The Most Honest Person on Earth

Елена ЩЕРБАКОВА | Поэзия

“The Adventures of Baron Munchausen»


The tale is not told by Shakespeare
It is listened to by Shakes-Ear.

“The Adventures of Baron Munchausen»

The Most Honest Person on Earth

Wears a cherry as his necklace.
An old man or just a jackass,
Looking out down the road,
Due to snoopiness or sloth.
Truth is either gain or slaughter,
Buckles grating loud like laughter,
Nearly tearing off his head.
And a rumor with three legs
Cuts his forehead like a shark.
Truth’s a planet, or a bug.
Speaking strictly of his life
From the bitter truth to hide,
Ready witted he became,
And Munchausen was his name.

A Horse on the Roof

On the roof there is a horse
Touring down Russian roads,
Russian snowy woods and fields.
In the night, it stops and sleeps.
When the morning comes it neighs
Loud like a host of bells.
Then the baron’s gun goes off.
C’est la vie. Off with the horse.

A Wolf Harnessed to a Sleigh

The baron found his horse too dense.
Surely with malice prepense
It ran neighing in full force.
But a wolf devoured the horse.
There was only one escape
It got harnessed to the sleigh,
Rode to Petersburg through storm
Got the baron safely home.
Thus the horse became a meal
And the wolf got overfilled.

Sparks from Eyes

By the pond there were some ducks,
And the baron had used up
His flint. There was a dilemma —
How to shoot the ducks and scare them?
So the baron hit his eye –
Sparks flew out hot and bright
His gunpowder was caught on fire.
Get the sparks out from your eyes.
Shooting fatty ducks, you know,
Best by blinking, not by blow.

Amazing Hunting

Petersburg abounds in ducks.
So the witty baron thrust
A piece of back fat in the lake.
His bait was tied up to a lace.
One duck ate it — it slipped out.
Then another slurped it down.
Soon the whole flock took off,
And the baron – who’d have thought —
Flew above the city mansions
And above all comprehension.
The hunter carried by the prey
Turned ingenious. He made
His own coat into a helm,
Without any weapons’ help
From his trophy on a thread,
Made a dinner for his friends
What good luck our baron had!
Quite a clever old man!

Grouses on a Ramrod

Munchausen was fond of hunting.
He couldn’t let the hunting go for nothing.
He charged his rifle with a rod, not bullets
And fired a shot at seven fleshy pullets.
And down fell roasted game birds ready to delight on.
Munchausen had timely and delicious luncheon.

The Pinned Down Fox

One day the baron loaded his gun
With needles, for he had a fox to hunt.
In order to preserve the fox skin unimpaired
With a shoemaker needle he attacked his game.
He pinned the fox’s tail down to a limb
And thrashed it furiously with a whip
The fox was done and slipping out of its skin,
Stripped of all cover quickly ran from him.
The fox’s whole skin was left in baron’s hands.
Woe to the fox! To Munchausen – a chance.

The Blind Pig

Once in the forest’s thick I noticed some pigs
My bullet went between them and then hit
A piglet. It squealed and ran into the shrub.
Its curvy tail stayed in its mother’s mouth.
And in that tail the pig put all her hope
For she was blind and now she was alone.
The gumptious baron had a brilliant thought —
He pulled the tail and made the blind pig trod
With him obediently into the kitchen
In time for dinner ready to be eaten.

How I Caught a Boar

Once in the woods a boar was chasing me.
I was unarmed, just walking in the weald,
When suddenly I heard that frightful tramp,
That made me run. But like a hardy man
I took a sudden turn behind an oak.
The boar sank its fangs deep into the bole
And squealed disgustingly. The oak-snare
Locked up the scary boar hard and fair.

The Amazing Deer

The baron never favored bullets.
He went hunting in the woodlands.
With a cherry he charged his gun
And shot a steel-gray reindeer down,
Hit his forehead with a fruit.
Quickly hiding in the woods,
The deer ran away for good.
A branched cherry-cluster grew
Between his antlers in a year.
They descried the wondrous deer
By chance. When a year passed by,
The baron hit the bull’s eye twice,
Getting both a roast and a tart
On his second deer hunt.

The Inside-out Wolf

Armless in the woods I roamed,
When a wolf jumped on the road
Right in front of me and I
Was attacked in broad daylight.
It tried tearing me apart,
Swallowed up my whole arm.
So I pushed it in its gut,
And then turned it inside out
With my hand just like a sweater.
Thus, I got myself a jacket.

