日本語

金の毛が3本生えた鬼

ENGLISH

The devil with the three golden hairs


昔、1人の貧しい女がいて、男の子を産みましたが、羊膜を付けて生まれたので14歳になると王様の娘を妻にするだろうと予言されました。その後まもなく、たまたま王様が村にやってきて何かニュースがあるかと尋ねると、誰も王様だと知らなかったので、人々は「羊膜をつけた子が生まれましたよ。そんなふうに生まれた子は何をしてもうまくいくんです。14歳になると王様の娘を妻にするだろうと予言もされています。」と答えました。

王様は、悪い心をもっていたので、その予言に怒って、両親のもとへ行くと、とても愛想良くし、「貧しい人達よ、子供を預からせてくれれば世話をするよ。」と言いました。初め両親は断りましたが、その見知らぬ人が沢山の金をくれると言うので、「幸運の子供なのだから、その方が万事うまくいくにちがいない」と考え、とうとう承諾し、子供をあげました。

王様は子供を箱に入れ、馬に乗っていきましたが、深い川のところまで来ると、箱を川に投げ入れ、「これで望ましくない求婚者から娘を自由にしたわい。」と考えました。

しかし、その箱は沈まず、船のように浮かんで、一滴の水もしみ込みませんでした。そして、王様の首都の2マイル内まで漂っていくと、水車があって水車ダムで止まりました。水車番が運良くそこに立っていて、箱に気づき、鉤で引っ張りあげました。大きな宝物を見つけたと思っていたのですが、開けてみると、中には元気で生き生きしたかわいい男の子がいました。それで粉屋夫婦に持っていくと、二人には子供がいなかったので喜んで、「神様がこの子を授けてくださった。」と言いました。二人は拾い子をとても大事に世話したので、とても立派に育ちました。

あるとき突然のこと、たまたま王様は水車小屋に入ってきて、粉屋に「あの背の高い若者はお前たちの息子か?」と尋ねました。「いいえ、拾った子なんです。14年前箱に入って水車ダムまで流れてきたんです。それでウチの若いのが水から引っ張りだしたんです。」と粉屋は答えました。 それで王様は、その若者は自分が川に捨てた幸運の子供に他ならないと知り、「私の善良な人々よ、妃への手紙を若者に頼めないか?ほうびとして2粒の金を与えよう。」と言いました。粉屋はすぐ返事をし、若者に準備をするよう言いました。それから王様はお妃様に手紙を書きましたが、そこには手紙を持って着いたらすぐ若者を殺して埋めるように、そして自分が帰るまでに全て終わっているように、と書いてあったのです。若者はこの手紙を持って出発しましたが、道に迷い、夜には大きな森に来ました。暗闇の中に小さな明かりが見えたのでそちらに行くと、小屋に着きました。中に入ると、老婆がたった一人で暖炉のそばに座っていました。若者を見ると、ハッとし、「どこから来たんだい?どこにいくんだい?」と訊きました。「水車小屋から来たんだ。お妃さまのところに行きたいんだが、手紙を持っていくんだけど、森で道に迷ってしまったので、ここで夜を過ごしたいんだ。」と若者は答えました。「可哀そうな子だよ。お前は泥棒の隠れ家に来てるんだよ、帰ってきたらお前を殺してしまうよ。」と老婆は言いました。「来たっていいさ。怖くないよ。だけど、とても疲れているからこれ以上どこにもいけないよ。」と若者は言って、ベンチの上に寝そべって眠ってしまいました。

その後まもなく、泥棒たちが帰ってくると、「そこで眠っているよそ者は誰だ?」と怒って尋ねました。「ああ、道で迷った無邪気な子供だよ。可哀そうだから入れてやったのさ。お妃に手紙を持っていかなくちゃいけないんだとよ。」と老婆は答えました。泥棒たちが手紙を開いて読むと、若者が着いたらすぐ殺すようにと書いてありました。すると冷酷な泥棒たちもさすがに可哀そうに思って、親分がその手紙を破り、別の手紙を書きました。若者が来たらすぐに王様の娘と結婚させるように、と書いたのです。それから、次の朝まで静かに眠らせておき、若者が目覚めると手紙を渡し、正しい道を教えてあげました。

