ENGLISH

The valiant little tailor

日本語

勇ましいちびの仕立て屋


One summer morning a little tailor was sitting on his board near the window, and working cheerfully with all his might, when an old woman came down the street crying, "Good jelly to sell! good jelly to sell!" The cry sounded pleasant in the little tailor's ears, so he put his head out of the window, and called out, "Here, my good woman, come here, if you want a customer."

So the poor woman climbed the steps with her heavy basket, and was obliged to unpack and display all her pots to the tailor. He looked at every one of them, and lifting all the lids, applied his nose to each, and said at last, "The jelly seems pretty good; you may weigh me out four half ounces, or I don't mind having a quarter of a pound." The woman, who had expected to find a good customer, gave him what he asked for, but went off angry and grumbling. "This jelly is the very thing for me," cried the little tailor; "it will give me strength and cunning; "and he took down the bread from the cupboard, cut a whole round of the loaf, and spread the jelly on it, laid it near him, and went on stitching more gallantly than ever.

All the while the scent of the sweet jelly was spreading throughout the room, where there were quantities of flies, who were attracted by it and flew to partake. "Now then, who asked you to come?" said the tailor, and drove the unbidden guests away. But the flies, not understanding his language, were not to be got rid of like that, and returned in larger numbers than before. Then the tailor, not being able to stand it any longer, took from his chimney-corner a ragged cloth, and saying, "Now, I'll let you have it!" beat it among them unmercifully. When he ceased, and counted the slain, he found seven lying dead before him. "This is indeed somewhat," he said, wondering at his own gallantry; "the whole town shall know this." So he hastened to cut out a belt, and he stitched it^ and put on it in large capitals "Seven at one blow!"

"The town, did I say!" said the little tailor; "the whole world shall know it!" And his heart quivered with joy, like a lamb's tail. The tailor fastened the belt round him, and began to think of going out into the world, for his workshop seemed too small for his worship. So he looked about in all the house for something that it would be useful to take with him, but he found nothing but an old cheese, which he put in his pocket. Outside the door he noticed that a bird had got caught in the bushes, so he took that and put it in his pocket with the cheese. Then he set out gallantly on his way, and as he was light and active he felt no fatigue.

The way led over a mountain, and when he reached the topmost peak he saw a terrible giant sitting there, and looking about him at his ease. The tailor went bravely up to him, called out to him, and said, "Comrade, good day! there you sit looking over the wide world! I am on the way thither to seek my fortune: have you a fancy to go with me?"

The giant looked at the tailor contemptuously, and said, "You little rascal! you miserable fellow!" - "That may be!" answered the little tailor, and undoing his coat he showed the giant his belt; "you can read there whether I am a man or not!" The giant read: "Seven at one blow!" and thinking it meant men that the tailor had killed, felt at once more respect for the little fellow. But as he wanted to prove him, he took up a stone and squeezed it so hard that water came out of it. "Now you can do that," said the giant, "that is, if you have the strength for it."

"That's not much," said the little tailor, "I call that play," and he put his hand in his pocket and took out the cheese and squeezed it, so that the whey ran out of it. "Well," said he, "what do you think of that?"

The giant did not know what to say to it, for he could not have believed it of the little man. Then the giant took up a stone and threw it so high that it was nearly out of sight. "Now, little fellow, suppose you do that!"

"Well thrown," said the tailor; "but the stone fell back to earth again, I will throw you one that will never come back." So he felt in his pocket, took out the bird, and threw it into the air. And the bird, when it found itself at liberty, took wing, flew off, and returned no more. "What do you think of that, comrade?" asked the tailor. "There is no doubt that you can throw," said the giant; "but we will see if you can carry." He led the little tailor to a mighty oak-tree which had been felled, and was lying on the ground, and said, "Now, if you are strong enough, help me to carry this tree out of the wood."

"Willingly," answered the little man; "you take the trunk on your shoulders, I will take the branches with all their foliage, that is much the most difficult." So the giant took the trunk on his shoulders, and the tailor seated himself on a branch, and the giant, who could not see what he was doing, had the whole tree to carry, and the little man on it as well. And the little man was very cheerful and merry, and whistled the tune: "There were three tailors riding by" as if carrying the tree was mere child's play. The giant, when he had struggled on under his heavy load a part of the way, was tired out, and cried, "Look here, I must let go the tree!"

