The Wind in the Willows  柳林风声

The Rat was sitting on the river bank, singing a little song.?He had just composed it himself, so he was very taken up with it, and would not pay proper attention to Mole or anything else. Since early morning he had been swimming in the river, in company with his friends the ducks.?And when the ducks stood on their heads suddenly, as ducks will, he would dive down and tickle their necks, just under where their chins would be if ducks had chins, till they were forced to come to the surface again in a hurry, spluttering and angry and shaking their feathers at him, for it is impossible to say quite ALL you feel when your head is under water.?At last they implored him to go away and attend to his own affairs and leave them to mind theirs.?So the Rat went away, and sat on the river bank in the sun, and made up a song about them, which he called ‘DUCKS’ DITTY.’

河鼠正坐在岸边,吟唱一支小曲儿。这曲子是他自己编的,所以唱得很带劲,没怎么留意鼹鼠或别的事儿。一大早,他就和鸭子朋友们在河里游泳来着。鸭子一惯总喜欢猛地头朝下脚朝上拿大顶。这时,河鼠就潜到水下,在鸭子的下巴(要是鸭子有下巴的话)下面的脖子上挠痒痒,弄得鸭子只好赶紧钻出水面,扑打着羽毛,气急败坏地冲他嚷嚷。因为,要是你的头倒插在水里,你自然不可能痛痛快快发泄你一腔怒火。后来,他们只得央求他走开,去管自己的事,别干涉他们。河鼠这才走开了,在河岸上坐着晒太阳,编一首有关鸭子的歌。歌名叫:《鸭谣》——

All along the backwater, Through the rushes tall, Ducks are a-dabbling, Up tails all!

沿着静水湾,长长灯芯草,鸭群在戏水,尾巴高高翘。

Ducks’ tails, drakes’ tails, Yellow feet a-quiver, Yellow bills all out of sight Busy in the river!

公鸭母鸭尾.黄脚颤悠悠,黄嘴隐不见,河中忙不休。

Slushy green undergrowth Where the roach swim—Here we keep our larder, Cool and full and dim.

绿萍水草稠,鱼儿尽兴游,食品储存库,丰盛又清幽。

Everyone for what he likes! WE like to be Heads down, tails up, Dabbling free!

人各有所好!头下尾上翘,鸭子的心愿,水上乐消遥。

High in the blue above Swifts whirl and call—WE are down a-dabbling Up tails all!

蓝蓝天空高,雨燕飞又叫,我们戏水中尾巴齐上翘!

‘I don’t know that I think so VERY much of that little song, Rat,’ observed the Mole cautiously.?He was no poet himself and didn’t care who knew it; and he had a candid nature.

“这首歌到底有多好,我说不上来,鼠兄,”鼹鼠谨慎地说。鼹鼠自己不是诗人,也不赞赏懂诗的人。而且,他天性坦诚,喜欢实话实说。

‘Nor don’t the ducks neither,’ replied the Rat cheerfully.?‘They say, “WHY can’t fellows be allowed to do what they like WHEN they like and AS they like, instead of other fellows sitting on banks and watching them all the time and making remarks and poetry and things about them??What NONSENSE it all is!”?That’s what the ducks say.’

“鸭子也不懂得,”河鼠开朗地说,“他们说:‘干吗不让人家在高兴的时候做他们高兴做的事?别人干吗要坐在岸上对人家横挑鼻子竖挑眼,还要编歌嘲笑人家?尽是胡说八道!’这就是鸭子们的论调。”

‘So it is, so it is,’ said the Mole, with great heartiness.

“说得对嘛.说得对嘛,”鼹鼠打心眼儿里赞同。

‘No, it isn’t!’ cried the Rat indignantly.

“不,说得不对!”河鼠气愤地喊道。

‘Well then, it isn’t, it isn’t,’ replied the Mole soothingly. ‘But what I wanted to ask you was, won’t you take me to call on Mr. Toad??I’ve heard so much about him, and I do so want to make his acquaintance.’

“好啦,就算不对,就算不对,”鼹鼠息事宁人地说。“可是我想问问你,你能不能领我去拜访蟾蜍先生?他的事,我听说得多了,特想和他认识认识。”

‘Why, certainly,’ said the good-natured Rat, jumping to his feet and dismissing poetry from his mind for the day.?‘Get the boat out, and we’ll paddle up there at once.?It’s never the wrong time to call on Toad.?Early or late he’s always the same fellow. Always good-tempered, always glad to see you, always sorry when you go!’

“当然啰!”好脾气的河鼠说着,一跃而起,把诗呀什么的全都抛到脑后,一整天再也没想起。“去把船划出来,咱们马上就去他家。你想拜访蟾蜍,随时都可以。不管是早是晚,蟾蜍都一个样,总是乐呵呵的。你去看他,他老是高兴,你要走,他老是恋恋不舍!”

‘He must be a very nice animal,’ observed the Mole, as he got into the boat and took the sculls, while the Rat settled himself comfortably in the stern.

“他准是个非常和善的动物,”鼹鼠说。他跨上了船,提起双桨。河鼠呢,他安安逸逸地坐到了船尾。

‘He is indeed the best of animals,’ replied Rat.?‘So simple, so good-natured, and so affectionate.?Perhaps he’s not very clever—we can’t all be geniuses; and it may be that he is both boastful and conceited. But he has got some great qualities, has Toady.’

“他的确是个再好不过的动物,”河鼠说。“特单纯,特温和,特重感情。或许不太聪明——不可能人人都是天才嘛。他或许爱吹牛,有些自高自大。可蟾儿,他的优点确实不少。”

Rounding a bend in the river, they came in sight of a handsome, dignified old house of mellowed red brick, with well-kept lawns reaching down to the water’s edge.