そしてお妃さまは手紙を受け取って読むと、書かれた通りにやり、壮大な結婚式の宴を準備させました。そして、王様の娘は幸運の子供と結婚し、若者がハンサムでやさしいので、喜んで満足して暮らしました。 暫くして王様が宮殿に戻ると、予言が実現され、その子供が娘と結婚していました。それで「どうしてこうなったんだ?わしは手紙で全く別の命令を出したぞ。」と言いました。

お妃さまは、手紙を渡し、「書かれていることをご自分でご覧になってください。」と言いました。王様は手紙を読み、別の手紙とすりかえられたことが全く良くわかりました。それで若者に「あずけた手紙をどうした?なぜその代わりに別の手紙を持ってきた?」と尋ねました。「何もわかりません。森で眠ったとき、夜の間に変えられたにちがいありません。」と若者は答えました。王様はカッとなって「何でもお前の思い通りにはさせんぞ。娘と結婚する者は地獄の鬼の頭から3本の金髪をとってこなくてはならない。」と言いました。こうして王様は若者を永遠に除きたかったのです。しかし幸運の子供は「金の髪の毛をとってきます。私は鬼を恐れません。」と答えると、別れを告げ、旅に出発しました。

道を行くと大きな町に着きました。門番が「何の商売をしているか、何を知っているか?」と尋ねました。幸運の子供が「何でも知ってるよ。」と答えると、「じゃあ、市場の泉が昔はワインを出したのに、乾いて、今は水すら出さないのはどうしてか教えてくれれば助かるんだが。」と言いました。「教えてやろう。ただ帰りまで待ってくれ。」と若者は答えました。

それから、さらに進んでいき、別の町に着くと、そこでも門番が「何の商売をしているか、何を知っているか?」と尋ねました。幸運の子供が「何でも知ってるよ。」と答えると「じゃあ、町のりんごの木が昔は金のりんごを実らせたのに、今は葉っぱすらださないのはどうしてか教えてくれれば助かるんだが。」と言いました。「教えてやろう。ただ帰りまで待ってくれ。」と若者は答えました。

それから、また進んでいくと、渡らなければならない広い川に着きました。渡し守は「何の商売をしているか、何を知っているか?」と尋ねました。幸運の子供が「何でも知ってるよ。」と答えると「じゃあ、おれがどうしていつも行ったり来たり漕いでいなくてはいけなくて決して解放されないのか教えてくれれば助かるんだが。」と言いました。「教えてやろう。ただ帰りまで待ってくれ。」と若者は答えました。 川を渡ると、地獄の入口に着きましたが、そこは黒くて中は煤けていました。鬼は留守でしたが鬼のおばあさんが大きな肘掛け椅子に座っていました。「何の用だい?」とおばあさんは尋ねましたが、あまり意地悪そうではありませんでした。「鬼の頭から3本髪の毛をとりたいんだ。さもないと、妻といられないんだ。」と若者は答えました。「それは随分な要求だね。鬼が帰ってきてお前を見つけると、命にかかわるよ。まあ、でも可哀そうだから助けてやらんでもないがね。」とおばあさんは言いました。

おばあさんは若者をアリに変え、「私の服の折り目に這って入りなさい。そこにいれば無事だろう」と言いました。「わかりました。そこまではいいんですが、そのほかに知りたいことが3つあるんです。― 市場の泉が昔はワインを出したのに、乾いて、今は水すら出さないのはどうしてか、りんごの木が昔は金のりんごを実らせたのに、今は葉っぱすらださないのはどうしてか、渡し守はどうしていつも行ったり来たり漕いでいなくてはいけなくて決して解放されないのか。」

