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《一片叶子落下来》原文

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  我从哪里来?我会去哪里?为什么要活着?死是怎么回事?一片叶子回答孩子所有关于生命的疑问。
  这是一本关于生命的童话,作者以一片叶子经历四季的故事讲述生与死之间的微妙平衡,文字简单,寓意深刻,最适合用来做生命教育的教材,堪称图文版、儿童版的《相约星期二》。献给所有曾经历生离死别的孩子,与不知该如何解释生死的大人。
  书中一片叫做弗雷迪的叶子和它的伙伴们经历了四季的变化,逐渐懂得了生命的意义在于经历美好的事物,在于给别人带来快乐;明白了死亡并不是代表一切毁灭,而是另一种形式的新生。配上表现四季变化的照片和绘画,更营造出温暖的意境。这个发人深省的童话寓言温馨简洁,充满智慧,1982年出版以来,帮助了千千万万人好好对待生死问题,一直让大人和孩子深受感动。
  著名儿童文学家任溶溶老先生的翻译文字优美、情绪饱满,读起来感人至深。

春天已经过去,夏天也这样走了。叶子弗雷迪长大了。他长得又宽又壮,五个叶尖结实挺拔。春天的时候,他还是个初生的嫩芽,从一棵大树树顶的大枝上冒出头来。

弗雷迪的身旁有成百上千的叶子,都跟他一模一样——看起来是这样。不过,他很快就发现没有两片叶子是真的一样的,尽管大家都长在同一棵树上。弗雷迪的左边是阿弗烈,右边的叶子是班,他的头顶上是那个可爱的女孩子克莱。他们一起长大,学会了在春风吹拂时跳跳舞,在夏天懒洋洋地晒晒太阳,偶然来一阵清凉的雨就洗个干干净净的澡。

弗雷迪最好的朋友是丹尼尔。他是这根树枝上最大的叶子,好象在别的叶子都还没来的时候就先长出来了。弗雷迪还觉得丹尼尔是最聪明的。丹尼尔告诉大家说,他们都是大树的一部分,说他们生长在公园里,说大树有强壮的根深深埋在地底下。早上飞来枝头上唱歌的小鸟、天上的星星月亮和太阳,还有季节的变化,不管什么东西,丹尼尔都有一套道理解释。

弗雷迪觉得当叶子真好。他喜欢他的树枝、他轻盈的叶子朋友、他高高挂在天上的家、把他推来推去的风、晒得他暖洋洋的太阳,还有在他身上洒下温柔洁白身影的月亮。

夏天特别好。他喜欢漫长炎热的白天,而温暖的黑夜最适合做梦。那年夏天,公园里来了许多人。他们都来到弗雷迪的树下,坐在那里乘凉。

丹尼尔告诉他,给人遮荫是叶子的目的之一。“什么叫目的?” 弗雷迪问。“就是存在的理由嘛!” 丹尼尔回答。“让别人感到舒服,这是个存在的理由。为老人遮荫,让他们不必躲在炎热的屋子里,也是个存在的理由。让小孩子们有个凉快的地方可以玩耍,用我们的叶子为树下野餐的人扇风,这些,都是存在的目的啊!”

弗雷迪最喜欢老人了。他们总是静静坐在清凉的草地上,几乎动也不动。他们喃喃低语,追忆过去的时光。小孩子也很好玩,虽然他们有时会在树皮上挖洞,或是刻下自己的名字。不过,看到小孩子跑得那么快,那么爱笑,还是很过瘾。

但是弗雷迪的夏天很快就过完了。就在十月的一个夜里,夏天突然消失。弗雷迪从来没有这么冷过,所有的叶子都冷得发抖。一层薄薄的白色东西披在他们身上,太阳出来就马上融化,变成晶莹的露水,搞得大家全身湿漉漉的。

又是丹尼尔告诉他们:他们刚经历生平第一次降霜。表示秋天到了,冬天也不远了。

转瞬之间,整棵树,甚至整个公园,全染上了浓艳的色彩,几乎找不到绿色的叶子。阿弗烈变成深黄色,班成了鲜艳的橙色,克莱儿是火红色,丹尼尔是深紫,弗雷迪自己则是半红半蓝,还夹杂着金黄。多么美丽啊!弗雷迪和他的朋友把整棵树变成如彩虹一般。

“我们都在同一棵树上,为什么颜色却各不相同呢?” 弗雷迪问道。“我们一个一个都不一样啊!我们的经历不一样,面对太阳的方向不一样,投下的影子不一样,颜色当然也会不一样。” 丹尼尔用他那“本来就是这样”的一贯口吻回答,还告诉弗雷迪,这个美妙的季节叫做秋天。

