The Flying Trunk ブログトップ

The Flying Trunk (1) [The Flying Trunk]

The Flying Trunk (1)

There was once a merchant who was so rich that he could paved the whole street, and perhaps even a little side street besides, with silver.

But he did not do that; he knew another way of spending his money.

If he spent a shilling he got back two ー such an excellent merchant he was ー till he died.

Now his son inherited all this money.
He lived very merrily; he went every night to the theatre, made paper kites out of five-pound notes, and played ducks and drakes with sovereigns  instead of stones.

In this way the money was likely to come soon to an end, and that's just what happened.

At last he had nothing left but four shillings, and he had no clothes except a pair of slippers and an old dressing-gown.      


The Flying Trunk (2) [The Flying Trunk]

The Flying Trunk (2)

His friends did not trouble themselves any more.
They would not even walk down the street with him.

But one of them who was rather good-natured sent him an old trunk with the message, " Pack up ! "
That was all very well, but he had nothing to pack up, so he sat on the trunk.

It was an enchanted trunk, for as soon as the lock was pressed it could fly.

He pressed it, and away he flew in it up the chimney, high into the clouds, further and further away.

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But whenever the bottom gave a little creak he was in terror lest the trunk should go to pieces, for then he would have turned a dreadful somersault ー just think of it ! 

In this way he arrived at the land of the Turks.

He hid the trunk in a wood under some dry leaves, and walked into the town.


The Flying Trunk (3) [The Flying Trunk]

The Flying Trunk (3)

He could do that quite well, for all the Turks were the dressed just as he wasー in a dressing-gown and slippers.

He met a nurse with a little child.

" Hello ! " he said, " what is that great castle there close to the town ?  The one with the windows so high up ?" 

" The Sultan's daughter lives there, " she answered.
"It is prophesied that she will be very unlucky in her husband, and so no-one is allowed to see her except when the Sultan and Sultana are nearby. "

" Thank you, " said the merchant's son.
He went into the wood, sat on his trunk, flew on to the roof, and crept through the window into the Princess's room.

She was lying on the sofa asleep, and was so beautiful that the young merchant had to kiss her. 

Then she woke up and was very much frightened, but he said he was a Turkish god who had come through the air to see her, and that pleased her very much.


The Flying Trunk (4) [The Flying Trunk]

The Flying Trunk (4)

They sat close to each other, and he told her a story about her eyes.

They were beautiful dark lakes in which her thoughts swam about like graceful mermaids.

And her forehead was a snowy mountain, grand and shining.
These were lovely stories.

Then he asked the Princess to marry him, and she agreed at once.

" But you must come here on Saturday, " she said, " for the Sultan and the Sultana  are coming to tea with me. They will be indeed proud that I receive the god of Turks. 
But mind you have a really good story ready, for my parents like them immensely.
My mother likes something rather moral and high-flown, and my father likes something merry to make him laugh. "


The Flying Trunk (5) [The Flying Trunk]

The Flying Trunk (5)

" Yes, I shall bring a fairy story for my dowry, " he said, and so they parted.

But the Princess gave him a sabre set with gold pieces which he could use.

Then he flew away, bought himself a new dressing-gown, and sat down in the wood and began to make up a story, for it had to be ready by Saturday, and that was no easy matter.

When he had it ready it was Saturday.

The Sultan, the Sultana, and the whole Court were at tea with the Princess.

He was most graciously received.

" Will you tell us a story ? " asked the Sultana; one that is thoughtful and also instructive ? "

" But something that we can laugh at, "said the Sultan.


The Flying Trunk (6) [The Flying Trunk]

The Flying Trunk (6)

" Oh, certainly, " he replied, and began:

" Now, listen attentively.

 There  was once a box of matches which lay between a tinder box and an old iron pot, and they told the story of their youth.

" We used to be on the green fir boughts.  Every morning and evening we had diamond tea, which was dew, and all day long we had sunshine, and the little birds used to tell us the stories.
We were rich, because the other trees only dressed in summer, but we had green dresses in summer and winter.

