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Chapter 1 The River Bank

The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring-cleaning his little home.  First with brooms, then with dusters; then on ladders and steps and chairs, with a brush and a pail of whitewash; till he had dust in his throat and eyes, and splashes of whitewash all over his black fur, and an aching back and weary arms.  Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing.  It was small wonder, then, that he suddenly flung down his brush on the floor, said ‘Bother!’ and ‘O blow!’ and also ‘Hang spring-cleaning!’ and bolted out of the house without even waiting to put on his coat.  Something up above was calling him imperiously, and he made for the steep little tunnel which answered in his case to the gravelled carriage-drive owned by animals whose residences are nearer to the sun and air.  So he scraped and scratched and scrabbled and scrooged and then he scrooged again and scrabbled and scratched and scraped, working busily with his little paws and muttering to himself, ‘Up we go!  Up we go!’ till at last, pop! his snout came out into the sunlight, and he found himself rolling in the warm grass of a great meadow.
整个上午,鼹鼠都在勤奋地干活,为他小小的家屋作春季大扫除,先用扫帚扫,再用掸子掸,然后登上梯子、椅子什么的,拿着刷子,提着灰浆桶,刷墙,直干到灰尘呛了嗓子,迷了眼,全身乌黑的毛皮溅满了白灰浆,腰也酸了,臂也痛了。春天的气息,在他头上的天空里吹拂,在他脚下的泥土里游动,在他四周围飘荡。春天那奇妙的追求、渴望的精神,甚至钻进了他那阴暗低矮的小屋。怪不得他猛地把刷子往地下一扔,嚷道:“烦死人了!”“去它的!” “什么春季大扫除,见它的鬼去吧!”连大衣也没顾上穿,就冲出家门了。上面有种力量在急切地召唤他,于是他向着陡峭的地道奔去。这地道,直通地面上的碎石子大车道,而这车道是属于那些住在通风向阳的居室里的动物的。鼹鼠又掏又挠又爬又挤,又挤又爬又挠又掏,小爪子忙个不停,嘴里还不住地念念叨叨,“咱们上去啰!咱们上去啰!”末末了,噗的一声,他的鼻尖钻出了地面,伸到了阳光里,跟着,身子就在一块大草坪暖暖的软草里打起滚来。

‘This is fine!’ he said to himself.  ‘This is better than whitewashing!’  The sunshine struck hot on his fur, soft breezes caressed his heated brow, and after the seclusion of the cellarage he had lived in so long the carol of happy birds fell on his dulled hearing almost like a shout.  Jumping off all his four legs at once, in the joy of living and the delight of spring without its cleaning, he pursued his way across the meadow till he reached the hedge on the further side.
“太棒了!”他自言自语说,“可比刷墙有意思!”太阳晒在他的毛皮上,暖烘烘的,微风轻抚着他发热的额头,在洞穴里蛰居了那么久,听觉都变得迟钝了,连小鸟儿欢快的鸣唱,听起来都跟大声喊叫一样。生活的欢乐,春天的愉悦,又加上免了大扫除的麻烦,他乐得纵身一跳,腾起四脚向前飞跑,横穿草坪,一直跑到草坪尽头的篱笆前。

‘Hold up!’ said an elderly rabbit at the gap.  ‘Sixpence for the privilege of passing by the private road!’
“站住!”篱笆豁口处,一只老兔子喝道。“通过私人道路,得交六便士!”

He was bowled over in an instant by the impatient and contemptuous Mole, who trotted along the side of the hedge chaffing the other rabbits as they peeped hurriedly from their holes to see what the row was about. ‘Onion-sauce!  Onion-sauce!’ he remarked jeeringly, and was gone before they could think of a thoroughly satisfactory reply.  Then they all started grumbling at each other.  ‘How STUPID you are!  Why didn’t you tell him----‘ ‘Well, why didn’t YOU say----‘  ‘You might have reminded him ----‘ and so on, in the usual way; but, of course, it was then much too late, as is always the case.
鼹鼠很不耐烦,态度傲慢,根本没把老兔子放在眼里,一时倒把老兔子弄得不知如何是好。鼹鼠顺着篱笆一溜小跑,一边还逗弄着别的兔子,他们一个个从洞口探头窥看,想知道外面到底吵些什么。“蠢货!蠢货!”他嘲笑说,不等他们想出一句解气的话来回敬他,就一溜烟跑得没影儿了。这一来,兔子们七嘴八舌互相埋怨起来。“瞧你多蠢,干吗不对他说……”“哼,那你干吗不说……”“你该警告他……”诸如此类,照例总是这一套。当然啰,照例总是——太晚啦。

It all seemed too good to be true.  Hither and thither through the meadows he rambled busily, along the hedgerows, across the copses, finding everywhere birds building, flowers budding, leaves thrusting— everything happy, and progressive, and occupied.  And instead of having an uneasy conscience pricking him and whispering ‘whitewash!’ he somehow could only feel how jolly it was to be the only idle dog among all these busy citizens.  After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working.
一切都那么美好,好得简直不像是真的。他跑过一片又一片的草坪,沿着矮树篱,穿过灌木丛,匆匆地游逛。处处都看到鸟儿做窝筑巢,花儿含苞待放,叶儿挤挤嚷嚷——万物都显得快乐,忙碌,奋进。他听不到良心在耳边嘀咕:“刷墙!”只觉得,在一大群忙忙碌碌的公民当中,做一只唯一的懒狗,是多么惬意。看来,过休假日最舒心的方面,还不是自己得到休憩,而是看到别人都在忙着干活。

