ENGLISH

The two travellers

日本語

二人の旅人


Hill and vale do not come together, but the children of men do, good and bad. In this way a shoemaker and a tailor once met with each other in their travels. The tailor was a handsome little fellow who was always merry and full of enjoyment. He saw the shoemaker coming towards him from the other side, and as he observed by his bag what kind of a trade he plied, he sang a little mocking song to him,

"Sew me the seam,
Draw me the thread,
Spread it over with pitch,
Knock the nail on the head."
The shoemaker, however, could not endure a joke; he pulled a face as if he had drunk vinegar, and made a gesture as if he were about to seize the tailor by the throat. But the little fellow began to laugh, reached him his bottle, and said, "No harm was meant, take a drink, and swallow your anger down." The shoemaker took a very hearty drink, and the storm on his face began to clear away. He gave the bottle back to the tailor, and said, "I spoke civilly to you; one speaks well after much drinking, but not after much thirst. Shall we travel together?" - "All right," answered the tailor, "if only it suits you to go into a big town where there is no lack of work." - "That is just where I want to go," answered the shoemaker. "In a small nest there is nothing to earn, and in the country, people like to go barefoot." They travelled therefore onwards together, and always set one foot before the other like a weasel in the snow.
Both of them had time enough, but little to bite and to break. When they reached a town they went about and paid their respects to the tradesmen, and because the tailor looked so lively and merry, and had such pretty red cheeks, every one gave him work willingly, and when luck was good the master's daughters gave him a kiss beneath the porch, as well. When he again fell in with the shoemaker, the tailor had always the most in his bundle. The ill-tempered shoemaker made a wry face, and thought, "The greater the rascal the more the luck," but the tailor began to laugh and to sing, and shared all he got with his comrade. If a couple of pence jingled in his pockets, he ordered good cheer, and thumped the table in his joy till the glasses danced, and it was lightly come, lightly go, with him.

When they had travelled for some time, they came to a great forest through which passed the road to the capital. Two foot-paths, however, led through it, one of which was a seven days' journey, and the other only two, but neither of the travellers knew which way was the short one. They seated themselves beneath an oak-tree, and took counsel together how they should forecast, and for how many days they should provide themselves with bread. The shoemaker said, "One must look before one leaps, I will take with me bread for a week." - "What!" said the tailor, "drag bread for seven days on one's back like a beast of burden, and not be able to look about. I shall trust in God, and not trouble myself about anything! The money I have in my pocket is as good in summer as in winter, but in hot weather bread gets dry, and mouldy into the bargain; even my coat does not go as far as it might. Besides, why should we not find the right way? Bread for two days, and that's enough." Each, therefore, bought his own bread, and then they tried their luck in the forest.

It was as quiet there as in a church. No wind stirred, no brook murmured, no bird sang, and through the thickly-leaved branches no sunbeam forced its way. The shoemaker spoke never a word, the heavy bread weighed down his back until the perspiration streamed down his cross and gloomy face. The tailor, however, was quite merry, he jumped about, whistled on a leaf, or sang a song, and thought to himself, "God in heaven must be pleased to see me so happy."

This lasted two days, but on the third the forest would not come to an end, and the tailor had eaten up all his bread, so after all his heart sank down a yard deeper. In the meantime he did not lose courage, but relied on God and on his luck. On the third day he lay down in the evening hungry under a tree, and rose again next morning hungry still; so also passed the fourth day, and when the shoemaker seated himself on a fallen tree and devoured his dinner, the tailor was only a looker-on. If he begged for a little piece of bread the other laughed mockingly, and said, "Thou hast always been so merry, now thou canst try for once what it is to be sad: the birds which sing too early in the morning are struck by the hawk in the evening," In short he was pitiless. But on the fifth morning the poor tailor could no longer stand up, and was hardly able to utter one word for weakness; his cheeks were white, and his eyes red. Then the shoemaker said to him, "I will give thee a bit of bread to-day, but in return for it, I will put out thy right eye." The unhappy tailor who still wished to save his life, could not do it in any other way; he wept once more with both eyes, and then held them out, and the shoemaker, who had a heart of stone, put out his right eye with a sharp knife. The tailor called to remembrance what his mother had formerly said to him when he had been eating secretly in the pantry. "Eat what one can, and suffer what one must." When he had consumed his dearly-bought bread, he got on his legs again, forgot his misery and comforted himself with the thought that he could always see enough with one eye. But on the sixth day, hunger made itself felt again, and gnawed him almost to the heart. In the evening he fell down by a tree, and on the seventh morning he could not raise himself up for faintness, and death was close at hand. Then said the shoemaker, "I will show mercy and give thee bread once more, but thou shalt not have it for nothing, I shall put out thy other eye for it." And now the tailor felt how thoughtless his life had been, prayed to God for forgiveness, and said, "Do what thou wilt, I will bear what I must, but remember that our Lord God does not always look on passively, and that an hour will come when the evil deed which thou hast done to me, and which I have not deserved of thee, will be requited. When times were good with me, I shared what I had with thee. My trade is of that kind that each stitch must always be exactly like the other. If I no longer have my eyes and can sew no more I must go a-begging. At any rate do not leave me here alone when I am blind, or I shall die of hunger." The shoemaker, however, who had driven God out of his heart, took the knife and put out his left eye. Then he gave him a bit of bread to eat, held out a stick to him, and drew him on behind him.

