Lajos Parti Nagy
A WINE STOORY (WHIT'S IN THE PINOT NOIR?)
Lang ago in the days o lang syne therr wis a wullie-o-the-wisp, puir thing, he had the hail warld at his fit, bit nae a soul oan it tae caa his ain. He wis therr in the grass, in the trees, in the damp, he climbed up the ruits o the vines, he hung aroond therr, fae he wis gey fond o wine. Bit he widnae hae shewn it, nae fae the life o him, nae even if they beat him, fae he wis a la-di-da wullie-o-the-wisp, ye ken.
Then yince therr traivelt by, at the heid o his mony cousins, the Pinot Noir, whit is caa'ed in French, frae its ticht cluster o grapes, black pine. Weel noo! Wine oot o pine, wullie-o-the-wisp wi a soul: nae sic things under the sun – bristled the wullie-o-the-wisp. An he pretainded coolly tae hate the cratur, acause he strangly suspectid whatna wis that Pinot Noir. That it can mak ye happy, somethin he cuid nae bair, even if he wanted it gey, gey muckle. Fae he wis a clever wullie-o-the-wisp, he kent frae aa the Magyar makars' buiks, frae Arany tae Esti Kornél, that happiness wis aiblins nae mair than the absence o pain. Grimbelly-grumbelly, he gaed, a genty, ruby beastie he caa'ed the Pinot Noir ahint his back, when he get claise tae him, bit nae fae he wis pure a beastie, bit acause the wullie-o-the-wisp wis in loo wi it, if sic a thing kin happen to a wullie. An it kin, fae this wullie wis.
Agonies he suffered, his black soul fair pined fae the Pinot Noir, an the Pinot Noir juist spangled an smelled braw, whispered an wheeled, its ilka licht wis dark, its ilka dark wis its licht, frae its berry keekin-gless gusht oot ortyards an wee wells o chocolate, so mony deep flavors, suckory an bittery, the kind that brust forth, still an fuill, frae the center o the arth, anlie fae skilled penmen o wine tae birl them intae fancy similes. Bit the wullie wis nae penman, juist head owre heels.
Then yince the wullie-o-the-wisp reached so claise, turnin an swirlin an bletherin, that he tumbled intae it. Intae the Pinot Noir, but intae ilka bottle, thegethir an aa at yince. He threshed abou, swivellin his een left an richt, he wid hae swore, bit naethin cam frae his mou, juist: this is braw! this is braw! That life is braw. Sae muckle did he whoop an cheer, his mou suddently opened weid an he a'maist choked, sae he teuk juist wee bit sips, chewin an savorin it, tears or lauchter like. Revellin in its reamin, claretty silk, he wis uplifted an lacked fae naethin. Kin ye aa be happy, aa be happy, his mou' kept sayin, like a fishie's, tho he wis a wullie-o-the-wisp. Nae wheest, nae loud, bit prayer-like. An onie wha gaed that way did hear, an cam claise tae the wine rack, whaur lived the Pinot Noir. Weel noo, aa the fowk catched oan, an teuk some, an drank some, an ilka ane lived happily fae ever an aye, if they didnae die.
Translation from Hungarian © Peter Sherwood 2019