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第一封信是怎么写成的(上)  

2015-11-20 14:40:17|  分类: 译著 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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第一封信是怎么写成的(上)

 

【英】鲁迪亚德·吉卜林著

原作者 插图

熊威廉 译

 

很久很久以前,有一个新石器时代的人。他不是朱特人,也不是盎格鲁人,甚至还不是德拉威人,他或许本该是德拉威人。啊,可爱的宝贝孩子们,关于这一点,你们就不要打破沙锅问到底了。总之,他是一个原始人。他穴居在一个岩洞里,穿着很少的衣服。他既不会读书也不会写字,也不想学会读书写字。除了觉得肚子饿了的时候外,他整天都是乐呵呵的。他的名字就叫忒古麦·博苏莱,意思是“走路不慌不忙的男人”。但是,啊,可爱的孩子们,我们就简捷点叫他忒古麦好啦。他的妻子名叫忒姝麦·特温德洛,意思是“爱问问题的女人”。但是我们,啊,可爱的孩子们,就简捷点叫她忒姝麦好啦。他们有个小女儿名叫塔菲麦·米塔卢麦,意思是“没有礼貌、该打屁股的小孩”。可是,我也打算索性叫她塔菲好啦。她是忒古麦·博苏莱的心肝宝贝,又是她妈咪的掌上明珠。她没有挨打的一半原因,就是她的爸妈太疼爱她了。他们一家三口人日子过得很幸福。塔菲刚学会走路就和她呆爹忒古麦到处游逛,有时候他们直到肚子饿了才回到岩洞的家里。而忒姝麦·特温德洛总是说,“你们父女俩究竟去哪儿啦,浑身弄得这么脏?说真的,我的忒古麦老头子呀,你还不如我的小塔菲呢。”

现在言归正传,啊,可爱的宝贝孩子们,且听我仔细讲来!

有一天,忒古麦·博苏莱穿过河狸湾来到瓦盖河去叉鲤鱼做饭吃,塔菲也跟着去了。忒古麦的渔叉是用木头做的,顶端绑着一排鲨鱼齿。他还没叉到一条鱼,却因为他用力太猛,渔叉突然扎到河底碰断了。这里离他们家有几十里远,虽然,他们在小背包里带有午饭,可是,忒古麦忘了带备用的渔叉。

“这下子可有大麻烦了!”忒古麦说道。“要修好这渔叉得花费我半天的工夫。”

“你那根黑杆大渔叉还放在家里哩,”塔菲说道,“让我跑回岩洞去,叫妈咪把渔叉给我拿来。”

“路程这么远,你的腿脚太嫩太短,”忒古麦说道,“而且,你可能会掉进河狸湾里淹死的。我们只好将就将就了。”于是他坐下,拿出一个皮质的小工具包,里面装的全是鹿筋,皮带,蜂蜡块和松树脂,开始修理渔叉。塔菲也坐了下来,把小脚丫子伸进水里,两只小手托着下巴,冥思苦想着。想了好一阵子她才说道:

“呆爹,我说呀,你和我都不会写,这是件最难搞的事,对吗?要是我们会写的话,就可以捎个信,叫人把家里的渔叉送来。”

“塔菲,”忒古麦说道,“我告诉过你多少次了不要说粗话?‘难搞’这个词多不文雅。不过,你刚才说的话还是有点道理,要是我们会给家里写信的话,就方便多了。”

正在这时,有个陌生人沿河边走过来了。但是他属于一个非常遥远的称作特瓦拉的部落,所以,忒古麦的话他一个字也听不懂。他站在河岸上对着塔菲微笑,因为他自己家里也有这么个小女儿。忒古麦从工具包里取出一卷鹿筋,开始专心修理渔叉。

“到这边来,”塔菲说道,“你知道我妈咪住在哪儿吗?”那个陌生人应了一声道,“唔!”孩子们,你们已经知道,他是外乡的特瓦拉人。

“笨蛋!”塔菲说着,突然使劲跺起脚来,因为她看见一群大鲤鱼正在游过来,可偏偏在这时候她呆爹的渔叉坏了。

“不要纠缠别人,”忒古麦吩咐小塔菲,自己却埋头在忙着修理渔叉,没有转身留意。

“我没纠缠他,”塔菲说道,“我只是想叫他去做我想做的事,可他听不懂我的话。”