When the sun went down, they got out of the forest, and before them in the open country stood the gallows. Thither the shoemaker guided the blind tailor, and then left him alone and went his way. Weariness, pain, and hunger made the wretched man fall asleep, and he slept the whole night. When day dawned he awoke, but knew not where he lay. Two poor sinners were hanging on the gallows, and a crow sat on the head of each of them. Then one of the men who had been hanged began to speak, and said, "Brother, art thou awake?" - "Yes, I am awake," answered the second. "Then I will tell thee something," said the first; "the dew which this night has fallen down over us from the gallows, gives every one who washes himself with it his eyes again. If blind people did but know this, how many would regain their sight who do not believe that to be possible."

When the tailor heard that, he took his pocket-handkerchief, pressed it on the grass, and when it was moist with dew, washed the sockets of his eyes with it. Immediately was fulfilled what the man on the gallows had said, and a couple of healthy new eyes filled the sockets. It was not long before the tailor saw the sun rise behind the mountains; in the plain before him lay the great royal city with its magnificent gates and hundred towers, and the golden balls and crosses which were on the spires began to shine. He could distinguish every leaf on the trees, saw the birds which flew past, and the midges which danced in the air. He took a needle out of his pocket, and as he could thread it as well as ever he had done, his heart danced with delight. He threw himself on his knees, thanked God for the mercy he had shown him, and said his morning prayer. He did not forget also to pray for the poor sinners who were hanging there swinging against each other in the wind like the pendulums of clocks. Then he took his bundle on his back and soon forgot the pain of heart he had endured, and went on his way singing and whistling.

The first thing he met was a brown foal running about the fields at large. He caught it by the mane, and wanted to spring on it and ride into the town. The foal, however, begged to be set free. "I am still too young," it said, "even a light tailor such as thou art would break my back in two let me go till I have grown strong. A time may perhaps come when I may reward thee for it." - "Run off," said the tailor, "I see thou art still a giddy thing." He gave it a touch with a switch over its back, whereupon it kicked up its hind legs for joy, leapt over hedges and ditches, and galloped away into the open country.

But the little tailor had eaten nothing since the day before. "The sun to be sure fills my eyes," said he, "but the bread does not fill my mouth. The first thing that comes across me and is even half edible will have to suffer for it." In the meantime a stork stepped solemnly over the meadow towards him. "Halt, halt!" cried the tailor, and seized him by the leg. "I don't know if thou art good to eat or not, but my hunger leaves me no great choice. I must cut thy head off, and roast thee." - "Don't do that," replied the stork; "I am a sacred bird which brings mankind great profit, and no one does me an injury. Leave me my life, and I may do thee good in some other way." - "Well, be off, Cousin Longlegs," said the tailor. The stork rose up, let its long legs hang down, and flew gently away.

"What's to be the end of this?" said the tailor to himself at last, "my hunger grows greater and greater, and my stomach more and more empty. Whatsoever comes in my way now is lost." At this moment he saw a couple of young ducks which were on a pond come swimming towards him. "You come just at the right moment," said he, and laid hold of one of them and was about to wring its neck. On this an old duck which was hidden among the reeds, began to scream loudly, and swam to him with open beak, and begged him urgently to spare her dear children. "Canst thou not imagine," said she, "how thy mother would mourn if any one wanted to carry thee off, and give thee thy finishing stroke?" - "Only be quiet," said the good-tempered tailor, "thou shalt keep thy children," and put the prisoner back into the water.

When he turned round, he was standing in front of an old tree which was partly hollow, and saw some wild bees flying in and out of it. "There I shall at once find the reward of my good deed," said the tailor, "the honey will refresh me." But the Queen-bee came out, threatened him and said, "If thou touchest my people, and destroyest my nest, our stings shall pierce thy skin like ten thousand red-hot needles. But if thou wilt leave us in peace and go thy way, we will do thee a service for it another time."

The little tailor saw that here also nothing was to be done. "Three dishes empty and nothing on the fourth is a bad dinner!" He dragged himself therefore with his starved-out stomach into the town, and as it was just striking twelve, all was ready-cooked for him in the inn, and he was able to sit down at once to dinner. When he was satisfied he said, "Now I will get to work." He went round the town, sought a master, and soon found a good situation. As, however, he had thoroughly learnt his trade, it was not long before he became famous, and every one wanted to have his new coat made by the little tailor, whose importance increased daily. "I can go no further in skill," said he, "and yet things improve every day." At last the King appointed him court-tailor.