The Rabid Coat

The baron lived in Petersburg
And wore a coat made of fur.
But once a dog pursued the baron.
To save himself from sheer danger
he dropped the coat and ran away,
To leave it to his enemy’s rage.
The baron’s frightened servant found
The coat bitten by the hound
Sick with rabies. He took the coat
And put it in the baron’s closet.
Unfortunately, the baron’s clothes
Were torn to pieces by the coat
Completely. The rabid dog
Had given rabies to the coat
The baron got his gun and fired
Upon his mischievous attire.
The coat let go of its rage,
The closet was ordinary again.

The Eight Legged Hare

In Russia there was a funny leveret.
It leaped too far and fast to snare it.
For hours it tirelessly ran.
The baron’s saddle caused him pain
For having chased the hare for days.
It was high time to show some sense.
The hare was like a genuine athlete.
The baron sent his dog to catch it.
The game began. The hare was chased,
And Bianca’s goal had a fine taste.
It took three days to kill the critter
The baron aptly pulled the trigger.
A fair reason to scratch ones’ heads —
The leveret had four pairs of legs.

The Wondrous Coat

A hunter who is experienced would never
Pursue his prey with a usual weapon.
The baron even lost his dog.
To keep her close he made a coat
Of her skin. It is remembrance
Of all his glorious adventures
And chances lost and blows taken.
Besides it lets him keep the record
Of all his kills. His wondrous coat
Shot every animal he caught
With buttons. The baron’s attire
Turned fit to wear and admire.

Steed on the table

Baron came to Lithuania to visit
His friend who owned stables. One exquisite
Steed’s bridle ripped and so he raced
To mansion where a ball took place
To tame him instantly baron
Jumped through the window, mounted on
There was silence in the crowd
That was very disturbed and loud
To cause a shock and make things worse
Right on the table jumps the horse
Among the glasses and big dishes
They pranced through food that looked delicious
They broke no plates and Oh, my Lord!
The horse was baron’s big reward!

Half a horse

With his glorious escort
Rides the Baron to the fort.
Turks are out, the soldiers laugh,
But his horse was cut in half.
It is drinking loads of water,
More than any other trotter.
Water doesn’t stay inside.
Why this horse still hasn’t died?
Other half of it like shadow
Sneaked and grazes in the meadow.
Doctor’s called to help the horse,
Heal this wound that’s rather coarse.
In no time with leaves of heather
Trotter’s halves are back together.
Soon the horse is back on track
With Munchausen on its back.

Astride a cannonball

While in a siege in Turkish fort
Like a berry of some sort
Cannonball was flying by.
Our Baron had to try
Jupm right on it. With a bang
Saddles it like a mustang.
He invaded Turkish grounds
Counting weapons, men and guns.
Turkish cannon fired back —
It took Baron back to camp.

The Baron’s Braid

From Turks our Baron was escaping,
To swamps his horse took him mistaking
It for a shallow puddle, and
In swamps the horse just couldn’t stand.
They started drowning very quickly,
The horse was trying very weakly
To stay afloat, but all in vain,
Still in the swamp they both remain.
But Baron pulls his braid and ‘Oh!’,
Their silhouettes begin to grow.
Who would have thought, with such a force
He pulled himself up and the horse.

A Bee Shepherd and a Bear

Being captured by a Turk
Baron was a slave, his work
Was to graze the bees and once
One of them escaped his glance.
Bears were chasing little bee,
Baron had to set it free.
With an axe, his only weapon
He was wondering what would happen
If he threw it at the bear.
Would it frighten? Would it scare?
Bee was safe, at bears it scoffed,
To the moon the axe flew off.
Task to get it back was tough,
Are there ladders long enough?

First Trip to the Moon

To the Moon from single seed
Grew a massive sturdy weed.
Baron climbed it night and day,
To the Moon he held his way.
There he found his axe and then
Needed to climb down again.
On the moon the soil was dry,
Stem was fragile, that is why
Baron found another hope
Braiding out of straw a rope.
Started climbing down, but soon
Realised that from the Moon
Distance was three times as long,
And his rope was short, though strong.
World beneath him – painted bright,
Miles and miles of land in sight.
Baron had no chance, but jump
Landing firmly with a crump.
Now he’s deeply in the ground,
How to get him up and out?
With his bare hands he dug,
Made a staircase out of mud.
Oh Munchausen you’ll never
Be in trouble, you’re too clever.

