日本語

かぶ

ENGLISH

The turnip


昔、二人の兄弟がいて、二人とも兵士として務めましたが、一人は金持ちで、もう一人は貧乏でした。すると貧しい男は、貧乏から抜け出そうと思い、兵士の服を脱ぎ捨て、お百姓になりました。男は少しばかりの土地を掘り起こし、かぶの種を播きました。種は芽を出し、一つのかぶが大きく丈夫に育って、みるみるうちにだんだん大きくなっていき、とどまる様子がありませんでした。それでかぶの王女と呼んでもよいくらいでした。というのは後にも先にもそんなに大きいかぶは見られないだろうからです。とうとうかぶは巨大になり、それだけで荷車いっぱいになったので、荷車を引くのに牛が二頭必要になりました。お百姓はかぶをどうすればよいか、そのかぶが自分にとって幸か不幸か、まるきり見当がつきませんでした。

おしまいに、(売ったら、大した金にもなるまい、自分で食べたとしても、まあ、小さなかぶだって味は同じだ、王様のところへ持って行って差し上げた方がよさそうだ)と考えました。そこで荷車にかぶを積み、二頭の牛に引かせて、王様のところへ持って行って贈り物にしました。「何とも珍しいものだ」と王様は言いました。「不思議な物はたくさん目にするが、こんなおばけかぶは初めてだ。どんな種からこのかぶはできたのかね?それともお前は幸運の申し子でたまたまそうなったのかね?」「いえいえ」とお百姓は言いました。「申し子なんかじゃございませんとも。私は貧しい兵士で、もう暮らしが立たなくなったので兵士の服を釘にかけ、畑を耕すことにしたのです。」

「私には兄が一人いて、その兄は金持ちで王さまもよくご存知ですが、私ときたら、何もないので、誰も目にとめてくれません。」それで王様は可哀そうに思い、「お前を貧乏から救いあげ、贈り物をやって金持ちの兄と同じくしてやろう」と言いました。それから王様は、たくさんの金貨と土地と牧草地と家畜をお百姓に与えてすごい金持ちにしたので、兄の財産は比べものにならなくなりました。金持ちの兄は、貧乏な弟がたった一つのかぶで手に入れたもののことを聞くと、羨ましく思い、なんとかして自分も同じような幸運を得られないものかと考えました。

ところが、兄は弟よりもっと賢いやり方でそれにとりかかり、王様はお返しに弟よりもっと大きな贈り物をくれるだろうと信じ込んで、金と馬をもって王様のところへいきました。弟は一つのかぶであんなに貰ったのだから、こういう素晴らしいもののお返しならどんなものをいただけるだろうと期待したのです。王様は贈り物をうけとり、お返しには、あの大きなかぶ以外に珍しくすばらしいものはない、と言いました。

それで金持ちの男は弟のかぶを荷車に積んで家に持って帰らせるしかありませんでした。家で、兄は誰にこの怒りをぶつけたらよいのかわかりませんでしたが、しまいに悪い考えが浮かびました。弟を殺そうと決めたのです。兄は殺し屋を雇い、待ち伏せさせておき、弟のところへ行って、「なあお前、隠された宝物のことを知ってるんだが、一緒に掘り出して山分けしよう。」と言いました。弟は承知して、疑わずについていきました。二人が歩いていると殺し屋が弟に襲いかかり、縛って木に吊るすところでした。しかし、ちょうどこうしているときに、大きな歌声と馬のひづめの音が遠くから聞こえてきました。それで殺し屋たちは仰天し、とらえた男を急いで袋に押し込んで枝に吊るし、逃げて行きました。ところで、弟は吊るされたままごそごそやって袋に頭を出せるだけの穴を開けました。

やって来た男は他ならぬ旅をしている学生でした。その若者は歌を歌いながら楽しく森で馬を乗り回していたのです。上にいる弟は下を通っている男を見て、叫びました。「やあ、君は良い時に来たね。」学生は周りを見回しましたが、声がどこから来ているのか分かりませんでした。とうとう、「僕に呼びかけているのは誰なんです?」と言いました。

すると返事が木の上からきました。「目をあげてごらん。この上で知恵の袋に入っているのさ。ちょっとの間にすごいことを覚えたんだ。これに比べたら学校で習うことなんてお笑いだよ。もうじきありとあらゆることを覚えてしまい、誰も及ばないほど賢くなって下りていくんだ。星座や風の動き、海の砂、病気の治し方、薬草の使い方、鳥や石もみんなわかってるさ。あんたも一度ここに入れば、どんな崇高なことが知恵の袋から出て来るか感じ取れるさ。」

これを聞いて学生は驚いて、「あなたに会えてよかったなあ。私もちょっと袋に入れてもらえないですか?」と言いました。木の上にいる男は気がすすまなさそうに、「ちょっとなら入れてあげよう。あんたが金を払っていい言葉をかけてくれたらね。だけど、あと一時間は待っていなくちゃだめだよ。袋を貸す前にあと一つ覚えなくちゃいけないんだ。」と言いました。学生はちょっと待っていましたがじれったくなり、すぐ入らせてくれませんか、と頼みました。早く知恵が欲しくてたまらなくなったのです。