But how things do happen in the world! On the very same day his former comrade the shoemaker also became court-shoemaker. When the latter caught sight of the tailor, and saw that he had once more two healthy eyes, his conscience troubled him. "Before he takes revenge on me," thought he to himself, "I must dig a pit for him." He, however, who digs a pit for another, falls into it himself. In the evening when work was over and it had grown dusk, he stole to the King and said, "Lord King, the tailor is an arrogant fellow and has boasted that he will get the gold crown back again which was lost in ancient times." - "That would please me very much," said the King, and he caused the tailor to be brought before him next morning, and ordered him to get the crown back again, or to leave the town for ever. "Oho!" thought the tailor, "a rogue gives more than he has got. If the surly King wants me to do what can be done by no one, I will not wait till morning, but will go out of the town at once, to-day." He packed up his bundle, therefore, but when he was without the gate he could not help being sorry to give up his good fortune, and turn his back on the town in which all had gone so well with him. He came to the pond where he had made the acquaintance of the ducks; at that very moment the old one whose young ones he had spared, was sitting there by the shore, pluming herself with her beak. She knew him again instantly, and asked why he was hanging his head so? "Thou wilt not be surprised when thou hearest what has befallen me," replied the tailor, and told her his fate. "If that be all," said the duck, "we can help thee. The crown fell into the water, and lies down below at the bottom; we will soon bring it up again for thee. In the meantime just spread out thy handkerchief on the bank." She dived down with her twelve young ones, and in five minutes she was up again and sat with the crown resting on her wings, and the twelve young ones were swimming round about and had put their beaks under it, and were helping to carry it. They swam to the shore and put the crown on the handkerchief. No one can imagine how magnificent the crown was; when the sun shone on it, it gleamed like a hundred thousand carbuncles. The tailor tied his handkerchief together by the four corners, and carried it to the King, who was full of joy, and put a gold chain round the tailor's neck.

When the shoemaker saw that one stroke had failed, he contrived a second, and went to the King and said, "Lord King, the tailor has become insolent again; he boasts that he will copy in wax the whole of the royal palace, with everything that pertains to it, loose or fast, inside and out." The King sent for the tailor and ordered him to copy in wax the whole of the royal palace, with everything that pertained to it, movable or immovable, within and without, and if he did not succeed in doing this, or if so much as one nail on the wall were wanting, he should be imprisoned for his whole life under ground.

The tailor thought, "It gets worse and worse! No one can endure that?" and threw his bundle on his back, and went forth. When he came to the hollow tree, he sat down and hung his head. The bees came flying out, and the Queen-bee asked him if he had a stiff neck, since he held his head so awry? "Alas, no," answered the tailor, "something quite different weighs me down," and he told her what the King had demanded of him. The bees began to buzz and hum amongst themselves, and the Queen-bee said, "Just go home again, but come back to-morrow at this time, and bring a large sheet with you, and then all will be well." So he turned back again, but the bees flew to the royal palace and straight into it through the open windows, crept round about into every corner, and inspected everything most carefully. Then they hurried back and modelled the palace in wax with such rapidity that any one looking on would have thought it was growing before his eyes. By the evening all was ready, and when the tailor came next morning, the whole of the splendid building was there, and not one nail in the wall or tile of the roof was wanting, and it was delicate withal, and white as snow, and smelt sweet as honey. The tailor wrapped it carefully in his cloth and took it to the King, who could not admire it enough, placed it in his largest hall, and in return for it presented the tailor with a large stone house.

The shoemaker, however, did not give up, but went for the third time to the King and said, "Lord King, it has come to the tailor's ears that no water will spring up in the court-yard of the castle, and he has boasted that it shall rise up in the midst of the court-yard to a man's height and be clear as crystal." Then the King ordered the tailor to be brought before him and said, "If a stream of water does not rise in my court-yard by to-morrow as thou hast promised, the executioner shall in that very place make thee shorter by the head." The poor tailor did not take long to think about it, but hurried out to the gate, and because this time it was a matter of life and death to him, tears rolled down his face. Whilst he was thus going forth full of sorrow, the foal to which he had formerly given its liberty, and which had now become a beautiful chestnut horse, came leaping towards him. "The time has come," it said to the tailor, "when I can repay thee for thy good deed. I know already what is needful to thee, but thou shalt soon have help; get on me, my back can carry two such as thou." The tailor's courage came back to him; he jumped up in one bound, and the horse went full speed into the town, and right up to the court-yard of the castle. It galloped as quick as lightning thrice round it, and at the third time it fell violently down. At the same instant, however, there was a terrific clap of thunder, a fragment of earth in the middle of the court-yard sprang like a cannon-ball into the air, and over the castle, and directly after it a jet of water rose as high as a man on horseback, and the water was as pure as crystal, and the sunbeams began to dance on it. When the King saw that he arose in amazement, and went and embraced the tailor in the sight of all men.

But good fortune did not last long. The King had daughters in plenty, one still prettier than the other, but he had no son. So the malicious shoemaker betook himself for the fourth time to the King, and said, "Lord King, the tailor has not given up his arrogance. He has now boasted that if he liked, he could cause a son to be brought to the Lord king through the air." The King commanded the tailor to be summoned, and said, "If thou causest a son to be brought to me within nine days, thou shalt have my eldest daughter to wife." - "The reward is indeed great," thought the little tailor; "one would willingly do something for it, but the cherries grow too high for me, if I climb for them, the bough will break beneath me, and I shall fall."

