The Tailor in HeavenJacob and Wilhelm Grimm It came to pass that one beautiful day God wished to take a stroll in the heavenly garden, and took all the apostles and saints with him, leaving no one in heaven but Saint Peter. The Lord had commanded him to allow no one to enter during his absence, so Peter stood by the gate and kept watch. Before long someone knocked. Peter asked who was there, and what he wanted. "I am a poor, honest tailor who is requesting admission," replied a pleasant voice. "Honest indeed," said Peter. "Like the thief on the gallows. You have been sticky-fingered and have robbed people of their cloth. You will not get into heaven. The Lord has forbidden me to let anyone in as long he is out." "Oh, please be merciful," cried the tailor. "Little scraps that fall off the table by themselves are not stolen, and are not worth mentioning. See here, I am limping and have blisters on my feet from walking here. I cannot possibly go back again. Just let me in, and I will do all the dirty work. I will tend the children, wash their diapers, wipe off and clean the benches on which they have been playing, and patch all their torn clothes." Saint Peter let himself be moved by pity and opened heaven's gate just wide enough for the lame tailor to slip his lean body inside. He had to take a seat in a corner behind the door, and was told to stay there quietly and peacefully, so that the Lord would not notice him when he returned, and become angry. The tailor obeyed, but one time when Saint Peter stepped outside the door, he got up, and full of curiosity, looked into every corner of heaven, seeing what was there. Finally he came to a place where there were many beautiful and costly chairs. At their center was a seat made entirely of gold and set with glistening precious stones. It stood much higher than the other chairs, and a golden footstool stood in front of it. This was the seat on which the Lord sat when he was at home, and from which he could see everything that was happening on earth. The tailor stood still, and looked at the seat for a long time, for he liked it better than all the rest. Finally he could control his curiosity no longer, and he climbed up and sat down on it. From there he saw everything that was happening on earth. He noticed an ugly old woman who was standing beside a stream doing the laundry. She secretly set two scarves aside. Seeing this made the tailor so angry that he took hold of the golden footstool and threw it at the old thief, through heaven down to earth. Unable to bring the stool back again, he quietly sneaked down from the seat, sat back down in his place behind the door, and pretended that he had done nothing at all. When the Lord and Master returned with his heavenly attendants, he did not notice the tailor behind the door, but when he sat down on his seat, the footstool was missing. He asked Saint Peter what had become of the footstool, but he did not know. Then he asked if he had admitted anyone. "I know of no one who has been here," answered Peter, "except for a lame tailor, who is still sitting behind the door." Then the Lord had the tailor brought before him, and asked him if he had taken the footstool, and where he had put it. "Oh, Lord," answered the tailor joyously, "In my anger I threw it down to earth at an old woman whom I saw stealing two scarves while doing the laundry." "Oh, you scoundrel," said the Lord, "if I were to judge as you judge, how would it have gone with you? I would have long since had no chairs, benches, seats, no, not even a stove-poker, but would have thrown everything down at the sinners. You can no longer stay in heaven, but must go outside the gate again. From there watch where you are going. Here no one metes out punishment, except for me alone, the Lord." Peter had to take the tailor out of heaven again, and because his shoes were worn out and his feet were covered with blisters, he took a stick in his hand and went to Wait-a-While, where the good soldiers sit and make merry.
有一天，天气晴朗，仁慈的上帝想到御花园里散散心，於是带着所有使徒和圣人去了，只留下圣彼得留在天堂看家。上帝临行前吩咐说在他外出期间不得有人进入天堂，於是圣彼得站在天堂门口守着。可不一会儿就听到有人敲门，彼得问是谁，要干甚么？「我是个可怜的、诚实的裁缝，请求让我进去。」一个平静的声音回答。「好一个诚实的人！」彼得说，「就像绞架上的小偷那样！你一直小偷小摸，还偷了别人的衣服，你进不了天堂。天父说他外出期间严禁任何人入内。」「行行好吧，」裁缝求道，「拣点桌上掉下来的东西算不上偷，根本不值得一提。你看，我是个跛子，为了走到这儿来，我脚上已经打起泡来了，不可能再走回去。我愿意干最髒最累的活，只求你让我进来。我会背孩子，给他们洗衣补衣、把他们玩髒的板凳擦乾净。」彼得被他的话打动了，把天堂的门开了一条窄窄的缝，让瘦小的瘸腿裁缝溜了进来。彼得要他安安静静地坐在门后角落里，以免上帝回来的时候发现了发脾气。可彼得一出门，他就充满好奇地到处走、到处看，把天堂各处都看了个遍。最后他来到一个地方，那里摆满了各种珍贵的椅子，其中有一把是纯金的，上面镶满了宝石，而且比其它椅子高多了，前面还有张脚凳。上帝在家时就是坐在那张椅子上，观察地上所发生的一切的。裁缝站在那儿，久久盯着那张椅子，根本没心再看别的东西了。最后他忍不住好奇地爬到那椅子上坐了下来。这一下，他可看到了地上的每件事情了。他看到一个又丑又老的妇人在小溪边洗东西时将两条丝巾悄悄抽出来藏到一边，裁缝一看气坏了，一把抓起金脚凳朝那老小偷砸了下去。他一看没法将那凳子拿回来放回原处了，赶忙悄悄从椅子上溜下来，仍旧回到门后角落里坐着，装作没有动过的样子。 天堂的主人上帝回来时没有发现门后的裁缝。可是当他坐到椅子上时，发现搁脚的凳子不见了。他问彼得凳子哪儿去了，彼得说不知道。上帝又问彼得有没有人来过。「没人到这儿来过，」彼得回答说，「只有一个跛脚裁缝，这会儿还在门后面坐着呢。」 上帝叫人把裁缝叫来，问他是不是拿了那张凳子，放到哪儿去了？「殿下，」裁缝高兴地回答说：「我看到一个老妇人在洗衣服的时候偷丝巾。我一气之下就把凳子砸下去了。」 「你这个无赖！」上帝说，「假如我也像你那样判是非，你还有今天？假如我也像你那样判是非，这些椅子、凳子甚至连叉子也该早扔没了。你不能再呆在天堂了，必须立刻出去。想上哪儿上哪儿吧，这里除了我，谁也没权治别人的罪。」 彼得只好把裁缝带出天堂。裁缝的鞋子也破了，脚上全是泡，只好柱着拐杖到那些好士兵寻欢作乐的「等候」处去了。