The Wind in the Willows  柳林风声

‘It looks as if we were coming to a village,’ said the Mole somewhat dubiously, slackening his pace, as the track, that had in time become a path and then had developed into a lane, now handed them over to the charge of a well-metalled road. The animals did not hold with villages, and their own highways, thickly frequented as they were, took an independent course, regardless of church, post office, or public-house.

“看来,前面像是一个村庄,”鼹鼠放慢了脚步,疑疑惑惑地说。因为,那条被脚踩出来的小道,先是变成了一条小径,然后又扩大成一条树夹道,最后引他们走上了一条碎石子路。村庄不大合两只动物的口味,他们平时常常过往的公路,是另一股道,避开了教堂、邮局或酒店。

‘Oh, never mind!’ said the Rat. ‘At this season of the year they’re all safe indoors by this time, sitting round the fire; men, women, and children, dogs and cats and all. We shall slip through all right, without any bother or unpleasantness, and we can have a look at them through their windows if you like, and see what they’re doing.’

“噢,没关系,”河鼠说。“在这个季节,这个时辰,男人呀,女人呀,小孩呀,狗呀,猫呀,全都安安静静呆在家里烤火。咱们可以人不知鬼不觉地溜过去,不会惹事生非的。如果你愿意,咱们还可以从窗外偷瞧几眼,看看他们都在干什么。”

The rapid nightfall of mid-December had quite beset the little village as they approached it on soft feet over a first thin fall of powdery snow. Little was visible but squares of a dusky orange-red on either side of the street, where the firelight or lamplight of each cottage overflowed through the casements into the dark world without. Most of the low latticed windows were innocent of blinds, and to the lookers-in from outside, the inmates, gathered round the tea-table, absorbed in handiwork, or talking with laughter and gesture, had each that happy grace which is the last thing the skilled actor shall capture—the natural grace which goes with perfect unconsciousness of observation. Moving at will from one theatre to another, the two spectators, so far from home themselves, had something of wistfulness in their eyes as they watched a cat being stroked, a sleepy child picked up and huddled off to bed, or a tired man stretch and knock out his pipe on the end of a smouldering log.

当他们迈着轻柔的脚步,踏着薄薄一层粉状的雪走进村庄时,十二月中旬迅速降临的黑夜已经笼罩了小小的村庄。除了街道两边昏暗的橘红色方块,几乎什么也看不见。透过那些窗子,每间农舍里的炉火光和灯光,涌流到外面黑洞洞的世界。这些低矮的格子窗,多半都不挂窗帘,屋里的人也不避讳窗外的看客。他们围坐在茶桌旁,一心一意在干手工活,或者挥动手臂大声说笑,人人都显得优雅自如,那正是技艺高超的演员所渴求达到的境界——丝毫没有意识到面对观众的一种自然境界。这两位远离自己家园的观众,随意从一家剧院看到另一家剧院。当他们看到一只猫被人抚摸,一个瞌睡的小孩被抱到床上,或者一个倦乏的男人伸懒腰,并在一段冒烟的木柴尾端磕打烟斗时,他们的眼睛里不由得露出某种渴望的神情。

But it was from one little window, with its blind drawn down, a mere blank transparency on the night, that the sense of home and the little curtained world within walls—the larger stressful world of outside Nature shut out and forgotten—most pulsated. Close against the white blind hung a bird-cage, clearly silhouetted, every wire, perch, and appurtenance distinct and recognisable, even to yesterday’s dull-edged lump of sugar. On the middle perch the fluffy occupant, head tucked well into feathers, seemed so near to them as to be easily stroked, had they tried; even the delicate tips of his plumped-out plumage pencilled plainly on the illuminated screen. As they looked, the sleepy little fellow stirred uneasily, woke, shook himself, and raised his head. They could see the gape of his tiny beak as he yawned in a bored sort of way, looked round, and then settled his head into his back again, while the ruffled feathers gradually subsided into perfect stillness. Then a gust of bitter wind took them in the back of the neck, a small sting of frozen sleet on the skin woke them as from a dream, and they knew their toes to be cold and their legs tired, and their own home distant a weary way.

然而,有一扇拉上窗帘的小窗,在黑暗里,只显出半透明的一方空白。只有在这里,家的感觉,斗室内帷帘低垂的小天地的感觉,把外面的自然界那个紧张的大世界关在门外并且遗忘掉的感觉,才最为强烈、紧靠白色的窗帘,挂着一只鸟笼,映出一个清晰的剪影。每根铁丝,每副栖架,每件附属物,甚至昨天的一块舐圆了角的方糖,都清晰可辨、栖在笼子中央一根栖架上的那个毛茸茸的鸟儿,把头深深地埋在羽翼里,显得离他们很近,仿佛伸手就能摸到似的。他那圆滚滚的羽毛身子,甚至那些细细的羽尖,都像在那块发光的屏上描出来的铅笔画。正当他俩看着,那只睡意沉沉的小东西不安地动了动,醒了,他抖抖羽毛,昂起头。在他懒洋洋地打呵欠时,他们能看到他细小的喙张得大大的,他向四周看了看,又把头埋进翅下,蓬松的羽毛渐渐收拢,静止不动了。这时,一阵凛冽的风刮进他俩的后脖子,冰冷的雨雪刺痛了他们的皮肤,他们仿佛从梦中惊醒,感到脚趾发冷,两腿酸累,这才意识到,他们离自己的家还有一段长长的跋涉。

Once beyond the village, where the cottages ceased abruptly, on either side of the road they could smell through the darkness the friendly fields again; and they braced themselves for the last long stretch, the home stretch, the stretch that we know is bound to end, some time, in the rattle of the door-latch, the sudden firelight, and the sight of familiar things greeting us as long-absent travellers from far over-sea. They plodded along steadily and silently, each of them thinking his own thoughts. The Mole’s ran a good deal on supper, as it was pitch-dark, and it was all a strange country for him as far as he knew, and he was following obediently in the wake of the Rat, leaving the guidance entirely to him. As for the Rat, he was walking a little way ahead, as his habit was, his shoulders humped, his eyes fixed on the straight grey road in front of him; so he did not notice poor Mole when suddenly the summons reached him, and took him like an electric shock.