He went home, seated himself cross-legged on his work-table, and thought over what was to be done. "It can't be managed," cried he at last, "I will go away; after all I can't live in peace here." He tied up his bundle and hurried away to the gate. When he got to the meadow, he perceived his old friend the stork, who was walking backwards and forwards like a philosopher. Sometimes he stood still, took a frog into close consideration, and at length swallowed it down. The stork came to him and greeted him. "I see," he began, "that thou hast thy pack on thy back. Why art thou leaving the town?" The tailor told him what the King had required of him, and how he could not perform it, and lamented his misfortune. "Don't let thy hair grow grey about that," said the stork, "I will help thee out of thy difficulty. For a long time now, I have carried the children in swaddling-clothes into the town, so for once in a way I can fetch a little prince out of the well. Go home and be easy. In nine days from this time repair to the royal palace, and there will I come." The little tailor went home, and at the appointed time was at the castle. It was not long before the stork came flying thither and tapped at the window. The tailor opened it, and cousin Longlegs came carefully in, and walked with solemn steps over the smooth marble pavement. He had, moreover, a baby in his beak that was as lovely as an angel, and stretched out its little hands to the Queen. The stork laid it in her lap, and she caressed it and kissed it, and was beside herself with delight. Before the stork flew away, he took his travelling bag off his back and handed it over to the Queen. In it there were little paper parcels with colored sweetmeats, and they were divided amongst the little princesses. The eldest, however, had none of them, but got the merry tailor for a husband. "It seems to me," said he, "just as if I had won the highest prize. My mother was if right after all, she always said that whoever trusts in God and only has good luck, can never fail."

The shoemaker had to make the shoes in which the little tailor danced at the wedding festival, after which he was commanded to quit the town for ever. The road to the forest led him to the gallows. Worn out with anger, rage, and the heat of the day, he threw himself down. When he had closed his eyes and was about to sleep, the two crows flew down from the heads of the men who were hanging there, and pecked his eyes out. In his madness he ran into the forest and must have died there of hunger, for no one has ever either seen him again or heard of him.
山と谷は出会いませんが人の子供は出会います、良い人と悪い人がね。こういう風に靴屋と仕立て屋があるとき旅をしている途中で出会いました。仕立て屋はいつも陽気で明るいハンサムで小柄な男でした。仕立て屋は向こう側から靴屋が向かって来るのが見え、どんな仕事をしているのかかばんをみてわかったので、すこしからかって歌いました。「縫い目を作って、糸を引っぱって、タールを塗りたくり、頭に釘を打て」

ところが靴屋は冗談がわからなくて、酢を飲んだような顔をし、仕立て屋の喉につかみかかる身振りをしました。しかし、仕立て屋は笑いだし、酒のビンを渡し、「悪気はなかったんだ。まあ一杯やって、怒りを静めてくれよ。」と言いました。靴屋はぐうっと一飲みすると顔の怒りが消え始めました。靴屋は仕立て屋にビンを返し、「ああ、よく飲んだ。喉が渇いているからではなく大酒飲みだからたくさん飲むんだよな。一緒に旅をしようか?」と言いました。「いいとも。」と仕立て屋は答えました。「仕事にあぶれない大きな町に行くのでよければね。」「大きな町こそおれが行こうと思ってるところさ。」と靴屋は答えました。「小さな村じゃ稼ぐものがないし、田舎じゃ人ははだしで歩くのが好きだからな。」それで二人は一緒に旅をして、雪の中のいたちのように、いつも片方の足をもう一方の足の前に出して、旅を続けました。

二人とも時間はたっぷりありましたが、食べたり休んだりする時間はほとんどありませんでした。町に着くと、二人は歩き回って職人たちに挨拶回りをしました。仕立て屋は元気がよく明るそうで、素敵な赤い頬をしていたので、みんなが喜んで仕事をくれました。運がいいときは親方の娘が戸口でキスもしてくれました。靴屋とまた会った時は仕立て屋の方がいつも包みの中に荷物がたくさんありました。不機嫌な靴屋は渋い顔をして、「悪党ほど運が強い」と思いました。しかし仕立て屋は笑って歌い出し、仲間の靴屋と何でも分け合いました。ポケットの中で2,3ペンスがチャリチャリ鳴っていれば、ご馳走を注文して、喜んで食卓をトントンたたいたので、グラスが揺れ動きました。仕立て屋は、"気楽にもうけ、気楽に使う"主義でした。

しばらく旅をしたあと、二人は大きな森にさしかかりました。この森を抜けると王様の都へ行く道へでるのです。ところが森を抜ける道は二つあり、一つは7日かかり、もう一つはたった二日しかかからなかったのですが、二人ともどっちが近道なのかわかりませんでした。二人は樫の木の下に腰を下ろし、どう見通しを立てるか、何日分のパンを持って行くか、相談しました。

