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The Magic Mill

2006-02-28 00:00

  英汉对照

  A long time ago, far, far away, there lived two brothers. One of them was quite rich: the other was very poor. The rich brother lived on a little island; he was a seller of salt. He had sold salt for many years and had got a great deal of money. The other brother was so poor that he had not got enough food for his wife and children.

  His wife said, “What will happen to us? Do you want me and the children to die? There is nothing to eat. Why don't you go and ask your brother for some money.”

  “My brother loves his money very much. I'm sure that he will not give me any. Perhaps he will want to give me a handful of salt. But I will go and see him.”

  He got into his boat and sailed across to the island where his brother lived.

  He found his rich brother at home, counting his money.

  “What is the matter? Why have you come here?”

  “Please, brother, I have no food in my house. Please give me one of those gold pieces you are counting.”

  “No. These are mine. You are very lazy. Why do you not go and work?”

  “I have tried to find some work, but I cannot. Now there is no bread in my house for my children.”

  “I will not give you any money, but I'll give you some bread. If I give you a loaf of bread, will you go away and not come back?”

  “Yes. Please give me the bread.”

  The rich man threw a loaf of bread to him, and he went away.

  While he was on his way to his house, he came to an old man sitting by the side of the road.

  “What is that you are carrying?” said the old man. “Is it bread? I have not had any thing to eat for two days.”

  He cut a piece of the loaf and gave it to the old man, who thanked him and began to eat. When he had finished, the old man said, “Now I will do something for you. I will show you the home of the fairies who live underground. If you show them the bread, they will want to buy it from you. But do not let them give you any money. Ask them for the little mill that stands behind their door. Do as I say, and you will become rich. When you come back, I will show you how to use it.”

  The old man then led him into a wood. He pointed to a hole in the ground. It looked like the hole made by a big rabbit. Inside, the hole grew bigger and a little stone door could be seen.

  “That is the fairies' home. Get in and open the door. I will wait until you come out,” said the old man.

  The poor man got into the hole, opened the door, and went in. It was dark inside the door: for some time he could see nothing. Then, when he could see more clearly, he saw many little fairies: they came and stood round him.

  “What is that?” said one of them. “Is it white bread? Please give it to us, or sell it to us.”

  “We will give you gold and silver for it,” said another.

  “No,” said the poor man. “I don't want gold or silver. Give me that old mill that stands behind the door, and I will give you the loaf of bread.”

  At first they did not want to give him the mill for the bread, so he turned away.

  But some of the fairies began to cry, “Let him have the old mill. We never use it now. And only good people can make it work.”

  Then they gave him the mill. He put it under his arm and went out of fairy-land. He fount the old man waiting for him.

  “That is it,” the old man said. “This is how to use it. Only good people can use it. You must never let any other person use it.”

  It was quite late when the poor man reached home.

  “Where have you been?” said his wife. “There is no fire and no food in the house. The children are cold and crying for food. What is that you are carrying. It looks like an old mill.”

  “It is a mill,” he said. “Now watch. Say what you want, and you will have it.”

  He put the mill on the table and began to turn it. Out of the little mill came wood for the fire, oil for lighting and cooking, clothes, corn, and many other good things.

  “It is a magic mill,” said his wife. “Now we are rich.”

  “Yes, but no-one must know about it. We must hide it and use it only when no-one is watching.”

  The poor man soon became as rich as his brother. He did not keep all the good things for his own family. He gave many things to poor friends.

  When his brother heard about this, he said to himself, “I do not know why my brother has become rich. I must find the reason for his riches.”

  For a long time he tried to find the reason, but he could not. But one day he gave a servant some money and ordered him to watch the house of his brother at night. That night, the servant looked through the window and saw the family standing round the mill, which was working. He went back and told what he had seen.

  The next day the brother got in his boat and sailed across the water. He said to his brother, “I see that you are now quite rich, and I know the reason. You have a little magic mill. Sell it to me. How much money do you want for it?”

  “I cannot sell it,” said the poor man. “It must never leave my hands. The old man said, 'There will be great danger if you sell it or give it to any other person.' That is what he said.”

  Then the rich brother sailed away home. But later, one dark night, he came back, went very quietly into the house, and stole the mill. He quickly carried it to the sea, where his boat was waiting. Then he sailed away to his island.

  But the bad brother wanted very much to make the mill work. He did not wait until he reached home. While he was sailing in the boat, he tried to make it work.

  “Salt,” he said. “Salt is what I sell, and salt is what I want.” Then he began to turn the mill.

  Then salt bean to come out of the mill. He laughed and began to sing. Masses of salt came out and began to fill the boat. The boat became low in the water. He tried to throw some of the salt into the sea. But more came in, masses of it. He stopped laughing and singing. Then he began to be afraid.

  More salt came out of the mill, and soon the boat was full of it. Then water came in and filled the boat. The boat went down, down to the bottom of the sea, carrying with it the thief and the magic mill.

  There, at the bottom of the sea, the mill is still turning, making more and more salt.

  That is the reason (some people say) why the water of the sea is salty.

  I. Translation for Reference(参考译文)

  神磨

  很久以前,在很远很远的地方,住着兄弟俩。其中一个很富有,另一个却很贫穷。富兄弟住在一个小岛上,他是一个盐商,他经营盐已有很多年,挣了很多钱。另一个兄弟穷得连他妻子和孩子都吃不饱。

  他的妻子说:“我们该怎么办呢?你想让我和孩子们去死吗?没有东西吃了。你为什么不去向你的兄弟要些钱?”

