Thursday, January 26, 2017
Patufet is the main character of one of the most famous folktales of Catalan tradition.
Patufet is usually represented as a very small child the size of a rice grain, wearing a big red barretina so that his parents can better spot him around the place. He is curious and mischievous, until one day he decides to show the world that he's useful and reliable. According to some versions Patufet was good-natured and hard-working from the beginning. And of course, Patufet is also the logo for Barretines 100%!
The first task he sets about to do is to go to the shop to buy some saffron. Since people can't see him because he's so small, he avoids being trodden on by singing,
Patim patam patum,
Homes i dones del cap dret,
Patim patam patum,
No trepitgeu en Patufet
(Patim patam patum/ Men and women who come towards me/ Patim patam patum/ Don't tread on Patufet).
The people he meets only see a coin that walks and sings but he manages to accomplish his task. Afterwards he decides to go to the farm fields to take lunch to his father. But Patufet is not lucky this time and gets eaten by an ox.
His parents go about looking for him, calling "Patufeeet, on eeets?" (Patufeeet, where are youuu?) and he replies from inside the ox,
Sóc a la panxa del bou,
que no hi neva ni plou.
Quan el bou farà un pet,
Sortirà en Patufet!
(I'm in the ox's tummy/ Where it doesn't snow or rain./ When the ox farts/ Patufet will get out). After a while they hear Patufet's little voice and his mother feeds the ox with herbs that make it fart faster.
This tale can be considered as a coming of age symbol.En Patufet was also the title of an influential children's magazine in Catalan published from 1904 to 1938, and again from 1968 to 1973. The figure of Patufet on the magazine was first drawn by Antoni Muntanyola.
Today Patufet is a familiar word in Catalan for a very little kid or for a children's publication.