He thought his happiness was complete when, as he meandered aimlessly along, suddenly he stood by the edge of a full-fed river.  Never in his life had he seen a river before—this sleek, sinuous, full-bodied animal, chasing and chuckling, gripping things with a gurgle and leaving them with a laugh, to fling itself on fresh playmates that shook themselves free, and were caught and held again.  All was a-shake and a-shiver—glints and gleams and sparkles, rustle and swirl, chatter and bubble.  The Mole was bewitched, entranced, fascinated. By the side of the river he trotted as one trots, when very small, by the side of a man who holds one spell-bound by exciting stories; and when tired at last, he sat on the bank, while the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea.
他漫无目的地闲逛着,忽然来到一条水流丰盈的大河边,他觉得真是快乐绝顶了。他这辈子还从来没有见过一条河哩。这只光光滑滑、蜿蜿蜒蜒、身躯庞大的动物,不停地追逐,轻轻地欢笑。它每抓住什么,就格格低笑,把它们扔掉时,又哈哈大笑,转过来又扑向新的玩伴。它们挣扎着甩开了它,可到底还是被它逮住,抓牢了。它浑身颤动,晶光闪闪,沸沸扬扬,吐着旋涡,冒着泡沫,喋喋不休地唠叨个没完。这景象,简直把鼹鼠看呆了,他心驰神迷,像着了魔似的。他沿着河边,迈着小碎步跑,像个小娃娃紧跟在大人身边,听他讲惊险故事,听得入了迷似的。他终于跑累了,在岸边坐了下来。可那河还是一个劲儿向他娓娓而谈,它讲的是世间最好听的故事。这些故事发自地心深处,一路讲下去,最终要向那听个没够的大海倾诉。

As he sat on the grass and looked across the river, a dark hole in the bank opposite, just above the water’s edge, caught his eye, and dreamily he fell to considering what a nice snug dwelling-place it would make for an animal with few wants and fond of a bijou riverside residence, above flood level and remote from noise and dust.  As he gazed, something bright and small seemed to twinkle down in the heart of it, vanished, then twinkled once more like a tiny star.  But it could hardly be a star in such an unlikely situation; and it was too glittering and small for a glow-worm.  Then, as he looked, it winked at him, and so declared itself to be an eye; and a small face began gradually to grow up round it, like a frame round a picture.
他坐在草地上,朝着河那边张望时,忽见对岸有个黑黑的洞口,恰好在水面上边。他梦悠悠地想,要是一只动物要求不过高,只想有一处小巧玲珑的河边住宅,涨潮时淹不着,又远离尘嚣,这个住所倒是满舒适的。他正呆呆地凝望,忽觉得,那洞穴的中央有个亮晶晶的小东西一闪,忽隐忽现,像一颗小星星。不过,出现在那样一个地方,不会是星星。要说是萤火虫嘛,又显得太亮,也太小。望着望着,那个亮东西竟冲他眨巴了一下,可见那是一只眼睛。接着,围着那只眼睛,渐渐显出一张小脸,恰像一幅画,嵌在画框里。

A brown little face, with whiskers.
A grave round face, with the same twinkle in its eye that had first attracted his notice.
Small neat ears and thick silky hair.
It was the Water Rat!
Then the two animals stood and regarded each other cautiously.
一张棕色的小脸,腮边有两撇胡鬚。
一张神情严肃的圆脸,眼睛里闪着光,就是一开始引起他注意的那种光。
一对精巧的小耳朵,一头丝一般浓密的毛发。
那是河鼠!
随后,两只动物面对面站着,谨慎地互相打量。

‘Hullo, Mole!’ said the Water Rat.
“嗨,鼹鼠!”河鼠招呼道。
‘Hullo, Rat!’ said the Mole.
“嗨,河鼠!”鼹鼠答道。
‘Would you like to come over?’ enquired the Rat presently.
“你愿意过这边来吗?”河鼠问。
‘Oh, its all very well to TALK,’ said the Mole, rather pettishly, he being new to a river and riverside life and its ways.
“嗳,说说倒容易,”鼹鼠没好气地说,因为他是初次见识一条河,还不熟悉水上的生活习惯。

The Rat said nothing, but stooped and unfastened a rope and hauled on it; then lightly stepped into a little boat which the Mole had not observed.  It was painted blue outside and white within, and was just the size for two animals; and the Mole’s whole heart went out to it at once, even though he did not yet fully understand its uses.
河鼠二话没说,弯腰解开一条绳子,拽拢来,然后轻轻地跨进鼹鼠原先没有注意到的一只小船。那小船外面漆成蓝色,里面漆成白色,鼹鼠的心,一下子飞到了小船上,虽然他还不大明白它的用场。

The Rat sculled smartly across and made fast.  Then he held up his forepaw as the Mole stepped gingerly down.  ‘Lean on that!’ he said.  ‘Now then, step lively!’ and the Mole to his surprise and rapture found himself actually seated in the stern of a real boat.
河鼠干练地把船划到对岸,停稳了。他伸出一只前爪,搀着鼹鼠小心翼翼地走下来。“扶好了!”河鼠说,“现在,轻轻地跨进来!”于是鼹鼠又惊又喜地发现,自己真的坐进了一只真正的小船的尾端。

‘This has been a wonderful day!’ said he, as the Rat shoved off and took to the sculls again.  ‘Do you know, I’ve never been in a boat before in all my life.’
“今天太美了!”鼹鼠说。这时,河鼠把船撑离岸边,拿起双桨。“你知道吗,我这辈子还从没坐过船哩!”

‘What?’ cried the Rat, open-mouthed:  ‘Never been in a—you never— well I—what have you been doing, then?’
“什么?”河鼠张大嘴巴惊异地喊道,“从没坐过——你是说你从没——哎呀呀——那你都干什么来着?”

