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  • The Songbird's Silence, a nearly true story.

  • Not that long ago, there was a forest

  • where you could hear the birds singing,

  • the tigers growling far away, and the insects trilling.

  • Then human beings began to capture

  • the creatures of the forest.

  • The creature they wanted most was the songbird

  • because its song was so beautiful.

  • There was a little boy called Duba,

  • who loved listening to the mysterious noises

  • of the forest.

  • As he went to sleep at night he imagined the turtles tell one

  • another stories, the birds in singing competitions,

  • the tigers talking to the moon.

  • This helped him sleep well at night.

  • On Duba's birthday his parents gave him a songbird.

  • It came in a big cage.

  • He was grateful for it.

  • He'd never had a pet before.

  • He grew very attached to the songbird.

  • He was only really happy when it was singing.

  • But sometimes when the bird sang,

  • he was so moved that he would start crying.

  • And because of this Duba wanted to know

  • what it was singing about.

  • He asked everyone he met if they knew.

  • His parents didn't know.

  • The elders couldn't tell him either.

  • Then one day he met a wise old woman.

  • Oh, wise woman, do you know what the songbird is saying,

  • he asked?

  • That songbird is wiser than me, said the wise woman.

  • Why do you say that?

  • Because it's song made you ask many questions.

  • How can I find out what it's saying?

  • Since that bird is wiser than me, you should ask it.

  • How?

  • I don't speak its language.

  • I won't understand what it says.

  • How do you know?

  • I've tried.

  • Ask the question in a different way.

  • How?

  • You'll know when the time comes.

  • I hope so.

  • You should listen in a different way, too.

  • How should I do that?

  • You should listen with more than your ears.

  • What else should I listen with then if not my ears?

  • Perhaps, said the wise old woman,

  • you should listen with your heart.

  • When Duba got home, he forgot to listen to the bird song

  • because he was thinking about how

  • he could listen with his heart.

  • That night tossing and turning, he slept very badly.

  • He was aware that something that made his sleep lovely

  • was missing.

  • He fell asleep just before dawn.

  • And he had a dream.

  • In his dream, the songbird spoke to him.

  • Do you want to know why my song is so beautiful?

  • Yes.

  • Do you want to know what I'm singing about?

  • Yes.

  • No one could tell me.

  • I'm the only one who can tell you.

  • But you have to ask the right question.

  • You have to listen with your heart.

  • Did I ask the right question?

  • Yes.

  • How?

  • You asked it with your soul.

  • You asked it from the part of you that really cared.

  • But what's the answer?

  • Have you noticed anything different about the world?

  • No, what's different?

  • Have you noticed that something is missing?

  • Yes, but I don't know what it is.

  • No one does.

  • What is it?

  • The forest is silent.

  • Is it?

  • Why?

  • Because people have been treating the animals and birds

  • badly.

  • Do they?

  • Yes.

  • Take me for example.

  • Do you think I'm happy?

  • You must be.

  • Your songs are so beautiful.

  • That's because I'm unhappy.

  • My songs are telling of the terrible things people

  • are doing to the forest, the pangolins,

  • the beautiful birds, the tigers.

  • Because people are not protecting them,

  • the forest is silent.

  • Really?

  • Yes, the forest is dying.

  • What can I do?

  • Listen with your heart.

  • I like having you as a pet.

  • I know.

  • But I don't like being a pet.

  • I'm made to be free.

  • My song is beautiful in your cage.

  • But you should hear me sing when I am free.

  • What's it like?

  • Then, it's as if all nature is singing -

  • the sea, the sky, the trees, the majestic creatures.

  • It's as if God is singing through me.

  • My song when I'm free is a million times richer

  • than my song in a cage.

  • The only song I sing in a cage is

  • a song of tears, the song of the silent forest.

  • I'm so sorry.

  • If you're really sorry, you'd do something for me.

  • What's that?

  • Wake up.

  • Duba woke up suddenly.

  • It was still dark.

  • He listened.

  • It was true.

  • The forest was still and silent.

  • He didn't hear the tigers or the insect noises.

  • He went to the cage.

  • The songbird was silent.

  • Nothing he did would make the songbird sing.

  • Then he realised that the songbird would not sing

  • anymore.

  • He woke up his mother and father.

  • They were surprised that he was waking them up.

  • Mum and dad, he said, we have done

  • the songbird a terrible wrong.

  • We have taken it from its home in the forest.

  • And now it will not sing.

  • Because of the songbird, the forest is silent.

  • Have you not noticed?

  • His mother and father listened.

  • You're right, they said.

  • The forest is silent.

  • How is it we never noticed?

  • We have to help our forest live again, said the boy.

  • First, we must carefully return the songbird to its home.

  • Then, we must protect the creatures of the world,

  • or one day we too will fall silent.

  • How do you know these things, asked the father?

  • I just started to listen, he said, with my heart.

The Songbird's Silence, a nearly true story.

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A2 初級

オリジナル童話「歌鳥の沈黙」|FT (The Songbird's Silence, an original children's story | FT)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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