Bearskin (A fairy tale)

Jeff telling the story of Bearskin. ©2014

Bearskin

Bearskin (A fairy tale)

Translated by Stephen Krashen ©2010, Illustrated by Beniko Mason ©2016

若い男が悪魔から厳しい試練を課されます。彼は手腕と優しさでもってそれに成功します。

There was once a young man who was a fine soldier, always the bravest when the battle was fierce. At the end of the war, he was dismissed from the army, and he had no place to go because his parents had died and his brothers refused to take him in. So the he began to wander through the world, with his only possession, his gun, on his shoulder.

He sat down under a tree, and thought about his problem: “I have no money, and I have no trade; I only know how to fight. Now that it is peacetime, they don’t need me any more.”

戦争が終わった時、その若い兵隊は帰る家もなく、お金もなく、仕事もありませんでした。

Suddenly, he heard a noise, and when he looked around, a strange man wearing a green jacket was standing in front of him. The man looked elegant but also looked evil.

“I know what you need.” said the man. “You will have plenty of money, as much as you want, but first I have to know if you are really courageous. I don’t want to waste my money.”

“I’m a soldier,” he said, “Go ahead and put me to the test.”

“Very well,” “said the man, “Look behind you.”

緑色のジャケットを来た見知らぬ男が現れました。若い兵隊に熊を殺したらお金を与えると提案しました。若い男はうまく熊を殺しました。

Bearskin

The soldier turned around, and saw a large bear, which came towards him growling loudly. “Oh!” cried the soldier, “I will tickle your nose, and that will stop you from growling!” He aimed his gun and killed the bear with a single shot.

“I can see,” said the stranger, “that you are courageous,” but there is something else you have to do.” “If I don’t lose my soul,” said the soldier, who now understood who the man was. “If I have to lose my soul, I’ll have nothing to do with it.”

“That’s up to you,” said the man in the green jacket. “For the next seven years, you can’t wash yourself, comb your beard or your hair, nor cut your nails, nor pray. And you have to wear a jacket and an overcoat that I will give you. If you die during these seven years, your soul is mine. If you are still alive after seven years, you are free, and you will have plenty of money for the rest of your life.

若い男はその緑色のジャケットを着て、7年間風呂に入らないことに同意しました。(実は悪魔である)この見知らぬ男はこの間にもしこの若い男が死ぬような事があったら彼の魂を悪魔はもらうと言いました。しかし、この緑色のジャケットの上に今殺した熊の毛皮を着て過ごせば、緑色のジャケットのポケットにはいつもお金がたくさん入っているということでした。

The soldier thought about his situation, and how often he had faced death in the past and agreed to take the risk. The Devil took off his green jacket, gave it to the soldier, and said, “If you wear this jacket, and put your hand in the pocket, you will always find it full of money. Then he pulled the skin off the dead bear and said, “This will be your overcoat, and it will also be your bed. You are not allowed to sleep in any other bed. And you will be called Bearskin.” After saying this, the Devil disappeared.

The soldier put the jacket on, felt in the pocket, and found that the man had been telling the truth. Then he put on the bearskin and went out into the world.

During the first year, his appearance was acceptable, but in the second year he began to look like a monster. His hair nearly covered his entire face, his beard was rough, his fingers had claws, and his face was covered with dirt. People ran away when they saw him, but he always found shelter, because everywhere he went he gave the poor money to pray for him, so he wouldn’t die during the seven years, and he was generous with his money.

2、3年後、熊の毛皮を着た若い男はひどい身なりになりました。しかし、彼はポケットからお金を出して貧しい人たちにお金を分け与えていました。

In the fourth year, he came to an inn where the innkeeper would not let him in. He wouldn’t even let him stay in the stable, because he thought that the horses would be afraid. But Bearskin put his hand into his pocket and pulled out a great deal of money; the innkeeper then gave Bearskin a room in a small house in the rear, on the condition that Bearskin would not let himself be seen by the other guests.

As Bearskin was sitting alone in the evening, and wishing from the bottom of his heart that the seven years were over, he heard someone crying in a neighboring room. He opened the door and saw an old man weeping bitterly. The man was frightened when he first saw Bearskin, but when he heard Bearskin’s kind human voice, he calmed down and told Bearskin why he was so upset.

宿に泊まっていた時、ベアスキンは老人が泣いているのを聞きました。其の老人は一文無しで、娘達のために食べ物もなく、家賃を払うお金もありませんでした。ベアスキンはお金をあげました。すると、老人は娘を一人嫁にあげるとベアスキンに言いました。

Bearskin

He explained that over the years, little by little, he had lost all his money, and he and his daughters were going to starve. He was so poor that he could not pay the innkeeper his rent, and he was going to be sent to prison.

“If that’s your only problem,” said Bearskin, “don’t worry. I have plenty of money.” Barskin paid the innkeeper and gave the old man a purse full of gold. The old man was so relieved that he couldn’t thank Bareskin enough.