Greediness Punished

I was saving bees from a bear.
I was hoping he’d swallow the snare
For he’s greedy, he’s eagerly drinking
Honey right out of the hive not thinking.
Doesn’t notice he that the thill
He is swallowing too in the thrill.
And the trap is too late to avoid
For his stomach is almost destroyed.
Our Baron is quck to react,
As the bear can no longer attack
He is hammering nails in the thills.
In this story the greediness kills.

Carrying the Carriage

In winter the Baron decided to leave —
The Russian winter filled him with peeve.
His carriage was cold, He was shivering,
The snow on the road was shimmering.
The coachman gives a signal horn,
But wind was strong, the sound was torn.
The horn was lost in snowy mess,
But out of nowhere, God him bless,
The Baron catches coach and horses,
His arms are filled with mighty forces.
And then again he hops inside,
The shelter keeps him warm and dry.

Melting Sounds

The clarion was hanging by the fire.
And like an icy river, snowy choir
It started playing music to the flame,
Oh, what a magical and what a frosty play.
But music quickly melted, and with it
We melted also, music kept us lit.


In India storms were high in frequence,
And once in a very unfortunate sequence
It took down the forest to everyone’s sorrow,
But everything quickly grew back tomorrow.
Apart from one tree that picked up by the wind
Flew right in the palace and fell on the King.
It was very heavy, it held many fruits,
And half of its weight was just in the roots.
So huge was the tree, so small was the King,
He died in an instance, in bedchamber wing.
They asked me to be their ruler instead,
But I strictly said ‘No’, and I’m still very glad.

The Lion and the Crocodile

While hunting in Ceylon for noble fun
I took with me my loyal trusted gun.
I waited, aimed, and shot the beast, but it
Was only wounded and in raging fit
The monster started violently fighting
Another critter, I was down in hiding.
When I got out, the scene in front of me
Was awful, and I couldn’t really see
Where lion ended and began the crocodile.
A mess of bodies torn apart was vile.
Munchausen took what left of it was there,
Like chunks of clay, the mess of flesh and hair.
That mess was not a trophy, but oh well,
I still was praised for it as far as I can tell.

Encounter With a Whale

During Baron’s American trip
He suffered a wreck on his ship.
He found himself in someone’s gut,
And it was hard to get him out
It was stomach, though hard to believe,
Of a whale they mistook for a cliff.
It was dragging the ship to the bottom,
And the Baron ferociously fought him.
Chain was broken, the ship sailed away,
Going back we again met the whale.
As we spotted it, we were surprised
To find out that he met his demise.
So we took it aboard, mighty beast
Was to be cooked and served at the feast.
But the heavy carcass caused a breach,
And the land was still too far to reach.
While we thought if we’d ever get back,
Baron sat in it closing the crack.

In the Stomach of a Fish

I went for a swim in Italian sea,
And something horrendous then happened to me.
I’m suddenly swallowed by monstrous fish,
I’m surrounded with constant gurgle and squish.
I grew very fatigued, I had nothing to do,
I was missing the air, I was missing my crew.
And all of a sudden, I couldn’t believe it!
The ship was approaching, I gained back my spirit.
They noticed the monster, it wasn’t too hard,
They decided to wait and catch it off guard.
Fish is dead, I’m inside, we are both on the deck,
But I just realized that I’m risking my neck.
I was scared they would chop me like fish with a knife
Because how would they know that I am still inside.
I climbed out to the light, revealing my head,
My crew members were shouting, they thought I was dead.
All is well now, I’m glad because monster to me
Would forever be lost in Italian sea

My Brilliant Servants

In Turkey Baron was amazed by wonders
That country offered, any sorts and genres.
For Baron’s health they drank, for Turkish region,
The Sultan tells the Baron ‘Go to Egypt’.
He hesitates no longer, horse is ready,
He’s on his way, the pace is calm and steady.
And suddenly he noticed on the road
A man who passed him and politely bowed.
The Baron gasped and in amazement frowned —
Two heavy weights held runnner on the ground.
He’s running fast towards Constantinople,
So fast that even ground begins to wobble
Another man is lying still as grass,
And not a single sound his ears can pass.
He’s aiming patiently with marvelous precision,
One shot’s enough for him to shoot a flying pidgeon.
Then in the forest stood another wonder —
A man with bare hands and sounds of thunder
Is taking down the tallest, largest trees,
And breaks them into logs just with his knees.
In Egypt mills are spinning though the weather
Is very calm, and very still is heather.
The fourth man at the Baron friendly grinned
With nostrils he’s producing all the wind.
The Baron stopped and couldn’t look away,
The four new servants joined him on his way.
Still shocked at what he had a chance to witness
The Baron sees their use in future business.

