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Turkish Folktales and Fables
Kaz yollasam yolar mısın?
If I send you a goose will you pluck it?
#2 of 2

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The vizier approached the young girl and quickly explained his plight,
"If, by day's end, I can't explain the clear meaning of the answers
you gave the Sultan, he's going to have my head!

If I send you a goose will you pluck it? -- A Turkish Folktale
Illustration from the book
Çocuklar için... Masal Diyarı
Drawings by Recep Aydın

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Turkish Language Learning

Continuing from yesterday...
See refresher page at: Plucked Goose Folktale -- Part 1
Click following for the Original Turkish-language Folktale on a separate page.

A figurative translation of the original Turkish-language...
The vizier approached the young girl and quickly explained his plight, "If, by day's end, I can't explain the clear meaning of the answers you gave the Sultan, he's going to have my head! For God's sake, please help me, girl." As the vizier pitifully implored her, the girl took clandestine notice of the fine cothing and jeweled accessories that he wore.

"I'll help you," she said, "but I want the equivalent of 100 gold pieces for each answer I provide." The vizier immediately emptied out his money purse and pockets, stipped off his jewels, and even threw off his sumptuous kafkan outer garment -- placing them all in a pile in front of the young girl.

"It's all I've got," said the vizier, "Will it do?"

Nodding in the affirmative, the girl began her explanations...

"My father is a farmer and he plants tiny seeds in spring which often return 10 or 20 times their value at harvest time. That is to say...He makes much from little."

"My mother is a midwife, and the day you stopped by, she had been called to a birthing. It was as I said, she went to make two from one."

Breathing a little more comfortably now, the vizier dropped all pretense, asking, "What about your reply to the Sultan's observation that this coffee house's chimney is crooked?"

Frowning slightly, the girl said, "The Sultan said that to me because he noticed that I'm a little cross-eyed. When I replied that the smoke comes out perfectly straight, I was sending him the clear-cut message that I can see perfectly well -- despite my cross-eye affliction.

"Very well," chimed the vizer (whose relief at avoiding the executioner was almost complete), "Then what was meant by your reply to his question about sending you a goose? You said you'd pluck it to the pin feathers."

A sly smile turned up the corners of the girl's mouth, and casting her eyes at the pile of booty in front of her, she said, "It's as I foretold. The Sultan has delivered you to me, and I've plucked you to your pin feathers. Just as I had planned..."

Now consider the following Turkish idioms -- all of which have an etymological connection to the particular folktale above -- all of which are all in common use in Turkey, today.

IdiomLiteral EnglishPlain English Meaning
Kaz beyinlisb with goose braindumb/stupid/gullible
Kaz boğmakto suffocate a gooseto fool/cheat someone who is ignorant/stupid
Kaz gibilike a goosestupidly
Kaz gibi bakmakto look at sth -- like a gooseto stare stupidly
Kaz gibi yolmak/Kaz yolmakpluck like a goose, pluck a goose to benefit from the stupidity of someone and to take all of his/her assets; to swindle money from someone who is naive, inexperienced or immature
Kaz kafalısb with with a goose headSame as Kaz beyinli
Kaz koz anlamakto undertand goose-walnutto misunderstand something completely -- out of ignorance

So...by recalling the above-featured Plucked-Goose folktale, we can establish a 'memory hook' to the aforementioned idioms, which enable us to speak a better 'brand' of Turkish-languge. And that makes this Turkish folktale pretty valuable -- at least from where we sit...

Back: Plucked Goose Folktale -- Part 1

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