The tailor jumped off quickly, and taking hold of the tree with both arms, as if he were carrying it, said to the giant, "You see you can't carry the tree though you are such a big fellow!"

They went on together a little farther, and presently they came to a cherry-tree, and the giant took hold of the topmost branches, where the ripest fruit hung, and pulling them downwards, gave them to the tailor to hold, bidding him eat. But the little tailor was much too weak to hold the tree, and as the giant let go, the tree sprang back, and the tailor was caught up into the air. And when he dropped down again without any damage, the giant said to him, "How is this? haven't you strength enough to hold such a weak sprig as that?"

"It is not strength that is lacking," answered the little tailor; "how should it to one who has slain seven at one blow! I just jumped over the tree because the hunters are shooting down there in the bushes. You jump it too, if you can." The giant made the attempt, and not being able to vault the tree, he remained hanging in the branches, so that once more the little tailor got the better of him.

Then said the giant, "As you are such a gallant fellow, suppose you come with me to our den, and stay the night." The tailor was quite willing, and he followed him. When they reached the den there sat some other giants by the fire, and each had a roasted sheep in his hand, and was eating it. The little tailor looked round and thought, "There is more elbow-room here than in my workshop." And the giant showed him a bed, and told him he had better lie down upon it and go to sleep. The bed was, however, too big for the tailor, so he did not stay in it, but crept into a corner to sleep.

As soon as it was midnight the giant got up, took a great staff of iron and beat the bed through with one stroke, and supposed he had made an end of that grasshopper of a tailor.

Very early in the morning the giants went into the wood and forgot all about the little tailor, and when they saw him coming after them alive and merry, they were terribly frightened, and, thinking he was going to kill them, they ran away in all haste.

So the little tailor marched on, always following his nose. And after he had gone a great way he entered the courtyard belonging to a King's palace, and there he felt so overpowered with fatigue that he lay down and fell asleep. In the meanwhile came various people, who looked at him very curiously, and read on his belt, "Seven at one blow!" - "Oh!" said they, "why should this great lord come here in time of peace? what a mighty champion he must be." Then they went and told the King about him, and they thought that if war should break out what a worthy and useful man he would be, and that he ought not to be allowed to depart at any price.

The King then summoned his council, and sent one of his courtiers to the little tailor to beg him, so soon as he should wake up, to consent to serve in the King's army. So the messenger stood and waited at the sleeper's side until his limbs began to stretch, and his eyes to open, and then he carried his answer back. And the answer was, "That was the reason for which I came," said the little tailor, "I am ready to enter the King's service." So he was received into it very honourably, and a separate dwelling set apart for him. But the rest of the soldiers were very much set against the little tailor, and they wished him a thousand miles away. "What shall be done about it?" they said among themselves; "if we pick a quarrel and fight with him then seven of us will fall at each blow. That will be of no good to us." So they came to a resolution, and went all together to the King to ask for their discharge. "We never intended," said they, "to serve with a man who kills seven at a blow." The King felt sorry to lose all his faithful servants because of one man, and he wished that he had never seen him, and would willingly get rid of him if he might. But he did not dare to dismiss the little tailor for fear he should kill all the King's people, and place himself upon the throne.

He thought a long while about it, and at last made up his mind what to do. He sent for the little tailor, and told him that as he was so great a warrior he had a proposal to make to him. He told him that in a wood in his dominions dwelt two giants, who did great damage by robbery, murder, and fire, and that no man durst go near them for fear of his life. But that if the tailor should overcome and slay both these giants the King would give him his only daughter in marriage, and half his kingdom as dowry, and that a hundred horsemen should go with him to give him assistance. "That would be something for a man like me 1"thought the little tailor, "a beautiful princess and half a kingdom are not to be had every day."

And he said to the King, "Oh yes, I can soon overcome the giants, and yet have no need of the hundred horsemen; he who can kill seven at one blow has no need to be afraid of two."

