May 23, 2013

2013523

 

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

为什么鸡要穿过公路?

by Rodney E.J. Chang  

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     Kauai island of the Hawaiian chain got hit by a hurricane a few years ago.  For the tourist industry, the oldest island of the island archipelago is nicknamed the “Friendly Isle.”  After the disastrous storm, the island could understandably be nicknamed “Chicken Island.” (Not that island marketing would permit it.)  Thousands of chickens escaped their coops when over a hundred mile per hour winds struck island-wide.  There was no way to recapture the freed birds, scattered all over the island.  Even if the daunting task was possible, how could folks identity which livestock belonged to which resident?  Now feral offspring, generations deep, roam freely on the island among the human population that have learned to live with massive flocks.  They're all over the place, including the roads.  Think massive road kills.

 夏威夷群岛中的考爱岛几年前遭到了飓风的袭击。在旅游业中,群岛中最古老的岛屿被昵称为友善之岛。灾难性的风暴过后,该岛被戏称为鸡岛。(关于该岛的营销可不允许这么称呼它。 )当每小时超过一百英里的飓风袭击全岛,数千只鸡从鸡舍中逃脱。没有办法捉回这些遍布整个岛屿的自由禽类了。即使这项艰巨的任务可能成功,父老乡亲们又如何知道哪只鸡是属于谁家的?如今,这些野生的后代,世代相传,已经学会每天如何在已经学会如何与它们和睦相处的人群中自由的穿梭。它们无处不在,包括公路上。因此经常出现大规模死亡。

 

     Henry, a country boy of 7, asked his friend Edgar, “Why did the chickens cross the road?”

亨利,一个7岁的农村男孩,问他的朋友埃德加,为什么鸡要穿过公路?  

     “To get to the other side?”  (He had heard the answer to that joke.)

去到另一边?(他其实已经听到过该玩笑的答案)  

     But Henry really did wonder what he asked.  On bicycles, traveling along the side of a rural road close to their homes, the question just popped into his mind, the type that surfaces in a curious child’s mind for no particular reason at all. Henry responded to Edgar’s answer,

但是亨利真的很想知道他的问题的答案。在骑着自行车,沿着靠近他家的乡村公路骑行,该问题立刻出现在他的脑海中,涌现在一个好奇孩子脑海中的问题是根本就没什么特别的缘由的。  

      “Well that’s obvious; what a stupid answer.  I mean, really, why do they cross this road?”

嗯,很明显;多么愚蠢的问题。我的意思是,真的,为什么它们要穿过公路?  

      If only he could hear the chickens talk to each other.  To the boys it only sounded like squawks.

如果只有他能听到鸡之间的互相交谈。对于男孩来说,那听起来就是嘎嘎叫。  

     On one side of the asphalt road, both sides were lined with thick green “centipede” grass, the largest rooster crowed to a smaller one.  Translation in English:

在沥青路面的一侧,两边都排列着茂盛的绿色蜈蚣草,最大的公鸡冲着一只稍小啼叫。翻译成英语就是:  

     “Hey buster, I told you before I don't want to catch you on this side of the road.  Are you too stupid or just have a short memory?”

嘿老兄,我以前告诉过你,我不希望在路边看到你。你是愚蠢还是脑子进水了?  

     Having attracted the bully's attention, the smaller male backed off in a defensive hop. 

在吸引了那伙计的注意之后,小一点的公鸡以防守的姿势后退。  

     “Sorry, Sir, I forgot.”

对不起,先生,我忘了。  

     “Hey, I know it's slimmer pickings on the other side.  Too many of our kind have been hanging out on that side, where it’s all brush, tall grass and no houses.  Safer refuge but now with less bugs and worms.”

嘿,我知道减肥的家伙都会去另一边。我们的太多同类都在那边混,那边全是灌木丛,高草并且没有房子。更安全的避难所,只是现在虫子比以前少了。  

      “Yes it is; that's why I couldn't resist when I saw a huge earthworm poking its head out of the ground.”

是的,那就是为什么当我看到一条肥美的蚯蚓从地上露头,我就情不自禁了。  

      “But that's my worm you’re stealing.  Do I have to remind you that this is my territory? Or do you think you're now big enough to take me on?”  The tough guy said this as he lowered his head and clawed back at the ground, making like he was ready to charge. “If you don’t beat it now, I’ll peck your ugly eyes out!” Squawk!  

但是你正偷吃的是我的虫子,我还需要再提醒你,这是我的地盘吗?或者你觉得现在你翅膀硬了,可以跟我叫板了?这个硬汉在说话的时候,低下头蹲在地上,让他看起来已经准备好攻击了。如果你现在不滚蛋,我会把你丑陋的眼珠啄出来!他粗鲁而响亮的叫着!  

