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PIDDLER ON THE HOOF front cover
PIDDLER ON THE HOOF
A Great Novel by S.I. Fishgal
The derisive living truth, escapades, eccentricity, idioms, life and death emotionally awake a preschooler in the Red Army' Rearguard during the WWII and trigger readers' thrills, laughter and bittersweet tears.
With hundreds of publications in leading countries, S.I. Fishgal could refer to numerous WHO'S WHOs. As a gentleman, he does not. Readers sniff out anyhow -- a bit touched soul bares itself (souls have no sex) and spills the guts in this potent, rich,
vivid, fascinating, stimulating and teasing novel.
About Piddler on the Hoof
A towering French dame totally ignores the law and
environment, cheerfully smokes the sky and personifies the USA. A little Belgian schmendrick holds the same disregard, joyfully piddles the downtown and personifies the European Union. This
novel's piddler personifies nobody and tactfully says nothing about Brussels' pee drinkers.
History knows no shortest, most horrible and intense schlock than the Kursk Battle - all bloodbaths' little-known schlepp mother that saved Yanks and Britons in Italy.
1941. Fuhrer teaches geography to Roma, three. His dad, the Red Army's lieutenant, saves him from Kiev's noted 36-hour slaughter orgy of Jews. The boy grows up in Dad's Rearguard advancing from Kursk to Germany. His emotional awakening, family members' escapades, derisive living truth, eccentricity and idioms trigger smiles, thrills and bittersweet tears. Atrocities make just a waning setting in this sweeping, witty and passionate novel knocking the socks off unless readers wear pantyhose. With hundreds of publications in leading countries, S.I. Fishgal could refer to numerous WHO'S WHOs. As a gentleman, he does not. Readers sniff out anyhow -- a bit touched soul bares itself (souls have no sex) and spills the guts in this potent, rich, vivid, fascinating, stimulating and teasing novel.
WHAT PROFESSIONALS SAY
"I liked it very much. It is a fascinating story. S.I. Fishgal is a talented author. It was a great work."
Chris Maley, Senior Editor, Imperium Proviso Publishing
"...interesting and entertaining," Peter Darvill-Evans, Virgin Publishing Ltd.
"...enjoyed the writing," Jacintha Gunasekera, Allen & Unwin Pty Ltd (Book Publishers)
"...the language is crisp and humorous," Laura Marsh, Little Brown & Co. Publishers
Piddler on the Hoof CONTENT
1. If Mr. God Had Clear Conscience
2. Fiddler on the Roof
3. Frieda's Choice
4. Fie in the Sky, Manna from Heaven, Tsob and Tsobe
5. The Jewish Volksdeutche
6. Crimeless Punishments, Unpunished Crimes and Babi Yar bloodbath
7. Mein Krampf
8. In a Dead Horse's harness
9. All Things in the World are Feces... Except Urine
10. Piddler on the Roof
11. Fiddles on the Hoof
12. Pavlovian Ass in the Rearguard's Vanguard
13. Backwater Turns to Front-Water Hell
14. Parasitic Nobody's Dead Horse
15. The Babi Yar Key
16. The Lost Generation and the Found Sheep
17. Blitz Fritz
18. Jack Abrahamovich the Jewish Shepherd Dog
19. The Jewish Nation's Shame
20. Putz Ivanovich the Russian Shepherd Dog
21. Hannibals, Cannibals, Pigs and Feeders on the Hoof
22. Coming Home to Roust
Excerpts form Piddler on the Hoof
Chapter 17. BLITZ FRITZ
A needy soul has a raging dream to go somewhere and find something. Roma investigated and searched thoroughly their vicinities for treasures. Seeking riches is a lot of fun, provided one sniffs the smell of the success.
Roma swept methodically one ruined block after another like American carpet-bombers. In contrast to the brave Yanks, the fearful boy did that alone, without escorting fighters.
