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豹子身上的斑点是怎么来的(上)  

2015-06-05 16:57:52|  分类: 译著 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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豹子身上的斑点是怎么来的(上)

 

【英】鲁迪亚德·吉卜林著

熊良銋 译

 

可爱的宝贝孩子们,从前呀,豹子浑身上下都是黄褐色的,根本就没有什么斑点。可是现在呢,我们看到的金钱豹呀、猎豹呀、云豹呀,所有豹子身上都有黑黄黑黄的斑点。你们知道这是为什么吗?

原来在很早很早的时候,豹子住在一个称作“高阔草原”的地方。请你们一定要记住,那不是“低狭草原”,不是“灌木草原”,也不是“湿冷草原”,而是那独一无二的光秃秃、热烘烘、亮闪闪的“高阔草原”!那里的沙土是黄色的,岩石是黄色的,连一簇一簇的野草也都是黄褐色的。居住在那里的长颈鹿呀、斑马呀、羚羊和弯角羚羊和非洲大羚羊呀,所有的的动物浑身上下也都是黄褐色的。但是,和草原颜色最最相似的,那就要数长得像猫、颜色黄褐得出奇的豹子了。豹子身上的颜色和“高阔原草”的颜色简直是一模一样,分不清彼此了。这对于长颈鹿、斑马和羚羊那些动物来说,真是太糟糕了。因为豹子经常躺在黄褐色的巨石旁或草丛间,当斑马、羚羊和弯角羚羊、长颈鹿和矮丛鹿和邦特鹿等等,从它身边经过的时候,它就会出其不意地猛扑过去,吃掉这些活蹦乱跳的动物。豹子真的会吃掉他们的。再说在“高阔草原”上,还住有一个带着弓和箭的埃塞俄比亚猎人,那时候他浑身上下也是黄褐色的。这个猎人经常和豹子一起去打猎,猎人用强弓和利箭,豹子用它独特的坚牙和尖爪。到后来,长颈鹿、斑马、羚羊和弯角羚羊、非洲斑驴和其它动物等等,都不知道该走那条路了。可爱的孩子们,它们真的不知道该怎么办了!

过了很久,动物们也学尖了,知道要避开任何看上去像豹子或猎人的东西。顺便说明一下,从前所有的动物都要活很久的。因为长颈鹿的腿最长,所以让长颈鹿领头开路,渐渐地离开了“高阔草原”。 它们跑呀跑,跑呀,跑呀,接连跑了好些天,最后来到了一片大森林。森林里长满了茂密林木和灌木荆丛,阳光从树叶缝隙间射进森林,到处都是一条条一点点的光斑阴影,动物们都藏进了这片林子里。又过了很久,由于动物们的身体表面有些地方长期被阳光照射,有些地方长期被树荫遮掩,结果长颈鹿身上长出了红褐色的斑块,斑马身上长出了黑白相间的条纹;羚羊和弯角羚羊变得更加灰不溜秋的,背上还多了些弯曲的灰色纹络,看上去就像树皮。这样,即便你能听见它们说话的声音,能闻到它们身上的气味,也很难找到它们,除非你知道它们藏身的确切位置。动物们在那片浮泛着光斑和阴影的森林中过着美好快乐的日子,而豹子和埃塞俄比亚猎人却走遍灰黄赤特色的“高阔草原”到处搜寻,却不知道他们的早餐、午饭和茶点跑到哪儿去了。后来豹子和猎人都饿极了,只好捉些老鼠、甲虫和野兔来吃,直吃得闹肚子疼。正在这时,他们遇到了狒狒巴维安。这个脑袋和吠叫声都像狗的狒狒,可算是整个南非最聪明的动物了。

这是一个非常炎热的日子。豹子上前询问巴维安:“那些野物都跑到哪里去了呢?”

