日本語

みそさざいと熊

ENGLISH

The willow-wren and the bear


夏のあるとき、熊と狼が森の中を歩いていました。すると熊が小鳥のきれいな鳴き声を聞いて、「狼兄い、あんなに上手に鳴いているのは何の鳥かな?」と言いました。「あれは鳥の王様だよ。」と狼は言いました。「あの鳥の前にでたらおれたちはお辞儀をしなきゃならん。」本当はその鳥はみそさざいでした。「そういうことなら」と熊は言いました。「是非その王宮をみたいものだ。さあ、そこへ連れて行ってくれ。」「君が思うようにはいかないよ」と狼は言いました。「お后さまが来るまで待たなくちゃいけないんだ。」そのあとまもなく、お后がくちばしに食べ物をくわえて帰ってきて、王様も帰り、二人で幼いこどもたちにえさをやり始めました。熊はすぐにも行きたかったのですが、狼が袖をつかんでひきとめて、「だめだよ、王様とお后さまがまたでかけるまで待たなくちゃいけないよ。」と言いました。それで巣がある穴をよくおぼえてから、立ち去りました。

ところが熊は王宮を見るまで落ち着かなくて、少し経つとまたそこへ行ってみました。王様とお后さまはちょうど飛び立ったところだったので、熊が覗きこむと5,6羽のひながそこにいるのが見えました。「これが王宮?」と熊は叫びました。「ひどい宮殿だな。お前たちは王様の子供なんかじゃない、ただのみすぼらしいガキだ。」みそさざいの雛たちがこれを聞き、ひどく怒って喚きました。「違うよ、そんなんじゃないやい、私たちの両親はまっとうな人たちだぞ。熊野郎、この仕返しはきっとしてやるからな。」

熊と狼はバツが悪くなり、向きを変えて自分の巣穴に戻りました。しかし、みそさざいの雛たちはぎゃあぎゃあ喚き続けていて、両親がまたえさを運んできたとき、「僕たちが立派な子かどうかきちんとしてくれるまでハエの足一本だって食べないからね。飢えて死んだって食べるもんか。熊野郎がここにきて、僕たちに無礼なことを言ったんだもの。」と言いました。すると年とった王様が、「落ち着け、こらしめてやるよ。」と言って、すぐにお后と一緒に熊のほら穴に飛んで行き、中にどなりました。「グルルル野郎、何でうちの子たちに無礼な振る舞いをした?償いをしてもらおう。血みどろの戦いでお前をこらしめてやる。」

こうして熊に宣戦が布告されました。四足の動物はみんな戦いに参加するよう召集されました。雄牛やロバや雌牛や鹿やその他地上にいる動物みんなです。一方、みそさざいは空を飛ぶ者全部、鳥だけでなく、大小にかかわらず、ブヨ、スズメバチ、ミツバチ、ハエまで呼び集めました。戦いを始める時がくると、みそさざいは敵の司令官が誰かさぐるために偵察兵を送り出しました。

ブヨは、一番抜け目がなく、敵が集まっている森へ飛んでいき、合言葉が知らされる木の葉っぱの下に隠れました。そこに熊が立っていて、狐を前に呼び、「狐くん、君は動物全体で一番賢い。君が総大将になってみんなを指揮してくれ。」と言いました。「いいよ。」と狐は言いました。「だけど、合図はどうきめようか?」誰にもわからなかったので、狐が言いました。「僕には、素敵な長いふさふさの尻尾がある。赤い羽根飾りみたいだろ。尻尾を高くかかげたら、万事異状なしで、進軍してくれ。尻尾を垂らしていたら、できるだけ速く逃げてくれ。」ブヨはそれを聞いたあと、また飛んでいき、みそさざいに細かく報告し、全部ばらしてしまいました。

夜が明け戦闘を始めるときがくると、四足の動物たち全部がものすごい地響きをたてて走ってきて、地面が揺れ動きました。みそさざいとその軍隊も空を飛んでやってきました。ブンブン、ヒューン、ブウォーンと大群がおしよせ、みんな不安になりこわくなりました。両軍とも敵に向かって進んでいきました。しかしみそさざいはスズメバチを送り、狐の尻尾のしたにとまり、ありったけの力で刺すようにと命令してありました。狐は最初にチクリと感じた時、痛くてビクッとなり片足を上げましたが、こらえてやはり尻尾を高くかかげていました。二回目に刺された時は一瞬だけ尻尾を下ろしてしまいました。三回目はもうもちこたえられなくて、悲鳴を上げ、尻尾を股の間に挟んでしまいました。動物たちはそれを見ると、戦いに負けてしまったと思いそれぞれの巣穴に逃げていきました。それで鳥たちは戦いに勝ちました。