Only people with a special work clearance had city maps, if any. Roma groped and soon learned his way, like the content of his friends' pockets. He became particularly keen on numerous shortcuts via steep hills and common courtyards with through passage. Nothing he knew then that such habit would be handy to dupe private eyes in Canada decades later.
Meanwhile, that habit drove his six-year-old hide to an encounter with an enemy pickaxe.
In a school text of ancient history, barbarians usually triumph after all. Not in 1944 though.
One fine afternoon Roma nosed in the basement of a ruined multi floor apartment building in the midst of a city block. The bombs spared neither the roof, nor the intermediate floors. He turned around an inside wall. Suddenly...
Those "suddenly" fill all stories to readers' delight or horror. Life is full of little surprises and even starts as such. Roma's little surprise was large -- Hermann Goering's plumper version. The fatso rolled along the wall with an efficiency of an overfed fascist Ferdinand (nicknamed Elephant) tank in a Kremlin parade. Roma saw those self-propelled 73-ton turretless monsters with the thickest armor imaginable when he passed the remains of the Kursk hell. Of course, Roma's Fritz was not a complete Ferdinand -- had a turret.
Fritz or Ferdinand -- fie anyway. The more so since Ferdinand's oval paunch -- or even something farther south -- rammed the boy's forehead.
The uniform's green scenery was not as lovely as that of greenbacks of which he had no idea yet. From the happy bottom of Roma's six, that green crocodile was at least forty-six. If that was not ample, his heavy hand gripped an onerous pickaxe. Its steel was cold, but the site became Terra del Fuego -- the exciting sight of shark fins at a beach on the 4th of July.
Roma's small neurotic Jewish heart sank into his shoes and trotted like a pregnant Belgian draft mare he had not seen yet.
"The Wehrmacht advanced on those magnificent giants of horses," asserted eyewitnesses who went through the occupation.
"When I was in the Army, we captured Fritzes with half-dead nags only," Roma dazzled.
"Those nags were ours. The fodder shortage made the fascists artillery behemoths fully-dead."
At the given moment, if Mom put a thermometer to the boy's gray matter, the gadget would freeze -- his blood rushed out to his juvenile legs. They did not care where that Ferdinand got his smashing utensil from -- only where it could go.
Kiev's wall graffiti "BASH THE YIDS -- SAVE RUSSIA" was popular ever. In fairness, at that time "DEATH TO GERMAN FASCIST OCCUPIERS" prevailed. Besides, saving Russia was not the first thing on Germans' agenda.
(Decades later Ukraine turned sovereign and "BASH THE YIDS" took a back seat to "SINK THE RUSSIANS IN THE YIDS' BLOOD".)
At times a delay means death and all depends on adrenaline presence. That was the case.
Any Christian would drop right there to carry the last wretched reminiscence to the heaven. There he would enjoy songbirds, serpents and apples of paradise. However, Roma's center-piss encountered cold steel not from a refrigerator when it was eight-day old. That small surgery gave the conditioned reflex and tempering to his infantile legs. That is why they decided right away that it was quite compatible with the boy's unquestionable bravery to execute a judicious maneuver of "going into reverse", otherwise known as "taking to one's heels" and diving for cover.
"HALT!" Evidently, the boy's vocal chords suffered neither. They produced his best German Germanic specimen taken from war movies or his Yiddish.
The green crock halts!
Stunned, surprised or obeyed the order? Roma's behind was already around the brick corner at a safe distance from the pickaxe -- unless the beast was skilled with as an American Indian with a tomahawk in J.F. Cooper's tales.
Thus, the Devil put Roma all alone against an experienced, treacherous and armed-to-the-teeth Great Satan -- a black barbarian, brown plague, arsonist and warmonger, as the radio said. The goniff was not above any dirty fascist trick and had the full school and practical experience of the Nazi horde on his side.
