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第5篇:THE HAPPY FAMILY幸福的家庭

2013-01-05    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

THE HAPPY FAMILY

Really, the largest green leaf in this country is a dock-leaf; if one holds it before one, it is like a whole apron, and if one holds it over one's head in rainy weather, it is almost as good as an umbrella, for it is so immensely large. The burdock never grows alone, but where there grows one there always grow several: it is a great delight, and all this delightfulness is snails' food. The great white snails which persons of quality in former times made fricassees of, ate, and said, "Hem, hem! how delicious!" for they thought it tasted so delicate--lived on dock-leaves, and therefore burdock seeds were sown.

Now, there was an old manor-house, where they no longer ate snails, they were quite extinct; but the burdocks were not extinct, they grew and grew all over the walks and all the beds; they could not get the mastery over them--it was a whole forest of burdocks. Here and there stood an apple and a plum-tree, or else one never would have thought that it was a garden; all was burdocks, and there lived the two last venerable old snails.

They themselves knew not how old they were, but they could remember very well that there had been many more; that they were of a family from foreign lands, and that for them and theirs the whole forest was planted. They had never been outside it, but they knew that there was still something more in the world, which was called the manor-house, and that there they were boiled, and then they became black, and were then placed on a silver dish; but what happened further they knew not; or, in fact, what it was to be boiled, and to lie on a silver dish, they could not possibly imagine; but it was said to be delightful, and particularly genteel. Neither the chafers, the toads, nor the earth-worms, whom they asked about it could give them any information--none of them had been boiled or laid on a silver dish.

The old white snails were the first persons of distinction in the world, that they knew; the forest was planted for their sake, and the manor-house was there that they might be boiled and laid on a silver dish.

Now they lived a very lonely and happy life; and as they had no children themselves, they had adopted a little common snail, which they brought up as their own; but the little one would not grow, for he was of a common family; but the old ones, especially Dame Mother Snail, thought they could observe how he increased in size, and she begged father, if he could not see it, that he would at least feel the little snail's shell; and then he felt it, and found the good dame was right.

One day there was a heavy storm of rain.

"Hear how it beats like a drum on the dock-leaves!" said Father Snail.

"There are also rain-drops!" said Mother Snail. "And now the rain pours right down the stalk! You will see that it will be wet here! I am very happy to think that we have our good house, and the little one has his also! There is more done for us than for all other creatures, sure enough; but can you not see that we are folks of quality in the world? We are provided with a house from our birth, and the burdock forest is planted for our sakes! I should like to know how far it extends, and what there is outside!"

"There is nothing at all," said Father Snail. "No place can be better than ours, and I have nothing to wish for!"

"Yes," said the dame. "I would willingly go to the manor house, be boiled, and laid on a silver dish; all our forefathers have been treated so; there is something extraordinary in it, you may be sure!"

"The manor-house has most likely fallen to ruin!" said Father Snail. "Or the burdocks have grown up over it, so that they cannot come out. There need not, however, be any haste about that; but you are always in such a tremendous hurry, and the little one is beginning to be the same. Has he not been creeping up that stalk these three days? It gives me a headache when I look up to him!"

"You must not scold him," said Mother Snail. "He creeps so carefully; he will afford us much pleasure--and we have nothing but him to live for! But have you not thought of it? Where shall we get a wife for him? Do you not think that there are some of our species at a great distance in the interior of the burdock forest?"

"Black snails, I dare say, there are enough of," said the old one. "Black snails without a house--but they are so common, and so conceited. But we might give the ants a commission to look out for us; they run to and fro as if they had something to do, and they certainly know of a wife for our little snail!"

"I know one, sure enough--the most charming one!" said one of the ants. "But I am afraid we shall hardly succeed, for she is a queen!"

"That is nothing!" said the old folks. "Has she a house?"

"She has a palace!" said the ant. "The finest ant's palace, with seven hundred passages!"

"I thank you!" said Mother Snail. "Our son shall not go into an ant-hill; if you know nothing better than that, we shall give the commission to the white gnats. They fly far and wide, in rain and sunshine; they know the whole forest here, both within and without."

"We have a wife for him," said the gnats. "At a hundred human paces from here there sits a little snail in her house, on a gooseberry bush; she is quite lonely, and old enough to be married. It is only a hundred human paces!"

