枞树的童话故事

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所属分类:民间故事

枞树的故事简介

小枞树羡慕大枞树被造成船上的桅杆,可以披红挂绿装扮圣诞节。当小枞树终于长大到可以被砍下,也流光溢彩地装扮圣诞节,身上挂满了闪耀的银丝,蓝色、白色的蜡烛和小礼品袋时,它享受到了不平凡和光荣。这是枞树人生的巅峰,虽然日日盼望,它却很害怕,对意想不到的光荣和幸福,心存惊悸。命运如它的担心,圣诞过后,即被扔在阁楼上,接着又被砍成了柴火,最后火焰渐渐把它烧成灰烬,每一个爆裂的声音都是它深深的叹息,它怀念树林里的夏天、星星照耀的冬夜、鸟儿美妙的歌声和温暖的阳光,可是现在只能面对灰烬了。“当我能够快乐的时候我应该快乐一下才对!完了!完了!”无疑是它醒悟过来时的叹惋。枞树的命运自然是我们人生中常见的现象。

枞树的故事

外边的大树林里长着一株非常可爱的小枞树。它生长的地点很好,能得到太阳光和充分的新鲜空气,周围还有许多大朋友——松树和别的枞树。不过这株小枞树急着要长大,它一点也不理睬温暖的太阳和新鲜的空气。当农家的小孩子出来找草莓和覆盆子、走来走去、闲散地聊天的时候,它也不理会他们。有时他们带着满钵子的、或用草穿起来的长串的莓子到来。他们坐在小枞树旁边,说:“嗨,这个小东西是多么可爱啊!”而这株树一点也不愿意听这话。

一年以后它长了一节;再过一年它又长了一节。因此你只要看枞树有多少节,就知道它长了多少年。

“啊,我希望我像别的树一样,是一株大树!”小枞树叹了一口气说,“那么我就可以把我的枝丫向四周伸展开来,我的头顶就可以看看这个广大的世界!那么鸟儿就可以在我的枝上做窠;当风吹起来的时候,我就可以像别的树一样,像煞有介事地点点头了。”

它对于太阳、鸟雀,对于在早晨和晚间飘过去的红云,一点也不感到兴趣。

现在是冬天了,四周的积雪发出白亮的光。有时一只兔子跑过来,在小枞树身上跳过去。……啊!这才叫它生气呢!

不过两个冬天又过去了。当第三个冬天到来的时候,小枞树已经长得很大了,兔子只好绕着它走过去。

啊!生长,生长,长成为大树,然后变老,只有这才是世界上最快乐的事情!小枞树这样想。

在冬天,伐木人照例到来了,砍下几株最大的树。这类事情每年总有一次。这株年轻的枞树现在已经长得相当大了;它有点颤抖起来,因为那些堂皇的大树轰然一声倒到地上来了。它们的枝子被砍掉,全身溜光,又长又瘦——人们简直没有办法认出它们来,但是它们被装上车子,被马儿拉出树林。

它们到什么地方去了呢?它们会变成什么呢?

在春天,当燕子和鹳鸟飞来的时候,枞树就问它们:“你们知道人们把它们拖到什么地方去了吗?你们碰到过它们没有?”

燕子什么也不知道。不过鹳鸟很像在想一件事情,连连点着头,说:“是的,我想是的!当我从埃及飞出来的时候,我碰到过许多新船。这些船上有许多美丽的桅杆;我想它们就是那些树。它们发出枞树的气味。我看见过许多次;它们昂着头!它们昂着头。”

“啊,我多么希望我也能长大得足够在大海上航行!海究竟是怎样的呢?它是什么样儿的呢?”

“嗨,要解释起来,那可是不简单!”鹳鸟说着便走开了。

“享受你的青春吧,”太阳光说,“享受你蓬勃的生长,享受你身体里新鲜的生命力吧!”

风儿吻着这株树,露珠在它身上滴着眼泪。但是这株树一点也不懂得这些事情。

当圣诞节到来的时候,有许多很年轻的树被砍掉了①。有的既不像枞树那样老,也不像它那样大,更不像它那样性急,老想跑开。这些年轻的树儿正是一些最美丽的树儿,所以它们都保持住它们的枝叶。它们被装上车子,马儿把它们拉出了树林。

“它们到什么地方去呢?”枞树问。“它们并不比我更大。是的,有一株比我还小得多呢。为什么它们要保留住枝叶呢?它们被送到什么地方去呢?”