So the little tailor set out, and the hundred horsemen followed him. When he came to the border of the wood he said to his escort, "Stay here while I go to attack the giants." Then he sprang into the wood, and looked about him right and left. After a while he caught sight of the two giants; they were lying down under a tree asleep, and snoring so that all the branches shook. The little tailor, all alive, filled both his pockets with stones and climbed up into the tree, and made his way to an overhanging bough, so that he could seat himself just above the sleepers; and from there he let one stone after another fall on the chest of one of the giants. For a long time the giant was quite unaware of this, but at last he waked up and pushed his comrade, and said, "What are you hitting me for?"

"You are dreaming," said the other, "I am not touching you." And they composed themselves again to sleep, and the tailor let fall a stone on the other giant. "What can that be?" cried he, "what are you casting at me?"

"I am casting nothing at you," answered the first, grumbling. They disputed about it for a while, but as they were tired, they gave it up at last, and their eyes closed once more. Then the little tailor began his game anew, picked out a heavier stone and threw it down with force upon the first giant's chest. "This is too much!" cried he, and sprang up like a madman and struck his companion such a blow that the tree shook above them. The other paid him back with ready coin, and they fought with such fury that they tore up trees by their roots to use for weapons against each other, so that at last they both of them lay dead upon the ground. And now the little tailor got down. "Another piece of luck!" said he, "that the tree I was sitting in did not get torn up too, or else I should have had to jump like a squirrel from one tree to another." Then he drew his sword and gave each of the giants a few hacks in the breast, and went back to the horsemen and said, "The deed is done, I have made an end of both of them: but it went hard with me, in the struggle they rooted up trees to defend themselves, but it was of no use, they had to do with a man who can kill seven at one blow."

"Then are you not wounded?" asked the horsemen. "Nothing of the sort!" answered the tailor, "I have not turned a hair." The horsemen still would not believe it, and rode into the wood to see, and there they found the giants wallowing in their blood, and all about them lying the uprooted trees. The little tailor then claimed the promised boon, but the King repented him of his offer, and he sought again how to rid himself of the hero. "Before you can possess my daughter and the half of my kingdom," said he to the tailor, "you must perform another heroic act. In the wood lives a unicorn who does great damage; you must secure him."

"A unicorn does not strike more terror into me than two giants. Seven at one blow! - that is my way," was the tailor's answer. So, taking a rope and an axe with him, he went out into the wood, and told those who were ordered to attend him to wait outside.

He had not far to seek, the unicorn soon came out and sprang at him, as if he would make an end of him without delay. "Softly, softly," said he, "most haste, worst speed," and remained standing until the animal came quite near, then he slipped quietly behind a tree. The unicorn ran with all his might against the tree and stuck his horn so deep into the trunk that he could not get it out again, and so was taken. "Now I have you," said the tailor, coming out from behind the tree, and, putting the rope round the unicorn's neck, he took the axe, set free the horn, and when all his party were assembled he led forth the animal and brought it to the King.

The King did not yet wish to give him the promised reward, and set him a third task to do. Before the wedding could take place the tailor was to secure a wild boar which had done a great deal of damage in the wood. The huntsmen were to accompany him. "All right," said the tailor, "this is child's play." But he did not take the huntsmen into the wood, and they were all the better pleased, for the wild boar had many a time before received them in such a way that they had no fancy to disturb him.

When the boar caught sight of the tailor he ran at him with foaming mouth and gleaming tusks to bear him to the ground, but the nimble hero rushed into a chapel which chanced to be near, and jumped quickly out of a window on the other side. The boar ran after him, and when he got inside the door shut after him, and there he was imprisoned, for the creature was too big and unwieldy to jump out of the window too. Then the little tailor called the huntsmen that they might see the prisoner with their own eyes; and then he betook himself to the king, who now, whether he liked it or not, was obliged to fulfil his promise, and give him his daughter and the half of his kingdom. But if he had known that the great warrior was only a little tailor he would have taken it still more to heart. So the wedding was celebrated with great splendour and little joy, and the tailor was made into a king.

