The hazel-branch



One afternoon the Christ-child had laid himself in his cradle-bed and had fallen asleep. Then his mother came to him, looked at him full of gladness, and said, "Hast thou laid thyself down to sleep, my child?" Sleep sweetly, and in the meantime I will go into the wood, and fetch thee a handful of strawberries, for I know that thou wilt be pleased with them when thou awakest." In the wood outside, she found a spot with the most beautiful strawberries; but as she was stooping down to gather one, an adder sprang up out of the grass. She was alarmed, left the strawberries where they were, and hastened away. The adder darted after her; but Our Lady, as you can readily understand, knew what it was best to do. She hid herself behind a hazel-bush, and stood there until the adder had crept away again. Then she gathered the strawberries, and as she set out on her way home she said, "As the hazel-bush has been my protection this time, it shall in future protect others also." Therefore, from the most remote times, a green hazel-branch has been the safest protection against adders, snakes, and everything else which creeps on the earth.
一天下午,耶稣基督躺在摇蓝里睡着了,他妈妈来到他身边,满怀喜悦地望着他,说:"我的儿,你睡着了吗?好好睡吧,待会儿我去给你摘一把草莓来,我知道你醒来后,看见草莓准喜欢。"在外边的森林中,圣母玛利亚找到了一块地方,上面长满了令人兴奋的草莓。 等她弯腰去摘时,猛地从草丛中窜出来一条蝰蛇,把她给吓坏了,她丢下草莓,扭头就跑。 那条蝰蛇在后面紧追不舍,圣母玛利亚急中生智,迅速地躲进了一丛榛树下,静静地站在那里,最后蝰蛇离去了。 后来她又摘到了草霉,临回家前她说:"榛树这次保护了我,将来也会保护其他人的。"因此,从很久远的时候起,一根绿色的榛树枝就成了对付蝰蛇、其它蛇类以及所有在地上爬行的东西的最佳保护物。

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