The ear of corn



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.
远古时代,当上帝亲自巡视大地时,土地的产量比现在高得多。 那时,麦穗不只结五六十粒,而是四五百粒,麦秆从头到脚长满了麦粒,秆有多长,穗就有多长。 然而人类是如此的浅俗,他们生活丰裕时,就不再珍惜上苍的恩赐,以致变得漫不经心、大手大脚。 一天,一位妇女路经一片麦地,她的小孩在她身边跑着,一下跌进了泥坑里,弄脏了小衣服。
碰巧上帝从这儿经过,见到这情形他非常生气,说:"从此麦秆不再结穗,人类不配再获得上苍的赐予。"周围的人听到这话吓坏了,纷纷跪下,祈求上帝仍留些麦穗于秆上,即使人类不配这一恩赐,但是为了那些无辜的家禽,求上帝开恩,否则它们就会饿死。 上帝预见到人类的苦难,可怜他们,答应了这一请求。 于是麦穗留了下来,就像现在生长的这样子。

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