癞蛤蟆的童话故事

  • A+
所属分类:民间故事

癞蛤蟆的故事简介

住在井底的癞蛤蟆妈妈,她有好几个癞蛤蟆孩子。癞蛤蟆妈妈说小癞蛤蟆的头顶镶着一颗宝石,这颗宝石会让他们感到得意和骄傲。但是最小的癞蛤蟆似乎并不稀罕这颗宝石,他只想到井外面的世界去看看。终于有一天他跳到打水的桶里来到了外面的世界,他见识了很多美丽又奇妙的生物,有美丽的花朵,可爱的毛毛虫,以及大公鸡,但是癞蛤蟆还想见识更多,希望走得更远,直到有一天被鹳鸟衔上了天空...

癞蛤蟆的简介

水井很深,因此绳子也就很长。当人们要把装满了水的汲水桶拉到井边上的时候,滑轮几乎连转动的余地都没有了。井水不论是怎样清澈,太阳总是没有办法照进去的。不过凡是太阳光可以射到的地方,就有绿色的植物从石缝之间生长出来。

这儿住着一个癞蛤蟆的家族。他们是外来的移民。事实上他们是跟老癞蛤蟆妈妈倒栽葱跳进来的。她现在还活着。那些早就住在这儿和现在正在水里游着的青蛙,都承认与他们有亲族关系,同时也把他们称为“井客”。这些客人愿意在这儿住下来。他们把潮湿的石块叫作干地;他们就在这上面舒服地生活下去。

青蛙妈妈曾经旅行过一次。当汲水桶被拉上来的时候,她就在里面。不过她觉得阳光太厉害,刺痛了她的眼睛。很幸运,她马上就跳出了水桶,噗通一声就跳进井水里去了。她腰痛了整整三天,不能动弹。关于上面的世界,她没有多少意见可以发表,不过她知道,所有别的青蛙也全知道——水井并不就是整个世界。癞蛤蟆妈妈大概可以谈出一点道理来;不过当别人问起她的时候,她从来不回答,因此别人也就不再问了。

“她是又笨又丑,又胖又讨厌!”小青蛙们齐声说。“她的一些孩子们也同样丑。”

“也许是这样,”癞蛤蟆妈妈说。“不过在他们之中有一个头上镶着一颗宝石——如果不是镶在我的头上的话!”

青蛙们都听到了这句话,他们同时把眼睛睁得斗大。当然他们是不愿听这样的话的,因此就对她做了一个鬼脸,跳到井底去。不过那些小癞蛤蟆们特别伸伸后腿,表示骄傲。他们都以为自己有那颗宝石,因此把头昂着,动也不敢动一下。不过后来大家问他们究竟为什么要感到骄傲,宝石究竟是一种什么东西。

“是一种漂亮和昂贵的东西,”癞蛤蟆妈妈说,“我简直形容不出来!那是一种使你戴起来感到非常得意、使别人看起来非常嫉妒的东西。但是请你们不要问吧,我是不会回答的。”

“是的,我不会有这颗宝石,”最小的那个癞蛤蟆说。他是一个丑得不能再丑的小玩艺儿。“我为什么要有这样了不起的东西呢?如果它引起别人烦恼,那么我也不会感到得意的!不,我只希望将来有机会跑到井边上去看看外面的世界。那一定是非常好玩的!”

“你最好待在原来的地方不要动!”老癞蛤蟆说。“这是你根生土长的地方,这儿你什么都熟悉。当心那个汲水桶啦!它可能把你压碎。即使你安全地跑进里面去,你也可能跌出来的。我跌过一交,连四肢和肚子里的卵都没有受到损伤,但不是每个癞蛤蟆都能像我这样幸运呀。”

“呱!”小癞蛤蟆说。这跟我们人类说一声“哎呀”差不多。

他非常想跑到井边去看看;他渴望瞧瞧上面的绿东西。第二天早晨,当盛满了水的汲水桶正在被拉上来.在小癞蛤蟆坐着的石头旁偶尔停一下的时候,这个小家伙就抖了一下,跳到这个满满的桶里,一直沉到水底,水被拉上来了,他也被倒出来了。

“呸,真倒霉!”看到他的那个人说。“这是我从来没有看到过的一个最丑的东西!”

