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Hello, I'm the host of the blog you're visiting now. Thank you for your presence. I've been working as a teacher of English since ten years ago. Hope we'll be friends.

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The Seeing Stick会看的手杖  

2008-07-04 18:58:11|  分类: 短篇小说 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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 This Chinese story was translated into English by a foreigner. The story is very simple and so are the English sentences used by the adapter. The English version is presented in the form of a poem. The sory shows there are many ways to "see"--as Hwei Ming was quick to discover. Sometimes it is not the eyes that see best of all. It is the heart and the mind. The leading rold of the story is a princess living in a certain dynasty of ancient China, whose name is Wei Ming, transliterated obviously. I have no idea what the original Chinese version is. If you happen to come across the original text, please share it with us. Thanks in advance.

这是外国人翻译的中国故事,故事很简单,英文译文也很简单,以诗的方式呈现。这个简单的故事告诉我们生活中有很多方式可以让我们“观看”这个世界。有时让我们看的最好的不是眼睛,而是心和头脑。这个故事的主人公是一位古代中国的公主,名字是Wei Ming(显然老外是用的音译),不过我没有找到这个故事的中文原文。有哪位朋友知道的,不防分享一下。

Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking

There lived an emperor who had only one daughter,

and her name was Hwei Ming.

Now this daughter had carved ivory combs

to smooth back her long black hair.

Her tiny feet were encased in embroidered slippers,

And her robes were woven of the finest silks.

But rather than making her happy,

such possessions made her sad.

For Hwei Ming was blind,

and all the beautiful handcrafts in the kingdom

brought her no pleasure at all.

Her father was also sad

That his only daughter was blind,

but he could not cry for her.

He was emperor after all,

and had given up weeping over such things

when he ascended the throne.

 

Yet still he had hope

that one day Hwei Ming might be able to see.

So he resolved that if someone could help her,

such a person would be rewarded

with a fortune in jewels.

He sent word of his offer

to the inner and outer cities of Peking

and to all the towns and villages

for hundreds of miles around.

Monks came, of course,

with their prayers and prayer wheels,

for they though in this way

to help Hwei Ming see.

Magician-priests came, of course,

with their incantations and spells,

for they thought in this way

to help Hwei Ming see.

Physicians came, of course,

with their potions and pins,

for they thought in this way

to help Hwei Ming see.

But nothing could help.

Hwei Ming had been blind from the day of birth,

and no one could effect a cure.

 

Now one day

an old man, who lived far away

in the south country,

heard tales of the blind princess.

He heard of the emperor’s offer.

And so he took his few possessions—

a long walking stick,

made from a single piece of golden wood,

and his whittling knife—

and stared up the road.

The sun rose hot on his right side

and the sun set cool on his left

as he made his way north to Peking

to help the princess see.

 

At last the old man,

his clothes tattered by is travels,

stopped by the gate of the Outer city.

The guards at the gate

did not want to let such a ragged old man in.

“Grandfather, go home.

There is nothing here for such as you,” they said.

The old man touched their faces in turn

with his rough fingers.

“So young,” he said,

“and already so old.”

He turned as if to go.

Then he propped his walking stick

against his side

and reached into his shirt

for is whittling knife.

“What are you doing, grandfather?”

called out one of the guards

when he saw the old man bring out the knife.

“I am going to show you my stick,”

said the old man.

“For it is a stick that sees.”

“Grandfather, that is nonsense,”

said the second guard.

“That stick can see no farther

than can the emperor’s daughter.”

 

“Just so, just so,”

said the old man.

“But stranger things have happened.”

And so saying,

he picked up the stick

and stropped the knife blade back and forth

three times to sharpen its edge.

As the guards watched

from the gate in the wall,

the old man told them

how he had walked the many miles

through villages and towns

till he came with his seeing stick

to the walls of Peking.

And as he told them his tale,

he pointed to the pictures in the stick:

an old man,

his home,

the long walk,

the walls of Peking.

And as they watched further,

he began to cut their portraits into the wood.

The two guards looked at each other

in amazement and delight.

They were flattered at their likenesses

on the old man’s stick.

