ENGLISH

The poor miller's boy and the cat

日本語

貧乏な粉屋の若者と小猫


In a certain mill lived an old miller who had neither wife nor child, and three apprentices served under him. As they had been with him several years, he one day said to them, "I am old, and want to sit in the chimney-corner, go out, and whichsoever of you brings me the best horse home, to him will I give the mill, and in return for it he shall take care of me till my death." The third of the boys was, however, the drudge, who was looked on as foolish by the others; they begrudged the mill to him, and afterwards he would not have it. Then all three went out together, and when they came to the village, the two said to stupid Hans, "Thou mayst just as well stay here, as long as thou livest thou wilt never get a horse." Hans, however, went with them, and when it was night they came to a cave in which they lay down to sleep. The two sharp ones waited until Hans had fallen asleep, then they got up, and went away leaving him where he was. And they thought they had done a very clever thing, but it was certain to turn out ill for them. When the sun arose, and Hans woke up, he was lying in a deep cavern. He looked around on every side and exclaimed, "Oh, heavens, where am I?" Then he got up and clambered out of the cave, went into the forest, and thought, "Here I am quite alone and deserted, how shall I obtain a horse now?" Whilst he was thus walking full of thought, he met a small tabby-cat which said quite kindly, "Hans, where are you going?" - "Alas, thou canst not help me." - "I well know your desire," said the cat. "You wish to have a beautiful horse. Come with me, and be my faithful servant for seven years long, and then I will give you one more beautiful than any you have ever seen in your whole life." - "Well, this is a wonderful cat!" thought Hans, "but I am determined to see if she is telling the truth." So she took him with her into her enchanted castle, where there were nothing but cats who were her servants. They leapt nimbly upstairs and downstairs, and were merry and happy. In the evening when they sat down to dinner, three of them had to make music. One played the bassoon, the other the fiddle, and the third put the trumpet to his lips, and blew out his cheeks as much as he possibly could. When they had dined, the table was carried away, and the cat said, "Now, Hans, come and dance with me." - "No," said he, "I won't dance with a pussy cat. I have never done that yet." - "Then take him to bed," said she to the cats. So one of them lighted him to his bed-room, one pulled his shoes off, one his stockings, and at last one of them blew out the candle. Next morning they returned and helped him out of bed, one put his stockings on for him, one tied his garters, one brought his shoes, one washed him, and one dried his face with her tail. "That feels very soft!" said Hans. He, however, had to serve the cat, and chop some wood every day, and to do that, he had an axe of silver, and the wedge and saw were of silver and the mallet of copper. So he chopped the wood small; stayed there in the house and had good meat and drink, but never saw anyone but the tabby-cat and her servants. Once she said to him, "Go and mow my meadow, and dry the grass," and gave him a scythe of silver, and a whetstone of gold, but bade him deliver them up again carefully. So Hans went thither, and did what he was bidden, and when he had finished the work, he carried the scythe, whetstone, and hay to the house, and asked if it was not yet time for her to give him his reward. "No," said the cat, "you must first do something more for me of the same kind. There is timber of silver, carpenter's axe, square, and everything that is needful, all of silver, with these build me a small house." Then Hans built the small house, and said that he had now done everything, and still he had no horse. Nevertheless the seven years had gone by with him as if they were six months. The cat asked him if he would like to see her horses? "Yes," said Hans. Then she opened the door of the small house, and when she had opened it, there stood twelve horses, such horses, so bright and shining, that his heart rejoiced at the sight of them. And now she gave him to eat and drink, and said, "Go home, I will not give thee thy horse away with thee; but in three days' time I will follow thee and bring it." So Hans set out, and she showed him the way to the mill. She had, however, never once given him a new coat, and he had been obliged to keep on his dirty old smock-frock, which he had brought with him, and which during the seven years had everywhere become too small for him. When he reached home, the two other apprentices were there again as well, and each of them certainly had brought a horse with him, but one of them was a blind one, and the other lame. They asked Hans where his horse was. "It will follow me in three days' time." Then they laughed and said, "Indeed, stupid Hans, where wilt thou get a horse?" - "It will be a fine one!" Hans went into the parlour, but the miller said he should not sit down to table, for he was so ragged and torn, that they would all be ashamed of him if any one came in. So they gave him a mouthful of food outside, and at night, when they went to rest, the two others would not let him have a bed, and at last he was forced to creep into the goose-house, and lie down on a little hard straw. In the morning when he awoke, the three days had passed, and a coach came with six horses and they shone so bright that it was delightful to see them! and a servant brought a seventh as well, which was for the poor miller's boy. And a magnificent princess alighted from the coach and went into the mill, and this princess was the little tabby-cat whom poor Hans had served for seven years. She asked the miller where the miller's boy and drudge was? Then the miller said, "We cannot have him here in the mill, for he is so ragged; he is lying in the goose-house." Then the King's daughter said that they were to bring him immediately. So they brought him out, and he had to hold his little smock-frock together to cover himself. The servants unpacked splendid garments, and washed him and dressed him, and when that was done, no King could have looked more handsome. Then the maiden desired to see the horses which the other apprentices had brought home with them, and one of them was blind and the other lame. So she ordered the servant to bring the seventh horse, and when the miller saw it, he said that such a horse as that had never yet entered his yard. "And that is for the third miller's boy," said she. "Then he must have the mill," said the miller, but the King's daughter said that the horse was there, and that he was to keep his mill as well, and took her faithful Hans and set him in the coach, and drove away with him. They first drove to the little house which he had built with the silver tools, and behold it was a great castle, and everything inside it was of silver and gold; and then she married him, and he was rich, so rich that he had enough for all the rest of his life. After this, let no one ever say that anyone who is silly can never become a person of importance.
ある水車小屋に、妻も子供もいない年とった粉屋が住んでいて、三人の見習いがこの粉屋の下で働いていました。三人が何年かここで働いていたので、ある日粉屋は三人に、「私はもう年だから、隠居してストーブの後ろに座っていたい。出かけて行って、お前たちのうちで私に一番いい馬を持ち帰った者に、水車小屋をやろう。その代わり、私が死ぬまで面倒をみてもらうことにするよ。」と言いました。ところで、見習いのうち三番目はできが悪く他の二人から馬鹿だとみなされていました。二人はこの男に水車小屋を渡したくないと思いました。後になってその子は水車小屋を欲しいとすら思わなかったんですがね。そこで三人は一緒にでかけ、村に着くと、二人は間抜けなハンスに、「お前は生きてるうちに馬を手に入れられないだろうから、ここにいた方がいいぞ。」と言いました。しかし、ハンスは一緒に行きました。夜になるとほら穴に来て、三人はそこで横になり眠りました。二人のお利口な見習いはハンスが眠ってしまうのを見計らって立ちあがり、そこにハンスをおき去りにして行ってしまいました。二人はとてもうまいことやったぜと思ったのですが、あとでまずい結果になるのは確かでした。   

