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The Three Army-surgeons

2006-02-28 00:00

  There were once three army-surgeons who reckoned that they had nothing more to learn about the art of surgery. They were on their travels., and stopped for the night at an inn. The landlord asked them where they had come from and where they were going, and they answered, “We're on our travels and living by our skill.” “Well, just show me what you do,” said the landlord. The first said he would cut off his hand and put it back on again next morning and make it heal; the second said he would tear out his heart and put it back in again next morning so that it would heal; the third said he would gouge out his eyes, and they too would heal when he replaced them next morning. “If you can do that,” said the landlord, “then you've nothing more to learn.” Now they had with them an ointment which was able to close and heal any wound they smeared it on, and they always carried the flask containing it wherever they went. So they cut from their bodies the hand and the heart and the eyes as they had said they would, put them all together on a plate and gave it to the landlord; and the landlord gave it to a maidservant, telling her to put it aside in the larder and keep it carefully. But this maidservant secretly had a sweetheart who was a soldier. So when the landlord and the three surgeons and everyone else in the house were asleep, the soldier came and asked her for something to eat. So the girl opened the larder and brought in something from it, and she was so much in love with him that she forgot to close the larder door. she sat down with her sweetheart at the table and they had a good chat, but as she sat there without a care in the world the cat came creeping in, found the larder open, snatched the hand and the heart and the eyes that belonged to the three surgeons and made off with them. So when the soldier had finished eating and the girl got up to clear away the dishes and lock the larder, she saw at once that the plate the landlord had given her to look after was empty. She took fright and said to her young man: “Oh, heaven save me, what am I to do? The hand's gone, and the heart and the eyes are gone, whatever will happen to me tomorrow morning!” “Stop crying,” he said, “I'll get you out of this. There's a thief hanging on the gallows out there, and I'll cut his hand off; which hand was it?” “The right hand.” So the girl gave him a sharp knife and he went outside, cut the poor sinner's right hand off and brought it in. Then he seized the cat and gouged out its eyes; now all that was needed was the heart. “Haven't you just slaughtered some pigs and put their carcasses in the cellar?” “Yes,” said the girl, “Well, that's all right then,” said the soldier, and he went down to the cellar and came back with a pig's heart. The maid put all the things together on a plate and left it in the larder: then her sweetheart took his leave and she went to bed thinking all was well.

  When the three surgeons got up next morning, they told the maid to fetch them the plate with the hand and the heart and the eyes. So she fetched it out of the cupboard, and the first surgeon held the thief's hand in place and smeared the join with his ointment, whereupon the hand at once grew back on to his arm. The second took the cat's eyes and fitted them into his head, and the third put the pig's heart in place. The landlord stood and watched their skill with admiration, saying that he had never seen such a thing in his life and that he would praise and recommend them to all and sundry. Then they paid their bill and travelled on.

  As they were walking along, the one who had the pig's heart kept on leaving the others; every time they passed some corner he would trot over to it and root around in it like a pig. The other two tried to hold him back by the coat tails, but it was no good, he kept running off to wherever the filth was thickest on the ground. The second of them also began to behave strangely, rubbing his eyes and saying to the other: “My dear fellow, what's the matter with me? These aren't my eyes, I can't see a thing, for heaven's sake one of you hive me your arm or I'll fall.” And they struggled on till evening, when they came to another inn. They all went into the parlor, and there in one corner a rich gentleman was sitting at the table counting money. The surgeon with the thief's hand sidled round behind him, his arm twitched a few times and finally, when the gentleman had his back turned, he reached out and snatched a handful of coins from the pile. One of the others saw this and said: “My dear fellow, what are you doing? It's wrong to steal, you ought to be ashamed.” “Yes, but I can't stop myself,” said his friend. “My hand keeps twitching and just has to help itself whether I want to or not.” Then they went to bed, and as they lay there it was so dark that you couldn't have seen your hand in front of your face. Suddenly the one with the cat's eyes woke up, wakened the others and said: “My dear friends, look at this, do you see all these white mice running about?” The other two sat up in bed but couldn't see a thing. Then he said: “There's something wrong with us: we didn't back our own parts, that landlord cheated us and we must go back to him.” So next morning they set off back and told the landlord that their right organs hadn't been returned to them: one of them had a thief's hand, the second cat's eyes and the third a pig's heart. The landlord said that it must be the maid's fault and was going to call her, but when the girl had seen the three surgeons returning she had fled through the back door, and she didn't reappear. Then the three of them told the landlord that unless he paid them a great deal of money they'd make a bonfire of his house; so he gave them all he had and all he could raise, and off they went with it. It was enough to keep them for the rest of their lives, but they'd still rather have had their own organs back.