‘Is it so nice as all that?’ asked the Mole shyly, though he was quite prepared to believe it as he leant back in his seat and surveyed the cushions, the oars, the rowlocks, and all the fascinating fittings, and felt the boat sway lightly under him.
“坐船真那么美吗?”鼹鼠有点不好意思地问。其实,在他斜倚着座位,仔细打量着座垫、桨片、桨架,以及所有那些令人心驰神往的设备,感到小船在身下轻轻摇曳时,他早就相信这一点了。

‘Nice?  It’s the ONLY thing,’ said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke.  ‘Believe me, my young friend, there  is NOTHING—absolute nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing
about in boats.  Simply messing,’ he went on dreamily: ‘messing—about—in—boats; messing----
“美?这是世上独一无二的美事,”河鼠俯身划起桨来。“请相信我,年轻朋友,世界上再也没有——绝对没有——比乘船游逛更有意思的事啦。什么也不干,只是游逛,”他梦呓般地喃喃说,“坐在船上,到处游逛,游逛……”

‘‘Look ahead, Rat!’ cried the Mole suddenly.
“当心前面,河鼠!”鼹鼠忽地惊叫一声。

It was too late.  The boat struck the bank full tilt.  The dreamer, the joyous oarsman, lay on his back at the bottom of the boat, his heels in the air.
太迟了。小船一头撞到了岸边。那个梦悠悠、美滋滋的舟子四脚朝天,跌倒在船底。

‘—about in boats—or WITH boats,’ the Rat went on composedly, picking himself up with a pleasant laugh. ‘In or out of ‘em, it doesn’t matter.  Nothing seems really to matter, that’s the charm of it.  Whether you get away, or whether you don’t; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you’re always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you’ve done it there’s always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you’d much better not.  Look here!  If you’ve really nothing else on hand this morning, supposing we drop down the river together, and have a long day of it?’
“坐在船上——或者跟着船——到处游逛,”河鼠开怀大笑,一骨碌爬起来,若无其事地说下去。“呆在船里,或者呆在船外,这都无所谓。好像什么都无所谓,这就是它叫人着迷的地方。不管你上哪儿,或者不上哪儿;不管你到达目的地,还是到达另一个地方,还是不到什么地方,你总在忙着,可又没专门干什么特别的事;这件事干完,又有别的事在等着你,你乐意的话,可以去干,也可以不干。好啦,要是今天上午你确实没别的事要做,那咱们是不是一块儿划到下游去,逛它一整天?”

The Mole waggled his toes from sheer happiness, spread his chest with a sigh of full contentment, and leaned back blissfully into the soft cushions.  ‘WHAT a day I’m having!’ he said.  ‘Let us start at once!’
鼹鼠乐得直晃脚丫子,腆着胸脯,舒心地长吁一口气,惬意地躺倒在软绵绵的座垫上。“今天我可要痛痛快快玩它一天!”他说,“咱们这就动身吧!”

‘Hold hard a minute, then!’ said the Rat.  He looped the painter through a ring in his landing-stage, climbed up into his hole above, and after a short interval reappeared staggering under a fat, wicker luncheon-basket.
“那好,等一等,只消一会儿!”河鼠说。他把缆绳穿过码头上的一个环,系住,然后爬进码头上面自家的洞里,不多时,摇摇晃晃地捧着一只胖大的藤条午餐篮子出来了。

‘Shove that under your feet,’ he observed to the Mole, as he passed it down into the boat.  Then he untied the painter and took the sculls again.
“把它推到你脚下,”河鼠把篮子递上船,对鼹鼠说。然后他解开缆绳,拿起双桨。

‘What’s inside it?’ asked the Mole, wriggling with curiosity.
“这里面都装着些什么?”鼹鼠好奇地扭动着身子。

‘There’s cold chicken inside it,’ replied the Rat briefly;‘cold tongue cold ham cold beef pickled gherkins salad french rolls cress sandwiches potted meat ginger beer lemonad esoda water----‘
“有冷鸡肉,”河鼠一口气回答说,“冷舌头冷火腿冷牛肉腌小黄瓜沙拉法国面包卷三明治罐焖肉姜汁啤酒柠檬汁苏打水……”

‘O stop, stop,’ cried the Mole in ecstacies:  ‘This is too much!’
“行啦,行啦,”鼹鼠眉飞色舞地喊道,“太多了!”

‘Do you really think so?’ enquired the Rat seriously.  ‘It’s only what I always take on these little excursions; and the other animals are always telling me that I’m a mean beast and cut it VERY fine!’
“你真的认为太多了?”河鼠一本正经地问,“这只是我平日出游常带的东西;别的动物还老说我是个小气鬼,带的东西刚刚够吃哩!”

The Mole never heard a word he was saying.  Absorbed in the new life he was entering upon, intoxicated with the sparkle, the ripple, the scents and the sounds and the sunlight, he trailed a paw in the water and dreamed long waking dreams.  The Water Rat, like the good little fellow he was, sculled steadily on and forebore to disturb him.
可河鼠的话,鼹鼠半点也没听进去。他正深深地沉湎在这种新颖生活里,陶醉在波光、涟漪、芳香、水声、阳光之中。他把一只脚爪伸进水里,做着长长的白日梦。心地善良的河鼠,只管稳稳当当地划着桨,不去惊扰他。

‘I like your clothes awfully, old chap,’ he remarked after some half an hour or so had passed.  ‘I’m going to get a black velvet smoking-suit myself some day, as soon as I can afford it.’
“我特喜欢你这身衣裳,老伙计,”约莫过了半个钟头,河鼠才开口说话,“有一天,等我手头方便时,我也要给自己搞一件黑丝绒吸烟服穿穿。”

‘I beg your pardon,’ said the Mole, pulling himself together with an effort.  ‘You must think me very rude; but all this is so new to me.  So—this—is—a—River!’
“你说什么?”鼹鼠好不容易才清醒过来。“你大概觉得我这人很不懂礼貌吧,可这一切对我是太新鲜了。原来,这——就是一条——河。”

‘THE River,’ corrected the Rat.
“是这条河,”河鼠纠正说。

‘And you really live by the river?  What a jolly life!’
“那么,你真的是生活在这条河边啰?多美呀!”