「そりゃあ難しい質問だね。だけど、静かにして私が3本の髪の毛を引き抜くとき鬼が言うことをよく注意して聴きなさい。」とおばあさんは答えました。

夜になると鬼が帰ってきて、入るなり空気が澄んでいないと気づきました。「人間の肉の匂いがする。ここは異常なしというわけではないな。」と言い、あらゆる隅に首を突っ込み捜しましたが、何もみつかりませんでした。おばあさんは孫を叱り、「掃除したばかりだよ。全部かたづけておいたのに、お前はまたひっくり返してるじゃないか。お前はいつも鼻の中に人間の肉の匂いを入れっぱなしなんだよ。座って夕食を食べなさい。」とおばあさんは言いました。

鬼は食べて飲むのが終わると、疲れて頭をおばあさんの膝にのせ、少しシラミをとってくれるよう言いました。それからまもなくいびきをかき、重そうに呼吸をしてぐっすり眠りこみました。するとおばあさんは1本の金の髪の毛をつかんで抜き、自分のそばにおきました。「わあ、何をやってるんだ?」と鬼は叫びました。「悪い夢をみてたよ、それでお前の髪をつかんだんだ。」とおばあさんが言うと、「じゃあ。どんな夢だ?」と鬼が訊きました。「市場の泉が昔はワインを出したのに、乾いて、今は水すら出さないという夢をみたのさ。何が原因なのかね?」「あ、は、知ってさえいればねえ、泉の石の下にヒキガエルがいるのさ、その蛙を殺せばまたワインがでてくるのさ。」

おばあさんはまたシラミ取りをして、とうとう鬼は眠って窓がゆれるほどいびきをかいたので、2本目の髪の毛をひきぬきました。「何をしてるんだ?」鬼は怒って言いました。「悪く取らないでおくれ。夢の中でやったのだから。」とおばあさんは言い、「今度は何の夢だよ?」と鬼は尋ねました。「ある王国でりんごの木が昔は金のりんごを実らせたのに、今は葉っぱすらださないという夢を見たんだよ。どうしてだろうね?」とおばあさんが訊き、「あ、は、知ってさえいればねえ、ネズミが根をかじっているからさ。それを殺せばまた金のりんごを実らせるだろうよ。だけどこれからもっとずっと長くかじれば枯れてしまうさ。だけどお前の夢はもう沢山だよ。また眠っているのを邪魔したら、耳をなぐるからな。」と鬼は答えました。

おばあさんはやさしく話しかけ、もう一度シラミ取りをしたので、鬼はとうとう眠っていびきをかきました。それで3本目の金髪をつかんで引き抜きました。鬼は跳び上がって唸り声をあげ、おばあさんがまたなだめなかったなら、酷いことをしたでしょう。「悪い夢は仕方ないじゃないか。」とおばあさんは言い、「じゃあ、どんな夢だよ?」と鬼は興味をもって言いました。「渡し守が一方からもう一方へいつも漕いでいるのに解放されることはないと愚痴を言ってる夢をみたのさ。どうしてなんだい?」「間抜けだな。誰か来て渡りたがったら、渡し守は竿をそいつの手に渡さなくちゃな。そしたら、そいつが渡さなければならなくなるさ。それで渡し守は自由になれるよ。」おばあさんは3本の金髪を抜いてしまい、3つの質問に答が出たので、鬼をほうっておき、鬼は朝まで眠りました。鬼がまたでかけてしまうと、おばあさんは服の折り目からアリを取り出して、幸運の子供をまた人間の形にしました。「さあ、3本の金髪をあげるよ。鬼が3つの質問に答えたとき、お前は聞いてたよね。」と言いました。「はい、聞きました。注意して覚えておきます。」と若者は答えました。「お前は望みのものをもう手に入れたよ。だからもう帰れるね。」とおばあさんが言ったので、若者は困っているときに助けてくれた礼を言い、万事とてもうまく運んだことに十分満足して、地獄を去りました。

渡し守のところにくると、渡し守は約束の答を待っていました。「先に川を渡してくれ。そうしたら、どうやって自由になれるか教えてやるよ。」と幸運の子供は言いました。そして反対側の海岸に着くと、鬼のアドバイスを教えました。「次に誰かが川を渡してもらうためにきたら、棹をその人の手に渡せばいいんだ。」と。