“我们知道!我们知道!”麻雀唧唧喳喳地说。“我们在城里朝窗玻璃里面瞧过!我们知道它们到什么地方去!哦!它们要到最富丽堂皇的地方去!我们朝窗子里瞧过。我们看到它们被放在一个温暖房间的中央,身上装饰着许多最美丽的东西——涂了金的苹果啦,蜂蜜做的糕饼啦,玩具啦,以及成千成百的蜡烛啦!”

“后来呢?”枞树问;它所有的枝子都颤动起来了。“后来呢?后来怎样一个结果呢?”

“唔,以后的事我们没有看见。不过那是美极了!”

“也许有一天我也不得不走上这条光荣的大道吧!”枞树高兴地说。“这比在海上航行要好得多!我真等待得不耐烦了!我唯愿现在就是圣诞节!现在我已经大了,成人了,像去年被运走的那些树一样!啊,我希望我高高地坐在车子上!我希望我就在那个温暖的房间里,全身打扮得漂漂亮亮!那么,以后呢?是的,以后更好、更美的事情就会到来,不然他们为什么要把我打扮得这样漂亮呢?一定会有更伟大、更美丽的事情到来的。不过什么事情呢?啊,我真痛苦!我真渴望!

我自己也不知道为什么要这样!”

“请你跟我们一道享受你的生活吧!”空气和太阳光说。

“请你在自由中享受你新鲜的青春吧!”

不过枞树什么也不能享受。它一直在生长,生长。在冬天和夏天,它老是立在那儿,发绿——荫深的绿。看到过它的人说:“这是一株美丽的树!”到了圣诞节的时候,它是最先被砍掉了的一株。斧头深深地砍进树心里去,于是它叹了一口气就倒到地上来了:它感到一种痛楚,一阵昏厥,它完全想不起什么快乐。离开自己的家,离开自己根生土长的这块地方,究竟是很悲惨的。它知道自己将永远也见不到那些亲爱的老朋友,周围那些小灌木林和花丛了——也许连鸟儿也不会再见到呢,别离真不是什么愉快的事情。

当这树跟许多别的树在院子里一齐被卸下来的时候,它才清醒过来。它听到一个人说:“这是一株很好看的树儿;我们只要这一株!”

两位穿得很整齐的仆人走来了,把这枞树抬到一间漂亮的大客厅里去。四边墙上挂着许多画像,在一个大瓷砖砌的火炉旁边立着高大的中国花瓶——盖子上雕塑着狮子。这儿还有摇椅、绸沙发、堆满了画册的大桌子和价值几千几万元的玩具——至少小孩子们是这样讲的。枞树被放进装满了沙子的大盆里。不过谁也不知道这是一个盆,因为它外面围着一层布,并且立在一张宽大的杂色地毯上。啊,枞树抖得多厉害啊!现在会有什么事情发生呢?仆人和小姐们都来打扮它。他们把花纸剪的小网袋挂在它的枝子上,每个小网袋里都装满了糖果;涂成金色的苹果和胡桃核也挂在上面,好像它们原来就是生长在上面似的。此外,枝子上还安有一百多根红色、白色和蓝色的小蜡烛。跟活人一模一样的玩偶在树叶间荡来荡去,枞树从来没有看到过这种东西。树顶上还安有一颗银纸做的星星。这真是漂亮,分外地漂亮。

“今晚,”大家说,“今晚它将要放出光明。”

“啊,”枞树想,“我希望现在就已经是夜晚了!啊,我希望蜡烛马上点起来!还有什么会到来呢?也许树林里的树儿会出来看我吧?麻雀会在窗玻璃面前飞过吧?也许我会在这儿生下根来,在夏天和冬天都有这样的打扮吧?”

