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放生故事之十一: 乌龟报恩

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11. 乌龟报恩

A TURTLE'S GRATITUDE

在公元四世纪的秦朝,山阴县有个名叫孔玉的中年人。他虽是朝廷命官,但在朝中的官位最低,官俸也少得可怜,日子过得非常艰难。  

  During the Chin dynasty of the fourth century, there was a middle-aged man in Shanyin called K'ung Yu. He was an official for the government, but he had practically the lowest official position in the whole dynasty. His position was low, and so was his pay. Times were hard for him.

一次,他看到一只乌龟即将被人吃掉,感到很难过,就把它买下来,并带到河边放生。  

  Once he saw a turtle someone was getting ready to eat. He felt sorry for it, so he bought the turtle and took it to the river. There he let it go.

乌龟好像知道孔玉从锅边救了它。它一边往前游一边回头看他。孔玉一直看着它,直到再也看不见为止。  

  The turtle seemed to understand that Yu had saved it from the soup. As it swam away, it kept looking back at him. Yu watched it until he couldn't see it any more.

若干年后,孔玉得到了提升。他带领军队平息了一场叛乱。由于他的功绩,皇帝封赏孔玉担任侯王这个高贵而显赫的职位。  

  Years later, Yu had reached a better position. Leading troops, he quelled a rebellion. For his great deeds, the Emperor raised him to the rank of Lord, a high and powerful position.

此侯王的官徽是一枚金属图章,也称官印。孔玉升职以后,皇家工匠给他铸了一枚印章,但不知什么原因,每次铸成印章后,在印章的顶部,总有一只乌龟向后张望。他们觉得很奇怪,于是熔掉印章,做了一个新模重新铸造,但铸出来的印章上仍有只龟在回头张望!工匠们试了几次,每次铸模时,他们都非常小心,而且每个人都检查了模子。每次模子都做得很好,但是铸出来后,上面都有这样一只乌龟!  

  The official insignia for the rank of Lord is a metal seal, or chop. When K'ung Yu was promoted, the royal artisans cast a seal for him, but for some reason, it came out with a turtle on top, and the turtle was looking back over its shoulder. They thought that was strange, so they melted the seal down, made a new mold, and cast it again, but it still came out with a turtle looking back over its shoulder! The artisans tried over and over again. Every time they made the mold very carefully, and everybody inspected the mold. Every time, the mold was fine, but every time they cast the seal, it came out with a turtle on top of it, and every time, the turtle's head was looking back over its shoulder!

工匠们觉得事情很离奇。他们决定去找新任侯王,看他有什么想法。他们跪在孔玉面前说:“大人,谨遵万岁的旨意,我们试着给您做一枚官印,但每次我们浇铸模子,铸出来的官印上面都有一只乌龟在向后张望。  

  The artisans thought this was uncanny. They decided to go to the new Lord and see what he thought about it. They knelt in front of him, and said, "My Lord, as directed by our Emperor of Ten Thousand Years, we have tried to make a seal for you as sign of your new rank, but every time we cast the mold, the seal comes out with a turtle on top, and the turtle is always looking back over its shoulder."

“继续做吧,” 孔玉吩咐说,“再重新铸一遍。”  

  "Carry on," K'ung Yu directed. "Do it over again."

工匠们遵照他的命令,铸出来的官印上面还是有一只乌龟在向后张望。孔玉很不解。这件怪事传开了,最后传到皇帝的耳朵里。

  The artisans followed his command, but once again, the seal appeared with a turtle on top, looking back over its shoulder. K'ung Yu was perplexed. The news of this strange occurrence spread, and eventually reached the royal ears of the Emperor.

皇帝召见孔玉,让他解释是怎么回事。孔玉无言以对。  

  The Emperor called K'ung Yu in to explain why his seal always came with a turtle, but K'ung Yu was at a loss to explain.

回家的路上,孔玉突然想起来了什么。第二天上朝,他奏道:“陛下,臣仔细想过官印的样子,还有那只无法解释的乌龟,可能已经知道答案了。”  

  On his way home, K'ung Yu suddenly remembered something. The next day in court, he reported, "Your Highness's loyal minister has considered the manner of the seal and the unexplainable turtles, and perhaps has found a reason."

“多年前,臣碰巧看到一个渔夫抓了一只乌龟,正准备吃掉。臣很同情这只乌龟,于是将它买下,并放到河里。乌龟好像懂事,它一边在水面上游动一边回头看,好象很感激。”  

  "Many years ago, this minister happened to see a fisherman preparing to cook and eat a turtle he had caught. This minister felt sorry for the turtle, and so purchased said turtle from the fisherman and released it by the river. The turtle seemed to understand, for it swam along the surface of the water and looked back as if in gratitude."

“陛下刚刚赐予我侯王的爵位,官印上有只乌龟,这肯定说明,由于乌龟对我的感激感动了上天,我才有机会获得皇上的厚恩。”  

  "Your Highness has currently granted me the rank of Lord; the official seal has a turtle on it; this must be a sign that I have had the opportunity to win such favor from Your Highness due to the gratitude of that turtle, which must have moved Heaven on my behalf."

皇帝告诉朝臣:“好人有好报。孔公就是一个绝好的例子。”  

  The Emperor told the court, " Those who do good will reap good rewards. The Lord K'ung is an excellent example."  

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