字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント A bedtime story for children, in English. "TINY MITE" Once upon a time there was a little boy who was so small that his parents named him Tiny. When he raced around the house with his tiny legs whirring and his tiny hands waving, he was so much fun to watch that his grandfather nicknamed him Mite. That is how he became known as Tiny Mite. He was only a few inches tall. His father bought a toy house for Tiny Mite and furnished it with a tiny bed, table, closet, and everything else to make it cozy and comfortable. His mother sewed him a down blanket for his bed and glued a beautiful carpet onto his floor. The shelves were filled with toys and a violin for Tiny Mite to play in the evening. He loved his home and felt safe there. But, being a mischievous and cheerful boy, he often left his little toy house and ran around the big house, waving his hands comically. The grownups were so deathly frightened of stepping on him that they found a shiny silver bell for him to wear around his neck. In Tiny Mite's eyes, everything looked enormous and mysterious -- at times downright intimidating. Imagine a cat that looks like a fierce tiger and a dog the size of a monster! The cat and the dog both loved Tiny Mite and were super-careful when touching him. Tiny Mite knew they would never deliberately do anything to hurt him. Still, whenever they came near, his heart started pounding and he ran back into his house as fast as his little legs could move. At suppertime he would stroll around the table top as though it were a huge magic carpet, covered with all the treats his heart could imagine. He enjoyed gathering cookie crumbs and licking up drops of spilled milk. His mother scolded him, but he still loved to get into mischief like any little boy. His mother sewed him two suits, an ordinary gray suit for everyday use and a second one for special occasions. The special one had a blue jacket with silver buttons, and Tiny stored it in a chest in his little toy house. On holidays and when company came, he wore the special suit and put on his shiny boots and spurs. He looked like a fairy-tale prince. Tiny was surrounded with love, and he had everything his heart could desire. But then one day his world changed completely. On that particular day, he felt curious about the outside world. He put on his festive jacket with the silver buttons, his shiny boots with the spurs, and he checked to make sure the silver bell was hanging around his neck. He ran over to the door and slipped through the opening made for the dog to run in and out. He squinted at the bright light. Everything to him was new and a bit scary. He could have surrendered to his fear and gone back inside, but instead he walked ahead into the unknown, watching every step he took. Finally he reached the main road. As he looked up at the trees lining the street, he was awestruck. People were scurrying about in all directions, and any one of them could have easily crushed Tiny Mite underfoot like a bug. Tiny raced down the sidewalk and right into the open door of the first shop he came to. He quickly hid under a counter. It was a toy store. Looking out, he could see huge shoes and boots promenading around the store. Some of the shoes were much smaller than the others. The owners of the smaller shoes were whining and pleading for some toy or another. Even the small shoes seemed like giants to Tiny Mite, and he decided to wait until they all left. When evening came, the store closed and became so silent you could hear a pin drop. Tiny cautiously came out and walked from room to room. He had to catch his breath when he saw how many toys there were. Almost every toy was much, much too big for him. Only two attracted him: a small wind-up frog that began to jump about when Tiny saw it, and a small mouse toy. At first he backed away from the mouse in fright. Then he laughed out loud. Who ever heard of someone being afraid of a toy! Right before the store opened in the morning, Tiny scurried back to his hiding place. He was very, very hungry. He missed his little house. Fortunately, a careless salesgirl had spilled some cookie crumbs onto the floor. He ate them and was almost sound asleep, when suddenly two pairs of shoes appeared next to the counter. Two were big and very stylish. The other two were smaller and not so fancy. Tiny guessed correctly that they belonged to a mother and daughter, in the store to look at the toys. Suddenly something rolled right toward him. It was an enormous silver-colored wheel. Tiny was barely able to lurch to one side in time to escape. Immediately a small hand in a glove began to sweep the area under the counter and happened to bump into Tiny Mite. "Oh, wow," a shrill voice exclaimed. "There's something down here!" A second later Tiny found himself parked in the middle of the palm of a gigantic hand. A pair of enormous sparkling eyes with shaggy eyelashes was staring right at him. "Mom, take a look!" said the girl, holding out her hand for her mother to see. "See how cute and funny he is! Let's take this miraculous little creature home." And that is how Tiny Mite ended up in Sonya's house. Sonya's father bought a toy house with furniture for Tiny Mite. Sonya's mother sewed him a little blanket and laid down a beautiful carpet for