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美文故事:有铁皮罐头陪伴的夏天

25罐头.jpg
25 Tin Can Summer

有铁皮罐头陪伴的夏天

Honk! Honk! Grandma's truck roars up the driveway. Mom waves. I fluff my skirt.

嘟!嘟!外婆的卡车沿着车道呼啸而来。妈妈招了招手。我则抖了抖裙子。

During summer vacations, my favorite place to sleep is inside a giant tin can. Actually, the "tin can" is what my family calls the big silver-colored trailer parked in our backyard. And when Grandma comes to visit, Mom lets me stay in it with her.

暑假的时候,我最喜欢睡在一个大铁皮罐里。其实,所谓“铁皮罐”就是停放在我家后院的一座大大的银色活动房,我们家里的人都这么叫它。每当外婆来做客的时候,妈妈就让我陪她住在那里。

Maggie! You're wearing your best duds! Grandma jumps out and squeezes me like a loaf of bread. She points to the backseat of her truck, which is filled with bags of cans. "Three months of good eats," she says.

“玛吉!你穿了你最好的衣服!”外婆跳下车,紧紧地抱了我一下,就像抱一条面包。她的卡车后座上堆满了装着罐头的袋子,她朝那儿指了指,说:“这些好吃的足够吃三个月啦!”

Inside the trailer, Grandma adjusts her baseball cap, rolls up the sleeves of her worn-out shirt, and starts filling the cupboards. "A tin can filled with tin cans," she says.

在活动房内,外婆整了整她的棒球帽,卷起已经磨破了的衬衫袖子,开始往橱柜里摆罐头。“一个装满了铁皮罐头的铁皮罐。”她说。

Bimetal , I correct her, smiling, as I pick up some cans to help with stacking . Last year in science class, I learned that most cans are made from a combination of tin and steel, so they're really a bimetal.

“是双金属罐头,”我一边笑着纠正她,一边拿起几个罐头帮她摆放。去年在自然课上,我知道了大多数罐头盒是用锡和钢的复合材料制成的,所以它们是名副其实的双金属罐头。

Bimetal? I buy lots of metal, Grandma chuckles as she points to a pyramid of cans.

“双金属罐头?我买了好多金属啊。”外婆指着堆成金字塔状的罐头咯咯地笑。

Where are all the labels? I say.

“这些罐头上的标签呢?”我问。

In the garbage. My roof sprang a leak and it rained all night on the canned goods. By morning, the labels were a soggy mess on the floor.Grandma places lettuce, milk, butter, and cheese in the refrigerator, "We have a trailer full of food. Who needs labels?"

“扔在垃圾堆里了。我的屋顶裂了条缝,雨下了一整夜,都淋在这些罐头上了。到第二天早晨,标签都脱落在地上,成了一堆湿乎乎的烂纸。”外婆把生菜、牛奶、黄油和奶酪都放进冰箱。“我们有满满一屋子的食物,谁还需要标签啊?”

I roll a can back and forth on its side. I trust my grandmother, but all those label-less cans concern me. Still, thinking about food makes my stomach rumble.

我把一个罐头放倒,来回滚着它。我相信外婆,但这些没有标签的罐头还是让我很不安。然而一想到吃的,我的肚子就“咕咕”叫了起来。

I heard that, says Grandma. "It's time for lunch."

“我听到你的肚子叫了,”外婆说,“该吃午饭啦。”

While I set the table, Grandma holds the can opener like a magic wand and points to the cupboards. "Pick a can, any can."

当我摆放餐具的时候,外婆就好像拿着一根魔杖一样,拿着开罐头的起子指着壁橱说:“选一罐,哪罐都行。”

I know of only three canned things I like: green beans, black olives , and peaches.

我知道我只喜欢三种罐头:青刀豆、乌榄和桃子。

Whatever you select, I've got something to go with it. She points to the refrigerator.

“不管你选的是什么,我都有东西搭配。”她指了指冰箱。

I grab a can and shake it. "I don't know what's inside."

我抓起一罐晃了晃说:“我不知道里边是什么。”

Yes you do. Food! The only thing missing is the label. Grandma takes the can and slowly turns the can opener. "What's inside is the same with or without a label."

“不,你知道。里边是吃的!只是少了标签而已。”外婆接过那罐罐头,慢慢地转动起子。“不论有没有标签,里边的东西都是一样的。”

I peer into the dark crack in the lid. Black olives!

我从盖子上那道黑乎乎的缝隙看进去。是乌榄!

Your favorite, Maggie! Grandma drains the dark liquid. "Now, a main course."