他用木拖鞋踢了它一脚。癞蛤蟆几乎要成了残废,不过他总算是滚进一丛很高的荨麻里去了。他把周围的麻梗子看了又看,还朝上面望了一眼。太阳光射在叶子上;叶子全都是透明的。这对于他说来,简直是像我们人走进了一个大森林里去一样,太阳从青枝绿叶之间透进来。

“这儿比在井里漂亮得多了!叫我在这儿住一生也是乐意的!”小癞蛤蟆说。他在这儿呆了一点钟,呆了两点钟!“我倒很想知道,外面是个什么样子?我既然跑了这么远的路,那么当然可以再跑远一点!”于是他就尽快地朝外面爬。他爬到大路上来了。当他正在横爬过去的时候,太阳在照着,灰尘在路上飞扬。

“人们在这儿可算是真正到干地上来了,”癞蛤蟆说。“我几乎可以说是一个幸运儿;这太使我舒服了!”

他现在来到了一条水沟旁边。这儿长着毋忘我花和绣线菊;紧挨着还有一道山楂和接骨木形成的篱笆,上面悬挂着许多白色的旋花。人们可以在这儿看到许多不同的色彩。这儿还有一只蝴蝶在飞舞。癞蛤蟆以为它是一朵花,为了要好好地看看这个世界,才从枝子上飞走——这当然是再合理不过的事情。

“假如我能像它这样自由自在地来往,”癞蛤蟆说。“呱!哎呀,那该是多么痛快啊!”

他在沟里呆了八天八夜,什么食物也不缺少。到了第九天,他想:“再向前走吧!”但是他还能找到什么比这更美丽的东西呢?他可能找到一只小癞蛤蟆和几只青蛙。昨天晚上,风里有一种声音,好像是说附近住着一些“亲族”似的。

“活着真愉快!从井里跳出来,躺在荨麻里,在尘土飞扬的路上爬,在湿润的沟里休息!但是再向前走!我们得找一些青蛙和一只小癞蛤蟆。没有他们是活不下去的;光有大自然是不够的!”

于是他又开始乱跑起来。

他来到田野里的一个长满了灯心草的小池旁边边。接着他就走进去。

“这地方对你说来是太潮湿了,是不是?”青蛙们说。“不过我们非常欢迎你!——请问你是一个先生还是一个太太?不过这也没有什么关系,我们欢迎你就得了!”

这天晚上,他被请去参加了一个音乐会——一个家庭音乐会:满腔的热忱和微弱的歌声。我们都熟悉这一套。会上没有什么点心吃,但是水可以随便喝——假如你高兴的话,你可以把一池的水都喝光。

“现在我还得向前走!”小癞蛤蟆说。他老是在追求更好的东西。

他看到又大又明亮的星星在眨着眼睛,他看到新月在射出光辉。他看到太阳升起来——越升越高。”

“我还在井里,不过在一个较大的井里罢了。我必须爬得更高一点。我有一种不安和渴望的心情!”

当这个可怜的小东西看到又大又圆的月亮的时候,他想,“不知道这是不是上面放下来的一个汲水桶?我不知道能不能跳进去,爬得更高一点?难道太阳不是一个大汲水桶吗?它是多么大,多么亮啊!它可以把我们统统都装进去!我一定要抓住机会!啊,我的脑袋里是多么亮啊!我不相信宝石能够发出比这还亮的光来!但是我并没有宝石,我也不一定要为这而感到伤心。不,更高地爬进快乐和光明中去吧!我有把握,可是我也害怕——这是一件很难办的事情。但是我非办不可!前进吧!向大路上前进吧!”

于是他就前进了——像一个爬行动物能够前进的那个样儿前进。他来到一条两旁有人居住的大路上。这儿有花园,也有菜园。他在一个菜园旁边休息一下。

“该是有多少不同的动物啊!我从来没有看到过这些东西!这个世界是多么大,多么幸福啊!不过你也得走过去亲自看看,不能老呆在一个地方呀!”因此他就跳进菜园里去。

“这儿是多么绿啊!多么美丽啊!”

