German Language Blog

Eine Gute-Nacht-Geschichte Posted by on Apr 30, 2018 in Culture, Language

If you have Kinder (children), you know what it is like: Ich will noch nicht ins Bett!  (I don’t want to go to sleep yet!) Of course, I am talking about Kinder, die noch nicht schlafen wollen (Children that do not yet want to go to sleep). And what do you tell them? A Gute-Nacht-Geschichte (good-night story). Here’s a very short one for you, followed by a full English translation 🙂

If you want to find more original stories here on the blog, check out the Zeit für eine Geschichte series!

These kinds of stories also help to learn German, especially in the beginning, when simpler stories are a bit easier to read! Enjoy!

Die Mücke, die zu tröten lernt

Image by author based on Image by andresantanams at under license CC0.

Der Elefant stampft durch die Savanne. Es ist heiß, die Sonne steht hoch am Himmel. Doch dem Dickhäuter ist das egal – ihm ist nicht warm. Schließlich ist er ein Elefant. “Zzzzzzzzzzzzz!” hört er plötzlich. Er streckt eines seiner Riesenohren in die Luft und lauscht. “Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!” hört er jetzt. Das nervige Summen kommt näher. Da wird ihm klar: Eine Mücke!

“Hallo, Herr Mücke!” begrüßt der Elefant höflich. “Zzzz… Hallo, Herr Elefant!” erwidert die Mücke. “Zzzz… Sag mal, ich möchte auch gern so trompeten können wie du. Wie mache ich das?”

Der Elefant trötet vor Lachen. “Aber, lieber Herr Mücke! Du kannst doch kein Elefant werden? Du bist zu klein, du hast keine Ohren… Wie soll das denn gehen?”

“Zum tröten muss ich doch nicht so aussehen wie ein Elefant?!” summt die Mücke empört.

“Vielleicht. Einen Rüssel hast du ja auch…”

“Genau! Also, wie geht das?”

Der Elefant überlegt. “Naja, du musst deinen Rüssel in die Luft strecken, mit aller Kraft deine Lungen füllen und dann ganz kräftig tröten!”

Die Mücke hört aufgeregt zu. “Alles klar!” Die Mücke streckt ihren Rüssel in die Luft,  füllt ihre kleinen Lungen so gut sie kann, und trötet. Der Elefant lauscht mit hochgestreckten Ohren.


“Hast du schon getrötet?” fragt der Elefant.

“Ja, natürlich!” hechelt die Mücke verwirrt.

“Hmmm… Versuch’s mal ein wenig lauter!” ruft der Elefant der Mücke zu.

“Alles klar!” erwidert die Mücke froh.

Die Mücke nimmt sehr tief Atem. So viel Luft hat sie noch nie in einem Mal geschnappt! Der Rüssel reicht so hoch es nur geht, in Richtung des wolkenlosen Himmels. Die Mücke schließt die Augen, und mit voller Kraft….



The Mosquito that learns how to trumpet

Image by author based on Image by andresantanams at under license CC0.

The elephant is stomping through the savanna. It is hot, the sun is high in the sky. But the pachyderm doesn’t mind – he is not hot. He is an elephant, after all. “Zzzzzzzzzzzzz!” he hears, suddenly. He extends one of his giant ears into the air and listens.
“Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!” he now hears. The annoying buzzing is coming closer. He realizes: A mosquito!

“Hello, Mr mosquito!” the elephant greets him politely. “Zzzz… Hello, Mr elephant!” the mosquito replies. “Zzzz… Say, I also want to be able to trumpet like you. How do I do it?”

The elephant trumpets of laughter. “But, dear Mr mosquito! You cannot become an elephant? You are too small, you have no large ears… How could that be possible?”

“But to trumpet, I do not have to look like an elephant?!” the mosquito buzzes indignantly.

“Maybe. You do have a trunk…”

“Exactly! So, how does it work?”

The elephant is thinking. “Well, you have to stretch your trunk into the air, fill your lungs with all your power and then trumpet very strongly!”

The mosquito is listening excitedly. “Alright!” The mosquito stretches its trunk into the air, fills its little lungs as good as it can, and trumpets.


“Did you trumpet yet?” the elephant asks.

“Yes, of course!” the mosquito gasps, confused.

“Hmmm… Try a little louder!” the elephant shouts at the mosquito.

“Alright!” the mosquito answers happily.

The mosquito inhales very deeply. It never took in this much air at once! The trunk reaches as high as possible, towards the cloudless sky. The mosquito closes its eyes, and with full force….


*I put toot as the sound an elephant makes. Apparently, that is not very clear cut in the English language. So I went with “toot”, which comes quite close. In German, it is definitely “törööö!”, which was entrenched in any child’s mind by Benjamin Blümchen, a cartoon elephant that is frequently on TV. Here he is:

Maybe you can teach your children the sound of an elephant as törö! Let me know what you think of the story in the comments below!

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About the Author: Sten

Hi! I am Sten, both Dutch and German. For many years, I've written for the German and the Dutch blogs with a passion for everything related to language and culture. It's fascinating to reflect on my own culture, and in the process allow our readers to learn more about it! Besides blogging, I am a German-Dutch-English translator, animator and filmmaker.