2005年08月15日

VOASE 8月13日放送 AMERICAN STORY


アメリカンストーリーはVOASEが毎週土曜日に放送する15分の番組です。毎回は一つの短編小説を朗読します。いつも時事ニュースなどを聞いて自分にとって、これはほど良い気分転換です。
今回の物語りは真冬の朝、ある湖畔の森に土地の所有者が一羽の鳥を助けるために、ハンターに立ち向かう話です。


Tale for a frosty morning

Ben was awoken by a gunshot. The sharp noise came through the fix stonewalls of the house. It was cold in the bedroom .Ben*** was shaking as he got out of bed. He put on his eyeglasses, and went over to the window. The field was covered with white forest. Nothing moved out there in the deep quiet just before sunrise. Ben looked past the field to the sick woods. Two weeks ago, he saw a deer among the trees. He held his breath with excitement, then the deer walked off.


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Ben wondered where the shot had come from. He thought perhaps he had dreamed he heard a gunshot. He looked out toward the frozen lake. Near the trees he saw a shinning piece of metal. When he moved Ben saw that it was a long gun. A minute later, a man came out of the woods, he worn hunting clothes. Suddenly a bird flew upward, the man quickly put the gun to his shoulder and shot. Ben watched the bird praying it had not been hurt. It flew near the ground and went into some tall grass. "Safe” Ben thought. The hunter did not move for a moment. Then he began to follow the bird. Hate for the hunter burned inside of Ben. "Hey!" he shouted. His voice cut threw the stillness. The hunter stopped, but then continue to follow the bird. Ben shouted again. This time the hunter did not stop. Ben started to move toward him. But Ben was in his nightclothes and he did not go far. Instead, he returned to the house. He got a metal shovel and hit the stone sides of the house, so that the noise would warn the birds and animals of danger. The hunter looked back at Ben.
"No hunting on my land!" Ben shouted.
The man called "where can I hunt?"
The hunter started to walk away. Ben had just bought this house in the woods. He wanted to protect everything on his land. He thought that everyone would obey the signs "No Hunting!" Ben has just finished putting on his clothes when he heard another gunshot. This troubled him deeply. How could he stop this hunter? He walked toward the lake. He did not want to fight. But the man must go.
He walked quietly. He wanted to surprise the hunter. But then what would he do? He could not fight the hunter. Suddenly he heard a bird's wing beating the dry grass. Ben moved quickly toward the sound. He saw a colored head. The head of a beautiful feathered bird. The bird did not move until Ben came close. Then it tried to fly away, but one wing was broken. Ben lifted the bird and held it closed against his body. The bird *** to escape, but soon lay quietly in Ben's arm. Its body is warm and heavy. Ben decided to take the bird home and fix it's broken wing so that it could fly again. He was almost through the woods when he heard the hunter behind him.
"You just find that bird?" the hunter asked.
"Yes" Ben answered.
"It is mine."
Ben was afraid and tried to answer but his mouth was too dry to speak. But he wet his lips and said "No!"
"I shot him, I say he is mine."
"But he is not dead yet" Ben answered "besides, any thing on my land belongs to me "
The hunter reached out for the bird. "I would have to kill it " he said, " the bird will soon die any way. "
Ben got angry "get out of here" he said " I told you before, and I am telling you again. GET OFF MY LAND!"
The hunter looked down at the little man and smiled. "Say, who are you?"
Ben's voice shacked with both fear and anger.” I owned this land, there are signs everywhere that say: No Hunting! "
"No need to get angry, Mister!" The hunter said "control you self" there were something threatening in the man's cool quiet voice. And he had a gun. His arms were free. Ben's were not. The hunter stepped closer and said, "Give me that bird!"
Ben was white with anger. "No!" he answered. His eyeglasses became wet he had to look over the top of them to see the other man. "Give me the bird and I will go away,” the hunter said. "You! Get off my land!” Ben told him” get out right now! You do not belong here!"
The man's face got red. "Mister!" he said "I have been hunting here all my life, I ***up here"
"That’s a thing of past,” Ben said" I do not know who you are and I do not care. I own this place now, I am telling you to leave. You get off my land!"
"Now, look Mister." the hunter said "Be reasonable”
"I am trying to be as reasonable as I can." said Ben holding the bird tightly " I just want you Get Off My Land!”
The hunter raised his gun. A cold wind blew across Ben's face. He looked into the hunter's gray eyes .Ben was threatened." It was not too late" he thought. He could still give the bird to the hunter and return safely home. That would end this whole terrible business. The bird struggled weakly. It made a wild strange noise. Then Ben knew he could neither give this bird to the hunter. This feeling gave Ben great strengths. He was no longer afraid.
" I will never to let you kill this bird. "He said " get away from here, if you try to take this bird I will fight. You have a gun and you are bigger. But that does not worry me. You will never get this bird you will have to kill me first”.
The two men looked at each other. Ben's fear returned. His knees began to shake and he felt sick. Yet he stood straight wondering what could happen next.
They stood close to each other for a long time. The woods were strangely quiet. Then the hunter's ruff voice broke the silence
"YOU ARE A FOOL!"
And to Ben's surprise he slowly walked away.
Ben watched until the hunter was gone. His arms hurt. His body felt wet and cold. He went to the house. Ben carried the bird into the kitchen and put it gently on the floor. It did not move. Ben took off his foggy glasses and dried his face. The bird watched him. Ben smoothed its feathers with gentle fingers, he careful study the injuring wing. There seem to be no hope. The wing was pulled almost the way from the body; the bullet has smashed the bone. Ben knew the bird was dying. There was nothing he could do to help it. He wondered if birds felt pain. He wondered how long it took a bird to die. The hunter was right. The bird would soon die.
There was just one thing to do now to stop it's suffering. Ben could kill it quickly. He put his hand around the bird's neck. But when he felt the warm life under his fingers, he could not kill this beautiful thing. Tears filled his eyes. He knew now what he would do: he would stay with the bird, smoothing its feathers until it dead.





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