一出村庄,茅屋立时就没有了。在道路两旁,他们又闻到友好的田地的气息,穿过黑暗向他们扑来。于是他们打起精神,走上最后一段征途。这是回家的路,这段路,他们知道早晚是有尽头的。那时,门闩咔嚓一响,眼前突然出现炉火,熟悉的事物像迎接久别归来的海外游子一样欢迎他们。他们坚定地走着,默默不语,各想各的心事。鼹鼠一心想着晚饭。天已经全黑了,四周都是陌生的田野,所以他只管乖乖地跟在河鼠后面,由着河鼠给他带路。河鼠呢,他照常走在前面,微微佝偻着双肩,两眼紧盯着前面那条笔直的灰色道路。因此,他没怎么顾到可怜的鼹鼠。就在这当儿,一声召唤,如同电击一般,突然触到了鼹鼠。

We others, who have long lost the more subtle of the physical senses, have not even proper terms to express an animal’s inter-communications with his surroundings, living or otherwise, and have only the word ‘smell,’ for instance, to include the whole range of delicate thrills which murmur in the nose of the animal night and day, summoning, warning? inciting, repelling. It was one of these mysterious fairy calls from out the void that suddenly reached Mole in the darkness, making him tingle through and through with its very familiar appeal, even while yet he could not clearly remember what it was. He stopped dead in his tracks, his nose searching hither and thither in its efforts to recapture the fine filament, the telegraphic current, that had so strongly moved him. A moment, and he had caught it again; and with it this time came recollection in fullest flood.

我们人类,久已失去了较细微的生理感觉,甚至找不到恰当的词汇,来形容一只动物与他的环境——有生命的或无生命的——之间那种息息相通的交流关系。比如说,动物的鼻孔内日夜不停地发出嗡嗡作响的一整套细微的颤动,如呼唤、警告、挑逗、排拒等等,我们只会用一个“嗅”字来概括。此刻,正是这样一种来自虚空的神秘的仙气般的呼声,透过黑暗,传到了鼹鼠身上。它那十分熟悉的呼吁,刺激得鼹鼠浑身震颤,尽管他一时还记不起那究竟是什么。走着走着。他忽然定在那儿,用鼻子到处嗅,使劲去捕捉那根细丝,那束强烈地触动了他的电流。只一会,他就捉住它了,随之而来的是狂潮般涌上心头的回忆。

Home! That was what they meant, those caressing appeals, those soft touches wafted through the air, those invisible little hands pulling and tugging, all one way! Why, it must be quite close by him at that moment, his old home that he had hurriedly forsaken and never sought again, that day when he first found the river! And now it was sending out its scouts and its messengers to capture him and bring him in. Since his escape on that bright morning he had hardly given it a thought, so absorbed had he been in his new life, in all its pleasures, its surprises, its fresh and captivating experiences. Now, with a rush of old memories, how clearly it stood up before him, in the darkness! Shabby indeed, and small and poorly furnished, and yet his, the home he had made for himself, the home he had been so happy to get back to after his day’s work. And the home had been happy with him, too, evidently, and was missing him, and wanted him back, and was telling him so, through his nose, sorrowfully, reproachfully, but with no bitterness or anger; only with plaintive reminder that it was there, and wanted him.

家!这就是它们向他传递的信息!一连串亲切的吁求,一连串从空中飘来的轻柔的触摸。一只只无形的小手又拉又拽,全都朝着一个方向!啊,此刻,它一定就近在眼前,他的老家,自打他第一次发现大河,就匆匆离去,再也不曾返顾的家!现在,它派出了探子和信使,来寻访他,带他回来。自打那个明媚的早晨离家出走后,他就沉浸在新的生活里,享受这生活带给他的一切欢乐、异趣、引人入胜的新鲜体验;至于老家,他连想也不曾想过。现在,历历往事,一涌而上,老家便在黑暗中清晰地呈现在眼前。他的家尽管矮小简陋,陈设贫乏,却是属于他的,是他为自己建造的家园,是他在劳碌一天之后愉快地回归的家园。这个家,显然也喜欢他,思念他,盼他回来。家正在通过他的鼻子,悲切地、哀怨地向他诉说,并不愤控,并不恼怒,只是凄楚地提醒他:家就在这儿,它需要他。

The call was clear, the summons was plain. He must obey it instantly, and go. ‘Ratty!’ he called, full of joyful excitement, ‘hold on! Come back! I want you, quick!’

这呼声是清晰的,这召唤是明确的。他必须立即服从,回去。“鼠儿!”他满腔喜悦,兴奋地喊道,“停一下!回来!我需要你,快!”

‘Oh, COME along, Mole, do!’ replied the Rat cheerfully, still plodding along.

“噢,走吧,鼹鼠,快来呀!”河鼠兴冲冲地喊,仍旧不停脚地奋力朝前走。

‘PLEASE stop, Ratty!’ pleaded the poor Mole, in anguish of heart. ‘You don’t understand! It’s my home, my old home! I’ve just come across the smell of it, and it’s close by here, really quite close. And I MUST go to it, I must, I must! Oh, come back, Ratty! Please, please come back!’

“停一停吧,求求你啦,鼠儿!”可怜的鼹鼠苦苦哀求,他的心在作痛。“你不明白!这是我的家,我的老家!我刚刚闻到了它的气味,它就近在眼前,近极了。我一定得回去,一定,一定!回来吧,鼠儿,求求你,求求你啦!”

The Rat was by this time very far ahead, too far to hear clearly what the Mole was calling, too far to catch the sharp note of painful appeal in his voice. And he was much taken up with the weather, for he too could smell something—something suspiciously like approaching snow.

这时河鼠已走在前面很远了,没听清鼹鼠在喊什么,也没听出鼹鼠的声音里那种苦苦哀求的尖厉的腔调。而且,他担心要变天,因为他也闻到了某种气味——他怀疑可能要下雪了。

‘Mole, we mustn’t stop now, really!’ he called back. ‘We’ll come for it to-morrow, whatever it is you’ve found. But I daren’t stop now— it’s late, and the snow’s coming on again, and I’m not sure of the way! And I want your nose, Mole, so come on quick, there’s a good fellow!’ And the Rat pressed forward on his way without waiting for an answer.

“鼹鼠,咱们现在停不得,真的停不得!”他回头喊道。“不管你找到了什么,咱们明天再来瞧。可现在我不敢停下来——天已经晚了,马上又要下雪,这条路线我不太熟悉。鼹鼠,我需要依靠你的鼻子,所以,快来吧,好小伙!”河鼠不等鼹鼠回答,只顾闷头向前赶路。

Poor Mole stood alone in the road, his heart torn asunder, and a big sob gathering, gathering, somewhere low down inside him, to leap up to the surface presently, he knew, in passionate escape. But even under such a test as this his loyalty to his friend stood firm. Never for a moment did he dream of abandoning him. Meanwhile, the wafts from his old home pleaded, whispered, conjured, and finally claimed him imperiously. He dared not tarry longer within their magic circle. With a wrench that tore his very heartstrings he set his face down the road and followed submissively in the track of the Rat, while faint, thin little smells, still dogging his retreating nose, reproached him for his new friendship and his callous forgetfulness.

