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The Island of the Sun

The Island of the Sun
Find out more
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The Island of the Sun

A Chinese folk tale told by David Heathfield


There was once a farmer who had two sons. The older son was selfish and greedy, while the younger son was kind and generous.

When the farmer died, the older brother took all of his land for himself leaving the younger brother with nothing except a basket and a sharp knife with which he could cut firewood.

He would go into the forest and chop wood and sell it in exchange for a little rice in the marketplace.

He was poor. He had nothing.

One day, the young brother climbed through the forest to the top of the mountain, and there he sat upon a rock gazing out towards the west where the sun was setting. And as he sat there all alone he felt a rush of air from above and he looked and there was a bright bird flying down towards him, a huge wingspan. He felt the beating of air, the rush of air. And then it landed next to him:

‘Why do you sit here all alone?’

‘I am poor. I have nothing.’

‘Is this true or is this false?’

‘It is true, I am poor. I have nothing.’

‘Then climb on my back,’ said the mighty bird, ‘and I will carry you to the Island of the Sun. There you may take one piece of gold before I bring you back.’

He climbed onto the back of the bird and the bird took off...

Away from the mountain the great bird flew.

Over the forest the great bird flew.

Over the waters the great bird flew.

To the Island of the Sun the great bird flew.

And as the bird landed, the sun set behind the island which glittered brightly, and the boy took one piece of gold. He put it in his basket and climbed onto the back of the great bird.

Away from the island the great bird flew.

Over the waters the great bird flew.

Over the forest the great bird flew.

Back to the mountain the great bird flew.

The young brother took that piece of gold and went down out of the forest. And there he bought a small piece of land. And there he reared pigs, cows, and a few hens.

He lived well. He worked hard.

But one day his older brother came.

‘Where did you find this wealth, this land?’

And the young brother told him.

‘I want this. Give me that old basket and your knife.’

And the older brother set off up through the forest. And when he came to that mountain he sat upon a rock and waited.

After a while he felt a rush of air and a beating of wings was heard. And there, as he gazed towards the west, towards the setting sun, a bird appeared from its bright rays, beating its wings, coming closer. It landed next to him:

‘Why do you sit here all alone?’

‘I am poor. I have nothing.’

‘Is this true or is this false?’

‘It is true, I am poor. I have nothing. I want gold!’

‘Climb on my back,’ said the great bird. ‘I will take you to the Island of the Sun. There you may take one piece of gold.’

Away from the mountain the great bird flew.

Over the forest the great bird flew.

Over the waters the great bird flew.

To the Island of the Sun the great bird flew.

And as it landed, the sun set behind the island. The older brother looked and saw sparkling gold everywhere. He picked up one piece and placed it in the basket.

Just one more can't hurt‘The basket seems empty. I may as well take another.’

A second piece he placed in the basket, then a third. He continued picking up the largest chunks of gold until the basket was completely full.

Then he turned. And as he turned he saw that the bird had flown away and the sun was rising. He stood there and was burned to a crisp.

The young brother inherited his older brother’s land. He tended the land well and with love. And what he produced he shared with others of the community.

The Island of the Sun
Find out more
about the contributors

The Island of the Sun

A Chinese folk tale told by David Heathfield


太陽島

 

中國民間故事

 

 

    C很久很久以前,有個農夫,農夫有兩個兒子,大兒子自私又貪心,小兒子則善良慷慨。

 

    農夫死後,大兒子霸佔所有農地,只留給弟弟一個破竹藍和一把尖刀來砍柴。小兒子必須到森林中砍柴來賣,才可以在市場換到少量米飯。=

 

    小兒子很窮,他什麼都沒有。

 

    有一日,小兒子爬到森林中的山頂,坐在大石頭上看著太陽西沉。他一個人坐著,忽然感覺頭上一陣風吹過,他感到空氣震動的速度和頻率,有一隻色彩鮮豔的大鳥打開雙翅向他飛來,大鳥在他身邊停下。C

 

   「你為什麼一個人坐在這裡呢?」大鳥問。

 

   「我很窮,我什麼都沒有。」小兒子回答。

 

   「你說真的嗎?」

 

   「是啊!我很窮,我什麼都沒有。」

 

   「那你爬到我的背上吧!我帶你去太陽之島,你可以從那裡拿走一塊金子。」

 

    L小兒子爬到大鳥的背上,神鳥立刻起飛。飛越山脈,飛越森林,飛越湖川,飛向太陽之島。神鳥降落後,太陽閃著萬丈光芒,從島的後方沉落,男孩拿起一塊金塊放入他的竹藍中,就爬回大鳥的背上。

 

    神鳥飛離太陽島,飛過湖川,飛過森林,返抵山頂。

 

    小兒子帶著金塊離開森林,他用金塊買了一小塊地,養豬、養牛、還有幾隻雞。

 

    他過得很好,也一直很認真工作。有一天,他的大哥忽然來拜訪他。L

 

