DANSK

Solskinshistorier

ENGLISH

Sunshine stories


"Nu skal jeg fortælle!" sagde blæsten.

Nej, tillader De," sagde regnvejret, "nu er det min tur! De har længe nok stået ved gadehjørnet og tudet alt hvad De kunne tude!"

"Er det tak," sagde blæsten, "fordi jeg til ære for Dem har vendt mangen paraply, ja knækket den, når folk ikke ville have med Dem at gøre!"

"Jeg fortæller!" sagde solskinnet, "stille!" og det blev sagt med glans og majestæt, så blæsten lagde sig så lang den var, men regnvejret ruskede i blæsten og sagde: "Det skal vi tåle! hun bryder altid igennem, denne madame Solskin. Vi vil ikke høre efter! det er ikke umagen værd at høre efter!"

Og solskinnet fortalte:

"Der fløj en svane hen over det rullende hav; hver fjer på den skinnede som guld; én fjer faldt ned på det store købmandsskib, som for fulde sejl gled forbi; fjeren faldt i det krøllede hår på den unge mand, tilsynsmand over varerne, superkargo kaldte de ham. Lykkefuglens fjer berørte hans pande, blev pen i hans hånd, og han blev snart den rige købmand, der nok kunne købe sig sporer af guld, forvandle guldfad til adelsskjold; jeg har skinnet ind i det!" sagde solskinnet.

"Svanen fløj hen over den grønne eng, hvor den lille fårevogter, en dreng på syv år, havde lagt sig i skyggen af det gamle, eneste træ herude. Og svanen i sin flugt kyssede et af træets blade, det faldt i drengens hånd, og det ene blad blev til tre, blev til ti, blev til en hel bog, og han læste i den om naturens underværker, om modersmålet, om tro og viden. Mod sengetid lagde han bogen under sit hoved for ikke at glemme hvad han havde læst, og bogen bar ham til skolebænk, til lærdoms bord. Jeg har læst hans navn mellem de lærdes!" sagde solskinnet.

Svanen fløj ind i skovensomhed, hvilede sig der på de stille mørke søer, hvor åkanden gror, hvor de vilde skovæbler gror, hvor gøg og skovdue har hjemme.

En fattig kone samlede brændsel, nedfaldne grene, bar dem på sin ryg, sit lille barn bar hun ved brystet og gik sin hjemvej. Hun så den gyldne svane, lykkens svane, løfte sig fra den sivgroede bred. Hvad skinnede der? Et gyldent æg; hun lagde det ved sit bryst og varmen blev; der var vist liv i ægget. Ja, det pikkede inden for skallen; hun fornam det og troede, det var hendes eget hjerte, der slog.

Hjemme i sin fattige stue tog hun guldægget frem. "Tik! tik!" sagde det, som var det et kosteligt guldur, men et æg var det med levende liv. Ægget revnede, en lille svaneunge, fjeret, som af det pure guld, stak hovedet frem; den havde om halsen fire ringe, og da den fattige kone netop havde fire drenge, tre hjemme og den fjerde, som hun havde båret med i skovensomheden, så begreb hun straks, at her var en ring til hver af børnene, og idet hun begreb det, fløj den lille guldfugl.

Hun kyssede hver ring, lod hvert barn kysse en af ringene, lagde den ved barnets hjerte, satte den på barnets finger.

"Jeg så det!" sagde solskinnet. "Jeg så hvad der fulgte!

Den ene dreng satte sig i lergraven, tog en klump ler i sin hånd, drejede det med fingrene, og det blev en Jason-skikkelse, der havde hentet det gyldne skind.

Den anden af drengene løb straks ud på engen hvor blomsterne stod med alle tænkelige farver; han plukkede en håndfuld, klemte dem så fast, at safterne sprøjtede ham ind i hans øjne, vædede ringen, det kriblede og krablede i tanker og i hånd, og efter år og dag talte den store stad om den store maler.

Den tredje af drengene holdt ringen så fast i sin mund, at den gav klang, genlyd fra hjertebunden; følelser og tanker løftede sig i toner, løftede sig, som syngende svaner, dukkede sig, som svaner, ned i den dybe sø, tankens dybe sø; han blev tonernes mester, hvert land kan nu tænke: 'Mig tilhører han!'

Den fjerde lille, ja han var skumpelskud; han havde pip, sagde de, han skulle have peber og smør, som de syge kyllinger! de sagde nu ordene med den betoning de ville: 'Peber og smør!' og det fik han; men af mig fik han et solskinskys," sagde solskinnet, "han fik ti kys for et. Han var en digternatur, han blev knubset og kysset; men lykkeringen havde han fra lykkens gyldne svane. Hans tanker fløj ud som gyldne sommerfugle, udødelighedssymbolet!"

"Det var en lang historie den!" sagde blæsten.

"Og kedelig!" sagde regnvejret. "Blæs på mig, at jeg kan komme mig igen!"

Og blæsten blæste, og solskinnet fortalte:

"Lykkens svane fløj hen over den dybe havbugt, hvor fiskerne havde spændt deres garn. Den fattigste af dem tænkte på at gifte sig og han giftede sig.

Til ham bragte svanen et stykke rav; rav drager til sig, det drog hjerter til huset. Rav er den dejligste røgelse. Der kom en duft, som fra kirken, der kom en duft fra Guds natur. De følte ret huslivets lykke, tilfredshed i de små kår, og da blev deres liv en hel solskinshistorie."

