Olaf & Nono


How nice it would be if this became a series on children's television someday!

Olaf and Nono in Brecht.

Olaf slid off the cart. Carefully he raised the left hind leg of his donkey. Just what he thought: the horseshoe had come loose. He urgently needed to find a blacksmith! Quickly he took his ladle from the cart and wrenched the horseshoe completely loose. Then he took off his left boot and slipped it at the foot of his little donkey, which was waiting patiently in the shade of a solitary alder. He nibbled a little on a clump of grass while he got himself patched up. Olaf threw the ladle back into the cart, jumped on the buck and held out a stick with a carrot to Nono. The carrot always dangled out of reach into Nono's sight, and he followed it meekly. Nono knew very well that the carrot was a joke, but it was still handy for Olaf to show him the way, without reins, and the children in the villages where he played his puppet theater loved it! It was not far to Brecht now, and they were both thirsty and the desire to quench it gave Nono wings. The boot held up wonderfully, and before the sun reached the zenith, they entered the village square.

Olaf gave them both to drink from the well. He then looked for a good spot to display his theatre. After all the preparations were made and everything was neatly in place, Olaf allowed himself a rest and lay down in the soft grass, his cap over his eyes.

Jonathan is hungry.

Less than one hour later he was awakened by a clattering noise that seemed to come from his cart. Nono brayed. Instantly alert, Olaf sprang to his feet without a sound, just barely grabbing a young lad by the collar who was about to take off with his knapsack. In his haste to get away, he had knocked over Olaf's cooking utensils. The boy weighed less than a sigh of wind, and Olaf had no trouble holding him one-handedly above the ground. There he kicked the air frantically, trying in vain to bite Olaf's hand in order for him to release him. "First I want my knapsack back!" said Olaf kindly to the boy. Patiently Olaf let him go, and after the boy finally realized he couldn't escape, he dropped the knapsack. He was exhausted. Then Olaf released him and he landed on his little legs, panting heavily. Immediately he darted away behind the oak in the square, frightened like a cornered animal. Yet he fled no further, but continued to spy on Olaf from his safe hiding place. "You can eat with me if you want to," Olaf suggested, still just as friendly. Olaf knew that little boys don't just go out and steal. This boy was hungry, that was as certain as the sun would rise again tomorrow. He was very small and thin. His clothes were dirty and torn and he was barefoot. He probably had no one to take care of him. Olaf broke off a generous piece of his bread and stuffed a piece of cheese in between. He threw it in a bow at his spy. Olaf saw the boy deftly catch the bread and dash away with it. "Goodbye!" he called after him.

Washerwomen returned with the laundry on their hips and farmers returned from their fields. More and more people passed the village square and noticed Olaf's little theater set out next to the village square. "This evening a wonderful performance. Come and see it!", Olaf shouted through his horn. "Breathtaking stories, ancient and brand new. For young and old, for man and woman!" Olaf had worked out a lot of stories. He had dolls and sets for the creepy adventures of Odysseus as well as for sweet Sleeping Beauty. He could even make Aladin fly around on a carpet! Usually he let the audience choose a story but this evening he would be talking about Ali Baba. He hoped the little thief would come and have a look and he wanted to let him know indirectly through the story that there are also poor heroes, who may steal, but never more than strictly necessary and only from villains who have more than enough. And when Ali Baba later became fairly rich, he was very hospitable to the poor, for he never forgot how bad that had been for him.

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.

It was already getting dark as people gathered on the lawn and the mats that Olaf had set out in front of his theater. He even had a folding chair with him, which he presented most elegantly to the oldest woman in the village. She had difficulty walking and he suspected that she could not see well, so he invited her to sit right in the front among the children. She smiled charmedly, revealing the few teeth she had, as he bowed gracefully to her, unfolding the chair in front of her, a crimson rose clutched between his teeth. Then he played her another ballad with his ukulele, performing silly dance moves, which, by the way, seemed even more silly than usual, since he was only wearing one boot. When the mood was right and everyone had settled in, he withdrew behind his puppet show.

The performance was a great success. Never before had Brecht's people seen puff pants and pointed shoes and turbans and scimitars and dolls so dark in skin. They were fascinated and asked Olaf many questions afterwards. Ali Baba was a poor woodcutter in Persia. He sold fagots in the market. One day, while gathering wood in a forest, far from his home, he heard the beat of a horde of horses. He quickly crept up a tree and witnessed a band of robbers hiding their loot in a cave. The cave only opened when you said loud and clear: "Sesame, open you!". And it was full of gold and precious stones and carpets. Ali Baba did not allow himself any gold fever and took only a little of the treasure with him, so that it went unnoticed. One day, however, his brother Casim, a wealthy carpet merchant, learned his secret. His greed killed him: with ten donkeys loaded with large baskets on his back, he went to the cave and, unable to choose which valuables to take and especially which to leave behind, he didn't make it out of the cave in time. before the robbers returned. He ran indecisively from the cave all day to his donkeys with carpets, diadems and coins, plates and pitchers. And when he heard hoofbeats and the robbers came back to their cave, he didn't remember how to open the cave. "Wheat, open yourselves!" he cried desperately. Or was it barley grains? "Oats!" he shouted now. Desperately, he searched his memory. He had forgotten that it was the seeds of the sesame plant. They are eaten a lot by Arabs. He was beheaded by the robber chieftain.

Olaf smears some strawberry jam on Casim's head, jam most resembles blood. Then he throws the head into the audience. The lucky one who can catch the head puts it in his mouth and sucks on it eagerly. Olaf was careful with his potty, it was only for performing and not for eating! Olaf scanned the crowd and, glad he hadn't made a mistake, beckoned the little thief closer. The little boy approached suspiciously within a few yards. Olaf tossed him his cap and the boy understood this immediately: he went around beaming with it. Meanwhile, Olaf promised his audience that he would bring them another story the next day. Then most people slowly moved home and a few went to pubs.

The boy brought him his cap. The people had been generous. They liked puppeteers, there was not much going on in a village and he provided educational entertainment. Besides, they knew they would earn some of the money back: they had noticed that Olaf's donkey was in need of a blacksmith, and he would certainly do some shopping in their village. "What's your name?" he asked the boy as he tossed him a coin. "Jonathan," said the crimson-cheeked boy, staring shamefully at the coin, conflicted apparently . "You honestly deserved it," Olaf assured him. Jonathan wished him goodnight, somewhat reassured, and then ran off into the night. Olaf cleaned up. He was allowed to put his cart in the nearest farmer's hay barn. Nono could eat his belly full this night and he would sleep soundly between the hay!