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minister/['ministə]/ n. 部长, 牧师, 公使 vi. 服侍, 救助, 主持宗教...

披着羊皮的狼

本文属阅读资料
生活总是充满迷人的时刻,我们所在乎的人、动物常常属于其中。这些时刻被赋予在这篇文章中,也令我们的人生变成一份特殊的礼物。
三条辣椒
In Wolf’s Clothing
By Kathy Pippig Harris
披着狼皮的羊
何勇刚 译


They sat on the back porch as morning breathed a frosty zephyr across the 1)weathered 2)planking. (1)The cold air stung the man’s work and time-worn hands, but he didn’t notice. He reached out and placed his hand on his best friend’s shoulder. Danni turned a smiling face to the man.
They shared their breakfast here, watching the stars blink out as the sun spread its 3)amber 4)mantle over the meadows and hills. In the fields, sheep 5)shuffled closer together. When hungry lambs called out to their mothers their breaths puffed out in misty 6)plumes.
Danni had been a gift from Aaron’s son, Frank. She was a beautiful 7)chestnut, white, and smoky-gray coated Australian Shepherd and so smart Aaron felt a great pride for her. He had grown to deeply love his ever-happy companion.
After he brought Danni to the 8)ranch, (2)Frank purchased a handsome male Australian Shepherd and bred him to Danni. She was due to deliver soon.
In the glow of dawn, he saw the wolf, low on the trail, watching them. It was the same every morning. Several lambs had gone missing and Aaron suspected wolves were to blame. Aaron began carrying a rifle whenever he was out with the sheep. He was too old to react fast enough to ward off a wolf attack and Danni was not as quick to move out due to her pregnancy.
Her 9)cumbersome weight 10)notwithstanding, Danni was always eager to make her daily rounds in the fields. She was protective of all in her charge, but with the lambs she was especially 11)vigilant.
After her work was done, Danni would head out to the river on the back end of the property, near the woods. Aaron wondered what she did there. Once, curious to find out, he had followed her. When Danni spotted him she turned around and ran back to the ranch. He found her on the porch smiling. Aaron 12)chuckled, figured he wasn’t meant to know.
13)Lush grass blanketed the banks under scrub oak, and 14)lichen covered rocks of all sizes 15)peppered the fields around the stream—This was Danni’s place. She would leave in the late afternoon, but not until Aaron gave her permission with a nod. Danni then 16)trotted off with a grin, her body 17)wiggling excitedly as she trotted down the path that took her to the river.
Aaron was out with the flock. The sheep were 18)contentedly 19)grazing and Aaron took a deep breath of the 20)loamy scented air. Sunlight splintered on the horizon as dusk settled into the hills. Over the backs of his sheep Aaron’s gaze searched for Danni. He found her 21)weaving around shrubs and boulders. She neared the 22)crest of a hillock and was soon out of sight. It was then that Aaron noticed movement on the same path. 23)Threading its way more quickly than Danni was able, the wolf followed.
Aaron raised his rifle, set his aim on the gray animal and squeezed the trigger. The wolf cried out in pain and stumbled. Whimpering, the wolf reeled in circles, then fell and did not get up.
That night Aaron was wide awake. He looked down at the end of the bed. Danni’s blanket was empty and cold. She had not returned. Danni had shared his bed every night. Her warm body was comforting and he fell asleep listening to the gentle soughing of her breath. Felt the reassurance of her presence from the weight of her against his ankles and feet.
He stared out into the shadows of his bedroom. Moonlight dropped a sheet of silver on the floor beneath the bedroom window. But Aaron didn’t notice. Tears obscured his vision. Grief and loneliness bruised his spirit.
The next morning he searched the hills for her. He found her body amidst tall grass. He reached out and touched her shoulder. All that had been embodied in the broken body below him—was gone. As he bent down to gather her up, deep furrowed wounds between her belly and flank caught his eye. Claw marks, from a big cat, most likely a cougar.
Strength left him and he collapsed next to his beloved friend. She had been ravaged, her belly torn open. The pups, so close to delivery, were gone. He lifted his hands up, clasped them at the back of his neck, dropped his head and wept.
He carried her home, wrapped her in her blanket from the bed and buried her out past the back porch.
Two months passed. One morning Aaron found a pup on the porch’s weathered planking. The sleepy pup 24)tilted his head and chuffed a welcome. As Aaron bent down to get a better look he heard the rustling of an animal in the nearby brush.
A wolf, and close enough to discern its sex—a female. (3)She rocked back on her hind legs and pivoted to turn. Her right front leg was withered and she held it up as she trotted away. In the gray shadows of dawn he watched as she ribboned her way up the path that crested the hillock. The path that ran to the river. As she passed a rocky ledge, two wolf pups sprang out from their hiding place, fast on their mother’s heels.
The pups looked to be the same age as the pup on his porch. And while they displayed all the physical traits of a wolf, the little one at his feet was pure Australian Shepherd and looked just like his mother, Danni.
He had been wrong about the wolf. She hadn’t studied them from the hill with 25)malice. She had not scanned the ranch to scope out a meal, but to look for her friend. She had been waiting for Danni, to come and play. In the two months following Danni’s death, he had lost 3 adult sheep. But not to the female who had just left him, for she was too crippled now to bring down a full grown sheep.
He turned back to the pup. As the sun spread its shimmering cloak, a golden ray alit in the pup’s blue eyes. He opened his mouth and smiled up at Aaron. Aaron cast one last look in the direction of the hills and whispered, “A sheep...” He turned back to the pup, pulled him up, and finished, “in wolf’s clothing.”
In the not too distant future. When the pup had grown lanky and 26)frolicsome—the wolf would return to the mountainside. She would look to see if a playmate awaited her there, keeping company with the old man.


