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难以忘怀的动物“女神”(对照读物)

(2008-12-19 14:09:42)
标签:

英汉对照读物

文化

分类: 美哉英语

My Unforgettable “Animal Lady”
难以忘怀的动物“女神”
By Bob Nonnan

 

Introduction导读

 短短的一篇文章在读者的头脑里就树起了一个鲜活的形象,一个可敬可爱,与动物打了一辈子交道的传奇妇女——Helen。她被当地的人们称为Animal Lady,她的家被称为White Animal Farm,她家里最多时有动物33,000只!
 作者用他那支彩笔为我们画出了以下图画:We passed through the gate into another world, which exploded into life. Rabbits bolted across the lawn, zigzagging frantically away. Pigeons lifted from the roof in a clatter of multicolored wings. A raccoon, its nose against the wire of its cage, poked its fingers inquisitively through. Two white ducks waddled by, and a huge peacock rushed to the center of the yard and started belligerently at us.
 这段文字足以让读者玩味半天。这里有形似:zigzagging/ in a clatter of multicolored wings/ waddled by,更有神似之笔:inquisitively/ belligerently。
 再请静听动物世界美妙无比的声音:The entire building chirped, whistled, screeched, squeaked and rustled with life.
 句中的五个拟声词足以让我们大饱“耳福”。
 作者有幸在Helen的带领下,观看了一场饿鹰扑鸽。The hawk scattered the birds, then flew straight up. The pigeon regrouped and flapped vigorously back toward us. One white bird lagged behind. Suddenly the hawk began to fall, twisting down so fast I could barely follow its movement. It hit the lagging pigeon in a explosion of white feathers, driving it almost to the marsh. Then, clutching the limp white bundle, the hawk flapped slowly toward some tall pines.
细品慢嚼,我们不得不佩服作者不俗的表达功力。Scattered/ twisting down so fast I could barely follow its movement.令我们想到“动如脱兔”,而攻击成功之后,鹰竟然flapped slowly toward some tall pines这岂不让我们想起“静如处子”之说?而explosion一词更是精彩地传递出那种迅雷不及掩耳的“爆发力”!
 这一课,Helen教会我:…some things have to die so other can live.
 此外,Helen的举止言行竟然让当时年幼的“我”对人生有所感悟,而这种感悟也许对生活在拜金思想抬头的时代的年轻人也不乏教益:Do what you love. Respect life.作者在Helen潜移默化的熏陶下,人生的轨迹发生了变化:I decided to concentrate on writing about wildlife. I’ve been doing it ever since.
 Helen的幽默折射了她的睿智: 
 She slipped duck eggs under rabbits and told people they were rabbit eggs. Sometimes she had rabbits nursing orphaned kittens, or cats nursing orphaned rabbits. “First successful crossbreeding of the cat and the rabbit.” She’d solemnly announce. “The cabit.” But she’d always give herself away with a smile and admit the truth.
 Cabit是此段里的nonce word(临时造字),这又难为了我们汉语。我们只能将cabit译成“猫兔”,但是,“猫兔”毕竟是两个字,而cabit已经融为一词,鬼斧神工一般。
Helen老人90而告终。作者几个十分短促的句子结束了全文:Helen’s heart gave out in October 1994. she was 90. I think of her often. And I remember that, thanks to her, I’m doing what I love.
笔者情不自禁地惦念:Helen老人是否培养了“接班人”?Helen的White Animal Farm是否喧闹依旧?成千上万的可爱动物是否快乐依旧?
做人能做到这个份上,文章能写到这个份上,不容易。


“Maybe it’s a rattlesnake!” I said. Dad and I looked into the big metal milk can at three-foot-long spotted snake. I was eight, and we had just moved to rural Scarborough, Maine. I discovered the snake in a quarry near the house, grabbed it behind the head like the professional snake handlers I’d read about, and carried it home.
“可能是条响尾蛇!”我说。我和爸爸朝大大的金属牛奶罐里张望,看一条3英尺长的斑点蛇。那时我只有8岁,我们刚搬到缅因州的斯卡伯勒乡下。我在我们屋子旁的采石场发现了这条蛇。我像书里读到的专业驯蛇人那样,从脑袋后面抓住它,将它拎回了家。

We showed it to neighbor. “Can’t tell you what it is,” he said, “but Helen Perley can. The Animal Lady who runs White Animal Farm. Lives about a mile from here.”
我们把它给邻居看。“说不出它是什么,”他说,“但海伦•珀利可以。动物女神经营着白色动物农庄,住在离这1英里的地方。”
 
