ENGLISH

St. Joseph in the forest

ESPAÑOL

San José en el bosque


There was once on a time a mother who had three daughters, the eldest of whom was rude and wicked, the second much better, although she had her faults, but the youngest was a pious, good child. The mother was, however, so strange, that it was just the eldest daughter whom she most loved, and she could not bear the youngest. On this account, she often sent the poor girl out into the great forest in order to get rid of her, for she thought she would lose herself and never come back again. But the guardian-angel which every good child has, did not forsake her, but always brought her into the right path again. Once, however, the guardian-angel behaved as if he were not there, and the child could not find her way out of the forest again. She walked on constantly until evening came, and then she saw a tiny light burning in the distance, ran up to it at once, and came to a little hut. She knocked, the door opened, and she came to a second door, where she knocked again. An old man, who had a snow-white beard and looked venerable, opened it for her; and he was no other than St. Joseph. He said quite kindly, "Come, dear child, seat thyself on my little chair by the fire, and warm thyself; I will fetch thee clear water if thou art thirsty; but here in the forest, I have nothing for thee to eat but a couple of little roots, which thou must first scrape and boil."
St. Joseph gave her the roots. The girl scraped them clean, then she brought a piece of pancake and the bread that her mother had given her to take with her; mixed all together in a pan, and cooked herself a thick soup. When it was ready, St. Joseph said, "I am so hungry; give me some of thy food. The child was quite willing, and gave him more than she kept for herself, but God's blessing was with her, so that she was satisfied. When they had eaten, St. Joseph said, "Now we will go to bed; I have, however, only one bed, lay thyself in it. I will lie on the ground on the straw." - "No," answered she, "stay in your own bed, the straw is soft enough for me." St. Joseph, however, took the child in his arms, and carried her into the little bed, and there she said her prayers, and fell asleep. Next morning when she awoke, she wanted to say good morning to St. Joseph, but she did not see him. Then she got up and looked for him, but could not find him anywhere; at last she perceived, behind the door, a bag with money so heavy that she could just carry it, and on it was written that it was for the child who had slept there that night. On this she took the bag, bounded away with it, and got safely to her mother, and as she gave her mother all the money, she could not help being satisfied with her.

The next day, the second child also took a fancy to go into the forest. Her mother gave her a much larger piece of pancake and bread. It happened with her just as with the first child. In the evening she came to St. Joseph's little hut, who gave her roots for a thick soup. When it was ready, he likewise said to her, "I am so hungry, give me some of thy food." Then the child said, "You may have your share." Afterwards, when St. Joseph offered her his bed and wanted to lie on the straw, she replied, "No, lie down in the bed, there is plenty of room for both of us." St. Joseph took her in his arms and put her in the bed, and laid himself on the straw.

In the morning when the child awoke and looked for St. Joseph, he had vanished, but behind the door she found a little sack of money that was about as long as a hand, and on it was written that it was for the child who had slept there last night. So she took the little bag and ran home with it, and took it to her mother, but she secretly kept two pieces for herself.

