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犀牛皮为什么有许多皱纹  

2015-06-04 16:05:43|  分类: 译著 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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犀牛皮为什么有许多皱纹

 

【英】鲁迪亚德·吉卜林著

熊良銋 译

 

很久很久以前,有一个帕西人住在红海边一个小荒无人烟的海岛上。可爱的宝贝孩子们,我给你们讲呀,那个帕西人是漂洋过海逃难来的,胆子大办法多。他有一顶光彩夺目的帽子,太阳一出来,霞光反射到帽子上,十分显赫,远远超过了古老东方文明的辉煌。他还有一把小刀、一个做饭用的火炉子,此外便什么也没有了。他的那个了不起的火炉,你们可能从来没见过。有一天,他取出面粉、葡萄干、梅子,还有水和糖,为自己做了个大蛋糕。那是个极品蛋糕,大得出奇,足足有三英尺宽两英尺厚。他把做好的极品蛋糕放在他的火炉上烘烤,因为他有办法把特大蛋糕放到特别了不起的火炉子上。他烤啊,烤啊,直到蛋糕被烘烤成金黄色,熟透,发出诱人的香味。

  可是,正当他准备吃蛋糕时,一头大犀牛从荒岛莽林深处来到了海边。大犀牛的鼻子上伸出一只尖长的角,头上长着一对贪婪的小猪眼睛,目空一切大摇大摆地走过来。

可爱的宝贝孩子们,你们可能不知道,所以我在这里特别说明一下:在这个故事发生以前,犀牛的皮刚好紧紧贴在身上,非常光溜,没有一条皱纹,模样极象现在玩具店里卖的小犀牛诺亚方舟,当然个头要大得多。还有,犀牛从来就不懂礼貌,过去不懂,现在不懂,将来也决不会懂。

话说回来,那头犀牛目空一切大摇大摆地走到海边,对那个人大吼一声:!”这一吼,吓得那个帕西人丢下大蛋糕,爬上了一棵棕榈树,慌忙中他只戴上了那顶光彩夺目的东方式帽子。犀牛用鼻子撞翻了油火炉,那块大蛋糕掉到了沙滩上翻了两个滚儿。然后犀牛用它鼻子上那又长又锋利的角穿起蛋糕,狼吞虎咽地吃了个精光,这才摇摆着尾巴,又回到了那荒岛莽林深处。那荒岛毗邻着马赞达兰岛、索科特拉岛和大赤道的海岬群岛。

犀牛走远以后,那个帕西人从棕榈树上跳下来,抱着他的火炉子,嘴里念出三句顺口溜。你们小孩子也许从来没听到过这个顺口溜,我现在念给你们听:

 

帕西人烤的大蛋糕,

谁要是把它吃掉,

谁就会永远倒霉透。

  

这三句顺口溜的寓意,比人们所想象的要多得多。因为五个星期之后,红海上卷起一股热浪,人们都热得脱掉了衣服。那个帕西人热得连他那顶发光的帽子都摘掉了。犀牛到海边洗澡的时候,也脱下了它的那张皮,披在肩上。

可爱的宝贝孩子们,这里也需要特别说明一下:在发生这个故事以前,犀牛皮里边有三颗纽扣,样子好像一件雨衣,穿脱都比较方便。

话说这时候,犀牛对帕西人的蛋糕只字不提,因为早在五个星期之前,它已经横蛮粗暴地把蛋糕全吃光了。犀牛把自己的皮留在沙滩上,就摇摇摆摆地走进水里,用鼻子吹水泡玩。

正在这时,帕西人恰好来到了海滩上,发现了犀牛皮。他对着犀牛皮,整个脸上掠过了两道微笑。接着他搓着两手,围着犀牛皮跳了三圈舞。然后,他跑回自己的宿营地,装了满满一帽子蛋糕屑。他的帐篷里满是蛋糕屑,因为帕西人只吃蛋糕,而且从来不把撒落的蛋糕屑打扫出去。他回到海滩,拿起犀牛皮用力抖了抖,然后开始用力把蛋糕屑往皮上搓,他搓啊,糅啊,直到整个犀牛皮里层都粘满了陈腐发霉干瘪能引起搔痒的蛋糕屑,以及一些烧焦了能粘上去的葡萄干碎末。随后,他又爬上了棕榈树,只等着犀牛洗完澡上岸后来穿上那张皮。

  不一会儿,犀牛洗完澡上了岸,果然拿起皮就往身上穿。可是,它刚刚扣上第三个纽扣,就觉得浑身发痒。它想搔痒,结果却越搔越痒,更难受了。犀牛痒得没办法,就倒在沙滩上打起滚来。他滚呀,滚呀,滚呀,可是它滚得越快,那蛋糕屑就粘得越牢,痒得越厉害。然后,犀牛蹿到那棵棕榈树下,把身体在树干上拼命地蹭。他蹭呀,蹭呀,蹭呀,倒霉的犀牛蹭得太多太厉害,以致把皮里的三颗纽扣也给蹭掉了,而且肩膀上、肚皮上、腿上全都给蹭出了皱纹。他磨呀,磨呀,磨呀,越磨他的脾气越暴躁,越暴躁他就磨得越厉害。可是,那些蛋糕屑一点儿也没有被蹭磨掉。蛋糕屑仍然牢牢地粘在皮肤上,俄日且时时刺扎得发痒。所以,犀牛只好无可奈何地回了家,真是又痒又气,越气越痒。