绕过一道河湾,迎面就见一幢美丽、庄严、古色古香的老红砖房;房前是修理得平平整整的草坪,一直延伸到河边。

‘There’s Toad Hall,’ said the Rat; ‘and that creek on the left, where the notice-board says, “Private.?No landing allowed,” leads to his boat-house, where we’ll leave the boat.?The stables are over there to the right.?That’s the banqueting-hall you’re looking at now—very old, that is.?Toad is rather rich, you know, and this is really one of the nicest houses in these parts, though we never admit as much to Toad.’

“那就是蟾宫,”河鼠说。“左边有一条小河汊,牌子上写着:‘私人河道,不得在此登岸’。这河汊直逼他的船坞,咱们要在那儿停船上岸。右边是马厩。你现在看到的是宴会厅——年代很久了。你知道,蟾蜍相当有钱,这幢房子确实是这一带一所最讲究的房屋,不过,我们从不向蟾蜍这样表示。”

They glided up the creek, and the Mole slipped his sculls as they passed into the shadow of a large boat-house.?Here they saw many handsome boats, slung from the cross beams or hauled up on a slip, but none in the water; and the place had an unused and a deserted air.

小船徐徐驶进河汉,来到一所大船坞的屋顶下。鼹鼠把桨收进船舱。这里,他们看到许多漂亮的小船,有的挂在横梁上,有的吊在船台上,可是没有一只船是在水里。这地方显得有种冷落废弃的气氛。

The Rat looked around him.?‘I understand,’ said he.?‘Boating is played out.?He’s tired of it, and done with it.?I wonder what new fad he has taken up now??Come along and let’s look him up. We shall hear all about it quite soon enough.’

河鼠环顾四周。“我明白了,”他说。“看来他玩船已经玩够了,厌倦了,再也不玩了。不知道他现在又迷上了什么新玩意儿?走,咱们瞧他去。一切很快就会明白的。”

They disembarked, and strolled across the gay flower-decked lawns in search of Toad, whom they presently happened upon resting in a wicker garden-chair, with a pre-occupied expression of face, and a large map spread out on his knees.

他们离船上岸,穿过各色鲜花装点的草坪,寻找蟾蜍。不多时,他们就遇到了他。蟾蜍坐在一张花园藤椅上,脸上一副全神贯注的神情,盯着膝上的一张大地图。

‘Hooray!’ he cried, jumping up on seeing them, ‘this is splendid!’?He shook the paws of both of them warmly, never waiting for an introduction to the Mole.?‘How KIND of you!’ he went on, dancing round them.?‘I was just going to send a boat down the river for you, Ratty, with strict orders that you were to be fetched up here at once, whatever you were doing.?I want you badly—both of you.?Now what will you take??Come inside and have something!?You don’t know how lucky it is, your turning up just now!’

“啊哈!”看到他俩,蟾蜍跳了起来,“太好了!”不等河鼠介绍,就热情洋溢地同他俩握握爪子。“你们真好!”他接着说,围着他俩蹦蹦跳跳。“河鼠,我正要派船到下游去接你,吩咐他们不管你在干什么,马上把你接来。我非常需要你——你们两位。好吧,现在你们想吃点什么?快进屋吃点东西吧!你们来得正是时候。你们想不到,有多巧啊!”

‘Let’s sit quiet a bit, Toady!’ said the Rat, throwing himself into an easy chair, while the Mole took another by the side of him and made some civil remark about Toad’s ‘delightful residence.’

“蟾儿,让咱们先安静地坐一会儿吧!”河鼠说,一屁股坐在一张扶手椅上。鼹鼠坐在他旁边的另一张扶手椅上、说了几句客气话,赞美蟾蜍那“可爱的住宅”。

‘Finest house on the whole river,’ cried Toad boisterously.?‘Or anywhere else, for that matter,’ he could not help adding.

“这是沿河一带最讲究的房子,”蟾蜍哇啦哇啦大声嚷道。“在别的地方,你也找不到这么好的房子。”他情不自禁又加上一句……

Here the Rat nudged the Mole.?Unfortunately the Toad saw him do it, and turned very red.?There was a moment’s painful silence. Then Toad burst out laughing.?‘All right, Ratty,’ he said. ‘It’s only my way, you know.?And it’s not such a very bad house, is it??You know you rather like it yourself.?Now, look here. Let’s be sensible.?You are the very animals I wanted.?You’ve got to help me.?It’s most important!’

这时,河鼠用胳臂捅了捅鼹鼠,不巧,正好被蟾蜍看见了。他脸涨得通红。跟着是一阵难堪的沉寂。然后,蟾蜍大笑起来。“得啦,鼠儿,我说话就这么个德行,你知道的。再说,这房子确实不坏,是吧?你自己不也挺喜欢它吗。咱们都清醒些好啦。你们两位正是我需要的。你们得帮我这个忙。这事至关重要!”

‘It’s about your rowing, I suppose,’ said the Rat, with an innocent air.?‘You’re getting on fairly well, though you splash a good bit still.?With a great deal of patience, and any quantity of coaching, you may----‘

“我猜,是有关划船的事吧,”河鼠装糊涂说。“你进步很快嘛,就是还溅好些水花。只要再耐心些,再加上适当的指导,你就可以……”

‘O, pooh! boating!’ interrupted the Toad, in great disgust. Silly boyish amusement.?I’ve given that up LONG ago.?Sheer waste of time, that’s what it is.?It makes me downright sorry to see you fellows, who ought to know better, spending all your energies in that aimless manner.?No, I’ve discovered the real thing, the only genuine occupation for a life time.?I propose to devote the remainder of mine to it, and can only regret the wasted years that lie behind me, squandered in trivialities. Come with me, dear Ratty, and your amiable friend also, if he will be so very good, just as far as the stable-yard, and you shall see what you shall see!’