靴屋は「転ばぬ先の杖だ。おれは一週間分持って行くよ。」と言いました。「待てよ」と仕立て屋は言いました。「荷物運びの動物みたいに7日分のパンを背負って歩くのか?周りを見ることもできなくて?おれは神様を信じて何も心配しないことにしよう。ポケットの金は冬も夏も同じだが、熱い季節のパンは固くなって、おまけにかびくさくなる。おれの上着だってそこまでもたないよ。それに近道の方がみつからないわけじゃないさ。二日分のパンで十分だ。」そういうわけで、それぞれが自分のパンを買い、森で運を試すことになりました。

森は教会の中と同じくらいシーンとしていました。風がそよとも吹かず、小川の流れも聞こえず、濃く茂っている枝からは日がさしこみませんでした。靴屋は黙りこくっていました。背中のパンがとても重く、不機嫌でむっつりした顔から汗が流れ落ちました。一方、仕立て屋はすっかりご機嫌で、跳びはねたり、草笛を吹いたり、歌を歌ったりして、(天国の神様はおれがこんなに楽しんでいるのを見てお喜びになるに違いない)と思っていました。

こうして二日過ぎましたが、三日目に森は終わりそうもなく仕立て屋はパンを食べ尽くしてしまったので、さすがに心が一ヤードも深く沈みこみました。それでも勇気を失わず神様と運を信じていました。三日目の夜に仕立て屋は腹をすかして木の下で寝て、次の朝やはり腹をすかして起きました。四日目もそうでした。靴屋が倒れた木の上に座り食事をしているとき、仕立て屋はただ眺めていました。少しパンをくれと頼めば、靴屋は嘲りわらって、「お前はいつもあんなに陽気だったんだから、一度悲しい目にあってみるがいい。あまり朝早くさえずる鳥は夜にタカにやられるのさ。」と言いました。要するに、靴屋は情け知らずでした。

しかし、五日目の朝にあわれな仕立て屋はもう立ち上がることができなくなり、弱って言葉も言えませんでした。頬は白く目は赤くなりました。すると靴屋は「今日はパンをすこしやろう。だが、お返しにお前の右目をえぐりだすよ。」命が助かりたい仕立て屋は従うしかなく、両目でもう一度涙を流すと、目を靴屋の方に差し出しました。靴屋は、石の心を持っていたので、鋭いナイフで仕立て屋の右目をえぐり出しました。仕立て屋は、昔食料置き場からこっそり食べた時母親が「食べれるときに食べ、苦しまなければいけないときに苦しめ」と言ったことを思い出しました。高くついたパンを食べ終わると、仕立て屋はまた立ちあがり、惨めさを忘れ、片目でもいつだって見えるさと思って自分を慰めました。

しかし、六日目にまたたまらなく空腹になり、心をさいなみました。夕方に仕立て屋は木のそばに倒れ、七日目の朝は気が遠くなって起きあがることができませんでした。死が間近に迫っていました。すると靴屋は「お前に情けをかけ、もう一度パンをやろう。だがただではないぞ。もう一つの目をえぐりだすことにする。」と言いました。それで仕立て屋は自分の人生がいかに無分別だったかわかり、神様に許しを願ってから、言いました。「好きなようにしてくれ。おれは耐えねばならないことを耐える。だが、覚えておけよ。神様は必ずしもただ見ているだけではないから、お前がおれにやった悪行に報いが来る時があるとな。おれはこんなことをされるいわれはないぞ。おれがうまくいってた時はおれの持っているものは何でもお前と分け合った。おれの仕事は縫い目がそろっていなくてはならないような仕事なんだ。もしもう目がなくなれば、、もう縫うことができなくなり、乞食をして歩かなければならない。とにかく、目が見えなくなってからここに置き去りにしないでくれ。さもないとおれは飢え死にしてしまうからな。」ところが、靴屋は心から神様を追い出してしまっていましたから、ナイフを取り出し、仕立て屋の左目をえぐり出しました。それから、仕立て屋に一切れのパンを渡して食べさせ、棒きれを持たせてひっぱって自分の後ろを歩かせました。

日が沈んだ頃二人は森から抜け出ました。目の前の野原に首つり台があり、靴屋はそこへ目の見えない仕立て屋を連れていくと、置き去りにして行ってしまいました。疲れたのと痛いのとお腹がすいたのとで、惨めな男は眠り込み、一晩じゅう眠っていました。夜が明けて仕立て屋は目を覚ましましたが、どこに寝ているのかわかりませんでした。二人のあわれな罪人が首つり台にぶら下がっていて、それぞれの頭にカラスがとまっていました。するとぶらさがっている男の一人が口をきき始め、「兄弟、起きてるか?」と言いました。「ああ、起きてるよ。」ともう一人が答えました。「じゃあ、ちょっと教えるが」と最初の男が言いました。「今夜首つり台からおれたちに落ちてきた露のことさ。これで洗うとまた目ができるんだぜ。もし目の見えない人がこれを知ってれば、絶対見えるようにならないと思っている人でも見えるようになるのにな。」