One night the young queen heard her husband talking in his sleep and saying, "Now boy, make me that waistcoat and patch me those breeches, or I will lay my yard measure about your shoulders!" And so, as she perceived of what low birth her husband was, she went to her father the next morning and told him all, and begged him to set her free from a man who was nothing better than a tailor. The king bade her be comforted, saying, "To-night leave your bedroom door open, my guard shall stand outside, and when he is asleep they shall come in and bind him and carry him off to a ship, and he shall be sent to the other side of the world." So the wife felt consoled, but the king's water-bearer, who had been listening all the while, went to the little tailor and disclosed to him the whole plan. "I shall put a stop to all this," said he.

At night he lay down as usual in bed, and when his wife thought that he was asleep, she got up, opened the door and lay down again. The little tailor, who only made believe to be asleep, began to murmur plainly, "Now, boy, make me that waistcoat and patch me those breeches, or I will lay my yard measure about your shoulders! I have slain seven at one blow, killed two giants, caught a unicorn, and taken a wild boar, and shall I be afraid of those who are standing outside my room door?" And when they heard the tailor say this, a great fear seized them; they fled away as if they had been wild hares, and none of them would venture to attack him. And so the little tailor all his lifetime remained a king.
ある夏の朝、小さな仕立て屋は窓のそばの仕事台に座って、機嫌がよく一生懸命縫っていました。すると、下の通りをお百姓の女が、「いいジャムだよ、安いよ、いいジャムだよ、安いよ」と叫んで来ました。これは仕立て屋の耳に心地よく聞こえました。仕立て屋はきゃしゃな頭を窓から伸ばし、「ここへ来てよ、おばさん、ここで品物が売れるよ。」と呼びました。女は重いかごを持って3段あがって仕立て屋のところに来ました。そして仕立て屋は女につぼを全部広げさせ、全部を調べ、持ち上げ、鼻で匂いを嗅ぎ、やっと、「おばさん、そのジャムはおいしそうだ。だから4オンス測ってくれ。四分の一ポンドでも構わないよ。」と言いました。

たくさん売れると思っていた女は、仕立て屋が望んだものを渡しましたが、ぷんぷん怒ってぶつくさ言いながら立ち去りました。「さて、このジャムを神様が祝福してくださいますように」と小さな仕立て屋は叫びました。「そして食べた私に健康と力を与えてくださいますように。」それで戸棚からパンを出し、ちょうど半分に切り、ジャムを塗りました。「これは苦くないだろう。」と仕立て屋は言いました。「だが食べる前に、上着を終わらせよう。」パンを近くに置いて、縫い続け、楽しくて、縫い目がだんだん大きくなりました。そのうちに甘いジャムの香りが壁に立ち昇り、そこにたくさんいたハエが匂いに惹かれて下りてきてパンにたかりました。「うわっ、誰がお前たちを招いたよ?」と仕立て屋は言って、招かざる客たちを追い払いました。ところが、ドイツ語が通じないハエたちは引き下がらないで、もっと仲間を連れて戻って来ました。

それでとうとう仕立て屋はかんしゃくをおこして、仕事台の下の穴から布切れをとり、「待ってろよ、お前たちにやるからな」と言いながら、容赦なくバシッと打ちました。布をどけて数えると、7匹も死んで脚を伸ばして目の前にありました。「汝はそういう男か?」と仕立て屋は言って、自分の勇敢さをたたえざるを得ませんでした。「町中にこれを知らせなくてはいけないぞ!」仕立て屋は急いで自分の帯を裁ち切り、縫って、大きな文字で「一撃で七!」と刺しゅうしました。「何、町だって!」と続けました。「世界中がその話を聞くべきだぞ!」そして仕立て屋の心は喜びで子羊の尻尾のように振れました。

