Das Bad am Samstagabend

Das Bad am Samstagabend ("Saturday Night Bath") is a picture story in 14 drawings by Wilhelm Busch, first published in 1868.

The story is in German, in rhymed verse (iambic meter). A non-rhyming English translation is provided below.


Spoiler warning

The protagonists of the story are the two brothers Franz (chubby) and Fritz (skinny), who are given a bath together. As soon as they are alone, they begin to do mischief. Their fun gradually escalates into a fight. At the end, the bathtub tumbles over, creating a big mess. The boys are put to bed, and the moral of the story says: don't bathe two in one tub together.

There is no spanking in the story, but some bare bottom imagery including being frog-marched them by their ear to bed. Also, both boys receive a burn on their bottoms when they tumble out of the tub (instead of the spanking they deserve, as it were).

The storyEdit


Hier sieht man Bruder Franz und Fritzen
Zu zweit in einer Wanne sitzen.
Here you can see brother Franz and Fritz
Sitting together in a tub.


Die alte Lene geht; — und gleich
Da treibt man lauter dummes Zeug.
Old Lene leaves; — and at once
Lots of nonsense is done.


Denn Reinlichkeit ist für die zwei
Am Ende doch nur Spielerei.—
For cleanliness, for the two,
Ends up to nothing but a game.—


Jetzt will der Fritz beim Untertauchen
Nur seinen einen Finger brauchen.
Now Fritz, when they submerge,
Wants to use only one of his fingers.


Natürlich läuft ihm was ins Ohr.
Dem Franz kommt dieses lustig vor.
Of course water gets into his ear.
Franz has a good laugh at this.


Das ärgert aber Bruder Fritzen,
Drum fängt er an, den Franz zu spritzen.
This however annoys brother Fritz,
Which is why he begins to squirt Franz.


Doch der mit seiner großen Zehe
Tut Fritzen an der Nase wehe;
Yet he, with his big toe,
Hurts Fritz's nose.


Dafür taucht Fritz den Kopf ihm nieder,
Was so im Wasser sehr zuwider.
For that, Fritz dips his head down,
Which is quite unpleasing under water.


Franz aber zieht an Fritzens Bein;
Der zappelt sehr und kann nicht schrei'n.
Franz, in turn, pulls Fritz's leg;
Who fidgets much but cannot cry.


In Mund und Auge, zornentbrannt,
Greift jetzt die rachbegier'ge Hand.
In mouth and eye, in burning fury,
The vengeful hand grips.


Die Wanne wird zu enge
Für dieses Kampfgedränge.
The tub becomes too tight
For the jostle of this fight.


Perdatsch!! — Die alte, brave Lene
Kommt leider grad' zu dieser Szene.
Splash!! — Dear good old Lene
Unfortunately enters just at this scene.


Sie spricht voll Würde und voll Schmerz:
"Die Reinlichkeit ist nicht zum Scherz!!"
She speaks with dignity and pain:
"Cleanliness is not a game!!"


Und die Moral von der Geschicht:
Bad zwei in einer Wanne nicht!
And the moral of the story is:
Don't bathe two in one tub together!