“噢,呸!什么船!”蟾蜍打断他的话,显得十分厌恶的样子。“那是小男孩们的愚蠢玩意儿。我老早就不玩了。不折不扣,纯粹是浪费时光。看到你们这些人把全副精力花在那种毫无意义的事情上,真叫我感到痛心,你们本该明白的。不,不,我已经找到了一桩真正的事业,这辈子应该从事的一种正经行当。我打算把我的余生奉献给它。一想到过去那么多年头浪费在无聊的琐事上,我真是追悔莫及。跟我来,亲爱的鼠儿,还有你的这位和蔼的朋友也来.如果肯赏光的话。不远,就在马厩场院那边,到了那儿,你们就会看到要看到的东西!”

He led the way to the stable-yard accordingly, the Rat following with a most mistrustful expression; and there, drawn out of the coach house into the open, they saw a gipsy caravan, shining with newness, painted a canary-yellow picked out with green, and red wheels.

蟾蜍领着他们向马厩场院走去,河鼠一脸狐疑,跟在后面。只见从马车房里拉出一辆吉卜赛篷车,崭新,锃亮,车身漆成金丝雀般的淡黄色,点缀着绿色纹饰,车轮则是大红的。

‘There you are!’ cried the Toad, straddling and expanding himself.?‘There’s real life for you, embodied in that little cart.?The open road, the dusty highway, the heath, the common, the hedgerows, the rolling downs!?Camps, villages, towns, cities!?Here to-day, up and off to somewhere else to-morrow! Travel, change, interest, excitement!?The whole world before you, and a horizon that’s always changing!?And mind! this is the very finest cart of its sort that was ever built, without any exception.?Come inside and look at the arrangements.?Planned ‘em all myself, I did!’

“瞧吧!”蟾蜍叉开双腿,腆着肚皮,喊道,“这辆小马车代表的生活,才是你们要过的真正的生活。一眼望不到头的大道,尘土飞扬的公路,荒原,公地,树篱,起伏的草原,帐篷,村庄,城镇,都市,全都属于你们!今天在这里,明天在那里!到处旅行,变换环境,到处有乐趣,刺激!整个世界在你眼前展开,地平线在不断变换!请注意,这辆车是同类车子里最精美的一辆,绝无例外。进车里来,瞧瞧里面的设备吧。全是我自己设计的,是我干的!”

The Mole was tremendously interested and excited, and followed him eagerly up the steps and into the interior of the caravan. The Rat only snorted and thrust his hands deep into his pockets, remaining where he was.

鼹鼠兴致勃勃,兴奋异常,急不可耐地跟着蟾蜍踩上篷车的踏板,进了车厢。河鼠只哼了哼鼻子,把手深深插进裤兜,站在原地不动。

It was indeed very compact and comfortable.?Little sleeping bunks—a little table that folded up against the wall—a cooking-stove, lockers, bookshelves, a bird-cage with a bird in it; and pots, pans, jugs and kettles of every size and variety.

车厢里确实布置得非常紧凑而舒适。几张小小的卧铺,一张小桌靠壁折起,炉具,小食品柜,书架,一只鸟笼,笼里关着一只鸟,还有各种型号和式样的高锅、平锅、瓶瓶罐罐、烧水的壶。

‘All complete!’ said the Toad triumphantly, pulling open a locker.?‘You see—biscuits, potted lobster, sardines—everything you can possibly want.?Soda-water here—baccy there—letter-paper, bacon, jam, cards and dominoes—you’ll find,’ he continued, as they descended the steps again, ‘you’ll find that nothing what ever has been forgotten, when we make our start this afternoon.’

“一应俱全!”蟾蜍得意地说。他打开一只小柜。“瞧,有饼干、罐头龙虾、沙丁鱼——凡是你们用得着的东酉,应有尽有。这儿是苏打水,那儿是烟草,信纸、火腿、果酱、纸牌、骨牌,”他们重新踩着踏板下车时,他继续说,“你会发现,咱们今天下午启程时,什么也没漏掉。”

‘I beg your pardon,’ said the Rat slowly, as he chewed a straw, ‘but did I overhear you say something about “WE,” and “START,” and “THIS AFTERNOON?”’

“对不起,”河鼠嘴里嚼着一根稻草,慢条斯理地说,“我好像听见你刚才说什么‘咱们’,什么‘启程’。什么‘今天下午’来着?”

‘Now, you dear good old Ratty,’ said Toad, imploringly, ‘don’t begin talking in that stiff and sniffy sort of way, because you know you’ve GOT to come.?I can’t possibly manage without you, so please consider it settled, and don’t argue—it’s the one thing I can’t stand.?You surely don’t mean to stick to your dull fusty old river all your life, and just live in a hole in a bank, and BOAT??I want to show you the world!?I’m going to make an ANIMAL of you, my boy!’

“得啦,你呀,亲爱的好老鼠儿,”蟾蜍央求说,“别用那种尖酸刻薄的腔调说话好吗?你明明知道,你们非来不可。没有你们,叫我怎么对付这一摊?求求你啦,这事就这么定了,别和我争辩,我受不了。你总不能一辈子守着你那条乏味的臭哄哄的老河,成天呆在河岸上一个洞里,呆在船上吧?我想让你见见世面!我要把你造就成一只像样的动物,伙计!”