"Well, then, let her come to him!" said the old ones. "He has a whole forest of burdocks, she has only a bush!"

And so they went and fetched little Miss Snail. It was a whole week before she arrived; but therein was just the very best of it, for one could thus see that she was of the same species.

And then the marriage was celebrated. Six earth-worms shone as well as they could. In other respects the whole went off very quietly, for the old folks could not bear noise and merriment; but old Dame Snail made a brilliant speech. Father Snail could not speak, he was too much affected; and so they gave them as a dowry and inheritance, the whole forest of burdocks, and said--what they had always said--that it was the best in the world; and if they lived honestly and decently, and increased and multiplied, they and their children would once in the course of time come to the manor-house, be boiled black, and laid on silver dishes. After this speech was made, the old ones crept into their shells, and never more came out. They slept; the young couple governed in the forest, and had a numerous progeny, but they were never boiled, and never came on the silver dishes; so from this they concluded that the manor-house had fallen to ruins, and that all the men in the world were extinct; and as no one contradicted them, so, of course it was so. And the rain beat on the dock-leaves to make drum-music for their sake, and the sun shone in order to give the burdock forest a color for their sakes; and they were very happy, and the whole family was happy; for they, indeed were so.

幸福的家庭

这个国家里最大的绿叶子,无疑要算是牛蒡的叶子了。你拿一起放在你的肚皮上,那么它就像一条围裙。如果你把它放在头上,那么在雨天里它就可以当做一把伞用,因为它是出奇的宽大。牛蒡从来不单独地生长;不,凡是长着一棵牛蒡的地方,你一定可以找到好几棵。这是它最可爱的一点,而这一点对蜗牛说来只不过是食料。

在古时候,许多大人物把这些白色的大蜗牛做成"碎肉";当他们吃着的时候,就说:"哼,味道真好!"因为他们认为蜗牛的味道很美。这些蜗牛都靠牛蒡叶子活着;因此人们才种植牛蒡。

现在有一个古代的公馆,住在里面的人已经不再吃蜗牛了。所以蜗牛都死光了,不过牛蒡还活着,这植物在小径上和花畦上长得非常茂盛,人们怎么也没有办法制止它们。这地方简直成了一个牛蒡森林。要不是这儿那儿有几株苹果树和梅子树,谁也不会想到这是一个花园。处处都是牛蒡;在它们中间住着最后的两个蜗牛遗老。

它们不知道自己究竟有多大年纪。不过它们记得很清楚:它们的数目曾经是很多很多,而且都属于一个从外国迁来的家族,整个森林就是为它们和它们的家族而发展起来的。它们从来没有离开过家,不过却听说过:这个世界上还有一个什么叫做"公馆"的东西,它们在那里面被烹调着,然后变成黑色,最后被盛在一个银盘子里。不过结果怎样,它们一点也不知道。此外,它们也想象不出来,烹调完了以后盛在银盘子里,究竟是一种什么味道。那一定很美,特别排场!它们请教过小金虫、癞蛤蟆和蚯蚓,但是一点道理也问不出来,因为它们谁也没有被烹调过或盛在银盘子里面过。

那对古老的白蜗牛要算世界上最有身份的人物了。它们自己知道森林就是为了它们而存在的,公馆也是为了使它们能被烹调和放在银盘子里而存在的。

它们过着安静和幸福的生活。因为它们自己没有孩子,所以就收养了一个普通的小蜗牛。它们把它作为自己的孩子抚育。不过这小东西长不大,因为它不过是一个普通的蜗牛而已。但是这对老蜗牛——尤其是妈妈——觉得她能看出它在长大。假如爸爸看不出的话,她要求他摸摸它的外壳。因此他就摸一下;他发现妈妈说的话有道理。

有一天雨下得很大。

"请听牛蒡叶子上的响声——咚咚咚!咚咚咚!"蜗牛爸爸说。

"这就是我所说的雨点,"蜗牛妈妈说。"它沿着梗子滴下来了!你可以看到,这儿马上就会变得潮湿了!我很高兴,我们有我们自己的房子;小家伙也有他自己的(注:在丹麦文里,蜗牛的外壳叫做"房子"(huus)。)。我们的优点比任何别的生物都多。大家一眼就可以看出,我们是世界上最高贵的人!我们一生下来就有房子住,而且这一堆牛蒡林完全是为我们而种植的——我倒很想知道它究竟有多大,在它的外边还有些什么别的东西!"

