ENGLISH

The three brothers

日本語

三人兄弟


There was once a man who had three sons, and nothing else in the world but the house in which he lived. Now each of the sons wished to have the house after his father's death; but the father loved them all alike, and did not know what to do; he did not wish to sell the house, because it had belonged to his forefathers, else he might have divided the money amongst them. At last a plan came into his head, and he said to his sons, "Go into the world, and try each of you to learn a trade, and, when you all come back, he who makes the best masterpiece shall have the house."
The sons were well content with this, and the eldest determined to be a blacksmith, the second a barber, and the third a fencing-master. They fixed a time when they should all come home again, and then each went his way.

It chanced that they all found skilful masters, who taught them their trades well. The blacksmith had to shoe the King's horses, and he thought to himself, "The house is mine, without doubt." The barber only shaved great people, and he too already looked upon the house as his own. The fencing-master got many a blow, but he only bit his lip, and let nothing vex him; "for," said he to himself, "If you are afraid of a blow, you'll never win the house."

When the appointed time had gone by, the three brothers came back home to their father; but they did not know how to find the best opportunity for showing their skill, so they sat down and consulted together. As they were sitting thus, all at once a hare came running across the field. "Ah, ha, just in time!" said the barber. So he took his basin and soap, and lathered away until the hare came up; then he soaped and shaved off the hare's whiskers whilst he was running at the top of his speed, and did not even cut his skin or injure a hair on his body. "Well done!" said the old man. "your brothers will have to exert themselves wonderfully, or the house will be yours."

Soon after, up came a nobleman in his coach, dashing along at full speed. "Now you shall see what I can do, father," said the blacksmith; so away he ran after the coach, took all four shoes off the feet of one of the horses whilst he was galloping, and put him on four new shoes without stopping him. "You are a fine fellow, and as clever as your brother," said his father; "I do not know to which I ought to give the house."

Then the third son said, "Father, let me have my turn, if you please;" and, as it was beginning to rain, he drew his sword, and flourished it backwards and forwards above his head so fast that not a drop fell upon him. It rained still harder and harder, till at last it came down in torrents; but he only flourished his sword faster and faster, and remained as dry as if he were sitting in a house. When his father saw this he was amazed, and said, "This is the master-piece, the house is yours!"

His brothers were satisfied with this, as was agreed beforehand; and, as they loved one another very much, they all three stayed together in the house, followed their trades, and, as they had learnt them so well and were so clever, they earned a great deal of money. Thus they lived together happily until they grew old; and at last, when one of them fell sick and died, the two others grieved so sorely about it that they also fell ill, and soon after died. And because they had been so clever, and had loved one another so much, they were all laid in the same grave.
昔、息子が三人いて、自分の住んでいる家の他に何もない男がいました。息子たちはそれぞれ父親が亡くなったあと、この家を継ぎたいと思っていました。しかし、父親は息子たちがみんな同じように可愛いかったので、どうしたらよいかわかりませんでした。また、家は先祖から受け継いだので、売りたくありませんでした。そうでなければ売ったお金を息子たちで分ければよかったのです。とうとうある計画を思いつき、息子たちに言いました。「世の中に出て行って、自分を試し、仕事を覚えなさい。そしてお前たちみんなが戻ってきて、一番名人になった者にこの家をやろう。」

息子たちはこれに十分満足しました。それで、長男は鍛冶屋に、二男は床屋に、三男は剣術名人になろうと思いました。三人は、また家に戻る時を決め、めいめい自分の道を進みました。

たまたま三人とも腕の立つ親方を見つけ、技をよく教えてもらいました。鍛冶屋は王様の馬に蹄鉄を打つまでになり、「家はおれのものだ、間違いない。」と思いました。床屋は名士の顔だけ剃るようになり、この人もまた、もう家を自分のものとみなしていました。剣術名人は、たくさん痛い目にあいましたが、歯を食いしばってがんばりました。というのは、「痛手を怖がっていては、家は得られないぞ」と思っていたからです。

決められた日が来ると、3人の兄弟は父親のところに戻って来ました。しかし、技をみせる一番良い機会をどうしたらみつけられるかわからなかったので、三人で座って相談しました。こうして座っていたとき、突然ウサギが一匹畑を渡って走ってきました。「ほー!おあつらえむきだ」と床屋は言いました。それで洗面器と石鹸をとり、泡だてていて、ウサギが近づくと、全速力で走りながらウサギのひげを剃り落とし、ウサギの皮を切ることもなく、体の毛一本も傷つけませんでした。「でかした。」と父親がいいました。「他の二人がよほど頑張らない限り、家はお前のものだ。」

その後まもなく、馬車に乗った貴族が、全速力で走ってきました。「さあ、私の腕をみせましょう、おとうさん。」と鍛冶屋は言い、走り出て馬車を追いかけ、走っている間に馬の脚から4つの蹄鉄を取り外し、止めないまま4つの新しい蹄鉄を履かせました。「お前は素晴らしいやつだ。弟と同じくらい巧みだ。」と父親は言いました。「わしはどちらに家をやったらいいのかわからないよ。」

すると三番目の息子が、「お父さん、よろしければ、僕にもやらせてください。」と言って、丁度雨が降り始めたので、剣を抜いて、頭の上で前後に振り回し、とても速かったので雨が一滴もかかりませんでした。雨はまだだんだん激しく降ってきて、とうとう土砂降りになりましたが、剣術名人はただ剣をますます速く振り回すだけで、まるで家の中にいるかのように乾いたままでした。父親はこれを見ると驚嘆して、「これが名人だ。家はお前のものだ。」と言いました。

兄たちは、前に決めていたように、この決定に納得し、兄弟はお互いとても仲がよかったので3人とも一緒にこの家に住んで、自分の仕事を続けました。そして三人は技をとてもよく覚え、とても巧みだったので、たくさんお金を稼ぎました。こうして三人は年をとるまで一緒に幸せに暮らしました。そしてとうとう一人が病気になって死ぬと、他の二人がとても悲しんで、二人もまた病気になり、まもなく死にました。それで三人はとても腕がよくお互いをとても愛していたので、みんな同じ墓地にほうむられました。




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