‘By it and with it and on it and in it,’ said the Rat.  ‘It’s brother and sister to me, and aunts, and company, and food and drink, and (naturally) washing.  It’s my world, and I don’t want any other.  What it hasn’t got is not worth having, and what it doesn’t know is not worth knowing.  Lord! the times we’ve had together!  Whether in winter or summer, spring or autumn, it’s always got its fun and its excitements.  When the floods are on in February, and my cellars and basement are brimming with drink that’s no good to me, and the brown water runs by my best bedroom window; or again when it all drops away and, shows patches of mud that smells like plum-cake, and the rushes and weed clog the channels, and I can potter about dry shod over most of the bed of it and find fresh food to eat, and things careless people have dropped out of boats!’
“我生活在河边,同河在一起,在河上,也在河里,”河鼠说,“在我看来,这条河,就是我的兄弟姐妹,我的姑姑姨姨,我的伙伴,它供我吃喝,也供我洗涮。它就是我的整个世界;另外的世界,我都不需要。凡是河里没有的,都不值得要,凡是河所不了解的,都不值得了解。主啊!我们在一块度过了多少美妙的时光啊!不管春夏秋冬,它总有趣味,总叫人兴奋。二月里涨潮的时候,我的地窖里灌满了不卫生的汤,黄褐色的河水从我最讲究的卧室的窗前淌过。等落潮以后,一块块泥地露了出来,散发着葡萄干蛋糕的气味,河道里淤满了灯芯草等水草。这时,我又可以在大部分河床上随便溜达,不会弄湿鞋子,可以找到新鲜食物吃,还有那些粗心大意的人从船上扔下来的东西。”

‘But isn’t it a bit dull at times?’ the Mole ventured to ask. ‘Just you and the river, and no one else to pass a word with?’
“不过,是不是有时也会感到有点无聊?”鼹鼠壮着胆子问。“光是你跟河一道,没有别的人跟你拉拉家常?”

‘No one else to—well, I mustn’t be hard on you,’ said the Rat with forbearance.  ‘You’re new to it, and of course you don’t know.  The bank is so crowded nowadays that many people are moving away altogether:  O no, it isn’t what it used to be, at all.  Otters, kingfishers, dabchicks, moorhens, all of them about all day long and always wanting you to DO something—as if a fellow had no business of his own to attend to!’
“没有别的人?——咳,这也难怪,”河鼠宽宏大量地说,“你新来乍到嘛,自然不明白。现如今,河上的居民已经拥挤不堪,许多人只好迁走了。河上的光景,今非昔比啦。水獭呀,鱼狗呀,鸊鷉呀,松鸡呀,等等,成天围着你转,求你干这干那,就像咱自个儿没有自己的事要料理似的。”

‘What lies over THERE’ asked the Mole, waving a paw towards a background of woodland that darkly framed the water-meadows on one side of the river.
“那边是什么?”鼹鼠扬了扬爪子,指着河那边草地后面黑幽幽的森林。

‘That?  O, that’s just the Wild Wood,’ said the Rat shortly.  ‘We don’t go there very much, we river-bankers.’
“那个吗?哦,那就是野林。”河鼠简略地回答,“我们河上居民很少去那边。”

‘Aren’t they—aren’t they very NICE people in there?’ said the Mole, a trifle nervously.
“他们——那边的居民,他们不好吗?”鼹鼠稍有点不安地问。

‘W-e-ll,’ replied the Rat, ‘let me see.  The squirrels are all right.  AND the rabbits—some of ‘em, but rabbits are a mixed lot.  And then there’s Badger, of course.  He lives right in the heart of it; wouldn’t live anywhere else, either, if you paid him to do it.  Dear old Badger!  Nobody interferes with HIM. They’d better not,’ he added significantly.
“嗯,”河鼠回答,“让我想想。松鼠嘛,不坏。兔子嘛,有的还好,不过兔子有好有坏。当然,还有獾。他就住在野林正中央,别处他哪也不愿住,哪怕你花钱请他也不干。亲爱的老獾!没有人打搅他。最好别去打搅他。”河鼠意味深长地加上一句。

‘Why, who SHOULD interfere with him?’ asked the Mole.
“怎么,会有人打搅他吗?”鼹鼠问。

‘Well, of course—there—are others,’ explained the Rat in a hesitating sort of way.‘Weasels—and stoats—and foxes—and so on.  They’re all right in a way—I’m very good friends with them—pass the time of day when we meet, and all that—but they break out sometimes, there’s no denying it, and then—well, you can’t really trust them, and that’s the fact.’
“嗯,当然,有的——有另外一些动物,”河鼠吞吞吐吐地说,“黄鼠狼呀——白鼬呀——狐狸呀,等等。他们也并不全坏,我和他们处得还不错,遇上时,一块儿玩玩什么的。可他们有时会成群结队闹事,这一点不必否认。再说,你没法真正信赖他们,这也是事实。”

The Mole knew well that it is quite against animal-etiquette to dwell on possible trouble ahead, or even to allude to it; so he dropped the subject.
鼹鼠知道,老是谈论将来可能发生的麻烦事,哪怕只提一下,都不合乎动物界的礼仪规范,所以,他抛开了这个话题。

‘And beyond the Wild Wood again?’ he asked:  ‘Where it’s all blue and dim, and one sees what may be hills or perhaps they mayn’t, and something like the smoke of towns, or is it only cloud-drift?’
“那么,在野林以外远远的地方,又是什么?”他问,“就是那个蓝蓝的、模模糊糊的地方,也许是山,也许不是山,有点像城市里的炊烟,或者只是飘动的浮云?”

