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E-Books (english-e-reader), The Charm

The Charm

He's a brave man,' people say about me. 'He's never afraid.'

They are wrong. I wasn't always a brave man, and at times I was afraid - very afraid.

I am an important man now. I have an important job. People know me and like me. They don't know that I wasn't always brave. I will tell yon the story.

I was a very shy young man. I didn't like talking to other young men; I was afraid. 'They'll laugh at me,' I thought.

Women were worse. I never spoke to them; I was always afraid of them.

I try to help shy people now. I never laugh at them, because I remember that time. I was very unhappy then.

Then there was a war between my country and another country. I had to be a soldier. Me! I was always afraid, but I had to be a soldier! And it was very dangerous.

I was afraid. The other soldiers didn't talk about it, but they knew. 'They're laughing at me,' I thought. 'They aren't afraid.' I was wrong, but I didn't know that. I felt very bad.

One day, I was in the town. I had two days holiday, away from the other soldiers. I wasn't with friends; I didn't have any friends. I was very unhappy. I walked slowly past some shops.

An old man stood by the road. There weren't many cars on it.

'Why doesn't he walk across the road?' I thought. 'Is he afraid?'

I went near him, and then I saw his eyes. 'Oh,' I thought. 'Now I know. He can't see! He wants to go across, but he can't go without help.'

Other people walked quickly past him. They had to go to work, or to their homes. They didn't help him; they didn't have time.

But I had time - a lot of time. 'I'm not doing anything,' I thought. 'Why can't I help him? I won't be afraid of him.'

I took the old man's arm, and I helped him across the road. 'Thank you!' he said. His hand felt my coat. 'This is a soldier's coat,' he said. 'Are you a soldier?'

'Yes.'

Perhaps I said it in a sad voice. The old man put a hand in his jacket. He took something out and gave it to me.

'Take this,' he said. 'It will help you. Wear it, and you'll be all right. Nothing bad will happen to you.'

He walked away, and I looked at the thing in my hand. It was a small charm - pretty, but strange.

'It's a girl's thing,' I thought, and I put it in my coat.

The next day we went to war. I was afraid - very afraid - but I remembered the charm in my coat. 'Perhaps the charm will help me,' I thought, so I took it with me.

Suddenly I wasn't afraid. Why? I didn't know. Was it the charm?

It was bad that day. Men died all round me. 'Perhaps I'll die next,' I thought. But I wasn't afraid!

Our leader was a brave man. He was in front of us, and we followed him. Suddenly he was down. He fell to the ground and didn't move. The other soldiers stopped. They were afraid.

I thought, 'Perhaps our leader isn't dead. I'll go and see.'

I went to him. The fighting was worse now, but I wasn't afraid. 'I've got the charm with me,' I thought. 'I'll be all right.'

I brought our leader back to a better place, and then I looked at him. He was very white and ill, but he wasn't dead. His eyes opened, and he smiled at me.

He spoke - not easily, but I heard him. 'Go in front!' he said. 'The men will follow you.'

The men followed me, and we fought well that day.

After that, I was fine. Later, I was a leader, too. The men were happy and followed me. People didn't laugh at me then.

'But is it right?' I thought. 'I'm not very brave. It's only the charm.'

I didn't tell people about the charm. I had friends for the first time, and I was happy.

One day we had to take an important bridge. There were a lot of soldiers on it, and they had big guns. The country was open, without any trees. It was very dangerous, and my men were afraid.

'We're going to die,' they said.

'Listen,' I told them. 'I'll go first, and we'll run very quickly to the bridge. Don't be afraid. They can't kill us all. Follow me, and we'll take that bridge.'

I put my hand in my coat. But the charm wasn't there!

'What am I going to do?' I thought. 'I can't be brave without the charm.'

I looked at the faces of my men. They weren't afraid now.

I thought, 'My words have helped them. They aren't afraid now. They're waiting for me. They'll follow me everywhere. I'm their leader, and I can't be afraid.'

I shouted: 'Let's go!'

We ran. We got to the bridge. We lost some men, but we got there! And we took the bridge!

I will never forget that day. I learnt something then about brave men. Brave men are afraid, too. But that doesn't stop them.

I will also remember that old man with the charm. 'It will help you,' he said.