可怜的鼹鼠独自站在路上,他的心都撕裂了。他感到,胸中有一大股伤心泪,正在聚积,胀满,马上就要涌上喉头,迸发出来。不过即便面临这样严峻的考验,他对朋友的忠诚仍毫不动摇,一刻儿也没想过要抛弃朋友。但同时,从他的老家发出的信息在乞求,在低声哺哺,在对他施放魔力,最后竟专横地勒令他绝对服从。他不敢在它的魔力圈内多耽留,猛地挣断了自己的心弦,下狠心把脸朝向前面的路,顺从地追随河鼠的足迹走去。虽然,那若隐若现的气味,仍旧附着在他那逐渐远去的鼻端,责怪他有了新朋友,忘了老朋友。

With an effort he caught up to the unsuspecting Rat, who began chattering cheerfully about what they would do when they got back, and how jolly a fire of logs in the parlour would be, and what a supper he meant to eat; never noticing his companion’s silence and distressful state of mind. At last, however, when they had gone some considerable way further, and were passing some tree-stumps at the edge of a copse that bordered the road, he stopped and said kindly, ‘Look here, Mole old chap, you seem dead tired. No talk left in you, and your feet dragging like lead. We’ll sit down here for a minute and rest. The snow has held off so far, and the best part of our journey is over.’

他费了好大劲才撵上河鼠。河鼠对他的隐情毫无觉察,只顾高高兴兴地跟他唠叨,讲他们回家后要干些啥。客厅里升起一炉柴火是多么惬意。晚饭要吃些什么。他一点没留心同伴的沉默和忧郁的神情。不过后来,当他们已经走了相当一段路,经过路旁矮树丛边的一些树桩时,他停下脚步,关切地说:“喂,鼹鼠,老伙计,你像是累坏了、一句话不说,你的腿像绑上了铅似的。咱们在这儿坐下歇会儿吧。好在雪到现在还没下,大半路程咱们已经走过了。”

The Mole subsided forlornly on a tree-stump and tried to control himself, for he felt it surely coming. The sob he had fought with so long refused to be beaten. Up and up, it forced its way to the air, and then another, and another, and others thick and fast; till poor Mole at last gave up the struggle, and cried freely and helplessly and openly, now that he knew it was all over and he had lost what he could hardly be said to have found.

鼹鼠凄凄惨惨地在一个树桩上坐下,竭力想控制自己的情绪,因为他觉得自己就要哭出来了。他一直苦苦挣扎,强压哭泣,可哭泣偏不听话,硬是一点一点往上冒,一声,又一声,跟着是紧锣密鼓的一连串,最后他只得不再挣扎,绝望地放声痛哭起来。因为他知道,他已经失去他几乎找到的东西,一切都完了。

The Rat, astonished and dismayed at the violence of Mole’s paroxysm of grief, did not dare to speak for a while. At last he said, very quietly and sympathetically, ‘What is it, old fellow? Whatever can be the matter? Tell us your trouble, and let me see what I can do.’

河鼠被鼹鼠那突如其来的大悲恸惊呆了,一时竟不敢开口。末了,他非常安详而同情地说:“到底怎么回事,老伙计?把你的苦恼说给咱听听,看我能不能帮点忙。”

Poor Mole found it difficult to get any words out between the upheavals of his chest that followed one upon another so quickly and held back speech and choked it as it came. ‘I know it’s a—shabby, dingy little place,’ he sobbed forth at last, brokenly: ‘not like— your cosy quarters—or Toad’s beautiful hall—or Badger’s great house—but it was my own little home—and I was fond of it—and I went away and forgot all about it—and then I smelt it suddenly—on the road, when I called and you wouldn’t listen, Rat—and everything came back to me with a rush—and I WANTED it!--O dear, O dear!--and when you WOULDN’T turn back, Ratty—and I had to leave it, though I was smelling it all the time—I thought my heart would break.—We might have just gone and had one look at it, Ratty—only one look—it was close by—but you wouldn’t turn back, Ratty, you wouldn’t turn back! O dear, O dear!’

可怜的鼹鼠简直说不出话来,他胸膛剧烈起伏,话到口中又给噎了回去。后来,他终于断断续续哽咽着说:“我知道,我的家是个——又穷又脏的小屋,比不上——你的住所那么舒适——比不上蟾宫那么美丽——也比不上獾的屋子那么宽大——可它毕竟是我自己的小家——我喜欢它——我离家以后,就把它忘得干干净净——可我忽然又闻到了它的气味——就在路上,在我喊你的时候,可你不理会——过去的一切像潮水似的涌上我心头——我需要它!——天哪!天哪!——你硬是不肯回头,河鼠——我只好丢下它,尽管我一直闻到它的气味——我的心都要碎了——其实咱们本可以回去瞅它一眼的,鼠儿——只瞅一眼就行——它就在附近——可你偏不肯回头,鼠儿,你不肯回头嘛!天哪!天哪!”

Recollection brought fresh waves of sorrow, and sobs again took full charge of him, preventing further speech.

回忆掀起了他新的悲伤狂涛,一阵猛烈的啜泣,噎得他说不下去了。

The Rat stared straight in front of him, saying nothing, only patting Mole gently on the shoulder. After a time he muttered gloomily, ‘I see it all now! What a PIG I have been! A pig—that’s me! Just a pig—a plain pig!’

河鼠直楞楞地盯着前面,一声不吭,只是轻轻地拍着鼹鼠的肩。过了一会,他沮丧地喃喃说:“现在我全明白了!我真是只猪!——一只猪——就是我!——不折不扣一只猪——地地道道一只猪!”

He waited till Mole’s sobs became gradually less stormy and more rhythmical; he waited till at last sniffs were frequent and sobs only intermittent. Then he rose from his seat, and, remarking carelessly, ‘Well, now we’d really better be getting on, old chap!’ set off up the road again, over the toilsome way they had come.

河鼠等着,等到鼹鼠的哭泣逐渐缓和下来,不再是狂风暴雨,而变得多少有节奏了,等到鼹鼠只管抽鼻子,间或夹杂几声啜泣。这时,河鼠从树桩上站起来,若无其事地说:“好啦,老伙计,咱们现在动手干起来吧!”说着,他就朝他们辛辛苦苦走过来的原路走去。

‘Wherever are you (hic) going to (hic), Ratty?’ cried the tearful Mole, looking up in alarm.

“你上(嗝)哪去(嗝),鼠儿?”泪流满面的鼹鼠抬头望着他,惊叫道。

‘We’re going to find that home of yours, old fellow,’ replied the Rat pleasantly; ‘so you had better come along, for it will take some finding, and we shall want your nose.’

“老伙计,咱们去找你的那个家呀,”河鼠高兴地说,“你最好也一起来,找起来或许要费点劲,需要借助你的鼻子呀。”

‘Oh, come back, Ratty, do!’ cried the Mole, getting up and hurrying after him. ‘It’s no good, I tell you! It’s too late, and too dark, and the place is too far off, and the snow’s coming! And—and I never meant to let you know I was feeling that way about it—it was all an accident and a mistake! And think of River Bank, and your supper!’

“噢,回来,鼠儿,回来!”鼹鼠站起来追赶河鼠。“我跟你说,这没有用!太晚了,也太黑了,那地方太远,而且马上又要下雪!再说——我并不是有意让你知道我对它的那份感情——这纯粹是偶然的,是个错误!还是想想河岸,想想你的晚饭吧!”

‘Hang River Bank, and supper too!’ said the Rat heartily. ‘I tell you, I’m going to find this place now, if I stay out all night. So cheer up, old chap, and take my arm, and we’ll very soon be back there again.’

“什么河岸,什么晚饭,见鬼去吧!”河鼠诚心诚意地说。“我跟你说,我非去找你的家不可,哪怕在外面呆一整夜也在所不惜。老朋友,打起精神,挽着我的臂,咱们很快就会回到原地的。”

Still snuffling, pleading, and reluctant, Mole suffered himself to be dragged back along the road by his imperious companion, who by a flow of cheerful talk and anecdote endeavoured to beguile his spirits back and make the weary way seem shorter. When at last it seemed to the Rat that they must be nearing that part of the road where the Mole had been ‘held up,’ he said, ‘Now, no more talking. Business! Use your nose, and give your mind to it.’

鼹鼠仍在抽鼻子,恳求,勉勉强强由着朋友把他强拽着往回走。河鼠一路滔滔不绝地给他讲故事,好提起他的情绪,使这段乏味的路程显得短些。后来,河鼠觉得他们似乎已经来到鼹鼠当初给“绊住”的地方,就说,“现在,别说话了,干正事!用你的鼻子,用你的心来找。”

They moved on in silence for some little way, when suddenly the Rat was conscious, through his arm that was linked in Mole’s, of a faint sort of electric thrill that was passing down that animal’s body. Instantly he disengaged himself, fell back a pace, and waited, all attention.

他们默默地往前走了一小段路,突然,河鼠感到有一股微弱的电颤,通过鼹鼠的全身,从他挽着的胳臂传来。他立即抽出胳臂,往后退一步,全神贯注地等待着。

The signals were coming through! Mole stood a moment rigid, while his uplifted nose, quivering slightly, felt the air.

有一刻,鼹鼠僵直地站定不动,翘鼻子微微颤动,嗅着空气。

Then a short, quick run forward—a fault—a check—a try back; and then a slow, steady, confident advance.

然后,他向前急跑了几步——错了——止步——又试一次;然后,他慢慢地、坚定地、信心十足地向前走去。

The Rat, much excited, kept close to his heels as the Mole, with something of the air of a sleep-walker, crossed a dry ditch, scrambled through a hedge, and nosed his way over a field open and trackless and bare in the faint starlight.

河鼠特兴奋,亦步亦趋地紧跟在鼹鼠身后。鼹鼠像梦游者似的,在昏暗的星光下,跨过一条干涸的水沟,钻过一道树篱,用鼻子嗅着,横穿一片宽阔的、光秃秃没有路径的田野。

Suddenly, without giving warning, he dived; but the Rat was on the alert, and promptly followed him down the tunnel to which his unerring nose had faithfully led him.

猛地,没有作出任何警告,他一头钻到了地下。幸亏河鼠高度警觉,他立刻也跟着钻了下去,进到他那灵敏的鼻子嗅出的地道。

It was close and airless, and the earthy smell was strong, and it seemed a long time to Rat ere the passage ended and he could stand erect and stretch and shake himself. The Mole struck a match, and by its light the Rat saw that they were standing in an open space, neatly swept and sanded underfoot, and directly facing them was Mole’s little front door, with ‘Mole End’ painted, in Gothic lettering, over the bell-pull at the side.

地道很狭窄,憋闷,有股刺鼻的土腥味。河鼠觉得他们走了很久很久,才走到尽头,他才能直起腰来,伸展四肢,抖抖身子。鼹鼠划着一根火柴,借着火光,河鼠看到他们站在一块空地上。地面扫得于干净净,铺了一层沙子,正对他们的是鼹鼠家的小小前门,门旁挂着铃索,门的上方,漆着三个黑体字:“鼹鼠居”。

Mole reached down a lantern from a nail on the wail and lit it, and the Rat, looking round him, saw that they were in a sort of fore-court. A garden-seat stood on one side of the door, and on the other a roller; for the Mole, who was a tidy animal when at home, could not stand having his ground kicked up by other animals into little runs that ended in earth-heaps. On the walls hung wire baskets with ferns in them, alternating with brackets carrying plaster statuary—Garibaldi, and the infant Samuel, and Queen Victoria, and other heroes of modern Italy. Down on one side of the forecourt ran a skittle-alley, with benches along it and little wooden tables marked with rings that hinted at beer-mugs. In the middle was a small round pond containing gold-fish and surrounded by a cockle-shell border. Out of the centre of the pond rose a fanciful erection clothed in more cockle-shells and topped by a large silvered glass ball that reflected everything all wrong and had a very pleasing effect.

