ENGLISH

The shroud

日本語

きょうかたびら


There was once a mother who had a little boy of seven years old, who was so handsome and lovable that no one could look at him without liking him, and she herself worshipped him above everything in the world. Now it so happened that he suddenly became ill, and God took him to himself; and for this the mother could not be comforted, and wept both day and night. But soon afterwards, when the child had been buried, it appeared by night in the places where it had sat and played during its life, and if the mother wept, it wept also, and when morning came it disappeared. As, however, the mother would not stop crying, it came one night, in the little white shroud in which it had been laid in its coffin, and with its wreath of flowers round its head, and stood on the bed at her feet, and said, "Oh, mother, do stop crying, or I shall never fall asleep in my coffin, for my shroud will not dry because of all thy tears, which fall upon it." The mother was afraid when she heard that, and wept no more. The next night the child came again, and held a little light in its hand, and said, "Look, mother, my shroud is nearly dry, and I can rest in my grave." Then the mother gave her sorrow into God's keeping, and bore it quietly and patiently, and the child came no more, but slept in its little bed beneath the earth.
かつて、7歳の男の子がいる母親がいました。その子はとても美しくて愛らしいので見る人は誰でもその子を好きになりました。また、母親自身もこの世の何よりもこの子を大事にして可愛がっておりました。ところが、男の子が急に病気になり、神様がこの子をひきとりました。このため母親は悲しみがいやされないで昼も夜も泣き通しでした。しかし、それからまもなく、子供が埋められたあと、生きていたときにいた場所や遊んだ場所に子供が出てきました。そして母親が泣くとその子も泣き、朝がくると消えました。

しかし、母親は泣きやまず、子供はある夜、ひつぎの中におさめられたとき着ていた小さな白い経帷子を着て、頭の周りに花の輪をつけて、やって来て、母親のベッドのそばに立ち、「ああ、おかあさん、お願いだから泣くのを止めて。そうしないと僕はお棺の中で眠れないんだよ。たっておかあさんの涙が落ちるから僕の経帷子が乾くことがないんだもの。」と言いました。母親はそれを聞いて心配になり、もう泣きませんでした。

次の夜、子供が手に小さな明かりを握ってまた来て、「ほら、おかあさん、僕の経帷子はだいぶ乾いたよ。だからお墓で眠れるよ。」と言いました。それで母親は悲しみを神様にお預けして、静かにじっとこらえました。それで子供はもう来なくなり、土の下の小さなベッドで眠りました。




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