‘I don’t care,’ said the Rat, doggedly.?‘I’m not coming, and that’s flat.?And I AM going to stick to my old river, AND live in a hole, AND boat, as I’ve always done.?And what’s more, Mole’s going to stick me and do as I do, aren’t you, Mole?’

“我才不稀罕你的那套把戏哩!”河鼠固执地说。“我就是不跟你去,说一不二。我就是要守着我的老河,要住在洞里,要驾船,像往常一样。而且,鼹鼠也要跟我一道,干同样的事,是不是,鼹鼠?”

‘Of course I am,’ said the Mole, loyally.?‘I’ll always stick to you, Rat, and what you say is to be—has got to be.?All the same, it sounds as if it might have been—well, rather fun, you know!’ he added, wistfully.?Poor Mole!?The Life Adventurous was so new a thing to him, and so thrilling; and this fresh aspect of it was so tempting; and he had fallen in love at first sight with the canary-coloured cart and all its little fitments.

“那是自然!”鼹鼠诚挚地说。“我永远陪伴你,鼠儿,你说什么就是什么,就得是什么。不过,这玩意看起来像是——呃,像是怪有意思的,是吧?”他眼巴巴地加上一句。可怜的鼹鼠!探险生活,对他来说是桩新鲜事儿,惊险又刺激,这个新的方面,对他有很强的诱惑力。他第一眼看见那辆篷车和它的全套小装备,就爱上它了。

The Rat saw what was passing in his mind, and wavered.?He hated disappointing people, and he was fond of the Mole, and would do almost anything to oblige him. Toad was watching both of them closely.

河鼠看出了鼹鼠的心思,他的决心起了动摇。他不愿使人失望,何况他喜欢鼹鼠,总是竭力让他高兴。蟾蜍在一旁仔细观察他俩的动静。

‘Come along in, and have some lunch,’ he said, diplomatically, ‘and we’ll talk it over.?We needn’t decide anything in a hurry. Of course, I don’t really care.?I only want to give pleasure to you fellows.?“Live for others!”?That’s my motto in life.’

“先进屋吃点午饭吧,”蟾蜍策略地说,“咱们慢慢商量。用不着匆忙做出决定嘛。其实我倒不在乎。我只不过想让你俩高兴高兴罢了。‘活着为别人!’这是我的处世格言。”

During luncheon—which was excellent, of course, as everything at Toad Hall always was—the Toad simply let himself go. Disregarding the Rat, he proceeded to play upon the inexperienced Mole as on a harp.?Naturally a voluble animal, and always mastered by his imagination, he painted the prospects of the trip and the joys of the open life and the roadside in such glowing colours that the Mole could hardly sit in his chair for excitement.?Somehow, it soon seemed taken for granted by all three of them that the trip was a settled thing; and the Rat, though still unconvinced in his mind, allowed his good-nature to over-ride his personal objections.?He could not bear to disappoint his two friends, who were already deep in schemes and anticipations, planning out each day’s separate occupation for several weeks ahead.

午餐,自然是极其精美,就像蟾宫里的所有事物一样。吃饭时,蟾蜍信口开河高谈阔论。他把河鼠撇在一边,专门逗弄缺乏经验的鼹鼠。他天生就是一只夸夸其谈的动物,又喜欢突发奇想,他把这趟旅行的前景、户外生活和途中的乐趣描绘得天花乱坠,把个鼹鼠激动得坐都坐不住了。一来二去,三只动物似乎很快就达成了协议,把旅行的事确定下来了。河鼠虽然还心存疑虑,但他的好脾气终究压倒了个人的反对意见。他不忍心使两位朋友扫兴。他们已经在深入细致地制定计划,作出种种设想,安排未来几周里每天的活动了。

When they were quite ready, the now triumphant Toad led his companions to the paddock and set them to capture the old grey horse, who, without having been consulted, and to his own extreme annoyance, had been told off by Toad for the dustiest job in this dusty expedition.?He frankly preferred the paddock, and took a deal of catching.?Meantime Toad packed the lockers still tighter with necessaries, and hung nosebags, nets of onions, bundles of hay, and baskets from the bottom of the cart.?At last the horse was caught and harnessed, and they set off, all talking at once, each animal either trudging by the side of the cart or sitting on the shaft, as the humour took him.?It was a golden afternoon.?The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying; out of thick orchards on either side the road, birds called and whistled to them cheerily; good-natured wayfarers, passing them, gave them ‘Good-day,’ or stopped to say nice things about their beautiful cart; and rabbits, sitting at their front doors in the hedgerows, held up their fore-paws, and said, ‘O my! O my!?O my!’

行前的准备大体就绪,大获全胜的蟾蜍领着伙伴们来到养马场,要他们去捉那匹老灰马。由于事先没跟老马商量,蟾蜍就分派他在这趟尘土弥漫的旅途中干这件尘土弥漫的脏活,老马一肚子牢骚怨气,所以逮住他可费了大劲。蟾蜍乘他们逮马时,又往食品柜塞进更多的必需品,又把饲料袋、几网兜洋葱头、几大捆干草,还有几只筐子,吊在车厢底下。老马终于给逮住,套在车上,他们出发了。三只动物各随所好,有的跟着车走,有的坐在车杠上,大伙儿你一言我一语,同时说着话。那天下午,阳光灿烂。他们蹴起的尘土,香喷喷的,闻着叫人心旷神怡。大路两侧茂密的果园里,鸟儿们欢乐地向他们打招呼,吹口哨。和蔼的过路人从他们身旁走过时,向他们道声好,或者停下来,说几句中听的话,赞美他们那漂亮的马车。兔儿们坐在树篱下他们家的门口,举着前爪,一叠连声赞叹:“哎呀呀!哎呀呀!哎呀呀!”