仕立て屋は、自分の勇気には今の仕事場は狭すぎると考え、帯を巻いて世の中へ出て行くことに決めました。出かける前に、持っていける何かないかと家の中を探しました。しかし、古いチーズしかみつからなかったのでそれをポケットに入れました。戸口の前にやぶにからまっている小鳥を見つけ、ポケットに入れチーズと一緒にしました。さて、仕立て屋は道を勇敢に進み、軽く素早いので、疲れを感じませんでした。道は山道になっていき、一番高いところにくると、力強い巨人がすっかりくつろいで辺りを見ながら座っていました。小さな仕立て屋は勇ましく近づいていき、言いました。「やあ、こんにちは、そこに座って広い世界を見渡しているんですね。私はそこへいく途中なんですよ。運だめしをしようと思ってね。一緒に行く気はないかい?」巨人は馬鹿にしたように仕立て屋を見て言いました。「屑め、この弱虫野郎!」「おや、そうかな?」と小さな仕立て屋は答え、上着のボタンをはずし、巨人に帯を見せました。「さあ、おれがどんな男か読んでみろ。」巨人は「一撃で七」を読みました。そして仕立て屋が殺したのは男たちだと思い、このチビ助を少し尊敬し始めました。巨人はまず仕立て屋を試そうと思い、手に石をとってギュッと握り石から水を出しました。「お前もやってみろ。」と巨人は言いました、「お前に力があるなら」「それだけ?」と仕立て屋は言いました。「そんなのは子供だましだろ。」ポケットに手をいれると、柔らかいチーズを出し、押しつぶすと液が流れ出ました。「嘘じゃないだろ?こっちが少しマシだろ?」巨人は何と言ったらいいかわからず、小男にそんなことができるとは信じられない思いでした。

それで巨人は石を拾いとても高く投げたので、ほとんど見えなくなりました。「さあ、チビ、お前もやってみろ。」「うまいな。だけど石は結局また地面に落ちてきた。 おれは絶対戻らないやつを投げてみせるぜ。」仕立て屋はポケットに手を入れ、鳥を出し、空に放しました。鳥は自由になって喜び、上って飛んでいき、戻って来ませんでした。「どうだい?気に入ったかい?」と仕立て屋は尋ねました。「確かに投げるのはうまいな。」と巨人は言いました。「だが、今度はお前がものをちゃんと持てるか見ようじゃないか。」巨人は仕立て屋を地面に切り倒されてあるとても大きな樫の木に連れていき、「お前に力があるなら、森からその木を出すのを手伝え。」と言いました。「よかろう。」と小男は答えました。「お前は肩に幹を担げ。おれは枝を持ち上げるから。何と言っても枝が一番重いからな。」巨人は肩に幹を担ぎましたが、仕立て屋は大枝に座っていました。後ろを振り返ることができない巨人は、木全部とおまけに小さな仕立て屋を運ぶ破目になりました。後ろにいる仕立て屋はすっかりご機嫌で、木を運ぶのは子供だましだというように、「三人の仕立て屋が門から馬で出て行った」という歌を口笛で吹きました。巨人は、この重い荷物を途中までひきずっていきましたが、もう進めなくなり、「きいてくれ、木を落とすぞ」と叫びました。仕立て屋は素早く飛び下りて、今まで運んでいたふりをして両手で木をつかみ、巨人に言いました。「お前はそんなに図体がでかいくせに木を運ぶこともできんのか」

二人は一緒に進んで行き、サクランボの木を通りすぎる時、巨人はよく熟したサクランボがなっている木の一番上をつかみ下にたわませ、それを仕立て屋の手に渡し、食べろと言いました。しかしチビの仕立て屋は木をおさえておく力がないので、巨人が手を放すと木はまた跳ね上がって、仕立て屋も一緒に空へとばされました。仕立て屋が怪我もなくまた落ちてきたとき、巨人は、「何だよ?弱い小枝も抑える力がないのか?」と言いました。「力がないわけじゃないさ。」とチビの仕立て屋は答えました。「一撃で七つやっつけた男に、それしきは何でもないと思わないか。猟師がそこの茂みで撃っているから木を跳び越したのさ。お前できるなら、おれがやったように跳んでみろ。」巨人はやってみましたが、木を越えることができなくて、枝にひっかかったままになりました。それで今度も仕立て屋は上手をとりました。