歩き続けて、実らない木が立っている町に着きました。そこでもまた門番が答を待っていました。それで鬼から聞いたことを話しました。「木の根をかじっているネズミを殺せば、再び金のりんごが実るよ。」と。すると門番は感謝し、お礼に金を積んだ2頭のロバをくれて、ロバはついて来ました。

最後に泉が渇く町にやってきました。門番に鬼が言ったことを話しました。「ヒキガエルが泉の中の石の下にいるんだ。それを探して殺さなくてはいけない。そうしたら泉はまたたくさんワインをわかすだろう。」と。すると門番は感謝し、お礼に金を積んだ2頭のロバをくれました。

とうとう幸運の子供は妻のもとへ帰りました。妻は再び夫に会い、また全てにおいてどんなに首尾よくやれたか聞いて、心から嬉しく思いました。王様には、求めたものである3本の金髪を持っていきました。金を積んだ4頭のロバを見るととても満足し、「全ての条件を満たしたからには娘を妻としておいてよい。しかし、婿よ、教えてくれ、あの金すべてはどこから来てるのだ?これは莫大な富だ。」と言いました。「船を漕いでもらい川を渡り、そこに着きました。浜辺には砂の代わりに金があったのです。」と幸運の子供は答えました。王様は、「わしもとれるかな?」とそのことにとても熱心で、訊きました。「好きなだけ沢山とれます。川に渡し守がいますから、川を渡らせてもらってください。そうすれば向こう岸で袋につめられます。」と答えると、欲張りな王様は大急ぎで出発しました。川に来ると、渡し守を手招きし、向こう岸に渡すように言いました。渡し守が来て、乗るように言いました。ところが、反対岸につくと渡し守は王様の手に棹を渡し、跳んで行ってしまいました。このときから、王様は、自分の罪の罰として、渡し守をしなければいけなくなりました。たぶん今もまだやっています。もしそうなら、誰も王様から棹をうけとっていないからです。
There was once a poor woman who gave birth to a little son; and as he came into the world with a caul on, it was predicted that in his fourteenth year he would have the King's daughter for his wife.

It happened that soon afterwards the King came into the village, and no one knew that he was the King, and when he asked the people what news there was, they answered, "A child has just been born with a caul on; whatever any one so born undertakes turns out well. It is prophesied, too, that in his fourteenth year he will have the King's daughter for his wife."

The King, who had a bad heart, and was angry about the prophecy, went to the parents, and, seeming quite friendly, said, "You poor people, let me have your child, and I will take care of it." At first they refused, but when the stranger offered them a large amount of gold for it, and they thought, "It is a luck-child, and everything must turn out well for it," they at last consented, and gave him the child.

The King put it in a box and rode away with it until he came to a deep piece of water; then he threw the box into it and thought, "I have freed my daughter from her unlooked-for suitor."

The box, however, did not sink, but floated like a boat, and not a drop of water made its way into it. And it floated to within two miles of the King's chief city, where there was a mill, and it came to a stand-still at the mill-dam. A miller's boy, who by good luck was standing there, noticed it and pulled it out with a hook, thinking that he had found a great treasure, but when he opened it there lay a pretty boy inside, quite fresh and lively. He took him to the miller and his wife, and as they had no children they were glad, and said, "God has given him to us." They took great care of the foundling, and he grew up in all goodness.

It happened that once in a storm, the King went into the mill, and he asked the mill-folk if the tall youth was their son. "No," answered they, "he's a foundling. Fourteen years ago he floated down to the mill-dam in a box, and the mill-boy pulled him out of the water." Then the King knew that it was none other than the luck-child which he had thrown into the water, and he said, "My good people, could not the youth take a letter to the Queen; I will give him two gold pieces as a reward?" - "Just as the King commands," answered they, and they told the boy to hold himself in readiness. Then the King wrote a letter to the Queen, wherein he said, "As soon as the boy arrives with this letter, let him be killed and buried, and all must be done before I come home."