Dad drove the snake and me down the hill on Seavey Landing Road and stopped the car beside a thicket of evergreens and lilacs. A gate was hidden in the greenery. Beyond it was a yard, bordered by a house and two other buildings, about 30 feet across and cluttered with homemade wooden cages.
爸爸载着我和那条蛇下山上了西维公路,在一片常青树和紫丁香丛旁停下。绿叶丛中藏着一扇门。门前是个院子,边上有一座房子和另外两座建筑,大约方圆30英尺,摆满了自家做的木头笼子。

We passed through the gate into another world, which exploded into life. Rabbits bolted across the lawn, zigzagging frantically away. Pigeons lifted from the roofs in a clatter of multicolored wings. A raccoon, its nose against the wire of its cage, poked its fingers inquisitively through. Two white ducks waddled by, and a huge peacock rushed to the center of the yard and started belligerently at us. Dad and I stood open-mouthed.
我们穿过大门进入到另外一个开启生命的世界。兔子在草坪上狂奔,沿着曲折的线路发疯似地跑开了。鸽子在天花板下噼里啪啦地向上扑腾五颜六色的翅膀。一只浣熊,鼻子抵住笼子上的铁丝网,伸出爪子来向我们问好。两只白鸭子摇摇摆摆地走过,一只大孔雀冲到院子中间,冲我们摆出一副好斗的架势。我和爸爸张大了嘴巴,呆呆地站着。

The screen door on the main building sprang open, and a short, slender woman appeared. “I’m Helen,” she said, shaking hands with us. She wore a blue turtleneck jersey, blue jeans and brown work boots. A hammer hung from her belt. Her short brown hair was curled in a puffy bouffant hairdo.
主楼的纱门敞开着,一位娇小玲珑的女人出现在眼前。“我是海伦,”她说着,与我们握手。她身着蓝色高领紧身衫、蓝色牛仔裤和棕色工作靴。皮带上挂着把小锤子。她棕色的卷卷的短发蓬松鼓起。

After Dad explained our visit, she reached into the milk can and picked the snake up. The snake wrapped itself around her arm, twisting and turning. She caressed the creature gently, and it stopped struggling.
爸爸说明了我们来访的目的后,她把手伸进牛奶罐,将蛇拎起。蛇缠住了她的手臂,旋转着,扭动着。她温柔地抚摸这个小生灵,它马上就停止了挣扎。
 
“It’s harmless,” she said. “Just a milk snake. It’s beautiful specimen. Are you the snake hunter?” her clear blue eyes looked into mine, and I nodded with pride.
“它是无毒的,”她说,“只是条乳蛇。漂亮的标本。是你逮到的吗?”她清澈的蓝眼睛望进我的眼睛,我骄傲地点点头。

“Would you like to hunt snakes for me? I’ll teach you how?” Would I? It was 1952, and my heroes were Arctic explorers, wild animal trainers and the crew of the Kon-Tiki. On the spot, I belonged to Helen.
“你愿意为我捕蛇吗?我会教你怎么做?”我吗?那是1952年,我心目中的英雄是北极探险者、野生动物驯养员和康奇基号工作人员。从这一点上来讲,海伦正是我的偶像。

Dad and I got the grand tour. We met golden and silver pheasants, the raccoon and a coati-mundi, an oddly shaped animal the size of a small dog. We watched turtles swimming in an old Victorian bathtub. Pointing to an enormous lump of white bone, six feet long and with eye sockets big enough to sit in, Helen said somberly, “Sea monster skull.” My eyes widened. Later she confessed it was a whale skull.
我和爸爸开始了一次豪华盛大的旅行。我们遇见了金色和银色的野鸡,浣熊和南美浣熊——模样奇特、体型如小狗的动物。我们又看见了乌龟在一个古老的维多利亚式的浴缸里游泳。海伦指着一块庞大的白骨,有6英尺长,2个眼窝大得可以坐进去,忧郁地说:“海怪的头骨。”我的双眼瞪得大大的。然后,她坦言是一块鲸鱼的头骨。

She took us inside the main building. The aisles were lined with cages full of mice, rats, gerbils and hamsters. There were also exotic pets, reptiles and a variety of other wild animals. The entire building chirped, whistled, screeched, squeaked and rustled with life.
她带我们走进主楼。走廊里摆满了笼子,里头住着老鼠、沙鼠和仓鼠。还有一些奇形怪状、颜色各异的宠物、爬行动物和各种各样的其他野生动物。整幢屋子飞禽鸣,走兽吼,生机一片。

