The Little Red Lighthouse And The Big Gray Bridge

Posted in 2 - Tales and Fables, Old and new tales

por Hildegarde H. Swift y Lynd Ward

Once upon a time there was a small lighthouse that stood on a sharp headland on the Hudson River coast.

Era orondo, fat and red. He was fat, red and jovial.

it was very, very proud.

Behind him was New York City, where so many people live.

Ahead of him sailed the ships in which the people go. Ships sailed from here to there, from there to here. And the river flowed and water flowed. From Lake Tears in the Clouds, Up there, in the mountain, the Hudson was coming. Rolled through the mountains. I was passing through Albany. I was passing through New York, and I was always looking towards the sea.

The river boats spoke to the little red lighthouse as they passed in front of it.

“¡Do, does, does! How are you?”, said the great vapor with its deep voice siren.

“¡ Sssssssalud!”, said the narrow canoe, as he glided along the shoreline.

“¡Congratulations, Congratulations, Congratulations!”, did the thick black tugboat as it towed the coal barge.

During the day, the little red lighthouse didn't answer.

He was silent as the boats talked.

He stayed still.

But every afternoon, when twilight came, a man was going to tend the lighthouse. Took out the keys. I opened the little red door. I climbed the steep spiral staircase to the top, to the top. He would remove the thick white cover that forced him to sleep during the day and turn on the gas with a tap. The gas was coming from the six red tanks below.

So, the little lighthouse spoke.

“¡Flash! ¡Flash! ¡Flash!”

One second lit, two off. Look at me! Watch out! Danger, danger, danger! Watch the rocks! Get away!

“¡Flash! ¡Flash! ¡Flash!”

It felt great and important. What would the ships do without me ?”, i thought.

It felt very, very proud.

The ships saw the light and were safe. The ships saw it and headed for the canal. The ships were grateful to the red lighthouse.

Sometimes, the mist was coming up the river. So, the man was winding a watch, great, negro, that was inside the red lighthouse. I gave wind and more rope. The clock was attached to an iron bell placed outside.

The bell was beginning to ring. “Attention, Attention, Attention!”, it said with its ringing.

“¡Flash!”, the light said.

“Attention!”, said the bell.

At those moments, the little red lighthouse had two voices.

Every day he felt bigger and prouder.

“I am the owner of the river”, i thought.

One of the days, a group of men came and began to dig.

They dug, they dug and dug.

Slowly, great steel girders began to rise to the sky. A large group of men went down the river in a barge.

On the barge there were three large scrolls, and from each of them came a thin silver thread.

All the river boats stopped.

All the nearby ships turned around to see what pa-

seven. He himself seemed to be still, very still. When the men returned, they seemed happy.

“The first cables are ready”, they were saying. “The platform will be finished soon”. And so, other men screamed: “Hurray!” “What will they mean?”, thought the little red lighthouse.

“What are these things they call cables? What are they for?” Days and weeks went by. Each night, the little red lighthouse spoke:

“¡Flash! ¡Flash! ¡Flash!”

Every day he contemplated the strange new thing next to him, that was growing and growing. The tall towers seemed almost to touch the sky. Strong steel threads crossed the river. How big it was!

How nice!

How strong!


It was a large gray bridge that spanned the Hudson River from shore to shore. Made the lighthouse feel small, little, very small. So, one night, a large beam of light shone from the tip of the nearest tower.

“¡Flash!” Return. “¡Flash!”

“Now they don't need me anymore, thought the little red lighthouse.. My light is so small and this is so big”.

“Maybe they will abandon me.”

“Maybe they'll knock me down.”

“They might forget to turn me on.”

That night he stood waiting and waiting.

He felt sad, anxious, strange.


Why didn't the man come?

The little red light couldn't speak or shine.

So, at midnight a storm broke out. The wind blew. The waves were hitting the shore.

A thick fog crept up the river and tried to trap the boats, one by one.

The big tug had just arrived from Albany. Was caught and blinded by the mist. I was looking for the little red light, but he couldn't find her. Tried to hear the bell, but he couldn't hear her. The fog was so thick that he also couldn't see the light shining on top of the bridge.

“¡Crash! ¡Crash! ¡Crash!”

The tugboat collided with the rocks and there it was seriously damaged and broken.

So, the big bridge called the little lighthouse:

“Little brother, Where is your light?”

“Am i your brother, puente? Asked the lighthouse.. Your light was so bright I thought they didn't need me”.

“I warn the planes! 'The bridge shouted.. I light up the ships of the air. But you are still the owner of the river. Quick, shine your light again. Each one in its place, little brother!”



The little lighthouse tried to shine, but, as much as I try, could not turn on.

“This is my end”, thought.

“This is the real end”.

“My man won't come. I can't turn on. It is very possible that it will never shine again.”

He was dumb and dark.

sad, very sad.

But, Finally, Heard the door below open. Someone was climbing the stairs.

There was the man who was going to light it up.

“Where have you been, man? I thought you would never come!”

“These guys, these guys!, My keys have been stolen! This will not happen again!”

The little red lighthouse knew then that he was needed.

The bridge needed it.

Man needed it.

Ships must need it.

Cast a long beam of light into the dead of night.

One second enlightened, two off!

“¡Flash! ¡Flash! ¡Flash!”

Soon, his bell rang too.

“Attention! Attention!”, screamed.

The little red lighthouse had a job again. And i was happy.

Today, next to the great lighthouse on the bridge, the little beam from the lighthouse still shines.

Beside the tall gray bridge, there is still the tower. AND, if now you know that it is small, it's still very, very proud.

Everyday, the people who go down Riverside Drive, In New York, turns to look at him. Because there they are both: the big gray bridge and the little red lighthouse.

If you don't believe it, you can go see it yourselves.

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Wow I was at the lighthouse


What teaches us gives

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