The Dream

A Folk Tale from Russia

One day an old, old man was wandering about the earth, and he asked for a night’s shelter from the peasant. “Certainly,” said the peasant—”I shall be only too glad; only, will you go on telling me stories all night long?”

“Yes, all right! I will tell you stories; only, let me rest here.”

“Then, pray, come in!”

So the old man entered the hut and lay down on the sleeping bench on the top of the stove.

And the master said: “Make yourself ready, honoured guest. We shall have supper. Now, old man, tell me a story.”

“Wait a bit; I had better tell you one in the morning.”

“As it please you!” And they lay down to sleep.

Then the old man went to sleep, and dreamed that there were two candles blazing in front of the images and two birds fluttering in the izbá. He felt thirsty, and wanted to drink, got off the sleeping bench, and there were newts running about on the floor. And he went up to the table, and saw frogs jumping and croaking on it. Then he looked up at the master’s eldest son, and there was a snake lying in between him and his wife. And he looked at the second son, and on the second son’s wife there was a cat which was yawning at the man. Then he looked at the third son, and between him and his wife there was a young man lying. This all seemed rather queer to the old man, and rather strange.

2202 Folk tales_Melanie Franz

So he went and lay on the corn-kiln, and there he heard shrieks: “Sister! Sister! come and fetch me!” Then he went and lay under the fence, and there he heard a cry: “Pull me out and stick me in again!” Then he went and lay on the cauldron, and he heard a cry: “I am hanging on the cross-beam! I am falling on the cross-beam!” Then he went back into the hut.

The master woke up and said: “Now tell me a story.”

But the old man replied: “I shall not tell you a story, only the truth. Do you know what I have just dreamed? I went to sleep and thought I saw two candles blazing in front of the images and two birds fluttering inside the hut.”

“Those are my two angels fluttering about.”

“And I also saw a snake lying between your son and his wife.”

“That is because they quarrel.”

“And I looked also at your second son, and there was a cat sitting on his wife, and yawning at the man.”

“That means that they are bad friends, and the wife wants to get rid of the husband.”

“Then, when I looked at your next son, I saw a youth lying in between them.”

“That is not a youth, but an angel who was lying there; and that is why they are on such good and loving terms.”

“Why is it, then, master of the house, when I slipped off the sleeping shelf that there were newts running on the floor; and, when I wanted to drink at the table, I saw frogs leaping about and croaking?”

“Because,” the peasant answered, “my daughters-in-law do not sweep up the lathes; but put the kvas on the table when they are sitting round together without saying grace.”

“Then I went to sleep on the corn-kiln, and I heard a cry: ‘Sister! Sister! come and fetch me!'”

“That means that my sons never put the brush back into its place and say the proper blessing.”

“Then I went to lie under the fence, and I heard a cry: ‘Pull me out and stick me in again!'”

“That means that the stick’s upside-down.”

“Then I went and lay under the cauldron. And I heard a cry of ‘I am hanging on the cross-beam! I am falling on the cross-beam!'”

“That means,” said the master, “that, when I die, my entire house will fall.”

Sleeping Time III

Another rough sketch. Same scene as before. Had this black paper for a while and finally got around to try it out.

Any comments and feedback welcome.

Would you like to see this style in a children´s book?

Sleeping Time II

I am still experimenting with different styles. Similar scene as before, this time in watercolour and pencil.

What do you think?

2202 Labrador on couch watercolour_Melanie Franz

Sleeping Time

I wanted to experiment with different techniques last month.

This is a piece in pencil and coloured pencil on paper. I think the paper was not quite ideal but I still like the texture of the chair.

2201 Labrador sleeping on couch pencil_Melanie Franz

The Sleeping Giant

Had this idea for a drawing after reading the book The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. Thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was the second book I read by Ishiguro, the first one was The Remains of the Days which was also excellent.

Also I finally tested my new watercolour paper. So consider this a practice piece.

Sleeping Time

The mood right after the holidays – after eating way too much and too much socializing, but it was totally worth it.

This sleepy capybara is also part of my latest Capybaras & Friends Colouring Book.

Capybara colouring book Melanie Franz

Inktober Day 14 – Tick

Getting up and doing things can sometimes be so hard. Especially if time is ticking.

Perfect picture for a Monday I would say.

Adventures of the Little Fly V

A continuation of introducing the latest children’s book I finished illustrating.

The little fly decided to fly back to her hole in the tree and sleep as she was super tired. There she slept and slept.

FYI the sleeping positions of the little fly have been inspired by my dog…