仕立て屋はそれを聞いて、ハンカチを取り出し草の上に押し付け、露で湿ると目の節穴を洗いました。途端に首つり台の男が言ったことが本当になり、新しい健康な両目が節穴を埋めました。まもなく仕立て屋に太陽が山のかげから昇るのが見え、目の前の平野に大きな王様の都があり、豪華な門や百の塔が見え、尖塔の上にある金の球や十字架が輝き出しました。木々の葉っぱが一枚一枚見分けられ、飛び過ぎてゆく鳥たちや空に舞う小虫も見えました。ポケットから針をとりだして、今まで通り糸を通すことができたので、仕立て屋の心は喜びで踊り上がりました。膝まづいて、恵みを授けてくださった神様にお礼を言い、朝のお祈りをしました。仕立て屋はまた、時計の振子のように風に揺れぶつかりあっている首つり台のあわれな罪人のために祈ることも忘れませんでした。それから背中に荷物をのせ、やがて耐え忍んだ苦しみを忘れ、歌ったり口笛を吹いたりして道を進んでいきました。

最初に出会ったのは野原を自由に走り回っている茶色の仔馬でした。仕立て屋はその仔馬のたてがみをつかまえ、飛び乗って町へ乗り入れようとしました。ところが仔馬は放してくれるようにと頼みました。「僕はまだ小さすぎます。」と仔馬は言いました。「あなたのような軽い仕立て屋でも僕の背中を折ってしまいます。力が強くなるまで放しておいてください。あなたにお礼をする時がひょっとしてくるかもしれませんよ。」「走っていけ」と仕立て屋は言いました。「なるほどお前はやんちゃ坊主だ。」仕立て屋は仔馬の背をパシッとたたいたので、仔馬は喜んで後足を上げ、茂みやみぞを跳び越えて、野原へ走っていきました。

しかし、小さな仕立て屋は昨日から何も食べていませんでした。「お日さまは確かに目にいっぱい入ってるが」と仕立て屋は言いました。「パンは口に入ってこない。出会う最初のものが半分しか食えないものでも食わなくっちゃ。」そのうちにコウノトリが厳かな足取りで草原を歩いてきました。「止まれ、止まれ」と仕立て屋は叫んで脚をつかまえました。「お前が食えるものかどうかわからないんだが、腹が減ってるから選んでられない。お前の頭を切り落として焼かなくちゃ。」「やめてくださいよ。」とコウノトリは答えました。「私は人間に大きな利益をもたらす神聖な鳥ですよ。だれも私に害を加えません。生かしておいてください。そうすればいつか別のお役に立てるでしょう。」「そうか、行きな、長足さん」と仕立て屋は言いました。コウノトリは空へ舞い上がり、長い脚をたらし、ゆったりと飛んでいきました。

「やれやれ、どうなるんだ?」とうとう仕立て屋は言いました。「だんだん腹が減って、胃はどんどん空っぽになる。今度来るやつは何であれ命がないぞ。」このとき池にいるカモのひなが2,3羽泳いでくるのが見えました。「お前たちはおあつらえのときにきたぞ。」と言って、一羽を捕まえ、首をへし折ろうとしました。これを見て、葦の間に隠れていた親ガモが大きな金切り声をあげはじめ、くちばしを開いてやってきて、しきりに子供たちの命を救ってくれるようお願いしました。「思ってもみてくださいな」と親ガモは言いました。「誰かがあなたをさらってあなたにとどめをさすなら、あなたのおかあさんはどんなに悲しむことでしょう。」「もういい。静かにしな。」とやさしい仕立て屋は言いました。「こどもたちを連れていきな。」そしてつかまえた子ガモを水に戻してやりました。

振り向くと、仕立て屋は一部うろになっている古い木の前に立っていて、そこから野の蜂が飛んで出入りしているのが見えました。「ほら、すぐにおれの良い行いのご褒美が見つかった。」と仕立て屋は言いました。「蜂蜜は元気がでるぞ。」しかし、女王蜂が出てきて仕立て屋を脅して言いました。「私の民に手を振れ巣を壊そうものなら、私たちは、一万本の真っ赤に焼けた針のように、お前の膚を突き刺してやるからね。だけど、私たちをそっとして道を行くなら、いつかお役に立ってみせますよ。」

小さな仕立て屋はここでも何もできないとわかりました。「三つの皿は空っぽで、四つ目の皿にも何もないってのはひどい食事だ。」そういうわけですきっ腹を抱えて町へのろのろ歩いて行きました。ちょうど12時になっていたので、宿屋ではもう料理ができていて、すぐに食卓につくことができました。お腹がいっぱいになると仕立て屋は「さあ、仕事にとりかかるか」と言いました。町を歩き回り、親方を探して、まもなくいい職につくことができました。腕がとてもよかったので、やがて有名になり、みんながこの小さな仕立て屋に新しい上着を作ってもらいたがりました。仕立て屋の名声は日増しに高くなっていきました。「おれの腕前は上がっていかない」と仕立て屋は言いました。「それでも商売は日増しに良くなっていってるなあ。」とうとう王様がこの仕立て屋をお抱えの仕立て屋に指定しました。

