At the beginning of this year, during the plenary session of the State Duma, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that countries sacrificing their national interests to pleasure Western countries and "pulling chestnuts their fire" is getting smaller as the world is no longer unipolar.   “Humanity has matured. Sacrificing fundamental national interests, dragging, as they say, chestnuts out of the  fire for senior comrades from  Washington and  Brussels who are less and less  — noted the minister.  

What is the expression “pulling chestnuts out of fire”?

The expression “pulling chestnuts out of fire with a cat's paw” occurs in  the text of the French theologian Jean Boucher of 1612 and also in "French Curiosities" linguist Antoine Houdin 1640 & nbsp; This phrase was later popularized by Jean de La Fontainein his fable "The Monkey and"the Cat" (Le singe et le chat).  

What what does the fable say?

the monkey Bertrand convinces the cat Raton (in the Russian version of Vaska) to pull the chestnuts out of the embers:   "What, Vaska, — says the Monkey, — Get two chestnuts, so you will do well!»   Propre à tirer marons du feu, Certes marons verroient beau-jeu.  Having discovered that people were roasting chestnuts on fire, the monkey wanted to eat them, but did not risk getting burned herself, but persuaded the cat to do it. He removed the chestnuts one by one, burning his paw, and the monkey ate them in turn. The moral of Lafontaine's fable is that with the help of skillful manipulation, one can easily achieve one's goals.  

What does the phrase mean?

The French idiom tirer les marrons du feu (“pull chestnuts out of” the fire) means to do hard and dangerous work for someone. The phrase has the peculiarity of a double meaning: from  the point of view of a cat it means “to make an effort, try to serve the interests of others”, and from the point of view of a monkey the meaning is reversed  — use the situation for personal gain. There is a similar saying in Russian: to rake in the heat with the wrong hands.

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