With all the animal chores and the constant flow of visitors, she and her husband, Paul, a big, quiet man in overalls and feed cap, were almost always working. Helen’s animal business had started 20 years earlier when she brought home a pair of white rats for her young children, Jack and June. The rats started to multiply, Helen built more cages, and White Animal Farm was born. Although her formal training ended at high school, her lifelong education in animal husbandry had begun.
所有动物的家务琐事和川流不息的访客接待,她和丈夫保罗——一个安静的大高个,穿着工作服和进料盖——总是应接不暇。海伦的动物事业开始于20年前,那时她带了一对小白鼠回家给两个小孩子,杰克和琼。白鼠开始繁殖,海伦为他们建了更多的笼子,白色动物农庄就此诞生。虽然她的正规教育到高中就结束了,但她动物饲养的终生教育才刚刚开始。

She started my reptile education at the boa constrictor cage. After showing me how to hold snakes without hurting them, she handed me live specimens to the local species she sought. I went home profoundly excited. I wanted to be like Helen Perley when I grew up.
她在大王蟒蛇的笼子前开始给我讲起了爬行动物知识。在向我演示了如何抓住蛇又不至于伤害到它们之后,她把她找来的当地品种的活标本递给我。回到家,我激动不已。我长大要成为像海伦•珀利那样的人!

I made a snake bag out of a pillowcase, as Helen had instructed. I looked where she said to look: under rocks and boards and tarpaper, along paths and in fields. I walked the way she told me to, treading slowly and lightly to avoid the vibrations that alarm small animals. And I discovered much more than snakes. I found spider webs, bird nests, wildflowers, anthills, unusual rocks, eggshells and bizarre insects. Each discovery fed my curiosity.
我用枕套做了个蛇袋,就像海伦教我的那样。我到她告诉我的地方找蛇:在岩石、木板、柏油纸下,小路上和田野里。我走在她告诉我的路上,脚步缓慢而轻盈,以避免振动惊扰了小动物。我的发现远远不止是蛇。我找到蜘蛛网、鸟巢、野花、蚁丘、蛋壳和稀奇古怪的昆虫。每个发现都满足了我的好奇心。

Every few days I coasted down the hill to Helen’s on my bike, the pillowcase full of everything I’d found tied to the handlebars. Helen would put down her work, buy the snakes, identify everything else and answer all my questions.
每隔几天,我就骑车顺着斜坡下山来到海伦家,车把上挂着的枕套里装满我发现的每一样东西。海伦会放下手头的工作,买下蛇,辨认其余的每一样东西,回答我所有的问题。

For six summers I biked to Helen’s at least once a week. The second year, I shyly showed her my animal drawings. She liked my work, and that gave me immense confidence.
六个夏天了,我每个星期都至少骑车去海伦家一次。第二年,我怯生生地把我画的动物图给海伦看。她喜欢我的作品,这极大地增强了我的自信。

When I was ten, I discovered taxidermy. Helen gave me a dead pigeon for my first attempt. As I handed her the finished specimen, a bulging caricature of the original bird, she nodded approval and I knew I was success.
10岁的时候,我发现了动物标本剥制术。海伦给了我一只死鸽子让我开始第一次尝试。当我把做好的标本——一只臃肿可笑的原始鸟——递到她手里时,她肯定地点了点头。我知道,我成功了。

Another time she raised her head at a commotion of wings outside and motioned me to follow her. We watched a flock of her pigeons fleeing across a marsh, a hawk in pursuit. The hawk scattered the birds, then flew straight up. The pigeons regrouped and flapped vigorously back toward us. One white bird lagged behind. Suddenly the hawk began to fall, twisting down so fast I could barely follow its movement. It hit the lagging pigeon in an explosion of white feathers, driving it almost to the marsh. Then, clutching the limp white bundle, the hawk flapped slowly toward some tall pines.
还有一次,她抬头看见外面一片骚动的翅膀,示意我跟着她。我们看见她那群鸽子正飞过沼泽逃窜,被后面一只鹰追击。鹰惊散鸽群,直冲云天。鸽群重聚,拼命地拍打双翅朝我们飞来。一只白鸽落伍,老鹰蓄势倏降,盘旋直逼白鸽。其速之快,令人瞠目。老鹰击中孤鸽,羽毛四散,空中顿生一团白烟。鹰鸽即将同时坠入沼泽地,但见老鹰逮住那只昏死的白色生灵,悠然展翅,飞向高高的松树。

It was the most dramatic sight of my young life, and I understood suddenly that life and death are co-workers. As Helen had told me, some things have to die so others can live.
这是我年轻时代最具戏剧化的一幕。我突然明白生与死亲如手足,无法分开。正如海伦告诉过我的,一些动物必须死去,这样其他动物才能活下来。

