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. "See, Mee, and the Redheaded Menace" Once there was house with a mouse family living between the kitchen floor and the basement: Papa Mouse, Mama Mouse, Grandpa Mouse, Grandma Mouse, and the two twins, See and Mee. They all got along together just fine, and the twins were inseparable. Mama Mouse and Papa Mouse adored their little darlings. This particular mouse family was musically inclined! Mama played piano, Papa played saxophone, Grandma played violin, and Grandpa played clarinet. Every evening they would make music, seated by the fireplace. The twin brothers would join in, imitating the arias they heard over the radio in the kitchen upstairs. See had a high voice, and Mee's voice was even higher! The mouse family had a happy life, except for one thing. There was a cat in the house, an oversized creature often waiting in the kitchen, ready to pounce on any mouse that came out of the mouse hole. "Stay right here till you catch those filthy creatures," said the homeowner, leaving the cat's food dish near the hole. When she overheard that, Mama Mouse got mad. "What do you mean, filthy creatures? We're a lot cleaner than that big ball of fur that runs around shedding all over the carpet." There was one good thing. The cat had never succeeded in actually catching a single mouse. He was too stupid and lazy. The owner gave up trying to use the cat against the mice. Then he hit on the idea of using posters to trick the mice into leaving the house. For two days he slaved over the project, using the kitchen floor as a workshop to paint his posters. Finally the posters were ready. They were masterfully executed. The mice spent a long time every night admiring the artistry. See and Mee, who had just mastered the alphabet, sounded out the words. The tastiest morsels are in the bakery down the street! And then there was a slogan so downright silly that it gave the whole mouse family a hearty laugh. Free cheese is available in the mousetrap. Seeing his posters had done no good, the homeowner got back onto the kitchen floor and created a new poster with a new slogan. Holland: the country with the tastiest cheese in the whole world! This slogan would do the trick, he was sure... After the mice failed to pack up and move to Holland, the owner gave up on his war with them. There was still no great love between the homeowner and the mice, but there was at least an uneasy peace. Every night, the mouse roamed the kitchen, helping themselves to anything not tightly sealed. They had lost all fear of the cat or the homeowner. One day the homeowner's red-haired nephew showed up. The boy's parents had sent him there, saying they were leaving the country and planned to be away for a long time. The uncle wasn't exactly thrilled. He knew that the young redhead wasn't very well-behaved and suspected the parents were just unloading the boy. But you can't turn your nephew onto the street! So the boy had to stay. Along with him came a big grand piano that occupied half of the living room. The boy turned out to be clever and inventive. When he found out about the mice, the uneasy peace was shattered and the house became a war zone. First he kicked the cat off of the couch, chuckling: "You haven't earned the right to lounge around all day." After training the cat, the boy set about taking care of the mice. He knew from his uncle that they lived under the kitchen floor. The first thing he did was to plug up the hole in the wall with a piece of cardboard. By morning the hole was back, even bigger this time. The boy sealed it with plywood. But Papa Mouse chewed through the plywood as well. "It's no use," said the boy's uncle, when he saw the disappointment on his nephew's face. "They've got teeth strong enough to chew through iron." "We'll see about that," answered the boy. The uncle envied his self-assurance. The next day, Grandpa Mouse went up to see how far away the redheaded menace was. All of a sudden he was knocked down by something coming through the air from behind the refrigerator. The missile came from the boy's slingshot. Grandma Mouse used her old-fashioned mustard plasters to treat poor Grandpa. The twins read him newspapers scavenged from the wastepaper basket. Grandpa moaned with pain. For many days he limped on his wounded paw, vowing to take revenge. And the war came to a standstill. The redheaded boy stopped lying in wait near the hole for a while, thinking the mice must have moved to another house. The cat waited and watched. The mice sat quietly and ate their final crumbs. They had to think fast or starve. Papa Mouse had the idea of gnawing a hole in a different place. "Great idea!" said Mama, looking at her husband with pride. "I always said that our son was a clever boy," added Grandma. That night Papa Mouse set to work. The boy's uncle had long since given up fighting the mice, so his home office was sure to be safe... Papa Mouse returned around daybreak with a good supply of cheese and bread that the owner had carelessly left on his desk. The mice were in the middle of a feast when all of a sudden they heard an alarming sound. Papa Mouse went up to the newly built mouse hole and saw the freckled face of a grinning boy, trying to thrust his fist inside. The family sat down to talk. They absolutely had to get rid of the redheaded menace now. The suggestions showed just how much the boy had exasperated them. "We should chew up his book