巨人は、「お前がそんなに勇敢なやつなら、おれたちのほら穴に来て泊って行けよ。」と言いました。小さな仕立て屋は「いいとも」と言って巨人についていきました。ほら穴に入ると他の巨人たちが火のそばに座り、一人ひとりが手に一頭の焼いた羊を握って食べていました。小さな仕立て屋はまわりを見回し、(ここはおれの仕事場よりずっと広いなあ)と思いました。巨人は仕立て屋にベッドをみせて、「ここに横になって眠れよ。」と言いました。ところが、そのベッドは小さい仕立て屋には大きすぎました。仕立て屋は真ん中に寝ないで片隅にもぐり込みました。真夜中になり、巨人は小さな仕立て屋がぐっすり眠っているものと思い、起きあがって大きな鉄棒をとり、一撃でベッドを真っ二つにし、あのバッタにとどめをさしたぞ、と思いました。夜明けとともに、巨人たちは森へ入って行き、小さな仕立て屋のことをすっかりわすれてしまっていました。するとそのとき突然、仕立て屋がすっかりご機嫌でどうどうと近づいてきました。巨人たちはぎょっとし、仕立て屋がみんなをぶち殺すのではないかとおそれて大急ぎで逃げていきました。

小さな仕立て屋は、突き出た鼻先が向いている方へどんどん進んで行きました。長い間歩いて王宮の中庭に来て、疲れたので草の上に横になり眠ってしまいました。そこにねていると、城の人たちがやってきて、仕立て屋を四方八方からながめ、帯に書いてある「一撃で七」を読みました。「すごい!」と人々は言いました。「平和の最中にこの強い戦士はここで何をするんだろう?きっと力のある貴族にちがいない」人々は王様のところへ行き、仕立て屋のことを話し、「万一戦争がおこったらこの方は重要で役に立つ人です。決してあの方を行かせてはなりません。」と自分たちの考えも伝えました。この助言は王様の気に入りました。それで宮廷の人の一人を送り、目を覚ましたら仕立て屋に軍隊務めを申し入れるように、と命じました。使者は眠っている人のそばに立ったままで、仕立て屋が手足を伸ばし目を開くまで待っていました。それから王様の申し出を伝えました。「そのためにこそおれはここに来たんだよ。」と仕立て屋は答えました。「もういつでも王様に仕えることができるぞ。」それで仕立て屋は大切に迎えられ、特別な住まいがあてがわれました。

ところが兵士たちは小さな仕立て屋を良く思わず、千マイルも向こうにいればいいのにと思っていました。「最後はどうなるんだろう。」と自分たちで話しあっていました。「おれたちがあいつと喧嘩してあいつがうちまわると、一撃ごとに七人倒れるんだ。おれたちの一人だって太刀打ちできないよ。」それで兵士たちは結論に達し、一団となって王様のところにいき、お暇を願い出ました。「わたしたちは一撃で七人殺す男と一緒にいる覚悟がありません。」と兵士たちは言いました。王様は、一人のために忠実な家来たちみんな失くすのを悲しみ、仕立て屋を見なければよかった、できればあの男を喜んで厄介払いしたのに、と思いました。しかし王様は仕立て屋にクビだと言いませんでした。というのは仕立て屋が王様や家来たちみんなを打ち殺し、自分を王位につけようとするのではないか、と恐れたからです。

王様はしばらく考えていましたがとうとういい考えを思いつきました。王様は、小さな仕立て屋に使いをやり、次のように伝えさせました。あなたは大した戦士だから、一つ頼みがある。この国の森に二人の巨人が住んでいるが、この二人はものを盗み、人を殺し、ものを壊し、家を焼くなどして大変な害を及ぼしている。命を失う危険があるので誰も近づけないが、もしあなたがこの二人の巨人をやっつけて殺したら、一人娘を妻に与え国の半分を持参金としよう、百人の騎馬兵も手伝うため一緒につけてやる。(それはおれのような男にはまさしくすばらしいことだ!)と小さな仕立て屋は思いました。(美しいお姫様と国の半分をくれるという申し出は生きてる間毎日あるわけではないぞ。)「いいですとも。」と仕立て屋は答えました。「すぐに巨人めらを制圧しますよ。百人の騎馬兵の手を借りなくてもやってみせます。一撃で七つもやっつける者が二人を怖がる必要はありませんからね。」

