ENGLISH

The gnome

日本語

土の中の小人


There was once upon a time a rich King who had three daughters, who daily went to walk in the palace garden, and the King was a great lover of all kinds of fine trees, but there was one for which he had such an affection, that if anyone gathered an apple from it he wished him a hundred fathoms underground. And when harvest time came, the apples on this tree were all as red as blood. The three daughters went every day beneath the tree, and looked to see if the wind had not blown down an apple, but they never by any chance found one, and the tree was so loaded with them that it was almost breaking, and the branches hung down to the ground. Then the King's youngest child had a great desire for an apple, and said to her sisters, "Our father loves us far too much to wish us underground, it is my belief that he would only do that to people who were strangers." And while she was speaking, the child plucked off quite a large apple, and ran to her sisters, saying, "Just taste, my dear little sisters, for never in my life have I tasted anything so delightful." Then the two other sisters also ate some of the apple, whereupon all three sank deep down into the earth, where they could hear no cock crow.
When mid-day came, the King wished to call them to come to dinner, but they were nowhere to be found. He sought them everywhere in the palace and garden, but could not find them. Then he was much troubled, and made known to the whole land that whosoever brought his daughters back again should have one of them to wife. Hereupon so many young men went about the country in search, that there was no counting them, for every one loved the three children because they were so kind to all, and so fair of face. Three young huntsmen also went out, and when they had travelled about for eight days, they arrived at a great castle, in which were beautiful apartments, and in one room a table was laid on which were delicate dishes which were still so warm that they were smoking, but in the whole of the castle no human being was either to be seen or heard. They waited there for half a day, and the food still remained warm and smoking, and at length they were so hungry that they sat down and ate, and agreed with each other that they would stay and live in that castle, and that one of them, who should be chosen by casting lots, should remain in the house, and the two others seek the King's daughters. They cast lots, and the lot fell on the eldest; so next day the two younger went out to seek, and the eldest had to stay home. At mid-day came a small, small mannikin and begged for a piece of bread, then the huntsman took the bread which he had found there, and cut a round off the loaf and was about to give it to him, but whilst he was giving it to the mannikin, the latter let it fall, and asked the huntsman to be so good as to give him that piece again. The huntsman was about to do so and stooped, on which the mannikin took a stick, seized him by the hair, and gave him a good beating. Next day, the second stayed at home, and he fared no better. When the two others returned in the evening, the eldest said, "Well, how have you got on?"