Indeed, they had never witnesses such carving skill.

 

“Surely this is something

the guards at the wall

of the Inner City should see,” they said.

So, taking the old man by the arm,

they guided him

through the streets of the Outer City,

past flower peddlers and jewel merchants,

up to the great stone walls.

When the guards of the Inner City

saw the seeing stick,

they were surprised and delighted.

“Carve our faces, too,”

they begged like children.

And laughing,

and touching their faces

as any fond grandfather would,

the old man did as they bid.

In no time at all,

the guards of the Inner City took the old man by his arm

and led him to the wall of the Inner City

and in through the gate

to the great wooden doors of the Imperial Palace.

 

Now when the guards arrived

in the throne room of the Imperial Palace

leading the old man by the arm,

it happened that the emperor’s blind daughter,

Hwei Ming,

was sitting by his side,

her hands clasped before her,

silent, sightless, and still.

As the guards finished telling

of the wonderful pictures carved on the golden stick,

the princess clapped her hands.

“Oh, I wish I could see that wondrous stick,” she said.

“Just so, just so,” said the old man.

“And I will show it to you.

For it is no ordinary piece of wood,

But a stick that sees.”

“What nonsense,” said her father

in a voice so low it was almost a growl.

But the princess did not hear him.

She had already bent toward

the sound of the old man’s voice.

“A seeing stick?”

 

The old man didn’t say anything for a moment.

Then he leaned forward

and petted Hwei Ming’s head

and caressed her check.

For though she was a princess,

she was still a child.

Then the old man began to tell again

the story of his long journey to Peking.

He introduced each character and object—

te old man

the guards

the great walls,

the Innermost City.

And then he carved the wooden doors,

the Imperial Palace,

the Princess, into the golden wood.

 

When he finished,

The old man reached out

for the princess’ small hands.

He took her tiny fingers in his

and placed them on the stick.

Finger on finger,

he helped her trace the likenesses.

“Feel the long flowing hair of the princess,”

the old man said.

“Grown as she herself has grown,

straight and true.”

And Hwei Ming touched the carved stick.

“Now feel your own long hair,” he said.

And she did.

“Feel the lines in the old man’s face,” he said.

“From years of worry and years of joy.”

He thrust the stick into her hands again.

And the princess’ slim fingers

felt the carved stick.

Then he put her fingers onto his face

and traced the same lines there.

It was the first time

the princess had touched another person’s face

since she was a very small girl.

The princess jumped up from her throne

and thrust her hand before her.

“Guards, O guards,” she cried out.

“Come here to me.”

And the guards lifted up their faces

to the princess Hwei Ming’s hands.

Her fingers,

like little breezes,

brushed their eyes and noses and mouths,

and then found each one on the carved stick.

Hwei Ming turned to her father,

the emperor,

who sat straight and tall

and unmoving on his great throne.

She reached out

and her fingers ran eagerly

through his hair

and down his nose and cheek

and rested curiously on a tear they found there.

And that was strange, indeed,

for had not the emperor

given up crying over such things

when he ascended the throne?

 

They brought her

through the streets of the city, then,

the emperor in the lead.

And princess Hwei Ming

touched men and women

and children as they passed.

Till at last

she stood before the great walls of Peking

and felt the stones themselves.

Then she turned to the old man.

Her voice was bright

and full of laughter.

“Tell me another tale,” she said.

“Tomorrow, if you wish,” he replied.

 

For each tomorrow

As long as he lived

the old man dwelt

in the Innermost City,

where only the royal family stays.

The emperor rewarded him

with a fortune in jewels,

but the old man gave them all away.

Every day

he told the princess a story.

Some were tales as ancient

as the city itself.

Some were as new

as the events of the day.

And each time

he carved wonderful images

in the stick of golden wood.

As the princess listened,

she grew eyes

on the tips of her fingers.

At least that is what

she told the other blind children

who she taught to see as she saw.

Certainly it was as true

as saying she had a seeing stick.

But the blind Princess Hwei Ming

believed that both tings were true.

And so did all the blind children

in her city of Peking.

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