それで、上にいる男はとうとう頼みに折れたふりをして、「知恵の家から出るから、綱を引きおろしてくれ、そうしたらあんたが入れるから。」と言いました。それで学生は袋を下ろし、結び目をほどいて弟を自由にしました。それから、「さあ、すぐに私を引き上げてください」と叫び、袋に入ろうとしました。「待てよ、それじゃだめなんだ」と弟は言い、学生の頭をつかんで袋の中でさかさまにし、しっかり縛ると、知恵の弟子を綱で木の上に引き上げました。そうして袋を揺らしながら、「どうだい?君、そら、もう知恵がやってくるのを感じるだろう。君は貴重な経験をしているぜ。もっと賢くなるまでじっとしてるんだぜ」と言いました。そうして学生の馬にまたがると行ってしまいました。しかし、一時間すると、人をやって学生を出してやりました。
There were once two brothers who both served as soldiers; one of them was rich, and the other poor. Then the poor one, to escape from his poverty, put off his soldier's coat, and turned farmer. He dug and hoed his bit of land, and sowed it with turnip-seed. The seed came up, and one turnip grew there which became large and vigorous, and visibly grew bigger and bigger, and seemed as if it would never stop growing, so that it might have been called the princess of turnips, for never was such an one seen before, and never will such an one be seen again.
At length it was so enormous that by itself it filled a whole cart, and two oxen were required to draw it, and the farmer had not the least idea what he was to do with the turnip, or whether it would be a fortune to him or a misfortune. At last he thought, "If thou sellest it, what wilt thou get for it that is of any importance, and if thou eatest it thyself, why, the small turnips would do thee just as much good; it would be better to take it to the King, and make him a present of it."

So he placed it on a cart, harnessed two oxen, took it to the palace, and presented it to the King. "What strange thing is this?" said the King. "Many wonderful things have come before my eyes, but never such a monster as this! From what seed can this have sprung, or are you a luck-child and have met with it by chance?" - "Ah, no!" said the farmer, "no luck-child am I. I am a poor soldier, who because he could no longer support himself hung his soldier's coat on a nail and took to farming land. I have a brother who is rich and well known to you, Lord King, but I, because I have nothing, am forgotten by every one."

Then the King felt compassion for him, and said, "Thou shalt be raised from thy poverty, and shalt have such gifts from me that thou shalt be equal to thy rich brother." Then he bestowed on him much gold, and lands, and meadows, and herds, and made him immensely rich, so that the wealth of the other brother could not be compared with his. When the rich brother heard what the poor one had gained for himself with one single turnip, he envied him, and thought in every way how he also could get hold of a similar piece of luck. He would, however, set about it in a much wiser way, and took gold and horses and carried them to the King, and made certain the King would give him a much larger present in return. If his brother had got so much for one turnip, what would he not carry away with him in return for such beautiful things as these? The King accepted his present, and said he had nothing to give him in return that was more rare and excellent than the great turnip. So the rich man was obliged to put his brother's turnip in a cart and have it taken to his home. When there he did not know on whom to vent his rage and anger, until bad thoughts came to him, and he resolved to kill his brother. He hired murderers, who were to lie in ambush, and then he went to his brother and said, "Dear brother, I know of a hidden treasure, we will dig it up together, and divide it between us." The other agreed to this, and accompanied him without suspicion. While they were on their way, however, the murderers fell on him, bound him, and would have hanged him to a tree. But just as they were doing this, loud singing and the sound of a horse's feet were heard in the distance. On this their hearts were filled with terror, and they pushed their prisoner head first into the sack, hung it on a branch, and took to flight. He, however, worked up there until he had made a hole in the sack through which he could put his head. The man who was coming by was no other than a travelling student, a young fellow who rode on his way through the wood joyously singing his song. When he who was aloft saw that someone was passing below him, he cried, "Good day! You have come at a lucky time." The student looked round on every side, but did not know whence the voice came. At last he said, "Who calls me?" Then an answer came from the top of the tree, "Raise your eyes; here I sit aloft in the Sack of Wisdom. In a short time have I learnt great things; compared with this all schools are a jest; in a very short time I shall have learnt everything, and shall descend wiser than all other men. I understand the stars, and the signs of the Zodiac, and the tracks of the winds, the sand of the sea, the healing of illness, and the virtues of all herbs, birds, and stones. If you were once within it you would feel what noble things issue forth from the Sack of Knowledge."

The student, when he heard all this, was astonished, and said, "Blessed be the hour in which I have found thee! May not I also enter the sack for a while?" He who was above replied as if unwillingly, "For a short time I will let you get into it, if you reward me and give me good words; but you must wait an hour longer, for one thing remains which I must learn before I do it." When the student had waited a while he became impatient, and begged to be allowed to get in at once, his thirst for knowledge was so very great. So he who was above pretended at last to yield, and said, "In order that I may come forth from the house of knowledge you must let it down by the rope, and then you shall enter it." So the student let the sack down, untied it, and set him free, and then cried, "Now draw me up at once," and was about to get into the sack. "Halt!" said the other, "that won't do," and took him by the head and put him upside down into the sack, fastened it, and drew the disciple of wisdom up the tree by the rope. Then he swung him in the air and said, "How goes it with thee, my dear fellow? Behold, already thou feelest wisdom coming, and art gaining valuable experience. Keep perfectly quiet until thou becomest wiser." Thereupon he mounted the student's horse and rode away, but in an hour's time sent some one to let the student out again.




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