Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Ephemera for Lunch #27:
Cats seek help from pig

This postcard was published in the Soviet Union in 1974. In that year, with Nikolai Podgorny as head of state, the Soviets conducted 21 underground nuclear tests1, launched a military space station, and saw the domestic release of the motion picture The Red Snowball Tree.

In this illustration, there is a small wooden house with a mother pig and several piglets inside. Standing outside are what appear to be husband-and-wife cats, carrying a broom and a small bag.

The Russian-language caption is as follows:

Ты впусти меня, свинья,
Я осталась без жилья.
Буду мыть тебе посуду,
Поросят качать я буду.

My best guess at the translation, with the help of Google as always, is:

You let me in, pig,
I was left without shelter.
I will wash your dishes,
I will rock your piglets.

(That's rock, as in "rock to sleep," I believe.)

From a cultural perspective, I'm not sure if there's supposed to be anything humorous about this. Or perhaps we're just supposed to take it as a straightforward tale of the poor offering their services to the middle class in exchange for basic life necessities.

P.S. — Did you notice that the roof seems to have a pig tail in the back?

1. The United States was also conducting numerous nuclear tests in 1974, of course, under Operation Arbor and Operation Bedrock.

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