Only their God or Devil was watching the fascinating spectacle -- the idiotic midge annoyed the master race's butcher master of above average fatness. His look expressed the decisiveness and spite of an executioner sent by his Superiors to gas Roma's poor inferior Jewish race with no trace in the Milky Way -- the punishment for their small mortal sin of making the wrong choice of a victim for the Roman crucifiers.
The boy did not know yet Hitler's phrase "One can't be both a Christian and a German."
Anyway, it was an ominous onset to Roma's today search for goodies. The minor was in major trouble. Who else but the meshuga son of his father was out there for him? How does one get God on one's side in the ruined downtown? Why would He spare Roma if he did not even his own flesh? From his god (if any) Roma needed the only thing -- to need Him no more.
The child of a lesser god did not pray. The compassionate Soviet authorities put the Man upstairs into ill-earned retirement for the company He kept to do evil and blackmail in His name. Even if the government was wrong, then God was far away, while the fascist pickaxe was scandalously close.
"Heil!" the behemoth bellowed a howl of a tyrannosaur whose dentures were too tight.
No Roma's response.
"Der gute Junge! Hitler kaput," Ferdinand gladly manifested that no survivals of Hitlerism burdened his mind.
His ex-bully was still in charge! The liar hung noodles of anti-Hitler bull on Roma's ears. If they were Canadian maple leaves, they would undoubtedly turn yellow and fall down to the ground before the season.
Did the fascist barbarian lie or hope?
Gute is good, and yunga is a ship's boy and a sea-cadet in Russian. Therefore, it was only slightly beyond Roma's comprehension. It was neither "Heil Hitler", nor "Gas the Jews", for sure. Albeit the latter call was not widely known then. Yet, Roma still saw "hell" in Ferdinand's "hello". Like a law-abiding American taxpayer before his tax audit, the boy had a presentiment that heil was paved with good intentions.
"Hitler kaput," he confirmed the last half of the topic, not quite sure of the first one.
"Entschuldigen Sie, lieber Kamerad," the heil-hound said.
Do you know what that means?.. Neither did Roma. That is why the green titanosaur looked at him as if the boy was an idiot. Naturally, Lieber Kamerad was not beyond his vocabulary. However, the heil-kite chose the wrong side to blitz with the camaraderie instant like instant coffee not invented then yet.
How much friendly could a German shepherd be? (No insult intended for the real one.) Even purebred German measles was the kind of a comrade whom Roma's mother would be happier with.
"Sewerage and water-supply don't interconnect," her friendly plumber would put in.
"Was machen Sie hier, Herr Soldat?" Roma asked politely.
What the hell did he care what the heil Mr. Soldier was doing here? Just a small talk -- one isn't beaten while chatting.
The mammoth dolt simply stared, and his stare was heavier than a pretentious gravestone. Now Roma looked back at him as if the German was an idiot not recognizing his own language.
Antonescu's or Mussolini's satrap? Unlikely.
Roma analyzed Ferdinand's mental apparatus. Apparently, it suffered from wearing the heavy army helmet.
"Verstehen Sie Deutsche?" Roma asked him straight.
"Was machen Sie hier?"
In response to the repeated good-manners exercise, the shrimp spat on the floor to the glory of his Almighty. A two-humped camel in a theater or a bus! Were he a vampire bat trained in sharp shooting, he'd make good bucks by targeting blood clots of the sick. A blood-thinning protein of bat saliva prevents the victims' blood from clotting when the bats drink their fill.
See? Roma spent a tender year of his in a company of the amateur battery captain -- a professional ornithologist with the doctorate -- not for nothing, albeit bats only fly like birds.
Obviously, interrogating Ferdinand was not the smartest thing to do. Roma closed his eyes with an appalling creak. It turned to be the sound of the enemy rubbing hygienically his spittle with his wooden clog. Then Roma got what the beast was up to or had already done in the ruins.
"If you're so kosher with your spittle and are heil for cleanliness, then what have you done with what came out from your other fascist end of a Belgian draft horse?" was on the tip of Roma's ready venomous tongue. He did not get into his own pocket for a word, you know. He did that from the pockets of others.