清晨的寒风吹过风化的地板,此刻他们正坐在后面的门廊上。这寒冷的天气使他那双终年劳作、饱经风霜的手也感觉刺痛,但他没在意。他伸出手放在他的挚友肩上,丹尼转过脸来朝他微笑。
他们在这里分享了早餐,看着星星一闪一闪的消失在天幕下,太阳将琥珀色的斗篷披在牧场和山丘上。在牧场上,绵羊慢慢地越靠越近。饥肠辘辘的羊羔朝着它们的母亲叫唤,它们呼出的空气化成雾蒙蒙的缕缕青烟。
丹尼是艾伦的儿子弗兰克送给他的礼物。它是一只漂亮的栗黄色、夹杂白色和烟灰色的澳大利亚牧羊犬。它聪明过人,艾伦为之深感自豪,他开始深深地喜欢上了这个成天快快乐乐的伙伴。
把丹尼带到牧场后,弗兰克买了一只英俊的雄性澳大利亚牧羊犬给丹尼配种。它很快就要生了。
透过黎明的晨光,他看见一只狼正猫着身子看着他们。每天早上都是这样。都丢了几只羔羊了,艾伦怀疑是狼干的。现在,每次放羊他都扛着步枪。他年纪大了,不能快速反应击退狼的进攻,因为怀孕,丹尼也无法快速行动。
尽管丹尼体态笨重,它还是渴望着开始牧场每天的日常巡逻。它保护它负责的一切,尤其是那些羔羊,它特别警惕地守护着。
它的活干完后,丹尼会走向这块牧场后面的小河,就在树林附近。艾伦一直很奇怪,它到那里去干什么。一次出于好奇,他跟着它想查出缘由。丹尼一发现他,马上转身跑回了牧场。他看见它在门廊上笑,艾伦也轻声笑了起来,意思是他无意知道它要去干嘛。
郁郁葱葱的草就像地毯一样铺满冬青叶栎下面的河岸,各种尺寸的岩石散布在河流四周的牧场上,岩石上布满了青苔——这就是丹尼的地盘。它会在下午晚些时候离开,但事先会经过艾伦点头同意。然后,它会咧着嘴微笑地沿着通往小河的小径小跑,它的身体也一路兴奋地摆动。
艾伦把羊群放到牧场上,羊群正在安心地啃着草,艾伦深深地吸入一口饱含土壤芬芳的空气。阳光零落地撒在天际,暮色爬上了山丘。艾伦凝视着羊群背后,搜寻丹尼的身影。他看见它在灌木丛和大圆石间穿梭。它走近一座小山丘的顶部,很快就不见了踪影。就在那时,艾伦注意到还是那条道上有什么东西在动。它正以比丹尼更快的速度一路蜿蜒前进,原来是狼跟了去。
艾伦举起步枪,瞄准那只灰色的动物,扣下扳机。狼痛苦的叫了起来,跌倒在地。这只狼呜咽地叫着,缩成一团,后来倒在地上,没有爬起来。
当晚,艾伦根本没睡。他看着床的那头,丹尼的毯子空着、冰凉,它没有回来。丹尼每晚都和他睡一张床。它温暖的身体让他觉着很安慰,他习惯听着它轻柔的呼吸声入睡。只有感觉到它枕着自己的脚踝和脚的重量,他才安心。
他盯着卧室里的黑影。月光透过卧室窗户在地板上抹上一片银色,但艾伦没有注意到这些。泪水模糊了他的双眼,悲哀和孤独让他的精神倍受打击。
第二天早上,他找遍了所有的山丘。在高高的草丛中,他发现了它的遗体。他伸出手抚摸着它的肩膀。艾伦身下,丹尼破碎的体内所有内脏——都不见了。当丹尼弯下腰,把它的身体拢在一起时,它腹部和腰部深深的沟形伤口引起了他的注意。留下的爪印,源自大型猫科动物,很可能是一只美洲狮。
他没了力气,瘫倒在亲爱的朋友身旁。它惨遭蹂躏,腹部被撕开,即将出生的小狗崽没了踪影。他抬起手,紧紧抱着脖子,低头哭了起来。
他把它带回家,从床上拿起它平时盖的毯子把它包好,将它安葬在后面门廊的不远处。
两个月过去了。一天早上,艾伦在门廊风化的地板上发现一只小狗崽。昏昏欲睡的小狗斜着头,呜呜地叫着表示欢迎。艾伦弯下腰,想好好看看,这时他听见附近的灌木丛中传来一种动物的沙沙声。
一匹狼,它与他的距离是这么近,以至于艾伦足以辨别它的性别——一只母狼。它用后腿支撑着摇晃的身体,然后慢慢顺着后腿转过身去。它的右前腿萎缩了,它把右前腿缩了起来,然后离开了。在黎明的灰色影子中,他看见它朝着那条直到山丘顶部的小径一拐一拐地走着。那条小径一直通往小河。当它经过一个石坡时,两只小狼崽从隐蔽处跳出来,很快跟上它们母亲的脚步。
小狼崽看起来和门廊上的小狗崽一般年纪。然而,狼崽们满身狼的特征,而脚下的小狗崽却是纯种的澳大利亚牧羊犬,看起来和她的母亲丹尼一个样。
他一直错怪了这匹狼。它在山丘那头端详他们,并没有恶意。它审视牧场也不是为了寻找大餐,而是寻找它的朋友。它一直在等丹尼来,好一起玩。在丹尼死后的两个月,他丢了三只成年的绵羊。但并非刚走的母狼所为,因为它瘸了,现在已经无法打倒一只成年的绵羊。
他转过身看着小狗崽。太阳张开它闪闪发光的斗篷,金色的光线在小狗崽的蓝眼睛里点燃,它张开嘴朝艾伦笑。艾伦朝山丘的方向望了最后一眼,低声说道:“一只羊……”他转身对着小狗崽,把它抱起来,把后面的话说完,“披着狼皮。”
在不远的将来,当小狗崽长到可以四处奔跑嬉戏的时候——狼会回到山坡。它会来看看是否有个玩伴在那里等着它,陪着那位老人。