是的,它所知道的就只这些。它的不安使它得到一种经常皮痛的毛病,而这种皮痛病,对于树说来,其糟糕的程度比得上我们的头痛。

最后,蜡烛亮起来了。多么光辉,多么华丽啊!枞树的每根枝子都在发抖,弄得一根蜡烛烧着了一根小绿枝。这才真叫它痛呢。

“愿上帝保佑我们!”年轻的姑娘们都叫起来。她们急忙把火灭掉了。

枞树现在可不敢再发抖了。啊,这真是可怕呀!它非常害怕失掉任何一件装饰品,它们射出的光辉把它弄得头昏目眩。现在那两扇门推开了,许多小孩子涌进来,好像他们要把整个的树都弄倒似的。年纪大的人镇定地跟着他们走进来。这些小家伙站着,保持肃静。不过这只有一分钟的光景。接着他们就欢呼起来,弄出一片乱糟糟的声音。他们围着这株树跳舞,同时把挂在它上面的礼物一件接一件地取走了。

“他们打算怎么办呢?”枞树想。“有什么事情会发生呢?”

蜡烛烧到枝子上来了。当它们快要烧完的时候,它们便被扑灭了,这时孩子们便得到准许来掳掠这株树。啊!他们向它冲过来,所有的枝丫都发出折裂声。要不是树顶和顶上的一颗金星被系到天花板上,恐怕它早就倒下来了。

孩子们拿起美丽的玩具在周围跳舞。谁也不想再看这株树了,只有那位老保姆在树枝间东张西望了一下,而她只不过想知道是不是还有枣子或苹果没有被拿走。

“讲一个故事!讲一个故事!”孩子们嘟囔着,同时把一位小胖子拖到树这边来。他坐在树底下——“因为这样我们就算是在绿树林里面了,”他说。“树儿听听我的故事也是很好的。不过我只能讲一个故事。你们喜欢听关于依维德·亚维德的故事呢,还是听关于那位滚下了楼梯、但是却坐上了王位、得到了公主的泥巴球①呢?”

“讲依维德·亚维德的故事!”有几个孩子喊着。“讲泥巴球的故事!”另外几个孩子喊着。这时闹声和叫声混做一团。

只有枞树默默地不说一句话。它在想:“我不能参加进来吗?我不能做一点事儿吗?”不过它已经参加了进来,它应该做的事已经做了。

胖子讲着泥巴球的故事——“他滚下楼梯,又坐上了王位,并且得到了公主。”孩子们都拍着手!叫道:“讲下去吧!讲下去吧!”因为他们想听依维德·亚维德的故事,但是他们却只听到了泥巴球的故事。枞树立着一声不响,只是沉思着。树林里的鸟儿从来没有讲过这样的故事。泥巴球滚下了楼梯,结果仍然得到了公主!“是的,世界上的事情就是这样!”枞树想,并且以为这完全是真的,因为讲这故事的人是那么一位可爱的人物。“是的,是的,谁能知道呢?可能我有一天也会滚下楼梯,结果却得到一位公主!”于是它很愉快地盼望在第二天晚上又被打扮一番,戴上蜡烛、玩具、金纸和水果。

“明天我决不再颤动了!”它想。“我将要尽情为我华丽的外表而得意。明天我将要再听泥巴球的故事,可能还听到依维德·亚维德的故事呢。”

于是枞树一声不响,想了一整夜。

早晨,仆人和保姆都进来了。

“现在我又要漂亮起来了!”枞树想。不过他们把它拖出屋子,沿着楼梯一直拖到顶楼上去。他们把它放在一个黑暗

的角落里,这儿没有一点阳光可以射进来。

“这是什么意思?”枞树想。“我在这儿干吗呢?我在这儿能听到什么东西呢?”

它靠墙站着,思索起来。它现在有的是时间思索;白天和晚间在不停地过去,谁也不来看它。最后有一个人到来,但是他的目的只不过是要搬几个空箱子放在墙角里罢了。枞树完全被挡住了,人们也似乎把它忘记得一干二净了。

“现在外边是冬天了!”枞树想。“土地是硬的,盖上了雪花,人们也不能把我栽下了;因此我才在这儿被藏起来,等待春天的到来!人们想得多么周到啊!人类真是善良!我只希望这儿不是太黑暗、太孤寂得可怕!——连一只小兔子也没有!树林里现在一定是很愉快的地方,雪落得很厚,兔子在跳来跳去;是的,就是它在我头上跳过去也很好——虽然我那时不大喜欢这种举动。这儿现在真是寂寞得可怕呀!”

