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Love Makes a Difference

Bilingual childrens stories

Amor, palabra clave


Cuentos bilinges para nios

Les Miserables In Les Miserables,Victor Hugo tells of Jean Valjean, whose only crime was the theft of a loaf of bread to feed his sisters starving children. After nineteen years of imprisonment, he was released. Unable to find work because he had been a convict, he came to the home of an old bishop who kindly fed Jean supper and gave him a bed for the night. In deep despair over what seemed an impossibly bleak future, Jean yielded to temptation, stole the bishops silver plates, and slipped away in the night. He was soon caught, however, and hauled back to the bishops house.

Los Miserables En Los miserables, Vctor Hugo cuenta la historia de Jean Valjean, cuyo nico delito haba sido robar una barra de pan para dar de comer a los hijos de su hermana, que se moran de hambre. Tras diecinueve aos de crcel, fue puesto en libertad. No encontraba trabajo por haber sido presidiario, pero lleg a la casa de un anciano obispo compasivo, que le ofreci cena y alojamiento por una noche. Desesperado ante las escasas perspectivas de un futuro mejor, cedi a la tentacin y, tras robar la vajilla de plata del obispo, se escabull en mitad de la noche. Al poco tiempo lo detuvieron y lo llevaron ante el obispo.

Knowing what would happen to Jean if he was convicted a second time, the kind bishop told the police, I gave him the silver. And Jean, you forgot to take the candlesticks. Jean was astounded at such kindness. From that moment on, his life was completely changed.

El buen prelado saba la suerte que correra aquel hombre si lo volvan a condenar por robo. Ello lo motiv a responder a los agentes de la ley: Pero si yo se la regal! Adems, Jean, se te olvid llevarte los candelabros. Jean se qued pasmado ante semejante bondad. A partir de aquel momento su vida no fue la misma.

The Common Laborer

El obrero comn

In 1775, a man, who appeared to be a farmer or common laborer, tried to book a room in the fanciest hotel in Baltimore. The manager, afraid for the hotels reputation, denied the man a room. He left without a word and found a room elsewhere. Not long afterward, the manager discovered that the man he had turned away was Thomas Jefferson (then vice president of the United States). Realizing his error, the manager sent a letter to Jefferson, inviting him to come back to the hotel as his guest. Jefferson sent a letter back, saying, If you have no place for farmer, you have no right giving hospitality to the vice president.

En 1775, un seor que daba la impresin de no ser ms que un granjero u obrero comn, trat de reservar una habitacin en el hotel ms lujoso de Baltimore. El gerente preocupado por la reputacin del hotel le neg el cuarto. El hombre se fue sin decir palabra y encontr una habitacin en otro lugar. Poco despus, el gerente se enter de que el hombre al que haba rechazado era Thomas Jefferson (en ese entonces vicepresidente de los EE.UU.). Al darse cuenta de su error, envi una carta a Jefferson invitndolo como husped especial al hotel. Jefferson le respondi: Si no tiene lugar para un granjero, no tiene derecho a hospedar al vicepresidente

The manager of that hotel had no idea who he was turning away, and his unfairness ended up costing him. Its rare that our actions have consequences this obvious, but as the story so aptly portrays, it shouldnt matter how insignificant the person might seem to our welfare. After all, what reason is there not to treat everyone with respect, love, and fairness?

El gerente no tena forma de saber a quin estaba negando el cuarto, y la injusticia que cometi le sali cara. Raramente nuestras acciones tienen consecuencias tan obvias, pero como bien lo ilustra este relato, no debera importarnos lo poco que pueda hacer una persona por nosotros. Hay razn para no tratar a todo el mundo con respeto, amor y justicia?

He Expected It of Me

No poda defraudarlo Se cuenta que durante la Primera Guerra Mundial dos hermanos que se haban enrolado en el ejrcito fueron asignados a la misma unidad. Al poco tiempo los destinaron al frente, a las trincheras. En la guerra de trincheras de aquel tiempo, cada bando cavaba una red de zanjas frente a las lneas enemigas. De tanto en tanto, uno de los dos bandos lanzaba una ofensiva con el objeto de penetrar en las defensas del adversario. En una de esas ofensivas, el hermano menor cay malherido en tierra de nadie, la peligrosa franja de terreno situada entre las trincheras de uno y otro bando. Cuando el mayor, que segua atrincherado, vio el apuro en que se encontraba su hermano, se desplaz por la trinchera, abrindose paso entre los soldados hasta dar con su teniente. -Tengo que rescatarlo! -le dijo,

There is a story about two brothers who enlisted in the Army during World War I and were assigned to the same unit. They were soon sent to the frontline trenches. In trench warfare, each side dug a network of trenches along the frontline of their territory, then laid siege to the other sides trenches. From time to time, one side or the other launched an offensive to try to break through the enemys lines. During one such attack, the younger brother was mortally wounded in no mans landthat exposed, deadly area between the opposing forces. The older brother, still safe in the trench, saw it happen and knew what he must do. He worked his way through the trench, around other soldiers, until he came to his field commander. Ive got to go get him! he said.