“那就别烦我了,”忒古麦说罢,继续修理渔叉,手嘴并用拉拽着鹿筋,满嘴都是碎线头。那陌生人是个真正的特瓦拉人,就在草地上坐了下来。塔菲只给他看她呆爹正在做什么。那陌生人暗子思忖道:“这真是一个聪明伶俐的小女孩。她朝我跺脚,做鬼脸,是在逗我玩哩。她一定是那个大首领的女儿。他太伟大了,对我丝毫不予理睬。”想着想着,那陌生人笑得比以前更灿烂了。

 

附录:原文

 

How the First Letter Was WrittenI

 

Written by Rudyard Kipling

Illustrated by the Author

Translated by William Xiong

 

    ONCE upon a most early time was a Neolithic man. He was not a Jute or an Angle, or even a Dravidian, which he might well have been, Best Beloved, but never mind why. He was a Primitive, and he lived cavily in a Cave, and he wore very few clothes, and he couldn’t read and he couldn’t write and he didn’t want to, and except when he was hungry he was quite happy. His name was Tegumai Bopsulai, and that means, ‘Man-who-does-not-put-his-foot-forward-in-a-hurry’; but we, O Best Beloved, will call him Tegumai, for short. And his wife’s name was Teshumai Tewindrow, and that means, ‘Lady-who-asks-a-very-many-questions’; but we, O Best Beloved, will call her Teshumai, for short. And his little girl-daughter’s name was Taffimai Metallumai, and that means,‘Small-person-without-any-manners-who-ought-to-be-spanked’; but I’m going to call her Taffy. And she was Tegumai Bopsulai’s Best Beloved and her own Mummy’s Best Beloved, and she was not spanked half as much as was good for her; and they were all three very happy. As soon as Taffy could run about she went everywhere with her Daddy Tegumai, and sometimes they would not come home to the Cave till they were hungry, and then Teshumai Tewindrow would say, ‘Where in the world have you two been to, to get so shocking dirty? Really, my Tegumai, you’re no better than my Taffy.’

Now attend and listen!

One day Tegumai Bopsulai went down through the beaver-swamp to the Wagai river to spear carp-fish for dinner, and Taffy went too. Tegumai’s spear was made of wood with shark’s teeth at the end, and before he had caught any fish at all he accidentally broke it clean across by jabbing it down too hard on the bottom of the river. They were miles and miles from home (of course they had their lunch with them in a little bag), and Tegumai had forgotten to bring any extra spears.

‘Here’s a pretty kettle of fish!’ said Tegumai. ‘It will take me half the day to mend this.’

‘There’s your big black spear at home,’ said Taffy. ‘Let me run back to the Cave and ask Mummy to give it me.’

‘It’s too far for your little fat legs,’ said Tegumai. ‘Besides, you might fall into the beaver-swamp and be drowned. We must make the best of a bad job.’ He sat down and took out a little leather mendy-bag, full of reindeer-sinews and strips of leather, and lumps of bee’s-wax and resin, and began to mend the spear.

Taffy sat down too, with her toes in the water and her chin in her hand, and thought very hard. Then she said —‘I say, Daddy, it’s an awful nuisance that you and I don’t know how to write, isn’t it? If we did we could send a message for the new spear.’

‘Taffy,’ said Tegumai, ‘how often have I told you not to use slang? “Awful” isn’t a pretty word, but it could be a convenience, now you mention it, if we could write home.’

Just then a Stranger-man came along the river, but he belonged to a far tribe, the Tewaras, and he did not understand one word of Tegumai’s language. He stood on the bank and smiled at Taffy, because he had a little girl-daughter of his own at home. Tegumai drew a hank of deer-sinews from his mendy-bag and began to mend his spear.

‘Come here, said Taffy. ‘Do you know where my Mummy lives?’ And the Stranger-man said ‘Um!’ being, as you know, a Tewara.

‘Silly!’ said Taffy, and she stamped her foot, because she saw a shoal of very big carp going up the river just when her Daddy couldn’t use his spear.

‘Don’t bother grown-ups,’ said Tegumai, so busy with his spear-mending that he did not turn round.

‘I aren’t, said Taffy. ‘I only want him to do what I want him to do, and he won’t understand.’

‘Then don’t bother me, said Tegumai, and he went on pulling and straining at the deer-sinews with his mouth full of loose ends. The Stranger-man — a genuine Tewara he was — sat down on the grass, and Taffy showed him what her Daddy was doing. The Stranger-man thought, this is a very wonderful child. She stamps her foot at me and she makes faces. She must be the daughter of that noble Chief who is so great that he won’t take any notice of me.’ So he smiled more politely than ever.

 
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