Krambambuli (story)

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Krambambuli is a story by Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach , which was first published in her cycle village and castle stories (1883).

Table of contents

In an inn , the hunter Hopp meets a tramp, known as the yellow one , who has his dog with him. Hunter Hopp feels more affection than any other dog. That's why he exchanges twelve bottles of Krambambuli with the yellow one for the dog, which the hunter Hopp calls Krambambuli from now on.

The dog is reluctant to go with the hunter as well as to obey him, and only after two months of brutal submission does the dog become a loyal friend and keeper of the hunter Hopp. The two are very close to each other.

One day the Countess comes and asks Hopp to give his Krambambuli as a birthday present for her husband. The hunter only gives Krambambuli to the countess on condition that he gets it back if the count does not manage to feed the dog and win him over. A little later, Hopp was allowed to pick up his dog, which was now decrepit, as it actually spurned any food and bit everyone who approached him.

At the same time, a band of game shooters was roaming the area. The forest staff therefore take tougher action. For example, the chief forester beats up a group of women when he catches them picking branches of linden blossom, and throws a group of boys from a great height out of the tree, causing serious injuries. As it turns out, one of these women is the yellow's mistress . This takes revenge on the chief forester and kills him. Hunter Hopp finds the chief forester dead. This is decorated with linden flowers . There is also an old shooting stick that the murderer exchanged for the chief forester's rifle .

A few days later, the yellow and hunter Hopp run into each other . Both are armed; the yellow one with the chief forester's breech- loader , who identifies him as the perpetrator. Hopp instructs Krambambuli to grab the yellow one, but the dog is torn between its old and its new master. Ultimately, he decides in favor of his old man, and Hopp shoots the game shooter. Out of sheer anger, Hopp also wants to kill the dog, but he doesn't have the heart and leaves him with the corpse.

Krambambuli is now wandering around ownerless and hungry. He longs for his master, but is aware of his betrayal and does not dare to go home. So he wanders around the forester's house and becomes more and more impoverished because he cannot find any food. He begs for food in the village without success and is losing weight more and more. After a while, the hunter Hopp longs for his dog so much that he goes looking for him. When he stepped outside the front door one morning, he stumbled over the dead dog; the latter had dragged himself to his master's door with his last strength, but had not dared to make himself noticeable. So Krambambuli finally died of hunger and exhaustion in front of the door. Hopp will never get over the loss.


The story goes back to a true incident: Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach's brother saved the life of a dog when its owner tried to kill him. In the beginning, the dog found it difficult to accept its rescuer as its new master, and it kept trying to run away. When the previous owner was in the area again, the dog smelled him and followed his old master.


Krambambuli is faced with the decision to accept a new master several times:

  1. When Jäger Hopp becomes his new master, Krambambuli is so loyal to his old man that he cannot be separated from him at first, and only with a lot of love and a strict upbringing does Krambambuli accept Jäger Hopp as his new master. The relationship between the hunter Hopp and his dog is characterized by the fact that he can talk to the dog. He is so attached to him that he understands him .
  2. When he has to go to the Count, Krambambuli behaves exactly as he did the first time - he wants to flee because he is so loyal to his old man. It is only because the count has no patience with the dog that he finally returns to his former master.
  3. When he has to choose between his first master, the yellow one , and the hunter Hopp, Krambambuli chooses the one to whom he was first loyal, his first master.

Jäger Hopp is initially disappointed with Krambambuli, but soon notices that consistent care pays off. In the end, Krambambuli perishes because he is ownerless and nobody cares about him. Hunter Hopp knows and values ​​the dog's loyalty and wants to go looking for him, but by then it is too late.

It is not important to the dog what kind of character his master has and whether he is a poacher and murderer who sells him for schnapps. Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach put it this way: “Fidelity is something so sacred that it confers consecration even to an illegitimate relationship.” It is the same for us humans: A child loves its parents, even if they treat it badly. Father remains father, mother remains mother. When the mother dies, even the most empathetic stepmother cannot develop the same relationship with the child. This topic has a biographical background. Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach lost her birth mother and later also her first stepmother.

Current issues

Film adaptations

The story was filmed several times:

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