“你的最爱,玛吉!”外婆把那深色的液体倒出来。“现在,选一道主菜。”

I pick a can from the top of the pyramid. As we open it, a pink, mushy concoction oozes from the opening. "Refried beans," says Grandma. "My favorite." She ignores my wrinkled nose and opens a package of tortillas .

我从金字塔顶部选了一罐。当我们打开它的时候,一种粉色的糊状物从开口处渗出来。“炸豆泥,”外婆说,“我的最爱。”她并不理会我皱起的鼻子,又打开一包玉米粉圆饼。

Someone knocks on the trailer door. It's my friend Troy. I set one more place.

有人敲活动房的门,是我的朋友特洛伊。我多加了一个座位。

Grandma says, "Troy! Choose our dessert."

外婆说:“特洛伊!为我们选一份甜点吧。”

Troy and I open his can while Grandma finishes rolling burritos . I cross my fingers , hoping it won't be lima beans . It's pear halves. Yum.

当外婆卷完面卷饼时,特洛伊和我打开了他选的那个罐头。我交叉着手指祈祷,希望那罐子里不是青豆。是切成两半的梨。好极了。

Troy and I pop black olives on our fingers and pretend they're puppets.

特洛伊和我把乌榄抹在手指上,假装它们是木偶。

Later, as we kick his soccer ball around the yard, Troy says, "Your grandma dresses funny."

后来,当我和特洛伊在院子里踢他的足球时,他说:“你外婆穿得很好笑。”

I pretend to ignore him.

我假装没听到他的话。

She wears strange old shirts and hats, he continues.

“她穿着很奇怪的旧衬衫,还戴着老式的帽子。”他继续说。

So? Maybe she likes those clothes! I kick his ball over the fence.

“哦?可能她喜欢那些衣服呢!”我把他的球踢出了栅栏。

That night, as I snuggle into the trailer's bed, I tell Grandma what Troy said.

那天晚上,我躺在活动房的床上,把特洛伊说的话告诉了外婆。

I wear Grandpa's old clothes because I miss him. She points to her threadbare flannel shirt. Clothes are just wrappers, like labels on tin cans."

“我穿你外公的旧衣服是因为我想念他,”她指着那件已经磨破了的法兰绒衬衫说,“衣服只不过是包装而已,就像铁皮罐头上的标签一样。”

Bimetal, Grandma. I smile and close my eyes.

“双金属罐头,外婆。”我微笑着闭上了眼睛。

The next day, while we open cans of vegetable soup and cherry-pie filling, I tell Troy, "It's what's inside that counts."

第二天,我们打开的罐头里装的是蔬菜汤和樱桃派的馅儿。我告诉特洛伊:“里面的东西才是最重要的。”

Yeah, I see that, he says, grinning as we spoon out dessert.

“是,我知道了。”他咧着嘴笑着说道。我们边说边用汤匙把甜点舀出来。

After weeks of mystery meals, Grandma's cupboards are bare.

吃了几周神秘的菜品后,外婆的橱柜空了。

Let's go buy more bimetal, I say.

“我们再去买些双金属罐头吧。”我说。

Grandma hugs me. "I'm sorry, honey. When the cans are gone, so am I."

外婆抱了抱我:“很遗憾,宝贝儿。罐头吃完了,那我也得走了。”

Our last meal is brown bread (from a can!), peaches, and lima beans that I gobble down to make Grandma happy.

我们吃的最后一餐饭是黑面包(居然是从罐头中拿出来的!)、桃子和青豆。为了让外婆高兴,我大口地把青豆吃完了。

See you later, says Grandma as she waves and toots her truck horn. Her truck roars down the driveway.

“再见。”外婆挥手告别,把卡车的喇叭按得嘟嘟响。她的卡车呼啸着开走了。

I peer into the empty trailer. A single can sits on the counter next to a note.

我瞧了瞧空空的活动房。桌上还有一罐罐头,罐头旁边有一张字条。

Maggie,

玛吉:

If black olives are inside this bimetal can, you can bet I'll be back next summer!

如果这个双金属罐头里装的是乌榄,那么你可以肯定明年夏天我还会再来!

Love, Grandma

爱你的外婆

Troy holds the can while I crank the opener. What if it's apricots or tuna fish? A dark liquid sloshes onto my jeans. I smile. Time for another puppet show.

特洛伊扶着罐头,我转动着起子。如果里边装的是杏子或金枪鱼怎么办呢?一股深色的液体溅到我的牛仔裤上。我笑了。再次上演木偶戏的时候来啦。

(By Kimberlee Esselstrom)

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