小さな仕立て屋は出かけていき、百人の騎馬兵があとについていきました。森のはずれにくると、仕立て屋はついてきた人たちに、「ここで待っていてくれ。おれだけでじき巨人にとどめをさしてくるから。」と言いました。それから森にずんずん入って行き、左右を見回しました。しばらくして仕立て屋は二人の巨人を見つけました。二人は木の下で眠っていて、枝が上下に揺れるほど大いびきをかいていました。小さな仕立て屋は、すぐさま二つのポケットにいっぱい石を集め、その石を持って木に登りました。半分ほど上がったところで、するすると枝をつたい、眠っている巨人のちょうど上に来て、巨人の一人の胸に次々と石を落としました。

長い間その巨人は何も感じませんでしたが、とうとう目が覚め、仲間を押して、「なんでおれをなぐっているんだ?」と言いました。「きっとお前は夢をみてるんだろうよ。」ともう一人が言いました。「なぐってなんかいないぜ。」二人はまた眠ろうと横になりました。すると仕立て屋は二人目の巨人に石を投げました。「どういう意味だ?」とその巨人がどなりました。「なんでおれにものを投げているんだ?」「何も投げてなんかいないぜ」と最初の巨人が歯をむきだして答えました。二人はしばらく言い争っていましたが、疲れていたので、やがて言い争いをやめ、また目を閉じてしまいました。

小さな仕立て屋はまたいたずらを始めました。大きい石を拾い、ありったけの力で最初の巨人の胸に投げました。「こいつはひどすぎる!」とその巨人は叫んで気違いのようにむっくりおきあがると、木がゆれるほど強く仲間を木に突きとばしました。相手も負けていないで同じくやり返しました。二人ともかんかんに怒っていたので木を引き抜いてお互いに襲いかかり長らく戦っていましたが、とうとう二人同時に死んで地面に倒れました。それから仕立て屋は木から跳び下りました。「あいつらがおれのいた木を引っこ抜かなくて運がよかったな。さもないとおれはりすみたいに他の木に跳び移らなくちゃいけなかったよ。だけど仕立て屋ってのはすばしこいんだぜ。」と仕立て屋は言いました。仕立て屋は剣を抜いて巨人の胸を2,3回突き刺し、そのあと騎馬兵のところに出ていき、言いました。「仕事は終わった。二人ともとどめをさしてきたがね、なかなか大変だったよ。あいつらは死にものぐるいで木を引っこ抜いてそれを振り回して手向かってきたんだ。だけどそんなのはおれのような男が来たからには無駄ってもんさ。なんせ、一撃で七殺すんだからな。」「だけどあなたは怪我しなかったんですか?」と騎馬兵たちは尋ねました。「そんな心配は無用だ。」と仕立て屋は答えました。「やつらはおれにかすり傷一つ負わせられなかったさ。」騎馬兵たちは仕立て屋の言うことを信じようとせず、森へ馬で乗り入れました。そこには血の海にいる巨人がいて、その周りには引き抜かれた木が何本もありました。

小さな仕立て屋は王様に、約束のほうびをください、と求めました。しかし王様はそんな約束をしたことを悔やんでいて、またこの英雄を厄介払いする方法を考え出しました。「お前がわしの娘と国の半分を受け取る前に」と王様は仕立て屋に言いました。「もう一つ勇者の仕事をやってもらわねばならない。森に大きな害をなす一角獣がうろついているのだ。まずこれをつかまえねばならない。」「一角獣なんて二人の巨人よりもおそるるに足りません。なんせ、一撃で七つが私ですから。」仕立て屋は縄と斧をもって、森へ出かけていき、一緒に送られた人たちに外で待つようにと言いました。仕立て屋は長い時間さがしませんでした。じきに一角獣が仕立て屋に向かって来て、ただ角でくし刺しにしてやろうとするかのようにまっすぐ突進してきました。「ゆっくり、ゆっくり、そんなに速くは終わらないぞ。」と仕立て屋は言って、立ち止まったまま待っていました。そして、一角獣がすっかり近くに来ると木のかげにさっと跳びました。一角獣は力いっぱい木に走って行き、幹に角をがっちり突き刺してしまったので、角を抜き取るだけの力がありませんでした。こうして一角獣はつかまってしまいました。「さあ、小鳥ちゃんをつかまえたぞ。」と仕立て屋は言って、木のかげから出てくると、一角獣の首に縄をかけ、斧で角を木から切り放しました。準備が終わると、一角獣を連れて森から出て王様のところに行きました。

