The Secret To Immortality

9

提 要
故事改編自馬來西亞小朋友Alia的創作。當遭遇困境,若衝動地硬碰硬,可能造成兩敗俱傷,甚至連累大眾;但若臨機應變、以智取勝,不但可以脫困,還能造福鄉里。
Adam was an orphan boy who lived in a remote mountain village. After the death of his parents, all the villagers helped to raise him. When he was old enough to wander on his own, he started to help other villagers with their daily chores.
One day, while Adam was gathering firewood for one of his neighbours, he heard horses galloping and men screaming in the village square. Adam quickly hid behind a clump of large rocks. When the noise subsided, he peeked through the gaps in between the rocks. He saw the King addressing all the villagers in the village square.
“I am looking for the secret to immortality! I was told I could find it in this village. If no one can tell me the secret by tomorrow, I will burn every house in this village” announced the cold-hearted king.
When the King and his men went away, all the villagers started to cry as they do not know the secret of immortality. Adam came out of hiding and started to cry as well. That night, Adam could not sleep. He was wide awake trying to think of how he could save his village. As he was gazing at the stars, an idea came to him, then he went to sleep with a smile.
The next morning, the King and his men came back to the village. They gathered the villagers. The King’s men were getting ready to burn the village. The King announced, “Who will tell me the secret to immortality?”
Adam confidently went up to the King and told him that he knew the secret to immortality. The King asked Adam what the secret was.
“Your Majesty, legend has it that, you have to complete three tasks to become immortal,” said Adam.
The King asked Adam what the three tasks were.
“Your Majesty, legend has it that to be immortal, you first have to build a shelter for the poor, the orphans and the old,” said Adam.
The next day, the King summoned his men to build a big house. After his men finished building the house, all the villagers came to see the house. The house had many rooms and a large kitchen with cooks to prepare meals for everyone. All the poor, the orphans and the old were very happy. They all cheered for the King. The King was pleased.
The King asked Adam what he had to do next.
“Your Majesty, legend has it that to be immortal, you then need to build a hospital for the sick,” said Adam.
The next day at the crack of dawn, the King ordered his men to build a large hospital. They built a hospital with many rooms and treatment halls with doctors to treat the sick. The sick went to the hospital and praised the King’s men. They all cheered for the King. Again, the King was pleased.
The King asked Adam what the last task was.
“Your Majesty, legend has it that to be immortal, you would have to build a magnificent school where all the children in the village can study.” The King agreed and planned to build the school the next day, as all his men were tired and sore.
When the next day came, they started to build the school. It took them a long time to build it as their shoulders were still aching. When the school was finally ready, it had many classrooms and teachers to teach the children. All the villagers sent their children to the school. Adam attended school at that time as well. The children and their parents were very happy and all of them cheered and praised the King. The King was very pleased.
The Kingthen asked Adam “Now that I have completed the three tasks, how do I become immortal?”
Adam looked at the King and said “Your Majesty, you are already immortal. This village will remember you eternally for all the good deeds you have done for us!”
The King smiled and responded “You are a very clever boy. Thank you for opening my heart and broadening my horizon. I will do good deeds all over the Kingdom so that the people will always remember me.” The King and his men rode away with the whole village cheering behind them.
解 說
亞當是一個孤兒,住在偏遠的山村。父母去世後,所有村民同心協力幫助撫養他。當年紀夠大到照顧自己時,亞當開始幫助其他村民做日常雜務。
有一天,亞當正在為他的一個鄰居撿柴火時,他聽到馬匹奔馳,男人的聲音在村莊廣場上喊叫。亞當很快地躲在一堆大石頭後面,當噪音消退時,他從岩石之間的縫隙窺視,看到國王在廣場向所有村民發表講話:
「我正在尋找『不朽的祕密』。有人說可以在這個村莊找到。如果明天沒人能告訴我這祕密,我會燒掉村裡的每間房子。」這位國王冷酷地宣布。
當國王和他的人走開時,所有的村民都開始哭泣,因為他們不知道什麼「不朽的祕密」。亞當從躲的地方出來,也開始跟著一起哭。那天晚上,完全沒有睡意的亞當,思索著如何拯救他的村莊。當他凝視著天上的星星時,一個主意浮現。然後亞當笑著睡著了。
第二天早上,國王和他的隨從回到村裡,聚集村民。國王的隨從作出焚燒村莊的準備。國王說:「誰要告訴我『不 朽的祕密』?」
亞當自信地走向國王,表示他他知道成為不朽的祕密。國王於是問亞當祕密是什麼。
「陛下,傳說必須要完成三項任務,才能成為不朽。」亞當說。
國王問他,三項任務是什麼。
「陛下,傳說是這樣的,在成為不朽之前,首先必須為窮人、孤兒和老人建造一間庇護所。」亞當說。
第二天,國王召集他的人建造了一座大房子。在他的侍從完成房子建造後,所有的村民都來觀看。房子有很多房間和有廚師備膳的大廚房,為每個人準備飯菜。所有的窮人,孤兒和老人都非常高興。他們都為國王歡呼。國王很高興。
國王問亞當,他下一步該做什麼。
「陛下,傳說在成為不朽之前,接著必須為病人建一所醫院。」亞當說。
第二天的破曉時分,國王命令他的人員建造一所大醫院。他們建了一間有很多病房和治療室的醫院,請來醫師治療病人。病人去醫院並稱讚國王的侍從,都為國王歡呼。國王再度感到非常高興。
國王問亞當,最後一項任務是什麼。
「陛下,傳說在成為不朽之前,最後必須建造一個超棒的學校,讓村裡所有的孩子都可以接受教育。」國王同意了,打算在第二天開始建學校,雖然他所有的侍從人員都疲累不堪、渾身痠痛。
第二天,國王的人馬開始建造學校。他們花了很長時間進行,因為他們的肩膀四肢疼痛難忍。終於,學校完工了,有很多間教室,有老師教導孩子們。所有的村民都把孩子送到了學校,亞當也一起去上學。孩子們和家長非常高興,他們都歡呼、稱讚國王。國王非常高興。
國王問亞當:「現在我已完成了三項任務,我該如何成為不朽?」
亞當看著國王說:「陛下,你已經是不朽的了。你為我們所做的一切善事,這個村莊將永遠記住!」
國王笑著回答:「你是個非常聰明的男孩。謝謝你打開我的心、開闊我的視野。我會在全國做好事,讓人們永遠記住我。」國王和他的隨從,在全村人的歡呼聲中,騎馬離開。

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