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鸟鸣溪谷柳鸣春,万类和融释醉痕。骚客登楼临曲水,金威雅集胜兰亭。

 
 
 

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哩叽·嘀叽·塔韦(四)  

2016-07-31 11:35:54|  分类: 译著 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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哩叽·嘀叽·塔韦(四)

【英】鲁迪亚德·吉卜林 著

熊良銋 译

 


附录:原文

 

Rikki-Tikki-TaviIV

Written by Rudyard Kipling

Translated by William Xiong

 

Then Rikki-tikki came up and cried, “Turn round, Nagaina. Turn and fight!”

“All in good time,” said she, without moving her eyes. “I will settle my account with you presently. Look at your friends, Rikki-tikki. They are still and white. They are afraid. They dare not move, and if you come a step nearer I strike.”

“Look at your eggs,” said Rikki-tikki, “in the melon bed near the wall. Go and look, Nagaina!”

The big snake turned half around, and saw the egg on the veranda. “Ah-h! Give it to me,” she said.

Rikki-tikki put his paws one on each side of the egg, and his eyes were blood-red. “What price for a snake’s egg? For a young cobra? For a young king cobra? For the last — the very last of the brood? The ants are eating all the others down by the melon bed.”

Nagaina spun clear round, forgetting everything for the sake of the one egg. Rikki-tikki saw Teddy’s father shoot out a big hand, catch Teddy by the shoulder, and drag him across the little table with the tea-cups, safe and out of reach of Nagaina.

“Tricked! Tricked! Tricked! Rikk-tck-tck!” chuckled Rikki-tikki. “The boy is safe, and it was I— I— I that caught Nag by the hood last night in the bathroom.”

Then he began to jump up and down, all four feet together, his head close to the floor. “He threw me to and fro, but he could not shake me off. He was dead before the big man blew him in two. I did it! Rikki-tikki-tck-tck! Come then, Nagaina. Come and fight with me. You shall not be a widow long.”

Nagaina saw that she had lost her chance of killing Teddy, and the egg lay between Rikki-tikki’s paws. “Give me the egg, Rikki-tikki. Give me the last of my eggs, and I will go away and never come back,” she said, lowering her hood.

“Yes, you will go away, and you will never come back. For you will go to the rubbish heap with Nag. Fight, widow! The big man has gone for his gun! Fight!”

Rikki-tikki was bounding all round Nagaina, keeping just out of reach of her stroke, his little eyes like hot coals. Nagaina gathered herself together and flung out at him. Rikki-tikki jumped up and backward. Again and again and again she struck, and each time her head came with a whack on the matting of the veranda and she gathered herself together like a watch spring. Then Rikki-tikki danced in a circle to get behind her, and Nagaina spun round to keep her head to his head, so that the rustle of her tail on the matting sounded like dry leaves blown along by the wind.

He had forgotten the egg. It still lay on the veranda, and Nagaina came nearer and nearer to it, till at last, while Rikki-tikki was drawing breath, she caught it in her mouth, turned to the veranda steps, and flew like an arrow down the path, with Rikki-tikki behind her. When the cobra runs for her life, she goes like a whip-lash flicked across a horse’s neck.

Rikki-tikki knew that he must catch her, or all the trouble would begin again. She headed straight for the long grass by the thorn-bush, and as he was running Rikki-tikki heard Darzee still singing his foolish little song of triumph. But Darzee’s wife was wiser. She flew off her nest as Nagaina came along, and flapped her wings about Nagaina’s head. If Darzee had helped they might have turned her, but Nagaina only lowered her hood and went on. Still, the instant’s delay brought Rikki-tikki up to her, and as she plunged into the rat-hole where she and Nag used to live, his little white teeth were clenched on her tail, and he went down with her — and very few mongooses, however wise and old they may be, care to follow a cobra into its hole. It was dark in the hole; and Rikki-tikki never knew when it might open out and give Nagaina room to turn and strike at him. He held on savagely, and stuck out his feet to act as brakes on the dark slope of the hot, moist earth.

Then the grass by the mouth of the hole stopped waving, and Darzee said, “It is all over with Rikki-tikki! We must sing his death song. Valiant Rikki-tikki is dead! For Nagaina will surely kill him underground.”

So he sang a very mournful song that he made up on the spur of the minute, and just as he got to the most touching part, the grass quivered again, and Rikki-tikki, covered with dirt, dragged himself out of the hole leg by leg, licking his whiskers. Darzee stopped with a little shout. Rikki-tikki shook some of the dust out of his fur and sneezed. “It is all over,” he said. “The widow will never come out again.” And the red ants that live between the grass stems heard him, and began to troop down one after another to see if he had spoken the truth.

Rikki-tikki curled himself up in the grass and slept where he was — slept and slept till it was late in the afternoon, for he had done a hard day’s work.

“Now,” he said, when he awoke, “I will go back to the house. Tell the Coppersmith, Darzee, and he will tell the garden that Nagaina is dead.”

The Coppersmith is a bird who makes a noise exactly like the beating of a little hammer on a copper pot; and the reason he is always making it is because he is the town crier to every Indian garden, and tells all the news to everybody who cares to listen. As Rikki-tikki went up the path, he heard his “attention” notes like a tiny dinner gong, and then the steady “Ding-dong-tock! Nag is dead — dong! Nagaina is dead! Ding-dong-tock!” That set all the birds in the garden singing, and the frogs croaking, for Nag and Nagaina used to eat frogs as well as little birds.

When Rikki got to the house, Teddy and Teddy’s mother (she looked very white still, for she had been fainting) and Teddy’s father came out and almost cried over him; and that night he ate all that was given him till he could eat no more, and went to bed on Teddy’s shoulder, where Teddy’s mother saw him when she came to look late at night.

“He saved our lives and Teddy’s life,” she said to her husband. “Just think, he saved all our lives.”

Rikki-tikki woke up with a jump, for the mongooses are light sleepers.

“Oh, it’s you,” said he. “What are you bothering for? All the cobras are dead. And if they weren’t, I’m here.”

Rikki-tikki had a right to be proud of himself. But he did not grow too proud, and he kept that garden as a mongoose should keep it, with tooth and jump and spring and bite, till never a cobra dared show its head inside the walls.

 

Darzee’s Chant

(Sung in Honor of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi)

 

Singer and tailor am I—

Doubled the joys that I know —

Proud of my lilt to the sky,

Proud of the house that I sew —

Over and under, so weave I my music — so weave I the house that I sew.

 

Sing to your fledglings again,

Mother, oh lift up your head!

Evil that plagued us is slain,

Death in the garden lies dead.

Terror that hid in the roses is impotent — flung on the dung-hill and dead!

 

Who has delivered us, who?

Tell me his nest and his name.

Rikki, the valiant, the true,

Tikki, with eyeballs of flame,

Rikk-tikki-tikki, the ivory-fanged, the hunter with eyeballs of flame!

 

Give him the Thanks of the Birds,

Bowing with tail feathers spread!

Praise him with nightingale words —

Nay, I will praise him instead.

Hear! I will sing you the praise of the bottle-tailed Rikki, with eyeballs of red!

 

(Here Rikki-tikki interrupted, and the rest of the song is lost.)

 

 

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