The stolen farthings



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.
一天,一家人和一个来访的好友坐在桌子旁吃午饭,吃着吃着,钟声敲响了十二点,这时客人看到门打开了,进来了一个孩子,他穿着白夹克,脸色有点苍白。 他不看四周,也不说一句话,就径直走进了隔壁的房间。 不久他又出来了,同样一言不发地走了出去。 第二天和第三天,他照样又来了。 客人问这父亲每天走进隔壁房间的那漂亮的孩子是谁? 父亲说:"没有看见。也不知道这是谁家的孩子。"第二天,那孩子又进来了,客人指着给父亲看,但他看不见,母亲和小孩一样也看不见。 于是客人站了起来,走到房门旁,开了一条缝,往里瞅了瞅。 他看那男孩正坐在地上,用手指头使劲地在地板缝里挖呀挖的,当他看见客人时,就消失了。 随后客人讲述了他所看到的一切,并且仔细描述了那孩子的模样。 于是母亲知道了,说:"啊呀,那是我亲爱的孩子,四个星期前死了。"于是他们打开了地板,找到了两个硬币,那是一次孩子向母亲讨来准备给穷人的。 也许小孩那时想:"我可以用它为自己买块饼干。"于是就私自留下了钱,藏在了地板缝里。 因为他在坟墓中不得安宁,所以每天中午来找那两枚钱。 后来父母把那钱给了个穷人,从此以后就再也看不见那小孩了。

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