Late in the evening, tired and happy and miles from home, they drew up on a remote common far from habitations, turned the horse loose to graze, and ate their simple supper sitting on the grass by the side of the cart.?Toad talked big about all he was going to do in the days to come, while stars grew fuller and larger all around them, and a yellow moon, appearing suddenly and silently from nowhere in particular, came to keep them company and listen to their talk.?At last they turned in to their little bunks in the cart; and Toad, kicking out his legs, sleepily said, ‘Well, good night, you fellows!?This is the real life for a gentleman! Talk about your old river!’

天色很晚的时候,他们离家已有好些哩地了,身体疲乏,心情愉快,就在一处远离人烟的公地上歇下来。他们卸下马具。由着马去吃草,自己坐在车旁的草地上。蟾蜍大谈他在未来几天打算干的事。这时,星星围着他们,越来越密,越来越大。一轮黄澄澄的月亮,不知打哪儿悄悄地突然冒出来,给他们作伴儿,听他们说话。过后,他们钻进篷车,爬上各自的铺位。蟾蜍伸开两脚,瞌睡得迷糊糊地说:“伙计们,晚安!这才是绅士们应该过的生活!别再谈你的那条老河了!”

‘I DON’T talk about my river,’ replied the patient Rat. ‘You KNOW I don’t, Toad.?But I THINK about it,’ he added pathetically, in a lower tone:?‘I think about it—all the time!’

“我并不谈我的河,”河鼠不紧不慢地说。“蟾蜍,这你知道,可我心里总叨念它,”他又凄凄切切地低声说:“我想念它——一直在想念它!”

The Mole reached out from under his blanket, felt for the Rat’s paw in the darkness, and gave it a squeeze.?‘I’ll do whatever you like, Ratty,’ he whispered.?‘Shall we run away to-morrow morning, quite early—VERY early—and go back to our dear old hole on the river?’

鼹鼠从毯子下面伸出爪子,在黑暗里摸到河鼠的爪子,捏了一下。“鼠儿,只要你乐意,干什么我都愿意,”他悄悄对他说,“明儿一大早,咱们就开溜,回到咱们亲爱的河上老洞去,好吗?”

‘No, no, we’ll see it out,’ whispered back the Rat.?‘Thanks awfully, but I ought to stick by Toad till this trip is ended. It wouldn’t be safe for him to be left to himself.?It won’t take very long.?His fads never do.?Good night!’

“不,不,咱们还是坚持到底,”河鼠悄声回答。“多谢你的好意,不过我得守着蟾蜍,直到这趟旅行结束。撂下他一个,我不放心。不会拖很久的。他的怪念头,从来也维持不长。晚安!”

The end was indeed nearer than even the Rat suspected.

这次旅行,果然结束得比河鼠预料的还要早。

After so much open air and excitement the Toad slept very soundly, and no amount of shaking could rouse him out of bed next morning.?So the Mole and Rat turned to, quietly and manfully, and while the Rat saw to the horse, and lit a fire, and cleaned last night’s cups and platters, and got things ready for breakfast, the Mole trudged off to the nearest village, a long way off, for milk and eggs and various necessaries the Toad had, of course, forgotten to provide.?The hard work had all been done, and the two animals were resting, thoroughly exhausted, by the time Toad appeared on the scene, fresh and gay, remarking what a pleasant easy life it was they were all leading now, after the cares and worries and fatigues of housekeeping at home.

由于长时间的户外活动,兴奋欢快,蟾蜍睡得很死,第二天早晨,怎么推也推他不醒。于是鼹鼠和河鼠毅然决然,不声不响地动手干起活来。河鼠喂马,生火,洗刷隔夜的杯盘碗盏,准备早餐。鼹鼠呢,他走了一段很长的路,到最近的村落里去买牛奶、鸡蛋,以及蟾蜍自然忘带的一应必需品。等这些繁重的劳务全都干完,两只动物累得够呛,坐下来歇憩时,蟾蜍这才露面,神采奕奕,兴致勃勃,说现在他们大家都活得轻松愉快啦,不用像在家时那样操劳家务啦。

They had a pleasant ramble that day over grassy downs and along narrow by-lanes, and camped as before, on a common, only this time the two guests took care that Toad should do his fair share of work.?In consequence, when the time came for starting next morning, Toad was by no means so rapturous about the simplicity of the primitive life, and indeed attempted to resume his place in his bunk, whence he was hauled by force.?Their way lay, as before, across country by narrow lanes, and it was not till the afternoon that they came out on the high-road, their first high-road; and there disaster, fleet and unforeseen, sprang out on them—disaster momentous indeed to their expedition, but simply overwhelming in its effect on the after-career of Toad.

这一天,他们悠闲自在地游逛,驶过绿茵茵的草原,穿行窄窄的小径,当晚又在一块公地上过夜。不过,两位客人这回硬要蟾蜍干他份内的活儿。结果,第二天早上要动身时,蟾蜍不再津津乐道原始生活如何单纯简易,却一味想赖回他的铺上,但被他们硬拖了起来。和昨天一样,他们的路程仍是穿经窄窄的小径,越过田野。到了下午,他们才上了公路。这是他们遇到的第一条公路。就在这儿,意想不到的祸事,迅雷般落到了他们头上。这桩祸事,对于他们的旅行是个灾难,而对于蟾蜍今后的生涯,却产生了翻天覆地的重大影响。