He was right. I learnt to be brave without it.

I was a young man then, and now I am old.

I am a brave man, people think.

And, yes - they are right. I am.

- THE END -


The Charm

He's a brave man,' people say about me. 'He's never afraid.'

They are wrong. I wasn't always a brave man, and at times I was afraid - very afraid.

I am an important man now. I have an important job. People know me and like me. They don't know that I wasn't always brave. I will tell yon the story. 話をします。

I was a very shy young man. I didn't like talking to other young men; I was afraid. 私は他の若い男性と話すのが好きではありませんでした。私は恐れていました。 'They'll laugh at me,' I thought. 「彼らは私を笑うだろう」と私は思った。

Women were worse. 女性はもっと悪かった。 I never spoke to them; I was always afraid of them. 私は彼らと話したことはありません。私はいつも彼らを恐れていました。

I try to help shy people now. 私は今、恥ずかしがり屋の人々を助けようとしています。 I never laugh at them, because I remember that time. その時のことを覚えているので、私は決して彼らを笑わない。 I was very unhappy then. その時はとても不幸でした。

Then there was a war between my country and another country. I had to be a soldier. 私は兵士でなければなりませんでした。 Me! I was always afraid, but I had to be a soldier! 私はいつも恐れていましたが、私は兵士でなければなりませんでした! And it was very dangerous.

I was afraid. The other soldiers didn't talk about it, but they knew. 他の兵士はそれについて話しませんでしたが、彼らは知っていました。 'They're laughing at me,' I thought. 「彼らは私を笑っています」と私は思いました。 'They aren't afraid.' 「彼らは恐れていません。」 I was wrong, but I didn't know that. 私は間違っていましたが、それを知りませんでした。 I felt very bad. とても気分が悪かった。

One day, I was in the town. I had two days holiday, away from the other soldiers. 私は他の兵士から離れて2日間の休暇を過ごしました。 I wasn't with friends; I didn't have any friends. 私は友達と一緒ではありませんでした。友達はいませんでした。 I was very unhappy. I walked slowly past some shops. 私はゆっくりといくつかの店を通り過ぎました。

An old man stood by the road. 老人が道路のそばに立っていた。 There weren't many cars on it. 車はあまりありませんでした。

'Why doesn't he walk across the road?' 「なぜ彼は道を渡らないのですか?」 I thought. 'Is he afraid?'

I went near him, and then I saw his eyes. 'Oh,' I thought. 「ああ」と思った。 'Now I know. '今私は知っている。 He can't see! 彼は見ることができません! He wants to go across, but he can't go without help.' 彼は行きたいのですが、助けなしでは行きません。」

Other people walked quickly past him. They had to go to work, or to their homes. 彼らは仕事に行くか、家に行かなければなりませんでした。 They didn't help him; they didn't have time.

But I had time - a lot of time. 'I'm not doing anything,' I thought. 「私は何もしていません」と私は思いました。 'Why can't I help him? 「なぜ私は彼を助けることができないのですか? I won't be afraid of him.' 私は彼を恐れません。」

I took the old man's arm, and I helped him across the road. 私は老人の腕を取り、道を渡って彼を助けました。 'Thank you!' he said. His hand felt my coat. 彼の手は私のコートを感じた。 'This is a soldier's coat,' he said. 'Are you a soldier?'

'Yes.'

Perhaps I said it in a sad voice. 悲しい声で言ったのかもしれません。 The old man put a hand in his jacket. その老人は上着に手を入れた。 He took something out and gave it to me. 彼は何かを取り出して私にくれました。

'Take this,' he said. 「これを取りなさい」と彼は言った。 'It will help you. 'それはあなたを助けます。 Wear it, and you'll be all right. 着れば大丈夫です。 Nothing bad will happen to you.' 悪いことは何も起こりません。」

He walked away, and I looked at the thing in my hand. 彼は立ち去り、私は私の手にあるものを見ました。 It was a small charm - pretty, but strange. それは小さな魅力でした-きれいですが、奇妙です。

'It's a girl's thing,' I thought, and I put it in my coat.

