Translation:The High Mountains/42

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The High Mountains  (1918)  by Zacharias Papantoniou, translated from Greek by Wikisource
The Story of Yannis from Yeuse
The Story of Yannis from Yeuse

See over there in the distace like a yellow meadow? said Aphrodo.

Farther away there was a pine tree; and what a pine tree! It scraped the sky, so to speak. It threw a black shadow like the chrami which is made from goat's wool. It could shelter a whole herd.

No bird passed over without settling on its top.

Drops of its resin were like amber, its murmuring that of a river, its coolness tended the injured.

It seems that in its trunk there slept a fairy; that's what they say. Nowhere was there a pine so big; the oldest people remember it. Even Grandpa sat in its shade.


Up until one year when Yannis from Yeuse came, and he made a cut with an axe for the resin. And the year after he cut it once more. And as he had taken resin for two years, Yannis began to count all the wood he would have if he cut it down completely.

The third year he chopped it down. And he went to his mother and told her: “Mother, we're going to have a good winter. We are going to burn half of the pine in the fire, the other half I'm going to sell to the Two Villages.”


He set out on the way to the Two Villages, to find the artisans and tell them that he had wood to sell. After a day and a night, he hadn't arrived. After three day, he hadn't arrived. After a month, he was still on the way.

They say that the pine cursed him the moment it fell. And as he had the malediction of the pine, Yannis couldn't leave the plain. Because the trees, on seeing him, marched away. And the whole wood moved further on. And Yannis always remained in the dry pastureland.

He was thirsty, he didn't have a drop to refresh himself. And the summers passed which burnt him, and the winters also which froze him. And Yannis walked on, but he was always at the same place. Until he collapsed.

And they made up a song which recounts the whole story. It's also got a tune. Anyway I don't know the words; you'll find them in books; as this story is now appears in the books.


The song of Yannis from Yeuse goes like this...