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Subtitles for The Chest (1986)

September 24 2021 09:12:50
Created by Niffiwan ⭳
Quality: good

The translation of this little poem, as accurately as possible while keeping the rhyme scheme, took about 5 hours. Here's the result, stripped of the timecodes:

There hung a lock,
All folks to block,
No key would let one pass.
Upon a chest there hung a lock,
a great big metal mass.

Inside the chest
key held to breast,
Ivan Petrov did sit.
And through the years
out at his peers
he looked out through a slit.

Now through a slit,
now through a hole
looked out into the world.

Now through a hole,
now through a slit,
looked out into the world.


Up to the chest comes waddling through
a bear of giant stock.
Ivan shouts out to him: "Cuckoo!"
"Try opening this lock!"

The bear then huffed,
The bear then puffed,
With sweat, got soaked all through!
But he could not,
The bear could not,
That metal lock undo.

Then huffed the bear,
Then puffed the bear,
and peered into the hole.

Now through the hole,
now through the slit,
now through a curious opening
for little, tiny bugs.


With graceful beak, a crane aspired
to find the secret gears.
this busywork kept dragging on
for many, many years.

Worn out and spent, the crane turned back,
and as he flew up high,
He heard a voice call through a crack:
"If you can't cope, don't try!"

"Don't poke into our little hole,
Don't poke into our little slit,
Or through the curious opening
for little, tiny bugs!"


Chest-specialists from many lands
Convened a committee.
There hangs a lock, there sits Ivan,
And there's no second key.

They worked through lunch, a sorry sight,
Around the lock they pressed,
But still they couldn't shine a light
Upon the baffling chest.

The Committee of Little Holes,
Collegiate of Little Slits,
Inspectorate of Openings
for Little, Tiny Bugs!


Then to the chest walks up to stand,
The author of these words.
He reaches out with his right hand,
The lock he gently prods.

And through the hole he sternly speaks:
"My friend, I am impressed.
How did you manage, with the key
To get inside that chest?"

"So was it through the little hole,
So was it through the little slit,
Or through the curious opening
you crawled in with the key?"


Then from that chest there was a sound:
Loud laughter from Ivan!
And that chest got up off the ground
and on two feet it spun.

"My friends!" so said Ivan, "My friends,
the task is not so hard:
This chest, it doesn't have a floor,
but just an upper part!"

"The little hole, The little slit,
The little hole, The little slit,
The curious little opening
Have nought to do with it!"

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