“吱!吱!”这时一只小耗子说,同时跳出来。不一会儿另外一只小耗子又跳出来了。它们在枞树身上嗅了一下,于是便钻进枝丫里面去。

“真是冷得怕人!”两只小耗子说。“否则待在这儿倒是蛮舒服的。老枞树,你说对不对?”

“我一点也不老,”枞树说。“比我年纪大的树多着呢!”

“你是从什么地方来的?”耗子问。“你知道什么东西?”它们现在非常好奇起来。“请告诉我们一点关于世界上最美的地方的事情吧!你到那儿去过么?你到储藏室去过吗?那儿的架子上放着许多乳饼,天花板下面挂着许多火腿;那儿,我们在蜡烛上跳舞;那儿,我们走进去的时候瘦,出来的时候胖。”

“这个我可不知道,”枞树说。“不过我对于树林很熟悉——那儿太阳照着,鸟儿唱着歌。”

于是它讲了一些关于它的少年时代的故事。小耗子们从来没有听过这类事情,它们静听着,说:

“嗨,你看到过的东西真多!你曾经是多么幸福啊!”

“我吗?”枞树说,同时把自己讲过的话想了一下,“是的,那的确是非常幸福的一个时期!”于是它叙述圣诞节前夕的故事——那时它身上饰满了糖果和蜡烛。

“啊,”小耗子说,“你曾经是多么幸福啊,你这株老枞树!”

“我并不老呀!”枞树说。“我不过是今年冬天才离开树林的。我是一个青壮年呀,虽然此刻我已经不再生长!”

“你的故事讲得多美啊!”小耗子说。

第二天夜里,它们带来另外四个小耗子听枞树讲故事。它越讲得多,就越清楚地回忆起过去的一切。于是它想:“那的确是非常幸福的一个时期!但是它会再回来!它会再回来!泥巴球滚下了楼梯,结果得到了公主。可能我也会得到一位公主哩!”这时枞树想起了长在树林里的一株可爱的小赤杨:对于枞树说来,这株赤杨真算得是一位美丽的公主。

“谁是那位泥巴球?”小耗子问。

枞树把整个故事讲了一遍,每一个字它都能记得清清楚楚。这些小耗子乐得想在这株树的顶上翻翻跟头。第二天晚上有更多的小耗子来了,在礼拜天那天,甚至还有两个大老鼠出现了。不过它们认为这个故事并不好听;小耗子们也觉得很惋惜,因为它们对这故事的兴趣也淡下来了。

“你只会讲这个故事么?”大老鼠问。

“只会这一个!”枞树回答说。“这故事是我在生活中最幸福的一个晚上听到的。那时我并不觉得我是多么幸福!”

“这是一个很蹩脚的故事!你不会讲一个关于腊肉和蜡烛的故事么?不会讲一个关于储藏室的故事么?”

“不会!”枞树说。

“那么谢谢你!”大老鼠回答说。于是它们就走开了。

最后小耗子们也走开了。枞树叹了一口气,说:

“当这些快乐的小耗子坐在我身旁、听我讲故事的时候,一切倒是蛮好的。现在什么都完了!不过当人们再把我搬出去的时候,我将要记住什么叫做快乐!”

不过结果是怎样呢?嗨,有一天早晨人们来收拾这个顶楼:箱子都被挪开了,枞树被拖出来了——人们粗暴地把它扔到地板上,不过一个佣人马上把它拖到楼梯边去。阳光在这儿照着。

“生活现在又可以开始了!”枞树想。

它感觉到新鲜空气和早晨的太阳光。它现在是躺在院子里。一切是过得这样快,枞树也忘记把自己看一下——周围值得看的东西真是太多了。院子是在一个花园的附近;这儿所有的花都开了。玫瑰悬在小小的栅栏上,又嫩又香。菩提树也正在开着花。燕子们在飞来飞去,说“吱尔——微尔——微特!我们的爱人回来了!”不过它们所指的并不是这株枞树。