巴维安眨巴眨巴着眼睛,一声不吭,可心里明白得很。

于是,埃塞俄比亚猎人前去询问巴维安:“你能告诉我“高阔草原”的那些土生土长的动物群目前的栖息地吗?”这句话和豹子的意思是完全一样的,但是埃塞俄比亚猎人说话总是文绉绉的,因为他是个大人了。

巴维安还是眨了眨眼睛,不予回答,可他心里明白着。

过了好一会儿,巴维安才说道:“那些猎物都跑进别的地点去了,我奉劝你呀,豹子先生,你们也要尽快转移加入到别的地点去。”

  猎人说。“这个建议满有道理,可是我想知道,“高阔草原”的土生动物群如今迁徙去了何方。

巴维安于是说:“实话告诉你们吧,那些土生动物群都已经加入了土生植物群,因为这是一个大变化时期,我奉劝你呀,猎人先生,你们也要尽快随着变化。”

 

How the Leopard Got His SportsI

 

Written by Rudyard Kipling

Translated by William Xiong

 

In the days when everybody started fair, Best Beloved, the Leopard lived in a place called the High Veldt. ‘Member it wasn’t the Low Veldt, or the Bush Veldt, or the Sour Veldt, but the ‘sclusively bare, hot, shiny High Veldt, where there was sand and sandy-coloured rock and ‘sclusively tufts of sandy-yellowish grass. The Giraffe and the Zebra and the Eland and the Koodoo and the Hartebeest lived there; and they were ‘sclusively sandy-yellow-brownish all over; but the Leopard, he was the ‘sclusivest sandiest-yellowish-brownest of them all — a greyish-yellowish catty-shaped kind of beast, and he matched the ‘sclusively yellowish-greyish-brownish colour of the High Veldt to one hair. This was very bad for the Giraffe and the Zebra and the rest of them; for he would lie down by a ‘sclusively yellowish-greyish-brownish stone or clump of grass, and when the Giraffe or the Zebra or the Eland or the Koodoo or the Bush–Buck or the Bonte–Buck came by he would surprise them out of their jumpsome lives. He would indeed! And, also, there was an Ethiopian with bows and arrows (a ‘sclusively greyish-brownish-yellowish man he was then), who lived on the High Veldt with the Leopard; and the two used to hunt together — the Ethiopian with his bows and arrows, and the Leopard ‘sclusively with his teeth and claws — till the Giraffe and the Eland and the Koodoo and the Quagga and all the rest of them didn’t know which way to jump, Best Beloved. They didn’t indeed!

After a long time — things lived for ever so long in those days — they learned to avoid anything that looked like a Leopard or an Ethiopian; and bit by bit — the Giraffe began it, because his legs were the longest — they went away from the High Veldt. They scuttled for days and days and days till they came to a great forest, ‘sclusively full of trees and bushes and stripy, speckly, patchy-blatchy shadows, and there they hid: and after another long time, what with standing half in the shade and half out of it, and what with the slippery-slidy shadows of the trees falling on them, the Giraffe grew blotchy, and the Zebra grew stripy, and the Eland and the Koodoo grew darker, with little wavy grey lines on their backs like bark on a tree trunk; and so, though you could hear them and smell them, you could very seldom see them, and then only when you knew precisely where to look. They had a beautiful time in the ‘sclusively speckly-spickly shadows of the forest, while the Leopard and the Ethiopian ran about over the ‘sclusively greyish-yellowish-reddish High Veldt outside, wondering where all their breakfasts and their dinners and their teas had gone. At last they were so hungry that they ate rats and beetles and rock-rabbits, the Leopard and the Ethiopian, and then they had the Big Tummy-ache, both together; and then they met Baviaan — the dog-headed, barking Baboon, who is Quite the Wisest Animal in All South Africa.

Said Leopard to Baviaan (and it was a very hot day), ‘Where has all the game gone?’

And Baviaan winked. He knew.

Said the Ethiopian to Baviaan, ‘Can you tell me the present habitat of the aboriginal Fauna?’ (That meant just the same thing, but the Ethiopian always used long words. He was a grown-up.)

And Baviaan winked. He knew.

Then said Baviaan, ‘The game has gone into other spots; and my advice to you, Leopard, is to go into other spots as soon as you can.’

And the Ethiopian said, ‘That is all very fine, but I wish to know whither the aboriginal Fauna has migrated.’

Then said Baviaan, ‘The aboriginal Fauna has joined the aboriginal Flora because it was high time for a change; and my advice to you, Ethiopian, is to change as soon as you can.’

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