St. Joseph in the forest



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.
从前,有位母亲生了三个女儿。 大女儿没有礼貌,心眼也坏;二女儿虽有缺点,但比大女儿好得多;只有小女儿又孝顺又乖巧。 但这母亲却很古怪,偏偏最喜欢大女儿,却不喜欢小女儿,并整天想着除掉她。 于是她经常让这可怜的小姑娘到外面的一座大森林去,好让她迷路再也回不了家,这样就可以把她撵走。 但是每个好孩子都有自己的保护天使,天使没有遗弃她,每次都给她指引了回家的正确道路。 有一次保护神似乎不在她跟前,小女孩找不着出森林的路了,她不停地走啊走啊,一直走到夜幕降临。 这时她看到前方有一盏微弱的灯光,立刻跑上前去,来到了一座小木屋前。 她敲了敲门,门开了;她走到第二道门前,又敲了敲,一位留着白胡须、样子令人肃然可敬的老人给她开了门。 这不是别人,正是圣约瑟本人。 老人和善地对女孩说:"进来吧!我亲爱的孩子,坐到火旁我的小椅子上来暖暖身子吧!你渴了吧!我给你弄点水来喝,在森林里也没有别的给你吃,只有几根胡萝卜,你还得先刮干净再煮。"
圣约瑟把萝卜递给了她,小女孩仔细地把它们刮净了,然后拿出母亲要她带的薄饼和面包块。 她把所有的东西都放在锅里,熬了一锅粥。 粥做好后,圣约瑟就开口道:"我很饿,给我点粥喝吧!"小女孩非常乐意地给老人倒了一大半。 可是有上帝的祝福,她仍旧吃饱了。 吃完饭,圣约瑟说:"现在该睡觉了,可我只有一张床,你到床上去睡吧,我就在地上的草上睡好了。""噢,不,"小女孩说,"还是您到床上睡吧!草铺对我来说已是够软和的了。"但约瑟抱起了小女孩,把她放在了床上。 女孩做完祈祷后,就进入了梦乡。 第二天早上她醒了,本想对老人道声"早安"却发现他已不在了。 她赶忙起床去找,但哪儿都没有他的影子,最后她发现门后留下了一袋钱,刚好够她提得动。 上面写着:给昨晚上在这儿睡觉的女孩。 看到这些字后,小女孩才背起钱袋回家了。 她又平安地回到了母亲身旁,把所有的钱都交给了母亲,母亲也没办法,只得对她表示满意。
第二天,二女儿也兴致勃勃地想进森林去。 母亲给了块大得多的煎饼和面包。 她所遇到的情况和妹妹的一样,晚上,她也来到了圣约瑟的小木屋前,老人把萝卜递给她,让她做粥。 等粥做好后,老人也同样对她说:"我饿极了,把你的一份给我一点喝吧!"小女孩说:"一块儿喝得啦!"饭后圣约瑟把他的床让给她,自己要睡在草上,女孩说:"不,还是躺到床上来吧,这床够咱们俩人睡的。"圣约瑟把她抱了起来放在床上,自己却躺在草地上睡了。
第二天早上,女孩醒来找圣约瑟,他已不见了。 但在门的后面女孩发现了一个巴掌大的钱袋,上面写着:给昨晚在这睡觉的孩子。 女孩拿起钱袋小跑着回了家,把钱袋交给了妈妈 ,却私自留了两块。
大女儿早就起好奇心了,第二天也坚持要进大森林。 她要多少煎饼母亲就给她多少,另外还加了些面包和奶酪。 晚上像两个妹妹一样,她也发现圣约瑟的小木屋。 粥做好了,圣约瑟说:"我饿极了,把你的饭给我一点吧!"得到的回答是:"急什么!急什么!等我吃饱了,你再吃也不迟!"可她吃得几乎一点不剩,老人只能刮盘子底了。 饭后,老人让她睡在自己的床上,自己准备睡在草地上。 女孩毫不推辞,自顾自地躺到床上睡了,把硬梆梆的草铺留给了老人。 第二天早上她醒来了,也发现老人已经不见了。 她也没费心去找,就径走直到门后去找钱袋。 她仿佛发现地上有件东西,但因为分辨不出到底是什么,就弯下腰去,一不小心鼻尖触到了那东西。 她站起了身,看到另一个鼻子与自己的连成了一块,她一时惊恐万状,开始号啕大叫起来。 但那根本没有用,那鼻子伸得老长老长的,不想看它也得看着。 她不停地尖叫着从屋里跑了出来,又遇到了圣约瑟。 她跪在老人的脚下不断地求情,最后出于同情,老人给她取下了鼻子,并给了她两个硬币,她这才返身回家。 母亲正站在门前,一见她就问:"你得到了什么?"她赶快撒了个谎,说:"一袋金子,我得到了一袋金子,不过我在路上又把它给丢了。"于是母亲就拉着她的手要她一起去找回金子,起先她哭着不愿去,但后来还是去了。 哪知路上有许许多多的蜥蜴和蛇向她们扑来,她们一点也没有办法,最后它们把这邪恶的孩子给咬死了,母亲的脚也被咬伤,因为她没有教育好自己的女儿。

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