“现在我要生活了!”枞树兴高采烈地说,同时把它的枝子展开。但是,唉!这些枝子都枯了,黄了。它现在是躺在一个生满了荆棘和荒草的墙角边。银纸做的星星还挂在它的顶上,而且还在明朗的太阳光中发亮呢。

院子里有几个快乐的小孩子在玩耍。他们在圣诞节的时候,曾绕着这树跳过舞,和它在一块高兴过。最年轻的一个小孩子跑过来,摘下一颗金星。

“你们看,这株奇丑的老枞树身上挂着什么东西!”这孩子说。他用靴子踩着枝子,直到枝子发出断裂声。

枞树把花园里盛开的花和华丽的景色望了一眼,又把自己看了一下,它希望自己现在仍然待在顶楼的一个黑暗的角落里。它想起了自己在树林里新鲜的青春时代,想起了那快乐的圣诞节前夕,想起了那些高兴地听着它讲关于泥巴球的故事的小耗子们。

“完了!完了!”可怜的枞树说。“当我能够快乐的时候,我应该快乐一下才对!完了!完了!”

佣人走来了,把这株树砍成碎片。它成了一大捆柴,它在一个大酒锅底下熊熊地燃着。它深深地叹着气;每一个叹息声就像一个小小的枪声。在那儿玩耍着的小孩子们跑过来,坐在火边,朝它里面望,同时叫着:“烧呀!烧呀!”每一个爆裂声是一个深深的叹息。在它发出每一声叹息的时候,它就回想起了在树林里的夏天,和星星照耀着的冬夜;它回忆起了圣诞节的前夕和它所听到过的和会讲的唯一的故事——泥巴球的故事。这时候枞树已经全被烧成灰了。

孩子们都在院子里玩耍。最小的那个孩子把这树曾经在它最幸福的一个晚上所戴过的那颗金星挂在自己的胸前。现在一切都完了,枞树的生命也完了,这故事也完了;完了!完了!——一切故事都是这样。

①原文是Klumpe-dumpe,照字面直译就是“滚着的泥块”。

枞树的故事寓意

这个童话故事告诉我们:在可以快乐玩耍,自由飞翔的时候,要尽情的享受,等到不能做这些时,后悔也来不及了。小枞树就是不知道在可以自由自在玩耍时,快乐玩耍,而在马上要告别世界的时候后悔——这样的一生有什么一生呀?不如做一棵死树,永远不活过来。如果有计划安排一下自己的生活,把玩和等待分开,玩耍是为了快乐可以不停止,可以永久的享受,等待是漫无目的的等,这两种事怎么能混在一起呢?

英文版:The Fir Tree

FAR down in the forest, where the warm sun and the fresh air made a sweet resting-place, grew a pretty little fir-tree; and yet it was not happy, it wished so much to be tall like its companions— the pines and firs which grew around it. The sun shone, and the soft air fluttered its leaves, and the little peasant children passed by, prattling merrily, but the fir-tree heeded them not. Sometimes the children would bring a large basket of raspberries or strawberries, wreathed on a straw, and seat themselves near the fir-tree, and say, “Is it not a pretty little tree?” which made it feel more unhappy than before. And yet all this while the tree grew a notch or joint taller every year; for by the number of joints in the stem of a fir-tree we can discover its age. Still, as it grew, it complained, “Oh! how I wish I were as tall as the other trees, then I would spread out my branches on every side, and my top would over-look the wide world. I should have the birds building their nests on my boughs, and when the wind blew, I should bow with stately dignity like my tall companions.” The tree was so discontented, that it took no pleasure in the warm sunshine, the birds, or the rosy clouds that floated over it morning and evening. Sometimes, in winter, when the snow lay white and glittering on the ground, a hare would come springing along, and jump right over the little tree; and then how mortified it would feel! Two winters passed, and when the third arrived, the tree had grown so tall that the hare was obliged to run round it. Yet it remained unsatisfied, and would exclaim, “Oh, if I could but keep on growing tall and old! There is nothing else worth caring for in the world!” In the autumn, as usual, the wood-cutters came and cut down several of the tallest trees, and the young fir-tree, which was now grown to its full height, shuddered as the noble trees fell to the earth with a crash. After the branches were lopped off, the trunks looked so slender and bare, that they could scarcely be recognized. Then they were placed upon wagons, and drawn by horses out of the forest. “Where were they going? What would become of them?” The young fir-tree wished very much to know; so in the spring, when the swallows and the storks came, it asked, “Do you know where those trees were taken? Did you meet them?”