鼹鼠从墙上摘下一盏灯笼,点亮了,河鼠环顾四周,看到他们是在一个前庭里。门的一侧,摆着一张花园坐椅,另一侧,有个石磙子。这是因为,鼹鼠在家时爱好整洁,不喜欢别的动物把他的地面蹴出一道道足痕,踢成一个个小土堆。墙上,挂着几只金属丝篮子,插着些羊齿植物,花篮之间隔着些托架,上面摆着泥塑像——有加里波的,有年幼的萨缪尔,有维多利亚女王,还有其他意大利英雄们。在前庭的下首,有个九柱戏场,周围摆着条凳和小木桌,桌上印着一些圆圈,是摆啤酒杯的标志。庭院中央有个圆圆的小池塘,养着金鱼,四周镶着海扇贝壳砌的边。池塘中央,矗立着一座用海扇贝壳贴面的造型奇特的塔,塔顶是一只很大的银白色玻璃球,反照出来的东西全都走了样,怪滑稽的。

Mole’s face-beamed at the sight of all these objects so dear to him, and he hurried Rat through the door, lit a lamp in the hall, and took one glance round his old home. He saw the dust lying thick on everything, saw the cheerless, deserted look of the long-neglected house, and its narrow, meagre dimensions, its worn and shabby contents—and collapsed again on a hall-chair, his nose to his paws. ‘O Ratty!’ he cried dismally, ‘why ever did I do it? Why did I bring you to this poor, cold little place, on a night like this, when you might have been at River Bank by this time, toasting your toes before a blazing fire, with all your own nice things about you!’

看到这些亲切的物件,鼹鼠的脸上绽开了愉快的笑意。他把河鼠推进大门,点着了厅里的一盏灯,匆匆扫了一眼他的旧居。他看到,所有的东西都积满了厚厚的一层灰尘,看到长久被他遗忘的屋子的凄凉景象,看到它的开间是那么狭小,室内陈设又是那么简陋陈旧,禁不住又沮丧起来,颓然瘫倒在椅子上,双爪捂住鼻子。“鼠儿啊!”他悲悲戚戚地哭道,“我为什么要这么干?为什么在这样寒冷的深夜,把你拉到这个穷酸冰冷的小屋里来!要不然,你这时已经回到河岸,对着熊熊的炉火烤脚,周边都是你的那些好东西!”

The Rat paid no heed to his doleful self-reproaches. He was running here and there, opening doors, inspecting rooms and cupboards, and lighting lamps and candles and sticking them, up everywhere. ‘What a capital little house this is!’ he called out cheerily. ‘So compact! So well planned! Everything here and everything in its place! We’ll make a jolly night of it. The first thing we want is a good fire; I’ll see to that—I always know where to find things. So this is the parlour? Splendid! Your own idea, those little sleeping-bunks in the wall? Capital! Now, I’ll fetch the wood and the coals, and you get a duster, Mole—you’ll find one in the drawer of the kitchen table—and try and smarten things up a bit. Bustle about, old chap!’

河鼠没有理会他悲哀的自责,只顾跑来跑去奔忙着,把各扇门打开,察看各个房间和食品柜,点着许多盏灯和蜡烛,摆得满屋子都是。“真是一所顶呱呱的小屋!”他开心地大声说。“多紧凑啊!设计得多巧妙啊!什么都不缺,一切都井然有序!今晚咱俩会过得很愉快的。头一件事,是升起一炉好火,这我来办——找东西,我最拿手。看来,这就是客厅啰?太好了!安装在墙上的这些小卧榻,是你自己设计的吗?真棒!我这就去取木柴和煤,你呢,鼹鼠,去拿一把掸子——厨桌抽屉里就有一把——把灰尘掸掸干净。动手干起来吧,老伙计!”

Encouraged by his inspiriting companion, the Mole roused himself and dusted and polished with energy and heartiness, while the Rat, running to and fro with armfuls of fuel, soon had a cheerful blaze roaring up the chimney. He hailed the Mole to come and warm himself; but Mole promptly had another fit of the blues, dropping down on a couch in dark despair and burying his face in his duster. 

同伴热情的激励,使鼹鼠大受鼓舞,他振作起来,认真努力地打扫擦拭。河鼠一趟又一趟抱来柴禾,不多会就升起一炉欢腾的火,火苗呼呼地直窜上烟囱。他招呼鼹鼠过来烤火取暖。可是鼹鼠忽然又忧愁起来,沮丧地跌坐在一张躺椅上,用掸子捂着脸。v

‘Rat,’ he moaned, ‘how about your supper, you poor, cold, hungry, weary animal? I’ve nothing to give you—nothing—not a crumb!’

“鼠儿呀,”他呜咽道,“你的晚饭可怎么办?你这个又冷又饿又累的可怜的动物,我没有一点吃的招待你——连点面包屑都没有!”

‘What a fellow you are for giving in!’ said the Rat reproachfully. ‘Why, only just now I saw a sardine-opener on the kitchen dresser, quite distinctly; and everybody knows that means there are sardines about somewhere in the neighbourhood. Rouse yourself! pull yourself together, and come with me and forage.’

“你这个人哪,怎么这样灰溜溜!”河鼠责备他说。“你瞧。刚才我还清清楚楚看见橱柜上有把开沙丁鱼罐头的起子,既然有起子,还愁没有罐头?打起精神来,跟我一道去找。”

They went and foraged accordingly, hunting through every cupboard and turning out every drawer. The result was not so very depressing after all, though of course it might have been better; a tin of sardines—a box of captain’s biscuits, nearly full—and a German sausage encased in silver paper.

他们于是翻橱倒柜,满屋子搜寻。结果虽不太令人满意,倒也不太叫人失望,果然找到一听沙丁鱼,差不多满满一盒饼干,一段包在银纸里的德国香肠。

‘There’s a banquet for you!’ observed the Rat, as he arranged the table. ‘I know some animals who would give their ears to be sitting down to supper with us to-night!’

“够你开宴席的了!”河鼠一面摆饭桌,一面说。“我敢说,有些动物今晚要是能和我们一道吃晚饭,简直求之不得啦!”

‘No bread!’ groaned the Mole dolorously; ‘no butter, no----‘

“没有面包!”鼹鼠哭丧着脸呻吟道;“没有黄油,没有——”

‘No pate de foie gras, no champagne!’ continued the Rat, grinning. ‘And that reminds me—what’s that little door at the end of the passage? Your cellar, of course! Every luxury in this house! Just you wait a minute.’

“没有鹅肝酱,没有香摈酒!”河鼠撇着嘴嘲笑说。“我倒想起来了——过道尽头那扇小门里面是什么?当然是你的储藏室啰!你家的好东西全都在那儿藏着哪!你等着。”

He made for the cellar-door, and presently reappeared, somewhat dusty, with a bottle of beer in each paw and another under each arm, ‘Self-indulgent beggar you seem to be, Mole,’ he observed. ‘Deny yourself nothing. This is really the jolliest little place I ever was in. Now, wherever did you pick up those prints? Make the place look so home-like, they do. No wonder you’re so fond of it, Mole. Tell us all about it, and how you came to make it what it is.’