‘Beyond the Wild Wood comes the Wide World,’ said the Rat.  ‘And that’s something that doesn’t matter, either to you or me.  I’ve never been there, and I’m never going, nor you either, if you’ve got any sense at all.  Don’t ever refer to it again, please.  Now then!  Here’s our backwater at last, where we’re going to lunch.’
“在野林外边,就是大世界,”河鼠说。“那地方,跟你我都不相干。那儿我从没去过,也不打算去;你要是头脑清醒,也决不要去。以后请别再提它。好啦,咱们的静水湾到了,该在这儿吃午饭了。”

Leaving the main stream, they now passed into what seemed at first sight like a little land-locked lake.  Green turf sloped down to either edge, brown snaky tree-roots gleamed below the surface of the quiet water, while ahead of them the silvery shoulder and foamy tumble of a weir, arm-in-arm with a restless dripping mill-wheel, that held up in its turn a grey-gabled mill-house, filled the air with a soothing murmur of sound, dull and smothery, yet with little clear voices speaking up cheerfully out of it at intervals.  It was so very beautiful that the Mole could only hold up both forepaws and gasp, ‘O my!  O my!  O my!’
他们离开主河道,驶进一处乍看像陆地环抱的小湖的地方。树边,是绿茸茸的青草坡地。蛇一般曲曲弯弯的褐色树根,在幽静的水面下发光。前方,是一座高高隆起的银色拦河坝,坝下泡沫翻滚。相连的是一个不停地滴水的水车轮子,轮子上方,是一间有灰色山墙的磨坊。水车不停地转动,发出单调沉闷的隆隆声,可是磨坊里又不时传出阵阵清脆欢快的小嗓说话声。这情景实在太动人了,鼹鼠不由得举起两只前爪,激动得上气不接下气地喊道:“哎呀!哎呀!哎呀!”

The Rat brought the boat alongside the bank, made her fast, helped the still awkward Mole safely ashore, and swung out the luncheon-basket.  The Mole begged as a favour to be allowed to unpack it all by himself; and the Rat was very pleased to indulge him, and to sprawl at full length on the grass and rest, while his excited friend shook out the table-cloth and spread it, took out all the mysterious packets one by one and arranged their contents in due order, still gasping, ‘O my!  O my!’ at each fresh revelation.  When all was ready, the Rat said, ‘Now, pitch in, old fellow!’ and the Mole was indeed very glad to obey, for he had started his spring-cleaning at a very early hour that morning, as people WILL do, and had not paused for bite or sup; and he had been through a very great deal since that distant time which now seemed so many days ago.
河鼠把船划到岸边,靠稳了,把仍旧笨手笨脚的鼹鼠平安地扶上岸,然后扔出午餐篮子。鼹鼠央求河鼠准许他独自开篮取出食物。河鼠很乐意依他,自己便伸直全身在草地上休息,听由他兴奋的朋友去摆弄。鼹鼠抖开餐布,铺在地上,一样一样取出篮子里的神秘货色,井井有条地摆好。每次新的发现,都引得他惊叹一声:“哎呀!哎呀!”全都摆设就绪后,河鼠一声令下:“现在,老伙计,开嚼!” 鼹鼠非常乐于从命,因为他那天一早就按常规进行春季大扫除,马不停蹄地干,一口没吃没喝,以后又经历了这许多事,仿佛过了好些天。

‘What are you looking at?’ said the Rat presently, when the edge of their hunger was somewhat dulled, and the Mole’s eyes were able to wander off the table-cloth a little.
“你在看什么?”河鼠问。这时,他俩的辘辘饥肠已多少缓解,鼹鼠已经能够把眼光稍稍移开餐布,投向别处了。

‘I am looking,’ said the Mole, ‘at a streak of bubbles that I see travelling along the surface of the water.  That is a thing that strikes me as funny.’
“我在看水面上移动着的一串泡沫,”鼹鼠说,“觉得它怪好玩的。”

‘Bubbles?  Oho!’ said the Rat, and chirruped cheerily in an inviting sort of way.
“泡沫?啊哈!”河鼠高兴地吱喳一声,像在对谁发出邀请。

A broad glistening muzzle showed itself above the edge of the bank, and the Otter hauled himself out and shook the water from his coat.
岸边的水里,冒出一只宽扁发亮的嘴。水獭钻出水面,抖落掉外衣上的水滴。

‘Greedy beggars!’ he observed, making for the provender.  ‘Why didn’t you invite me, Ratty?’
“贪吃的花子们!”他朝食物凑拢去,“鼠兄,怎不邀请我呀?”