“Oh, how I wish I were tall enough to go on the sea,” said the fir-tree. “What is the sea, and what does it look like?”

“It would take too much time to explain,” said the stork, flying quickly away.

“Rejoice in thy youth,” said the sunbeam; “rejoice in thy fresh growth, and the young life that is in thee.”

And the wind kissed the tree, and the dew watered it with tears; but the fir-tree regarded them not.

Christmas-time drew near, and many young trees were cut down, some even smaller and younger than the fir-tree who enjoyed neither rest nor peace with longing to leave its forest home. These young trees, which were chosen for their beauty, kept their branches, and were also laid on wagons and drawn by horses out of the forest.

“Where are they going?” asked the fir-tree. “They are not taller than I am: indeed, one is much less; and why are the branches not cut off? Where are they going?”

“We know, we know,” sang the sparrows; “we have looked in at the windows of the houses in the town, and we know what is done with them. They are dressed up in the most splendid manner. We have seen them standing in the middle of a warm room, and adorned with all sorts of beautiful things,—honey cakes, gilded apples, playthings, and many hundreds of wax tapers.”

“And then,” asked the fir-tree, trembling through all its branches, “and then what happens?”

“We did not see any more,” said the sparrows; “but this was enough for us.”

“I wonder whether anything so brilliant will ever happen to me,” thought the fir-tree. “It would be much better than crossing the sea. I long for it almost with pain. Oh! when will Christmas be here? I am now as tall and well grown as those which were taken away last year. Oh! that I were now laid on the wagon, or standing in the warm room, with all that brightness and splendor around me! Something better and more beautiful is to come after, or the trees would not be so decked out. Yes, what follows will be grander and more splendid. What can it be? I am weary with longing. I scarcely know how I feel.”

“Rejoice with us,” said the air and the sunlight. “Enjoy thine own bright life in the fresh air.”

But the tree would not rejoice, though it grew taller every day; and, winter and summer, its dark-green foliage might be seen in the forest, while passers by would say, “What a beautiful tree!”

A short time before Christmas, the discontented fir-tree was the first to fall. As the axe cut through the stem, and divided the pith, the tree fell with a groan to the earth, conscious of pain and faintness, and forgetting all its anticipations of happiness, in sorrow at leaving its home in the forest. It knew that it should never again see its dear old companions, the trees, nor the little bushes and many-colored flowers that had grown by its side; perhaps not even the birds. Neither was the journey at all pleasant. The tree first recovered itself while being unpacked in the courtyard of a house, with several other trees; and it heard a man say, “We only want one, and this is the prettiest.”

Then came two servants in grand livery, and carried the fir-tree into a large and beautiful apartment. On the walls hung pictures, and near the great stove stood great china vases, with lions on the lids. There were rocking chairs, silken sofas, large tables, covered with pictures, books, and playthings, worth a great deal of money,—at least, the children said so. Then the fir-tree was placed in a large tub, full of sand; but green baize hung all around it, so that no one could see it was a tub, and it stood on a very handsome carpet. How the fir-tree trembled! “What was going to happen to him now?” Some young ladies came, and the servants helped them to adorn the tree. On one branch they hung little bags cut out of colored paper, and each bag was filled with sweetmeats; from other branches hung gilded apples and walnuts, as if they had grown there; and above, and all round, were hundreds of red, blue, and white tapers, which were fastened on the branches. Dolls, exactly like real babies, were placed under the green leaves,—the tree had never seen such things before,—and at the very top was fastened a glittering star, made of tinsel. Oh, it was very beautiful!