有一天,发生了奇怪的事。以前,微风会让他们起舞,但是这一天,风儿却扯着叶梗推推拉拉,几乎象是生气了似的。结果,有些叶子从树枝上被扯掉了,卷到空中,刮来刮去,最后轻轻掉落在地面上。

所有叶子都害怕了起来。“怎么回事?”他们喃喃地你问我,我问你。“秋天就是这样。” 丹尼尔告诉他们,“时候到了,叶子该搬家了。有些人把这叫做死。”“我们都会死么?” 弗雷迪问。“是的。” 丹尼尔说。“任何东西都会死。无论是大是小是强是弱。我们先做完该做的事。我们体验太阳和月亮、经历风和雨。我们学会跳舞、学会欢笑。然后我们就要死了。”“我不要死!” 弗雷迪斩钉截铁地说。“你会死吗,丹尼尔?”“恩。” 丹尼尔回答,“时候到了,我就死了。”“那是什么时候?” 弗雷迪问。“没有人知道会在哪一天。”丹尼尔回答。

弗雷迪发现其他叶子不断在掉落。他想:“一定是他们的时候到了。”他看到有些叶子在掉落前和风挣扎撕打,有些叶子只是把手一放,静静地掉落。

很快地,整棵树几乎都空了。“我好怕死。” 弗雷迪向丹尼尔说,“我不知道下面有什么。”

“面对不知道的东西,你会害怕,这很自然。” 丹尼尔安慰着他,“但是,春天变夏天的时候,你并不害怕。夏天变秋天的时候,你也不害怕。这些都是自然的变化。为什么要怕死亡的季节呢?”

“我们的树也会死么?” 弗雷迪问。

“总有一天树也会死的。不过还有比树更强的,那就是生命。生命永远都在,我们都是生命的一部分。”

“我们死了会到哪儿去呢?”

“没有人知道,这是个大秘密!”

“春天的时候,我们会回来吗?”

“我们可能不会再回来了,但是生命会回来。”

“那么这一切有什么意思呢?” 弗雷迪继续问。

“如果我们反正是要掉落、死亡,那为什么还要来这里呢?”

丹尼尔用他那“本来就是这样”的一贯口吻回答,“是为了太阳和月亮,是为了大家一起的快乐时光,是为了树荫、老人和小孩子,是为了秋天的色彩,是为了四季,这些还不够吗?”

那天下午,在黄昏的金色阳光中,丹尼尔放手了。他毫无挣扎地走了。掉落的时候,他似乎还安详地微笑着。“暂时再见了,弗雷迪。”他说。然后就剩弗雷迪一个了,他是那根树枝仅存的一片叶子。

第二天清早,下了头一场雪。雪非常柔软、洁白,但是冷得不得了。那天几乎没有一点阳光,白天也特别短。弗雷迪发现自己的颜色褪了,变得干枯易碎。一直都好冷,雪压在身上感觉好沉重。凌晨,一阵风把弗雷迪带离了他的树枝。一点也不痛,他感觉到自己静静地温和地柔软地飘下。

往下掉的时候,他第一次看到了整棵树,多么强壮、多么牢靠的树啊!他很确定这棵树还会活很久,他也知道自己曾经是它生命的一部分,感到很骄傲。

弗雷迪落在雪堆上。雪堆很柔软,甚至还很温暖。在这个新位置上他感到前所未有的舒适。他闭上眼睛,睡着了。他不知道,冬天过了春天会来,也不知道雪会融化成水。他不知道,自己看来干枯无用的身体,会和雪水一起,让树更强壮。尤其,他不知道,在大树和土地里沉睡的,是明年春天新叶的生机。

The Fall of Freddie the Leaf:

A Story of Life for All Ages,

by Leo Buscalgia

Spring had passed. So had Summer. Freddie, the leaf, had grown large. His mid section was wide and strong, and his five extensions were firm and pointed. He had first appeared in Spring as a small sprout on a rather large branch near the top of a tall tree.

Freddie was surrounded by hundreds of other leaves just like himself, or so it seemed. Soon he discovered that no two leaves were alike, even though they were on the same tree. Alfred was the leaf next to him. Ben was the leaf on his right side, and Clare was the lovely leaf overhead. They had all grown up together. They had learned to dance in the Spring breezes, bask lazily in the Summer sun and wash off in the cooling rains.

But it was Daniel who was Freddie's best friend. He was the largest leaf on the limb and seemed to have been there before anyone else. It appeared to Freddie that Daniel was also the wisest among them. It was Daniel who told them that they were part of a tree. It was Daniel who explained that they were growing in a public park. It was Daniel who told them that the tree had strong roots which were hidden in the ground below. He explained about the birds who came to sit on their branch and sing morning songs. He explained about the sun, the moon, the stars, and the seasons.