‘This was an impromptu affair,’ explained the Rat.  ‘By the way—my friend Mr. Mole.’
“这次野餐是临时动议的,”河鼠解释说,“来,介绍一下,这位是我的朋友鼹鼠。”

‘Proud, I’m sure,’ said the Otter, and the two animals were friends forthwith.
“很荣幸,”水獭说,两只动物立刻成了朋友。’

‘Such a rumpus everywhere!’ continued the Otter.  ‘All the world seems out on the river to-day.  I came up this backwater to try and get a moment’s peace, and then stumble upon you fellows!--At least—I beg pardon—I don’t exactly mean that, you know.’
“到处都闹哄哄的!”水獭接着说。“今儿个仿佛全世界都上河来了。我到这静水湾,原想图个清静,不料又撞上你们二位!至少是——啊,对不起——我不是这个意思,你们知道的。”

There was a rustle behind them, proceeding from a hedge wherein last year’s leaves still clung thick, and a stripy head, with high shoulders behind it, peered forth on them.
他们背后响起了一阵窸窣声,是从树篱那边来的。树篱上,还厚厚地挂着头年的叶子。一个带条纹的脑袋,脑袋下一副高耸的肩膀,从树篱后面探出来,眼瞅着他们。

‘Come on, old Badger!’ shouted the Rat.
“过来呀,老獾!”河鼠喊道。

The Badger trotted forward a pace or two; then grunted, ‘H’m! Company,’ and turned his back and disappeared from view.
老獾向前小跑了一两步,然后咕噜说,“哼!有同伴!”随即掉头跑开了。

‘That’s JUST the sort of fellow he is!’ observed the disappointed Rat. ‘Simply hates Society!  Now we shan’t see any more of him to-day. Well, tell us, WHO’S out on the river?’
“他就是这么个人!”满心失望的河鼠议论道,“最讨厌社交生活!今天别想再见到他了。好吧,告诉我们,到河上来的还有谁?”

‘Toad’s out, for one,’ replied the Otter.  ‘In his brand-new wager-boat; new togs, new everything!’
“蟾蜍就是一个,”水獭回答。“驾着他那只崭新的赛艇;一身新装,什么都是新的!”

The two animals looked at each other and laughed.
两只动物相视大笑。

‘Once, it was nothing but sailing,’ said the Rat, ‘Then he tired of that and took to punting.  Nothing would please him but to punt all day and every day, and a nice mess he made of it.  Last year it was house-boating, and we all had to go and stay with him in his house-boat, and pretend we liked it.  He was going to spend the rest of his life in a house-boat.  It’s all the same, whatever he takes up; he gets tired of it, and starts on something fresh.’
“有一阵子,他一门心思玩帆船,”河鼠说,“过后,帆船玩腻了,就玩起撑船来。对什么都不感兴趣,成天就知道撑船,捅了不少篓子。去年呢,又迷上了宅船①,于是我们都得陪他住他的宅船,还得装做喜欢。说他后半辈子就在宅船里过了。不管迷上什么,结果总是一样,没过多久就腻烦了,又迷上了新的玩意儿。”
①一种带住所可以居住的船。——译注

‘Such a good fellow, too,’ remarked the Otter reflectively:  ‘But no stability—especially in a boat!’
“人倒真是个好人,”水獭若有所思地说,“可就是没常性,不稳当——特别是在船上!”

From where they sat they could get a glimpse of the main stream across the island that separated them; and just then a wager-boat flashed into view, the rower—a short, stout figure—splashing badly and rolling a good deal, but working his hardest.  The Rat stood up and hailed him, but Toad—for it was he—shook his head and settled sternly to his work.
从他们坐的地方,隔着一个岛子,可以望见大河的主流。就在这时,一只赛艇映入眼帘。划船的——一个矮壮汉子——打桨打得水花四溅,身子在船里来回滚动,可还在使劲划着。河鼠站起来,冲他打招呼,可蟾蜍——就是那个划船的——却摇摇头,专心致志地划他的船。“要是他老这么滚来滚去,不消多会儿,他就会摔出船外的,”河鼠说着,又坐了下来。

‘He’ll be out of the boat in a minute if he rolls like that,’ said the Rat, sitting down again. ‘Of course he will,’ chuckled the Otter.  ‘Did I ever tell you that good story about Toad and the lock-keeper?  It happened this way.  Toad. . . .’
“他肯定会摔出来的,”水獭格格笑着说,“我给你讲过那个有趣的故事吗?就是蟾蜍和那个水闸管理员的故事?蟾蜍他……”

An errant May-fly swerved unsteadily athwart the current in the intoxicated fashion affected by young bloods of May-flies seeing life.  A swirl of water and a ‘cloop!’ and the May-fly was visible no more.
一只随波漂流的蜉蝣,满怀着血气方刚的后生对生活的憧憬,正歪歪斜斜地逆水游来。忽见水面卷起一个旋涡,“咕噜”一声,蜉蝣就没影儿了。

Neither was the Otter.
水獭也不见了。

The Mole looked down.  The voice was still in his ears, but the turf whereon he had sprawled was clearly vacant.  Not an Otter to be seen, as far as the distant horizon.
鼹鼠忙低下头去看。水獭的话音还在耳边,可他扒过的那块草地却空空如也。从脚下一直望到天边,一只水獭也不见。

But again there was a streak of bubbles on the surface of the river.
不过,河面又泛起了一串泡沫。

The Rat hummed a tune, and the Mole recollected that animal-etiquette forbade any sort of comment on the sudden disappearance of one’s friends at any moment, for any reason or no reason whatever.
河鼠哼起了一支小曲儿。鼹鼠想起,按动物界的规矩,要是你的朋友突然离去,不管有理由还是没理由,你都不该随便议论。

‘Well, well,’ said the Rat, ‘I suppose we ought to be moving.  I wonder which of us had better pack the luncheon-basket?’  He did not speak as if he was frightfully eager for the treat.
“好啦,好啦,”河鼠说,“我想咱们该走啦。我不知道,咱们两个谁该收拾碗碟?”听口气,仿佛他并不特别乐意享受这个待遇。

‘O, please let me,’ said the Mole.  So, of course, the Rat let him.
“哦,让我来吧,”鼹鼠说。当然,河鼠就让他去干了。

