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英国语文BOOK 5 LESSON 4 The condor of the andes 安第斯山的秃鹰(中英对照+mp3)

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LESSON 4 The condor of the andes

第四课 安第斯山的秃鹰

In those sterile heights(1) Nature withholds her fostering influence alike from vegetable and from animal life. The scantiest vegetation can scarcely draw nutriment from the ungenial soil, and animals shun the dreary and shelterless wilds. The condor, or South American vulture, alone finds itself in its native element amidst these mountain deserts. On the inaccessible summits of the Cordillera, and at an elevation of from 10,000 to 15,000 feet, this bird builds its nest, and hatches its young in the months of April and May.

在那些贫瘠的高山上,大自然鲜有植物、动物的生命迹象。最少量的植物从坚硬的土壤中吸取稀有的营养,而动物则避开这些沉寂的,毫无遮蔽的野生环境。秃鹰,或南美秃鹰,独自在山脉荒漠中寻找自身所需的食物。在无法企及的山脉高度,海拔从1万至1.5万尺,这只鸟在4、5月在那筑巢、孵化自己的后代。

Few animals have attained so wide a celebrity as the condor. This bird was known in Europe at a period when its native land was numbered among those fabulous regions which are regarded as the scenes of imaginary wonders. The most extravagant accounts of the condor were written and read; and general credence was granted to every story which travellers brought from the fairy-land of gold and silver. It was only at the commencement of the present century that Humboldt overthrew the extravagant notions that had previously prevailed respecting the size, strength, and habits of this extraordinary bird.

很少有动物能像秃鹰一样获得如此殊荣。这种鸟在欧洲被人们熟知,因为人们认为它在许多美妙的地区筑巢,而那些地区往往是能给予人无限想象的奇境。大量解释秃鹰的文章被书写与阅读,人们普遍相信秃鹰所处之处是旅行者们去往的仙境,他们从那带回金子和银子。只是在当今世纪的典礼上,Humboldt推翻了大量的流行于人们之中关于这种非凡的鸟类的尺寸、优点及习惯的概念。

The full-grown condor measures, from the point of the beak to the end of the tail, from four feet ten inches to five feet; and from the tip of one wing to that of the other, from twelve to fourteen feet! This bird feeds chiefly upon carrion;(2) it is only when impelled by hunger that it seizes living animals, and even then only the small and defenceless, such as the young of sheep, vicunas,(3) and llamas.(4)

一只完全成熟的秃鹰,从其喙到尾巴,长度从4尺10英寸到5尺之间;从翅膀的一端到另一端,从12尺至14尺!这种鸟主要依靠腐肉为食;它只有在迫于饥饿时才会抓活的动物为食,甚至抓写小的无抵抗力的动物,比如小羊羔、小羊驼和美洲驼。

It cannot raise great weights with its feet; which, however, it uses to aid the power of its beak. The principal strength of the condor lies in its neck and in its feet; yet it cannot, when flying, carry a weight exceeding eight or ten pounds. All accounts of sheep and calves being carried off by condors are mere exaggerations.

它的脚不能抓起重物,因此,当它抓起重物时需要其喙的帮助。秃鹰主要的力量来自它的颈和双脚,不过它飞行的时候不能抓住超过8英镑或者10英镑的东西。所有关于秃鹰抓起绵羊与牛的说法都是夸张的结果。

The bird passes a great part of the day in sleep, and hovers in quest of prey chiefly in the morning and evening. Whilst soaring at a height beyond the reach of human eyes, the sharpsighted condor discerns its prey on the level heights beneath it, and darts down upon it with the swiftness of lightning. When a bait is laid, it is curious to observe the number of condors which assemble in a quarter of an hour in a spot near which not one had been previously visible. These birds possess the senses of sight and smell in a singularly powerful degree.

秃鹰一天中大部分时间都是在睡觉中度过的,它盘旋在空中捕食的时间主要是在早上和晚上。当秃鹰飞的高度超出人们视野所及时,它却能敏锐地看到其下方的猎物,并以似光速的速度冲向猎物。当放置诱饵来观察15分钟内能有多少秃鹰聚集起来时,却发现之前观察到的秃鹰没有一只出现。因为这些鸟拥有非常敏锐的视觉和嗅觉。

Some old travellers have affirmed that the plumage of the condor cannot be pierced by a musket ball. This absurdity is scarcely worthy of contradiction; but it is nevertheless true that the bird has a singular tenacity of life, and that it is seldom killed by fire-arms, unless when shot in some vital part.

一些老旅行者断言秃鹰的羽毛甚至不能被火枪子弹打穿。虽然这些谬论几乎不值得相信,但是这些鸟的确有很顽强的生命力,而且它们很少有被枪械杀死的,除非它被射中要害部位。

Its plumage, particularly on the wings, is very strong and thick. The natives, therefore, seldom attempt to shoot the condor. They usually catch it by traps or by the lasso, or kill it by stones flung from slings, or by the bolas.(5)

它的羽毛,尤其是翅膀,非常强壮厚实。因此当地人很少企图射杀秃鹰的。他们通常是通过陷阱或者套锁,或者从吊索扔出石头杀死秃鹰或者用流星锤。

A curious method of capturing the condor alive is practised in one province. A fresh cow-hide, with some fragments of flesh adhering to it, is spread out on one of the level heights, and an Indian provided with ropes creeps beneath it, whilst some others station themselves in ambush near the spot ready to assist him. Presently a condor, attracted by the smell of the flesh, darts down upon the cow-hide; and then the Indian, who is concealed under it, seizes the bird by the legs, and binds them fast in the skin, as if in a bag. The captured condor flaps its wings, and makes ineffectual attempts to fly, but is speedily secured, and carried in triumph to the nearest village. Live condors are frequently sold in the markets of Chili and Peru, where a very fine one may be purchased for a dollar and a half.(6)

一个有趣的方法被用于活捉秃鹰。一张新鲜的牛皮附带一些肉块,铺在一定高度。一个印度人套着绳子匍匐在下面,同时伏击在附近帮助他,当秃鹰闻到肉的味道出现了,向牛皮俯冲下来,藏着在下面的印度人一把抓住它的双脚,并立刻绑紧它的双脚,放进袋子里,被抓住的秃鹰扇动双翅企图飞走,却无能为力,被带到最近的村庄。活的秃鹰常常被卖于智利和秘鲁市场,在那里,很好的一只秃鹰以1.1美元被卖掉。

—Dr. J. von Tschudi: Travels in Peru.

—Dr. J. von Tschudi

QUESTIONS

问题

What other name is given to the condor? Where does it build its nest? What accounts were current before the 'present' (i.e. 19th) century? Who overthrew these? What are the dimensions of a full-grown condor? On what does it chiefly feed? Where does its principal strength lie? When does it go in quest of prey? What shows the keenness of its sight and smell? Why do the natives seldom attempt to shoot the condor? How do they kill it? What curious method of capturing it is practised in one province? For what may a live condor sometimes be bought?

秃鹰又叫什么?它在哪儿筑巢?在现在(即19世纪)前对秃鹰的说法是什么?谁推翻了这一说法?一只成年的秃鹰尺寸如何?它主要是以什么为食?它的强壮主要依靠什么?它什么时候觅食?什么显示出它视觉和嗅觉的敏锐?为什么当地人很少试图射杀它?他们是怎么杀死它的?在一个省份人们是通过什么方法活捉秃鹰的?为什么秃鹰有时会被活捉?

译文属小E英语原创,未经允许,不得转载。

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