Helen was the most real person I ever met. She loved what she was doing so completely, there was no need to pretend to be anyone else. A young boy grasps those lessons quickly: Do what you love. Respect life.
海伦是我认识的最真实的人。她那么全身心地爱着她所做的事,丝毫不必以假象示人。一个小男孩很快领悟了这些道理:做你热爱的事,尊重生命。

Everybody in Scarborough knew Helen, and there were endless stories about her. One night a hysterical neighbor called, “Helen! There’s snake in my kitchen window!” Helen rushed over and found a four-foot boa constrictor curled up on the outside windowsill. “It’s Beauregard!” she said. “He’s been gone for two weeks.”
在斯卡伯勒的每一个人都认识海伦,关于她,总有说不完的故事。一天晚上,一个爱大呼小叫的邻居突然大喊:“海伦!我厨房窗户上有条蛇!”海伦冲过去,发现是条4英尺长的大王蟒蛇,蜷缩在外面的窗台上。“是伯勒加德!”她说,“他已经走失2个星期了。”

Another woman, who found a snake in her Christmas tree, started a petition demanding that Helen get rid of her snakes. No one would sign it; people liked Helen. Besides, Mainers love a good story, and there was no way they’d cramp the style of anyone who supplied as many as Helen did.
另一位妇女,因为在她的圣诞树上发现了一条蛇,就发起签署一封请愿信的活动,要求海伦不再养蛇。但是无人愿意在上面签名,人们喜欢海伦。此外,缅因州的人喜欢奇闻,因此他们决不会去规约任何人的个人风格,只要他能像海伦那样提供许多趣事。

Helen had a great sense of humor. If visitors were neophytes, she would show them the stiff tails of the fantail pigeons and inform them. “I starch the stiff the tails myself.” If they accepted that, they were next taken to the golden pheasant, and Helen would say, “I painted the birds myself.” Sometimes people would ask how she did it, and she’d launched into a discussion on bird painting.
海伦幽默感十足。如果是新来的访客,她会给他们看扇尾鸽的硬尾巴,还告诉他们:“我自己给这个尾巴上浆定型的。”如果他们接受了她的说法,海伦就会带他们到锦鸡跟前,说:“我自己给这些鸟上色的。”有时,人们会问她怎么做的,她会投入到一场关于如何给鸟上色的讨论。

She slipped duck eggs under rabbits and told people they were rabbit eggs. Sometimes she had rabbits nursing orphaned kittens, or cats nursing orphaned rabbits. “First successful crossbreeding of the cat and the rabbit.” She’d solemnly announce. “The cabit.” But she’d always give herself away with a smile and admit the truth.
她把鸭蛋滚到兔子身下,告诉人们那是兔子蛋。有时候,她让兔子看护被遗弃的小猫,或者让小猫养育兔子孤儿。“第一次成功交叉喂养猫和兔子。”她郑重其事地申明,“猫兔。”可是,最终她总会笑着公布真相并坦承事实。

Helen was probably best known in Scarborough as a healer of animals. Over the years a parade of wounded birds and animals, brought to her by the public, passed through her hands. Once I brought her a chipmunk with a wound on its stomach. Helen reached into the live trap and gently gripped the little animal. I knew from experience that chipmunks bite, but this one lay passive and trusting as Helen held it belly up and cleaned the wound. The next day it was bright-eyed and active, its tail jauntily erect.
海伦可能是斯卡伯勒最出名的兽医。在过去的那么多年里,当地的公众把许许多多受伤的鸟儿和动物带到她那儿,在她的手里得到过救治。一次,我带了只腹部受伤的花栗鼠去找她。海伦把手伸进夹笼,轻轻地抓住这小动物。根据经验,我知道花栗鼠会咬人,可是这一只却乖乖地躺着,信赖地任凭海伦托起它的肚子、清洗伤口。第二天,它就眼睛明亮,活蹦乱跳,尾巴也得意地高高翘起。

Pet-shop professionals from across the country called Helen for advice on diet, disease, breeding and training. She sold chipmunks to Dawn Animal Agency for films, and provided numerous laboratories with animals for research. At its peak, White Animal Farm had 33,000 animals, mostly laboratory rats and mice. They were in great demand by universities, hospitals and government laboratories because of their health and the purity of their breeds, several of which Helen herself had developed.
宠物店的专业人员从全国各地打电话来向海伦咨询饮食、疾病、饲养和训练等问题。她把花栗鼠卖给唐动物中介拍电影,为众多实验室的研究提供动物。最高峰的时候,白色动物农庄有33000只动物,多数是实验老鼠。大学、医院和政府实验室有很大的需求,因为它们身体健康、品种纯正,很多是海伦自己繁殖的。