  从此以后,所有犀牛的皮上便有了许多皱纹,而且犀牛们的脾气也变得非常暴躁,这都是因为犀牛皮里有蛋糕屑的缘故。

另一方面,那个帕西人等犀牛走远以后,就从棕榈树上溜下来,戴上他那顶光彩夺目的帽子,背上他那只了不起的火炉,到很远很远的地方去了。

 

这个荒无人烟的小岛,

就在嘎达霏角之外,

靠近索科特拉岛的海滩,

以及粉红的阿拉伯海:

可是天热——苏伊士太火

因为我和你的爱好,

在饥寒之时总是要去

尝一尝帕西人蛋糕!

 

How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin

 

Written by Rudyard Kipling

Translated by William Xiong

 

Once upon a time, on an uninhabited island on the shores of the Red Sea, there lived a Parsee from whose hat the rays of the sun were reflected in more-than-oriental splendour. And the Parsee lived by the Red Sea with nothing but his hat and his knife and a cooking-stove of the kind that you must particularly never touch. And one day he took flour and water and currants and plums and sugar and things, and made himself one cake which was two feet across and three feet thick. It was indeed a Superior Comestible (that’s magic), and he put it on stove because he was allowed to cook on the stove, and he baked it and he baked it till it was all done brown and smelt most sentimental.

But just as he was going to eat it there came down to the beach from the Altogether Uninhabited Interior one Rhinoceros with a horn on his nose, two piggy eyes, and few manners.

 In those days the Rhinoceros’s skin fitted him quite tight. There were no wrinkles in it anywhere. He looked exactly like a Noah’s Ark Rhinoceros, but of course much bigger. All the same, he had no manners then, and he has no manners now, and he never will have any manners.

He said, ‘How!’ and the Parsee left that cake and climbed to the top of a palm tree with nothing on but his hat, from which the rays of the sun were always reflected in more-than-oriental splendour. And the Rhinoceros upset the oil-stove with his nose, and the cake rolled on the sand, and he spiked that cake on the horn of his nose, and he ate it, and he went away, waving his tail, to the desolate and Exclusively Uninhabited Interior which abuts on the islands of Mazanderan, Socotra, and Promontories of the Larger Equinox.

Then the Parsee came down from his palm-tree and put the stove on its legs and recited the following Sloka, which, as you have not heard, I will now proceed to relate:—

 

Them that takes cakes

Which the Parsee-man bakes

Makes dreadful mistakes.

 

And there was a great deal more in that than you would think. Because, five weeks later, there was a heat wave in the Red Sea, and everybody took off all the clothes they had. The Parsee took off his hat; but the Rhinoceros took off his skin and carried it over his shoulder as he came down to the beach to bathe. In those days it buttoned underneath with three buttons and looked like a waterproof. He said nothing whatever about the Parsee’s cake, because he had eaten it all; and he never had any manners, then, since, or henceforward. He waddled straight into the water and blew bubbles through his nose, leaving his skin on the beach.

Presently the Parsee came by and found the skin, and he smiled one smile that ran all round his face two times. Then he danced three times round the skin and rubbed his hands. Then he went to his camp and filled his hat with cake-crumbs, for the Parsee never ate anything but cake, and never swept out his camp. He took that skin, and he shook that skin, and he scrubbed that skin, and he rubbed that skin just as full of old, dry, stale, tickly cake-crumbs and some burned currants as ever it could possibly hold. Then he climbed to the top of his palm-tree and waited for the Rhinoceros to come out of the water and put it on.

And the Rhinoceros did. He buttoned it up with the three buttons, and it tickled like cake crumbs in bed. Then he wanted to scratch, but that made it worse; and then he lay down on the sands and rolled and rolled and rolled, and every time he rolled the cake crumbs tickled him worse and worse and worse. Then he ran to the palm-tree and rubbed and rubbed and rubbed himself against it. He rubbed so much and so hard that he rubbed his skin into a great fold over his shoulders, and another fold underneath, where the buttons used to be (but he rubbed the buttons off), and he rubbed some more folds over his legs. And it spoiled his temper, but it didn’t make the least difference to the cake-crumbs. They were inside his skin and they tickled. So he went home, very angry indeed and horribly scratchy; and from that day to this every rhinoceros has great folds in his skin and a very bad temper, all on account of the cake-crumbs inside.

But the Parsee came down from his palm-tree, wearing his hat, from which the rays of the sun were reflected in more-than-oriental splendour, packed up his cooking-stove, and went away in the direction of Orotavo, Amygdala, the Upland Meadows of Anantarivo, and the Marshes of Sonaput.

 

This Uninhabited Island

Is off Cape Gardafui,

By the Beaches of Socotra

And the Pink Arabian Sea:

But it’s hot — too hot from Suez

For the likes of you and me

Ever to go

In a P. and O.

And call on the Cake–Parsee!

 

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