それで王様とお后さまは子供たちのところに飛んで帰り、「お前たち、喜べ、お腹がくちくなるまで食べて飲みなさい。戦いに勝ったぞ。」と叫びました。しかし、みそさざいの雛たちは「まだ食べない。食べる前に熊野郎は巣に来て謝り、僕たちが立派な子供たちだと言わなくてはいけない。」と言いました。それで熊はおそるおそるそこへやってきて、謝りました。それでやっと雛たちは満足して一緒に座り、飲んだり食べたりして、夜遅くまでわいわい楽しみました。
Once in summer-time the bear and the wolf were walking in the forest, and the bear heard a bird singing so beautifully that he said, "Brother wolf, what bird is it that sings so well?" - "That is the King of birds," said the wolf, "before whom we must bow down." It was, however, in reality the willow-wren (Zaunkönig). "If that's the case," said the bear, "I should very much like to see his royal palace; come, take me thither." - "That is not done quite as you seem to think," said the wolf; "you must wait until the Queen comes." Soon afterwards, the Queen arrived with some food in her beak, and the lord King came too, and they began to feed their young ones. The bear would have liked to go at once, but the wolf held him back by the sleeve, and said, "No, you must wait until the lord and lady Queen have gone away again." So they observed the hole in which was the nest, and trotted away. The bear, however, could not rest until he had seen the royal palace, and when a short time had passed, again went to it. The King and Queen had just flown out, so he peeped in and saw five or six young ones lying in it. "Is that the royal palace?" cried the bear; "it is a wretched palace, and you are not King's children, you are disreputable children!" When the young wrens heard that, they were frightfully angry, and screamed, "No, that we are not! Our parents are honest people! Bear, thou wilt have to pay for that!"
The bear and the wolf grew uneasy, and turned back and went into their holes. The young willow-wrens, however, continued to cry and scream, and when their parents again brought food they said, "We will not so much as touch one fly's leg, no, not if we were dying of hunger, until you have settled whether we are respectable children or not; the bear has been here and has insulted us!" Then the old King said, "Be easy, he shall be punished," and he at once flew with the Queen to the bear's cave, and called in, "Old Growler, why hast thou insulted my children? Thou shalt suffer for it we will punish thee by a bloody war." Thus war was announced to the Bear, and all four-footed animals were summoned to take part in it, oxen, asses, cows, deer, and every other animal the earth contained. And the willow-wren summoned everything which flew in the air, not only birds, large and small, but midges, and hornets, bees and flies had to come.

When the time came for the war to begin, the willow-wren sent out spies to discover who was the enemy's commander-in-chief. The gnat, who was the most crafty, flew into the forest where the enemy was assembled, and hid herself beneath a leaf of the tree where the watchword was to be given. There stood the bear, and he called the fox before him and said, "Fox, thou art the most cunning of all animals, thou shalt be general and lead us." - "Good," said the fox, "but what signal shall we agree upon?" No one knew that, so the fox said, "I have a fine long bushy tail, which almost looks like a plume of red feathers. When I lift my tail up quite high, all is going well, and you must charge; but if I let it hang down, run away as fast as you can." When the gnat had heard that, she flew away again, and revealed everything, with the greatest minuteness, to the willow-wren. When day broke, and the battle was to begin, all the four-footed animals came running up with such a noise that the earth trembled. The willow-wren also came flying through the air with his army with such a humming, and whirring, and swarming that every one was uneasy and afraid, and on both sides they advanced against each other. But the willow-wren sent down the hornet, with orders to get beneath the fox's tail, and sting with all his might. When the fox felt the first sting, he started so that he drew up one leg, with the pain, but he bore it, and still kept his tail high in the air; at the second sting, he was forced to put it down for a moment; at the third, he could hold out no longer, and screamed out and put his tail between his legs. When the animals saw that, they thought all was lost, and began to fly, each into his hole and the birds had won the battle.

Then the King and Queen flew home to their children and cried, "Children, rejoice, eat and drink to your heart's content, we have won the battle!" But the young wrens said, "We will not eat yet, the bear must come to the nest, and beg for pardon and say that we are honorable children, before we will do that." Then the willow-wren flew to the bear's hole and cried, "Growler, thou art to come to the nest to my children, and beg their pardon, or else every rib of thy body shall be broken." So the bear crept thither in the greatest fear, and begged their pardon. And now at last the young wrens were satisfied, and sat down together and ate and drank, and made merry till quite late into the night.




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