Packing the basket was not quite such pleasant work as unpacking’ the basket.  It never is.  But the Mole was bent on enjoying everything, and although just when he had got the basket packed and strapped up tightly he saw a plate staring up at him from the grass, and when the job had been done again the Rat pointed out a fork which anybody ought to have seen, and last of all, behold! the mustard pot, which he had been sitting on without knowing it—still, somehow, the thing got finished at last, without much loss of temper.
收拾篮子这种活儿,不像打开篮子那样叫人高兴,向来如此。不过鼹鼠天生来对所有的事都感兴趣。他刚把篮子装好系紧,就看见还有一只盘子躺在地上冲他瞪眼。等他重新把盘子装好,河鼠又指出漏掉了一只谁都应该看见的叉子。末末了,瞧,还有那只他坐在屁股底下竟毫无感觉的芥末瓶——尽管一波三折,这项工作总算完成了,鼹鼠倒也没怎么特不耐烦。

The afternoon sun was getting low as the Rat sculled gently homewards in a dreamy mood, murmuring poetry-things over to himself, and not paying much attention to Mole.  But the Mole was very full of lunch, and self-satisfaction, and pride, and already quite at home in a boat (so he thought) and was getting a bit restless besides: and presently he said, ‘Ratty!  Please, I want to row, now!’
下午的太阳渐渐西沉,河鼠朝回家的方向梦悠悠地轻荡双桨,一面自顾自低吟着什么诗句,没怎么理会鼹鼠。鼹鼠呢,肚里装满了午餐,心满意足,自认为坐在船上已挺自在自如了,于是有点跃跃欲试起来。他忽然说:“喂,鼠兄,我现在想划划船!”

The Rat shook his head with a smile.  ‘Not yet, my young friend,’ he said—‘wait till you’ve had a few lessons.  It’s not so easy as it looks.’
河鼠微微一笑,摇摇头说:“现在还不行,我的年轻朋友,等你学几次再划吧。划船并不像看起来那么容易。”

The Mole was quiet for a minute or two.  But he began to feel more and more jealous of Rat, sculling so strongly and so easily along, and his pride began to whisper that he could do it every bit as well.  He jumped up and seized the sculls, so suddenly, that the Rat, who was gazing out over the water and saying more poetry-things to himself, was taken by surprise and fell backwards off his seat with his legs in the air for the second time, while the triumphant Mole took his place and grabbed the sculls with entire confidence.
有一两分钟,鼹鼠没吭声,可是他越来越眼红起河鼠来。见河鼠一路划着,动作那么有力,又那么轻松,鼹鼠的自尊心开始在他耳边嘀咕,说他也能划得和河鼠一样好。他猛地跳起来,从河鼠手中夺过双桨。河鼠两眼一直呆望着水面,嘴里嘟哝着一些什么小诗,没提防鼹鼠这一着,竟仰面翻下座位,又一次四脚朝天跌倒在船底。得胜的鼹鼠抢占了他的位子,信心十足地握住了双桨。

‘Stop it, you SILLY ass!’ cried the Rat, from the bottom of the boat. ‘You can’t do it!  You’ll have us over!’
“住手!你这个蠢驴!”河鼠躺在船底喊道,“你干不了这个!你会把船弄翻的!”

The Mole flung his sculls back with a flourish, and made a great dig at the water.  He missed the surface altogether, his legs flew up above his head, and he found himself lying on the top of the prostrate Rat. Greatly alarmed, he made a grab at the side of the boat, and the next moment—Sploosh!
鼹鼠把双桨往后一挥,深深插进水里。桨根本没有划在水面。只见他两脚高高翘起,整个儿跌倒在躺倒的河鼠身上。他惊慌失措,忙去抓船舷,刹那间——扑通!

Over went the boat, and he found himself struggling in the river.
船儿兜底翻了过来,鼹鼠在河里扑腾着挣扎。

O my, how cold the water was, and O, how VERY wet it felt. How it sang in his ears as he went down, down, down!  How bright and welcome the sun looked as he rose to the surface coughing and spluttering! How black was his despair when he felt himself sinking again! Then a firm paw gripped him by the back of his neck. It was the Rat, and he was evidently laughing—the Mole could FEEL him laughing, right down his arm and through his paw, and so into his—the Mole’s—neck.
哎呀,水好冷呀,浑身都湿透啦!他往下沉,沉,沉,水在他耳朵轰轰直响。一会儿,他冒到水面上,又咳又呛,吱哇乱叫。太阳显得多可爱呀!一会儿,他又沉了下去,深深地陷入绝望。这时,一只强有力的爪子抓住了他的后脖颈。那是河鼠。河鼠分明是在大笑——鼹鼠能感觉到这一点。他的笑,从胳臂传下来,经过爪子,一直传到鼹鼠的脖子。

The Rat got hold of a scull and shoved it under the Mole’s arm; then he did the same by the other side of him and, swimming behind, propelled the helpless animal to shore, hauled him out, and set him down on the bank, a squashy, pulpy lump of misery.
河鼠抓过一只桨,塞在鼹鼠腋下,又把另一只桨塞在他另一腋下。然后,他在后面游泳,将那个可怜巴巴的动物推到岸边,拽出水来,安顿在岸上,成了湿漉漉、软瘫瘫、惨兮兮的一堆。

When the Rat had rubbed him down a bit, and wrung some of the wet out of him, he said, ‘Now, then, old fellow!  Trot up and down the towing-path as hard as you can, till you’re warm and dry again, while I dive for the luncheon-basket.’
河鼠把鼹鼠的身子搓揉了一阵,拧去湿衣裳上的水,然后说:“现在,老伙计!顺着绎道使劲来回跑,跑到身上暖过来,衣裳干了为止。我潜下水去捞午餐篮子。”