“Come with me,” he said to Bearskin, “my daughters are all fabulously beautiful; choose one of them as a wife. After you choose one, she will not refuse you because of what you have done for me. Bearskin liked this idea and agreed.

When the oldest daughter saw him, she screamed and ran away. The second stood still and looked at him from head to foot, but then she said, “How can I accept a husband who no longer looks human?”

The youngest, however, said, “Dear father, a man who helped you so much must be a good man, so if you promised him a wife for doing it, your promise must be kept.”

Bearskin’s face was so dirty and hairy that nobody could see how happy he was when he heard these words. He took a ring from his finger, broke it in two, and gave her half, keeping the other half for himself.

2人のお姉さんたちはベアスキンを醜いと思いましたが、末の娘は彼が善良な人だと分かっていたので、結婚することに同意しました。ベアスキンは自分の指輪の半分を彼女に渡しました。

Bearskin

He wrote his name on her half, and her name on his half, and begged her to keep her piece in a safe place. He then told her, “I must wander for three years. If I don’t return, you are free, because I will be dead. But please pray that I will survive.” Then he left.

The poor bride dressed herself entirely in black, and when she thought of her future husband, tears came into her eyes. But her sisters made fun of her. “Watch out,” said the oldest sister, “if you give him your hand, he will hurt you with his claws.” “Be careful,” said the middle sister, “bears like sweet things; he might just eat you up!” “You will always have to do whatever he wants,” said the oldest, “or he will growl at you.” And the middle sister continued, “The wedding will be a great party, because bears can really dance well.”

The bride didn’t say anything, and didn’t let her sisters annoy her. Meanwhile Bearskin wandered far and wide, doing good deeds wherever he could, and gave generously to the poor so they would pray for him.

ベアスキンは7年が経つまで放浪しました。人々を助けて、貧しい人たちにはお金をあげました。

Finally the seven years were over. On the last day, Bearskin sat in the same place where he had first met the man in the green jacket. Soon the Devil stood before him, clearly displeased. He threw Bearskin his old coat and demanded his own coat back.

“Not so fast,” answered Bearskin, “first you have to clean me up.” The Devil had no choice: He had to get some water and wash Bearskin, comb his hair, and cut his nails. When he was finished, Bearskin looked like a brave soldier, and was much handsomer than he had ever been before.

7年の最後の日に悪魔はベアスキンをきれいに洗うことに同意しました。ベアスキンはハンサムな男性でした。しかも彼はお金持ちでした。

When the Devil had gone away, Bearskin was in very good spirits. He went into the town, put on a magnificent velvet coat, seated himself in a carriage drawn by four white horses, and drove to his bride’s house. No one recognized him. The father thought that Bearskin was a distinguished general, and brought him into a room where his daughters were sitting.

He was asked to sit between the two older sisters; they served him wine, gave him the best pieces of meat, and thought that they had never seen a handsomer man. His bride, however, sat across from him in her black dress, and never raised her eyes, nor spoke a word.

When he asked the father if he would give him one of his daughters in marriage, the two older sisters jumped up, ran into their bedrooms to put on beautiful dresses, each thinking she was the chosen one.

ベアスキンは老人の家に戻りました。ベアスキンがハンサムでお金持ちだったのでお姉さんたちはベアスキンと結婚したいと希望しました。

As soon as he was alone with his bride, Bearskin brought out his half of the ring, and put it in a pitcher of wine and a poured her a glass to drink. She took the wine, but when she drank it and found the half ring lying at the bottom, and her heart began to beat wildly.

She got the other half, which she wore on a ribbon around her neck, joined the two halves together, and saw that the two pieces fit together perfectly.

ベアスキンは彼の半分の指輪をワイングラスの中に隠しました。末の娘はそれを見つけて、このハンサムなお金持ちの青年がベアスキンだと分かりました。

Then he said, “I am your husband-to-be. You knew me as Bearskin. I have regained my original, clean human form.” He went to her, embraced her, and kissed her.

Bearskin

In the meantime the two sisters came back in their elegant dresses, and when they saw that the handsome man was to be the husband of the youngest sister, and that he was Bearskin, they ran out of the house in a rage. One of them drowned herself in the well, the other hanged herself from a tree.

In the evening, there was a knock at the door, and when the bridegroom opened it, it was the Devil in his green coat, who said, “You see, I now have two souls, instead of just your one.”