1) weathered [5weTEd] adj. 风化的,受风雨侵蚀的
2) planking [5plANkiN] n. 板材,地板
3) amber [5AmbE] adj. 琥珀色的,棕黄色的
4) mantle [5mAntl] n. 斗蓬, 覆盖物
5) shuffle [5FQfl] v. 拖曳,慢吞吞地走
6) plume [plu:m] n. 羽毛,升上空中的羽状物
7) chestnut [5tFestnQt] n. 栗黄色
8) ranch [rAntF] n. 大牧场
9) cumbersome [5kQmbEsEm] adj. 笨重的
10) notwithstanding [7nCtwiW5stAndiN] adv. 虽然, 尽管
11) vigilant [5vidVilEnt] adj. 警惕着的, 警醒的
12) chuckle [5tFQkl] v. 低声轻笑,轻声发笑
13) lush [lQF] adj. 葱翠的
14) lichen [5laikEn] n. [植]青苔
15) pepper [5pepE] v. 自由散落,散布
16) trot [trCt] v. (使)小跑,疾走
17) wiggle [5wi^l] v. 摆动
18) contentedly [kEn5tentidli] adv. 满足地, 安心地
19) graze [^reiz] v. 放牧, 吃草
20) loamy [`lEJmi] adj. 肥沃的
21) weave [wi:v] v. 迂回行进
22) crest [krest] n. 顶部,顶峰
23) thread [Wred] v. 蜿蜒前进
24) tilt [tilt] v. (使)倾斜,(使)翘起
25) malice [5mAlis] n. 恶意, 怨恨
26) frolicsome [5frCliksEm] adj. 嬉戏的,嬉闹的




温馨提示
(1) The cold air stung the man’s work and time-worn hands, but he didn’t notice.
此处的work其实是和time-worn一起修饰hand的,因此不能翻译为“这个人的工作”,而应该是“那双终年劳作、饱经风霜的手”。
(2) …Frank purchased a handsome male Australian Shepherd and bred him to Danni.
此处的bred是breed的过去式,是“繁殖”的意思。
(3) She rocked back on her hind legs and pivoted to turn.
此处比较难翻译的是rock和pivot两个词。rock在这里是动词“摇动”的意思,为了能更好地表达这句话的意思,我们将其翻译成了“它用后腿支撑着摇晃的身体”。而后半句,如果直接翻译成“然后它转过身”就浪费pivot这个词了,而且也错过了文章的细节描写。pivot作动词时原义为“在枢轴上转动”,在文中,我们不可能也用这个原义,如果联系上下文,我们可以知道,这匹狼的后前腿被艾伦一枪打瘸了,其实它是靠后腿才能转身的,所以我们把后半句意译为“然后慢慢顺着右腿转过身去”。
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