“Grandpa’s Giant Turnip” by the The Land of Oz theatre, Israel 1980’s


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Israeli children’s show poster – Grandpa’s Giant Turnip that was played during the 1980’s. It is a progressive story, in which a grandfather plants a turnip, which grows so large that he cannot pull it up himself.

He asks the grandmother for help, and they together still cannot pull it up. Successively more people are recruited to help, until they finally pull the turnip up together. The specific ordering and set of people and sometimes animals varies. However in original Russian version the order is quite fixed, it is the grandfather (dedka), the grandmother (babka), the granddaughter (vnuchka), the female-dog (zhuchka), the female-cat (koshka) and finally the female-mouse (myshka). The humour or moral of the story is that only with the help of the weakest and smallest creature (the mouse) can the giant turnip or radish (repka) be pulled up. This is very popular in Russia as the names of the participants rhyme: repka (turnip) – dedka (grandfather) – babka (grandmother); vnuchka (granddaughter) – zhuchka (she-dog); koshka (she-cat) – myshka (she-mouse) The moral of this story is that of collaboration, and that if we all work together, we can do anything.

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