So the dismal Mole, wet without and ashamed within, trotted about till he was fairly dry, while the Rat plunged into the water again, recovered the boat, righted her and made her fast, fetched his floating property to shore by degrees, and finally dived successfully for the luncheon-basket and struggled to land with it.
惊魂未定的鼹鼠,外面浑身湿透,内心羞愧难当,在河边来回跑步,直跑到身上干得差不多了。同时,河鼠又一次窜进水中,抓回小船,把它翻正,系牢;又把散落水面的什物一件件寻上岸来,最后,他潜入水底,捞到了午餐篮子,奋力将它带到岸上。

When all was ready for a start once more, the Mole, limp and dejected, took his seat in the stern of the boat; and as they set off, he said in a low voice, broken with emotion, ‘Ratty, my generous friend!  I am very sorry indeed for my foolish and ungrateful conduct.  My heart quite fails me when I think how I might have lost that beautiful luncheon-basket.  Indeed, I have been a complete ass, and I know it.  Will you overlook it this once and forgive me, and let things go on as before?’
等一切都安排停当,又要启航时,鼹鼠一瘸一拐、垂头丧气地坐到了船尾的座位上。开船时,他情绪激动,断断续续地低声说:“鼠兄,我宽宏大量的朋友!我太愚蠢,太不知好歹了!实在是对你不起。想到我险些儿把那只美丽的午餐篮子弄丢了,心情就特别沉重。说真格的,我是一只十足的蠢驴,我心里明白。你能不能不计前嫌,原谅我这一遭,对我还跟过去一样?”

‘That’s all right, bless you!’ responded the Rat cheerily. ‘What’s a little wet to a Water Rat?  I’m more in the water than out of it most days.  Don’t you think any more about it; and, look here!  I really think you had better come and stop with me for a little time.  It’s very plain and rough, you know—not like Toad’s house at all—but you haven’t seen that yet; still, I can make you comfortable.  And I’ll teach you to row, and to swim, and you’ll soon be as handy on the water as any of us.’
“这没什么,祝福你!”河鼠轻松地答道,“一只河鼠嘛,弄湿点儿算什么?多数日子,我呆在水里的时间比呆在岸上还长哩。你就别再惦着了。这么着吧,我真的希望,你来跟我一道住些时候。我的家很普通,很简陋,根本没法和蟾蜍的家相比。可你还没来我家看过哩。你来了,我会让你过得舒舒服服的。而且,我还能教你学会划船,游泳,你很快就能像我们一样,在水上自由自在了。”

The Mole was so touched by his kind manner of speaking that he could find no voice to answer him; and he had to brush away a tear or two with the back of his paw.  But the Rat kindly looked in another direction, and presently the Mole’s spirits revived again, and he was even able to give some straight back-talk to a couple of moorhens who were sniggering to each other about his bedraggled appearance.
这番亲切体贴的话,感动得鼹鼠说不出话来,只用爪子背儿抹去一两滴眼泪。可是善解人意的河鼠把眼光移向了别处。不一会儿,鼹鼠的情绪缓过来了。当两只松鸡互相唧喳嘲笑他那副狼狈相时,他竟能和他们顶起嘴来。

When they got home, the Rat made a bright fire in the parlour, and planted the Mole in an arm-chair in front of it, having fetched down a dressing-gown and slippers for him, and told him river stories till supper-time.  Very thrilling stories they were, too, to an earth-dwelling animal like Mole.  Stories about weirs, and sudden floods, and leaping pike, and steamers that flung hard bottles—at least bottles were certainly flung, and FROM steamers, so presumably BY them; and about herons, and how particular they were whom they spoke to; and about adventures down drains, and night-fishings with Otter, or excursions far a-field with Badger.  Supper was a most cheerful meal; but very shortly afterwards a terribly sleepy Mole had to be escorted upstairs by his considerate host, to the best bedroom, where he soon laid his head on his pillow in great peace and contentment, knowing that his new-found friend the River was lapping the sill of his window.
回到家,河鼠在客厅里升起一炉熊熊的火,给鼹鼠拿来一件晨衣,一双拖鞋,把他安顿在炉前一张扶手椅上,然后给他讲河上的种种趣闻轶事,直到吃晚饭。鼹鼠是一只陆上动物,河上的故事在他听来是十分惊险有趣的。河鼠讲到拦河坝;讲到突发的山洪;讲到跳跃的狗鱼;还有乱扔硬梆梆的瓶子的汽船——扔瓶子是确有其事,而且是由汽船那边扔下来的,因此可以推断,是汽船扔的——还有苍鹭,他们跟别人说话时盛气凌人;还有钻进排水阴沟的探险;还有同水獭一道夜间捉鱼,或者跟獾一道在田野里远足。晚饭吃得痛快极了,可是饭后不多会儿鼹鼠就瞌睡得不行,于是殷勤周到的主人只好把他送到楼上一间讲究的卧室里。鼹鼠马上一头倒住枕头上,感到非常安宁和满意。他知道,他的那位新结识的朋友——大河——在不断轻轻拍打着他的窗棂。

This day was only the first of many similar ones for the emancipated Mole, each of them longer and full of interest as the ripening summer moved onward.  He learnt to swim and to row, and entered into the joy of running water; and with his ear to the reed-stems he caught, at intervals, something of what the wind went whispering so constantly among them.
对于新从地下居室解放出来的鼹鼠,这一天,只是一连串相伴的日子的开端。随着万物生长成熟的盛夏的来临,白昼一天比一天长,也一天比一天过得更有趣。他学会了游泳,划船,尝到了与流水嬉戏的甜头。他把耳朵贴近芦苇杆时,有时会偷听到风在芦苇丛里的窃窃私语。



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