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メリアム・ウェブスターズプライマリー英英辞典より(1)

『メリアム・ウェブスターズプライマリー英英辞典』 は美しい児童用辞書である。

この辞書は、子供のイマジネーションをできるだけ膨らませるように編集されているのだが、私のイマジネーションも飛翔する。

盛夏、冷房のほどよくきいた部屋で、熱いコーヒーを飲みながらメルヘンチックなページをめくる! 

今 get の項目を読みながらイラストを眺めています。

そこに北米インディアンの間に広く流布した「Grandmother Spider」の物語が書いてあります。この物語を読むと get の用法がよくわかるようになっている。以下に引用しておきます。

(引用開始)

get verb

There are a lot of ways to use the word get.

You can get a bike for your birthday, or you can get the flu from your sister. You can also get a pencil, get in line, or get your feet wet.

Many Native American stories tell about wise Grandmother Spider. Here is one story, told using different meanings of the word get.

 Long ago, the world in the west was dark and cold. None of the creatures, not the animals nor the people, could see, or get warm, or cook food. The creatures in the east had fire, but they got angry if anyone else tried to get it. The creatures in the west got together, and chose someone to get fire.
 Opossum got to try first. But when he hid the fire in his bushy tail, it burned all the fur, and that's how Opossum got his hairless tail. Buzzard tried next. But when he picked up the fire in his beak, his head got burned, and that's how Buzzard got his red and bare head. Then Crow tried, but smoke frome the fire got caught in his throat, and that's how Crow got his harsh voice.
 Finally, Grandmother Spider got her turn. With her nimble legs, she made a pot, and brought it east. She was so small, no one saw her get a piece of fire for her pot. When she returned, the animals no longer wanted fire, for they had seen what it had gotten Opossum, Buzzard, and Crow. So she gave it to the people. And that's how people got fire.

(引用終止)

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