
I can only say that no Russian publication ever allowed itself to use an image of a foreign leader this way. Even now, when the Western powers decided to lecture Russia what to do (or, rather, what not to do).

We Russians with all our great cultural background are polite and even friendly. Always, till the very end.

But when the end comes, we go out and win. Always we do, celebrating our victories in Paris (once) or Berlin (twice).

Nevertheless, I think Poland can sleep quiet; Russia does not mess with pugs, even if they bark way too loud.

The elephant just keeps going.

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