しかし、世の中には実に妙なことが起こるものです。その全く同じ日に前の仲間だった靴屋もお抱えの靴屋になりました。靴屋は仕立て屋をみつけ、また健康な両目があるとわかって、気がとがめました。「あいつがおれに仕返しするより先に」と靴屋は考えました。「おれがあいつの穴を掘らなくちゃならない。」ところが他人の穴を掘る者は自分でその穴に落ちるものです。日が暮れ仕事が終わって暗くなってから、靴屋はこっそり王様のところへ行き、「王様、あの仕立て屋は傲慢なやつで、古代に無くなった金の冠を取り戻してみせると自慢していましたよ。」と言いました。「そうなればとても嬉しいのだが。」と王様は言って、次の朝、仕立て屋を前に呼び寄せ、冠を取り戻せ、さもなくば町を永久に去ることだ、と命じました。「おっと!」と仕立て屋は思いました。「詐欺師ならあるもの以上に出すがね。不機嫌な王様がおれに誰にもできないことをやらせるんなら、明日まで待たずに今日すぐ出ていくよ。」

そういうわけで、仕立て屋は荷物をまとめましたが、町の門の外へ出ると、幸運をあきらめ、万事あんなに順調だった町に背を向けるのを悲しまずにはいられませんでした。仕立て屋はカモと前に知り合いになった池のところへやってきました。するとちょうどそのとき仕立て屋がヒナたちの命を助けてやった親ガモが岸に座ってくちばしで羽づくろいをしていました。親ガモはすぐに仕立て屋がわかり、どうしてそんなに頭を垂れているの?と尋ねました。「おれにどんなことが降りかかったか聞いたら不思議に思わないだろうよ。」と仕立て屋は答えて自分の巡りあわせを話しました。「それだけのことなら」とカモは言いました。「助けてあげられるわ。冠は水に落ちて、下の底にあるのよ。すぐに上にもってくるわ。その間に岸にハンカチを広げておいてね。」カモは12羽のヒナたちと一緒にもぐり、五分たつとまた上がってきました。親は冠を翼の上におき、12羽のヒナたちは冠の下にくちばしを入れ周りを囲んで泳いで、運ぶのを手伝っていました。カモたちは岸に泳いできて、冠をハンカチの上に置きました。その冠がどんなに素晴らしかったか誰も想像できません。太陽が照りつけると、冠は十万個のザクロ石のようにキラキラ輝きました。仕立て屋はハンカチの四隅を結んで王様のところへ持って行きました。王様は大喜びで仕立て屋の首に金の鎖をつけてあげました。

靴屋は一回目の企みが失敗したとみてとると、二つ目を企み、王様のところへ行って、「王様、仕立て屋はまた生意気なことを言っていますよ。王宮をそっくり、城にあるものも含めて、動くものも動かないものも、内も外も、全部ろうでまねてつくってみせる、と自慢しております。」と言いました。王様は仕立て屋を呼びにやり、王宮をそっくりろうで作れ、王宮にあるものも全部、動くものも動かないものも、内側も外側もだ、これをやり遂げられなかったり、壁の釘一本足りなければ、お前を一生地下牢に閉じ込めておくぞ、と命じました。

仕立て屋は「だんだん悪くなるよ。これじゃ誰も我慢できない」と考え、背に荷物を背負って出かけて行きました。うろのある木のところに来ると、仕立て屋は座り頭を垂れました。蜂たちが飛んで外に出てきて、女王蜂が、そんなに頭を垂れて、首が回らないの?と聞きました。「ああ、違うんだ。」と仕立て屋は答えました。「全然別のことでおれは押しつぶされてるんだ。」そして王様が自分に何を要求したか話しました。蜂たちは自分たちの間でブンブンやっていましたが、そのうち女王蜂が言いました。「また家へ戻りなさい。だけど明日のこの時間に戻ってきて、大きな布を持って来て。そうしたら全部うまくいくわ。」それで仕立て屋はまた戻りましたが、蜂たちは王宮に飛んでいき、開いた窓からまっすぐ入り、隅々まで巡り歩いて、とても念入りに全部調べました。それから急いで戻って、ものすごい速さでろうの模型を作りました。それで眺めている人がいたら、王宮が目の前で育っていくようにおもったことでしょう。夕方までには全部用意ができ、次の朝仕立て屋が来たときは豪華な建物がまるまるそこにあり、壁の釘一本、屋根の瓦一つ欠けているものはなく、その上、優美で雪のように白く、蜂蜜の甘い匂いがしました。仕立て屋はそれを注意深く布に包んで王様のところへ持って行きました。王様は感心することしきりで、それを一番大きな広間に置き、代わりに仕立て屋に大きな石の家を贈りました。

しかし、靴屋はあきらめず、三回目に王様のところへ行き、「王様、お城の中庭に水がどうしても湧かないということが仕立て屋の耳に入りました。それで、中庭の真ん中に人の高さまで湧きあがらせ、水晶のようにきれいな水にしてみせると自慢しています。」と言いました。それで王様は仕立て屋を呼ばせ、言いました。「お前が約束したように明日までに中庭に水があがらなかったら、処刑人にその場所でお前の首をはねさせるぞ。」かわいそうに仕立て屋はそれを長く考えていないで、町の門に急ぎました。今回は生死に関わる問題なだけに涙が頬を流れ落ちました。