Not a complete putz, Roma said nothing of that kind. On one hand, he advanced already beyond the age when children killed adults with zillions of idle questions. On another hand, that hippo would not appreciate the joke. On a third extremity (Roma ran out of hands), teasing was beyond his German and Yiddish vocabulary. Most of all, that touching pickaxe could touch him shockingly quickly.
"Verstehen Sie Yiddish?" The small talk had exhausted the best half of Roma's undoubtedly large Teutonic lingo. He was not a village schmuck and knew that Yiddish was a Germanic language.
A language loss results in the nation's loss. Not for this proxy though. At least not that time. Maybe, because the boy lost no national traditional thinking and habits yet...
"Nicht!" Ferdinand negated Roma's Yiddish hope with an oppressive roar of a Boeing strategic bomber. His hand raised his percussion instrument -- a military bandmaster conducted "Dance with a Pickaxe" by Khachaturyan. The cutthroat was more horrifying than those ballet dancers in last year's underpants.
"Verstehen Sie Russisch?"
Don't think, please, Roma was a schmuck. Even his cousin's German shepherd dog grasped thirty-three commands in Russian.
"Gut!" Roma gasped with relief. That was better than nicht. "Then drop your bloody pickaxe," the young hooligan and arrant linguist told him in Russian. (A pickaxe is of the feminine gender, and "bloody" sounds like the strongest Russian profanity Roma could, but as a gentleman he does not refer you to Chpt. 1)
Like heil, Ferdinand did not. Instead, his voice mail effortlessly and proudly pressed out about ten Russian obscenities, unprintable absolutely. He mastered only that linguistic utter rot to make the Russians work when he was a master, or vice versa. One could read such stupidity only under a certain photo:
"Comrade Stalin -- the coryphaeus of all sciences -- lectures outstanding Soviet mathematicians on computation of long-range guns' ballistic trajectory."
Donner-wetter! In spite of the splendid set of Russian and Yiddish expletives, Roma cursed in colorless German. He obviously confronted a khaki idiot -- a parakeet whose masters were swearers of an above-average caliber. The boy could add a few Yiddish words that contributed to the great Russian schlanguage, but decided prudently that it was not a kindergarten yard to keep up his dignity. No matter how dazzling a communicator one is, there are times when it is better to stay mum.
Roma neither soared ballistic, nor tried to over swear Der Mensch of a few words, but many pounds, with international "idiot". The barbarian's tongue was pointless, but his pickaxe was pointed eloquently enough for that medical word.
Only ignorant foreigners or Russian Jews were unafraid of a nervous breakdown and could squabble with native Russians. To over swear their obscenities is simply impossible. The Soviet regime and censorship devastated the Russian religion and culture, but decorated the language with profanities of the enormous prison population. A shot from such abusers could put even hardened Prussian officers out of action.
Why Jews? Because they not only knew Russian obscenities, but enriched them with their own.
"Geben Sie, bitte, der Messer, Herr Soldat," Roma asked quite desperately the exalted graduate of the Russian ribaldry to give up his knife -- Roma's foreign lingo included no pickaxe.
"Was ist das?"
The primal Teutonic scream of the mental giant playing hard to get? Or something else mental did not get what's all about?
"Der instrument, lieber Soldat," Roma softened him up with his own "lieber" and used international "instrument".
Ferdinand riveted his fascist eyes to Roma. We all can read in the eyes of each other if something is written there. Roma was literate only in two languages -- neither of them German. His eyes of a dead-serious kitten not licked by his mom paraded the fanatic look he had only once -- when some vicious uncles sliced off the foreskin of his male appendage without anesthetic. Even a rabbit bites when cornered.
Adults would get the focus, but Roma was only a small, dependent schmendrick.
Napoleon's phrase "In the war a situation changes every moment" was fully confirmed here.
