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Fabula de mure arcanoque

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Fabula de mure arcanoque

Postby Apollimagine » Fri Apr 25, 2008 1:33 pm

Caris lectoribus omnibus salutem dico!

I wrote this story for this year's German Federal Competition of Foreign Languages but got kicked out at the very first stage :cry: Since they don't tell the participants what they didn't like about their stories, I don't know what is wrong with my story.
I would be very pleased if you read my little tale and commented on it. My Latin teacher already checked grammar, vocabs and spelling, so this is not that important (if you find a mistake, you may tell me nevertheless, of course!). I especially would like to know how you like the general idea of the story. Is the ending understandable? I mean, do you get the gist of the morale that I wanted to communicate? My teacher had a slight problem understanding it.

Utinam fabula vos delectet!

*~*~*~*

Fabula de mure arcanoque
(Das Geheimnis)

Olim erant duae mures quae appellabantur Themis et Candida, haec soror minor, illa soror maior. Sorores amicae cum familia in casa lignea vivebant, praeterea iis erat hortus vastus stramento completus in quo semper cum fratribus ludebant. Dormiebant in lecto amoeno ac satis cibi aquaeque iis erat. Sed Candida felix non erat: semper multa scire volebat, parentes autem illa numquam explicabant.
Aliquando avus fecit fabulam vespertinam. Narravit: „Et musculus post iter longum invenit parentes, et tandem iterum cum iis in herba viridi ludere potuit.“ Candida autem: „Cur dicis herbam viridem esse? Nonne herba flava est aureaque?“ Avus stupuit, deinde: „O, recte dicis!“, inquit, „Herba semper flava erat ac est ac erit...“ Tum avus tacuit.
Aliquando matre spectante Themis et Candida in horto ludebant cum haec ludere desivit. „Mater“, dixit, „vides illas res quae circumdant hortum nostrum? Quid est post eas? Cur transire non possumus?“ Tum mater: „Nescio, filiola, sed nil refert. In tuto estis, tutae ludere potestis. Crede mihi, nil refert.“ Candida autem id credere non potuit, itaque iterum: „Scitne pater?“ Mater oculos demisit, deinde: „Pater non scit, filiola, nemo scit...“ Tum mater tacuit.
Aliquando mane omnes Themidem Candidamque in casa relicturi fuerunt cum haec: „Cur semper mane domum relinquitis? Cur numquam vos comitare nobis licet?“ Tum pater: „Nobis laborandum est. Vos tantum liberi estis, ergo nos comitare vobis non licet.“ Deinde casam reliquerunt. Candida autem: „Sororcula“, dixit, „quid agunt et pater et mater et avus et fratres? Isti strepitus, quid est? Non intellego!“ Themis maeste subridens: „Nonne audivisti?“, inquit, „Iis laborandum est...“ Tum soror tacuit.
Aliquando pater post laborem non rediit. Candida fratres rogavit: „Ubi est pater? Nonne eum ad laborem comitavistis?“ Fratres quidem alii alios spectaverunt, sed nihil responderunt. Candida autem: „Num est arcanum? Agite dicere! Papamne comitavistis?“ Fratres voce submissa: „Ita est“, dixerunt, „eum comitavimus...“ Tum fratres tacuerunt.
Aliquando, postquam duos fratrum non redierunt, mater: „Themis“, dixit, „hodie tibi licet nos comitare. Veni. Exspectamur.“ Themis sorori vale dixit, haec autem: „Sororcula“, inquit, „timeo, ut redeas. Visne me re vera deserere?“ Themis: „Sorores sumus, semper iunctae erimus.“ Tum cum aliis casam reliquit.
Nunc Candida autem non domi remanere, sed familiam suam sequi vult. Scire debet, quid patri fratribusque accideret, qui strepitus essent, quo soror sua duceretur. Post nonnulla momenta ex angulo casae ad introitum serpit, ut videat, quid in horto accidat. Conspicit et matrem et avum et fratres et sororem, cum subito res ingens, rosea ut aures suae atque quinque bacula habens, e caelo descendit, Themidem capit. Mente absente Candida in hortum currit nomen sororis clamans, sed cum advenit, Themis non iam adest: a re rosea ponitur in apparatum angulatum, canum ut pellis muris, qui longe abest. „Mater, ista numquam vidi! Quid hic accidit?“ Mater autem non respondet, sed: „Audi!“, clamat, „Themis te vocat!“ Candida sororem magna voce clamitare auscultat: „Ab hominibus necamur – hoc est arcanum!“ Silentium fit, tum Candida audit sororis ultima verba: „O innocentes, o miseros!“