“This evening,” they all exclaimed, “how bright it will be!” “Oh, that the evening were come,” thought the tree, “and the tapers lighted! then I shall know what else is going to happen. Will the trees of the forest come to see me? I wonder if the sparrows will peep in at the windows as they fly? shall I grow faster here, and keep on all these ornaments summer and winter?” But guessing was of very little use; it made his bark ache, and this pain is as bad for a slender fir-tree, as headache is for us. At last the tapers were lighted, and then what a glistening blaze of light the tree presented! It trembled so with joy in all its branches, that one of the candles fell among the green leaves and burnt some of them. “Help! help!” exclaimed the young ladies, but there was no danger, for they quickly extinguished the fire. After this, the tree tried not to tremble at all, though the fire frightened him; he was so anxious not to hurt any of the beautiful ornaments, even while their brilliancy dazzled him. And now the folding doors were thrown open, and a troop of children rushed in as if they intended to upset the tree; they were followed more silently by their elders. For a moment the little ones stood silent with astonishment, and then they shouted for joy, till the room rang, and they danced merrily round the tree, while one present after another was taken from it.

“What are they doing? What will happen next?” thought the fir. At last the candles burnt down to the branches and were put out. Then the children received permission to plunder the tree.

Oh, how they rushed upon it, till the branches cracked, and had it not been fastened with the glistening star to the ceiling, it must have been thrown down. The children then danced about with their pretty toys, and no one noticed the tree, except the children’s maid who came and peeped among the branches to see if an apple or a fig had been forgotten.

“A story, a story,” cried the children, pulling a little fat man towards the tree.

“Now we shall be in the green shade,” said the man, as he seated himself under it, “and the tree will have the pleasure of hearing also, but I shall only relate one story; what shall it be? Ivede-Avede, or Humpty Dumpty, who fell down stairs, but soon got up again, and at last married a princess.”

“Ivede-Avede,” cried some. “Humpty Dumpty,” cried others, and there was a fine shouting and crying out. But the fir-tree remained quite still, and thought to himself, “Shall I have anything to do with all this?” but he had already amused them as much as they wished. Then the old man told them the story of Humpty Dumpty, how he fell down stairs, and was raised up again, and married a princess. And the children clapped their hands and cried, “Tell another, tell another,” for they wanted to hear the story of “Ivede-Avede;” but they only had “Humpty Dumpty.” After this the fir-tree became quite silent and thoughtful; never had the birds in the forest told such tales as “Humpty Dumpty,” who fell down stairs, and yet married a princess.

“Ah! yes, so it happens in the world,” thought the fir-tree; he believed it all, because it was related by such a nice man. “Ah! well,” he thought, “who knows? perhaps I may fall down too, and marry a princess;” and he looked forward joyfully to the next evening, expecting to be again decked out with lights and playthings, gold and fruit. “To-morrow I will not tremble,” thought he; “I will enjoy all my splendor, and I shall hear the story of Humpty Dumpty again, and perhaps Ivede-Avede.” And the tree remained quiet and thoughtful all night. In the morning the servants and the housemaid came in. “Now,” thought the fir, “all my splendor is going to begin again.” But they dragged him out of the room and up stairs to the garret, and threw him on the floor, in a dark corner, where no daylight shone, and there they left him. “What does this mean?” thought the tree, “what am I to do here? I can hear nothing in a place like this,” and he had time enough to think, for days and nights passed and no one came near him, and when at last somebody did come, it was only to put away large boxes in a corner. So the tree was completely hidden from sight as if it had never existed. “It is winter now,” thought the tree, “the ground is hard and covered with snow, so that people cannot plant me. I shall be sheltered here, I dare say, until spring comes. How thoughtful and kind everybody is to me! Still I wish this place were not so dark, as well as lonely, with not even a little hare to look at. How pleasant it was out in the forest while the snow lay on the ground, when the hare would run by, yes, and jump over me too, although I did not like it then. Oh! it is terrible lonely here.”

“Squeak, squeak,” said a little mouse, creeping cautiously towards the tree; then came another; and they both sniffed at the fir-tree and crept between the branches.

“Oh, it is very cold,” said the little mouse, “or else we should be so comfortable here, shouldn’t we, you old fir-tree?”

“I am not old,” said the fir-tree, “there are many who are older than I am.”

“Where do you come from? and what do you know?” asked the mice, who were full of curiosity. “Have you seen the most beautiful places in the world, and can you tell us all about them? and have you been in the storeroom, where cheeses lie on the shelf, and hams hang from the ceiling? One can run about on tallow candles there, and go in thin and come out fat.”