Freddie loved being a leaf. He loved his branch, his light leafy friends, his place high in the sky, the wind that jostled him about, the sun rays that warmed him, the moon that covered him with soft, white shadows. Summer had been especially nice. The long hot days felt good and the warm nights were peaceful and dreamy. There were many people in the park that Summer. They often came and sat under Freddie's tree. Daniel told him that giving shade was part of his purpose.

"What's a purpose?" Freddie had asked.

"A reason for being," Daniel had answered. "To make things more pleasant for others is a reason for being. To make shade for old people who come to escape the heat of their homes is a reason for being. To provide a cool place for children to come and play. To fan with our leaves the picnickers who come to eat on checkered tablecloths. These are all the reasons for being."

Freddie especially liked the old people. They sat so quietly on the cool grass and hardly ever moved. They talked in whispers of times past. The children were fun, too, even though they sometimes tore holes in the bark of the tree or carved their names into it. Still, it was fun to watch them move so fast and to laugh so much.

But Freddie's Summer soon passed. It vanished on an October night. He had never felt it so cold. All the leaves shivered with the cold. They were coated with a thin layer of white which quickly melted and left them dew drenched and sparkling in the morning sun. Again, it was Daniel who explained that they had experienced their first frost, the sign that it was Fall and that Winter would come soon.

Almost at once, the whole tree, in fact, the whole park was transformed into a blaze of color. There was hardly a green leaf left. Alfred had turned a deep yellow. Ben had become a bright orange. Clare had become a blazing red, Daniel a deep purple and Freddie was red and gold and blue. How beautiful they all looked. Freddie and his friends had made their tree a rainbow.

"Why did we turn different colors," Freddie asked, "when we are on the same tree?"

"Each of us is different. We have had different experiences. We have faced the sun differently. We have cast shade differently. Why should we not have different colors?" Daniel said matter-of-factly. Daniel told Freddie that this wonderful season was called Fall.

One day a very strange thing happened. The same breezes that, in the past, had made them dance began to push and pull at their stems, almost as if they were angry. This caused some of the leaves to be torn from their branches and swept up in the wind, tossed about and dropped softly to the ground. All the leaves became frightened.

"What's happening?" they asked each other in whispers.

"It's what happens in Fall," Daniel told them. "It's the time for leaves to change their home. Some people call it to die."

"Will we all die?" Freddie asked.

"Yes," Daniel answered. "Everything dies. No matter how big or small, how weak or strong. We first do our job. We experience the sun and the moon, the wind and the rain. We learn to dance and to laugh. Then we die."

"I won't die!" said Freddie with determination. "Will you, Daniel?"

"Yes," answered Daniel, "when it's my time."

"When is that?" asked Freddie.

"No one knows for sure," Daniel responded.

Freddie noticed that the other leaves continued to fall. He thought, "It must be their time." He saw that some of the leaves lashed back at the wind before they fell, others simply let go and dropped quietly. Soon the tree was almost bare.

"I'm afraid to die," Freddie told Daniel. "I don't know what's down there."

"We all fear what we don't know, Freddie. It's natural," Daniel reassured him. "Yet, you were not afraid when Summer became Fall. They were natural changes. Why should you be afraid of the season of death?"

"Does the tree die, too?" Freddie asked.

"Someday. But there is something stronger than the tree. It is Life. That lasts forever and we are all a part of Life."

"Where will we go when we die?"

"No one knows for sure. That's the great mystery!"

"Will we return in the Spring?"

"We may not, but Life will."

"Then what has been the reason for all of this?" Freddie continued to question. "Why were we here at all if we only have to fall and die?"

Daniel answered in his matter-of-fact way, "It's been about the sun and the moon. It's been about happy times together. It's been about the shade and the old people and the children. It's been about colors in Fall. It's been about seasons. Isn't that enough?"

"That afternoon, in the golden light of dusk, Daniel let go. He fell effortlessly. He seemed to smile peacefully as he fell. "Goodbye for now, Freddie," he said.

Then, Freddie was all alone, the only leaf on his branch. The first snow fell the following morning. It was soft, white, and gentle; but it was bitter cold. There was hardly any sun that day, and the day was very short. Freddie found himself losing his color, becoming brittle. It was constantly cold and the snow weighed heavily upon him.

At dawn the wind came that took Freddie from his branch. It didn't hurt at all. He felt himself float quietly, gently and softly downward. As he fell, he saw the whole tree for the first time. How strong and firm it was! He was sure that it would live for a long time and he knew that he had been part of its life and made him proud.

Freddie landed on a clump of snow. It somehow felt soft and even warm. In this new position he was more comfortable than he had ever been. He closed his eyes and fell asleep. He did not know that Spring would follow Winter and that the snow would melt into water. He did not know that what appeared to be his useless dried self would join with the water and serve to make the tree stronger. Most of all, he did not know that there, asleep in the tree and the ground, were already plans for new leaves in the Spring.

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