日が昇るとハンスは目が覚め、深いほら穴に寝転がっていました。辺りを見回し、「あれ~、ここはどこだ?」と叫びました。それから起きあがり、ほら穴から這って出て、森へ入っていき、「ここで全くひとりぼっちで捨てられているのに、どうやって馬を手に入れようか?」と思いました。こうして思いに沈んで歩いていると小さなぶち猫と出会いました。猫はとてもやさしく、「ハンス、どこへ行くの?」と言いました。「ああ、お前は手伝えないよ。」「あなたの望みをよく知ってるのよ。」と猫は言いました。「いい馬が欲しいのね。私と一緒に来て、七年私の忠実な召使をやりなさい。そうしたら生まれてこのかた見たこともないようなりっぱな馬をあげましょう。」(おや、これは変な猫だな、だが猫の言ってることが本当かどうか確かめてやろう。)とハンスは思いました。

それでぶち猫はハンスを自分の魔法にかかった城へ連れて行きました。そこには子猫だけがそのぶち猫の召使をしていました。子猫たちは素早く階段を上下して陽気で楽しそうでした。夜にハンスとぶち猫が食事の席につくと、三匹の子猫が音楽を奏でるように仰せつかり、一匹はチェロを弾き、もう一匹はバイオリンを弾き、三匹目は口にトランペットをくわえ、頬っぺたをいっぱいに膨らませて吹きました。食事が終わると、食卓が片づけられ、ぶち猫は言いました。「さあ、ハンス、こっちへ来て私と踊って。」「嫌だよ。」とハンスは言いました。「ニャンコとは踊らないよ。そんなことしたことない。」「それではハンスをベッドに連れてお行き。」とぶち猫は猫たちに言いました。それで一匹が明かりをつけて寝室へ案内しました。一匹がハンスの靴を脱がせ、一匹が靴下を脱がせ、最後に一匹がろうそくを消しました。次の朝、猫たちは戻ってきてハンスが起きるのを手伝い、一匹は靴下をはかせ、一匹は靴下止めを結わえ、一匹は靴を持って来て、一匹はハンスの顔を洗い、一匹は尻尾でその顔を拭きました。「わあ、とてもふわふわしてるよ。」とハンスは言いました。