They were strolling along the high-road easily, the Mole by the horse’s head, talking to him, since the horse had complained that he was being frightfully left out of it, and nobody considered him in the least; the Toad and the Water Rat walking behind the cart talking together—at least Toad was talking, and Rat was saying at intervals, ‘Yes, precisely; and what did YOU say to HIM?’—and thinking all the time of something very different, when far behind them they heard a faint warning hum; like the drone of a distant bee.?Glancing back, they saw a small cloud of dust, with a dark centre of energy, advancing on them at incredible speed, while from out the dust a faint ‘Poop-poop!’ wailed like an uneasy animal in pain.?Hardly regarding it, they turned to resume their conversation, when in an instant (as it seemed) the peaceful scene was changed, and with a blast of wind and a whirl of sound that made them jump for the nearest ditch, It was on them!?The ‘Poop-poop’ rang with a brazen shout in their ears, they had a moment’s glimpse of an interior of glittering plate-glass and rich morocco, and the magnificent motor-car, immense, breath-snatching, passionate, with its pilot tense and hugging his wheel, possessed all earth and air for the fraction of a second, flung an enveloping cloud of dust that blinded and enwrapped them utterly, and then dwindled to a speck in the far distance, changed back into a droning bee once more.

他们正悠闲自在地在公路上缓缓行进,鼹鼠和老马并肩而行,跟马说话,因为那匹马抱怨说,他被冷落了,谁也不理睬他。蟾蜍和河鼠跟在车后,互相交谈——至少是蟾蜍在说话,河鼠只是有一搭没一搭地插上一句:“是呀,可不是吗?你跟他说什么来着?”心里却琢磨着毫不相干的别样事。就在这当儿,从后面老远的地方传来一阵隐隐的警告的轰鸣声,就像一只蜜蜂在远处嗡嗡嘤嘤。回头一看,只见后面一团滚滚烟尘,中心有个黑黑的东西在移动,以难以置信的速度向他们冲来。从烟尘里,发出一种低微的“噗噗”声,像一只惊恐不安的动物在痛苦地呻吟。他们并没在意,又接着谈话。可是就在一瞬间(仿佛只一眨眼的工夫),宁静的局面突然打破了。一阵狂风,一声怒吼,那东西猛扑上来,把他们逼下了路旁的沟渠。那“噗噗”声,像只大喇叭,在他们耳边震天价响。那东西里面锃亮的厚玻璃板和华贵的摩洛哥山羊皮垫,在他们眼前一晃而过。原来那是一辆富丽堂皇的汽车,一个庞然大物,脾气暴躁,令人胆寒。驾驶员聚精会神地紧握方向盘,顷刻间独霸了整个天地,搅起一团遮天蔽日的尘云,把他们团团裹住,什么也看不见了。接着,它嗖地远去,缩成一个小黑点,又变成了一只低声嗡嗡的蜜蜂。

The old grey horse, dreaming, as he plodded along, of his quiet paddock, in a new raw situation such as this simply abandoned himself to his natural emotions.?Rearing, plunging, backing steadily, in spite of all the Mole’s efforts at his head, and all the Mole’s lively language directed at his better feelings, he drove the cart backwards towards the deep ditch at the side of the road.?It wavered an instant—then there was a heartrending crash—and the canary-coloured cart, their pride and their joy, lay on its side in the ditch, an irredeemable wreck.

那匹老灰马,正慢悠悠地往前踱步,一面梦想着他那恬静闲适的养马场,突然遇上这么个难对付的局面,不由得狂躁起来。他向后退,又向前猛冲,又一个劲儿倒退,不管鼹鼠怎样使劲拉他的马头.怎样在一旁苦口婆心地劝他保持冷静,全都无济于事,硬是把车子往后推到了路旁的深沟边。那车晃了晃,接着便是撕心裂胆的一阵破碎声,结果,这辆淡黄色篷车,他们的骄傲和欢乐,就整个横躺在沟底,成了一堆无法修复的残骸。

The Rat danced up and down in the road, simply transported with passion.?‘You villains!’ he shouted, shaking both fists, ‘You scoundrels, you highwaymen, you—you—roadhogs!--I’ll have the law of you!?I’ll report you!?I’ll take you through all the Courts!’?His home-sickness had quite slipped away from him, and for the moment he was the skipper of the canary-coloured vessel driven on a shoal by the reckless jockeying of rival mariners, and he was trying to recollect all the fine and biting things he used to say to masters of steam-launches when their wash, as they drove too near the bank, used to flood his parlour-carpet at home.

河鼠站在路当中,暴跳如雷,气得直顿脚。“这帮恶棍!”他挥着双拳大声吼叫。“这帮坏蛋,这帮强盗,你们——你们——你们这帮路匪!——我要控告你们!我要把你们送上法庭!”他的念家情绪领时消失,此刻,他成了一艘淡黄色航船的船长,他的船被一群敌对的船员肆无忌惮的横冲直撞逼上了浅滩。一怒之下,他过去痛骂那些小汽船老板的尖酸刻薄的话一股脑喷发出来,因为那些人把船开得离岸大近,搅起的浪花常常淹了他家客厅的地毯。

Toad sat straight down in the middle of the dusty road, his legs stretched out before him, and stared fixedly in the direction of the disappearing motor-car.?He breathed short, his face wore a placid satisfied expression, and at intervals he faintly murmured ‘Poop-poop!’

蟾蜍一屁股坐在满是尘土的大路当中,两腿直挺挺地伸在前面,眼睛定定地凝望着汽车开走的方向。他呼吸急促,脸上的神情却十分宁静而满意,嘴里还不时发出轻轻的“噗噗”声。

The Mole was busy trying to quiet the horse, which he succeeded in doing after a time.?Then he went to look at the cart, on its side in the ditch.?It was indeed a sorry sight.?Panels and windows smashed, axles hopelessly bent, one wheel off, sardine-tins scattered over the wide world, and the bird in the bird-cage sobbing pitifully and calling to be let out.