Chinese Wine

When Baron from Egypt came back
He noticed some wines on a rack.
The Sultan’s collection of course
Compared to Chinese was much worse.
Our Baron expressed his opinion
That wine wasn’t Sultan’s dominion.
That Fu-Chang the Emperor’s cellars
Would make the Sultan quite jealous.
The Sultan was outraged and yelled
‘You’re lying my Baron! But well,
To spare you the life I demand
The wine from that faraway land’.
And if it’s not here by four,
Your head will be yours no more.’
The fastest of runners is sent
To death of the Baron prevent.
The runner is on his tracks,
The lyncher prepares his axe.
The minute is passing by minute,
The Baron is losing his spirit.
And something seems to be wrong,
This feeling is growing strong.
The runner’s asleep! He stopped!
Can somebody wake him up?
But shooter is dozing too,
And he doesn’t have a clue.
But bless his sensitive ears!
The last minute countdown he hears.
He jumps up and loads the gun,
The runner has got to run.
On runner’s head falls an acorn,
He seems to be rather shaken.
In seconds he reached the castle,
In time, despite all the hassle.
The Sultan is happy, wine’s glorious,
The Baron’s alive and victorious.
Saying thank you to Sultan for welcoming stay
With his treasure he slipped away.


Sultan knows about the theft,
Fleet is chasing, thief is deft.
Baron’s worried, but keeps going,
Waves are rising, wind is blowing.
Nostrils of his mighty servant
Summon storm, it’s wild and fervent.
Wind against all calls to battle
Makes the Sultan’s schooners rattle.
What an interesting surprise.
Much to Sultan’s sad despise.

The Right Shot

In Italy the baron turned to richman.
Here starts the anecdote in which one
We`ll tell you holy truth how once
He made one shot to go great guns.
The sound of it was heard so far.
When Spanish sieged Gibraltar
The baron from the fortress looked around —
Then scratched his head and shot th? final round.

The Spanish and the British couldn`t wait —
Exchanged their parting shots with cannonade.
So cannon flew to Africa in South
And fell into old lady open mouth.
Her throat was rasping and she sneezed,
And cannon flew right to the East,
Then kept the way around the world,
And finally foe ship was holed.

The baron never was so proud before —
The British, thanks to him, have won the war.

One Against the Thousand

The baron came to warcamp dressed like saint,
And Spanish flags were lowered to the land.
All their gunnery he threw into the sea
And burned the fire every man could see.
The carriages flared down to the last.
So what about Spanish? They run fast!
They ran to Madrid like the wolves in pack
And noone even tried to look way back.

Our baron now — the special guest in London.
They talk he is the man who made a wonder.

The Cannon Man

Once I was sleeping in the main gun —
Don`t say it is unreal —
When to the Victory of mankind
Began a festive cannonry.
Unforgettable attack!
To the yellow mellow stack
On the other side of river
I was finally delivered.
I lay down for all day long —
Then I heard the voice so strong —
The farmer came to turn the hay,
And he met me with a whack —
But it didn’t work that way —
This can prove his broken neck.
But regrets were not so deep
He was such a greedy creep.

Among the White Bears

The baron and Flipp once have sailed to the North
In mountains there lived bears, of course.
Flipp anchored, and baron jumped down on a floe —
That floe then has whirled in the uprising flow
And brought our friend to the top of the mountain.
One bear has caught him for dinner. The minding
Of baron was other, so he snatched his knife
And picked bear`s fingers to save his own life.
Then baron got up and had shot from his gun
While bears have gathered to stand for that one.

So he put on shoulders the skin of the bear
(I hope you don`t think he had nothing to wear?)
And bears passed by and the baron killed all —
Their meat was so great friends forget of the Pole.

