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放生故事:红色的绑绳

2006-08-22 09:38

  BANDS OF RED

  红色的绑绳

  The great Confucian scholar Ji Xiaolan (1724-1805) recorded this story.

  大儒士纪晓岚(1724-1805)曾经记录过这样的故事。

  A magnificent boat reached the shore. The people there were surprised to see at a window a middle-aged lady, dressed in the splendid attire of a member of an official household, crying her eyes out.

  一艘大船来到了岸边。人们惊奇地看到,在窗边有一位中年妇人正在伤心地哭泣。她衣着华丽,一看就知道是位官宦夫人。

  One of them whispered, "Isn't that the lady of His Honor?"

  有人低声地问道,"那不是府台大人的夫人吗?"

  "Yes it is, but what could possibly happen to make someone in such an exalted position so sad?"

  "没错,可是什么事能让像她这么有地位的人这么难过呢?"

  Her servants on the boat were trying to figure out the same thing.

  船上的仆人们也想知道事情的究竟。

  Finally, her old wet nurse got the story out of her. Her Ladyship had dreamed that her little daughter, who had died so young, had been tied up with red bands and was going to be killed. She cried to her mother to save her. It was so sad that Her Ladyship woke up with a start.

  最后,还是夫人的奶妈问出了事情的原由。原来夫人梦见了夭折的小女儿正被红绑绳捆着要被杀掉。女儿哭着恳求妈妈救她。夫人伤心欲绝,于是就被惊醒了。

  But the dream didn't seem to end there. She was awake, but she thought she could still hear her poor little daughter crying. The sound seemed to be coming from that boat over there.

  但是这个梦似乎并没有就此结束。夫人虽然醒了,可是她感觉自己好像仍然听见可怜的小女儿在哭喊着。声音似乎是从另一只船上传过来的。

  The wet nurse went over to investigate. When she reached the other boat, the first thing she saw was a pool of blood!

  奶妈于是过去查个究竟。当她来到那只船时,首先看到的竟是一滩鲜血。

  A butcher was slaughtering a piglet there. The piglet screeched. When the wet nurse came on board, it struggled and twisted. It was a horrible sight. Its feet were tied with red bands, just like in Her Ladyship's dream!

  一个屠夫正在屠宰一只小猪。那只小猪尖叫着。当奶妈上船时,小猪正在挣扎扭动。景象真是恐怖。小猪的蹄子都被红色的绑绳捆着,和夫人的梦一模一样。

  It was too late to save that piglet, but Her Ladyship bought it anyway, and gave it a decent burial on the shore.

  奶妈来晚了,没能救下那只小猪。不过夫人还是把它买了下来,然后庄重地埋在了岸边。

  When it was all over, there was a lot of talk about this weird event.

  事情虽然结束了,可是有很多关于这件怪事的议论。

  It seems that His Honor's daughter had been sweet and intelligent. She had no bad habits to speak of, but she did love chicken. She couldn't eat a meal without at least one plate of chicken. In one year, at least seven or eight hundred chickens would meet their deaths in order to satisfy her appetite. By the time of her unfortunate death at the tender age of 16, she was responsible for the deaths of thousands of chickens.

  听说府台大人的千金又可爱又聪明。她没有什么坏的习惯,只是特别爱吃鸡。每一顿饭没有鸡她就吃不下。为了满足她的食欲,一年中至少有七、八百只鸡葬身其腹。到小姐十六岁不幸夭折时,已经有上千只鸡为她而死了。

  Who can escape a blood debt that runs into the thousands?

  上千条性命的血债,谁又能逃得了呢?

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