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"Our Grandpa" - 1886

I found a short story that mentions nasal snuff, it was published in a Slovenian newspaper in 1886. I translated it and I hope it's okay to post it here.

Our Grandpa

I can already see your eyes widening with interest and a smile on your lips. You inadvertently almost ask "who is that man?"
But you, of course, never knew him. A lot of years have passed since four men dressed in black carried him to his final resting place. Well, that's how our Grandpa was. Just looked at him, how he joyfully smiles and his cheeks gather into wrinkles, how his dim eyes start to brighten behind his glasses and how his black cap looks on his whitened head.
Surely, he didn't have dense, curly hair and soft skin like you do. He couldn't dance around like a peg top any more either. Old age doesn't care for any of these things.

However, when he started to tell stories, his words were solid, firm and he seemed ten years younger. He knew a lot of stories, as he experienced a lot in his life. And with the way he told those stories, vividly describing them, he immediately won the hearts of his young listeners.
And if someone else was telling a nice story, we would say "you talk just like Grandpa."

Everyone, young or old adored Grandpa. We always did our best to find a present for him on his name day.
But our Grandpa was modest and happy with small things, he didn't care for fancy gifts.

Well, he was happy when someone brought him nasal snuff as a present for his name day. Our Grandpa loved to snuff and he was rarely seen without his snuffbox. Just look at him, how he holds his fingers over the opened tin, getting ready for the snuff to tickle the inside of his nose and keeps a big handkerchief in his other hand. A handkerchief is always a useful successor to snuff.

A handful of snuff is a small thing. Just think how many things some people on this world have and how rich they are. And yet, they always worry and even feel sad.
The only thing our Grandpa had was his beloved snuffbox but he felt as happy and at peace as if he had never experienced any bitter or painful in his long life.

Satisfaction is priceless.


  • @Jernej Great story, thanks for sharing it with us.
  • Wonderful story, @Jernej‌ ! Thanks for the translation and sharing with us.

    Ah, you have (or had) the culture of name day, as well.
  • Thanks and I apologize for any spelling mistakes, I was using my phone to write the post.

    I would say "had". Very few people celebrate their name day nowadays, and those that do are usually old and live in more rural areas. In the past, however, name days were celebrated and not Birthdays.
  • Ah, I see. Here in Finland it's still sort of observed, but it has much less meaning than one's birthday.
  • @Jernej‌ thanks for posting this, it's great to read something like that, especially around the holidays :).
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