The eldest daughter had by this time grown curious, and the next morning also insisted on going out into the forest. Her mother gave her pancakes with her -- as many as she wanted, and bread and cheese as well. In the evening she found St. Joseph in his little hut, just as the two others had found him. When the soup was ready and St. Joseph said, "I am so hungry, give me some of thy food," the girl answered, "Wait until I am satisfied; then if there is anything left thou shalt have it." She ate, however, nearly the whole of it, and St. Joseph had to scrape the dish. Afterwards, the good old man offered her his bed, and wanted to lie on the straw. She took it without making any opposition, laid herself down in the little bed, and left the hard straw to the white-haired man. Next morning when she awoke, St. Joseph was not to be found, but she did not trouble herself about that. She looked behind the door for a money-bag. She fancied something was lying on the ground, but as she could not very well distinguish what it was, she stooped down, and examined it closely, but it remained hanging to her nose, and when she got up again, she saw, to her horror, that it was a second nose, which was hanging fast to her own. Then she began to scream and howl, but that did no good; she was forced to see it always on her nose, for it stretched out so far. Then she ran out and screamed without stopping till she met St. Joseph, at whose feet she fell and begged until, out of pity, he took the nose off her again, and even gave her two farthings. When she got home, her mother was standing before the door, and asked, "What hast thou had given to thee?" Then she lied and said, "A great bag of money, but I have lost it on the way." - "Lost it!" cried the mother, "oh, but we will soon find it again," and took her by the hand, and wanted to seek it with her. At first she began to cry, and did not wish to go, but at last she went. On the way, however, so many lizards and snakes broke loose on both of them, that they did not know how to save themselves. At last they stung the wicked child to death, and they stung the mother in the foot, because she had not brought her up better.
Érase una vez una madre que tenía tres hijas; la mayor era mala y displicente; la segunda, pese a sus defectos, era ya mucho mejor, y la tercera, un dechado de piedad y de bondad. La madre, cosa extraña, prefería a la mayor, y, en cambio, no podía sufrir a la pequeña, por lo cual solía mandarla a un bosque con objeto de quitársela de encima, convencida de que un día u otro se extraviaría y nunca más volvería a casa. Pero el ángel de la guarda, que vela por los niños buenos, no la abandonaba, y siempre la conducía por el buen camino. Sin embargo, una vez el angelito hizo como que se distraía, y la niña no logró encontrar el sendero para regresar. Siguió caminando hasta el anochecer y, viendo a lo lejos una lucecita, dirigióse a ella a toda prisa y llegó ante una pequeña choza. Llamó, abrióse la puerta y, al franquearla, se encontró ante una segunda puerta, a la cual llamó también. Acudió a abrirla un hombre anciano, de aspecto venerable y blanquísima barba. Era el propio San José, que le dijo, cariñoso:
- Entra, pequeña, siéntate junto al fuego en mi sillita y caliéntate; iré a buscarte agua límpida si tienes sed; pero, en cuanto a comida, aquí en el bosque no tengo nada para ofrecerte, como no sean unas raicillas que habrás de pelar y cocer.
Dióle San José las raíces; la muchachita las raspó cuidadosamente y, sacando luego el trocito de tortilla y el pan que le había dado su madre, lo puso todo al fuego en un pucherito y lo coció en un puré.
Cuando estuvo preparado, díjole San José:
- ¡Tengo tanta hambre! ¿No me darías un poco de tu comida?
La niña le sirvió de buen grado una porción mayor de la que se quedó para sí misma; pero Dios bendijo su cena, y la muchachita quedó saciada. Luego dijo el santo:
- Ahora, a dormir; pero sólo tengo una cama. Tú te acuestas en ella, y yo me echaré en el suelo, sobre la paja.
- No - respondió la niña -, tú te quedas con la cama; a mí me basta con la paja.
Pero San José la cogió en brazos y la llevó a la camita, donde la chiquilla se durmió después de haber rezado sus oraciones. Al despertarse a la mañana siguiente, quiso dar los buenos días al viejo, mas no lo vio. Lo buscó por todas partes sin lograr encontrarlo, hasta que, finalmente, detrás de la puerta, descubrió un saco con dinero, tan pesado, que apenas podía llevarlo; y encima estaba escrito que era para la niña que había dormido allí aquella noche. Cargando con el saco, emprendió el camino de vuelta a su casa, a la que llegó sin contratiempo. Y como entregó todo el dinero a su madre, la mujer no pudo por menos que darse por satisfecha. Al otro día entráronle ganas a la hermana segunda de ir al bosque, y la madre le dio bastante más tortilla y pan que a su hermanita la víspera. Discurrieron las cosas como con la pequeña. Llegó al anochecer a la cabaña de San José, quien le dio raíces para cocerlas, y, cuando ya estuvieron preparadas, le dijo igualmente:
- ¡Tengo hambre! Dame un poco de tu cena.
Respondióle la muchacha:
- Haremos partes iguales.
Y cuando el santo le ofreció la cama, diciéndole que dormiría él sobre la paja, respondió la niña:
- No, duerme en la cama conmigo; hay sitio para los dos.
Pero San José la cogió en brazos, la acostó en la camita, y él se echó sobre la paja. Por la mañana, al despertarse la niña, San José había desaparecido, y la muchacha, detrás de la puerta, encontró un saquito, de un palmo de largo, con dinero, y encima llevaba también escrito que era para la niña que había pasado la noche en la casita. La chiquilla se marchó con el saquito y, al llegar a su casa, lo entregó a su madre; pero antes se había guardado, en secreto, dos o tres monedas.
Picóse con todo esto la mayor, y se propuso ir también al bosque al día siguiente. La madre le puso toda la tortilla y todo el pan que quiso la muchacha, y, además, queso. Al atardecer encontróse con San José en la choza, igual que sus hermanas. Cocidas las raíces, al decirle San José:
- ¡Tengo hambre! Dame un poco de tu comida - replicó la muchacha:
- Espera a que yo esté harta; te daré lo que me haya sobrado.
Y se lo comió casi todo, y San José hubo de limitarse a rebañar el plato.
El buen anciano le ofreció entonces su cama, brindándose él a dormir en el suelo, y la muchacha aceptó sin remilgos, acostándose en el lecho y dejando que el viejo durmiese en la dura paja. Al despertarse por la mañana, no vio a San José en ninguna parte; mas no se preocupó por ello, sino que fue directamente a buscar el saco de dinero detrás de la puerta. Pareciéndole que había algo en el suelo y no pudiendo distinguir lo que era, se agachó y dio de narices contra el objeto, el cual se le quedó adherido a la nariz. Al levantarse se dio cuenta, con horror, de que era una segunda nariz, pegada a la primera. Púsose a llorar y chillar, pero de nada le sirvió; siempre veía aquellas narices de palmo que tanto la afeaban. Salió corriendo y gritando hasta que alcanzó a San José, y, cayendo de rodillas a sus pies, púsose a rogarle y suplicarle con tanto ahínco, que el buen santo, compadecido, le quitó la nueva nariz y le dio dos reales.
Al llegar a la casa, recibióla en la puerta la madre y le preguntó:
- ¿Qué regalo traes?
Y ella, mintiendo, dijo:
- Un gran saco de dinero; pero lo he perdido en el camino. ¡Perdido! - exclamó la mujer -. Entonces tenemos que ir a buscarlo - y, cogiéndola de la mano, quiso llevársela al bosque.
Al principio, la muchacha lloró y se resistió a acompañarla; pero, al fin, se fue con ella; mas por el camino las acometieron un sinfín de lagartos y serpientes, de las que no pudieron escapar. A mordiscos mataron a la niña mala; y, en cuanto a la madre, le picaron en un pie, en castigo por no haber educado mejor a su hija.




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