“这些东西我早就知道!”白菜叶上的毛虫说。“我的这片叶子在这儿要算最大!它盖住了半个世界,不过没有这半个世界我也可以活下去。”

“咕!咕!”有一个声音说。接着就有一些母鸡进来了。她们在莱园里蹒跚地走着。

走在最前面的那只母鸡是远视眼。她一眼就瞧见了那片皱菜叶上的毛虫。她啄了一口,弄得它滚到地上来,卷做一团。母鸡先用一只眼睛瞧了它一下,接着又用另一只眼睛瞧了它一下,因为她猜不透,它这样卷一下究竟要达到一个什么目的。

“它这样做决不是出于什么好意!”母鸡想。于是它抬起头来又啄了一下。癞蛤蟆吓了一大跳,无意之中爬到鸡面前去了。

“它居然还有援军!”母鸡说。“瞧这个爬行的东西!”母鸡转身就走。“我不在乎这一小口绿色的食物;这只会弄得我的喉咙发痒!”

别的鸡也同意她的看法,因此大家就走开了。

“我卷动一下就逃脱了!”毛虫说。“可见镇定自若是必要的。不过最困难的事情还在后面——怎样回到白菜叶上去。那在什么地方呢?”

小癞蛤蟆走过来,表示同情。他很高兴,他能用它丑陋的外貌把母鸡吓跑了。

“你这是什么意思?”毛虫问。“事实上是我自己逃开她的,你的样子的确难看!让我回到我原来的地方去吧!我现在已经可以闻到白菜的气味了!我现在已经走到我的菜叶上了!什么地方也没有自己的家好。我得爬上去!”

“是的,爬上去!”小癞蛤蟆说,“爬上去!它的想法跟我一样。不过它今天的心情不大好,这大概是因为它吓了一跳的缘故。我们大家都要向上爬!”

因此他就尽量地抬头朝上面看。

鹳鸟正坐在农家屋顶上的窝里。他叽哩咕嘻地讲些什么东西,鹳鸟妈妈也在叽哩咕嘻地讲些什么东西。

“他们住得多高啊!”癞蛤蟆想。“我希望也能爬得那么高!”

农舍里住着两个年轻的学生。一个是诗人,另一个是博物学家。一个歌颂和欢乐地描述上帝所创造的一切以及他自己心中的感受;他用简单、明了、丰富、和谐的诗句把这一切都唱出来。另一个找来一些东西,而且在必要的时候,还要把它们分析一下。他把我们上帝创造出来的东西当作数学,一会儿减,一会儿乘。他要知道事物的里里外外,找出其中的道理。他懂得全部的奥妙,他欢乐地、聪明地谈论着它。他们两人都是善良、快乐的人。

“那儿坐着一个完整的癞蛤蟆标本,”博物学家说。“我要把它放在酒精里保存起来。”

“你已经有了两个呀!”诗人说。“你让他安静地坐着,享受生活吧!”

“不过他是丑得那么可爱!”博物学家说。

“是的,如果你能在他头上找得出一颗宝石来!”诗人说,“那么我都要帮助你把它剖开。”

“宝石!”博物学家说。“你倒是一个博物学专家呢!”

“民间不是流传着一个美丽的故事,说最丑的动物癞蛤蟆头上藏着一颗最贵重的宝石么?人不也是一样么?伊索和苏格拉底不都是有一颗宝石么?”——癞蛤蟆没有再听下去,他们的话它连一半都听不懂。这两位朋友继续谈下去,癞蛤蟆逃开了,也就没有被泡到酒精里。

“他们也在谈论着宝石!”癞蛤蟆说。“我身上没有这东西——真是幸事!不然的话,我可要倒霉了。”

农舍的屋顶上又有叽哩咕噜的声音。原来是鹳鸟爸爸在对他家里的人训话。他们都侧着脑袋望着菜园里的这两个年轻人。

“人是一种最自命不凡的动物!”鹳鸟说。“你们听他们讲话的这副神气!他们连一个像样的‘嘎嘎’声都发不出来,而却以为自己讲话的本领和语言非常了不起。他们的语言倒是世界上少有的:我们每次走完一天路程,语言就变了。这个人听不懂那个人的话。但我们的语言在全世界都通行——在丹麦跟在埃及一样容易懂。而且人还不会飞呢!他们发明一种东西来帮助他们旅行——把这叫做‘铁路’。不过他们常常在铁路上跌断脖子。我一想起这事情就不禁连嘴都要哆嗦起来。世界没有人也可以存在下去。我们没有他们也可以活下去!我们只要有青蛙和蚯蚓就得了!”

