Everything that has a
English version of the book
Olentzero: Izena duan
guztia omen da,
with text and
(pg. 1: Betidanako gure basoetan ...)
In the forest, there are many different
kinds of creatures that people cant see.. They are
all part of nature, and people have written many stories
and fables about them.
When we go out in the mountains and the
valleys, from a wonderful corner of the imagination they
keep us company and take care of us.
(Hona hemen horietako baten kondaira...)
Here is the story of one of those
beings, the story of Olentzero, a humble man who with his
love comes into the heart of all creatures, real and
(pg. 2: Behin batean ...)
Once upon a time, many many years ago,
in the deep forests of the Basque Country, there lived a
very beautiful fairy. Her hair was yellow like the sun
and her eyes were very bright.
(Lamia guztiek bezala, ...)
Like all fairies, she looked after the
people and she was always accompanied by some little and
funny creatures, like goblins, called Prakagorri, or
"red-pants," who helped her with her work.
(pg. 3: Egun batez, ...)
One day, when she was traveling through
the mountains, she stopped to brush her hair next to a
fountain. Suddenly, the Prakagorris noticed that
something was moving among some ferns.
(Lamia bere ile kizkurra ..).
The fairy kept brushing and brushing
her curly hair and didnt notice anything until
Prakagorris shouts caught her attention.
(pg. 4: Gizakume bat da hori.)
"It's a human baby," said the
oldest of the goblins.
"Why did they leave it here?"
said all the Prakagorris at once.
"I dont know," said the
fairy, "it is hard to understand how humans can be
so heartless sometimes."
(Gaurtik aurrera, ...)
"From now on," said the fairy
to the baby, "your name will be Olentzero, for it is
wonderful thing to have found you. And I hereby give you
the gifts of Strength, Courage and Love, for as long as
Then the fairy picked up the baby and
took him to an old house at the edge of the forest where
there lived a man and a woman who had no children.
(pg. 5: Horien bihotza ...)
"They will be very, very happy to
receive this child and they will take good care of it, I
know" said the fairy, and she left the boy there in
front of the door for them.
Very early in the morning, when the sun
was just starting to come out, the man came out of the
house to go milk the cows. He was very surprised to see
the baby, and he called to his wife: "Love, come
quickly! Come and see what Ive found!"
Just as the fairy had predicted, the
man and the woman were very, very happy to find this
child. "How could we be so lucky!", said the
woman. And immediately they covered the boy with a warm
blanket and gave him some food, and they took him as
(Honela mendi zoragarri haietan ...)
And that is how Olentzero came to grow
up in those wonderful mountains, until he became a
strong, healthy and lovable man. His parents were very
happy and Olentzero was not at all worried about the
strange way in which his parents had come to find him.
(pg. 6: Goizetik arratseraino ...)
Olentzero worked every day from morning
till night, making coal and helping his aging father.
After many years the old couple who had
been Olentzeros loving parents finally died and
Olentzero was left all alone in the house in the forest.
(pg. 7: Urteak joan, urteak etorri ...)
The years came and went and his face
began to wrinkle and his hair began to turn white.
(Bere bihotza goibeltzen ...)
Living alone made him sad and he
realized that what he needed to do was to help other
people who needed his help.
He remembered that in the town there
was a house where there lived some children who had no
parents. They lived on whatever the people in the town
gave them, and he realized that these children were very
lonely, just like him, and that he could do things for
them to make them happy.
(pg. 8: Olentzero gizon argia zen ...)
Olentzero was very clever and very good
at making things with his hands, so he made some toys out
of wood for those children: little toys and dolls, which
he would take to the children when he went to town to
sell his coal.
(pg. 9: Panpina eta gizontxoak bukatu zituenean
When he finished the dolls and other
toys, he put them in a big bag, put the bag on his
donkey, and left for the town. He felt very happy inside
that day, and his eyes were shining very brightly.
(Goiz guztia eman zuen mendiz mendi ..).
It took him a whole morning of walking
through the mountains to get to the town, but he was very
happy. He smiled as if in a dream, for he was going to
give to the children the toys that he had made.
(pg. 10: Herriko txikiek ...)
The little children in the village were
very happy when they got their presents, and Olentzero
spent the whole afternoon playing with them and telling
them stories that he had learned from his father when he
was little. The boys and girls loved Olentzero very much
and after that day they didnt feel as lonely as
before. Olentzero became very well known in that town.
Whenever he approached, he would quickly be surrounded by
(Urte asko, eder eta zoriontsu ...)
This went on for many beautiful and
happy years, but one day there was a terrible storm in
the town and the mountains around it which destroyed many
things. The cold, strong winds and the sound of thunder
left the people very scared and upset, especially the
(pg. 11: Egun batez, ...)
One day, when Olentzero was coming to
town, he saw some lightning hitting a house.
He quickly ran to the house and he saw
some children at one of the windows, very scared,
screaming and calling for help.
Without hesitating he went into the
house, which was in flames, covered the children with a
blanket to protect them from the fire, and carried them
out of the house through a window in the first floor.
(pg. 12: Beretzat irtenbide bat ...)
But while he was trying to get out
himself, a big old wooden beam from the ceiling fell on
top of him. Olentzero fell down in great pain, and his
strong and beautiful heart stopped.
The people in the town cried when they
saw the house in flames, and what had happened, and
realized that there was nothing they could do.
(Une larri hartan ...)
But right then they were all surprised
by a bright light shining from inside the burning house.
Nobody could see what was happening inside. But inside
the house, the fairy who had found Olentzero in the
mountains, when he was a baby so many years ago, appeared
next to Olentzero and began calling his name in her sweet
voice: "Olentzero! Olentzero!"
(pg. 13: Gizon handia izan zara ...)
She said: "Olentzero, you have
been a good man, faithful and kind hearted. You have
spent your life doing things for others, and you have
even given your own life to save others. So I do not want
you to die. I want you to live forever. From now on you
will make toys and other presents for children who do not
have parents in this town and everywhere in the Basque
(pg. 14: Guk lagundu egingo dizugu!)
"And we will help you!"
called out all the Prakagorri, flying around Olentzero.
And that is how it came to pass that,
that in the middle of every winter, at the end of every
year, Olentzero goes to all the towns of Basque Country
delivering toys and presents to children who dont
have parents and grandparents to give them presents. The
children in all the towns celebrate the coming of the
Olentzero by singing songs and spreading his message of
love, strength and courage.
Some people dont believe that
Olentzero really exists. But in Basque there is an old
saying: that everything that has a name exists, if we
believe it does.
Translated and secularized by Jon Aske, without
I hope it's OK.
Published by: B&B, Gasteiz, 1995. No ISBN
in the book, sorry.