王様はまだ約束したほうびを渡そうとはしないで、三つめの要求を出しました。結婚式の前に仕立て屋は森で大きな害をおよぼしている猪をつかまえなくてはならない、猟師たちにも手助けさせよう、というのでした。「よろしいですとも。」と仕立て屋は言いました。「そんなのは子供の遊びですよ。」仕立て屋は猟師たちを一緒に森へ連れていかず、猟師たちもそのほうを喜びました。というのはその猪に何度かひどい目にあわされたので、また同じ目にあう気はなかったからです。猪は仕立て屋を見て、口に泡を立て尖った牙をたてて走って来ました。しかし、動きの速い勇者は近くにあった礼拝堂にとび込み、すぐに窓にあがると一跳びでまた外に出ました。

猪は礼拝堂の中へ追いかけてきました。しかし仕立て屋は外で回って、猪の後ろから戸を閉めてしまいました。猛り立った猪は重すぎて不器用なので窓から跳ねることができず、つかまってしまいました。小さな仕立て屋はそこへ猟師たちを呼んで、自分の目で捕まった猪を見てもらいました。一方、猟師は王様のところへ行きました。王様は、もう否応なく約束を守るしかなくて、娘と国の半分を与えました。もし王様が目の前に立っているのが戦士ではなくただの小さな仕立て屋だと知っていたら、もっともっと悔しがったことでしょう。結婚式はとても豪華に行われましたが、喜びはほんのちょっとでした。こうして仕立て屋は王様になりました。

しばらくして、若いお后は夜に夫が夢を見て、「おい、上着を作ってくれ。それからズボンをつくろえ。さもないと横っ面をものさしでたたくぞ。」というのを聞きました。それで、若い王様がどういう生まれだったのかわかり、次の朝父親におかしいと思うことを訴え、ただの仕立て屋でしかない夫を厄介払いしてほしいと頼みました。王様は娘を慰め、「今晩、寝室の戸を開けたままにしておきなさい。そうすれば家来を外において、あいつが眠ってしまったら中に入れ、あいつを縛って船に乗せ、遠い世界に連れて行かそう。」と言いました。

娘はこれを聞いて納得しました。しかし、王様の鎧持ちが話を全部聞いて、若い王様と親しかったので、この悪巧みを教えました。「そんなことをさせるもんか」と小さな仕立て屋は言いました。仕立て屋は夜になるといつもの時間にお后と一緒にベッドに寝ました。お后は仕立て屋が眠ってしまったと思ったとき、起きあがって戸を開け、また横になりました。小さな仕立て屋は、ただ眠っているふりをして、はっきりした声で叫び始めました。「おい、上着を作ってズボンを繕えよ、さもないとものさしで横っ面をはたくからな。おれは一撃で七殺したんだ。巨人を二人殺したし、一角獣を連れ出し、猪をつかまえたんだぞ。部屋の外に立っているやつらなんて怖がるもんか。」外にいた男たちは仕立て屋がこう言うのをきいて、とても恐ろしくなってしまいました。それで亡霊の軍勢(注)が迫ってきているようにあわてふためいて逃げて、それ以上誰も仕立て屋に歯向かおうとしませんでした。そうして小さな仕立て屋は、死ぬまでずっと王様でいました。

(注)the wild huntsman:中世の伝説中、幽霊の犬の一群をひきつれ、森林地帯に現れる幽霊の狩人。




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