bag," suggested Mama Mouse. "No good," said Grandma sharply. "I think we should gnaw through his shoes." "What kind of an idea is that?" said Grandpa. "He can just use that as an excuse to keep from going to school. Anyway, his uncle will buy the kid a new pair first thing. The last thing the uncle wants to see is that boy moping around the house all day!" "I think..." said Papa, and then paused. When everyone's ears were wide open, he said, "His flower bush... Let's chew up that plant he loves so much." All the other mice against the idea, but no one spoke. Everyone knew how the boy felt about the flower bush. They remembered how tenderly he cared for it, watering it, binding the flowers, carrying the plant out into the sunshine. Disfiguring the plant would have been too cruel even for Grandpa, whose paw had been injured so painfully... Papa was upset by the silent veto of his idea but pretended not to notice. To break the silence, the twins spoke up loudly, in one voice. "We should gnaw the cables to his computer!" The mice had often observed the boy playing his silly video games while neglecting his studies. His uncle would lecture him, but to no avail. "A great idea," Mama exclaimed. "Why didn't we think of that before?" She looked at Papa Mouse as though she blamed him for not thinking of the idea himself. What a perfect way to get even with the redheaded menace! The twins volunteered to chew the cables. Everyone agreed; after all, they had come up with the idea. They began that very night. Papa Mouse and Grandpa Mouse asked to be part of the team. One was assigned to keep an eye on the redheaded boy, the other on his uncle. Night came. The boy and his uncle were in their respective rooms. The cat was hiding under the couch as usual. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Grandpa Mouse looked up out of the mouse hole and waved to the twins once he was sure the coast was clear. "Come out," he whispered. "Everyone's asleep." See and Mee came out of the mouse hole and ran to the computer. There were plenty of cables near the computer, but the mice were clever enough to gnaw through the main cable coming from the computer -- but not the cable with the house current! The next morning, everyone woke up to the sound of the boy yelling at the top of his lungs. "Uncle!" he hollered. "Those rotten mice chewed up my computer cable!" The boy's uncle came over quickly from his home office and examined the damage carefully. Once he was sure that the cable had really been gnawed through, he talked to the boy. "All right. We'll get a new one and cut off the bandits' food supply. I told them they should go to Holland, and they paid no attention. Now they'll wish they had listened to me." By evening, the new cable was in place, and the redheaded boy was back playing his favorite computer game, shooting down monsters and robots. The mouse family was dejected, but See and Mee volunteered to chew through more cables. That night, they worked extra hard. They were satisfied when they returned to their humble home. They fell sound asleep just before dawn. But soon they were awakened by the boy's screams. Through the hole they saw the freckles on his face jumping up and down. The boy was despondent. His uncle promised to buy new cables and punish the mice, but the boy realized that the mice had declared war on him personally this time. They knew just how to hurt him! "It's amazing how clever these mice are!" said the uncle, chuckling. The boy screamed even louder and waved his arms, knocking a vase off the table. He wasn't ready to give up yet. The uncle would purchase new cables, and the mice would then proceed to chew them up. Finally the strain was too much for the uncle and he refused to spend any more money on what he called "idiotic video games." The boy sobbed for a day, then broke open his piggy bank and bought cables with his own money. Soon his money ran out... No more video games... The boy wandered around the house aimlessly. One day his parents called from overseas and reminded the boy's uncle that he was supposed to be studying music. The boy objected, saying he couldn't concentrate on music after what the mice had done to him. But his parents insisted and told the boy's uncle to sit the lazy boy down at the piano. The uncle dusted off the piano lid, opened it, and put sheet music on the sheet-music holder. "I have to do whatever your parents say. Please be so kind, maestro, as to take a seat at the piano. Now practice your scales." The boy sighed, squirmed on the seat, leafed though the sheet music, plopped his fingers onto the keys, and began. His uncle frowned and asked him, "Is that all you learned in two years?" "That's it. What more do you expect?" "You're a real blockhead, you know. After two years, normal kids are playing rhapsodies." The boy didn't protest and continued to run his fingers over the keys. The uncle sighed and went out to stretch his legs. He returned one hour later. His nephew was still pounding the piano keyboard. Now the neighbors were calling on the phone, demanding an immediate end to the racket. The boy's uncle closed the lid of the piano, shooed the boy off the piano stool, and sat down. He began thinking. He had to do something. The only idea he could think of was to hire a teacher. The following day, a young man fresh out of the conservatory showed up. He played his entire repertoire to his redheaded pupil. Then he left. When the boy's uncle went