“这是一篇了不起的演说!”小癞蛤蟆想。“他么个多么伟大的人.他坐得多么高——我从来没有看见过有人坐得这样高!他游得才好呢!”当鹳鸟展开翅膀,在空中飞过去的时候,癞蛤蟆就大叫了一声。

鹳鸟妈妈在窝里谈话。她谈着关于埃及、尼罗河的水和外国的美妙的泥巴。小癞蛤蟆觉得这是非常新奇和有趣的故事。

“我也得到埃及去,”他说,“只要鹳鸟或者他的一个孩子愿意带我去的话。将来这小家伙结婚的时候,我将送给他一点什么东西。是的,我一定会到埃及去的,因为我是一个非常幸运的人!我心中的这种渴望和希求,比头上有一颗宝石要好得多。”

他正是有这样一颗宝石,叫做:永恒的渴望和希求;向上——不断地向上。这颗宝石在他的身体里发出光来——发出快乐和渴望的光。

正在这时候,鹳鸟飞来了。它看到草里的这只癞蛤蟆。它扑下来,使劲地啄住这只癞蛤蟆。嘴衔得很紧,风呼啸而过。这是一种很不愉快的感受,但癞蛤蟆却在向上飞,而且他知道是在向埃及飞。因此他的眼睛在发着光,好像里面有火星迸出来似的:“呱!哎呀!”

他的躯体死了;癞蛤蟆被掐死了。但是他的眼睛里迸出的火花变成了什么呢?

太阳光把他吸收去了。太阳带走了癞蛤蟆头上的那颗宝石。但带到什么地方去了呢?

你不必去问那位博物学家。你最好去问那位诗人。他可以把这故事当做一个童话告诉你。这童话里面还有那条毛虫,也有鹳鸟这一家人。想想看吧,毛虫变了形,变成了一只美丽的蝴蝶!鹳鸟家庭飞过高山和大海,到辽远的非洲去。但是它们仍然能够找到最短的捷径,飞回到丹麦来——飞到同样的地方,同样的屋顶上来。是的,这几乎是太像一个童话了,但这是真的!你不妨问问博物学家吧。他不得不承认这个事实。但是你自己也知道,因为你曾经看到过全部的经过。

不过怎样才可以看到癞蛤蟆头上的宝石呢?

你到太阳里去找吧。你可以瞧瞧它,假如你能够的话!太阳光是很强的。我们的眼睛还没有能力正视上帝创造的一切光辉,但是有一天我们会有这种能力的。那时这个童话将会非常精彩,因为我们自己也将会成为这个童话的一部分。

癞蛤蟆的寓意

在这个童话故事中,小小的癞蛤蟆虽然他很丑但是他很可爱,他的头顶没有闪光的宝石但是他的心中有渴望。癞蛤蟆借着心中的这份渴望来到的井外,他见识了一切别的癞蛤蟆不曾见到的美好事物,但是他仍然不满足,他一步步的追求自己想要的完美,不停的一路向前,直到生命消失。癞蛤蟆值得我们敬佩,因为他有梦想敢追求,活出了自己的意义。

英文版:The Toad

THE well was deep, and therefore the rope had to be a long one; it was heavy work turning the handle when any one had to raise a bucketful of water over the edge of the well. Though the water was clear, the sun never looked down far enough into the well to mirror itself in the waters; but as far as its beams could reach, green things grew forth between the stones in the sides of the well.