The boy set out with this letter; but he lost his way, and in the evening came to a large forest. In the darkness he saw a small light; he went towards it and reached a cottage. When he went in, an old woman was sitting by the fire quite alone. She started when she saw the boy, and said, "Whence do you come, and whither are you going?" - "I come from the mill," he answered, "and wish to go to the Queen, to whom I am taking a letter; but as I have lost my way in the forest I should like to stay here over night." - "You poor boy," said the woman, "you have come into a den of thieves, and when they come home they will kill you." - "Let them come," said the boy, "I am not afraid; but I am so tired that I cannot go any farther:" and he stretched himself upon a bench and fell asleep.

Soon afterwards the robbers came, and angrily asked what strange boy was lying there? "Ah," said the old woman, "it is an innocent child who has lost himself in the forest, and out of pity I have let him come in; he has to take a letter to the Queen." The robbers opened the letter and read it, and in it was written that the boy as soon as he arrived should be put to death. Then the hard-hearted robbers felt pity, and their leader tore up the letter and wrote another, saying, that as soon as the boy came, he should be married at once to the King's daughter. Then they let him lie quietly on the bench until the next morning, and when he awoke they gave him the letter, and showed him the right way.

And the Queen, when she had received the letter and read it, did as was written in it, and had a splendid wedding-feast prepared, and the King's daughter was married to the luck-child, and as the youth was handsome and agreeable she lived with him in joy and contentment.

After some time the King returned to his palace and saw that the prophecy was fulfilled, and the luck-child married to his daughter. "How has that come to pass?" said he; "I gave quite another order in my letter." So the Queen gave him the letter, and said that he might see for himself what was written in it. The King read the letter and saw quite well that it had been exchanged for the other. He asked the youth what had become of the letter entrusted to him, and why he had brought another instead of it. "I know nothing about it," answered he; "it must have been changed in the night, when I slept in the forest."

The King said in a passion, "You shall not have everything quite so much your own way; whosoever marries my daughter must fetch me from hell three golden hairs from the head of the devil; bring me what I want, and you shall keep my daughter." In this way the King hoped to be rid of him for ever. But the luck-child answered, "I will fetch the golden hairs, I am not afraid of the Devil."

Thereupon he took leave of them and began his journey. The road led him to a large town, where the watchman by the gates asked him what his trade was, and what he knew. "I know everything," answered the luck-child. "Then you can do us a favour," said the watchman, "if you will tell us why our market-fountain, which once flowed with wine has become dry, and no longer gives even water?" - "That you shall know," answered he; "only wait until I come back." Then he went farther and came to another town, and there also the gatekeeper asked him what was his trade, and what he knew. "I know everything," answered he. "Then you can do us a favour and tell us why a tree in our town which once bore golden apples now does not even put forth leaves?" - "You shall know that," answered he; "only wait until I come back." Then he went on and came to a wide river over which he must go. The ferryman asked him what his trade was, and what he knew. "I know everything," answered he. "Then you can do me a favour," said the ferryman, "and tell me why I must always be rowing backwards and forwards, and am never set free?" - "You shall know that," answered he; "only wait until I come back."

When he had crossed the water he found the entrance to Hell. It was black and sooty within, and the Devil was not at home, but his grandmother was sitting in a large arm-chair. "What do you want?" said she to him, but she did not look so very wicked. "I should like to have three golden hairs from the devil's head," answered he, "else I cannot keep my wife." - "That is a good deal to ask for," said she; "if the devil comes home and finds you, it will cost you your life; but as I pity you, I will see if I cannot help you." She changed him into an ant and said, "Creep into the folds of my dress, you will be safe there." - "Yes," answered he, "so far, so good; but there are three things besides that I want to know: why a fountain which once flowed with wine has become dry, and no longer gives even water; why a tree which once bore golden apples does not even put forth leaves; and why a ferry-man must always be going backwards and forwards, and is never set free?" - "Those are difficult questions," answered she, "but only be silent and quiet and pay attention to what the devil says when I pull out the three golden hairs."