The Second Travel to the Moon

Our baron — sharp’s the word and quick the motion —
Once sailed his boat to the South ocean.
And stopped to rub his eyes — right in the noon
He saw there the giants of the Moon.
The women flew like moths from blissful visions.
Then came the storm, and waves as stern divisions
Arose to touch the end of sky. And soon
The boat has riched the country of the Moon.
The wondrous beasts there freezed like weird figures,
And everywhere flew three-headed eagles.
The Moon King and the Ruler of the Sun
Caught them in turn and had a lot of fun.

There grow gentle Amanita mushroom,
He raised his hat to me and smiled in shushing.
The insects there — bigger than a bear,
And apples hang like melons in the air
But most of all they love the eggs of pigeons
(I swear you haven`t seen that in your visions!)
With reddish — they can`t stop if they`ve begun,
And in that country there`s no need in gun.

These people are so strange- nobody knows
Why do they put their only eye on nose.
This trick could help to do that can`t be done,
Unless the eye was covered with the tongue.

And if you want to follow latest fashion,
Your only eye must then be very special.
So once a year on the Central Square
They sell a lot of different eyes at fair.

One legend there goes from heart to heart —
That first of them appeared from the nut,
He broke the shell right with his own hand —
hat`s why the life on Moon will never end.

And maybe you will spitefully suppose
That they can see no further than their nose —
I`ll laugh — cause you are surely at fault —
They see all things that happened in the world.

The moon vine is the best of all the vines
It`s made of hail entrapped in the pines.
So they just dance and celebrate the life.
And their women easily can fly.

The baron liked them, people with one eye,
And country where there`s no need to die.

The Cheesy Island

We`ve broken our compass — and the ship
Had lost direction — what a lucky trip!
Cause when the clouds came and stole the light,
The sea from green was coloured into white.
Somebody shouted: «It`s the milk! Look here!»
We drank and drank — till our punches teared.
Then out of nowhere came the easy breeze
And took us to the island made of cheeze.
So though it sounds good, we weren`t pleased —
You know, our stomachs felt a bit diseased.

This island is all full of three-legged men,
And grape there grow as high as our ten.
This grape consists of milk instead of vine,
And other trees bear bread for them in time.
The nests of birds are larger then a tower,
Imagine their eggs! And all the power
With what the eagless threw away our captain —
It was a bad idea to make the capture.
He swam fast — and this habit saved his life.
What`s more, they`re very hard with those who lie —
It means for people an avoidless axe —
We saw one hanged with upside-down legs.
But what a gentle trees around him grew —
They bowed from the waist to our crew.
It looked as if they said: You`re welcome, men!
We always have a lot of place to hang.

The Fish Who Swallowed the Ship

Without the compass we sailed among whales
And saw one odd fish who has come from old tales.
But I even now can`t remember the tale
Where fish is so big that she can`t see her tail.
And I swear it wasn`t the greatest of joys
When this pretty creature disclosed her jaws.
It all went so fast — no one even got feared —
Our ship had inside that old fish disappeared.
We screamed with all voice and we knocked in the walls
Of stomach — but sadly, things grew only worse…
Then somebody guessed that to free us we must
Put in to the jaws of the fish our mast.
So when she drunk couple of gulfs in one portion
We`ve done our plan and returned to the ocean.
Our ship now is sailing the Caspian Sea —
And it`s the last sea that I want now to see.
I`m tired, I dream just to stay in a place
Without big fishes, and storms, and the race.

The Struggle With the Bear

I came out from the boat — and on a dime
The largest bear crossed the way of mine
I`d be a perfect breakfast, I suppose,
If didn`t guess to seize his massive paws.
He howled in anger for three whole days long
But hunger came and put an end to song.
All bears there liked to lick a paw,
That`s why they packed their things and moved to Pole.

About the author:

Elena Sherbakova, is a member of the Academy of Russian Literature, Russian Writers Association, Independent Authors and Publishers Association. She has received 26 awards (3 Letters of Appreciation), 3 medals (the Jubilee M.Y. Lermontov Medal, the Jubilee Medal of “The 60th Anniversary of Russian Writers Association”, N.P. Ogarev Medal). She has published 26 books, including short stories, essays, short stories about the North, folk tales, fairy tales, lyric poetry and plays, as well as biographical and literary journals. Published in 16 anthologies, 4 magazines and newspapers.

Рассказать о прочитанном в социальных сетях:

Подписка на обновления интернет-версии журнала «Российский колокол»:

Читатели @roskolokol
Подписка через почту

Введите ваш email: