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Bunbury/['bʌnbəri]/ vi.作观光旅行;找观光旅行(或逃避责任)的借口 n.观光...

失窃的孩子 The stolen Child C H A P T E R 1

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Dont call me a fairy. We dont like to be called fairies anymore. Once upon a time, fairy was a perfectly acceptable catchall for a variety of creatures, but now it has taken on too many associations. Etymologically speaking, a fairy is something quite particular, related in kind to the na-iads, or water nymphs, and while of the genus, we are sui generis. The word fairy is drawn from fay (Old French fee), which itself comes from the Latin Fata, the goddess of fate. The fay lived in groups called the faerie, between the heavenly and earthly realms.

别叫我仙灵。我们已经不喜欢被叫做仙灵了。曾几何时,“仙灵”大可涵盖各种形形色色的生物,但如今它已染上过多的联想色彩。从词源学上看,仙灵是一种非常特别的、与水泉女神或水仙女有关的生物,但在种属上,我们是自成体系的。仙灵(fairy)这个词来自于古法语fay(现代法语则是fee),而fay又起源于拉丁词Fata,即命运女神。fay合群而居就称为faerie,它们生活在天国和人世之间 。

There exist in this world a range of sublunary spirits that carminibus coelo possunt deducere lunam, and they have been divided since ancient times into six kinds: fiery, aerial, terrestrial, watery, subterranean, and the whole class of fair-ies and nymphs. Of the sprites of fire, water, and air, I know next to nothing. But the terrestrial and underground devils I know all too well, and of these, there is infinite variety and attendant myth about their behavior, custom, and culture. Known around the world by many different names—Lares, genii, fauns, satyrs, foliots, Robin Goodfellows, pucks, leprechauns, pukas, sidhe, trolls—the few that remain live hidden in the woods and are rarely seen or encountered by human beings. If you must give me a name, call me hobgob-lin.

世上有一群人间精灵,carminibus coelo possunt deducere lunam 。它们早在远古时代就分成了六类:火精、气精、地精、水精、土精,以及全体仙灵和水仙女。我对火精、水精和气精近乎一无所知,但地精和土精我却十分熟悉。它们的种类数不胜数,与之相伴的还有大量关于它们行为、习俗和文化的传说。它们在世界各地的叫法不同——罗马家庭守护神、魔仆、农牧神、森林神、妖怪、罗宾的好伙计、捣蛋鬼、矮妖、凯尔特“普卡”、爱尔兰鬼灵、北欧小矮人——还有极少数仍然隐居在树林中,人类几乎看不到也碰不到它们。如果你非得给我取名,就叫我小妖精吧。

Or better yet, I am a changeling—a word that describes within its own name what we are bound and intended to do. We kidnap a human child and replace him or her with one of our own. The hobgoblin becomes the child, and the child becomes a hobgoblin. Not any boy or girl will do, but only those rare souls baffled by their young lives or attuned to the weeping troubles of this world. The changelings select carefully, for such opportunities might come along only once a decade or so. A child who becomes part of our soci-ety might have to wait a century before his turn in the cycle arrives, when he can become a changeling and reenter the human world.

更好的说法是,我是一个换生灵——顾名思义,这个词指明了我们要做的事和想做的事。我们绑架一个人类小孩,把他或她与我们其中一个交换。换生灵变成了小孩,小孩变成了换生灵。并非任何一个男童或女童都能交换,只有那些少之又少的、对他们年幼的生命感到困扰,或与世上的悲愁心有戚戚的才有可能。换生灵挑选对象很仔细,因为这种机会大概十年左右才有一次。成为我们中间一分子的那个孩子,或许要等上一个世纪才能轮到他换生,并再次进入人类世界。

Preparation is tedious, involving close surveillance of the child, and of his friends and family. This must be done unobserved, of course, and its best to select the child before he begins school, because it becomes more compli-cated by then, having to memorize and process a great deal of information beyond the intimate family, and being able to mimic his personality and his-tory as clearly as mirroring his physique and features. Infants are the easiest, but caring for them is a problem for the changelings. Age six or seven is best. Anyone much older is bound to have a more highly developed sense of self. No matter how old or young, the object is to deceive the parents into think-ing that this changeling is actually their child. More easily done than most people imagine.

准备工作冗长乏味。需要密切监视这个小孩,还有他的朋友和家人。当然,这都得不露痕迹。选择孩子的最佳年龄是在他上学之前,因为在那之后,一切都复杂起来。孩子会需要去记忆和处理除他亲密家人以外的大量信息,还要像在镜子里照见形体和容貌那样,一清二楚地将自己的性格和经历表现出来。婴儿是最好办的了,可对换生灵来说,照料他们是一桩难事。六七岁就恰到好处。超过这个年龄,自我意识必定会发展得更为充分。而无论他们年龄大小,我们的目标是骗过孩子的父母,让他们相信换生灵的的确确是他们的亲骨肉。这其实比大多数人想像的要容易。

No, the difficulty lies not in assuming a childs history but in the painful physical act of the change itself. First, start with the bones and skin, stretching until one shudders and nearly snaps into the right size and body shape. Then the others begin work on ones new head and face, which require the skills of a sculptor. Theres considerable pushing and pulling at the cartilage, as if the skull were a soft wad of clay or taffy, and then the malicious business with the teeth, the removal of the hair, and the tedious re-weaving. The entire process occurs without a gram of painkiller, although a few imbibe a noxious alcohol made from the fermented mash of acorns. A nasty undertaking, but well worth it, although I could do without the rather complicated rearrangement of the genitals. In the end, one is an exact copy of a child. Thirty years ago, in 1949, I was a changeling who became a human again.