Then the woodcutter came, and our family was  split up.
We have now the task of making light for the lowest people.
That is why we grand people are in the kitchen. "

" My fate was quite different, " said the iron pot, near which the matches lay.


The Flying Trunk (7) [The Flying Trunk]

The Flying Trunk (7)

" Since I came into the world I have been many times scoured, and have cooked much. My only pleasure is to have a good chat  with my companions when I am lying nice and clean in my place after dinner. "

"Now you are talking too fast, " spluttered the fire.

" Yes, let us decide who is the grandest ! " said the matches.

" No, I don't like talking about myself, " said the pot.

" Let us arrange an evening's entertainment. I will tell the story of my life. "
" On the Baltic by the Danish shoreー"

" What a beautiful beginning ! " said all the plates, " That is a story that will please us all. "

" And the end was just as good as the beginning. All the plates  clattered for joy. 


The Flying Trunk (8) [The Flying Trunk]

The Flying Trunk (8)

" Now I will dance, " said the tongs and she danced.

" Oh ! how high she could kick ! "
The old chair-cover in the corner split when he saw her.

The urn would have sung but she said she had a cold, she could not sing unless she boiled. 

" In the window was an old quill pen. There was nothing remarkable about her except that she had been dipped too deeply into the ink.
But she was extremely proud of that.

" ' If the urn will not sing, ' she declared, ' outside the door hangs a nightingale in a cage who will sing. "

" I don't think it is proper, " said the kettle, " that such a foreign bird should be heard. "

" Oh, let us have some acting, " said everyone.
" Do let us ! "


The Flying Trunk (9) [The Flying Trunk]

The Flying Trunk (9)

" Suddenly the door opened and the maid came in.
Everyone was quite quiet.
There was not a sound.
But each pot knew what he might have done, and how grand he was.

The maid took the matches and lit the fire with them.
How they spluttered and flamed, to be sure !

" Now everyone can see, " they thought, " that we are the grandest ! How we sparkle ! What a lightー "

" But here they were burnt out. " 

" That was a delightful story ! " said the Sultana. 
" I quite feel myself in the kitchen with the matches. yes, now you shall marry our daughter. "

" Yes, indeed, " agreed the Sultan, " you shall marry our daughter on Monday. "

And they treated the young man as one of the family.


The Flying Trunk (10) [The Flying Trunk]

The Flying Trunk (10)

The wedding was arranged, and the night before the whole town was illuminated.

Biscuits and gingerbreads were thrown among the people, the street boys stood on tip-toe crying hurrahs  and whistling through their fingers.
It was all splendid.

" Now I must also give them a treat, " thought the merchant's son.
So he bought rockets, crackers, and all the kinds of fire-works you can think of, put them in his trunk, and flew up with them into the air.

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The Flying Trunk (11) [The Flying Trunk]

The Flying Trunk (11)

Whirr-r-r, how they fizzed and blazed !

All the Turks jumped so high that their slippers flew above their heads; such a splendid glitter they had never seen before.

Now they could quite well understand that it was the god of the Turks himself who was to marry the Princess.

As soon as the young merchant came down again into the wood with his trunk he thought, " Now I will just go into the town to see how the show has taken. "

And it was quite natural that he should want to this.

Oh ! what stories the people had to tell !
Each one whom he asked had seen it differently, but they had all found it beautiful !

" I saw the Turkish god himself, " said one.
 " He had eyes like glittering stars, and a beard like foaming water. "

" He flew away in a clock of fire, " said another.


The Flying Trunk (12 完) [The Flying Trunk]

The Flying Trunk (12 完)

They were splendid things that he heard, and the next day was to be his wedding day.

Then he went back into the wood to sit in his trunk; but what had  become of it ?

The trunk had been burnt.

A spark of the fireworks had set it alight, and the trunk was in ashes.

He no longer had the means to fly, and would never be able to reach his beautiful bride.

She stood the whole day long on the roof and waited ; perhaps she is waiting there still.

But he wandered through the world and told the stories; though they are not nearly so merry as the one he told about the matches.

(12/12 完)   

The Flying Trunk ブログトップ