004 ライオンとネズミ The Lion And The Mouse

ライオンとネズミ

The Lion And The Mouse

 ライオンが気持ちよく寝ていると、何者かに眠りを妨げられた。ネズミが顔を駆け抜けたのだ。
A LION was awakened from sleep by a Mouse running over his face.
ライオンは、いきりたってネズミを捕まえると殺そうとした。
 ネズミは、必死に哀願した。
「命を助けて下されば、必ず恩返しを致します。」
Rising up angrily, he caught him and was about to kill him, when the Mouse piteously entreated, saying: “If you would only spare my life, I would be sure to repay your kindness.”
 ライオンは、鼻で笑ってネズミを逃がしてやった。
The Lion laughed and let him go.
それから数日後、ライオンは、猟師の仕掛けた網にかかって動けなくなってしまった。
It happened shortly after this that the Lion was caught by some hunters, who bound him by strong ropes to the ground.
ネズミは、ライオンのうなり声を聞きつけると、飛んで行き、歯でロープを、ガリガリとかじり、ライオンを逃がしてやった。 ネズミは、得意になって言った。
The Mouse, recognizing his roar, came and gnawed the rope with his teeth, and set him free, exclaiming:
「この前、あなたは私を嘲笑しましたが、私にだって、あなたを、助けることができるのですよ。どうです。立派な恩返だったでしょう?」
“You ridiculed the idea of my ever being able to help you, not expecting to receive from me any repayment of your favor; now you know that it is possible for even a Mouse to confer benefits on a Lion.”

THE LION AND THE MOUSE

A Lion asleep in his lair was waked up by a Mouse running over his face.
Losing his temper he seized it with his paw and was about to kill it.
The Mouse, terrified, piteously entreated him to spare its life.
“Please let me go,” it cried, “and one day I will repay you for your kindness.”
The idea of so insignificant a creature ever being able to do anything for him amused the Lion so much that he laughed aloud, and good-humouredly let it go.
But the Mouse’s chance came, after all.
One day the Lion got entangled in a net which had been spread for game by some hunters, and the Mouse heard and recognised his roars of anger and ran to the spot.
Without more ado it set to work to gnaw the ropes with its teeth, and succeeded before long in setting the Lion free.
“There!” said the Mouse, “you laughed at me when I promised I would repay you: but now you see, even a Mouse can help a Lion.”

Project Gutenberg : Aesop's Fables; a new translation

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