他走进储藏室,不多会儿又走出来,身上沾了点灰,两只爪子各握着一瓶啤酒,两腋下也各夹着瓶啤酒。“鼹鼠,看来你还是个挺会享受的美食家哩,”他评论说。“凡是好吃的,一样不少哇。这小屋比哪儿都叫人高兴。喂,这些画片,你打哪儿弄来的?挂上这些画,这小屋更显得像个家了。给咱说说,你是怎么把它布置成这个样儿?”

Then, while the Rat busied himself fetching plates, and knives and forks, and mustard which he mixed in an egg-cup, the Mole, his bosom still heaving with the stress of his recent emotion, related—somewhat shyly at first, but with more freedom as he warmed to his subject—how this was planned, and how that was thought out, and how this was got through a windfall from an aunt, and that was a wonderful find and a bargain, and this other thing was bought out of laborious savings and a certain amount of ‘going without.’ His spirits finally quite restored, he must needs go and caress his possessions, and take a lamp and show off their points to his visitor and expatiate on them, quite forgetful of the supper they both so much needed; Rat, who was desperately hungry but strove to conceal it, nodding seriously, examining with a puckered brow, and saying, ‘wonderful,’ and ‘most remarkable,’ at intervals, when the chance for an observation was given him.

在河鼠忙着拿盘碟刀叉,往蛋杯里调芥末时,鼹鼠还因为刚才的感情激动而胸膛起伏,他开始给河鼠讲起来,起先还有几分不好意思,后来越讲越带劲,无拘无束了。他告诉他,这个是怎样设计的,那个是怎样琢磨出来的,这个是从一位姑妈那儿意外得来的,那个是一项重大发现,买的便宜货,而这件东西是靠省吃俭用,辛苦攒钱买来的。说着说着,他的情绪好了起来,不由得用手去抚弄他的那些财物。他提着一盏灯,向客人详细介绍它们的特点,把他俩都急需的晚饭都给忘到脑后了。河鼠呢,尽管他饿极了,可还强装作若无其事的样于,认真地点着头,皱起眉头仔细端详,瞅空子就说“了不起”,“太棒了”。

At last the Rat succeeded in decoying him to the table, and had just got seriously to work with the sardine-opener when sounds were heard from the fore-court without—sounds like the scuffling of small feet in the gravel and a confused murmur of tiny voices, while broken sentences reached them—‘Now, all in a line—hold the lantern up a bit, Tommy—clear your throats first—no coughing after I say one, two, three.—Where’s young Bill?--Here, come on, do, we’re all a-waiting----‘

末了,河鼠终于把他哄回到饭桌旁,正要认真打开沙丁鱼罐头时,庭院里传来一阵声响——像是小脚丫儿在沙地上乱跺,还有小嗓门儿七嘴八舌在说话。有些话断断续续传到他们耳中——“好,现在大家站成一排——托米,把灯笼举高点——先清清你们的嗓子——我喊一、二、三以后,就不许再咳嗽——小比尔在哪?快过来,我们都等着呐——”

‘What’s up?’ inquired the Rat, pausing in his labours.

“出什么事啦?”河鼠停下手里的活,问道。

‘I think it must be the field-mice,’ replied the Mole, with a touch of pride in his manner. ‘They go round carol-singing regularly at this time of the year. They’re quite an institution in these parts. And they never pass me over—they come to Mole End last of all; and I used to give them hot drinks, and supper too sometimes, when I could afford it. It will be like old times to hear them again.’

“准是田鼠们来了,“鼹鼠回答说,露出颇为得意的神色。“每年这个时节,他们照例要上各家串门唱圣诞歌,成了这一带的一种风尚。他们从不漏过我家——总是最后来到鼹鼠居。我总要请他们喝点热饮料,要是供得起,还请他们吃顿晚饭。听到他们唱圣诞歌,就像回到了过去的时光。”

‘Let’s have a look at them!’ cried the Rat, jumping up and running to the door.

“咱们瞧瞧去!”河鼠喊道,他跳起来,向门口跑去。

It was a pretty sight, and a seasonable one, that met their eyes when they flung the door open. In the fore-court, lit by the dim rays of a horn lantern, some eight or ten little fieldmice stood in a semicircle, red worsted comforters round their throats, their fore-paws thrust deep into their pockets, their feet jigging for warmth. With bright beady eyes they glanced shyly at each other, sniggering a little, sniffing and applying coat-sleeves a good deal. As the door opened, one of the elder ones that carried the lantern was just saying, ‘Now then, one, two, three!’ and forthwith their shrill little voices uprose on the air, singing one of the old-time carols that their forefathers composed in fields that were fallow and held by frost, or when snow-bound in chimney corners, and handed down to be sung in the miry street to lamp-lit windows at Yule-time.

他们一下子把门打开,眼前呈现出一幅美丽动人的节日景象。前庭里,在一盏牛角灯笼的幽光照耀下,八只或十只小田鼠排成半圆形站着,每人脖子上围着红色羊毛长围巾,前爪深深插进衣袋,脚丫子轻轻跺着地面保暖。珠子般的亮眼睛,腼腆地互视了一眼,窃笑了一声,抽了抽鼻子,又把衣袖拽了好一阵子。大门打开时,那个提灯笼的年纪大些的田鼠喊了声“预备——一、二、三!”跟着尖细的小嗓就一齐唱了起来,唱的是一首古老的圣诞歌。这首歌,是他们的祖辈们在冰霜覆盖的休耕地里,或者在大雪封门的炉边创作的,一代又一代传了下来。每逢圣诞节,田鼠们就站在泥泞的街道上,对着灯光明亮的窗子,唱这些圣诗。

CAROL

《圣诞颂歌》

Villagers all, this frosty tide, Let your doors swing open wide, Though wind may follow, and snow beside, Yet draw us in by your fire to bide; Joy shall be yours in the morning!

全村父老乡亲们,在这严寒时节,大开你们的家门,让我们在你炉边稍歇,尽管风雪会趁虚而入, 明朝你们将得欢乐!

Here we stand in the cold and the sleet, Blowing fingers and stamping feet, Come from far away you to greet—You by the fire and we in the street—Bidding you joy in the morning!

我们站在冰霜雨雪里,呵着手指,跺着脚跟,远道而来为你们祝福——你们坐在火旁,我们站在街心—— 祝愿你们明晨快乐!