鼹鼠忙着安抚老灰马,过了一会,终于使他镇静下来。接着他就去查看那辆横躺在沟底的车。那模样真是惨不忍睹。门窗全都摔得粉碎,车轴弯得不可收拾,一只轮子脱落了,沙丁鱼罐头掉了一地,笼里的鸟惨兮兮地抽泣着,哭喊着求他们放他出来。

The Rat came to help him, but their united efforts were not sufficient to right the cart.?‘Hi! Toad!’ they cried.?‘Come and bear a hand, can’t you!’

河鼠过去帮助鼹鼠,可他们两个一齐努力也没能把车扶起。“喂!蟾蜍!”他们喊道。“下来帮一把手,行不行?”

The Toad never answered a word, or budged from his seat in the road; so they went to see what was the matter with him.?They found him in a sort of a trance, a happy smile on his face, his eyes still fixed on the dusty wake of their destroyer.?At intervals he was still heard to murmur ‘Poop-poop!’

蟾蜍一声不吭,坐在路上纹丝不动。他俩只得过去,看看究竟出了什么事。只见,蟾蜍正迷迷瞪瞪地出神,脸上挂着幸福的笑容,两眼仍直勾勾地盯着前面尘土飞扬的地方,那个毁了他们的家伙的去向。时不时,还听到他低声念叨:“噗噗!”

The Rat shook him by the shoulder.?‘Are you coming to help us, Toad?’ he demanded sternly.

河鼠摇了摇他的肩膀,严肃的问道:“蟾蜍,你不来帮我们吗? ”

‘Glorious, stirring sight!’ murmured Toad, never offering to move.?‘The poetry of motion!?The REAL way to travel!?The ONLY way to travel!?Here to-day—in next week to-morrow! Villages skipped, towns and cities jumped—always somebody else’s horizon!?O bliss!?O poop-poop!?O my!?O my!’

“多么灿烂辉煌又激动人心的景象啊!”蟾蜍嘟哝着说,根本不打算挪窝儿。“诗一般的动力!这才叫真正的旅行!这才是旅行的唯一方式!今天在这儿——明天就到了别处!一座座村庄,一座座城镇,飞驰而过——新的眼界不断出现!多幸福啊!噗噗!哎呀呀!哎呀呀!”

‘O STOP being an ass, Toad!’ cried the Mole despairingly.

“别这么呆头呆脑的,蟾蜍!”鼹鼠喊道,拿他毫无办法。

‘And to think I never KNEW!’ went on the Toad in a dreamy monotone.?‘All those wasted years that lie behind me, I never knew, never even DREAMT!?But NOW—but now that I know, now that I fully realise!?O what a flowery track lies spread before me, henceforth!?What dust-clouds shall spring up behind me as I speed on my reckless way!?What carts I shall fling carelessly into the ditch in the wake of my magnificent onset! Horrid little carts—common carts—canary-coloured carts!’

“想想看,我对这玩意一无所知!”蟾蜍继续梦吃般地喃喃道。“我虚度了多少时光啊!不但从不知道,连做梦也没梦到过!现在我可知道了,现在我可全明白了!从今以后;展现在我面前的,该是多么光辉灿烂的锦绣前程啊!我要在公路上横冲直撞,飞速驰骋,在身后卷起漫天的尘土!我要威风凛凛地疾驰而过,把大批马车推下沟渠!哼!讨厌的小马车!平淡无奇的马车!淡黄色的马车!”

‘What are we to do with him?’ asked the Mole of the Water Rat.

“咱们拿他怎么办?”鼹鼠问河鼠。

‘Nothing at all,’ replied the Rat firmly.?‘Because there is really nothing to be done.?You see, I know him from of old.?He is now possessed.?He has got a new craze, and it always takes him that way, in its first stage.?He’ll continue like that for days now, like an animal walking in a happy dream, quite useless for all practical purposes.?Never mind him.?Let’s go and see what there is to be done about the cart.’

“什么也不用干,”河鼠斩钉截铁地说。“事实上,没有什么可干的。我太了解他啦。他现在是走火入魔。他又迷上了一个新玩意儿。一开头,总要给它缠磨成这个德行。他会一连许多天都这样疯疯傻傻,就像一只在美梦里游荡的动物,毫无实际用处。没关系,不必理他。咱们还是去看看怎样收拾那辆车吧。”

A careful inspection showed them that, even if they succeeded in righting it by themselves, the cart would travel no longer.?The axles were in a hopeless state, and the missing wheel was shattered into pieces.

经过仔细考察,他们看到,即使把车扶正过来,也没法再乘上它旅行了。车轴破损得一塌糊涂,脱落的一只轮子,完全粉碎了。

The Rat knotted the horse’s reins over his back and took him by the head, carrying the bird cage and its hysterical occupant in the other hand.?‘Come on!’ he said grimly to the Mole.?‘It’s five or six miles to the nearest town, and we shall just have to walk it.?The sooner we make a start the better.’

河鼠把组绳拴在马背上,一手牵着马,一手提着鸟笼,带上笼里那只惊慌万状的鸟。“走!”他神情严肃地对鼹鼠说。“到最近的小镇,也有五六哩的路程,咱们只能靠脚走了。所以得趁早动身。”

‘But what about Toad?’ asked the Mole anxiously, as they set off together.?‘We can’t leave him here, sitting in the middle of the road by himself, in the distracted state he’s in!?It’s not safe. Supposing another Thing were to come along?’

“可蟾蜍怎么办?”他俩双双上路时,鼹鼠不安地问。“瞧他那副神不守舍的样子,咱们总不能把他独自个儿撂在路当中吧!那太不安全了。万一又开过来一辆汽车怎么办?’”

