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失窃的孩子 The stolen Child CHAPTER 8

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In the gloaming, the crows flew in to gather for the night in a stand of bare oaks. Bird by bird, they soared to the rookery, black shadows against the fading light. My kidnapping, still fresh in my mind, left me timid and battered, not trusting a soul in the woods. I missed my family, yet days and weeks passed, marked by the routine appearance of the birds. Their arrival and departure provided reas-suring continuity. By the time the trees lost their leaves and their naked limbs stretched to the sky, the crows no longer frightened me. I came to look for-ward to their graceful arrival, silhouetted against the wintry sky, a natural part of my new life.

薄暮时分,鸦群飞向光秃秃的橡树枝条上过夜。它们连二接三地投入丛林,黑影遮住了西斜的余光。被绑架的经历在我脑海中仍然鲜活,使我畏畏缩缩,精神不振,不信任森林里的任何生物。我想念家里人,然而日以继月,只有每天出现的鸟群来做时间的标记。它们总是来来回回,使人心感慰藉。待到树叶飘零,赤裸的枝丫伸向天空,我不再害怕鸦群了,而开始盼望它们优雅的降临,它们在冬季天空中掠过的剪影,成为我新生活不可或缺的部分

The faeries welcomed me as their own and taught me the ways of the woods, and I grew fond of them all. In addition to Speck, Igel, Béka and On-ions, there were seven others. The three girls were inseparable—Kivi and Blomma, blonde and freckled, quiet and assured, and their tagalong, Chavisory, a chatterbox who looked no more than five years old. When she grinned, her baby teeth shone like a string of pearls, and when she laughed, her thin shoulders shook and twitched. If she found something truly funny or exciting, she took off like a skittering bat, dancing in circles and figure eights across the clearing.

仙灵们将我当成自己人,教会我林子里的规矩,我渐渐地喜欢上了每一个人。除了斯帕克、伊格尔、贝卡和奥尼恩斯,还有另外七个。三个女孩形影不离——齐维和布鲁玛金头发,长雀斑,娴雅镇定,她们的跟屁虫卡维素芮是个看起来不到五岁的话痨子。她粲然微笑时,乳牙犹如一串珍珠闪闪发亮,哈哈大笑时,单薄的肩膀摇晃扭动。一旦她发现什么非常有趣或刺激的东西,就会像只蝙蝠似的飞掠过去,跳着圆圈舞或8字舞冲过空地。

Apart from the leader Igel and the loner Béka, the boys formed two pairs. Ragno and Zanzara, as I remember them, reminded me of the two sons of the Italian grocers in town. Thin and olive-skinned boys, each had a thatch of dark curls on his head and was quick to anger and quicker to forgive. The other set, Smaolach and Luchóg, behaved as brothers, though they could not be more dissimilar. Towering over everyone but Béka, Smaolach concentrated on the task at hand, as oblivious and earnest as a robin tugging up an earth-worm. His good friend Luchóg, smallest of us all, was forever pushing back an untamable lock of night-black hair that curled across his forehead like the tail of a mouse. His eyes, blue as the summer sky, gave away his fierce devotion to his friends, even when he tried to feign nonchalance.

除开首领伊格尔和落落寡合的贝卡,男孩们分成两组。在我记忆之中,劳格诺和赞扎拉让我想起镇上意大利货商的两个儿子。他们身材细瘦,皮肤橄榄色,头上都有乱蓬蓬的黑色发卷,脾气发作得快,但消得更快。另一对是斯茂拉赫与鲁契克,他们情同手足,但相差十万八千里。斯茂拉赫的个头仅次于贝卡,老是专心致志地干着手头的活儿,如同一只正在拽蚯蚓的知更鸟那样勤恳而又不被人注意。他的好友鲁契克是我们中间最矮小的,总是在挥开额头上一束老鼠尾巴似的、不服帖的漆黑发卷。他的眼眸蓝如夏日晴空,泄露了他对朋友们的深情厚意,尽管有时他试图装出一副冷淡的样子。

Igel, the eldest and leader of the band, took pains to explain the ways of the forest. He showed me how to gig for frogs and fish, how to find water collected overnight in the hollow of fallen leaves, to distinguish edible mush-rooms from deadly toadstools, and dozens of other survival tricks. But even the best guide is no match for experience, and for most of my early time, I was coddled. They kept me under constant watch by at least two others, and I was forced to stay around camp, with dire warnings to hide away at any hint of other people.

伊格尔是队伍的领袖,也最为年长,他不厌其烦地解说丛林法则,给我演示如何捕捉青蛙和鱼,如何从落叶的凹处采集露水,如何区分可食用的蘑菇和致命的毒菌,以及其他许多生存技巧。最好的向导也比不过经验,但在起初的大部分时间内,我都被悉心照料着。他们中至少会有两个一直看守着我,我不得离开营寨周围,并且受到严厉警告,一有人迹的风吹草动,就要躲藏起来。

"If they catch you, they will think you a devil," Igel told me. "And lock you away, or worse, they will test to see if they are right by throwing you in a fire."

“如果他们抓住了你,会把你当成魔鬼,”伊格尔对我说,“还会把你锁起来,或者更糟,把你丢进火里,试试看他们是否认对了。”

"And you will burn up like kindling," said Ragno.

"And be nothing more than a puff of smoke," said Zanzara, and Chavisory demonstrated by dancing around the campfire, circling away to the edge of darkness.

“你就会像火柴一样烧起来。”劳格诺说。

“会变成一股烟,然后什么都没了。”赞扎拉说,卡维素芮则围着篝火跳舞演示,一圈一圈地跳向黑暗中去。

When the first hard frost hit, a small party was sent away for an overnight excursion, and they came back with armloads of sweaters, jackets, and shoes. Those of us who had stayed behind were shivering beneath deerskins.

第一场严霜来临时,一支小分队通宵外出,回来时抱满毛衣、夹克和鞋子,留守人员则裹着鹿皮簌簌发抖。
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