  “我的兄弟特别吝惜自己的钱,我想他肯定一分钱也不会给我的,也许他会给我一把盐,但不管怎么说我还是要去见见他。”

  他上了他的小船,朝他兄弟住的那个小岛驶去。

  他发现他富兄弟正在家点钱。

  “什么事呀?你怎么到这儿来了?”

  “对不起,兄弟,我家里没吃的了,请你从正在点的那些金币中给我一枚吧!”

  “不行,这些是我的,你太懒惰了,你为什么不去干活?”

  “我已经努力去找些活干了,但是我找不到,现在,我家里都没有面包给孩子们吃了。”

  “我不会给你钱的,但我给你一块面包,如果我给你一块面包,你就离开,不要回来好吗?”

  “好吧,给我面包吧。”

  这位富人扔了一块面包给他,他就走了。

  在回家的路上,他碰见一位老人坐在路边。

  “你拿的是什么东西?”老人问,“是面包吗?我已经两天没有吃东西了。”

  “这面包是给我自己的孩子们的,但我不愿看到别人没有吃的。来,我给你切一片面包。”

  他切下一片面包给了这位老人。老人向他道谢并吃起来。

  吃完面包后,老人说:“现在我要为你做点事。我带你去住在地底下的妖精的家。如果你给他们看到这块面包,他们就会想从你手里买下。但是,你别让他们给你钱,要他们门后立着的那个小磨。照我说的那样去做,你就会变得富有,你回来以后,我会教你怎样用那小磨。”

  然后,那位老人就带他到森林里,他指了指地上的一个洞,这个洞看上去像大兔子挖的,越往里面洞也越大,可以看到一扇小石门。

  “那就是小妖精的家,进去把那门打开,我等着你出来。”老人说。

  这个穷人进了洞,打开门进去了。门里边很黑:好一会儿,他什么也看不见。当他能看清楚一些时,他见到很多小妖精,他们过来围着他站着。

  “那是什么?”其中有一个妖精问,“是白面包吗?请把它给我们吧,或卖给我们。”

  “我们要用金子,银子买你的面包,”另一个说。

  “不,”穷人说,“我不要金子或银子。只要把门后立着的那个旧磨给我,我就给你们这块面包。”

  开始时,他们不愿用他们的磨换面包,于是,他转身就走。

  但是,有些妖精叫了起来:“给他那旧磨吧,我们现在根本用不着,只有好人才能使用它。”于是,他们把磨给了他,他把磨夹在腋下,走出了妖精的住所。他发现那位老人正等着他。

  “就是它,”老人说,“这是使用它的办法。只有好人才能用它,你千万别让其他人使用。”

  这个穷人到家时天已很晚了。

  “你到哪儿去了?”他的妻子说,“家里没有火烤,没有饭吃,孩子们冷,哭着要东西吃。你带的那个东西是什么?看上去像一个旧磨。”

  “就是一个旧磨,”他说,“现在来瞧瞧,你说要什么,他就有什么。”

  他把磨放在桌子上,开始转动。从小磨里出来了烤火用的柴禾,点灯和做饭菜用的油,还有衣服,粮食和其他很多东西。

  “真是一个神磨,”他的妻子说,“现在我们富有了。”

  “是的,不过,一定不能让任何人知道它。我们必须把它藏起来,只有在没人看见时才能拿出来用。”

  这个穷人很快变得像他兄弟一样富有。他不是把好东西都留在自己家。他把许多东西送给那些穷苦的朋友。

  他的兄弟听说了这些,心里想:“我不知道为什么我的兄弟变富了,我必须找到他富有的原因。”

  好长时间,他试图找出原因,可是他还是不知道。有一天,他给了一个佣人一些钱,让他在晚上监视他兄弟的家。那天晚上,这个佣人透过窗户看到他们全家人围着磨站着,那个磨正在工作,他就回去把所看到的说了。

  第二天,这位富兄弟上了船,开过岸来,他对他的兄弟说:“我发现你现在很富有,并且也知道为什么。你有一个小神磨,把它卖给我吧,你要卖多少钱?”

  “我不能卖,”那个穷人说,“它绝不能离开我的手。老人说过:'如果你卖掉它或把它给了其他人,必将招来大祸。'他就这么说的。”

  于是,富兄弟把船开回家了。但是,在一个漆黑的夜晚,他又回来了,他悄悄地见了屋,偷走了神磨。带着它飞快地跑到了海边。他的小船正等在那里,然后,他驶向他的小岛。

  这个坏兄弟很想让磨转起来。他等不及回到家,还在船里的时候,就迫不及待地要用。

  “盐,”他说道,“我是卖盐的,盐就是我所想要的。”说着他开始转动磨盘,盐开始从磨里出来了,他高兴得大笑起来,唱起歌来。一堆一堆的盐出来了,船开始往下沉,他拼命把一些盐扔进海里,但是更多的盐从磨里出来了,一堆堆的。他不笑了,也不再唱了,接着,他开始害怕起来。

  越来越多的盐从神磨里出来了,很快填满了整只船。这时,水进来了,淹没了船,船下沉了,连同这个贼和神磨一起,沉到了海底。

  在海底,神磨仍然转动着,磨出越来越多的盐。

  有些人说这就是为什么海水是咸的原因。

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