“I know nothing of that place,” said the fir-tree, “but I know the wood where the sun shines and the birds sing.” And then the tree told the little mice all about its youth. They had never heard such an account in their lives; and after they had listened to it attentively, they said, “What a number of things you have seen? you must have been very happy.”

“Happy!” exclaimed the fir-tree, and then as he reflected upon what he had been telling them, he said, “Ah, yes! after all those were happy days.” But when he went on and related all about Christmas-eve, and how he had been dressed up with cakes and lights, the mice said, “How happy you must have been, you old fir-tree.”

“I am not old at all,” replied the tree, “I only came from the forest this winter, I am now checked in my growth.”

“What splendid stories you can relate,” said the little mice. And the next night four other mice came with them to hear what the tree had to tell. The more he talked the more he remembered, and then he thought to himself, “Those were happy days, but they may come again. Humpty Dumpty fell down stairs, and yet he married the princess; perhaps I may marry a princess too.” And the fir-tree thought of the pretty little birch-tree that grew in the forest, which was to him a real beautiful princess.

“Who is Humpty Dumpty?” asked the little mice. And then the tree related the whole story; he could remember every single word, and the little mice was so delighted with it, that they were ready to jump to the top of the tree. The next night a great many more mice made their appearance, and on Sunday two rats came with them; but they said, it was not a pretty story at all, and the little mice were very sorry, for it made them also think less of it.

“Do you know only one story?” asked the rats.

“Only one,” replied the fir-tree; “I heard it on the happiest evening of my life; but I did not know I was so happy at the time.”

“We think it is a very miserable story,” said the rats. “Don’t you know any story about bacon, or tallow in the storeroom.”

“No,” replied the tree.

“Many thanks to you then,” replied the rats, and they marched off.

The little mice also kept away after this, and the tree sighed, and said, “It was very pleasant when the merry little mice sat round me and listened while I talked. Now that is all passed too. However, I shall consider myself happy when some one comes to take me out of this place.” But would this ever happen? Yes; one morning people came to clear out the garret, the boxes were packed away, and the tree was pulled out of the corner, and thrown roughly on the garret floor; then the servant dragged it out upon the staircase where the daylight shone. “Now life is beginning again,” said the tree, rejoicing in the sunshine and fresh air. Then it was carried down stairs and taken into the courtyard so quickly, that it forgot to think of itself, and could only look about, there was so much to be seen. The court was close to a garden, where everything looked blooming. Fresh and fragrant roses hung over the little palings. The linden-trees were in blossom; while the swallows flew here and there, crying, “Twit, twit, twit, my mate is coming,”—but it was not the fir-tree they meant. “Now I shall live,” cried the tree, joyfully spreading out its branches; but alas! they were all withered and yellow, and it lay in a corner amongst weeds and nettles. The star of gold paper still stuck in the top of the tree and glittered in the sunshine. In the same courtyard two of the merry children were playing who had danced round the tree at Christmas, and had been so happy. The youngest saw the gilded star, and ran and pulled it off the tree. “Look what is sticking to the ugly old fir-tree,” said the child, treading on the branches till they crackled under his boots. And the tree saw all the fresh bright flowers in the garden, and then looked at itself, and wished it had remained in the dark corner of the garret. It thought of its fresh youth in the forest, of the merry Christmas evening, and of the little mice who had listened to the story of “Humpty Dumpty.” “Past! past!” said the old tree; “Oh, had I but enjoyed myself while I could have done so! but now it is too late.” Then a lad came and chopped the tree into small pieces, till a large bundle lay in a heap on the ground. The pieces were placed in a fire under the copper, and they quickly blazed up brightly, while the tree sighed so deeply that each sigh was like a pistol-shot. Then the children, who were at play, came and seated themselves in front of the fire, and looked at it and cried, “Pop, pop.” But at each “pop,” which was a deep sigh, the tree was thinking of a summer day in the forest; and of Christmas evening, and of “Humpty Dumpty,” the only story it had ever heard or knew how to relate, till at last it was consumed. The boys still played in the garden, and the youngest wore the golden star on his breast, with which the tree had been adorned during the happiest evening of its existence. Now all was past; the tree’s life was past, and the story also,—for all stories must come to an end at last.

文章来源:安徒生童话

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