  I. Translation for Reference(参考译文)

  三个军医

  从前,有三个自以为医术都学到家了的军医在各地旅行。一天晚上,他们来到一家旅店。旅店老板问他们从哪里来,到哪里去?他们回答说:“我们靠本领,到各处旅行。”“你们有什么本领,让我开开眼界好吗?”旅店老板说。于是,第一个军医说,他可以把自己的手砍下来,明天早晨再接好;第二个军医说,他可以把自己的心挖出来,明天早晨再放回去;第三个军医说,他可以把自己的两只眼睛全剜出来,明天早晨再装好。“要是真能这样的话,”老板说,“那你们的本领可就真到家了!”原来,三个军医有一种药膏,只要抹上去,伤口就会愈合,他们总是随身带着那装药的小瓶子。他们按自己说的那样,把手,心,眼睛从身上割下来,一起装在一个盘子里,交给旅店老板。旅店老板又把盘子给女佣人,叫她把盘子放在柜厨里小心保管。女佣人私下与一个士兵相恋。就在旅店老板,三个军医和屋里的人们都睡着了的时候,那个士兵来了,他向她要点东西吃。于是,女佣人把柜厨打开,给他拿东西吃。她对他情意绵绵,竟忘了关上柜厨的门。她与情人坐在床边,没完没了地聊了起来,把这世上任何事情都抛到了脑后,可就在这时候,猫悄悄地溜进来了,看到柜厨的门敞着,于是叼起三个军医的手,心,眼睛跑了。那个兵吃完东西以后,女佣人开始收拾碗筷,当她去关橱门的时候,发现老板让她看管的那只盘子空了。她吓了一跳,对她的情人说:“天啊!我该怎么办呢?手没了!心和眼睛也没了!明天早晨我可怎么交差呀!”士兵说:“别担心!我想办法帮你渡过难关。外面绞刑架上吊着一个小偷。我去把他的手切下来。哪只手呢?”“右手!”女佣人说着,交给士兵一把锋利的菜刀。士兵出去把那个可怜的犯人的右手砍下来,交给了女佣人。然后,他们又把猫抓住,把猫的眼睛剜出来。现在只缺个心了。“你们不是刚杀了几头猪,把猪肉放在地下室里了吗?”“嗯,是啊!”女佣人说。“这就好了!”那个兵说着,就下到地下室里去,把猪心拿上来。女佣人把这三样东西一起放在盘子上,送进柜厨里。她的情人告别走了,女佣人也放心地去睡觉了。

  第二天早上,三个军医起来,叫女佣人把那装着手,心和眼睛的盘子拿过来。女佣人打开柜厨,把泡子拿出来。第一个军医把小偷的手接上又抹上药膏,马上手就长在他胳膊上了。第二个军医把猫眼睛装在眼窝里。第三个军医把猪心装进了胸膛。旅店老板站在他们身边,非常佩服他们高强的本领,说他有生以来还从来没见过这样的事情呢。他还说,遇见别人,一定好好宣扬他们。于是,他们三个人缴了店钱,又继续旅行去了。

