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The Seven Ravens

2006-02-28 00:00

  英汉对照

  There was a man who had seven sons, but he had no daughter, greatly though he longed for one. At last his wife told him that they could again expect a child and, sure enough, when it was born it was a baby girl. There was great rejoicing, but the child was weak and puny, so weak that it had to be christened at once. The father told one of the boys to go quickly to the spring and fetch christening water; the other six ran along with him, and because each of them wanted to be the first to dip the jug into the well, it fell in and sank. So there they stood and didn't know what to do, and none of them dared go home. When they didn't come back their father got impatient and said:“ I'll wager they've been playing some game again and forgotten all about it, the godless brats.” He was afraid the little girl would have to die unbaptized, and in his rage he cried out:“ I wish those boys would all turn into ravens.” He'd scarcely spoken the words when he heard a whirring of wings in the air overhead, looked up and saw seven coal-black ravens flying away.

  The parents were unable now to take back the curse, and yet, grief-stricken as they were at the loss of their seven sons, they look some comfort from their beloved little daughter, who soon got well and strong and became more beautiful with every day that passed. For a long time the little girl didn't even know that she had had brothers, for her parents took care not to mention them, but one day by chance she heard some people talking about her. “The girl's beautiful, of course,” they were saying, “but she's to blame really for her seven brothers' misfortune.” This made her very sad, and she went to her father and mother and asked whether it was true then that she had had brothers and what had become of them. So now it was no longer possible for her parents to conceal from her what had happened, though they told her that it had been God's will and that her birth had only been the innocent occasion for it. But day after day she was conscience-stricken about it, and felt that it was her duty to free her brothers from the spell again. The thought gave her no peace, so in the end she left home secretly and went off into the wide world to try and trace her brothers wherever they might be, and rescue them at whatever cost. She took nothing with her but a ring belonging to her parents to remember them by, a loaf of bread for when she was hungry, a jug of water for when she was thirsty, and a little chair for when she was tired.

  She went on and on, further and further, till she reached the end of the world. There she came to the sun, but it was too hot and terrible and it devoured little children. Quickly she ran away and went to the moon, but it was too cold and it was grisly and evil, and when it noticed the child it sail:“ I smell human flesh.” So she hurried off as fast as she could and came to the stars, and they were friendly and kind to her, and each of them was sitting on its own little chair. But the morning star got up and gave her a little chicken's leg and said:“ If you don't have this chicken's leg, you won't be able to unlock the glass mountain, and inside the glass mountain is where your brothers are.”

  The girl took the leg, wrapped it up well in a piece of cloth, and set off again and went on and on until she came to the glass mountain. The gate was locked, and she tried to take out the chicken's leg; but when she unwrapped the cloth it was empty, and she had lost the gift of the kindly stars. What was she to do now? she wanted to rescue her brothers, but she had no key to the glass mountain. The good little sister took a knife, chopped off one of her little fingers, stuck it in the lock and successfully opened the gate. When she got inside, a little dwarf came to meet her, saying:“ My child, what are you looking for?” “I'm looking for my brothers, the seven ravens,” she answered. The dwarf said:“ My masters the ravens are not at home, but if you would like to wait here till they get back, then come in.” Then the dwarf brought in the ravens' supper on seven little plates and in seven little cups, and the little sister ate a morsel from each plate and drank a sip from each cup; but into the last cup she dropped the ring she had brought with her.

  Suddenly she heard a whirring and fluttering noise in the air, and the dwarf said:“ Here come my lords the ravens flying home.” And they came, asked for food and drink and looked for their plates and cups. Then one after another of them said:“ Who's been eating from my plate? Who's been drinking out of my cup? This must have been a human mouth.” And when the seventh of them had got to the bottom of his cup, the ring rolled out towards him. Then he looked at it and recognized it as a ring belonging to his father and mother, and said:“ My God grant that our little sister is here; if she were, we should be freed from the spell.” The girl was standing listening behind the door, and when she heard him speak this wish she stepped out, and as she did so the ravens recovered their human shape. And they hugged and kissed each other and went happily home.