him. And everything was just perfect, except that he didn't have the violin he had loved to play in the evening. Sitting with his back propped up against a warm soup tureen one evening, Tiny Mite thought back to his own mother and father. He remembered the violin that had been more precious to him than anything. His eyes filled with tears. Sonya wept with him. Her father took Tiny into his broad hands and ran his fingers gingerly though the boy's curly hair. "Tell me what's the matter, big guy... Don't you like living here with us?" "No, it's not that." Tiny Mite answered. "It's just that I miss my violin. You see, I'm a violinist." "You're one violin player that's going to have a violin," he said. "There, there, don't you cry. It really makes me sad to see you cry." Tiny Mite wiped his eyes and sighed. Sonya also stopped crying and caressed the boy gently. Days passed with no sign of a violin. Sonya's father kept looking for someone able to build a miniature violin, but one by one, all the instrument makers turned down the order. Who can blame them! One evening, Sonya's father came home in the evening after work and told everyone, rubbing his hands eagerly: "Well, Tiny, it looks like I have found the right craftsman. He makes amazing things, so tiny you can hardly believe. He promised to make you a violin." Quite a few days passed and finally Sonya's father brought home a tiny violin in a silver case. There it was: a genuine violin, with strings and a bow -- only everything was much, much smaller! "Tiny, dear Tiny," said Sonya. "Play something for us!" Tiny Mite stood up in the middle of the table, took hold of the violin, tossed back his golden curls, and began to play. He became so absorbed in his inspired playing that the adults had tears in their eyes, and Sonya kissed his pink little cheek. From that time on, Tiny Mite did not cry any more. He spent his days playing the violin, warming himself by the soup tureen, and fleeing from the cat. He felt at ease in his new family and he began to spend less time remembering his parents and his grandfather, who had nicknamed him Mite. One day Sonya's father announced that the family was going to their summer cottage. Tiny Mite loved adventures and rushed to pack his trunk. He packed his little silver violin-case with the violin inside, his blue jacket, his shiny boots, and a wind-up toy frog that Sonya's father had given him. The cottage turned out to be a large house with enormous windows and a terrace. Tiny Mite was a little afraid of going out into the garden. Flaming red roses straddled the garden fence and the garden itself was full of broad flowerbeds of phlox and iris. Sonya took a small basket, put Tiny Mite inside and set out on a walk. Tiny Mite squeezed his eyes shut. "Open your eyes and don't be afraid," said Sonya, laughing. "Take a look at how beautiful everything is." Tiny gradually got used to these walks. One day he decided to venture into the garden by himself. Tiny could barely make his way through the stalks of grass. They towered so high above him that they were like trees in a rain forest. He walked on and on with no thought of where he was going. All of a sudden, something he saw made him stop dead in his tracks. In front of him stood a small insect, leaning for support on its little legs. The insect was even smaller than Tiny Mite. "Who are you?" he asked, taking one step backward to be play it safe. "My name is Bug," answered the insect. She blew her nose. "Sorry, I have hay fever today. I must have sniffed too many flowers." "Do you really have to go around sniffing flowers?" asked Tiny Mite. "Of course," answered Bug, and blew her nose again. "So how do you get up so high?" "It's really very simple. I crawl up the stem of the plant and then sniff until I get dizzy. I just overdid it." "What kind of a smell do they have?" "They smell divine," answered Bug. "The scent cannot be compared with anything else in this world." "Excuse me," said Tiny Mite. "But why is your name Bug? My grandfather called me a mite because I jump around so fast." Hearing this, Bug commented with a certain amount of family pride, "I inherited my name from my ancestors. My Mom and Dad, my grandfather, grandmother, and my brothers and sisters... All of my relatives are bugs. There are millions of bugs out there." But Tiny Mite only knew how to count up to ten and didn't know what a million was, so that didn't impress him. "Is that a lot?" he asked courteously. "Well, it is ..." Bug didn't know how to explain and said, waving the little legs on her hind legs like a fan, "It's this many!" "That's a whole lot of relatives," said, Tiny Mite, a bit overwhelmed. "Don't get upset. We're good folks, and we'll take you into our family." "I don't want to join your family. I have a family of my own," said Tiny proudly. "Well, have it your way, then," said Bug. "We'll have to decide if we really want you... You don't even know how to climb up stems." Bug was just about to leave, when Tiny Mite quietly remarked, "But -- I do know how to play the violin." Bug stopped in her tracks. She stood still for a moment and turned back to face Tiny. Her eyes were wide open like two little saucers. "What did you say? Did you say you play the violin?" "I do." "Do you also know how to conduct an orchestra?" asked Bug, her voice