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The Urbn Coyote之Pets-What a Fine Idea试译

(2009-11-15 21:03:25)
标签:

杂谈

分类: 翻译

Pets-What a Fine Idea

养些宠物—主意好啊

(April 1987)

The family just returned from a weekend trip to find our soft, purring cat awaiting us on our front doorstep. He emerged from under the arbor vitae, eyes groggy with sleep.

我们全家刚度完周末假回来,发现我们皮松毛软爱打呼噜的猫儿正在前门台阶上恭候着我们。它从凉亭下缓步走来,睡眼惺忪。

My five-year-old daughter rushed up to “kitty” in delight, picked him up,hugged him and swore her love. Then she carries him like an old dishrag up to the porch and into the house and immediately forced him into an old doll dress, much too small, berating him for trying to get away. “No, kitty,no!”

我五岁的女儿快乐的奔向“咪咪”,一把抓起他,将其抱在怀中,嘴里还爱个不停。接着她像拎着一块破洗碗布一样带着它走上门厅进入屋里,并立马将一件洋娃娃的旧衣服套在它身上。衣服太小了,猫儿试图逃开,却被兜头训斥:“别跑,咪咪,别跑。” 

The rest of us entered the empty house. Well, not quite empty. Over in the corner three birds looked at us mournfully. A silent canary. A biting conure( a small , aggressice parrot). A loud cockatiel.

我们其余的人进入了空荡荡的屋子。其实,不是很空。角落里那三只鸟儿忧伤的看着我们。那有一只安静的金丝雀,一只舌尖嘴利的锥尾鸟(一种小而好斗的鹦鹉),还有一只聒噪的尾鹦哥。

Where did these unrelated beasts come from? I had vowed never to have pets. Four children are more than enough responsibility, and I can at least eat their leftovers.

这些毫无关联的小动物们都是从哪儿蹦出来的?我曾发誓从不养宠物。可四个孩子过于有责任心,所以我得以替他们收拾残局。

It all began with the cat, once only a mournful stray kitten. My eldest daughter adopted him twelve years ago when him appeared at the back door. Over parental protestations, she gave him milk. That was that.

这一切都得从那只猫儿说起。它曾经是一只流浪猫。自从十二年前出现在我家后门,我的大女儿便收留了它。尽管家长表示反对,她还是拿给它牛奶喝。就是这样。

He insinuated himself into our daily lifes. First he slept outside. Then on the back porch. Then inside. Then in someone’s bed. Then on someone’s head.

它就这样一点一点进入我们的日常生活。先是谁在外面,然后是在门厅,而后在屋里,接下来在床上,最后睡在大家头顶。

 Defeated, I vowed at least that I would never buy pet food, an insult to a poorly fed world population(the very idea of pet food sold in stores absolutely cracks up visitprs from China, confirming their incredulity at our culture of excess). He would only get table scraps, when and where we felt likme it. finally, as he appeared to be starving because someone would forget feed him, I broke down and bought a bag of cat food, the drf stuff, sort of cat bran flakes. Ten years later, our recycling container is full of empty cans of Cat Filet Mignon, Cat Pate, Cat Terrine, Cat Salmon.

妥协后,我发誓至少不会买宠物食品。宠物食品是对世界饥饿人口的一种冒犯(商店中出售的宠物食品显然让中国来的游客感到震惊,这证实了他们对于我国浪费之风的猜想)。猫儿只能得到一些桌上的碎屑,而且还得是在大家乐意的时候。最终,因为有人会忘记喂它而使它看上去快要饿死,故而我破例给它买了一袋糠片片做成的猫干粮。十年以后,我们的回收容器里放满了空罐头瓶子,有去骨鱼片猫食罐,肉酱猫食瓶,鱼肉酱猫食听和鲑鱼猫食瓶。

Our house is alsi a bit poorer in other ways.

从其他一些方面来说,我们的房子也越来越糟糕了。

Cat markings. Hundreds of cats have pissed on our front porch. Our cat has already pissed on our new refrigerator. Welcome.

猫留下的记号。成百上千只猫在我家前门厅撒尿。我们自家的猫儿已经在家里的新冰箱上尿过了。真是欢迎。

Cat prints walk over the car, the tub, the toilet, the sink, the ceiling.

猫的足迹遍及汽车,澡盆,厕所,洗碗槽以及屋顶。

Cat fights. I did not grow up with cats. I learned of them from old Sunday comics with pictures of people throwing shoes out of windows to silence howling cats. How quaint, I thought. Now we throw shoes, books,chairs, bureaus.

猫的争斗。我小时候没养过猫,只在老的周末滑稽剧中见过它们:画面上人们把鞋从窗户中扔出去以使叫唤的猫安静下来。我当时觉得很不可思议。而今我们往外扔鞋子,书本,椅子,书桌。

Sleeplessness. Somebody has to put the beast out at night. “Somebody” always fails. Our sleep is routinely punctuated by the sound of purring and the sensation of fur in our nostrils. Outside he goes. Then he needs to get back in. so it goes throughout the night while the children sleep.

失眠。有人需要在夜里将动物请出家中。“有人”一直办不到。我们的睡梦常常被呼噜声和鼻孔中的猫毛给打断。请他出去了,他还要溜回来。所以,在孩子们入睡之后,就这么你来我往。

 Not to mention shredded upholstery, only the best stuff. 不用说那扯碎的家居装饰布了,还都是好料子。

As I write this, in the early morning quiet before work, the affectionate cat has just come in from the cold. He is purring like an electromagnetic device. He exercises his claws against my sport coat. He strolls up onto the kitchen table. He stands between my face and my notebook. I can’t see a thing, but I can feel his fuzz in my nostrils. Could he possibly want something?

