日本語

ガラス瓶の中の化け物

ENGLISH

The spirit in the glass bottle


昔、朝早くから夜遅くまで精を出して働く貧しい木こりがいました。やっといくらかお金を貯めたとき木こりは息子に、「お前はおれのたった一人の子供だ。おれは汗水流して稼いだ金をお前の教育に使うよ。お前がなにかまともな仕事を覚えれば、おれが年とって、手足がこわばり、家にいなければならなくなったとき、養うことができるよな。」と言いました。

そこで男の子は高校へ入り、熱心に学んだので教師たちは誉め、男の子は長い間そこにいました。2年終えたけれどまだ全部覚えきったわけではなかったとき、父親が稼いだ少しのお金が使い果たされてしまい、男の子は父親のところへ戻るしかなくなりました。

「あ~あ、もうお前にあげられない。この厳しい時世では毎日のパンを買うのに十分なだけで、それ以上は一ファージングも稼げないんだ。」と父親は悲しそうに言いました。「おとうさん」と息子は答えました。「そんなこと心配しないで。もしそれが神様のおぼしめしなら、将来ぼくの役にたつようになるんだよ。僕は早くそれに慣れようと思うよ。」父親が木を切って束ねる手伝いでお金を稼ごうと森へでかけようとすると、息子が「僕も一緒に行って手伝うよ。」と言いました。「だめだよ、お前」と父親は言いました。「お前には難しいだろうよ。お前は荒仕事には慣れていない、だから耐えられないだろう。それに、斧が一丁しかないし、もう一丁買う金も残ってないよ。」「いいから隣に行ってよ。」と息子は答えました。「僕が自分のを一丁買うまで斧を貸してくれるさ。」

それで父親は隣の人の斧を借り、次の朝夜明けに二人は一緒に森に出かけました。息子は父親を手伝い、仕事をとても快活にてきぱきとやりました。しかし、太陽がちょうど頭の上にきたとき、父親は「休んで昼飯を食べよう。そうしたら二倍働けるぞ。」と言いました。息子はパンを手に持って、「お父さん、お父さんは休んでいて。僕は疲れてないよ。森をちょっとあちこち歩いて、鳥の巣を探すんだ。」と言いました。「もう、呆れたやつ」と父親は言いました。「なんでそこらを走り回るんだ?あとで疲れて、もう腕をあげられなくなるぞ。ここにいて、おれのそばに座ってろ。」

しかし、息子は森へ入って行き、パンを食べ、とても浮かれて、どこかに鳥の巣を見つけられないか確かめるために緑の枝の間を覗きこんでいました。それであちこち歩いて、ついに物騒にみえる大きなカシの木に来ました。その木は確かにもう何百年もたっていて、5人でも幹を囲めないくらいでした。息子はじっと立ってその木を眺め、(この木にはたくさんの鳥が巣を作ったに違いない)と思いました。すると突然声が聞こえたような気がしました。息子は耳を傾け、だれかがくぐもった声で「出してくれ、出してくれ」と叫んでいるとわかりました。周りを見回しましたが何もみつかりませんでした。それで声が地面からきているのかなと思い、「どこにいるんだ?」と叫びました。声が「ここカシの木の根の間にいるんだよ。出してくれ、出してくれ」と答えました。

息子は木の下の土を掘って根の間を探し始めました。そしてとうとう小さなくぼみにガラスのビンを見つけました。そのビンを持ち上げて光にかざしてみると、蛙のような形をした生き物がその中で跳びはねているのが見えました。「出してくれ、出してくれ」その生き物はあらためて叫びました。そして男の子は悪いことが起こるだろうとは考えないで、ビンの栓を抜きました。あっという間に魔物がそこから立ち昇り、大きくなりはじめました。そしてとても速く大きくなったので、ほどなくして男の子の前に立っていました。その木の半分ほども大きい恐ろしい魔物でした。「知ってるか?」と魔物は恐ろしい声で言いました、「おれをだしたほうびは何か?」「いや」、男の子は恐れて答えました、「知るわけがないでしょ?」「じゃあ教えてやろう」と魔物は言いました、「お前を絞め殺すのさ」「もっとはやくそれを言ってくれればいいのに」と学生は言いました、「そうしたら閉じ込めたままにしておいたのに。

