The shroud



There was once a mother who had a little boy of seven years old, who was so handsome and lovable that no one could look at him without liking him, and she herself worshipped him above everything in the world. Now it so happened that he suddenly became ill, and God took him to himself; and for this the mother could not be comforted, and wept both day and night. But soon afterwards, when the child had been buried, it appeared by night in the places where it had sat and played during its life, and if the mother wept, it wept also, and when morning came it disappeared. As, however, the mother would not stop crying, it came one night, in the little white shroud in which it had been laid in its coffin, and with its wreath of flowers round its head, and stood on the bed at her feet, and said, "Oh, mother, do stop crying, or I shall never fall asleep in my coffin, for my shroud will not dry because of all thy tears, which fall upon it." The mother was afraid when she heard that, and wept no more. The next night the child came again, and held a little light in its hand, and said, "Look, mother, my shroud is nearly dry, and I can rest in my grave." Then the mother gave her sorrow into God's keeping, and bore it quietly and patiently, and the child came no more, but slept in its little bed beneath the earth.
从前有一位母亲,她有一个人见人爱、英俊漂亮的儿子。 那年他七岁了,她视她的小宝贝为自己的生命,比世上任何东西都珍贵。 但是天有不测风云,他忽然病了,而且病入膏肓,上帝将他召唤了去。 母亲悲痛欲绝,日夜哭泣。 时过不久,孩子下葬了,可是夜里他又会出现在生前玩耍的地方,陪着母亲一同哭泣,到了早晨则又消失了。 母亲非常悲伤,每时每刻都在不停地哭。 一天夜里他身着一件入葬就穿着的白色小寿衣,头上戴着一顶花环来到床前,站在母亲的脚旁说:"噢,母亲,请别哭啦,否则我在墓中无法入睡,因为您的泪水把我的寿衣都打湿啦。"母亲听到后担起心来,不再流泪了。 第二天晚上孩子又来了,手里举着一盏小灯,说:"母亲,您看看我的寿衣快干啦,我可以在墓中休息了。"从此,母亲把悲痛交给了上帝,自己默默地承受了心中的创伤。

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