"Oh, very badly," said he, and then they lamented their misfortune together, but they said nothing about it to the youngest, for they did not like him at all, and always called him Stupid Hans, because he did not exactly belong to the forest. On the third day, the youngest stayed at home, and again the little mannikin came and begged for a piece of bread. When the youth gave it to him, the elf let it fall as before, and asked him to be so good as to give him that piece again. Then said Hans to the little mannikin, "What! canst thou not pick up that piece thyself? If thou wilt not take as much trouble as that for thy daily bread, thou dost not deserve to have it." Then the mannikin grew very angry and said he was to do it, but the huntsman would not, and took my dear mannikin, and gave him a thorough beating. Then the mannikin screamed terribly, and cried, "Stop, stop, and let me go, and I will tell thee where the King's daughters are." When Hans heard that, he left off beating him and the mannikin told him that he was an earth mannikin, and that there were more than a thousand like him, and that if he would go with him he would show him where the King's daughters were. Then he showed him a deep well, but there was no water in it. And the elf said that he knew well that the companions Hans had with him did not intend to deal honourably with him, therefore if he wished to deliver the King's children, he must do it alone. The two other brothers would also be very glad to recover the King's daughters, but they did not want to have any trouble or danger. Hans was therefore to take a large basket, and he must seat himself in it with his hanger and a bell, and be let down. Below were three rooms, and in each of them was a princess, with a many-headed dragon, whose heads she was to comb and trim, but he must cut them off. And having said all this, the elf vanished. When it was evening the two brothers came and asked how he had got on, and he said, "pretty well so far," and that he had seen no one except at mid-day when a little mannikin had come and begged for a piece of bread, that he had given some to him, but that the mannikin had let it fall and had asked him to pick it up again; but as he did not choose to do that, the elf had begun to lose his temper, and that he had done what he ought not, and had given the elf a beating, on which he had told him where the King's daughters were. Then the two were so angry at this that they grew green and yellow. Next morning they went to the well together, and drew lots who should first seat himself in the basket, and again the lot fell on the eldest, and he was to seat himself in it, and take the bell with him. Then he said, "If I ring, you must draw me up again immediately." When he had gone down for a short distance, he rang, and they at once drew him up again. Then the second seated himself in the basket, but he did just the same as the first, and then it was the turn of the youngest, but he let himself be lowered quite to the bottom. When he had got out of the basket, he took his hanger, and went and stood outside the first door and listened, and heard the dragon snoring quite loudly. He opened the door slowly, and one of the princesses was sitting there, and had nine dragon's heads lying upon her lap, and was combing them. Then he took his hanger and hewed at them, and the nine fell off. The princess sprang up, threw her arms round his neck, embraced and kissed him repeatedly, and took her stomacher, which was made of pure gold, and hung it round his neck. Then he went to the second princess, who had a dragon with five heads to comb, and delivered her also, and to the youngest, who had a dragon with four heads, he went likewise. And they all rejoiced, and embraced him and kissed him without stopping. Then he rang very loud, so that those above heard him, and he placed the princesses one after the other in the basket, and had them all drawn up, but when it came to his own turn he remembered the words of the elf, who had told him that his comrades did not mean well by him. So he took a great stone which was lying there, and placed it in the basket, and when it was about half way up, his false brothers above cut the rope, so that the basket with the stone fell to the ground, and they thought that he was dead, and ran away with the three princesses, making them promise to tell their father that it was they who had delivered them, and then they went to the King, and each demanded a princess in marriage.

In the meantime the youngest huntsman was wandering about the three chambers in great trouble, fully expecting to have to end his days there, when he saw, hanging on the wall, a flute; then said he, "Why dost thou hang there, no one can be merry here?" He looked at the dragons, heads likewise and said, "You too cannot help me now." He walked backwards and forwards for such a long time that he made the surface of the ground quite smooth. But at last other thoughts came to his mind, and he took the flute from the wall, and played a few notes on it, and suddenly a number of elves appeared, and with every note that he sounded one more came. Then he played until the room was entirely filled. They all asked what he desired, so he said he wished to get above ground back to daylight, on which they seized him by every hair that grew on his head, and thus they flew with him onto the earth again. When he was above ground, he at once went to the King's palace, just as the wedding of one princess was about to be celebrated, and he went to the room where the King and his three daughters were. When the princesses saw him they fainted. Hereupon the King was angry, and ordered him to be put in prison at once, because he thought he must have done some injury to the children. When the princesses came to themselves, however, they entreated the King to set him free again. The King asked why, and they said that they were not allowed to tell that, but their father said that they were to tell it to the stove. And he went out, listened at the door, and heard everything. Then he caused the two brothers to be hanged on the gallows, and to the third he gave his youngest daughter, and on that occasion I wore a pair of glass shoes, and I struck them against a stone, and they said, "Klink," and were broken.
昔、娘が三人いる金持ちの王様がいました。娘たちは毎日宮殿の庭園に散歩に行き、王様はあらゆる種類のきれいな木が大好きでしたが、特に大事にしている木があり、その木からりんごをもぎとる者は100尋(ひろ)地下にいけ、と願掛けしていました。収穫時期になると、この木のりんごは血のように赤くなりました。三人の娘たちは毎日木の下にいき、風で一個でもりんごが落ちていないかと探しましたが、まったく見つからず、木にはりんごがたわわに実り枝が折れそうになって地面に垂れていました。

王様の末娘はりんごが欲しくてたまらなく、姉たちに「お父様は私たちのことをとても愛してるのだから、まさか地下に行ってほしいと願わないわ。他の人たちだけにそうするんだって私は思うの。」と言って、話しながらかなり大きなりんごを一個もぎとりました。そして姉たちのところに走って行き、「食べてみて、お姉さんたち、こんなにおいしいもの食べたことないわ。」と言いました。それで二人の姉たちもそのりんごを食べ、三人ともおんどりの鳴き声の聞こえない地中深く沈んでいきました。

