Among the animals in the forest the news spreads that the tax authorities will be coming to the forest. Many of the animals flee because they are threatened with high taxes: the snails as owners of houses, the storks as owners of apartments living “in grand style” and, what is more, as owners of large nests; the bears as owners of valuable furs. All set out to leave the forest, except for the monkeys, for the simple reason that all of them have only naked bottoms and the latter, even in the case of a tax inspection, are not a property to draw any taxes from.
Rights held by: Dragan Jevremović (work/performance) — Mozes F. Heinschink (recording) | Licensed by: Dragan Jevremović (work/performance) — Phonogrammarchiv – Austrian Academy of Sciences | Licensed under: Rights of Use | Provided by: Phonogrammarchiv – Austrian Academy of Sciences (Vienna/Austria) | Archived under: MH20110328
Humorous and droll stories, being concise and light-hearted, are ideal vehicles for storytelling, whether they are aimed at entertaining without moralising or promoting behavioural codes or moral values. Storytellers of the Arlije from Prilep or the Sepečides from Izmir and other Romani groups from the Southern Balkans often package their value concepts within moralising humorous stories.
Almost everyone is familiar with the disagreeable interference of the tax authorities in peoples’ lives. The droll story ‘O porezniko avel ando voš’ [The tax inspection in the forest] by Dragan Jevremović directly addresses the listeners and lampoons the absurdity of collecting money for property and earnings that the narrator and the audience regard as an essential part of life and not as ‘taxable income’. This is exemplified metaphorically by means of the groups of animals in the forest – and the final humorous remark about the unpropertied monkeys with naked bottoms.
Fennesz-Juhasz, Christiane; Cech, Petra; Heinschink, Mozes F.; Halwachs, Dieter W. (ed.). 2012. Lang ist der Tag, kurz die Nacht: Märchen und Erzählungen der Kalderaš / Baro o djes, cîni e rjat: Paramiča le Kaldêrašengê. Klagenfurt: Drava Verlag (Transkript und deutsche Übersetzung / transkripto taj njamcicka translacija / transcript and German translation: 288–91).