As the evening came on, the devil returned home. No sooner had he entered than he noticed that the air was not pure. "I smell man's flesh," said he; "all is not right here." Then he pried into every corner, and searched, but could not find anything. His grandmother scolded him. "It has just been swept," said she, "and everything put in order, and now you are upsetting it again; you have always got man's flesh in your nose. Sit down and eat your supper." When he had eaten and drunk he was tired, and laid his head in his grandmother's lap, and before long he was fast asleep, snoring and breathing heavily. Then the old woman took hold of a golden hair, pulled it out, and laid it down near her. "Oh!" cried the devil, "what are you doing?"

"I have had a bad dream," answered the grandmother, "so I seized hold of your hair." - "What did you dream then?" said the devil. "I dreamed that a fountain in a market-place from which wine once flowed was dried up, and not even water would flow out of it; what is the cause of it?" - "Oh, ho! if they did but know it," answered the devil; "there is a toad sitting under a stone in the well; if they killed it, the wine would flow again."

He went to sleep again and snored until the windows shook. Then she pulled the second hair out. "Ha! what are you doing?" cried the devil angrily. "Do not take it ill," said she, "I did it in a dream." - "What have you dreamt this time?" asked he. "I dreamt that in a certain kingdom there stood an apple-tree which had once borne golden apples, but now would not even bear leaves. What, think you, was the reason?"

"Oh! if they did but know," answered the devil. "A mouse is gnawing at the root; if they killed this they would have golden apples again, but if it gnaws much longer the tree will wither altogether. But leave me alone with your dreams: if you disturb me in my sleep again you will get a box on the ear." The grandmother spoke gently to him until he fell asleep again and snored. Then she took hold of the third golden hair and pulled it out. The devil jumped up, roared out, and would have treated her ill if she had not quieted him once more and said, "Who can help bad dreams?"

"What was the dream, then?" asked he, and was quite curious. "I dreamt of a ferry-man who complained that he must always ferry from one side to the other, and was never released. What is the cause of it?" - "Ah! the fool," answered the devil; "when any one comes and wants to go across he must put the oar in his hand, and the other man will have to ferry and he will be free." As the grandmother had plucked out the three golden hairs, and the three questions were answered, she let the old serpent alone, and he slept until daybreak. When the devil had gone out again the old woman took the ant out of the folds of her dress, and gave the luck-child his human shape again.

"There are the three golden hairs for you," said she. "What the Devil said to your three questions, I suppose you heard?" - "Yes," answered he, "I heard, and will take care to remember." - "You have what you want," said she, "and now you can go your way." He thanked the old woman for helping him in his need, and left hell well content that everything had turned out so fortunately. When he came to the ferry-man he was expected to give the promised answer. "Ferry me across first," said the luck-child, "and then I will tell you how you can be set free," and when he reached the opposite shore he gave him the devil's advice: "Next time any one comes, who wants to be ferried over, just put the oar in his hand."

He went on and came to the town wherein stood the unfruitful tree, and there too the watchman wanted an answer. So he told him what he had heard from the devil: "Kill the mouse which is gnawing at its root, and it will again bear golden apples." Then the watchman thanked him, and gave him as a reward two asses laden with gold, which followed him. At last he came to the town whose well was dry. He told the watchman what the devil had said: "A toad is in the well beneath a stone; you must find it and kill it, and the well will again give wine in plenty." The watchman thanked him, and also gave him two asses laden with gold.

At last the luck-child got home to his wife, who was heartily glad to see him again, and to hear how well he had prospered in everything. To the King he took what he had asked for, the devil's three golden hairs, and when the King saw the four asses laden with gold he was quite content, and said, "Now all the conditions are fulfilled, and you can keep my daughter. But tell me, dear son-in-law, where did all that gold come from? this is tremendous wealth!" - "I was rowed across a river," answered he, "and got it there; it lies on the shore instead of sand." - "Can I too fetch some of it?" said the King; and he was quite eager about it. "As much as you like," answered he. "There is a ferry-man on the river; let him ferry you over, and you can fill your sacks on the other side."

The greedy King set out in all haste, and when he came to the river he beckoned to the ferry-man to put him across. The ferry-man came and bade him get in, and when they got to the other shore he put the oar in his hand and sprang out. But from this time forth the King had to ferry, as a punishment for his sins. Perhaps he is ferrying still? If he is, it is because no one has taken the oar from him.




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