  三个军医往前走啊走,安上猪心的军医总不和另外两个军医一起走。遇到个角落,他就跑过去,像头猪似的,用鼻子到处闻。另外的两个人不管怎么拉他的衣服,都一点儿也不顶用。他总是挣开,跑到那最肮脏的地方去。第二个军医的行为也很奇怪。他揉着眼睛,对另外一个军医说:“伙计,这是怎么的了?这不是我的眼睛啊!我怎么什么也看不见了?你们谁来扶我一下,别让我摔跟头!”就这样,他们三个人非常困难地往前走,晚上,他们走进另一家旅店。刚一进大厅,就看到有一个财主正坐在角落的饭桌数钱呢。安上小偷手的军医,在财主身边走过来,走过去,动了几回胳膊。就在财主转身之机,他把手伸到钱堆去,抓了一大把钱出来。另一个军医看见了说:“伙计,你干什么?不能偷东西呀!真不知羞耻!”安上小偷手的军医说:“唉!我无法控制自己,我的心不想偷,可手却不听指挥,非要抓钱不可!”后来,他们睡觉去了。躺下时天已漆黑了,伸手不见五指。可是那安上猫眼睛的军医突然醒了,喊那两个军医起来:“老兄,快看啊!有好多老鼠在那里乱跑呢,看见了吗?”另外两个军医起身看了看,什么也没看见。安上猫眼睛的军医说:“我们都变了!旅店老板没有把我们的手,心和眼睛还给我们!我们得回去向他要!他欺骗了我们!”第二天早晨,他们三个人起身到第一次住宿的旅店老板那里去,说他们没有得到自己的手,心和眼睛。一个人得的是小偷的手,一个人得的是猫的眼睛,另一个得的是猪的心。老板说,这一定是女佣人的错。于是,要叫她来。但是女佣人看到他们三人回来,早就从后门逃跑了,再也没有回来。于是三个军医要老板拿出很多钱来,要不就点火烧房子。老板把现钱和能收上来的钱都拿出来让他们带走了。这些钱虽然够他们用一辈子的,可是他们宁愿讨回自己的手,心和眼睛啊!

  II. Exercise Choose the correct answer to the following questions.

  1)。 What did the three surgeons think of themselves?

  A) They thought they know nothing about the art of surgery.


  B) They thought they had nothing to learn about the art of surgery.

  C) They thought they hadn't known enough to be great surgeons.

  D) They thought they just knew a little about the art of surgery.

  2)。 How could the surgeons replace their hand, heart and eyes and make them heal?

  A) They were so great surgeons that they could operate on themselves.

  B) They asked a mysterious surgeon to help them.

  C) They had a kind of medicine to take.

  D) The had a kind of ointment to smear on the wound.

  3)。 How did the hand, heart and eyes get lost?

  A) The maidservant didn't close the larder door from beginning.

  B) The soldier stole them without being noticed by the maidservant.

  C) A dog snatched them when the maidservant sat there without a care in the world and with the larder door open.

  D) A cat snatched them when the maidservant sat there without a care in the world and with the larder door open.

  4)。 What kinds of organs did the maidservant and the soldier change?

  A) The thief's left hand, the cat's eyes and the pig's heart.

  B) The thief's left hand, the dog's eyes and the pig's heart.

  C) The thief's right hand, the cat's eyes and the pig's heart.

  D) The thief's right hand, the dog's eyes and the pig's heart.

  5)。 Which word has the same meaning with the word “cupboard” which is in the third paragraph?

  A) larder

  B) cup

  C) board

  D) box

  6)。 What's wrong with the one who had the cat's eyes?

  A) He kept on leaving the others when they were walking alone.

  B) He couldn't see anything in the day but see clearly at night.

  C) He couldn't see anything at night but see clearly in the day.

  D) He couldn't see anything entirely.

  7)。 Which statement is not right?

  A) The three surgeons were very modest.

  B) In the evening, they were aware that they were cheated.

  C) The maidservant fled away and didn't reappear.

  D) The landlord gave the three surgeons all his money at last.

  III. New Words and Expressions 生词和词组

  ointment n. 软膏

  gallows n. 绞台

  sinner n. 罪人

  organ n. 器官

  Key to Exercise(练习答案)

  1:B 2:D 3:D 4:C 5:A 6:B 7:A

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