Rus Articles Journal

How fleas were stored, trained and grounded?

“- the Man, move away a dog, and that on me already fleas creep“. “- The jolly-boat, depart, you do not see - the woman has fleas!“ In olden days this joke would be taken in all good faith because presence at the person of fleas was a usual thing and shocked nobody. Here also other joke when grandmothers on a shop, without having sorted modern words, decided that the president Medvedev “got fleas in a sweater“ is remembered .

the Flea as a love symbol

In the XVII-XVIII centuries fashion was extremely refined, and here with hygiene the situation was badly. People seldom (was considered as harmful) washed, but on the head wore the huge wigs which are quite often greased with mutton fat. As a result of fleas divorced very much that obligatory fashionable accessories of steel of a stick for rippling and so-called “blokholovka“. Usually blokholovka represented made of gold and an ivory of a box and medallions with a small opening in which the strip greased with honey or glue on which the flea got as a fly on an adhesive tape lay. For derivation of fleas used also pets (doggies and polecats), or “flea fur“ - skins (or even effigies) which later time lost practical value and became purely esthetic accessories - throat-wraps and a boa.

Fleas were so habitual that even fashionable shades of color called “flea“. Sometimes the subtlety in distinction of shades reached that marked out color of “a flea head“, “a flea paunch“, “flea pads“ and even “fleas in the period of a maternity fever“.

Moreover - the flea was a subject... amorous games and coquetry. Ladies quite often opened for gentlemen the intimate delights under a pretext to show the place of a fleabite. Gentlemen caught on themselves fleas and replaced to ladies that their blood mixed up. Or on the contrary - caught a flea on the loved lady and stored as a relic, in a medallion.

D. Donn: “Behold

in a flea that peacefully clings to a wall,
B as small you refuse to me.
Blood was sucked equally by her from us: your
with mine in it are mixed now.
But it we will not call
the Sin, virginity loss, the evil.
the Flea, is drunk with the blood mixed,
Before an eternal rest was sated wholly;
was Reached more than ours by it.

Behold in it three lives and almost
its attention. Because in it almost,
Is not present, more than are married you and I.
I bed to us, and temple this flea.
connect Us more strong than an altar
Live walls of color of amber.
Click you can tear off my sigh.
But will not be forgiven suicides by God.
I svyatotatstvenno murder of three.

Ah, nevertheless there was your nail the executioner,
In blood innocent empurpled. In what
In general the flea guilty was?
In that drop what incidentally drank?.
But time you whisper, pride zaty,
That, say, power did not weaken washing, to my claims be not deaf
: You will lose
from a sin,
less Than the killed flea drank“.

G. Apollinaire:
“A flea, the beloved, the friend -
All love us. Cruel circle!
All our blood to a drop - to them!
Is unfortunate the one who so we love“.

the Flea was also a favourite subject of satire.

V. Hugo: “Position of a flea in a mane of a lion is tempting
. The humiliated lion feels how he is bitten by this small, insignificant creation, and the flea can tell: “In me lion`s blood flows“.

I. V. Goethe “Faust“:

“Once upon a time there was a king once,
Had a flea - the friend;
Protected a flea as it gold,
Cherished as sonny.
is sent Here by the king to the tailor, -
the Tailor came now.
“Sew a raincoat to the friend to native
Yes trousers just right“.

Both in silk and in a velvet wonderful
the Flea is dressed up by
I breast,
On an award tape carries a cross.
the Flea the minister became.
Shines on it a star!
Making related it got
B big misters.
the Flea, having given vent to anger,
of All stings since then:
of Grandees, and queen,
I of maids of honor, and all yard.
dare to scratch Nobody,
Though the impudent fellow stings all!
A we - dare to bite, - we Will snap
- and the end!“

the Trained flea

the Joke: “- How it became
the trainer of elephants?
- At first it trained fleas, but then began to have short-sightedness!“
Should tell

that the flea from the well-known song of Mephistopheles dressed “in silk and a velvet“ - not such an invention. Since 16th century the so-called “flea circus“ where fleas got up positive miracles gains popularity. One carried tiny carriages on gold chains. Others - dressed as gentlemen, swung on duel the swords attached to pads. The third - juggled with balls from an elder core. The fourth shot from guns. The fifth - jumped under music. The sixth - dressed in uniforms, marched a system.

After representation of actors, as well as circus bears, fed, but, of course, not sugar. Skillful trainers were extremely popular. The amusing story when the trainer Obichini was present at a lunch at the French king Louis - Filippa is about it remembered and lost the flea to Lyuchy. Later time it was found at himself by one duke and sent to the owner with a note: “Today she has already dinner“.

Now flea circus - a rarity though there were people who remember secrets of this craft. It is clear, that in a literal sense fleas are not trained, and, are put rather in such conditions which allow them to show inherited qualities in the direction necessary to the trainer. For example, to induce a flea to jump in a certain direction or to begin to swing pads, the trainer breathes warm air. It is even more difficult to disaccustom fleas to jump and force to go. For this purpose the flea is put literally on a leash and waited so far she will be tired. Or specially bring fleas in tiny bubbles to stop draft of jumps in a germ. All this demands big work and time. Therefore usually one flea can be trained only in one trick.

the Flea grounded

U us the most popular literary flea certainly is that flea who was grounded by the handyman Levsha from the story of N. Leskov of the same name. Sources of an image grounded can be met in the fairy tale from Afanasyev`s collection where the smith, promising a flea of a horseshoe, entices it and kills with a hammer. The similar plot can be met also at Germans (the tailor promises a flea a suit and pierces a needle), and at French (the hairdresser promises a flea a wave and burns nippers).

Leskov said that he made a start from a national humourous catchphrase: “British made a steel flea, and our inhabitants of Tula grounded her yes to them back sent“ . Here such there was a reaction of the people to an unconditional worship for the West. As a result the Lefthander Leskova not only grounded a flea moreover and put the Tula brand on horseshoes.
However pride was replaced by contempt for domestic talents still more than once, having generated many jokes:

“Levsha grounded a flea. Now she not only bites, but still, the swine, and clinks“.
“To ground a flea - not so useless work! They a magnet can be caught then“.
“From now on the highest achievement of the Russian nanotechnologies is considered to be not to ground a flea, and to castrate her...“
“The flea grounded by the Lefthander is a striking example of the Russian nanotechnologies: nothing is visible and it is necessary for nobody“.