インディアンの物語(学校のテキスト)

3月 27th, 2005 Categories: 海外子女教育

この間から、インターナショナル校の授業で使う英語のレベルについて言及してきました。百聞は一見にしかずですので、先週の宿題(月曜と火曜の課題)をご紹介します。ブルーウィングフライングというアメリカインディアンのお話しです。これを読めば、インターナショナル校の1年生(グレード1)がどんな内容の本をテキストにしているかご理解頂けると思います。

これは、ブルーウィングフライングというアメリカインディアンの少年が、生まれたばかりの妹に名前をつけるまでのお話しです。

Blue- Wings-Flying has a new baby sister. His family members will gather to choose a name for the baby. Who will name the baby? What will that name be?

Most mornings the sunlight sent its shining fingers through the little window and awakened Blue-Wings-Flying. But this morning something else awakened him. He listened. “A-laa, a-laa, a-laa,” he heard. It was the cry of a tiny baby.

Blue- Wings-Flying wiggled out of his blanket and sat up. So-Oh (the Hopi word for Grandmother) was seated by the stove. Beside her was a basket of soft gray ashes. Gently she rubbed some ashes over the body of the tiny baby. Then she sprinkled the child with cornmeal. Tah-Tah (Father) was standing on a wooden chair, hanging up the baby’s cradle.
Yu- Yu (Mother) was sitting on her rolled-up mattress. Blue- Wings-Flying ran to her, unable to ask the question.

“Yes,” said Yu- Yu. “You have a baby sister.”
The baby was wrapped in a blanket grown soft with much use. So-Oh handed the baby to Yu-Yu, who held her a moment for Blue-Wings-Flying to see. He touched the baby’s face with his finger. Suddenly Blue-Wings-Flying felt afraid. He thought of another baby, his little brother, who had died. He leaned over and asked, “Will this baby sister stay with us?”
“Yes, she will stay if she keeps well and happy and has a pretty name.” Y u – Y u smiled.

“I will play with this little sister to make her happy,” said Blue- Wings-Flying, “and I will find a pretty name for her Naming Day.” “Yes,” said Yu-Yu. “So-Oh and Tah-Tah and your aunts and uncles and cousins will all be watching for the prettiest thing they see or feel on this day of her birth. Then on her Naming Day, the one who has the nicest idea will be the one to name her.”
“That will be many names. How will we know the best one?” asked Blue- Wings-Flying.
“The one that we begin to call her, after we hear all of them, will be her name,” said Yu- Yu.
“I will go and look until I find a beautiful name,” said Blue- Wings-Flying.

Yu-Yu gave him a pat on the shoulder. “Now you must eat. Tah- Tah will be waiting. You must help him fill the water jars at the spring.”
Blue- Wings-Flying slowly shook his head. “I don’t want to go, Yu-Yu. I want to look for a pretty name. ”

“You don’t have to look far away for a name,” said Yu-Yu. “There are pretty things everywhere for an eye to see. Keep your eyes open. Thoughts and eyes work together. Have beautiful thoughts and you see beautiful things.”
Tah-Tah came in and picked up the big water jar. “Come, my boy,” he said. “The burro and I are waiting.”

Blue- Wings-Flying went outside. Tah- Tah was tying the jar onto one end of the blanket on the burro’s back. He had already tied So-Oh’s jar on the other side.
“Ar-ray,” Tah-Tah called to the burro. The jars swung back and forth as the burro headed up the steep path. The burro moved very quickly, and Blue-Wings-Flying followed at a half run. He frowned – there was no time to look for pretty things to name his baby sister.
Tah- Tah noticed and said, “Nothing will look pretty if you frown, my boy.”
At one turn in the path, there was an opening in the high wall. At other times, Blue- Wings-Flying had seen blossoms of Indian paintbrush there. He stopped to look inside. As he did, Tah- Tah spoke.