  I. Translation for Reference(参考译文)

  七只乌鸦

  有个人,他有七个儿子,他很希望有个女儿,可是怎么盼也没有。好不容易,妻子又怀孕了。生下来一看,果然是个女孩。他们非常高兴。但是孩子太小,又非常虚弱,非得马上急救洗礼不可。父亲打发一个男孩立即到井台去打洗礼水,其余六个也跟着去了。在井台旁,他们都争着先打水,结果罐子掉进井里,沉了下去。他们不知道该怎么办才好,都真楞楞地站在那儿,谁也不敢回家了。父亲在家里等得不耐烦了,就说:“我敢说这些无法无天的孩子一定是贪玩,把打水的事给忘了。”他担心女孩子不经洗礼会死,就生气地大声喊起来:“淘气鬼,都变成乌鸦才好呢!”这话刚出口,就听到头顶有“吧哒吧哒”鸟儿拍打翅膀的声音。他抬头一看,只见空中有七只漆黑漆黑的乌鸦飞过去了。

  这咒语再也不能收回了,父母失去了七个儿子,心里非常悲伤,可是有了个可爱的女儿,看到她很快地结实起来,长得一天比一天漂亮,他们心里多少还得到一些安慰。女孩子一点也不知道哥哥们的事,父母也倍加小心,不提此事。可是,有一天她偶然听到人们议论说:“那女孩子,别看长得漂亮,她七个哥哥就是因为她才倒霉的。”女孩子非常难过,就去问父母:“我有哥哥吗?要是有,他们都到哪里去了?”这样,父母再也瞒不住了,只好说:“那是老天爷的安排啊!你恰巧生在那个时候。这可不是你的罪过!”尽管如此,女孩子每天仍感到痛苦。她想,她应该设法救哥哥们,使他们摆脱咒语。她再也不能平静了,于是,她悄悄地从家里溜出来,下决心不管遇到什么困难,不管到哪里,也得找到他们。她从家里只带了一只小戒指,是父母给她作纪念的;一块面包,是肚子饿的时候吃的;一壶水,是渴的时候喝的;还有一只小凳子,是疲乏的时候坐着用的。

  小女孩上路了,她走啊走,走得远远直到天边。她走到太阳这里来。太阳非常热,又太可怕了,它要把小孩子大口大口地吃掉。她急忙跑开,又来到月亮这儿。可是,月亮太冷了,还特别残忍,心肠歹毒,一发觉孩子来了就说:“有人肉味了!”于是小女孩飞快地逃跑了。她来到星星这里。星星友好亲切,一个个都坐在各自的椅子上。一颗启明星站起来,给她一个小鸡腿说:“你的七个哥哥,都住在玻璃山上。你要是没有这只小鸡腿,就打不开那玻璃山的大门。”

  小女孩接过鸡腿,小心翼翼地包在小布片里,又往前走。走啊走,好不容易走到了玻璃上。山门紧琐着。她想拿出小鸡腿来,可是,打开小布包一看,空空的。她把好心的星星的礼物弄丢了。怎么办才好呢?她想救出哥哥们,可是没有玻璃山的钥匙了。好心的小妹妹,拿出小刀,割下一个手指头,插进门里去,门一下子就打开了。她走进去,有一个小矮人儿过来问:“我的孩子,你找谁?”“我找我的哥哥——变成七只乌鸦的哥哥们,”小女孩回答说。“我的主人——乌鸦都不在家,你要是等他们回家,就请进来吧!”小矮人儿或。然后,他端近来七个小盘子和七个小酒杯,里面装着七只乌鸦吃的东西。小妹妹把每一个小盘子里的东西都吃一点儿,把每一个酒杯里的酒都喝一口。最后,她在最后边的小酒杯里放进了她带来的小戒指。

  突然,她听到鸟儿拍打翅膀的沙沙响。小矮人儿说:“我的主人们飞回来了!”乌鸦飞来了,找到了他们的小盘子和小酒杯,又要吃的,又要喝的。乌鸦一个接一个地说:“谁吃了我盘子里的东西了?谁喝我小酒杯里的酒了?”“这一定是人嘴吃的!”第七只乌鸦喝酒喝到杯底的时候,小戒指滚到他嘴边来。一看见这只戒指,他明白了:这是爸爸和妈妈的戒指啊。他说:“上帝保佑我们,如果我们的小妹妹来了,我们可就得救了!”小妹妹站在门后,听到他的祝愿就走了出来。于是,七只乌鸦都恢复了人形,他们高兴地互相拥抱亲吻,然后回家去了。

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