A Little Birthday Song for Friedl

(from Peter in camp in Britanny)


At the Reitmann's, fallen from the sky,

comes a little child who cries.

once again it's a girl –

but the parents are happy – it’s all the same.







She has black eyes and hair,

is extraordinarily pretty;

is still a bit wide-eyed,

but mostly very good-natured.

The pen resists indignantly,

because she goes away – unbelievable!

leaves her bridegroom all alone –

he is truly a poor little pig!

Quickly she outgrows her diapers,

becomes a bigger child.

plays very politely with little dolls,

which she has all made herself – naturally.

But finally she returns,

and he’s truly very happy;

but she hardly recognizes him -

because unfortunately he’s wearing a green hat.

Goes to school, moderately industrious,

learns a lot – I don't know what,

also paints pictures, many and fast,

and is certainly a wunderkind.

They go together to Paris -

living as if in paradise.

She draws pictures, pretty and fashionable;

and he comes home only once in a while.

Becomes a young woman, beautiful and chaste,

but isn't she a little flighty?

And since the girl is from Vienna

she becomes a kindergarten teacher.

A great war has started,

they've captured Peter.

but while on furlough

they manage to get married.

Then she travels on to Prague

where Friedl meets Peter,

who has been waiting thirty years;

finally, she comes – how wonderful!

The little Reitmann child, look at her,

is now a pretty young woman,

and much beloved by him,

which is of course as expected.

It's a great joy and love,

but sometimes a little sad.

They love each other, that is clear,

but unfortunately Friedl is often very stubborn.

He sends her flowers, slightly crushed,

because it is her birthday,

and kisses from afar, through field and meadow,

for the child, the maiden and the woman.