The Kentucky Lion. Katkend luuletusest

The old man and the boy are late for the meeting at the Tartu
Literature House. They had stopped on Toome Hill
            to watch young
couples dancing to music wafting from unseen source. By

the time they finally arrive, the meeting is adjourning.
Marja Unt opens doors to an adjacent room and the party
begins. The old man wonders if he has been invited

because he looks strange to Estonians with his long hair,
              braided, sewn and stitched beard,
and the dragon tattoo on his cheek. What in the world
will the response to him be? Friendly, he hopes. He never

knows what to expect in situations like this.
             He decided a long time ago
that, regardless of where he was or who he was with, he would
simply be himself, a friendly Kentucky farm boy.
             He is introduced to

Arne Merilai, Head of the University of Tartu’s
             Estonian Literature
Department, and they exchange names. Arne proclaims,
„Ah! The Kentucky Lion!“
            The old man looks at him, bewildered,

wondering where that came from.
            Being called The Kentucky Lion,
out of the blue, in Tartu, throws him for a loop.
             Arne says, „Oskar Luts,
one of our great writers, wrote Kevade, Spring, one of the most

popular books in Estonian literature. In it, the mischievous
character Joosep Toots loves Native Americans and dreams
of running away to America some day. Toots called himself

The Kentucky Lion. You remind me of Toots! Toots’s stories
and language had a great impact on our language and culture.“
The old man says, „Thank you.“ After more pleasant

introductions and conversations, he and the boy cry „Goodbye!
Goodbye!“ and wonder through the click clackety
              cobbled streets,
heading back to the museum.


He’s been called every name in the book,

some good, some terrible. Atop Toome Hill they pause
where the young couples had danced, and,
             hand in hand, stare up to the bright stars
             the near full moon. The boy says, „This place is magic.“

Asukoht teoses