‘O, BOTHER Toad,’ said the Rat savagely; ‘I’ve done with him!’

“哼,去他的!”河鼠怒冲冲地说,“我跟他一刀两断啦!”

They had not proceeded very far on their way, however, when there was a pattering of feet behind them, and Toad caught them up and thrust a paw inside the elbow of each of them; still breathing short and staring into vacancy.

可是,他们没走出多远,就听见后面吧嗒吧嗒的脚步声,原来是蟾蜍撵上来了。他把两只爪子一边一个,插进他俩的臂弯里,仍旧气喘吁吁,两眼发直,盯着空空的前方。

‘Now, look here, Toad!’ said the Rat sharply: ‘as soon as we get to the town, you’ll have to go straight to the police-station, and see if they know anything about that motor-car and who it belongs to, and lodge a complaint against it.?And then you’ll have to go to a blacksmith’s or a wheelwright’s and arrange for the cart to be fetched and mended and put to rights.?It’ll take time, but it’s not quite a hopeless smash.?Meanwhile, the Mole and I will go to an inn and find comfortable rooms where we can stay till the cart’s ready, and till your nerves have recovered their shock.’

“你听着,蟾蜍!”河鼠厉声说:“我们一到镇上,你就径直上警察局,问问他们知不知道那辆汽车,是谁的车,还要对他们提出起诉。然后,你得去找一家铁匠铺,或者修车铺,要他们把马车给修理好,这需要花一点时间,不过它还没坏到没法修理的程度。同时,鼹鼠和我就去旅馆,找几间舒适的房间住下,等车修好,也等你精神恢复过来再走。”

‘Police-station!?Complaint!’murmured Toad dreamily.?‘Me COMPLAIN of that beautiful, that heavenly vision that has been vouchsafed me!?MEND THE CART!?I’ve done with carts for ever. I never want to see the cart, or to hear of it, again.?O, Ratty! You can’t think how obliged I am to you for consenting to come on this trip!?I wouldn’t have gone without you, and then I might never have seen that—that swan, that sunbeam, that thunderbolt! I might never have heard that entrancing sound, or smelt that bewitching smell!?I owe it all to you, my best of friends!’

“警察局!起诉!”蟾蜍梦吃般地喃喃道。“要我去控告那个美妙的恩典吗?修马车!我和马车永远永远拜拜啦!我再也不想见到马车,不想过问马车的事啦。鼠儿啊,你同意和我一块儿旅行,我真不知道怎样感谢你才好!因为你要不来,我就不会来,也就永远看不到——那只天鹅,那道阳光,那声雷鸣!永远听不到那种叫人醉心的声响,闻不到那股叫人着迷的气味了!这一切全亏了你呀,我最好的朋友!”

The Rat turned from him in despair.?‘You see what it is?’ he said to the Mole, addressing him across Toad’s head:?‘He’s quite hopeless.?I give it up—when we get to the town we’ll go to the railway station, and with luck we may pick up a train there that’ll get us back to riverbank to-night.?And if ever you catch me going a-pleasuring with this provoking animal again!’ He snorted, and during the rest of that weary trudge addressed his remarks exclusively to Mole.

河鼠无可奈何地掉转脸去。“瞧见了吗?”他隔着蟾蜍的头对鼹鼠说:“他简直不可救药。算了,拉倒吧。等我们到了镇上,就去火车站,运气好的话,也许能赶上一趟火车,今晚就可以回到河岸。你瞧着吧,今后我再跟这个可恶的动物一块儿玩乐才怪!”他愤愤地哼了一下鼻子,随后,在这段沉闷乏味的跋涉途中,他只跟鼹鼠一个人搭话。

On reaching the town they went straight to the station and deposited Toad in the second-class waiting-room, giving a porter twopence to keep a strict eye on him.?They then left the horse at an inn stable, and gave what directions they could about the cart and its contents.?Eventually, a slow train having landed them at a station not very far from Toad Hall, they escorted the spell-bound, sleep-walking Toad to his door, put him inside it, and instructed his housekeeper to feed him, undress him, and put him to bed.?Then they got out their boat from the boat-house, sculled down the river home, and at a very late hour sat down to supper in their own cosy riverside parlour, to the Rat’s great joy and contentment.

一到镇上,他们直奔火车站,把蟾蜍安置在二等候车室,花两便士托一位搬运工好好看住他。然后,他们把马寄存在一家旅店的马厩里,对那辆马车和里面的东西尽可能详尽地作了说明,并吩咐人看管。一列慢车,终于把他们载到离蟾宫不远的站上。他们把迷离恍惚如醉如痴的蟾蜍护送到家,吩咐管家弄点东西给他吃,帮他脱衣,照料他上床睡觉。然后,他们从船坞里划出自己的小船,划到河下游的家中,很晚很晚,才在自己那舒适的临河的客厅里坐下来吃晚饭。这时,河鼠才深深感到舒心快慰。

The following evening the Mole, who had risen late and taken things very easy all day, was sitting on the bank fishing, when the Rat, who had been looking up his friends and gossiping, came strolling along to find him.?‘Heard the news?’ he said. ‘There’s nothing else being talked about, all along the river bank.?Toad went up to Town by an early train this morning.?And he has ordered a large and very expensive motor-car.’

第二天傍晚,迟迟起床并且闲散了一整天的鼹鼠,坐在河边钓鱼。河鼠拜访过几家朋友,和他们聊些闲话,这时,他溜达过来找上鼹鼠。“听到新闻了吗?”他说。“整条河上,都在谈论一件事。今天一早,蟾蜍就搭早车进城去了。他定购了一辆又大又豪华的汽车。”