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Ludwig Thoma, The First of August [Der erste August] (1915)

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The sound of the accordion can be heard, as well as the voice of the boys closer on the street. They are singing: . . . “The birds in the woods, they sing so wonder – wonderful . . . We will see each other . . . back home again!”

[To his father]
Good-bye again . . . [He straightens up and takes his suitcase.] You’ll have to see now for yourself, Father, what’s wrong with the white horse – you should bandage him tonight . . .

I’ll look after it . . .
[There are loud voices at the window.]

A young man
[Looks in and calls out]
What’s up, Hans? Aren’t you coming along to the station?

Hans [lively]
Of course, I’m all ready!

A couple of farmers and a number of older and younger women are coming from the right; among them is the old weaver, bent over. She is about seventy years old. Gschwendtnerin walks over to them. Gschwendtner steps to the window. A couple of boys – some in civilian clothes, some in uniform – are standing in the window frame. Their hats are decorated with flowers.

[Loud and lively]
Now, boys, are you brave?

A Couple of Them
[Very loudly]
You better believe it. Brave and sharp!

A Couple of Others [similarly]
We’ll kick their butts so hard their boots’ll fly off . . .

One Sings
“And three radishes, three turnips
And three Bavarian Boys.
They were all so tough
That the Devil couldn’t eat them!”
[He lets out a shrill “Yahoo!” and all join in.]

Now that’s good! Now the fun and joy has the right purpose. And make sure you come home safe and sound!

Many of Them
Thank you! We won’t get lost!

We have to come back. They don’t have any big, Bavarian radishes over there!
[All laugh heartily]

Another One
Certainly, we’ll be coming home! We’ll put some Russians in front of the carriage!

A Different One
And Frenchmen!

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