“No need to look for flowers. They appear only when it rains, and no rain has come for many months. The flowering plants are dried up.”
At the bottom of the hill, the burro went more slowly, eating dried grass here and there.
Blue- Wings-Flying sighed to himself. “I have kept my eyes open, and I am not frowning, but I can not see a good name anywhere. Everyone will have a pretty name but me.”
Suddenly the burro stopped, his eyes wide open with fright. He wheeled around and dashed away as fast as the bumping jars would let him go.
Tah-Tah and Blue- Wings-Flying looked to see what had alarmed the burro. It was a rattlesnake, winding itself into rings, one upon the other. Its lifted tail was shaking angrily. The rings on the tip of its tail rattled to warn them off.
Blue- Wings-Flying stood as if he had been turned into stone.
Tah-Tah whispered, so low that he could hardly be heard, “Don’t move. Don’t show that you are afraid. We must let the snake know that we are its brothers. ”
Blue- Wings-Flying could not help feeling afraid, but he stood very still. Not even his eyes moved from the rattlesnake. Tah-Tah stood very still beside him.

The snake closed its mouth, lowered its tail, and straightened its body. Then it slipped away into the rocks and was gone.
After a few moments, Blue- Wings-Flying sighed with relief. Tah- Tah went to get the burro.
“There are pretty marks on the rattlesnake,” thought Blue- Wings-Flying, “but a snake name might frighten a child.”
When they reached the spring, they untied the jars from the burro. Tah- Tah said, “So-Oh’s jar is lighter than ours. It is made of better clay. Take it and fill it with water.”

His arms almost reaching around the big jar, Blue- Wings-Flying walked carefully to the spring. He lowered the huge jar into the water. The jar was so big that it was hard for him to get a good hold on it. Suddenly – clink – the jar slipped from his hands and struck the stone wall. Blue- Wings-Flying caught the jar, but a piece broke off and disappeared into the spring.
For a moment, Blue-Wings-Flying could not move. His eyes filled with tears. So-Oh loved the jar; it had belonged to her own grandmother.
Then he tipped the jar to fill it with water. A ray of sunlight made a rainbow in the mist coming up from the spring. Blue-Wings-Flying looked at the rainbow, but he did not think about it. His thoughts were all about So-Oh and the sadness she would feel when she saw the broken jar.
Tah-Tah had turned away to save his son from greater shame. But now Tah-Tah lifted So-Oh’s jar and carried it to the burro. He gave Blue- Wings-Flying the other jar to fill, to show his trust. Then Tah- Tah put his hand on the boy’s head. “There will be other jars. Things that break do not last forever.” Together they reloaded the burro and began to climb the steep path.
So-Oh was cooking pancakes when they reached home. Blue-Wings-Flying watched her slowly shake her head as Tah-Tah brought in the water jars.

Blue- Wings-Flying ran to her. “Your jar was heavy, So-Oh. It slipped and hit the spring wall.”
So-Oh could not speak. She stood very still, looking at the broken jar. Finally she turned and went back to cooking pancakes. Blue-Wings-Flying knew she was sad. He knew, too, that she would not scold him. He would have felt better if she had.

Yu-Yu stood by the cradle, rocking the baby. Blue-Wings-Flying ran over to Yu-Yu. She whispered, “I will weave a big basket. We will trade it in the village for a new jar for So-Oh.”
“But it will not be an old jar,” said Blue- Wings Flying, trying to keep back the tears.
“The jar will be old for your sister. When she is old like So-Oh,” Yu-Yu said, smiling. Blue-Wings-Flying felt a little better.
Suddenly he wondered what time it was. He went to the window and peeked out. It was time for the sun to set. Blue- Wings-Flying hurried outside.
As always, the shining ball of sunlight slipped down behind the mountaintops, pulling behind it a great blanket of colors. Watching the beautiful sunset, Blue- Wings-Flying felt that he had forgotten something – something important, something he should remember.
That night Blue- Wings-Flying lay awake wondering what the sunset had tried to tell him. Then a picture came into his mind. He saw again the spring and the broken jar filling with water. He saw it clearly, and all at once he had a name for his baby sister. He longed to say it aloud, once, just to hear how it sounded. But it was a secret to keep until it was his turn to name the baby. Blue-Wings-Flying closed his eyes, the picture still in his mind. Soon he was asleep.