The End

Vocabulary

Part 1 Flashcards

  1. fine 立派な
  2. soldier 兵隊
  3. the bravest 最も勇敢な
  4. battle 戦い
  5. fierce 力強い
  6. at the end of ~ 〜の終わりに
  7. be dismissed from ~〜から解雇される
  8. army 陸軍
  9. refuse 断る
  10. take ~ in 〜を中に入れる
  11. wander さまよう
  12. possession 所有物
  13. gun 銃
  14. problem 困った事態
  15. trade 商売
  16. how to fight 戦う方法
  17. peacetime 平和な時代
  18. noise 騒音
  19. look around 見回す
  20. strange 見知らぬ
  21. wear 着ている
  22. green jacket 緑色のジャケット
  23. in front of ~ 〜の前に
  24. elegant 格調高い、優雅な
  25. evil 邪悪な
  26. courageous 勇気がある
  27. put ~ to the test 〜を試す

Part 2 Flashcards

  1. behind 〜の後ろに
  2. bear 熊
  3. towards 〜の方向に
  4. growl 怒ってうなる
  5. tickle くすぐる
  6. nose 鼻
  7. stop ~ from ~ 〜を〜から止める
  8. aim 的を定める
  9. single shot 一発で
  10. soul 魂
  11. up to you あなた次第
  12. for the next seven years 次の7年間に
  13. wash 洗う
  14. comb 櫛でとく
  15. cut 切る
  16. pray 祈る
  17. mine 私の物
  18. for the rest of ~ あなたの余生
  19. situation 状況
  20. face 直面する
  21. death 死
  22. agree 同意する
  23. take the risk あえて危険を犯す
  24. The Devil 悪魔
  25. pull ~ off ~ はぎ取る
  26. skin 皮
  27. overcoat 外套
  28. Bearskin 熊の皮
  29. disappear 消える
  30. during 〜の間
  31. appearance 見かけ、外見
  32. acceptable 差し支えない
  33. monster 怪物
  34. hair 髪の毛
  35. cover 覆う
  36. entire 全体
  37. beard あごひげ
  38. rough もじゃもじゃの
  39. claw 爪
  40. dirt 汚れ
  41. shelter 宿泊所
  42. the poor 貧乏人
  43. pray for ~ 〜のために祈る
  44. generous 寛大な、気前の良い
  45. innkeeper 宿の主人
  46. stable 馬小屋
  47. horse(s) 馬
  48. afraid 怖がる
  49. in the rear 後部に
  50. on the condition この条件で
  51. guest(s) 客
  52. wish 望む
  53. the bottom of his heart 心の底から
  54. be over 終了する
  55. neighboring 隣接した、近くにある
  56. weep さめざめと泣く
  57. bitterly 悲痛に
  58. be frightened 怯える
  59. kind 優しい
  60. human 人間の
  61. voice 声
  62. calm down 落ちつく
  63. upset うろたえる

Part 3 Flashcards

  1. over the years 年月が過ぎるごとに
  2. little by little 少しずつ
  3. lose 失う
  4. starve 飢える
  5. pay 支払う
  6. rent 家賃
  7. prison 刑務所
  8. plenty of ~ たくさんの〜
  9. purse 財布
  10. full of ~ たくさんの
  11. be relived 安心する
  12. can’t thank someone enough  感謝したりない
  13. fabulously 信じられないくらいに
  14. scream 叫ぶ
  15. look human 人間に見える
  16. no longer もはや〜ない
  17. promise 約束する
  18. ring 指輪
  19. break ~ in two 二つに割る
  20. half 半分のもの

Part 4 Flashcards

  1. beg 頼む
  2. safe place 安全な場所
  3. survive 生き延びる
  4. in black 真っ黒に
  5. tear 涙
  6. make fun of ~ からかう
  7. hurt 傷つく
  8. annoy 困らせる
  9. do good deeds 良い行いをする
  10. generously  気前よく
  11. clearly 明らかに
  12. displeased 不満足な
  13. demand 要求する
  14. not so fast そんなに急がないで
  15. clean ~ up きれいに洗う
  16. handsomer 前よりハンサムな
  17. before 以前
  18. magnificent 堂々とした
  19. velvet coat ベルベットのコート
  20. carriage 馬車
  21. bride 花嫁
  22. recognize 気がつく
  23. distinguished 有名な
  24. general 将軍
  25. across from ~ 〜から反対側に
  26. raise 上げる
  27. chosen~ 選ばれた〜
  28. pitcher 水差し
  29. pour 注ぐ
  30. bottom 底
  31. beat 打つ
  32. wildly 激しく
  33. wear (wore) 身につける
  34. on a ribbon リボンで
  35. around 〜の周りに
  36. neck 首
  37. join ~ together 一緒に取り付ける、結合する
  38. fit 合う
  39. perfectly 完全に
  40. husband-to-be 将来の夫
  41. regain 取り戻す
  42. embrace 抱き合う

Part 5 Flashcards

  1. meantime その間
  2. in a rage 憤慨して
  3. drown 溺れ死ぬ
  4. well 井戸
  5. hang 首をつる
  6. knock ドアを叩く
  7. bridegroom 新郎
  8. You see ほらね
  9. two 二つ
  10. instead of ~ 〜の代わりに
  11. your one あなたの物(魂)