Thats impossible! his commander yelled as he grabbed him. Youll be killed the minute you stick your head out of this trench! But the older brother tore himself loose from the officers grip, scrambled out of the trench, and plunged into no mans land to find his brother, amid withering fire from the enemy. When he did, the younger brother could only manage a whisper. I knew youd come! By this time, the older brother had also been seriously wounded. He barely managed to drag his brother back to their line, and they both fell into the trench, dying. Why did you do it? demanded the commander. I told you youd get yourself killed too! I had to, the older brother replied with a final smile. He expected it of me. I couldnt let him down.

-Imposible! Te matarn en cuanto asomes la cabeza! Pero el muchacho se zaf del oficial, que lo tena sujeto, sali a gatas de la trinchera y se lanz en busca de su hermano menor, desafiando el incesante fuego enemigo. Cuando ste lo vio llegar, le dijo en voz baja: -Saba que vendras! El hermano mayor, que para entonces tambin haba sido alcanzado por las balas, a duras penas consigui arrastrar a su hermano hasta la trinchera, donde ambos cayeron agonizantes. El teniente, con los ojos llenos de lgrimas, le pregunt al mayor: -Por qu lo hiciste? Te advert que moriran los dos! A lo que el soldado respondi con una ltima sonrisa: -Tena que hacerlo. No poda defraudarlo.

Noble Disagreement In the city of Weimar, Germany, there is a statue that was set up in 1857. It is of two of Germanys great writers, who were also good friends Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller. While both men were still living, critics and the public often raised the question of which was the greater writer. If Goethe heard people say, Sir, you are the master poet of the Germans, he was quick to rejoin, You must not forget Schiller! And when they praised Schiller as the finest German poet, Schiller would say, But there is my friend Goethe.

Noble desacuerdo En 1857 se erigi en Weimar (Alemania) una estatua en honor de dos de los ms grandes escritores alemanes, que adems eran amigos: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) y Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805). Cuando ambos an vivan, la crtica y el pblico solan polemizar sobre cul de los dos escriba mejor. Cuando a Goethe le decan: Usted es el prncipe de los poetas alemanes, l se apresuraba a replicar: No se olviden de Schiller! Y cuando elogiaban a Schiller como el ms grande poeta alemn, ste contestaba: Y qu me dicen de mi amigo Goethe?

The sculptor of the statue of Weimar expressed their mutual love and admiration beautifully. Goethe has a wreath of laurel leaves in his hand, which he is raising to place on Schillers head. But Schiller does not want the crown. He thinks Goethe deserves it more, and is thrusting it back, as if to say, No, it is more fitting for you to wear it than me. Thus the two friends nobly disagree, each refusing to be crowned, for they appreciated each others talent and valued their friendship more than acclaim.

El autor de la estatua retrat de forma genial el amor y la admiracin que se tenan el uno al otro: Goethe tiene en la mano una corona de laurel, que le ofrece a Schiller. Pero este no la quiere. Considera que Goethe es ms merecedor de ella, por lo que la rechaza, como diciendo: No, es ms apropiado que la lleves t. As los dos amigos expresan noblemente su desacuerdo negndose a aceptar la corona, pues ambos tenan en gran estima el talento del otro y valoraban ms su amistad que los aplausos del pblico.

What Matters

Lo que de verdad importa

A few years ago at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the100-yard dash. At the gun, they all started outnot exactly in a dash, but with a relish to run the race to the finish and win. All, that is, except one boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times, and began to cry. The other eight heard the boy cry. They slowed down and looked back. They all turned around and went back. Every one of them. One girl with Downs syndrome bent down and kissed him and said, his T will make it better. nine All linked arms and walked across the finish line together.

Hace algunos aos, en las Olimpiadas Especiales que se celebraron en Seattle (EE.UU.), nueve atletas con diversas discapacidades fsicas y mentales se disponan a correr los 100 metros planos. Al or el disparo que daba inicio a la carrera, todos arrancaron a correr, no exactamente a toda prisa, pero s con ganas de ganar. Todos menos un muchacho que tropez en el asfalto, rod un par de veces y se puso a llorar. Los otros ocho lo oyeron llorar, aminoraron la marcha y miraron atrs. Todos se dieron vuelta y regresaron. Todos sin excepcin. Una muchacha con sndrome de Down se agach, le dio un beso y le dijo: Para que se te pase la pena. Acto seguido, los nueve se tomaron del brazo y llegaron caminando juntos a la meta.

Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes. People who were there are still telling the story. Why? Because deep down we know this one thing: What matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What truly matters in this life is helping others in their race, even if it means slowing down and changing our course.

El pblico se puso de pie en las gradas y ovacion a los atletas durante varios minutos. Quienes lo presenciaron todava cuentan la ancdota. Por qu? Porque en el fondo todos sabemos que lo que importa en la vida es ms que ganar algo para uno mismo. Lo que verdaderamente vale es ayudar al prjimo en la carrera de esta vida, aunque para ello tengamos que aminorar la marcha y cambiar de rumbo.

Free stories for children of all ages www.freekidstories.org

Art by Phillip Martin, www.phillipmartin.info. Used under creative commons license.


A common laborer courtesy http://vicepresidents.com/blog/2011/01/12/a-tomjefferson-story/ A Noble Disagreement, He Expected it of Me excerpted from Activated magazine. Used with permission. Les Miserables was originally written by Victor Hugo; summary of story written by Keith Phillips. What Really Matters The Family International