MAX AND MORITZ (A STORY OF SEVEN BOYISH PRANKS) (original: MAX UND
MORITZ – EINE BUBENGESCHICHTE IN SIEBEN STREICHEN) is a German
language illustrated story in verse. This highly inventive, blackly
humorous tale, told entirely in rhymed couplets , was written and
There have been several English translations of the original German verses over the years, but all have maintained the original trochaic tetrameter :
Ah, how oft we read or hear of Boys we almost stand in fear of! For example, take these stories Of two youths, named Max and Moritz, Who, instead of early turning Their young minds to useful learning, Often leered with horrid features At their lessons and their teachers.
Look now at the empty head: he Is for mischief always ready. Teasing creatures - climbing fences, Stealing apples, pears, and quinces, Is, of course, a deal more pleasant, And far easier for the present, Than to sit in schools or churches, Fixed like roosters on their perches
But O dear, O dear, O deary,
When the end comes sad and dreary!
'Tis a dreadful thing to tell
Max and Moritz
FIRST TRICK: THE WIDOW
The boys tie several crusts of bread together with thread, and lay this trap in the chicken yard of Bolte, an old widow, causing all the chickens to become fatally entangled.
This prank is remarkably similar to the eighth history of the classic German prankster tales of Till Eulenspiegel