Roma's murderous glance pierced the bozo rotten to the core. He abruptly changed his mind -- saw the deadly scared boy before him and understood the futility of any attempt to convince Roma of this fascist's goodness. Though the whole situation was absurd and preposterous, he surrendered.
"Zum Befehl, Herr Leutnantzur!" the alumnus of the veterinary-approved fascist-shepherd-obedience academy nodded assent, like French to Germans, and dropped his pickaxe.
At that moment Roma knew the lord.
"The putz obeyed my order and called me Junior Lieutenant!" the boy triumphed silently. The first two German words were strange, but the last pair sweetened and calmed him down, like chocolate. The carbohydrates raise the serotonin level. That brain chemical pacifies and helps to cope with stress.
The pride swelled Roma's pathetic Jewish heart. The geborene Ubermensch -- born superman of the elite master race -- lost the aurora right before the plebeian eyes of the lowest of the low Unterjunge -- subhuman schmendrick of a damned Jew.
Contrary to the rampant fascist propaganda, the unshaved captive in his faded uniform had no luster -- just an ordinary downtrodden cowed pygmy. To Roma's greatest infantile surprise, the black barbarians and brown plague were not the terrifying naked gigantic African Negroes he imagined two years ago. In fact, if they wore Russian rags and kept their chatterboxes sealed, one could hardly separate a Fritz from an Ivan, whatever Herr Hitler's opinion on that subject. Besides, Corporal Uncle Zhora -- a history student -- told him that Prussian warmongers were Slavs anyway.
Those monumental discoveries shook Roma's view that every printed and radio-announced word was true. The popular Ukrainian simile -- one lies like a radio -- turned to be right.
Roma's hypnotic fear disappeared. Heroism is often born by pure stupidity. Some fights are lost or won before they began. The supreme military art is winning without the actual combat. Swanky Yanks are right. Reigning in heil tops serving in heaven.
The cornered kitten did not turn to a tiger though. The newborn Napoleon affectionately dug out a command:
"Kehrt euch! Abtreten!"
"Himmelherrgott!" the infidel yelled out a tender word, unpleasant for his god, but did not turn about to move away as ordered. "Mit Ganzen Krieg kann man uns Arsch lecken!"
His expression was unworthy of a Christian. Roma understood only "god" and "lick my arse", but somehow felt the right addressee, although the Nazi's Almighty was high up and the Nazi's plump rump was quite on Roma's altitude of things.
"Bitte, Herr Soldat. Vorwarts! March!"
The boy wanted to snarl "Grab your feet with your hands and roll out from here," but his linguistic abilities were below such endearments.
Herr Soldat made a few steps away and twisted the fascist nose and lips in disgust:
"Es ist ekelhaft!"
As God was the boy's witness, it was not disgusting from the altitude he saw it. He was not mean -- merely psychotic.
"Nas geht los?" Ferdinand did not grasp what was the matter.
"Danke schon, Herr Soldat," Roma thanked encouragingly and allowed him to go. "Sie konnen gehen."
Ferdinand stuck paralyzed -- a namesake tank in the midst of a Russian dirty road.
"Hitlers come and go, but German people remain," Comrade Stalin said, and the boy understood what he had in mind.
"Gehen schnell! March heraus!" Roma urged the stubborn mule to go away quickly. "Ein, zwei, drey!"
Pompous tranquillity of the arrogant Nazi schlimazel, stationary like the ruin.
"Auf Wiedersehen!" our Junge Manners (the good ones!) said the fine point of etiquette.
Although the German culture is much older than the German statehood, the ill bred of the canine theological seminary did not return Roma's farewell. Evidently, his helmet had been too tight and squeezed considerably the prefrontal cortex -- the brain region controlling social behavior.
Roma was not in a position to refine him and ran away.
"Der Teufel soll das buserieren!" the heretic neurasthenic shrieked out a few words, unappealing for whomever it was. And that was not the end of that episode yet.