昼になると、王様は娘たちを食事に呼ぼうとしましたが、どこにも見つかりませんでした。宮殿や庭園のあちこちを探しても見つけられませんでした。それで王様はとても悲しんで、娘たちを連れ戻した者には娘たちの一人を妻に与えると国じゅうにお触れを出しました。そこでたくさんの若者が国じゅうを探しまわりました。その数は数えきれませんでした。というのは三人の娘たちは誰にもやさしく顔もとてもきれいだったのでみんながこの三人を好きだったからです。

三人の若い猟師たちも出かけていき、八日間旅をしたあと、大きな城に着きました。その城には美しい部屋がたくさんあり、一つの部屋には食卓があり、まだ暖かく湯気があがっているご馳走が並んでいましたが、城じゅうに人の姿も見当たらず声も聞こえませんでした。三人はそこで半日待ちましたが食べ物はやはり暖かく湯気があがったままでした。とうとうあまりにお腹がすいて三人は座って食べ始めました。そしてその城にとどまって暮らそうと相談しました。また、くじ引きで決めて、一人が家に残り、他の二人が王様の娘たちを探しに行くことにしました。

三人はくじ引きをし、一番上の兄にあたりました。それで次の日、二人の弟たちは探しにでかけ、兄は家に残らなければなりませんでした。昼に小さな、小さな小人がやってきて、パンを一切れくださいと言いました。それで兄はそこにあったパンをとり、かたまりから一切れ切りとり、小人に渡そうとしましたが、渡している間に小人が落とし、兄に、もう一度渡してくれと頼みました。兄は拾おうとしてかがみこむと、小人は棒を取り出し兄の髪をつかんでしたたかになぐりました。

次の日、二番目の兄が家に残り、同じ目にあいました。他の二人が夕方に戻ると、一番上の兄が、「それでお前はどうしてた?」と言うと、「いやあ、さんざんだった」と二番目の兄は言いました。それから二人で災難のことを話しあっていましたが、末の弟には何も言いませんでした。というのはこの弟を嫌っていたからで、世の中のことを知らないというわけで間抜けなハンスといつも呼んでいました。

三日目に末の弟が家に残ると、また小人がやってきてパンを一切れくださいと言いました。若者がパンを渡すと、小人は前と同じようにそのパンを落とし、また渡してくれと頼みました。するとハンスは小人に、「何だって?自分で拾うことができないのか?毎日食べるパンにそれほど手間をかけないようじゃ、食べるねうちがない。」と言いました。すると小人はとても怒って、拾え!と言いました。しかし弟は拾おうとせず小人をつかまえるとさんざんぶちました。それで小人は悲鳴をあげて、「やめてくれ、やめてくれ、放してくれ、そうしたら王様の娘たちがいるところを教えてあげる。」と叫びました。

ハンスはそれを聞くとぶつのを止めました。小人は、私はノーム(地中の小人)です、私のような小人は千人以上います、一緒に来れば王様の娘のいるところを教えてあげます、と言いました。それから弟を深い井戸に案内しましたが、井戸の中に水はありませんでした。小人は、あなたと一緒にいる仲間はあなたをまっとうに扱う気がないとよく知っていますよ、だから王様の娘たちを救いたければ一人でやらなければいけません、と言いました。

二人の兄さんたちも王様の娘たちを取り戻したがってはいますが、厄介なことや危険なことはしたくないんです、それであなたは大きなかごをもってきて、狩猟用ナイフと鐘をもってそのかごに座り下りるんです、下には三つの部屋があり、その部屋の一つずつに王女が一人います、頭がたくさんある竜のシラミをとっているんです、その頭を切り落とさなくてはなりません、これだけ話すと、小人は消えました。

夕方になると二人の兄が帰ってきて、どうだった?と尋ねました。それで弟は、「今のところ、うまくいってるよ。」と言って、誰にも会わなかったが、昼に小人が来て、パンを一切れくれと言ったんだ、パンをあげたんだが、その小人は落として拾ってくれと頼んだよ、だけどおれがそうしなかったもんで小人ががみがみ言いだして挙句はかんしゃくをおこしたのさ、だからおれはぶんなぐってやったよ、そうしたら小人は王様の娘たちの居場所を教えてくれたよ、と話しました。二人の兄たちはこれを聞いてとても腹を立てたので顔が緑や黄色になりました。