*~*~*~*

Valete!
Apollimagine
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Postby thesaurus » Fri Apr 25, 2008 5:00 pm

I like the story and it's well written, but I can't say I completely understand it

The story builds the suspense well enough, as the family member begin to slowly vanish, but I don't know what is going on in the garden scene. For example, what is this refering to, "res ingens, rosea ut aures suae atque quinque bacula habens"? Also, I don't know what the "apparatum angulatum" is supposed to be, "canum ut pellis muris." I know these are important elements of the story, but I'm not sure how to understand them.

On a general level, what are the mice really doing outdoors at 'work'? I assumed they were each killed, but then why are they all still present in the garden when Candida arrives? Why is their being killed by humans a secret, and why would it be kept secret? I presume the moral is something about the danger of curiosity yet with the mixed blessing of a sheltered existence, in which we are blinded to the harsh realities of the world.

Sorry I can't be more positive, but I'm guessing the competition committee had similiar questions. But Good work! Keep up the writing.
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Postby Cato » Sat Apr 26, 2008 4:36 am

thesaurus wrote:The story builds the suspense well enough, as the family member begin to slowly vanish, but I don't know what is going on in the garden scene. For example, what is this refering to, "res ingens, rosea ut aures suae atque quinque bacula habens"? Also, I don't know what the "apparatum angulatum" is supposed to be, "canum ut pellis muris." I know these are important elements of the story, but I'm not sure how to understand them.

I think the res ingens here is supposed to be a cat, as best as can be described by a mouse that has never seen one. The cat descendit e caelo - "pounces from above" and is described as rosea ut aures suae - "Red as her own ears" (small mice generally have pinkish or ruddy little ears, and red/orange is a common color for tomcats). Habens quinque bacula - "having five walking sticks" refers to the cat's tail and four lithe legs. The cat puts its prey in apparatum angulatum - "in a well-appointed corner". This is ominously described as canum ut pellis muris - "white as the fur of a mouse".

Using a bare ut here--though grammatically correct--is a bad idea; it's too easy to get confused (I honestly can't think of a prose citation that uses comparative utso casually). I'd consider altering it to sicut
On a general level, what are the mice really doing outdoors at 'work'? I assumed they were each killed, but then why are they all still present in the garden when Candida arrives? Why is their being killed by humans a secret, and why would it be kept secret? I presume the moral is something about the danger of curiosity yet with the mixed blessing of a sheltered existence, in which we are blinded to the harsh realities of the world.

I agree; the story does a good job of building suspense, but has no real payoff. And why can the mice play in the garden at one point, but are killed there the next? What's the point of the grandmother's story? Just too many loose ends...
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Postby Apollimagine » Fri May 16, 2008 1:39 pm

Thank you for commenting on my story. This did not turn out the way I wanted it to... :oops:
Okay, I'm going to explain to you what I wanted the story to communicate:

The mice live in a cage in a testing laboratory which I tried to hint at by having the grandfather talk about green grass and Candida wondering what green means. The "res ingens, rosea ut aures suae atque quinque bacula habens" is supposed to be a human hand that seizes the mice and puts them into a machine where people test stuff on them. This is the mice's "work". If they survive, they return home and say they are back from "work". In the garden scene, Candida's sister Themis, their mother, their grandfather and the brothers that survived the last working day are there, whereas their father and two brothers are dead. I admit I should have described more clearly just how many relatives there are. "Stop animal experiments!" was meant to be the message of the story.
As Cato said, it is very difficult to have an I-narrator describe things that are unknown to himself/herself in a way that readers still can understand what the narrator is referring to.
I hope I will be able to do better in the future... :sad:
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