Down below dwelt a family of the Toad race. They had, in fact, come head-over-heels down the well, in the person of the old Mother-Toad, who was still alive. The green Frogs, who had been established there a long time, and swam about in the water, called them “well-guests.” But the new-comers seemed determined to stay where they were, for they found it very agreeable living “in a dry place,” as they called the wet stones.

The Mother-Frog had once been a traveller. She happened to be in the water-bucket when it was drawn up, but the light became too strong for her, and she got a pain in her eyes. Fortunately she scrambled out of the bucket; but she fell into the water with a terrible flop, and had to lie sick for three days with pains in her back. She certainly had not much to tell of the things up above, but she knew this, and all the Frogs knew it, that the well was not all the world. The Mother-Toad might have told this and that, if she had chosen, but she never answered when they asked her anything, and so they left off asking.

“She’s thick, and fat and ugly,” said the young green Frogs; “and her children will be just as ugly as she is.”

“That may be,” retorted the mother-Toad, “but one of them has a jewel in his head, or else I have the jewel.”

The young frogs listened and stared; and as these words did not please them, they made grimaces and dived down under the water. But the little Toads kicked up their hind legs from mere pride, for each of them thought that he must have the jewel; and then they sat and held their heads quite still. But at length they asked what it was that made them so proud, and what kind of a thing a jewel might be.

“Oh, it is such a splendid and precious thing, that I cannot describe it,” said the Mother-Toad. “It’s something which one carries about for one’s own pleasure, and that makes other people angry. But don’t ask me any questions, for I shan’t answer you.”

“Well, I haven’t got the jewel,” said the smallest of the Toads; she was as ugly as a toad can be. “Why should I have such a precious thing? And if it makes others angry, it can’t give me any pleasure. No, I only wish I could get to the edge of the well, and look out; it must be beautiful up there.”

“You’d better stay where you are,” said the old Mother-Toad, “for you know everything here, and you can tell what you have. Take care of the bucket, for it will crush you to death; and even if you get into it safely, you may fall out. And it’s not every one who falls so cleverly as I did, and gets away with whole legs and whole bones.”

“Quack!” said the little Toad; and that’s just as if one of us were to say, “Aha!”

She had an immense desire to get to the edge of the well, and to look over; she felt such a longing for the green, up there; and the next morning, when it chanced that the bucket was being drawn up, filled with water, and stopped for a moment just in front of the stone on which the Toad sat, the little creature’s heart moved within it, and our Toad jumped into the filled bucket, which presently was drawn to the top, and emptied out.

“Ugh, you beast!” said the farm laborer who emptied the bucket, when he saw the toad. “You’re the ugliest thing I’ve seen for one while.” And he made a kick with his wooden shoe at the toad, which just escaped being crushed by managing to scramble into the nettles which grew high by the well’s brink. Here she saw stem by stem, but she looked up also; the sun shone through the leaves, which were quite transparent; and she felt as a person would feel who steps suddenly into a great forest, where the sun looks in between the branches and leaves.

“It’s much nicer here than down in the well! I should like to stay here my whole life long!” said the little Toad. So she lay there for an hour, yes, for two hours. “I wonder what is to be found up here? As I have come so far, I must try to go still farther.” And so she crawled on as fast as she could crawl, and got out upon the highway, where the sun shone upon her, and the dust powdered her all over as she marched across the way.

“I’ve got to a dry place. now, and no mistake,” said the Toad. “It’s almost too much of a good thing here; it tickles one so.”

She came to the ditch; and forget-me-nots were growing there, and meadow-sweet; and a very little way off was a hedge of whitethorn, and elder bushes grew there, too, and bindweed with white flowers. Gay colors were to be seen here, and a butterfly, too, was flitting by. The Toad thought it was a flower which had broken loose that it might look about better in the world, which was quite a natural thing to do.

“If one could only make such a journey as that!” said the Toad. “Croak! how capital that would be.”

Eight days and eight nights she stayed by the well, and experienced no want of provisions. On the ninth day she thought, “Forward! onward!” But what could she find more charming and beautiful? Perhaps a little toad or a few green frogs. During the last night there had been a sound borne on the breeze, as if there were cousins in the neighborhood.