First and last, though, Helen was a teacher. She gave innumerable tours through the farm and nature walks in the woods. She took animals to schools. And nursing homes. If a young person had a special passion for animals, Helen spotted it instantly, calling it “the spark”. She gave that youngster personal attention and encouraged him to come back.
可是,总的来说,海伦一直是个老师。她无数次地带领大家游览在农庄和大自然中,漫步在树林里。她带动物们去学校和疗养院。如果一个年轻人对动物有一种特殊的激情,海伦马上会发现,她称之为“苗子”。她亲自关注那年轻人,鼓励他回到这里。

When I was 14 my parents bought a farm 50 miles away. Sad about the move, I bicycled down the hill to Helen’s. “You’ll love Windham,” she said. “Wonderful farm country with lots of new wildlife.” With those words of affirmation, she set me free.
14岁的时候,我的父母买了个方圆50英里的农庄。因为要搬走,我很伤心,骑车下山来到海伦家。“你会喜欢温得罕的,”她说,“很棒的农庄乡村,有许多新的野生动物。”她十分肯定地告诉我,于是将我放飞。

Years passed. I left Maine and returned. Then in my early 40s, both my marriage and career as a builder ended. I was adrift. For years I’d been selling a few wildlife articles and drawings, and the idea of doing a living excited me. But I was full of fear and indecision. Then I thought about Helen. She knew exactly what to do with her life. Teach people about animals. Do what you love. So I decided to concentrate on writing about wildlife. I’ve been doing it ever since.
很多年过去了。我离开了缅因州,又回来了。接着,我跨入40岁后,我的婚姻和我的建筑职业都终结了。我到处漂泊。多年来,我卖过一些关于野生动物的文章和画,而靠此维持生计的想法让我激动不已。可是我非常害怕又犹豫不决。这时,我想到了海伦。她很清楚要如何安排她的生活——著书《教人们认识动物》、《做你喜欢做的事》。因此,我决定集中精力在野生动植物的写作上。我从那时候起就一直在做这件事。

My nephew is a wildlife fanatic like me. In 1991, when he was eight, I took Kyle to meet Helen.
我的侄子凯尔跟我一样,是个野生动物迷。1991年,那时他8岁,我带他去见海伦。

The buildings were sagging more than I remembered. There were empty cages. But the screen door to the main building sprang open, and a tiny woman in a blue turtleneck and jeans appeared. A hammer hung on her belt. Friendly blue eyes looked at us from the lined face as I made the introductions. Kyle asked Helen a question about feeding his hamster, and they were soon deep in conversation, Helen had seen the spark.
房子塌陷了,比我记忆中的严重。笼子空空的。但主楼的纱门依旧敞开着,一个穿着蓝色的高领紧身衫和牛仔裤的瘦小妇人出现了,腰间仍然挂着锤子。我做介绍的时候,她那布满皱纹的脸上的友善的蓝眼睛看着我们。凯尔问海伦一个关于喂养仓鼠的问题,很快,他们进入了深入的交谈,海伦看见了“苗子”。

We got the tour, Kyle asking question constantly, Helen answering in detail. “Here’s a sea monster skull,’ she told us. While she showed him around, I went inside the main building. A boy about 12 was cleaning cages.
我们参观了农庄,凯尔不停地提问,海伦详细地解答。“这是海怪的头骨,”她告诉我们。当海伦带他到处走走的时候,我走进了主楼。一个大约12岁的男孩在清洗笼子。

“Working for Helen?” I asked. He nodded.
“在为海伦工作?”我问。他点点头。

“You like it?”
“你喜欢吗?”
 
He gave me a look as if to say. Like it? What a question! I love it!
他的表情好像在说:喜欢?什么问题啊!我爱它!

My heart filled; all of us kids, across all those years. I wanted to say something. But I couldn’t find the words. Then Kyle called out, “Uncle Bob! A boa constrictor!” I rejoined Helen’s tour. On the ride home Kyle talked about the farm nonstop. “I want to be Helen Perley when I grow up,” he said.
我,还有我们这些孩子,这么多年来,心里都很充实。我想说点什么。可是我找不到合适的语言。这时,凯尔大喊:“鲍勃叔叔!大王蟒蛇!”我重新加入了海伦的旅程。骑车回家的路上,凯尔谈到了农庄生生不息的未来。“我长大要成为海伦•珀利这样的人。”他说。

Helen’s heart gave out in October 1994. She was 90. I think of her often. And I remember that, thanks to her, I’m doing what I love.
1994年10月,海伦的心脏停止了跳动。享年90岁。我经常想念她。我记得,多亏了她,我才做着我热爱的事。 

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