しかし、ハンスはぶち猫に仕え、毎日たきぎを割らなくてはいけませんでした。それをするのに、ハンスは銀の斧を受け取りましたが、くさびと鋸も銀でできており、槌は銅でできていました。それでハンスはたきぎを小さく切り、その家にとどまり、おいしい食べ物と飲み物をだされましたが、ぶち猫とその召使の他には誰も見かけませんでした。あるときぶち猫はハンスに、「うちの草地へ行って草を刈り、干しておくれ。」と言って、銀の草刈り鎌と金の砥石を渡しましたが、忘れずにまた返すようにと言いました。そこでハンスはそこに行って言われたことをやり、仕事が終わったとき草刈り鎌と砥石と干し草を家に運び、まだお礼を受け取る時ではないんですか?と尋ねました。「まだです。」と猫は言いました。「同じようなことをもっとやらねばなりません。銀の角材、大工の斧、曲尺、必要なものは何でも、全部銀でできていて、そろっています。これで小さな家を建てておくれ。」それでハンスは小さな家を作り、もう全部やりました、と言いました。それでもやはり馬をもらえませんでした。

それにもかかわらず、七年はハンスにはまるで六か月のように過ぎてしまいました。ぶち猫が、私の馬をみたいかい?とハンスに尋ねました。「ええ」とハンスは言いました。するとぶち猫は小さな家の戸を開けました。そして開けてしまうと、12頭の馬がいました。それはとても見事な馬でつやがよく光っていたので、その馬たちを見てハンスの心は躍りました。今度はぶち猫はハンスに飲んだり食べたりさせ、「家にお帰り。今は馬を渡しませんが、三日経ったら、あなたを追って馬を連れていきますよ。」と言いました。そこでハンスは出かけ、ぶち猫は水車小屋に帰る道を教えてくれました。

ところで、ぶち猫は一度としてハンスに新しい上着をくれたことがなく、前にもってきた汚い古い仕事着を着続けるしかありませんでした。それで七年の間にどこもかしこも小さくなってしまいました。家に着くと、他の二人の見習いもまたそこにいました。二人とも確かに馬を連れてきてはいましたが、一頭は目がみえなくて、もう一頭は足が悪いうまでした。二人はハンスに、お前の馬はどこだ?と尋ねました。「三日したら着くんだ。」すると二人は笑って、「へ―え!間抜けなハンスよ、どこで馬を手に入れるんだい?」と言いました。「いい馬だよ。」ハンスは居間に行きましたが粉屋は、お前は食卓に座ってはいけない、そんなにぼろぼろで破れているんじゃ誰か入ってきたらみんな恥をかくからな、と言いました。それでみんなはハンスに外で食べさせました。夜になってみんなが休む時間になると、他の二人はハンスをベッドに入れようとしませんでした。それでとうとうハンスはがちょう小屋にもぐりこんでちいさな固いわらにねるしか仕方ありませんでした。

三日経って、ハンスが朝に目覚めると、六頭立ての馬車がやってきました。その馬はとても立派だったので見ても嬉しくなりました。一人の家来が七頭目もひいて来ていて、それはかわいそうな粉屋の若者にあげる馬でした。それからきらびやかな王女が馬車から下りて粉屋に入りました。この王女はかわいそうなハンスが七年仕えた小さなぶち猫だったのです。王女は、見習いのできそこないはどこか尋ねました。すると粉屋は、「あいつはここの家にいれられませんよ。ぼろぼろの服ですからね。がちょう小屋に寝ています。」と言いました。すると王様の娘は、すぐにつれてくるように、と言いました。そこでみんながハンスを連れ出すと、ハンスは小さすぎる仕事着をかきあわせて、体を隠さなくてはなりませんでした。家来たちは素晴らしい服をとりだし、ハンスの体を洗い、服を着せました。それが終わると、ハンスはどこの王様にも負けないくらい立派に見えました。それから、王女は他の見習いたちが連れてきた馬を見たがり、目が見えない一頭と足の悪い一頭を見ました。そこで自分が連れてきた七頭目の馬を連れてくるように家来に言いつけました。粉屋はその馬を見ると、こんな馬は今まで自分の庭に入ってきたことがない、と言いました。「それは三番目の見習いの馬です。」と王女は言いました。「それじゃハンスに水車小屋をやることにしよう。」と粉屋は言いましたが、王様の娘は、馬はここにおいていきますし、水車小屋もあなたがもっているように、と言って、忠実なハンスを馬車に連れていき乗せると一緒に去っていきました。

先ず二人はハンスが銀の道具で建てた小さな家に乗りつけました。なんと、それは大きなお城になっていて、中にあるものは全て金と銀でできていました。そのあと、王女はハンスと結婚しました。ハンスは金持ちに、一生暮らしてもお金に困らないほどの金持ちになりました。

このあと、間抜けな人は重要人物になれっこない、とは誰にも言わせませんよ。




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