だけどなんとしても僕の頭を曲げたりするのはやめてくれ。それについてもっとたくさんの人と相談してくれよ。」「こっちに他の人たち、あっちに他の人たちか?ふん。おまえはやってくれたほうびを受けるんだ。おれがこんなに長い間喜んで閉じ込められていたと思うか?そんなことはない。これはおれへの罰だった。おれは強力メルクリウスだ。おれを解き放したものは絞め殺さねばならぬ。」「ま、ま、ちょっと」と若者は答えました、「そんなに急がないで。君が本当にあの小さいビンに閉じ込められていたのかまず知らなくてはね。それに君が本当の魔物なのかも知らないと。もし、本当にきみがまた入れるなら、信じるから君がしたいようにすればいいよ」魔物は「そんなのはわけないことさ。」と横柄に言うと、縮まっていき、はじめと同じくらい小さく細くなりました。それで、小さいビンの口から入り、またビンの首もす~と通りました。魔物が中に入るとすぐ、男の子はビンの中に前に抜いた栓をおしこみ、カシの木の根元の前にあった場所に投げました。魔物は騙されたのです。

そうして学生が父親のところへ戻ろうとしましたが、魔物はとても哀れっぽく「ああ、お願いだから出してくれよ、お願い」とさけびました。「だめだ。2回目は無いよ。一度命をとろうとした奴を自由にしないよ、また捕まえたからにはね。」と学生は答えました。「自由にしてくれたら、たくさんのお礼をして一生困らないようにしてあげるよ。」と魔物は言いました。「だめ。お前ははじめそうしたようにだますだろ。」と学生は答えました。「おまえは、幸運をはねつけているんだよ。なにも悪いことをしないでたっぷりお礼をするよ。」と魔物は言いました。学生は「やってみようかな。ひょっとして奴は約束を守るかもしれない。とにかく僕は奴に言い負かされたりしないよ。」

それで学生が栓をぬくと魔物は前と同じようにビンから立ち昇り、伸びて巨人と同じ大きさになりました。「さあお礼をあげよう。」と魔物は言って、学生に絆創膏のようなぼろ切れを渡し、「傷の上にこれの一方の端を広げれば傷が治る、もう一方の端ではがねや鉄をこすれば銀に変わるよ。」と言いました。「試してみるよ。」と学生は言って、木のところに行き、斧で皮を切り裂き、その絆創膏の片端でこすりました。傷口はすぐに閉じ治りました。「うん、大丈夫だ。じゃあ別れよう」と魔物に言いました。魔物はビンから出してくれたお礼をいい、学生は魔物に贈り物の礼を言って父親のところに戻りました。

「どこを走り回っていたんだ?何で仕事を忘れた?お前は何にもものにできないっておれはいつも言ってたよな。」と父親は言いました。「まあまあ、お父さん、これから取り返すよ。」「取り返すだって、まったくもう。無駄だよ。」と父親は怒って言いました。「気をつけて、おとうさん、じきあの木を切って、
割れるから。」そして息子は絆創膏をとり、斧をそれでこすり、力を入れて打ちおろしましたが、鉄が銀に変わっていたので、刃が曲がりました。「ねえ、お父さん、どんなひどい斧をよこしたか見てよ。曲がっちゃったよ。」父親は驚いて「ああ、何て事をしたんだよ!今度はそれを弁償しなくちゃならないよ。しかもその金はないんだよ。お前の仕事でおれが得たのはこれだけだ。」と言いました。「怒らないで、お父さん」と息子は言いました、「僕がすぐ斧を弁償するよ。」「この馬鹿野郎!」と父親は言いました。「なんで弁償する気だ?お前はおれがあげるものの他は何もないじゃないか。こんなのはお前のあたまにこびりついている学生の屁理屈だ。お前は木こりのことを何もわかっちゃいないよ。」

しばらくして息子は「お父さん、僕、本当にもう働けないよ。今日は休日にしよう。」と言いました。「はあ、何だって?おれがお前のように膝に手をおいて座ってると思うのか?おれは仕事を続けなきゃ。だけどお前は休んで家に帰っていいよ。」と父親は言いました。「お父さん、初めてここの森に来たから一人では道がわからないよ。頼むから一緒に帰ってよ。」腹立ちがもうおさまっていたので、父親はとうとう説き伏せられて息子と一緒に帰りました。それから息子に「行ってその壊れた斧を売ってこい。いくらもらえるかみてみろ。それでおれは隣に払うために差額を稼がなくちゃならん。」と言いました。