不,困难不在于延续孩子的经历,而在交换本身,那是种痛苦的肢体行为。首先,从骨骼和皮肤开始,把自己拉伸成合适的大小和体型,拉到浑身颤抖,差点儿崩断。然后,其他人会在他新的头面上下功夫,这需要雕刻家的技艺。软组织上会有大幅度的推拉动作,好像头颅里填充的是黏土或软糖。接着是牙齿的事,还要除去头发,再慢慢地编织成新的,这些事情都极为讨厌。整个过程中,一粒止痛药都没有,虽然有几个换生灵会喝一种用橡树汁发酵而成的酒,但这种酒对身体有害。这种事很难受,但很值,好在我不需要重塑生殖器,那可相当复杂。最后,换生灵就和孩子一模一样了。三十年前,我就从一个换生灵重新变成了人类。

I changed lives with Henry Day, a boy born on a farm outside of town.

On a late summers afternoon, when he was seven, Henry ran away from home and hid in a hollow chestnut tree. Our changeling spies followed him and raised the alarm, and I transformed myself into his perfect facsimile. We grabbed him, and I slipped into the hollowed space to switch my life for his. When the search party found me that night, they were happy, relieved, and proud—not angry, as I had expected. "Henry," a red-haired man in a firemans suit said to me as I pretended to sleep in the hiding place. I opened my eyes and gave him a bright smile. The man wrapped me in a thin blanket and carried me out of the woods to a paved road, where a fire truck stood waiting, its red light pulsing like a heartbeat. The firemen took me home to Henrys parents, to my new father and mother. As we drove along the road that night, I kept thinking that if that first test could be passed, the world would once again be mine.

我和亨利?戴交换了生活。他是个出生在镇外农场上的男孩。一个仲夏的午后,七岁的亨利离家出走,藏到了一棵栗树的树洞中。我们的换生灵密探跟踪他并发出召集令,我把自己变成他完美的复制品。我们抓住了他,我溜进树洞,和他交换了生活。当晚搜寻人员找到我时,他们可高兴了,松了口气,还挺骄傲,我本以为他们会生气,但没有。“亨利。”一个穿着消防员制服的红发男人对我说话,当时我在躲藏处假装睡觉。我睁开眼,冲他露出灿烂的微笑。这人用薄毯把我裹起来,抱着我走出树林,来到一条石铺路上,一辆消防车等在那里,红色车灯如心跳般搏动。消防员们把我带回家,交给亨利的父母,也就是我的新父母。那晚车子在路上行驶时,我一直想着,只要能通过第一关,这个世界就会重新归我所有。

It is a commonly held myth that, among the birds and the beasts, the mother recognizes her young as her own and will refuse a stranger thrust into the den or the nest. This is not so. In fact, the cuckoo commonly lays its eggs in other birds nests, and despite its extraordinary size and voracious appetite, the cuckoo chick receives as much, indeed more, maternal care, often to the point of driving the other chicks from their lofty home. Sometimes the mother bird starves her own offspring because of the cuckoos incessant de-mands. My first task was to create the fiction that I was the real Henry Day. Unfortunately, humans are more suspicious and less tolerant of intruders in the nest.

在鸟类和兽类当中,母亲总能认出自己的孩子,不让陌生者闯到巢里或窝里来,大家都觉得这挺神奇,但并非一概如此。事实上,布谷鸟就常常把蛋下到别的鸟儿的巢里。尽管幼鸟体形超大,胃口奇佳,也能得到同样(其实是更多)的母爱,甚至它们经常会把其他幼鸟从高高的巢中挤出去。有时候,母鸟把自己的孩子活活饿死了,就因为布谷鸟不断地要吃的。我的第一个任务是虚构一个故事:我就是亨利?戴。不幸的是,人类更多疑,对闯入者也更不宽容。

The rescuers knew only that they were looking for a young boy lost in the woods, and I could remain mute. After all, they had found someone and were therefore content. As the fire truck lurched up the driveway to the Days home, I vomited against the bright red door, a vivid mess of acorn mash, wa-tercress, and the exoskeletons of a number of small insects. The fireman patted me on the head and scooped me up, blanket and all, as if I were of no more consequence than a rescued kitten or an abandoned baby. Henrys father leapt from the porch to gather me in his arms, and with a strong embrace and warm kisses reeking of smoke and alcohol, he welcomed me home as his only son. The mother would be much harder to fool.

搜救人员只知道他们要寻找一个在树林里走丢了的孩子,因此我可以保持沉默。反正他们找到一个也就满足了。在开往戴家的路上,消防车颠簸起来,我呕吐在了鲜红色的车门上,那分明是一堆橡果碎片、芥菜,还有好多小昆虫的皮。消防员拍拍我的头,把我连同毯子一把铲起,好像我只是一只被救的小猫或者一个弃婴似的。亨利的父亲从门廊上大步跨来,一把抱住我。有力的拥抱,带着烟酒味的温暖亲吻,他把我当成自己的儿子迎回家。但母亲就不太好糊弄了。
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