Es Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch Eck

Es Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch Eck

(Originally published in the January 12, 1983 issue of
The Shopping News)

Senger Schtories
As Told By Elmer A. Lausch
(Printed In His Memory)
March 25, 1897-December 12, 1982
Der Senger Grickt En Neier Maage


Der Senger hot emol Badder ghadde in seim Maage. No hen sie gsaat, sie misse abbereede. Der Senger hot gsaat, er brauch nix fer’n schlofe lege, er kann des so schtende. Er hot gsaat, sie hen ihn der Maage raus. No hen sie gsaat, der Maage is ordlich aus Scheep, er sett en gudi Auswesching hawwe. Sie hen en no ausgwesche un sie hen en e wennich abdrickle welle un hen en uff die Glabbordfens ghengt fer drickle. No hen en paar Hund ihn weckgschleeft un sie hen ihn nimmi finne kenne. No hen sie en Schoof gschlacht un hen em seller Maage nei. Der Senger hot gsaat, er hett gut genunk geduh, yuscht er hot so en grosser Hunger grickt fer Hoi no vun datt aa weck!

Senger Gets A New Stomach

Once upon a time, a man named Senger had bother with his stomach. Then they said to him that they would have to operate. Senger said, they need not put him to sleep, he could stand it so. As Senger told the story, they took out his stomach. Then they said to him that his stomach was quite out of shape; it needed to be washed out thoroughly. They washed out the stomach and wanted to dry it out a bit, so they hung it on a pale fence for drying. Then a couple of dogs came by and dragged it away and the stomach could no longer be found. So they butchered a sheep and put that stomach into him. Senger reported that that stomach did well enough, but that he always had such an appetite for hay from that day fourth!

Senger Holt Kallich

Senger hot als verzehlt wie er gange is fer zwee Buschel Weisselkallich. – Des waar Kallich as net gschlaeckt waar un wann er nass is warre, der hot uff Kors ghitzt! No hot er aagfange schlaecke. – Kallich hot achtzich Pund zu der Buschel gewoge un er hot zwee Buschel uff der Buckel un is ab heem. Sis en Gwidderrege no uffkumme. Er hot gewisst as er heem muss mit dem Kallich eb der nass watt.

Er hot gsaat, “Ich hab moll eigelegt un ich bin gschprunge. Es hot mer als so uff die Varschde vun die Schuh gereyert, awwer es hot der Kallich net gfange. Ich bin heem kumme var’m Gwidderreye her. Ich hab’s yuscht so gemacht grickt!”

Senger Fetches Lime

Senger used to tell how he went for two bushels of lime to be used in whitewashing. – This was lime that had not been slaked. When it became wet, of course, it heated up! Then it began to slake. – Lime weighed 80 pounds a bushel and he put two bushels on his back and headed for home. A thunderstorm came up. Senger knew that he had to get home with the lime before it got wet.

He said, “I put my shoulder to the wheel and began to run. It rained on the heels of my shoes but it didn’t touch the lime. I arrived home a step ahead of the rain. I just about made it!”

Der Senger Watt Gebodde

Awwer no hot mol eener ihn gebodde. Der Senger hot gebraeckt wie er so en gudi Fuhr ghadde hot un wu er schier nie net gschtaalt waar. Er hot verzehlt wie der Waage drunne waar bis uff em Bett un die Esel drin bis an der Leib un awwer er hot gschwetzt zu ne un sie hen’s raus.

Awwer der anner hot en no gsaat, er waar in iwweler Shape mol gewest. Er is in so en weecher Blacke kumme mit vier Esel mit re ordliche gude Load druff un er hot gsaat, der Waage is zamme nunner. Er hot nix meh gsehne vum Waage un die Esel waare yuscht meh die Ohre owwe haus, awwer er hot owwe uff der Dreck gschlagge un bei gasch sie hen’s raus!

Senger’s Story Is Topped By Another

But one time another fellow topped his story. Senger bragged how he had such a splendid team and how he was almost never stalled with it. Senger told how one time his wagon was in the mud up to the bed of the wagon and the mules were in up to their bellies, but he talked to them and they were able to pull the wagon out.

Then the other fellow said, he had been in a worse shape one time. He had come to such a soft spot with four mules with quite a load on the wagon and he said that the wagon and the team sank into the mire. He saw nothing more of the wagon and of the mules only the ears were to be seen. But he beat on the dirt (above them) and by gosh they pulled the wagon out!


In this Eck, we honor the memory of our uncle; Elmer A. Lausch, who was born in Brecknock Township, Lancaster County on March 25, 1897 and died on December 12, 1982 on the land he had tilled for so many years. Elmer was the husband of Lizzie M. Beam Lausch. Last October, Lizzie and Elmer marked their 64th wedding anniversary. Elmer was a retired farmer and was born into a Pennsylvania Dutch speaking world and as a lifelong member of the Muddy Creek Lutheran Church, he attended services there in High German, as well as in English. Last year, the Lutheran congregation at Muddy Creek celebrated its 250th anniversary and it was on the ancient Muddy Creek Graabhof that Elmer was buried on December 16, 1982. Elmer Lausch had been a school director for some twenty years in Brecknock Township, Lancaster County. This included the period during which Bischli-Gnippli’s mother taught in the former (one-room) Red Run School.

We are honoring Elmer A. Lausch in this Eck because at the time in the 50’s when B.-G. began recording and studying the dialect and the folklore of the Pennsylvania Dutch, it was the stories, anecdotes and songs he heard from Elmer Lausch that inspired him to search wider for variants in the vocabulary and in the lore of the Dutch. This was also the period when another uncle, Harry Beam, took us to our first Old Order Mennonite Goddesdinscht. Harry, formerly the owner of the store in Druckne, now lives between Effredaa and the Green Dragon. Old Order Mennonite neighbors and friends attended the viewing and the funeral. On both occasions, it was appropriate that plenty of Dutch was heard, for Elmer was a master story teller in the dialect. We are indebted to Pastor Walter H. Guigley, another nephew, for the fitting manner in which he bade his uncle farewell.

These Senger stories were taped on July 27, 1959. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time these stories are appearing in print.

Elmer Lausch was the best uncle and the best folk informant a Dutch boy and a student of the Pennsylvania Dutch culture could have wished to have. “Hadyee, Elmer, ich hoff as mir uns sehne kenne in en bessere Welt!”

January 12, 1983

En draurich Bischli-Gnippli