"Skal vi nu bryde af!" sagde blæsten. "Nu har solskinnet længe nok fortalt. Jeg har kedet mig!"

"Jeg også!" sagde regnvejret.

"Hvad siger nu vi andre, som har hørt historierne?"

"Vi siger: 'Nu er de ude!'"
"I'll tell you a story," said the wind. "Kindly remember," said the Rain, "that it's my turn to talk. You've been howling around the corner at the top of your voice quite long enough."

"Is that the thanks I get for all of the favors I've done you?" the Wind blustered. "Many an umbrella I've turned inside out, or even blown to tatters, when people tried to avoid you."

"Be silent! It is I who shall speak," said the Sunshine, who spoke with such brilliance and warmth that the weary Wind fell flat on his back, and the Rain shook him and tried to rouse him, crying: "We won't stand for it. This Madam Sunshine is forever interrupting us. Don't lets listen to her. What she says is not worth hearing."

And the Sunshine began: "A beautiful swan flew over the rolling, tossing waves of the ocean. Each of its feathers shone like gold. One feather drifted down above a great merchant ship that sailed the sea with all its canvas spread. The feather came to rest upon the curly hair of a young overseer who looked after the goods aboard that ship - supercargo they called him. The bird of fortune's feather touched his forehead, became a quill pen in his hand, and brought him such luck that he soon became a merchant, a man of wealth, a man so rich that he could wear spurs of gold and change a golden dish into a nobleman's shield. I know - I have shone on it," said the Sunshine.

"The swan flew far away, over a green meadow where a little shepherd boy, not more than seven years old, lay in the shade of an old tree, the only tree in that meadow. As the swan flew past it, she brushed one leaf from the tree. This leaf fell into the boy's hands, where it turned into three leaves, ten leaves - yes, it turned into all the leaves of a book. In this book he read of the many wonderful things that are in nature, about his native language, about faith, and about knowledge. Before he went to sleep he laid the book under his pillow to keep from forgetting what he had learned during the day. The wonderful book led him first to school, and then far into the fields of learning. I have seen his name where they carve the names of great scholars," the Sunshine said.

"The swan flew over the forest, where it was lonely and quiet. She came to rest on a deep blue lake, where the water lilies grow, where wild apple trees flourish along the shore, and where the cuckoo and wild pigeon make their nests.

"A poor woman was in the forest, gathering fallen branches. She carried them on her back, and held a baby in her arms. She saw the golden swan, that bird of fortune, rise from the rush-covered shore. What was this glittering thing the swan had left? It was a golden egg, still warm. She put it in her bosom, and the warmth stayed in it. Truly there was life in that egg. Yes, she heard a tapping inside the shell, but it was so faint that she mistook it for the sound of her own heartbeat.

"When she came home to her own poor cottage, she took the egg out to look at it. 'Tick,' it said, 'tick,' as if it had been a costly gold watch. But it was no watch. It was an egg, just about to hatch. The shell cracked open, and a dear little baby swan looked out. It was fully feathered, all in gold, and around its neck were four gold rings. As the poor woman had four boys - three at home and the baby she had carried in her arms - she knew that one of the rings was meant for each of her sons. As soon as she realized this, the little golden bird flew away. She kissed all of the rings, and she made each son kiss one of them, touch it against his heart, and wear it on his finger. I saw all this," said the Sunshine, "and I saw what came of it.

"As one of the boys played in the bed of a stream, he picked up a handful of clay. He turned it, and twisted it, and he shaped it in his fingers until he had made a statue of Jason. Like Jason, the young sculptor had found the golden fleece he sought.

"The second boy ran across the meadow, where there were flowers of every hue. He gathered a handful, and squeezed them so tightly that the colored juices wet his ring and splashed in his eye. They stuck to his fingers and colored his thoughts. The days went by, and the years went past, until people in the big city came to speak of him as 'the great painter.'

"The third boy clenched his ring in his teeth so tightly that it echoed the song that lay deep in his heart. The things he thought and the things he felt were turned to music. The rose like singing swans, and like swans they plunged down as deep as the depths of the sea, 'the deep Sea of Thoughts.' He became a great musician, a great composer of whom every land has the right to say: 'He belongs to me.'

"The fourth boy - the baby - was an outcast. They said he had the pip, and that like a sick little chicken he should be dosed with butter and pepper. They gave him pepper enough with his butter, but I gave him warmth and the kiss of the sun," said the Sunshine. "He got ten kisses for one that the other children received. He was a poet, who met with a blow and a kiss, all his life long. But he had something that no one could take from him. He had the ring of fame from the golden swan of fortune. There were golden wings to his thoughts. Up they flew and away they went, like golden butterflies, which are the symbol of things immortal."

"What an extremely long story," said the Wind.

"And so awfully dull," the Rain agreed. "Fan me, if you please, so I may revive a little."

The Wind blew again, and the Sunshine said: "The swan of fortune flew over the deep gulf, where fishermen spread their nets. The poorest of the fishermen thought of getting married, and marry he did. And to him the swan brought a lump of amber. Amber has the power to draw things to it, and it drew the hearts to the fisherman's home. Amber makes the most wonderful incense, and there came a fragrant air as from a church, like a balmy breeze from God's nature. So the fisherman and his bride were happy and thankful in their quiet home. They were content with what little they had, and their life became a complete sunshine story."

"I think," said the Wind, "that these stories should stop. The Sunshine has talked long enough, and I am very bored."

"So am I," said the Rain.

And what do we others who knew this story say?

We say: "Now it's out."




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