ブルーウィングフライングは、ようやく妹にふさわしいと思える名前をみつけました。

The next morning, some of his aunts and uncles and cousins came to help get ready for the Naming Day. So-Oh was spreading corn batter over a hot, flat stone. Blue- Wings-Flying liked to watch her peel the thin-as-paper bread off the flat stone and fold it into long flat sticks.
Tah- Tah came in with many heavy bundles of food from the trading store. Blue- Wings-Flying helped him unload. When they had finished, Tah Tah turned to the boy. “This house is getting too crowded now. You had better go out and play.”
Blue- Wings-Flying went out to find his friends, but he did not go far away from his own house. When he saw more people coming from many directions, he ran to go inside with them.

いよいよみんなが、女の子の名前を順番に発表する時がやつてきました。
As soon as everyone was seated on rolled-up mattresses and sheepskins, So-Oh got up. She held an ear of white corn. Touching the baby’s head with the corn, she said, “I name you Pink-Clouds-in-the morning.”

Blue- Wings-Flying looked around. He saw most of the people smile and nods their heads. “They like that name,” he thought.

Tah-Tah took the ear of corn. He touched the baby’s head with it. “I name you Singing-Corn Leaves-in-the-wind,” he said. Blue- Wings-Flying remembered the soft sound of wind blowing through the cornstalks by the river. It was a nice sound.

Yu-Yu’s cousin took the corn. “I name you Shining-Sun-on-a-bright-tin-can.” A few visitors put their hands to their mouths to cover their smiles.

Another cousin said softly, “I name you Running-Chipmunk.”

One by one, each person gave a name. Then it was the turn of Blue- Wings-Flying-in-the-sunlight. He was the last because he was the youngest.
Yu- Yu whispered, “Let the ear of corn touch like a butterfly.” Blue-Wings-Flying nodded.

そしてブルーウイングフライングの番がやってきました
He touched the baby’s head lightly and said, “I name you Rainbow-Mist-at-the-spring.”
He looked shyly around the room. No one nodded. No one was smiling but Yu-Yu, So-Oh had a thoughtful frown on her face. Then they all stood up to eat. “Maybe they did not even hear my name,” he thought.

Blue- Wings-Flying ate little. When the other children had finished, one of the girls said, “Come play.” She pulled Blue-Wings-Flying by the arm and together they went outside, followed by the other children.
After a while, Blue-Wings-Flying slipped away. He wanted to be there to hear what the baby was being called.

Blue-Wings-Flying went into the house and saw that almost everyone had gone. So-Oh sat holding the baby. Yu- Yu came to take the baby, and as she lifted the tiny bundle, she said, “Come, little Rainbow-Mist. You must go back to your cradle.”
So-Oh got up. “Good night, little Rainbow-Mist,” she said.

ブルーウィングフライングは、だれの言った名前が、女の子の名前として選ばれたのか知りたくて、家の中に入りました。するとユーユーが女の子に向かって「さあおいでリトルレインボーミスト、おまえはもう揺り篭にもどらないといけないよ」という光景を目にしました。ソーオーも「おやすみ、リトルレインボーミスト」と言いました。ブルーウィングフライングは、自分の名前が選ばれた事がやっとわかりました。

In his happiness, Blue-Wings-Flying hugged himself and laughed out loud. He went to the cradle and touched his mother’s arm. When she looked, he smiled and watched her smile back.
Blue- Wings-Flying peeked into the cradle and said softly, “Good night, little Rainbow-Mist.”

揺り篭を覗き込んだブルーウィングフライングは、「おやすみ、リトルレインボーミスト」とやさしく言いました。

息子の学校の先生は、香港に来るまでは米国の小学校で教えていました。彼女に聞いたところ、米国で教えていた頃は、1年生でこの文章が十分に理解できる子供はクラスの半分くらいだったそうです。

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