日本語

くすねた銅貨

ENGLISH

The stolen farthings


ある日、父親は妻と子供たちと一緒に食事をしていて、訪ねてきていた仲のよい友達も一緒に食べていました。こんな風に座っていて、12時をうっていたとき、お客はドアが開くのが見え、とても顔色が悪く雪のように白い服を着た子供が入ってきました。その子はまわりを見回しもせず、口も言わないで、まっすぐ隣の部屋に入って行き、すぐあとになって、戻って来て、同じ静かな様子で出ていきました。2日目も3日目も全く同じふうに来ました。とうとうお客は父親に、毎日正午に隣の部屋に入っていくあのきれいな子はどこの子かね?と尋ねました。「そんな子見たことがないね。」と父親は言い、誰の子かもわかりようがない、と言いました。

次の日、その子がまた来た時、お客は父親にその子を指差しましたが、父親には見えませんでした、また母親や子供たちみんなにも何もみえませんでした。これにお客は立ちあがって部屋の戸のところに行き、少し開けて中を覗き込みました。すると、こどもが下に座り、床の板の間を忙しそうに掘ってさがしているのが見えました。しかし、お客を見ると、消えてしまいました。それで今度は、お客は見たことを話し、子供の様子を正確に説明しました。すると母親がわかって、「ああ、それは1カ月前に死んだ私の子ですよ。」と言いました。みんなが板を持ち上げると、貧しい人にあげるようにと、子供が母親から昔受け取った2ファージングを見つけました。ところが、その子は、そのお金でビスケットが買えると思って、そのファージングをとっておき、板の間の隙間に隠しておいたのでした。それで、お墓の中でも心が安らがないで、これらのファージングをさがしに毎日お昼に来ていたのでした。両親はすぐにそのお金を貧しい人に与えました。その後子供は二度と見られませんでした。
A father was one day sitting at dinner with his wife and his children, and a good friend who had come on a visit was with them. And as they thus sat, and it was striking twelve o'clock, the stranger saw the door open, and a very pale child dressed in snow-white clothes came in. It did not look around, and it did not speak; but went straight into the next room. Soon afterwards it came back, and went out at the door again in the same quiet manner. On the second and on the third day, it came also exactly in the same way. At last the stranger asked the father to whom the beautiful child that went into the next room every day at noon belonged? "I have never seen it," said he, neither did he know to whom it could belong. The next day when it again came, the stranger pointed it out to the father, who however did not see it, and the mother and the children also all saw nothing. On this the stranger got up, went to the room door, opened it a little, and peeped in. Then he saw the child sitting on the ground, and digging and seeking about industriously amongst the crevices between the boards of the floor, but when it saw the stranger, it disappeared. He now told what he had seen and described the child exactly, and the mother recognized it, and said, "Ah, it is my dear child who died a month ago." They took up the boards and found two farthings which the child had once received from its mother that it might give them to a poor man; it, however, had thought, "Thou canst buy thyself a biscuit for that," and had kept the farthings, and hidden them in the openings between the boards; and therefore it had had no rest in its grave, and had come every day at noon to seek for these farthings. The parents gave the money at once to a poor man, and after that the child was never seen again.




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