into the yard, his neighbors rushed at him from all sides, wondering how his nephew had learned to play so well in just one day. Two days later, an old lady came to the house. She had been teaching the piano so long she had lost track of the years. She spent many minutes explaining music theory in the most boring manner possible. Then she sang scales to the boy, without laying a finger on the piano... It turned out she suffered from arthritis and hadn't played a note for thirty years. Other teachers came, but none made any progress with the boy. What was his uncle to do? Whenever the redhead sat down to play the piano, Grandma Mouse made a big show of walking to the mouse hole and covering it from inside with a piece of plywood so they wouldn't have to hear the disharmonious sounds. Grandpa Mouse became so irritable that he didn't even drink his favorite coffee. Mama Mouse was scandalized. "These people truly do a poor job raising their children. Human children are so lazy and do whatever they want!" See and Mee, the twin mice brothers, wanted very badly to play the big piano themselves. One day when there was no one home except for the lazy cat, they emerged from the mouse hole. The enormous, bright black grand piano stood in the middle of the boy's room. Its big white and black teeth glittered under a bright lamp. The mice crept up onto the piano stool, whirled around, squealing with delight, and then climbed up onto the keys. As they ran back and forth on the keys, the strings hummed and rang out. The twins were having great fun. Then someone entered the house. The mice were too far away to run to their home in time, so they hid under the strings of the piano. The redhead had just come back from school. After a snack, he went to his computer, but found it was still not working. He roamed through the house a while, then tried to lure the cat out from underneath the sofa. The cat didn't respond to any of his promises. "Well then, don't come out, if you want to be like that!" he said in a hurt voice and sighed. Bored and with nothing else left to do, the boy went to the piano and sat down. He put his hands on the keys -- and lo and behold, a miracle happened. The piano started making real music! Chopin, no less! The boy tore his hands away from the keys in shock. The music halted. He put his hand on his forehead. His temperature was normal... The redheaded menace put his hands on the keys again. Gorgeous music flowed from the instrument again, this time by Tchaikovsky. The boy stared stupidly at the keys, unable to comprehend what was going on. Then he heard soft laughter from underneath the lid of the piano. The boy gingerly lifted the lid and peeked inside. There sat his two enemies. "Aha, I've got you now," he exclaimed gleefully. But then he reflected on the miracle that had just happened. He decided to call off his revenge, at least for the moment. "I won't lay a hand on you rodents, if you'll just tell me the truth. Who was playing the piano just now? Me or you?" "We were," answered the twins simultaneously. "That's impossible," said the boy. "If that's true, then play me something." The mice scurried around over the strings, and beautiful music streamed from the instrument. "Can you teach me?" asked the boy. "Of course," the twins answered simultaneously. "When shall we begin?" asked the redheaded menace. "Let's make it tomorrow," answered See and Mee. "One thing, though. You've got to stop chasing us out of the kitchen and you have to put cheese and bread out for us." After brief reflection, the boy gave his word. "And we won't chew up your cables any more," promised the mice. Then the little twins went back home. That very night, they found a piece of cheese and a crust of bread under the table. Down payment made, down payment accepted! Back from school the next day, the boy sat down at the piano. The mice sat alongside and the lessons began. It was hard going, and there were days when See and Mee wanted to throw in the towel. But the boy promised to work hard, and finally his playing started to improve. The boy's uncle couldn't understand what was going on with his nephew. How on earth had he learned to play without a teacher? At times the mice sang operatic numbers or songs with lyrics ridiculing cats... The cat lay under the couch and sulked, too afraid of the boy to lay a paw on them. The budding pianist accompanied the twins, putting his newly acquired skills to good use. The neighbors were happy; the boy's uncle was happy; and the boy was still a redhead but no longer a redheaded menace. He no longer waved his fist at the mouse hole. Every evening he left pieces of cheese and bread under the table. One day he gave the mouse family a piece of paper that he had colored by himself. Mama Mouse and Grandma Mouse used the orange-colored paper to wallpaper their home. Now, whenever they lit a fire in the fireplace, the walls glowed a particularly bright orange. The mice family had a cozy, warm home, and always had plenty to eat. And that is how, in one house, music ended a war and replaced hatred with friendship and respect. One year later, the boy's parents returned from their foreign travels and took the boy to a different city. It became quiet and boring in the house. The cat was free now, but didn't know what he wanted to do. Sometimes, while he sat by the window, he looked for a long time into the distance, waiting expectantly for the appearance of the boy's red locks.