The next day we went to war. I was afraid - very afraid - but I remembered the charm in my coat. 私は恐れていました-非常に恐れていました-しかし、私は自分のコートの魅力を思い出しました。 'Perhaps the charm will help me,' I thought, so I took it with me.

Suddenly I wasn't afraid. 突然、私は恐れていませんでした。 Why? I didn't know. Was it the charm? それは魅力でしたか?

It was bad that day. その日は悪かった。 Men died all round me. 男性は私の周りで亡くなりました。 'Perhaps I'll die next,' I thought. 「次は死ぬかもしれない」と思った。 But I wasn't afraid! しかし、私は恐れていませんでした!

Our leader was a brave man. 私たちのリーダーは勇敢な男でした。 He was in front of us, and we followed him. Suddenly he was down. 突然彼は倒れた。 He fell to the ground and didn't move. The other soldiers stopped. 他の兵士たちは立ち止まった。 They were afraid.

I thought, 'Perhaps our leader isn't dead. 私は思った、「おそらく私たちのリーダーは死んでいない。 I'll go and see.' 行って見に行きます。」

I went to him. 私は彼のところへ行きました。 The fighting was worse now, but I wasn't afraid. 戦いは今より悪化しましたが、私は恐れていませんでした。 'I've got the charm with me,' I thought. 「私には魅力があります」と私は思いました。 'I'll be all right.' 「私は大丈夫です。」

I brought our leader back to a better place, and then I looked at him. 私はリーダーをより良い場所に戻し、それから彼を見ました。 He was very white and ill, but he wasn't dead. His eyes opened, and he smiled at me.

He spoke - not easily, but I heard him. 彼は話しました-簡単ではありませんが、私は彼の声を聞きました。 'Go in front!' 「前に行け!」 he said. 'The men will follow you.' 「男性はあなたに従います。」

The men followed me, and we fought well that day. 男達は私についてきて、その日はよく戦った。

After that, I was fine. その後、元気になりました。 Later, I was a leader, too. The men were happy and followed me. People didn't laugh at me then. その時、人々は私を笑わなかった。

'But is it right?' 「でも、そうですか?」 I thought. 'I'm not very brave. It's only the charm.' それはただの魅力です。」

I didn't tell people about the charm. 私はその魅力について人々に話しませんでした。 I had friends for the first time, and I was happy. 初めて友達ができて嬉しかったです。

One day we had to take an important bridge. ある日、私たちは重要な橋を渡らなければなりませんでした。 There were a lot of soldiers on it, and they had big guns. The country was open, without any trees. 国は木がなく、開いていました。 It was very dangerous, and my men were afraid. それは非常に危険で、私の部下は恐れていました。

'We're going to die,' they said. 「私たちは死ぬだろう」と彼らは言った。

'Listen,' I told them. 'I'll go first, and we'll run very quickly to the bridge. 「私が最初に行きます、そして私たちは橋に非常に速く走ります。 Don't be afraid. They can't kill us all. 彼らは私たち全員を殺すことはできません。 Follow me, and we'll take that bridge.'

I put my hand in my coat. コートに手を入れました。 But the charm wasn't there!

'What am I going to do?' 「私は何をするつもりですか?」 I thought. 'I can't be brave without the charm.'

I looked at the faces of my men. 私は部下の顔を見ました。 They weren't afraid now. 彼らは今恐れていませんでした。

I thought, 'My words have helped them. 私は思った、'私の言葉は彼らを助けました。 They aren't afraid now. They're waiting for me. They'll follow me everywhere. 彼らはどこでも私についてきます。 I'm their leader, and I can't be afraid.' 私は彼らのリーダーであり、恐れることはできません。」

I shouted: 'Let's go!'

We ran. We got to the bridge. We lost some men, but we got there! And we took the bridge! そして、私たちは橋を渡った!

I will never forget that day. I learnt something then about brave men. その時、私は勇敢な男性について何かを学びました。 Brave men are afraid, too. 勇敢な男性も恐れています。 But that doesn't stop them.

I will also remember that old man with the charm. あの魅力のあるおじいさんも覚えています。 'It will help you,' he said.

He was right. I learnt to be brave without it. 私はそれなしで勇敢になることを学びました。

I was a young man then, and now I am old.

I am a brave man, people think.

And, yes - they are right. I am.

- THE END -