英汉双语故事:丛林中的守财奴的故事

发表时间:2011-05-21内容来源:VOA英语学习网

The Jew in the Thorns

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

Once upon a time there was a rich man who had a servant who served him diligently and honestly. Every morning he was the first one out of bed, and at night the last one to go to bed. Whenever there was a difficult job that nobody wanted to do, he was always the first to volunteer. He never complained at any of this, but was contented with everything and always happy.

When his year was over, his master gave him no wages, thinking, "That is the smartest thing to do, for it will save me something. He won't leave me, but will gladly stay here working for me."

The servant said nothing, but did his work the second year as he had done before, and when at the end of this year he again received no wages, he still stayed on without complaining. When the third year had passed, the master thought it over, then put his hand into his pocket, but pulled out nothing.

However, this time the servant said, "Master, I have served you honestly for three years. Be so good as to give me what by rights I have coming to me. I would like to be on my way and see something else of the world."

"Yes, my good servant," answered the old miser, "you have served me without complaint, and you shall be kindly rewarded."

With this he put his hand into his pocket, then counted out three hellers one at a time, saying, "There, you have a heller for each year. That is a large and generous reward. Only a few masters would pay you this much."

The good servant, who understood little about money, put his wealth into his pocket, and thought, "Ah, now that I have a full purse, why should I worry and continue to plague myself with hard work?"

So he set forth, uphill and down, singing and jumping for joy.

Now it came to pass that as he was passing by a thicket a little dwarf stepped out, and called to him, "Where are you headed, Brother Merry? You don't seem to be burdened down with cares."

"Why should I be sad?" answered the servant. "I have everything I need. Three years' wages are jingling in my pocket.

"How much is your treasure?" the dwarf asked him.

"How much? Three hellers in real money, precisely counted."

"Listen," said the dwarf, "I am a poor and needy man. Give me your three hellers. I can no longer work, but you are young and can easily earn your bread."

Now because the servant had a good heart and felt pity for the dwarf, he gave him his three hellers, saying, "In God's name, I won't miss them."

Then the dwarf said, "Because I see that you have a good heart I will grant you three wishes, one for each heller. They shall all be fulfilled."

"Aha," said the servant. "You are a miracle worker. Well, then, if it is to be so, first of all I wish for a blowpipe that will hit everything I aim at; second, for a fiddle, that when I play it, anyone who hears it will have to dance; and third, that whenever I ask a favor of anyone, it will be granted."

"You shall have all that," said the dwarf. He reached into the bush, and what do you think, there lay a fiddle and a blowpipe, all ready, just as if they had been ordered. He gave them to the servant, saying, "No one will ever be able to deny any request that you might make."

"What more could my heart desire?" said the servant to himself, and went merrily on his way.

Soon afterward he met a Jew with a long goatee, who was standing listening to a bird singing high up in the top of a tree.

"One of God's own miracles," he shouted, "that such a small creature should have such a fearfully loud voice. If only it were mine! If only someone would sprinkle some salt on its tail!"

"If that is all you want," said the servant, "then the bird shall soon be down here." He took aim, hit it precisely, and the bird fell down into a thorn hedge.

"Rogue," he said to the Jew, "Go and fetch the bird out for yourself."

"My goodness," said the Jew, "don't call me a rogue, sir, but I will be the dog and get the bird out for myself. After all, you're the one who shot it."

Then he lay down on the ground and began crawling into the thicket. When he was in the middle of the thorns, the good servant could not resist the temptation to pick up his fiddle and begin to play.

The Jew's legs immediately began to move, and he jumped up. The more the servant fiddled the better went the dance. However, the thorns ripped apart the Jew's shabby coat, combed his beard, and pricked and pinched him all over his body.

来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: http://www.tingvoa.com/html/20110521/44265.html

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