"它的外边什么别的东西也没有!"蜗牛爸爸说。"世界上再也没有比我们这儿更好的地方了。我什么别的想头也没有。"

"对,"妈妈说,"我倒很想到公馆里去被烹调一下,然后放到银盘子里去。我们的祖先们都是这样;你要知道,这是一种光荣呢!"

"公馆也许已经塌了,"蜗牛爸爸说,"或者牛蒡已经在它上面长成了树林,弄得人们连走都走不出来。你不要急——你老是那么急,连那个小家伙也开始学起你来。你看他这三天来不老是往梗子上爬么?当我抬头看看他的时候,我的头都昏了。"

"请你无论如何不要骂他,"蜗牛妈妈说。"他爬得很有把握。他使我们得到许多快乐。我们这对老夫妇没有什么别的东西值得活下去了。不过,你想到过没有:我们在什么地方可以为他找个太太呢?在这林子的远处,可能住着我们的族人,你想到过没有?"

"我相信那儿住着些黑蜗牛,"老头儿说,"没有房子的黑蜗牛!不过他们都是一帮卑下的东西,而且还喜欢摆架子。不过我们可以托蚂蚁办办这件事情,他们跑来跑去,好像很忙似的。他们一定能为我们的小少爷找个太太。"

"我认识一位最美丽的姑娘!"蚂蚁说,"不过我恐怕她不成,因为她是一个王后!"

"这没有什么关系,"两位老蜗牛说。"她有一座房子吗?"

"她有一座宫殿!"蚂蚁说。"一座最美丽的蚂蚁宫殿,里面有700条走廊。"

"谢谢你!"蜗牛妈妈说:"我们的孩子可不会钻蚂蚁窟的。假如你找不到更好的对象的话,我们可以托白蚊蚋来办这件差事。他们天晴下雨都在外面飞。牛蒡林的里里外外,他们都知道。"

"我们为他找到了一个太太,"蚊蚋说。"离这儿100步路远的地方,有一个有房子的小蜗牛住在醋栗丛上。她是很寂寞的,她已经够结婚年龄。她住的地方离此地只不过100步远!"

"是的,让她来找他吧,"这对老夫妇说。"他拥有整个的牛蒡林,而她只不过有一个小醋栗丛!"

这样,它们就去请那位小蜗牛姑娘来。她足足过了八天才到来,但这是一种很珍贵的现象,因为这说明她是一个很正经的女子。

于是它们就举行了婚礼。六个萤火虫尽量发出光来照着。

除此以外,一切是非常安静的,因为这对老蜗牛夫妇不喜欢大喝大闹。不过蜗牛妈妈发表了一起动人的演说。蜗牛爸爸一句话也讲不出来,因为他受到了极大的感动。于是它们把整座牛蒡林送给这对年轻夫妇,作为遗产;并且说了一大套它们常常说的话,那就是——这地方是世界上最好的一块地方,如果它们要正直地,善良地生活和繁殖下去的话,它们和它们的孩子们将来就应该到那个公馆里去,以便被煮得*?黑、放到银盘子上面。

当这番演说讲完了以后,这对老夫妇就钻进它们的屋子里去,再也不出来。它们睡着了。

年轻的蜗牛夫妇现在占有了这整座的森林,随后生了一大堆孩子。不过它们从来没有被烹调过,也没有到银盘子里去过。因此它们就下了一个结论,认为那个公馆已经塌了,全世界的人类都已经死去了。谁也没有反对它们这种看法,因此它们的看法一定是对的。雨打在牛蒡叶上,为它们发现咚咚的音乐来。太阳为它们发出亮光,使这牛蒡林增添了不少光彩。这样,它们过得非常幸福——这整个家庭是幸福的,说不出地幸福!

(1844年)

这是一起小品,具有深刻的讽刺意义,最初发表在《新的童话》里。被人养着当作食物的蜗牛,"坐井观天",认为"世界上再也没有比我们这儿(公馆院子里的牛蒡树丛)更好的地方了。""我们很想到公馆里去被烹调一下,然后被放到银盘子里去。我们的祖先们都是这样,你知道这是一种光荣!"有不少人的思想境界大致与这差不多。



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