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失窃的孩子 The stolen Child C H A P T E R 3

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That first day she kept me inside the house, and after all that had oc-curred, who could blame her? I stuck closer than her own shadow, studying intently, learning better how to be her son, as she dusted and swept, washed the dishes, and changed the babies diapers. The house felt safer than the for-est, but strange and alien. Small surprises lurked. Daylight angled through the curtained windows, ran along the walls, and cast its patterns across the carpets in an entirely different geometry than beneath the canopy of leaves. Of par-ticular interest were the small universes comprised of specks of dust that make themselves visible only through sunbeams. In contrast to the blaze of sunlight outside, the inner light had a soporific effect, especially on the twins. They tired shortly after lunch—another fete in my honor—and napped in the early afternoon.

第一天,她把我关在屋子里,毕竟发生了这种事,谁又能说她不是?她除尘、扫地、刷碟子、换婴儿尿布,我就紧跟着她,比影子粘得还牢,用心揣摩,学习怎样才能把这儿子当得更好。屋里的感觉比森林更安全,但有种奇怪而疏离的感觉,潜伏着小小的惊讶。日光从拉起的窗帘后斜射而入,在墙壁上蔓延,在地毯上投射下图案,那和枝叶下的图案形状完全不同。特别有意思的是由尘点组成的小空间,只有在阳光照耀下才能看清。与户外灿烂的阳光相比,室内的光线有种催眠效果,这对双胞胎尤其明显。午餐后,她们很快就疲倦了——这对我来说可是一大好事——下午一两点钟时,她们开始打盹。

My mother tiptoed from their room to find me patiently waiting in the same spot she had left me, standing like a sentinel in the hallway. I was he witched by an electrical outlet that screamed out to me to stick in my little finger. Although their door was closed, the twins rhythmic breathing sounded like a storm rushing through the trees, for I had not yet trained myself not to listen. Mom took me by the hand, and her soft grasp filled me with an abiding empathy. The woman created a deep peace within me with her very touch. I remembered the books on Henrys washstand and asked her if she would read me a story.

母亲从她们房间蹑手蹑脚地走出来,看到我耐心地等在原地,像个哨兵似的站在走廊上。我被一个电插座迷住了,它朝我直叫,让我很恼火。虽然双胞胎的房门关着,她们有节奏的呼吸声听起来像风暴在树林中呼啸,因为我还没有把自己训练得听而不闻。妈妈牵起我的手,她柔软的一握使我为之久久感念。这女人用她的触摸,在我心中生出深沉的宁静。我想起亨利盥洗架上的书,就问她能否给我读个故事。

We went to my room and clambered into bed together. For the past century, adults had been total strangers, and life among the changelings had distorted my perspective. More than twice my size, she seemed too solid and stout to be real, especially when compared to the skinny body of the boy I had assumed. My situation seemed fragile and capricious. If she rolled over, she could snap me like a bundle of twigs. Yet her sheer size created a bunker against the outer world. She would protect me against all my foes. As the twins slept, she read to me from the Brothers Grimm—"The Story of the Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was," "The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids," "Hansel and Gretel," "The Singing Bone," "The Girl Without Hands," and many others, rare or familiar. My favorites were "Cinderella" and "Little Red Riding Hood," which she read with beautiful expression in her mezzo timbre, a singsong much too cheerful for those awful fables. In the music of her voice, an echo sounded from long ago, and as I rested by her side, the decades dissolved.

我们去到我的房间,一起爬上床。在过去的一个世纪中,成人是彻底的陌路人,而与换生灵共处的生活也已经扭曲了我的视角。她的体形是我两倍有余,看起来那么坚固结实,特别是跟我所假扮的这个清瘦的男孩相比,简直不像真的。我的位置似乎既脆弱又不稳定,假如她翻一个身,就能像一捆柴火一样把我压扁。但她硕大的尺寸像碉堡一样把外间世界隔开,会保护我不受所有敌人的侵害。双胞胎睡觉时,她给我读格林童话——《寻找害怕的年轻人》、《狼和七只小羊》、《汉瑟尔与葛莱特》、《唱歌的骨头》、《无手的姑娘》,还有其他许多故事,有熟悉的,也有不熟悉的。我最喜欢的是《灰姑娘》和《小红帽》,她朗读时,音色适中,娓娓动听,对那些令人难过的童话来说,是过于欢快了。在她音乐般的嗓音中,传来许久之前的回音,我躺在她身边,数十年的时光为之消却。

I had heard these tales before, long ago, but in German, from my real mother (yes, I, too, had a mother, once upon a time), who introduced me to Ashenputtel and Rotk?ppchen from the Kinder- und Hausm?rchen. I wanted to forget, thought I was forgetting, but could hear quite clearly her voice in my head.

"Es war einmal im tiefen, tiefen Wald."

很久之前,我听过这些故事,但是听的是德语,讲故事的是我的亲生母亲(是的,我以前也有母亲),她从《儿童与家庭的童话集》 中给我读灰姑娘和小红帽。我想忘记,也觉得自己正在忘记,但她的声音在我脑海中如此清晰。

“曾经,在一个很深、很深的树林里。 ”

Although I quit the society of the changelings long ago, I have remained, in a sense, in those dark woods, hiding my true identity from those I love. Only now, after the strange events of this past year, do I have the courage to tell the story. This is my confession, too long delayed, which I have been afraid to make and only now reveal because of the passing dangers to my own son. We change. I have changed.

虽然我许久之前就离开了换生灵的社会,但在某种意义上,仍然停留在那片黑森林中,对那些我爱的人隐瞒我真实的身份。直到此刻,在去年那些奇怪的事情过后,我才鼓起勇气来讲述这个故事。这是我姗姗来迟的告白,我一直不敢启齿,如今说出来,是因为这些过去威胁着我的儿子。我们改变着。我改变了。
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