就在上班前宁静的清晨,我写这篇文章时,那可爱的猫咪从寒风中归来了。它惬意的打着呼噜,听起来有如电磁装置。它在我的运动衣上练了会猫爪功,慢步走上餐桌,堵在我和电脑的中间。我什么都看不见,但可以感受到它身上的茸毛摩擦着我的鼻孔。它似乎想要点什么。

Of course he wants something. Food. He will not stop breaking my concentration until I feed him. I feed him. 它当然需要点东西:食物。在我喂饱她之前他是不会消停的。于是我喂了它。

The Stone Age sounds of the Fred Flintstone family emerge suddenly from the living room accompanied by the laughter of the five-year-old who has sneaked downstairs to catch early morning cartoons. Over the noise of the TV, the cockatiel begains his morning song. “Whoop, whoop, whoop,” he shrills contineously, celebrating the sunrise. “ Be quiet,” shouts my daughter, the pet lover. “Be quiet. Be quiet.”

弗雷德·弗林斯通一家那石器时代的声音突然在客厅响起,伴随着我那五岁孩子的笑声。她偷偷的溜下楼去看早间动画。尾鹦鹉开始吊嗓子了,盖过了电视机的声音:“喔咕,喔咕,喔咕。”它不依不饶的尖叫着,庆祝着日出。“安静”,我那身为宠物爱好者的女儿喊叫道:“安静,安静。”

The bird joined our family like this.

这只鸟是这么进入我们家里的。

My twelve-year-old son badgered us for a parrot over a year. He swore he would feed it, change its cage weekly, clip its wings and toenails. I knew these were lies- I was not born yesterday. But I was week. My father had just died, and I felt a sense of loss. A parrot( a conure, it turned out) came home with us from the pet store, named Teddy after my father.

一年多以来,我十二岁大的儿子一直缠着家里,要求给他买一只鹦鹉。他发誓会喂养它,为它每周更换笼子,为它修剪羽毛和趾甲。我知道这不可信—我又不是三岁小孩了。但我并未反对。我父亲刚去世,这让我觉得很失落。一只鹦鹉(锥尾鸟,事实证明)从宠物商店随着我们回到家里,以我父亲的名字命名为泰迪。

That was years ago. Since then a pair of cocktiels joined the party. My son needed to breed them—an educational project, he said, just like the one at school. Instead, the female died after six months of his erratic care. Stiff and dead. We made him bury it, which made him moan unhapply. The male cockatile was more unhappy, howling mournfully night and day for weeks from my son’s room.

那是几年前的事情了。从那时起,一对尾鹦鹉加入了大聚会。我儿子需要饲养它们—一个教育项目,他是这么说的,和学校那个一样。不同的是,雌鸟在他的胡乱照顾下只活了六个月。僵死了。我们让他埋葬小鸟,他却很不快的叨叨。雄鸟更是乐不起来,在我儿子房里日日夜夜地哀鸣了几个礼拜。

Educational? Definitely. Sadness at death knows no bounds. And after a while life goes on .

教育意义?当然。死亡会不可避免地带来伤感,然后过段时间生活照旧。

Rabbits and fiches and turtles and fish. They all ended in the garden.

兔子,麻雀,乌龟和鱼。他们都在花园中结束生命历程。

In some ways gerbils were our most successful pet. I spend weeks in the basement building a miniature Cape Cod cottage for them, with a spiral staircase and a unique hinged roof for easy cage cleaning. It was a masterpiece of gerbilaceous architecture. Unfortunately the cat discovered the access. The gerbiles disappeared or dropped dead, simply scared to death. That’s ok. The kids had lost interest.

从某种程度上说,沙鼠是我们最为成功的宠物。我在地下室花了几周的世界,给他们做了一个小型的渔港小屋,内带螺旋式楼梯和一个为便于打扫而加上的独特铰链屋顶。这是沙鼠建筑中的一件杰作。不幸的是猫儿发现了入口。众沙鼠们要么消失不见,要么被直接当场吓死。无所谓,孩子们一件对其不感兴趣了。

But not me. Gerbils and their fellow pets taught me the meaning of life. With no apologoes to William Blake and his poem “The Tyger,” I offer the following lines:

但我不这么认为,沙鼠们和其他宠物教会了我生活的意义。无需向威廉姆·布莱克和他的诗《虎》致歉,我即作了小诗一首:

GYRBYL, GYRBYL, SCRATCHING LATE

沙鼠沙鼠,抓挠迟暮

Gyrbal, gyrbal, scrathcing late

in the cages of the night,

which of my irresponble children

failed to feed thee once again?

 

Gyrbal, byrbal,I created you,

Brought you home one pleasant birthday.

I brought no intent of slaughter,

Only rules on food and water.

 

Gyrbal,gyrbal, I maintained you,

brought you paper tubes to run through,

built a cage of wood and wire,

let you out when kids were in school.

 

Grybal, now that you’re dead and gone,

in your cage, stiff,cold as stone,

I don’t cry, but this I learn:

to play God is to be alone.

沙鼠沙鼠,抓挠迟暮

俾夜三更,笼中居住

若非犬子,责任未负

遗而忘之,无具米粟

 

沙鼠沙鼠,吾创造汝

欢喜庆生,携君返屋

余绝无意,焉敢宰戮

寥寥数律,供水食物

 

沙鼠沙鼠,吾哺育汝

纸管置之,能奔串乎

线绳碎木,建造小屋

子乃私塾,放汝漫步

 

沙鼠沙鼠,斯兽已逝

躯留笼中,僵直若石

无为哀戚,但心始识

若为天帝,孤寂自知。

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