“It’s a glorious thing to live! glorious to get out of the well, and to lie among the stinging-nettles, and to crawl along the dusty road. But onward, onward! that we may find frogs or a little toad. We can’t do without that; nature alone is not enough for one.” And so she went forward on her journey.

She came out into the open field, to a great pond, round about which grew reeds; and she walked into it.

“It will be too damp for you here,” said the Frogs; “but you are very welcome! Are you a he or a she? But it doesn’t matter; you are equally welcome.”

And she was invited to the concert in the evening—the family concert; great enthusiasm and thin voices; we know the sort of thing. No refreshments were given, only there was plenty to drink, for the whole pond was free.

“Now I shall resume my journey,” said the little Toad; for she always felt a longing for something better.

She saw the stars shining, so large and so bright, and she saw the moon gleaming; and then she saw the sun rise, and mount higher and higher.

“Perhaps after all, I am still in a well, only in a larger well. I must get higher yet; I feel a great restlessness and longing.” And when the moon became round and full, the poor creature thought, “I wonder if that is the bucket which will be let down, and into which I must step to get higher up? Or is the sun the great bucket? How great it is! how bright it is! It can take up all. I must look out, that I may not miss the opportunity. Oh, how it seems to shine in my head! I don’t think the jewel can shine brighter. But I haven’t the jewel; not that I cry about that—no, I must go higher up, into splendor and joy! I feel so confident, and yet I am afraid. It’s a difficult step to take, and yet it must be taken. Onward, therefore, straight onward!”

She took a few steps, such as a crawling animal may take, and soon found herself on a road beside which people dwelt; but there were flower gardens as well as kitchen gardens. And she sat down to rest by a kitchen garden.

“What a number of different creatures there are that I never knew! and how beautiful and great the world is! But one must look round in it, and not stay in one spot.” And then she hopped into the kitchen garden. “How green it is here! how beautiful it is here!”

“I know that,” said the Caterpillar, on the leaf, “my leaf is the largest here. It hides half the world from me, but I don’t care for the world.”

“Cluck, cluck!” And some fowls came. They tripped about in the cabbage garden. The Fowl who marched at the head of them had a long sight, and she spied the Caterpillar on the green leaf, and pecked at it, so that the Caterpillar fell on the ground, where it twisted and writhed.

The Fowl looked at it first with one eye and then with the other, for she did not know what the end of this writhing would be.

“It doesn’t do that with a good will,” thought the Fowl, and lifted up her head to peck at the Caterpillar.

The Toad was so horrified at this, that she came crawling straight up towards the Fowl.

“Aha, it has allies,” quoth the Fowl. “Just look at the crawling thing!” And then the Fowl turned away. “I don’t care for the little green morsel; it would only tickle my throat.” The other fowls took the same view of it, and they all turned away together.

“I writhed myself free,” said the Caterpillar. “What a good thing it is when one has presence of mind! But the hardest thing remains to be done, and that is to get on my leaf again. Where is it?”

And the little Toad came up and expressed her sympathy. She was glad that in her ugliness she had frightened the fowls.

“What do you mean by that?” cried the Caterpillar. “I wriggled myself free from the Fowl. You are very disagreeable to look at. Cannot I be left in peace on my own property? Now I smell cabbage; now I am near my leaf. Nothing is so beautiful as property. But I must go higher up.”

“Yes, higher up,” said the little Toad; “higher-up! She feels just as I do; but she’s not in a good humor to-day. That’s because of the fright. We all want to go higher up.” And she looked up as high as ever she could.

The stork sat in his nest on the roof of the farm-house. He clapped with his beak, and the Mother-stork clapped with hers.

“How high up they live!” thought the Toad. “If one could only get as high as that!”

In the farm-house lived two young students; the one was a poet and the other a scientific searcher into the secrets of nature. The one sang and wrote joyously of everything that God had created, and how it was mirrored in his heart. He sang it out clearly, sweetly, richly, in well-sounding verses; while the other investigated created matter itself, and even cut it open where need was. He looked upon God’s creation as a great sum in arithmetic—subtracted, multiplied, and tried to know it within and without, and to talk with understanding concerning it; and that was a very sensible thing; and he spoke joyously and cleverly of it. They were good, joyful men, those two,

“There sits a good specimen of a toad,” said the naturalist. “I must have that fellow in a bottle of spirits.”

