A Tale of Two Teachers

A Humorous Comparison by Dieter Barge

Today I have a little joke. Peter Klopp, a retired teacher, had asked me to make a blog post about cacti with pictures of particularly beautiful blossoms. I will soon do this.

Today I would like to quickly report something about Wilhelm Busch, who was a German painter, early cartoonist, and most beloved of all German poets. In his book “Max and Moritz”  he wrote the story in seven boyish pranks about the two little rascals Max and Moritz. While their devout teacher Lämpel is busy at church, the boys invade his home and fill his favorite pipe with gunpowder. When he lights the pipe, the blast knocks him unconscious, blackens his skin and burns away all his hair.  Here is the beginning of the 4th trick:

An old saw runs somewhat so:

Man must learn while here below.

Not alone the A, B, C,

Raises man in dignity;

Not alone in reading, writing,

Reason finds a work inviting;

Not alone to solve the double

Rule of Three shall man take trouble;

But must hear with pleasure Sages

Teach the wisdom of the ages.

In addition the teacher is drawn like this:


We bought a carved figure of Master Lämpel ! Now a certain resemblance between two teachers has struck me:

Peter Klopp Lämpel small

On this post I share my discovery with glee. Peter will certainly not be angry with me!

Contributed by Master Jester Dieter Barge, who married Edda, the granddaughter of Bruno Kegler (my uncle) and thus became an invaluable member of the illustrious Klopp-Kegler Clan famous or perhaps rather notoriously known for its jocular disposition. To see the Kegler Family Tree, Chart II a – IV, click here. – Peter Klopp


8 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Teachers

  1. Hallo,Peter!
    Das war wirklich eine super Überraschung-wir haben uns riesig gefreut und köstlich amüsiert-du hast wieder mal deinen Humor unter Beweis gestellt,deine Ausführungen zu Dieters “Geschichte”sind klasse-und dass du die “vergleichenden”Fotos der beiden Lehrer auch mit in deinen Blog übernommen hast-ist ganz toll!!
    Ich freu mich immer wieder,so viel Interessantes hier zu lesen!
    Weiter so und viele Grüsse!!!!


    • Liebe Edda,
      Vielen Dank für die überschwänglichen Worte! Da wird es mir ganz warm ums Herz. Deine Begeisterung war echt, und ich sage mir, da hat sich die kleine Mühe wieder mal gelohnt. Nächsten Dienstag kommt Dieters Kakteenzucht an die Reihe. Herzliche Grüße aus Kanada!


  2. Dear Peter,
    in Your summary I was ennobled with “Master Jester”.
    Many thanks for it!
    We must continue the tradition of “Till Eulenspiegel”, he was a “Master Jester”!
    You will certainly still know him!
    He was born in Kneitlingen near Brunswick (and Sottmar!) around 1300.
    There are many amusing stories from his life.

    Kind regards,



  3. Now you mention it, I do see a resemblance! I hadn’t heard of Wilhelm Busch before, but his book “Max and Moritz” sounds full of the sort of wild pranks that boys in particular would find very appealing. I can imagine why the story became beloved of so many.


    • The story ‘Max and Moritz’ has been translated into English. I do not know the translator, but he did a terrific job in rendering the captions with an authentic ring to meaning and rhyme. Of course, in today’s culture too deeply steeped in political correctness, these gruesome stories would not get published.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s interesting to know. I know that it can be difficult to translate literature well, and that must go double when it’s rhyming poetry since the options for the translator narrow considerably.

        Liked by 1 person

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