次の朝、三人はつれだって井戸に行き、誰が最初にかごにすわるかくじ引きをしました。するとまたもや一番上の兄が当たりました。兄はかごに座り、鐘を持たねばなりませんでした。すると、「おれが鈴を鳴らしたらすぐに引っ張り上げてくれよ。」と兄は言いました。少し下に下りると兄は鈴を鳴らし、二人の弟はすぐに引っ張りあげました。それから二番目の兄がかごに座りましたが、一番上の兄と全く同じにやりました。そうして末の弟の番になりましたが、底まで下ろさせました。

弟はかごから出るとナイフをとって最初の戸の外へ行って立ち止まり、聞き耳をたてました。竜がとても大きないびきをかいているのが聞こえました。ゆっくり戸を開けると、王女の一人が九つの竜の頭を膝にのせシラミをとりながら、そこに座っていました。それで弟はナイフを手に頭に切りつけ、九つの頭を切り落としました。王女はサッと立ち上がり、弟の首に腕をまきつけ、だきしめて何度もキスしました。それから純金でできたストマッカー(胸衣)をはずし弟の首にかけました。

それから二番目の王女のところに行くと、五つの頭の竜のシラミをとっていましたが、この王女も助け、末の王女は四つの頭の竜と一緒にいましたがそこにも行って助けました。三人とも大喜びで弟を抱きしめ何度もキスしました。

それから上にいる二人に聞こえるようにとても大きく鐘をならし、かごに王女たちを次々とのせ、三人を引っ張り上げさせました。ところが自分の番になると、弟は、仲間の人たちはあなたに良い感情をもっていないという小人の言葉を思い出しました。それで、そこに転がっていた大きな石を拾ってかごにのせました。かごが半分ほどあがると、上の不実な兄たちは綱を切り、石ののったかごは地面に落ちました。二人の兄たちは弟が死んだと思い、三人の王女と逃げていって、王女たちには、王様に助けたのは兄たちだと言え、と約束させました。そうして二人は王様のところへ行って、それぞれが王女様と結婚させてください、と言いました。

その間、末の弟はとても困って三つの部屋を歩き回り、ああ、ここで死ななければならないのか、と考えていました。すると笛が壁にかかっているのが目に入り、弟は「お前はどうしてそこにあるんだ?だれもここでは陽気になれないのに。」と言いました。

弟は竜たちの頭も見て、「お前たちももう役にたたないしな。」と言いました。長い間あっちこっち歩き回ったので地面がすっかり滑らかになりました。しかし、しまいには気を取り直して、壁から笛をとると、二、三音を出してみました。すると突然小人が何人か出てきて、一つの音を出す度に一人でてきました。そうして部屋がすっかりいっぱいになるまで笛を吹きました。

小人たちはみんな、ご用は何でしょう?と尋ねました。それで弟は、「上の光のあたるところに戻りたいんだ」と言いました。すると小人たちは弟の髪の毛を一本ずつつかんで、一緒に地上まで飛んでいきました。地上に出ると、弟はすぐに王様の宮殿へ行きました。ちょうど一人の王女の結婚式が行われるところでしたが、弟は王様と三人の娘たちがいる部屋に行きました。王女たちは弟をみると気を失いました。

それで王様は怒って、娘たちになにか害を加えたと思い、すぐに弟を牢に入れろと命令しました。ところが王女たちは気がつくと、王様に、あの方を自由にしてください、と頼みました。

王様が理由を聞くと、娘たちは、それを言うことは許されていないのです、と言いました。しかし父親は、それじゃストーブに言えばよかろう、と言って、出ていき、戸口で聞き耳をたて、全部聞きました。それで王様は二人の兄たちを縛り首にさせ、弟には末娘を与えました。

そのときに私はガラスの靴を履いていたんだけど、石にぶつけたら、カチャン、と鳴って壊れてしまったよ。




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