Message --------
Subject: RIDDLE: Why did the chicken cross the road?
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2007 14:41:24 -0400
From: Walter Miale <w-vn@GREENWORLDCENTER.ORG>
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>

[EDNote: I requested this bit of context for the benefit of newer list members and those who had forgotten the earlier bout of playfulness--which is encouraged!  --SB]

This RIDDLE is a sequel to some parodies that I posted when Don [Johnson] was moderating and he solicited answers to the riddle, Why did the chicken cross the road? in the style of VN characters. The current item is the solution of the unknown author of The Tale of Igor's Campaign, as translated by VN.

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?
Unknown author.

Proud cock Vsevelod!
The bloodshot eyes of Rus are on you.
You stand your ground
among the wild pagan farmers,
your red comb shining,
as the ravens caw.
It is better to be slain
than to be enslaved.

As the sun rose over the Don,
you might have crowed your last.
For Gak, the pagan cook,
steals upon you in treachery,
holding high his axe.
But in the nick of time
you heard his clumsy step
and bolted in full retreat.
PS This was the Pushkin:

"An alluring riddle. I must rack my brains.
Not to grace my table, that's for sure,
under the cloying béchamel, with Gallo wine,
did she, over worn pavement aflutter streak
for the sake of wearisome yokels.
Ah Greta! Your dainty ways I remember well.
The simple curve of your neck, your dark thighs
and your white bosom that tempted so many -
these beguiled me not. But your immolodious voice,
and the innocent games we played!
Questions, intense cogitations,
and a flurry of head scratching. . .
but no answers. I'm probably senile.
But it seems at one time I knew. . . ."

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