“You have two of them already,” replied the poet. “Let the thing sit there and enjoy its life.”

“But it’s so wonderfully ugly,” persisted the first.

“Yes, if we could find the jewel in its head,” said the poet, “I too should be for cutting it open.”

“A jewel!” cried the naturalist. “You seem to know a great deal about natural history.”

“But is there not something beautiful in the popular belief that just as the toad is the ugliest of animals, it should often carry the most precious jewel in its head? Is it not just the same thing with men? What a jewel that was that Aesop had, and still more, Socrates!”

The Toad did not hear any more, nor did she understand half of what she had heard. The two friends walked on, and thus she escaped the fate of being bottled up in spirits.

“Those two also were speaking of the jewel,” said the Toad to herself. “What a good thing that I have not got it! I might have been in a very disagreeable position.”

Now there was a clapping on the roof of the farm-house. Father-Stork was making a speech to his family, and his family was glancing down at the two young men in the kitchen garden.

“Man is the most conceited creature!” said the Stork. “Listen how their jaws are wagging; and for all that they can’t clap properly. They boast of their gifts of eloquence and their language! Yes, a fine language truly! Why, it changes in every day’s journey we make. One of them doesn’t understand another. Now, we can speak our language over the whole earth—up in the North and in Egypt. And then men are not able to fly, moreover. They rush along by means of an invention they call ’railway;’ but they often break their necks over it. It makes my beak turn cold when I think of it. The world could get on without men. We could do without them very well, so long as we only keep frogs and earth-worms.”

“That was a powerful speech,” thought the little Toad. “What a great man that is yonder! and how high he sits! Higher than ever I saw any one sit yet; and how he can swim!” she cried, as the Stork soared away through the air with outspread pinions.

And the Mother-Stork began talking in the nest, and told about Egypt and the waters of the Nile, and the incomparable mud that was to be found in that strange land; and all this sounded new and very charming to the little Toad.

“I must go to Egypt!” said she. “If the Stork or one of his young ones would only take me! I would oblige him in return. Yes, I shall get to Egypt, for I feel so happy! All the longing and all the pleasure that I feel is much better than having a jewel in one’s head.”

And it was just she who had the jewel. That jewel was the continual striving and desire to go upward—ever upward. It gleamed in her head, gleamed in joy, beamed brightly in her longing.

Then, suddenly, up came the Stork. He had seen the Toad in the grass, and stooped down and seized the little creature anything but gently. The Stork’s beak pinched her, and the wind whistled; it was not exactly agreeable, but she was going upward—upward towards Egypt— and she knew it; and that was why her eyes gleamed, and a spark seemed to fly out of them.

“Quunk!—ah!”

The body was dead—the Toad was killed! But the spark that had shot forth from her eyes; what became of that?

The sunbeam took it up; the sunbeam carried the jewel from the head of the toad. Whither?

Ask not the naturalist; rather ask the poet. He will tell it thee under the guise of a fairy tale; and the Caterpillar on the cabbage, and the Stork family belong to the story. Think! the Caterpillar is changed, and turns into a beautiful butterfly; the Stork family flies over mountains and seas, to the distant Africa, and yet finds the shortest way home to the same country—to the same roof. Nay, that is almost too improbable; and yet it is true. You may ask the naturalist, he will confess it is so; and you know it yourself, for you have seen it.

But the jewel in the head of the toad?

Seek it in the sun; see it there if you can.

The brightness is too dazzling there. We have not yet such eyes as can see into the glories which God has created, but we shall receive them by-and-by; and that will be the most beautiful story of all, and we shall all have our share in it.

文章来源:安徒生童话

发表评论

:?: :razz: :sad: :evil: :!: :smile: :oops: :grin: :eek: :shock: :???: :cool: :lol: :mad: :twisted: :roll: :wink: :idea: :arrow: :neutral: :cry: :mrgreen: