Сказка иеромонаха Михаила (Чепеля) "Греховное дерево" на английском языке
Once there lived a boy. His name was Sergey. His eyes are blue, his curls are golden, when he smiles - it becomes all around fun. His parents doted on him, and allowed everything him. Their neighbor uncle Wassya often scolded them for it: " You will spoil you guy! Pandering is not love! It will grow out of him an insensitive tree!"
But Sergey`s parents didn`t listen to him: it doesn`t matter what people say, their boy is the best! And their boy, being outwardly friendly to everybody, when no one saw, began to do different dirty tricks: he mocks the dog, or drags the cat by the tail, or throws a stone into the bird. And then his affability took its choice: he understood that his parents will still love him and he was not shy to talk back to them and freak.
The older Sergey has become, the worse his acts have been. Another`s pain hasn`t touched him, he thought only about himself, the dear, he tried to get everything he would want at once. But meanwhile he was to everybody nice; only the neighbor uncle Wassya said to his parents that they "brought up on their head the son with a wooden heart." And they already knew that it was true, but still argued, interceding for their favorite boy.
And then Sergey fell ill, so that he hadn`t any forces for the former revelry. So many doctors have looked him, but there was nothing of it. The parents called the priest to him. They themselves were not really believers, but they would do all to help their beloved son! Moreover, they baptized him when he was a baby; then it was said to them in the temple that their son had a guardian angel now. But it was hard to the angel, it became more and more devils around Sergei over the years, they accepted him already for their own.
The elder came to the ill Serezha with gifts: a cross, an icon, Holy water, the book, which was called "New Testament" and ordered to read prayers in the morning and in the evening instead of drugs. The guarded Angel rejoices, and the demons hiss angrily, they are discontented. As soon as the priest left, the guy began to scold the father and the mother why they had called the priest. "You would better call to me psychic," he said. He could cure me exactly".
He had scarcely said it and at this moment it became worse to him. He didn`t have time to say how worse it became, his soul left the body and stood before God, and God said as though He had not recognized him: "It was the other boy, a boy like Me". He said it that Serezha would think it over and would be ashamed. Only the guy had forgotten about the shame long ago... And the devils began to shout then: "He is ours! He is ours!""Well, if he is yours, take him," said God to them, and He himself returned the soul into the body in order to give a chance to Sergey to improve, because as long as the soul is in the body, there is always such a chance.
But Serezha thought that it was due to the demons that he returned into his body, and appealed to them in his thoughts that he would worship them, if his illness would be over. And they were very glad, they had been waiting for it for a long time, here at once they captured all his feelings and thoughts.
The old man learned that the patient felt better, and he came to him, and the boy ripped off the cross, threw it together with the icon, poured Holy water out, ripped the book. "Go away, "he shouted, "get out, the damned priest!" The old man disappeared like a cloud, and the defiled holy objects didn`t fall to the ground, but turned into white pigeons. And the guy put the figure of Mephistopheles on the shelf instead of them. The guarded Angel cried and departed from him.
The demons promised to Sergey, as he was obedient to them, to return health to him. They began to conjure over him, and he began to feel courage, an extraordinary strength. And then his body turned into a slender tree; it had green, young leaves. All people around him are very happy with him, admiring him, and they talk only about his beauty and freshness. Sergey became more dissolute than before, and he didn`t notice that he had become a tree.
The tree seems to be beautiful, but the words which climb from it, are so terrible that one don`t want to hear them. Whatever the word is, it is either blasphemy, or swears and curses, and it mentions God all the time.
And, seemingly, things went well: he found a cushy job for himself in order to work only on Saturday and Sunday and rest on weekdays.
He had friends, they were so that one couldn`t understand who they were: the man or woman. His girlfriends were like his friends, and they became like one with Sergei. They were called Pride, Laziness, Gluttony, Drunkenness, Uncleanness, Covetousness, Stealing, Lying, and many more like them. And they all instigated him to a new lasciviousness.
The guy kicked out his parents and settled all his friends in the parents ' house. He stands next to Pride, smokes and boasts of his "deed”. Then the neighbor uncle Wassya walked past; he used to say the truth directly to Serezha from his childhood. He began to shame him for that what he had done to his parents. And Pride says to the guy, "Would you tolerate this?"- "No, I will not!" he says, and hits the neighbor! The neighbor fell, and unfortunately he fell with his head on the stone. They came to him to look, but the man was dead. Here Lies came: "Though he has no relatives, he must not lie here. It is necessary to hide the corpse, it said "in the shed of the other neighbor”. And so they did. And there a new motorcycle stood; Sergei liked it very much. He called Filthiness that it would help him to drag it to his home while nobody saw. They were together in the shed, and the guy suddenly liked it. "Well, it doesn`t matter that we are friends with her husband's Drinking, he thought. All the same one cannot understand what he is! And started kissing it, and it is not against it. And then they didn`t forget to pick up the motorcycle.
Then Sergei began to advise with his friends, how he could avoid the responsibility, and not to return the bike. And those advised him in one voice: "Write a police report on the neighbor, from whom you have taken the motorcycle! The corpse is in his shed". And so he did. The innocent neighbor was detained, and the real criminal was glad.
Then they began to celebrate this event, and Sergey looked at Laziness and not at Filthiness: well, it doesn`t matter that its husband Gluttony is sitting near me; until it eats it sees nothing! And he thinks: "What a good choice I did with demons then - I`m not punished for all my deeds. And I am lucky in everything!" And friends had fun with Sergey that day and then said to him: “now we are so close together that we just can`t live without you!” And they began to gnaw the tree and it got hollows, one bigger than the other. Serezha has terrible pains, he does not know what to do, and snakes crawled in hollows. This terrible tree became a bad fame; the snakes crawled from its hollows and bit passers-by. People avoided this place. And the guy did not understand that he became a tree, he thought: "What was happened? And why does everybody shy from me? Didn`t they know about the neighbor? Or, perhaps, it is so, because of my parents?" He remembered the elder, whom he had offended; he thought: "If he were here, perhaps, he would help me." And that elder was just passing by him... Friends, as soon as they saw the old man stared at Sergei so much that it had never been to him so painful. But the pain sobered him: he saw what he had become, he remembered all his terrible deeds, it was bitter to him, but the guy found forces to beg pardon by the elder before asking him for help. "Why do you ask me? Ask the Lord for forgiveness and your guardian Angel! And, most importantly, you must confess what you have done! And ask for forgiveness the neighbor and the parents!" - says the elder. For the first time in his life Serezha prayed with tears; and then the guardian Angel appeared near him. He embraced his ward and cried: "It's already too late!" And the old man says sternly: "It is never too late to repent! But it is not enough to beg pardon - the snakes, which live in you, have brought much evil to innocent people. There is only one chance to kill them: if you ask the Lord to burn them with fire from your body. But I warn you that you will burn with them together!"
Sergey cried, but the life, which he lived, especially after he had seen everything, seemed to him bitter than death. He implored the Lord, and then lightning struck and burned the tree, and all snakes, that lived in it. It is a pity that Serezha`s friends managed to flee before it, they were so detestable that it was impossible to kill them with a simple lightning - it was not so easy as with ordinary snakes. They went to look for to whom would they settle, because they couldn`t live by themselves, they could only parasitize on the others.
And the guardian Angel asks God: "Why is it so? Sergey has just repented, and then died at once? Is it fair?" The Lord did not answer anything, but the Angel saw that, a beautiful young man was standing next to him, in whom he recognized to his surprise his ward, and called him in Heaven. "Even uncle John has me forgiven", he said to the Angel happily.
And Sergey`s parents remembered that their son as if in a dream came to them to ask forgiveness. Before that he gave the police confession, asked forgiveness by the slandered neighbor and immediately lost consciousness. A police officer, an experienced man, looked at him and said, "The guy is at death`s door! He won`t hold out till the court! We must bring him to the hospital."He sent the operational group for Sergey`s friends; however, they had gone away yesterday: when they saw that the guy was talking with tears with some old priest, they understood at once that he went out of their influence and was going to confess, and they went to another area. It was announced that they were wanted by the police, but it was in vain. Soon Sergei died from cancer in the hospital, several organs were caught in by it. The patient suffered from hallucinations in the last days of his life. Then his mother and father saw that their son died with an enlightened countenance, that he didn`t have it, when he was alive. And the world came with the peace into their hearts.