息子は斧を持ち、町の金細工師のところに行きました。金細工師は斧を調べて、秤にかけ、「400ターラーの値打ちがある。それだけたくさん現金が手元にはありませんよ。」と言いました。息子は「今あるだけ下さい。残りは貸しておきます。」と言いました。金細工師は300ターラーを渡し、100ターラーを借金に残しました。それで息子は家に帰り、「お父さん、お金をもってきたよ。隣へ行って斧の代金をいくら欲しいか訊いてきて。」と言いました。「もう知ってるよ。1ターラー6グロッシェンだ。」と年とった男は言いました。「じゃあ、2ターラー24グロッシェン渡して。それだと2倍で十分だよ。ほらね、お金たくさんあるでしょ。」と息子は父親に100ターラー渡して、「これからお金に苦労させないよ、好きなだけ楽に暮らしてね。」と言いました。

「なんとまあ、どうやってこんな金を手に入れたんだい?」と父親は言いました。それで息子はどうしてそうなったか、また自分の運を信じて、そんな布を得たんだ、と話しました。しかし、残りのお金で息子は高校に戻り、もっと学業を続け、絆創膏でどんな傷も治せるので、世界中でもっとも有名な医者になりました。
Once upon a time there was a poor woodcutter who worked from morning until late at night. When he had finally saved up some money he said to his boy, "You are my only child. I want to spend the money that I have earned by the sweat of my brow on your education. Learn an honest trade so you can support me in my old age when my limbs have grown stiff and I have to sit at home." Then the boy went to a university and studied diligently. His teachers praised him, and he remained there for some time. After he had worked through a few classes, but was still not perfect in everything, the little pittance that the father had saved was all spent, and the boy had to return home to him. "Oh," said the father sadly, "I cannot give you anything more, and in these hard times I cannot earn a heller more than what we need for our daily bread." - "Father, dear," answered the son, "don't worry about it. If it is God's will everything will turn out well for me. I will do all right." When the father said he was going into the woods and earn some money by cutting cordwood, the son said, "I will go with you and help you." - "No, my son," said the father, "you will find it too difficult. You are not used to hard work, and will not be able to do it. Furthermore, I have only one ax and no money left to buy another one with." - "Just go to the neighbor," answered the son. "He will lend you his ax until I have earned enough to buy one for myself."

So the father borrowed an ax from the neighbor, and the next morning at daybreak they went out into the woods together. The son helped his father and was quite cheerful and full of energy. When the sun was directly above them, the father said, "Let us rest now and eat our noon meal. Then all will go twice as well." The son picked up his bread and said, "Just you rest, father. I am not tired. I will walk about a little in the woods and look for birds' nests." - "Oh, you fool," said the father, "why do you want to run about? Afterwards you will be tired and no longer able to lift an arm. Stay here, and sit down beside me."

But the son went into the woods, ate his bread, was very cheerful, and looked into the green branches to see if he could find a bird's nest. He walked to and fro until at last he came to an enormous oak that was certainly many hundred years old, and that five men would not have been able to span. He stood there looking at it, and thought, "Many a bird must have built its nest in that tree." Then suddenly he thought that he heard a voice. Listening, he became aware of someone calling out with a muffled voice, "Let me out. Let me out." He looked around but could not see anything. Then he thought that the voice was coming out of the ground, so he shouted, "Where are you?" The voice answered, "I am stuck down here among the oak roots. Let me out. Let me out." The student began to scrape about beneath the tree, searching among the roots, until at last he found a glass bottle in a little opening. Lifting it up, he held it against the light, and then saw something shaped like a frog jumping up and down inside. "Let me out. Let me out," it cried again, and the student, thinking no evil, pulled the cork from the bottle. Immediately a spirit ascended from it and began to grow. It grew so fast that within a few moments a horrible fellow, half as big as the tree, was standing there before the student. "Do you know," he cried in an terrifying voice, "what your reward is for having let me out?" - "No," replied the student fearlessly. "How should I know that?" - "Then I will tell you," shouted the spirit. "I must break your neck for it." - "You should have said so sooner," answered the student, "for then I would have left you shut up inside. However, my head is going to stay where it is until more people have been consulted." - "More people here, more people there," shouted the spirit. "You shall have the reward you have earned. Do you think that I was shut up there for such a long time as a favor? No, it was a punishment. I am the mighty Mercurius. I must break the neck of whomsoever releases me." - "Calm down," answered the student. "Not so fast. First I must know that you really were shut up in that little bottle, and that you are the right spirit. If you can indeed get inside again, then I will believe it, and you may do with me whatsoever you want." The spirit said arrogantly, "that is an easy trick," pulling himself in and making himself as thin and short as he had been before. He then crept back into the opening and through the neck of the bottle. He was scarcely inside when the student pushed the cork back into the bottle, and threw it back where it had been among the oak roots. And thus the spirit was deceived.

