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2016年10月24日

放火救人 - 古德明

(互聯網)

Lafcadio Hearn, American author who died in 1904, tells the story of a hero of the Chinese rice fields during an earthquake. From his hill-top farm, the man saw the ocean swiftly withdrawn, like some prodigious animal crouching for the leap, and knew the leap would be the tidal wave. He saw also that his neighbours working in low fields must be gathered to his hill, or they would be swept away. Without a second thought, he set fire to his rice ricks and furiously rang the temple bell.
His neighbours thought his farm was on fire and rushed to help him. Then, from that safe hill they saw the swirl of waters over fields just forsaken — and knew their salvation and its cost. Afterwards they used to go to the temple to worship their neighbour's spirit while he was still alive.
拉夫卡迪奧.赫恩是美國作家,一九零四年去世。他筆下談到中國某稻鄉地震時的一個英雄。那人在山頂的農場,看見海水迅速退卻,如巨獸蹲伏,準備撲前。他知道那一撲就是海嘯,也知道山下田間的鄉親,必須走到他那座山上,否則將被海水捲去,於是毫不猶豫,放火燒農場上的穀堆,同時把神廟大鐘撞得震天價響。
山下的鄉親,以為他農場失火,匆忙上山救援,到了安全的山上,看見海水席捲他們剛剛離開的田畝,才驚覺逃過一劫,心知他們的救命恩人因此損失不少。後來,他們就在神廟裏供奉這位還在世的同鄉。

古德明

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