For ere one half of the night was gone, Sudden a star has led us on, Raining bliss and benison—Bliss to-morrow and more anon, Joy for every morning!

因为午夜前的时光,一颗星星指引我们前行,天降福祉与好运——明朝赐福,常年得福,朝朝欢乐无穷尽!

Goodman Joseph toiled through the snow—Saw the star o’er a stable low; Mary she might not further go—Welcome thatch, and litter below! Joy was hers in the morning!

善人约瑟在雪中跋涉——遥见马厩上空星一颗;玛丽亚无须再前行——欢迎啊,茅屋,屋顶下的产床!明晨她将得欢乐!

And then they heard the angels tell ‘Who were the first to cry NOWELL? Animals all, as it befell, In the stable where they did dwell! Joy shall be theirs in the morning!’

于是他们听到天使说:“首先欢呼圣诞的谁?是所有的动物,因为他们栖身在马厩,明晨欢乐将属于他们!”

The voices ceased, the singers, bashful but smiling, exchanged sidelong glances, and silence succeeded—but for a moment only. Then, from up above and far away, down the tunnel they had so lately travelled was borne to their ears in a faint musical hum the sound of distant bells ringing a joyful and clangorous peal.

歌声停止了,歌手们忸怩地微笑着,相互斜睨一眼,然后是一片寂静——但只一会儿。接着,由远远的地面上,通过他们来时经过的隧道,隐隐传来嗡嗡的钟声,丁丁当当,奏起了一首欢快的乐曲。

‘Very well sung, boys!’ cried the Rat heartily. ‘And now come along in, all of you, and warm yourselves by the fire, and have something hot!’

“唱得太好了,孩子们!”河鼠热情地喊道。“都进屋来,烤烤火,暖和暖和,吃点热东西!”

‘Yes, come along, field-mice,’ cried the Mole eagerly. ‘This is quite like old times! Shut the door after you. Pull up that settle to the fire. Now, you just wait a minute, while we—O, Ratty!’ he cried in despair, plumping down on a seat, with tears impending. ‘Whatever are we doing? We’ve nothing to give them!’

“对,田鼠们,快进来,”鼹鼠忙喊道。“跟过去一个样!关上大门。把那条长凳挪到火边。现在,请稍候一下,等我们——唉,鼠儿!”他绝望地喊,颓然坐在椅子上,眼泪都快掉下来了。“咱们都干些什么呀?咱们没有东西请他们吃!”

‘You leave all that to me,’ said the masterful Rat. ‘Here, you with the lantern! Come over this way. I want to talk to you. Now, tell me, are there any shops open at this hour of the night?’

“这个,就交给我吧,”主人气派十足的河鼠说。“喂,这位打灯笼的,你过来,我有话问你。告诉我,这个时辰,还有店铺开门吗?”

‘Why, certainly, sir,’ replied the field-mouse respectfully. ‘At this time of the year our shops keep open to all sorts of hours.’

“当然,先生,”那只田鼠恭恭敬敬地回答。“每年这个季节,我们的店铺昼夜都开门。”

‘Then look here!’ said the Rat. ‘You go off at once, you and your lantern, and you get me----‘

“那好!”河鼠说。“你马上打着灯笼去,给我买——”

Here much muttered conversation ensued, and the Mole only heard bits of it, such as—‘Fresh, mind!--no, a pound of that will do—see you get Buggins’s, for I won’t have any other—no, only the best—if you can’t get it there, try somewhere else—yes, of course, home-made, no tinned stuff—well then, do the best you can!’ Finally, there was a chink of coin passing from paw to paw, the field-mouse was provided with an ample basket for his purchases, and off he hurried, he and his lantern.

接着他俩又低声嘀咕了一阵,鼹鼠只零星听到几句,什么——“注意,要新鲜的!——不,一磅就够了——一定要伯金斯的出品,别家的我不要——不,只要最好的——那家要是没有,试试别家——对,当然是要家制的,不要罐头——好吧,尽力而为吧!”然后,只听得一串丁当声,一把硬币从一只爪子落进另一只爪子,又递给田鼠一只购物的大篮子,于是田鼠提着灯笼,飞快地出去了。

The rest of the field-mice, perched in a row on the settle, their small legs swinging, gave themselves up to enjoyment of the fire, and toasted their chilblains till they tingled; while the Mole, failing to draw them into easy conversation, plunged into family history and made each of them recite the names of his numerous brothers, who were too young, it appeared, to be allowed to go out a-carolling this year, but looked forward very shortly to winning the parental consent.

其余的田鼠,在条凳上坐成一排,小腿儿悬挂着,前后摆动,尽情享受炉火的温暖。他们在火上烤脚上的冻疮,直烤得刺痒痒的。鼹鼠想引着他们无拘无束地谈话,可没成功,就讲起家史来,要他们逐个儿报自己那许多弟弟的名字、看来,他们的弟弟因为年纪还小,今年还不让出门唱圣诞歌,不过也许不久就能获得父母的恩准。

The Rat, meanwhile, was busy examining the label on one of the beer-bottles. ‘I perceive this to be Old Burton,’ he remarked approvingly. ‘SENSIBLE Mole! The very thing! Now we shall be able to mull some ale! Get the things ready, Mole, while I draw the corks.’

这时,河鼠在忙着细看啤酒瓶上的商标。“看得出来,这是老伯顿牌的,”他赞许地评论说。“鼹鼠很识货呀!是地道货!现在我们可以用它来调热甜酒了!鼹鼠,准备好家什,我来拔瓶塞。”

It did not take long to prepare the brew and thrust the tin heater well into the red heart of the fire; and soon every field-mouse was sipping and coughing and choking (for a little mulled ale goes a long way) and wiping his eyes and laughing and forgetting he had ever been cold in all his life.

甜酒很快就调好了,于是把盛酒的锡壶深深插进红红的火焰里;不一会,每只田鼠都在啜着,咳着,呛着(因为一点点热甜酒劲头就够大的),又擦眼泪,又笑,忘记了他们这辈子曾经挨冻来着。

‘They act plays too, these fellows,’ the Mole explained to the Rat. ‘Make them up all by themselves, and act them afterwards. And very well they do it, too! They gave us a capital one last year, about a field-mouse who was captured at sea by a Barbary corsair, and made to row in a galley; and when he escaped and got home again, his lady-love had gone into a convent. Here, YOU! You were in it, I remember. Get up and recite a bit.’