こんな風にとても悲しみながら進んでいくと、前に放してやった仔馬が、今は美しい栗毛の馬になって、跳びはねながらやってきました。「あなたにご恩返しする時がきました。」と馬は仕立て屋に言いました。「あなたが何で困っているかもう知っていますよ。でもすぐ助けてあげます。さあ僕に乗って。僕の背はあなたを二人分運べますよ。」仕立て屋にまた勇気が湧いて来て、一跳びで馬に乗りました。馬は全速力で町に入り、まっすぐ城の中庭に行きました。それから馬は中庭を三回稲妻のように速く走り回って、三回目にどうっと倒れました。ところが、同時にものすごい雷鳴が起こり、中庭の真ん中で土の塊が大砲のように空中にとんで、城を越えていきました。すぐそのあと、水が馬に乗った人の高さまで迸り出ました。その水は水晶のように清らかで、お日さまの光が当たってきらきら踊り始めました。王様はこれを見ると驚いて立ち上がり、仕立て屋のところに行き家来たちみんなの見ている前で抱きしめました。

しかし、幸せは長く続きませんでした。王様には娘がたくさんいて、どの娘も他の娘にひけをとらず美しかったのですが、息子はいませんでした。それで意地悪な靴屋は四回目に王様のところへ行って、「王様、仕立て屋は傲慢さを失くしていませんよ。今度は、自分がその気なら空から王様に王子を運ばせることができるとおおぼらをふいています。」と言いました。王様は仕立て屋を呼び寄せて言いました。「9日のうちにわしに息子を持たせるなら、一番上の娘を妻にあげよう。」と言いました。(褒美は確かに大したもんだ。)と仕立て屋は考えました。(人はそのために喜んで何かをするだろう。だがサクランボはおれには高すぎて手が届かない。もしそれをとりに木に登れば下の枝が折れておれは落ちてしまうだろう。)

仕立て屋は家に帰り、仕事台にあぐらをかいて座り、どうしたらよいか考えました。しまいに「どうしようもない」と仕立て屋は叫びました。「やっぱり出ていくとしよう。ここでは落ち着いて暮らせないや。」仕立て屋は荷物を縛り、町の門に急いで出て行きました。

草原につくと、古い友達のコウノトリに気づきました。コウノトリは哲学者のように行ったり来たりして歩いていて、ときどき立ち止まり、蛙をとってよくよく考え、やっと飲みこみました。コウノトリは仕立て屋のところに来て、挨拶しました。「見たところ」とコウノトリは言い始めました。「背中に荷物があるが、どうして町をでていくのかね?」仕立て屋は王様が要求していることを話し、どうしたってできないと言って自分の不運を嘆きました。「そんなことをくよくよして白髪にしなさんな。」とコウノトリは言いました。「困ってることから救ってあげよう。もう長い間おくるみに入れた赤ん坊を町に運んできたんだ。だから見方によれば一度は泉から赤ん坊の王子をとってこれるさ。家に帰って安心してなされ。今から9日経ったら王宮に行きなさい。そこに私が行きますから。」

小さな仕立て屋は家に帰り、決められたときに城へ行きました。まもなくコウノトリがそちらへ飛んできて、窓をたたきました。仕立て屋が窓を開けると、脚長さんがそっと入ってきて、滑らかな大理石の敷石の上を厳かな足取りで歩きました。さらにコウノトリはくちばしに天使のように愛らしい赤ん坊を連れてきていました。赤ん坊はその小さな手をお后に伸ばしました。コウノトリがお后の膝に赤ん坊を置くと、お后は抱き上げてキスし、喜んで有頂天になりました。コウノトリが飛び立つ前に旅行鞄を背中から降ろし、お后に渡しました。その中には色とりどりの砂糖菓子が入っている小さな紙包みがたくさん入っていて、小さな王女たちの間で分けられました。ところで一番上の娘は何も受け取りませんでしたが、その代わりに陽気な仕立て屋を夫にもらいました。「おれは最高の賞をとったような気がするよ。おかあさんはやっぱり正しかったよ。『神様を信じて幸運さえあれば大丈夫だ』といつも言ってたんだ。」と仕立て屋は言いました。

靴屋は仕立て屋が結婚式で踊る靴を作らなければなりませんでした。そのあと、町を永久に去るように命じられました。森へ続く道を行くと、靴屋は首つり台のところに来ました。腹立ちと日中の暑さのため疲れ果てて、靴屋は身を投げ出しました。目を閉じて眠ろうとした時に二羽のカラスが首つり台の男たちの頭から下りてきて、両目をつついてえぐり出しました。靴屋は気が狂ったように森へ走っていきましたが、そこで飢え死にしたにちがいありません。というのは誰も二度と靴屋を見た人はいないし、噂にも聞かないからです。




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