The student was about to return to his father, but the spirit cried out pitifully, "Oh, do let me out. Oh, do let me out." - "No," answered the student, "not a second time. I will not release a person who once tried to kill me, now that I have captured him again." - "If you will set me free," cried the spirit, "I will give you so much that you will have enough for all the days of your life." - "No," answered the student, "you would cheat me like you tried to the first time." - "You are giving away your own good fortune," said the spirit. "I will not harm you, but instead will reward you richly." The student thought, "I will venture it. Perhaps he will keep his word, and in any event he will not get the better of me." So he pulled out the cork, and the spirit rose up from the bottle as before, and extended himself, becoming as large as a giant. "Now you shall have your reward," he said, handing the student a little rag that looked just like a small bandage. He said, "If you rub a wound with the one end, it will heal, and if you rub steel or iron with the other end, it will turn into silver." - "I have to try that," said the student. He went to a tree, scratched the bark with his ax, then rubbed it with the one end of the bandage. It immediately closed together and was healed. "Now it is all right," he said to the spirit, "and we can part." The spirit thanked him for having freed him, and the student thanked the spirit for the present, and returned to his father.

"Where have you been running about?" said the father. "Why have you forgotten your work? I said that you wouldn't get anything done." - "Don't be concerned, father. I will make it up." - "Make it up indeed," said the father angrily. "Don't bother." - "Just watch, father. I will soon cut down that tree there and make it crash." Then he took his bandage, rubbed the ax with it, and struck a mighty blow, but because the iron had turned into silver, the cutting edge bent back on itself. "Hey, father, just look what a bad ax you've given me. It is all bent out of shape." The father was shocked and said, "Oh, what have you done! Now I'll have to pay for the ax, and I don't know what with. That is all the good I have from your work." - "Don't get angry," said the son, "I will pay for the ax." - "Oh, you blockhead," cried the father, "How will you pay for it? You have nothing but what I give you. You have students' tricks stuck in your head, but you don't know anything about chopping wood."

After a little while the student said, "Father, I can't work any longer after all. Let's quit for the day." - "Now then," he answered, "do you think I can stand around with my hands in my pockets like you? I have to go on working, but you may head for home." - "Father, I am here in these woods for the first time. I don't know my way alone. Please go with me." His anger had now subsided, so the father at last let himself be talked into going home with him. There he said to the son, "Go and sell the damaged ax and see what you can get for it. I will have to earn the difference, in order to pay the neighbor." The son picked up the ax and took it into town to a goldsmith, who tested it, weighed it, and then said, "It is worth four hundred talers. I do not have that much cash with me." The student said, "Give me what you have. I will lend you the rest." The goldsmith gave him three hundred talers and owed him one hundred. Then the student went home and said, "Father, I have some money. Go and ask the neighbor what he wants for the ax." - "I already know," answered the old man. "One taler, six groschens." - "Then give him two talers, twelve groschens. That is double its worth and is plenty. See, I have more than enough money." Then he gave the father a hundred talers, saying, "You shall never need anything. Live just like you want to." - "My goodness," said the old man. "Where did you get all that money?" Then the son told him everything that had happened, and how by trusting in his luck he had made such a catch. With the money that was left he went back to the university and continued his studies, and because he could heal all wounds with his bandage he became the most famous doctor in the whole world.




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