   「你哪來這麼多錢?怎麼買得起這快地?」大哥問。

 

    L小兒子實話實說。

 

   「天底下有這種好事?我也要,把你的破竹藍和刀子給我。」

 

    C大兒子拿到竹藍跟刀子後,就前往森林,到達山頂後,在石頭上坐著等待。過沒多久,他就感覺到一陣風吹過,聽見翅膀拍動的聲音。他看著夕陽西下,大鳥從夕陽的光輝中出現,拍著翅膀逐漸接近,在他身邊降落。

 

   「你為什麼一個人坐在這裡?」大鳥問。

 

   「我很窮,我什麼都沒有。」大兒子答。

 

   「你說真的嗎?」

 

   「真的,我很窮,我什麼都沒有。我要金塊!」

 

   「那你爬到我背上吧!我帶你去太陽之島,你可以從那裡帶走一塊金子。」

 

    C大鳥飛離山頂,飛過森林,掠過湖川,前往太陽之島。

 

    大鳥降落時,太陽正漸漸隱沒在島的後方。大兒子四處張望,發現滿地都是黃金,他拿起一塊放入竹籃。C

 

    「這籃子看起來還很空,我可以再拿一塊。」Just one more can't hurt

 

    L他拿起第二塊金塊,然後第三塊、第四塊…他不停撿起地上最大的那塊黃金,直到竹籃滿得再也裝不下其他東西。他轉頭,卻發現大鳥早就已經飛走,而太陽正在升起。他站在原處,直到被太陽燒成灰燼。

 

    最後,小兒子繼承大哥的土地,他用心耕耘那塊地,並且與其他村民分享他的收穫。

The Island of the Sun
Find out more
about the contributors

The Island of the Sun

A Chinese folk tale told by David Heathfield


太阳岛

中国民间故事

 

 很久很久以前,有个农夫,农夫有两个儿子,大儿子自私又贪心,小儿子则善良大方。

 

 农夫死后,大儿子取走所有农地,只留给弟弟一个旧竹蓝和一把尖刀让他砍柴。小儿子必须到森林中砍柴来卖,才能在市场换到一点点的米饭。

 

 小儿子很穷,他什么都没有。

 

 有一天,小儿子爬到森林中的山顶,坐在大石头上看着太阳西沉。他一个人坐着,忽然感觉头上一阵风吹过,他感到空气震动的速度和频率,一只色彩鲜艳的大鸟张开宽阔的双翅向他飞来,。大鸟在他身边停下。

 

       「你为什么一个人坐在这里呢?」大鸟问。

      「我很穷,我什么都没有。」小儿子回答。

      「你说的是真的吗?」

      「是啊!我很穷,我什么都没有。」

      「那你爬到我的背上吧!我带你去太阳之岛,你可以从那里拿走一块金子。」

 

小儿子爬到大鸟的背上,神鸟立刻起飞。飞越山脉,飞越森林,飞越湖川,飞向太阳之岛。神鸟降落后,太阳闪着万丈光芒,从岛的后方沉落,男孩拿起一块金块放入他的竹蓝中,就爬回大鸟的背上。

 

神鸟飞离太阳岛,飞过湖川,飞过森林,返抵山顶。

 

小儿子带着金块离开森林,他用金块买了一小块地,养猪、养牛、还有几只鸡。

 

他过得很好,也一直很认真工作。有一天,他的大哥忽然来拜访他。

          

      「你哪来这么多钱?怎么有办法买这快地?」大哥问。

         小儿子实话实说。

 

       「天底下有这种好事?我也要,给我你的旧竹蓝和刀子。」

        

 大儿子拿到竹蓝跟刀子后,就前往森林,到达山顶后,在石头上坐着等待。过没多久,他就感觉到一阵风吹过,听见翅膀拍动的声音。他看着夕阳西下,大鸟从夕阳的光辉中出现,拍着翅膀逐渐接近,在他身边降落。

 

         「你为什么一个人坐在这里?」大鸟问。

         「我很穷,我什么都没有。」大儿子答。

         「你说的是真的吗?」

         「真的,我很穷,我什么都没有。我要金块!」

         「那你爬到我背上吧!我带你去太阳之岛,你可以从那里带走一块金子。」

 

大鸟飞离山顶,飞过森林,掠过湖川,前往太阳之岛。

 

大鸟降落时,太阳正渐渐隐没在岛的后方。大儿子四处张望,发现满地都是黄金,他拿起一块放入竹篮。

 Just one more can't hurt

      「这篮子看起来还很空,我可以再拿一块。」

 

他拿起第二块金块,然后第三块、第四块…他不停捡起地上最大的那块黄金,直到竹篮满得再也装不下其他东西。他转头,却发现大鸟早就已经飞走,而太阳正在升起。他站在原处,直到被太阳烧成灰烬。

 

小儿子继承大哥的土地,他用心耕耘那块地,并且与其他村民分享他的收获。

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