The three sluggards



A certain King had three sons who were all equally dear to him, and he did not know which of them to appoint as his successor after his own death. When the time came when he was about to die, he summoned them to his bedside and said, "Dear children, I have been thinking of something which I will declare unto you; whichsoever of you is the laziest shall have the kingdom." The eldest said, "Then, father, the kingdom is mine, for I am so idle that if I lie down to rest, and a drop falls in my eye, I will not open it that I may sleep." The second said; "Father, the kingdom belongs to me, for I am so idle that when I am sitting by the fire warming myself, I would rather let my heel be burnt off than draw back my leg." The third said, "Father, the kingdom is mine, for I am so idle that if I were going to be hanged, and had the rope already round my neck, and any one put a sharp knife into my hand with which I might cut the rope, I would rather let myself be hanged than raise my hand to the rope." When the father heard that, he said, "Thou hast carried it the farthest, and shalt be King."
在一个遥远的地方,有一个国王,他有三个儿子,对每一个儿子他都非常喜爱,他不知道自己死后应该把王位传给他们三个中的哪一个。 所以,当他快要死的时候,就把他们叫到身边说:"亲爱的孩子们,在我死后,你们三个中谁最懒,谁就继承我的王位。"老大说:"既然这样,这王位就是我的,因为我是最懒的儿子,当我躺下睡觉时,有任何东西落到我的眼睛里,我也懒得去擦掉,即使不能把眼睛闭上,我仍然会继续睡觉。"二儿子说:"爸爸,王位应该传给我,因为我是最懒的儿子。当我坐在火边取暖的时候,就是火燃到我的脚趾,我也懒得把腿收回来。"第三个儿子说:"爸爸,这王位是我的,因为我是你最懒的儿子,如果我就要被吊起来,绳子已经套在了脖子上,有人把一把锋利的小刀塞在我手里,要我切断绳子,我宁愿被吊起来也懒得抬起手把绳子割断。"父亲听到这里说道:"你是最合适的人选,你应该继承王位。"

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