“这些小家伙还会演戏哩,”鼹鼠向河鼠介绍说。“戏全是由他们自编自演的。演得还真棒!去年,他们给我们演了一出精彩的戏,讲的是一只田鼠,在海上被北非的海盗船俘虏了,被迫在船舱里划桨。后来他逃了出来,回到家乡时,他心爱的姑娘却进了修道院。喂,你!你参加过演出的,我记得。站起来,给咱们朗诵一段台词吧。”

The field-mouse addressed got up on his legs, giggled shyly, looked round the room, and remained absolutely tongue-tied. His comrades cheered him on, Mole coaxed and encouraged him, and the Rat went so far as to take him by the shoulders and shake him; but nothing could overcome his stage-fright. They were all busily engaged on him like watermen applying the Royal Humane Society’s regulations to a case of long submersion, when the latch clicked, the door opened, and the field-mouse with the lantern reappeared, staggering under the weight of his basket.

那只被点名的田鼠站起来,害羞地格格笑着,朝四周扫了一眼,却张口结舌,一句也念不出。同伴们给他打气,鼹鼠哄他,鼓励他,河鼠甚至抓住他的肩膀一个劲摇晃,可什么都不管用,他硬是摆脱不了上场昏。他们围着他团团转,就像一帮子水手,按照皇家溺水者营救协会的规则,抢救一个长时间溺水的人那样。这时,门闩卡嗒一声,门开了,打灯笼的田鼠被沉甸甸的篮子压得趔趔趄趄,走了进来。

There was no more talk of play-acting once the very real and solid contents of the basket had been tumbled out on the table. Under the generalship of Rat, everybody was set to do something or to fetch something. In a very few minutes supper was ready, and Mole, as he took the head of the table in a sort of a dream, saw a lately barren board set thick with savoury comforts; saw his little friends’ faces brighten and beam as they fell to without delay; and then let himself loose—for he was famished indeed—on the provender so magically provided, thinking what a happy home-coming this had turned out, after all. As they ate, they talked of old times, and the field-mice gave him the local gossip up to date, and answered as well as they could the hundred questions he had to ask them. The Rat said little or nothing, only taking care that each guest had what he wanted, and plenty of it, and that Mole had no trouble or anxiety about anything.

等到篮子里那些实实在在的东西一股脑倾倒在餐桌上时,演戏的事就再也没人提了。在河鼠的调度下,每只动物都动手去干某件事或取某件东西。不消几分钟,晚饭就准备停当。鼹鼠仿佛做梦似的,在餐桌主位坐定,看到刚才还是空荡荡的桌面,现在堆满了美味佳肴,看到他的小朋友们个个喜形于色,迫不及待地狼吞虎咽,他自己也放开肚皮大嚼那些魔术般变出来的食物。他心想,这次回家,想不到结果竟如此圆满。他们边吃边谈,说些往事。田鼠们告诉他最近的当地新闻,还尽力回答他提出的上百个问题。河鼠很少说话,只关照客人们各得所需,多多享用,好让鼹鼠一切不必操心。

They clattered off at last, very grateful and showering wishes of the season, with their jacket pockets stuffed with remembrances for the small brothers and sisters at home. When the door had closed on the last of them and the chink of the lanterns had died away, Mole and Rat kicked the fire up, drew their chairs in, brewed themselves a last nightcap of mulled ale, and discussed the events of the long day. At last the Rat, with a tremendous yawn, said, ‘Mole, old chap, I’m ready to drop. Sleepy is simply not the word. That your own bunk over on that side? Very well, then, I’ll take this. What a ripping little house this is! Everything so handy!’

最后,田鼠们卿卿喳喳,一迭连声地道谢,又祝贺主人节日愉快,告辞离去了,他们的衣兜里都塞满了纪念品,那是带给家里的小弟妹们的。等送走最后一位客人,大门关上,灯笼的叮咚声渐渐远去时,鼹鼠和河鼠把炉火拨旺,拉过椅子来,给自己热好睡前的最后一杯甜酒,就议论起这长长的一天里发生的事情。末了,河鼠打了个大大的呵欠,说,“鼹鼠,老朋友,我实在累得要死啦。‘瞌睡’这个词儿远远不够了。你自己的床在那边是吧?那我就睡这张床了。这小屋真是妙极了!什么都特方便顺手!”

He clambered into his bunk and rolled himself well up in the blankets, and slumber gathered him forthwith, as a swathe of barley is folded into the arms of the reaping machine.

河鼠爬进他的床铺,用毯子把自己紧紧裹住,立刻沉入了梦乡的怀抱,就像一行大麦落进了收割机的怀抱一样。

The weary Mole also was glad to turn in without delay, and soon had his head on his pillow, in great joy and contentment. But ere he closed his eyes he let them wander round his old room, mellow in the glow of the firelight that played or rested on familiar and friendly things which had long been unconsciously a part of him, and now smilingly received him back, without rancour. He was now in just the frame of mind that the tactful Rat had quietly worked to bring about in him. He saw clearly how plain and simple—how narrow, even—it all was; but clearly, too, how much it all meant to him, and the special value of some such anchorage in one’s existence. He did not at all want to abandon the new life and its splendid spaces, to turn his back on sun and air and all they offered him and creep home and stay there; the upper world was all too strong, it called to him still, even down there, and he knew he must return to the larger stage. But it was good to think he had this to come back to; this place which was all his own, these things which were so glad to see him again and could always be counted upon for the same simple welcome.

倦乏的鼹鼠也巴不得快点睡觉,马上就把脑袋倒在枕头上,觉得非常舒心快意。不过在合眼之前,他还要环视一下自己的房间。在炉火的照耀下,这房间显得十分柔和温煦。火光闪烁,照亮了他所熟悉的友好的物件。这些东西早就不知不觉成了他的一部分,现在都在笑眯眯毫无怨言地欢迎他回来。他现在的心境,正是机敏的河鼠不声不响引他进入的那种状态。他清楚地看到,他的家是多么平凡简陋,多么狭小,可同时也清楚,它们对他有多么重要,在他的一生中,这样的一种避风港具有多么特殊的意义。他并不打算抛开新的生活和明朗的广阔天地,不打算离开阳光空气和它们赐予他的一切欢乐,爬到地下,呆在家里。地面世界的吸引力太强大了,就是在地下,也仍不断地召唤着他。他知道,他必须回到那个更大的舞台上去。不过,有这么个地方可以回归,总是件好事。这地方完全是属于他的,这些物件见到他总是欢天喜地,不管他什么时候回来,总会受到同样亲切的接待。