Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1943 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
children were playing about In it
Let me tell you in this story of the
adventure these children and I had.
A squat little samovar (brass tea
pot) bubbled on the hearth as they
do throughout the lengtband breadth
of the northland.
The house mother poured tea for
us with hands trembling with uncon
"Barina, we are Lapps from the
Northland. Never until this war did
we come south to the Swedish fron
tier. Far, far off in Europe men
fight. We do not know why they
die. But this we know. Karnngi is
a new world for the children. These
little -ones, Barina," her sad eyes
glowed with a passion of motherhood
which has no nationality.
"Never did we think to have such
travels. The things we have seen
since we left Lapland. All is so
strange to us, but it seems quite nat
ural to the children!
"They see more in one day than
we ever heard in a winter. Think of
it, highborn, already they talk Swed
ish. Swedish J Ahi how we laugh!
"Every day the father has two rou
ble ($1 fbr the sledge, with hay and
moss for the deer. Winters before
this he slept like a bear in the ingloo.
Now he is a man among men.
"All day the father sledges mails
for Russia. Every week he puts the
government roubles into my hand.
God be with, the czar. Since the
ukase the richest prince cannot buy
"Today is our Pekka's nimipaiva
(nameday). This birch bought is his
luck tree. Next years perhaps it will
Her glance toward the delicate
child confessed that long anxiety had
become Heartaching certainty.
"Pekka, how old are you?"
"Tell the Barina what you saw
last week," prodded his mother.
"J saw, I saw," the little lad leaned
forward to whisper. "I went into the
teaatheri here in Karnngi!' ,
"It is a theater," explained his
mother. "The sledge drivers, having
no vodka, drink tea in the kinema."
"Let us go to the kinema, Pekka.
Call all the children to celebrate your
nameday! I will give a party for you,"
No Finn ever hurried himself for
anything or anybody, but the chil
dren of Karnngi scampered. Fresh
from the bath, shining with a clean
liness more southern folk seldonl
reach, 50 hardy, fur-wrapper young
sters lined up squeaking excitement.
Calm-faced, though his arm trem
bled with excitement, Pekka Makko
nem of Karnngi mashaled his name
day party. Outside the snow was
kinema the heat was intense. Then
drifting like a storm. Within the
moving pictures began.
Muffled, but terribly near, a bliz
zard howled through tie frontier for
est In the theater's hot dark a grin
ning native in Panama hat and loin
cloth slashed gigantic fans from a
towering palm. Fifty northland
youngsters laughed quick apprecia
A dozen eager voices demanded to
know where in all Russia men were
so very warm.
Buz-z. Onto the screen flashed
the interior of a Lapland home. Then
a mother, quite like anybody's moth
er, bathing a Lapp child's inflamed
Cries from the absorbed woman
entreated, commanded, "Slowly,
The film, stopped, commenced
again, moving so slowly that all could
follow the doll-like motions of the
One determined mother seized her
astonished offspring in the dark and
proceeded to experimerft As the
filmed mother unconsciously touched
hair or apron the mother in the au
dience consciously did likewise. Fol
lowed lines of Russian print
"The words are to teJI us some
thing," whispered Pekka's mother,
wistfully, but we cannot spell them.