quavering. "Hmm... I don't know. I never tried... Anyway, I have nobody to conduct. I'm all alone." "That's not true!! You will have an orchestra. But first I've got to teach you to climb up flower stems and even tree trunks." Tiny Mite felt queasy from just thinking about it. Even the stalk of a flower was huge to him. And now Bug wanted him to climb a tree, one of those skyscrapers reaching halfway to the stars, with its branches rocking in the wind! "There's nothing to be afraid of," Bug said, and laughed. "I was also afraid at first." Then Tiny Mite remembered that he had never had any friends. He had once had a mother, father, and a grandfather. Then Sonya had found him in the toy store... But he had never had any real friends. "So would you like to be my friend?" he asked. "You have to earn that privilege... I can't even count the number of my friends. So having one friend more or less won't make any difference." "No... I don't want to be the kind of friend that can't be counted. I want to be someone's best friend." Bug paused for a while. The she said sadly, "You know, I used to have a friend. He and I used to climb up and down the stems and trees together. We swam in the drops of dew. But he's gone now..." "What happened to him?" "A little boy caught him, put him in a box and took him home. Losing a friend is a real hard thing..." She sighed again. "I'm sorry to hear that," said Tiny. "I lost my mother and father." "You know what," Bug said, smiling through her tears. "I think I'll invite you home." "Really! I've never been invited to someone's home." "Come tomorrow. You see that tree over there? The door to our house is at the bottom of the tree." "I'll be there for sure!" said Tiny, waving to her as he walked away. The next morning, remembering his date with Bug, he waited impatiently for everyone in the summer cottage to go their separate ways. Finally, Sonya's father left for town to take care of some work, driving a car that looked and sounded to Tiny Mite like a booming dinosaur. Sonya's mother went to have tea with a neighbor. Sonya herself went scampering off to a nearby creek with some of her girlfriends. Tiny Mite went back into his little toy house, combed his hair, put on his favorite blue jacket and boots, and took his silver violin case. He then cautiously made his way down the leg of the table onto the floor. The door to the porch was open. Tiny crossed the threshold and stepped onto the smooth boards. He waded through mounds of lilac flowers that had fallen onto the porch. Finally his legs reached the ground and he was in the garden. The tree where his friend lived was a short walk from the porch, but it was long and tiresome for Tiny, who had to fight his way through a dense and shady jungle.... Drenched in sweat, he eventually arrived at Bug's house. Catching his breath, Tiny Mite knocked uncertainly on the door. It swung open a second later, and Tiny saw his friend from the day before. She had on a fluffy blouse made of iris petals; on her head she wore a small, light-colored hat. "What a beautiful hat you have," said Tiny, knowing that ladies love compliments. "Thank you," said Bug, smiling. "My grandmother sewed it from silver thread." "And where did she ever find silver thread?" asked Tiny. "From Uncle Spider. He lives nearby and sometimes drops by in the evening to spend time playing cards with Grandpa." "What? You're friends with spiders?" said Tiny, surprised. "They're nice," said Bug, laughing. "It's just that they aren't very good-looking... So come in, won't you! We're glad to see you," she said and opened the door wider. He walked in and let out a big "Aah." In front of him stood the entire Bug family. "These are my brothers and sisters. And they all play different instruments," said Bug. "By the way, did you bring your violin along?" "I have it here," said Tiny, smiling. He was glad that he would now have musicians to perform with. Bug's mother invited everyone to the table. They drank strawberry leaf tea with wild honey. It was a lively affair, as the little bugs laughed and jostled one another. The youngest bug, named Bashy, walked up to Tiny Mite and asked, lisping: "Are you going to be staying with us?" "No, I am just here for a visit. I have my own home." "And will you invite me to your place?" "Of course. I just have to ask Sonya about it first." "And who is Sonya?" asked Bashy. "My sister," answered Tiny. "So you only have one sister?" "Only one," sighed Tiny. "Why so few?" said Bashy insistently. "I have so, so many..." "Now, you children go ahead and play. I have chores to do," said Bug's mother and left. Finally the insect musicians took their seats, holding their instruments at the ready. Binky, the oldest, had glasses hanging over her nose. Sitting at the piano, she was looking over the rim of her glasses at her younger brothers and sisters with a stern expression on her face. Tiny seized the conductor's baton and waved it. What came next was the most amazingly unharmonious screeching sound! Everyone was playing something different, like runners running off in dozens of different directions! There was no melody, no harmony.... "So you see," said Bug, approaching Tiny. "We really need a conductor. Without one we're lost. All our hopes are on you." "But I've never conducted," said Tiny Mite uncertainly.