ENGLISH

The ear of corn

日本語

麦の穂


In former times, when God himself still walked the earth, the fruitfulness of the soil was much greater than it is now; then the ears of corn did not bear fifty or sixty, but four or five hundred-fold. Then the corn grew from the bottom to the very top o f the stalk, and according to the length of the stalk was the length of the ear. Men however are so made, that when they are too well off they no longer value the blessings which come from God, but grow indifferent and careless. One day a woman was passing by a corn-field when her little child, who was running beside her, fell into a puddle, and dirtied her frock. On this the mother tore up a handful of the beautiful ears of corn, and cleaned the frock with them.
When the Lord, who just then came by, saw that, he was angry, and said, "Henceforth shall the stalks of corn bear no more ears; men are no longer worthy of heavenly gifts." The by-standers who heard this, were terrified, and fell on their knees and praye d that he would still leave something on the stalks, even if the people were undeserving of it, for the sake of the innocent birds which would otherwise have to starve. The Lord, who foresaw their suffering, had pity on them, and granted the request. So the ears were left as they now grow.
前の時代では、神様自身が地球上を歩き、土の実りは今よりはるかに多く、麦の穂は50とか60ではなく5~600も実がついていました。また、穂は茎の一番下からまさに一番上まで伸び、茎の長さに比例して穂の長さがありました。しかしながら、たくさん作られ、暮らし向きがとても楽になると、人間は神様からもらっている祝福をもう大事にしなくなり、無関心で注意しなくなるのです。ある日、一人の女が麦畑を通り過ぎていたとき、わきを走っていた小さな子供がせきにおち、母親の仕事着を泥で汚しました。これにたいし、その母親は美しい麦の穂を一握り引き裂いて、それで仕事着を拭きました。神様は、ちょうどそのとき通りがかったのですが、これを見て怒り、言いました。これから先は麦の茎にはもう穂をならせない。人間はもう天の贈り物をもらう資格がない、と。まわりで見ていた人たちは、これを聞いておそれいり、膝まづいて、お祈りしました。たとえ人には資格がなくても、それがなければ飢え死にしなくてはいけない無実のひよこのために、どうかいくぶんかは茎に残してくださるようにと。神様は彼らの苦しみを予見し、憐れみをもち、その要望をききいれました。それで穂は今あるように残されました。




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