     Without further hesitation, the other rooster ran to cross the road.  A passing car’s wheels almost pan-caked the fleeing bird.  But the alert driver swerved and braked in time.

另一只公鸡毫不犹豫地奔跑着穿过公路。一辆经过的车的车轮几乎将这只飞鸟压成了馅饼。但是警觉的司机及时的转向并且刹车。  

           But this incident of peck order exerting itself was only part of the answer to Henry-the- Cyclist’s inquiry.

但是这个偶然的啄食顺序本身所施以的影响只是单车少年亨利所渴求的答案的一部分。  

     With that intruder gone, off to the other side and finding refuge in some bushes, the big rooster turned his attention to a strolling hen and her line of little yellow chicks.  The family was on his side of the road.  And picking at and snitching his squirming delicacies within the grass.

随着入侵者消失,去了另一侧并且在一堆灌木丛中找到了避难所,大公鸡又将注意力转到了一只母鸡和排成一队的小鸡身上。这一家子都在公路的另一侧。正在草丛中偷偷寻找和啄食着美味的小虫。  

     “Hey lady, yeah you with all them little fellas.  Do you know who I am?”

嘿三八,是的就是你,带小孩的。你知道我是谁吗?  

     “Can't say I do.”  The hen had been wandering down the road for a while, with total attention to seeking out hidden morsels.  Now she and her brood were far from her usual nesting and scavenging area; she was totally unaware as to exactly were she was.

不敢说我认识。母鸡已经在公路下面徘徊了一会,聚精会神的寻找隐藏的小吃。现在她和她的宝宝们都远离了自家门口;她完全没有意识到她身处何地。  

     “Well I own this side of the road and you're trespassing in my worm farm.”

嗯,公路这边是我的,你们现在正擅闯我的地盘。  

     “But there's so much more of us further down from where we walked from, and my little ones are so hungry.  Can't you, kind sir, permit us to scrounge about for just a little while?”

但是我们有那么多鸡都来过我现在呆的地方,而且我的孩子们饿坏了。和蔼的先生,您难道就不能允许我们呆上一会吗?  

     “Hell NO!” the greedy rooster crowed.  “With all them little 'ums, you could be eating me out of house and lot in a matter no time.  So be off too-many-eggs lady, and take that brood with you!” 

该死的,不行!这只贪婪的公鸡叫嚷着。你带着那么多小崽子,很快就会吃光我这里所有的虫子。所以,三八,带上你的小崽子,给我滚蛋!  

      She didn't budge until he was upon her, with claws out and inflicted a painful peck on her neck.

在她还没有来得及退却之前,他就痛下杀手,在她的脖子上狠狠地啄了一口。  

      “Ouch, that hurt!  You brute!  You woman beater!”  With that she ran across the road with her trail of chicks obediently followed after her.

诶哟,疼死我了!你这个畜生!你就会欺负女人!说完她仓惶的穿过公路,她的孩子们乖乖的跟在后面。  

      “And be sure to stay away, all of you!  You should also know I don’t take kindly to some other rooster’s offspring.  If any of your chicks wanders back to my territory, they’re bloody dead feathers this time!”  The dominant male was such a bastard.  It had carried out the death threat on former chicks that had mistakenly wandered into his territory.

你们都离我远点!你应该还知道我是不喜欢对其它公鸡的后代们客气的。如果你的小崽子们敢再来我的地盘,他们会死的很惨!这个大男子主义的家伙真是个混蛋。他甚至对这些误入他地盘的小家伙们发出了死亡威胁。  

      The road at this juncture had a sharp bend and the road was slick from the early morning rain.  Kauai couldn't be called the “Garden Isle” if it didn't rain so darn much.

这段路有个急弯并且在清晨下完雨之后非常湿滑。如果没有这么多雨,考艾岛也不能被称为花园岛了、  

      Just as the chicks were in the middle of the road, farmer John's old pick up came screeching around the turn. He saw the line of chicks and slapped the brakes, causing the truck to skid – right into the last few in line.  After the wheels rotated off the victims, farmer John sped off. He did feel remorse but soothed his guilty conscience with,

就在鸡宝宝们走到公路中间的时候,农夫约翰的老皮卡车在转弯尖叫着驶来。他看到排成队的鸡宝宝们,猛踩刹车,造成卡车打滑直冲着队尾的鸡宝宝而来。车轮压过受害者后,约翰疾驰而去。他确实感到过悔恨,但是这种负罪感很快平复了。  

     Well I did try to stop.  Anyhow, there's way too much of them multiplying all over the place.  Damn pests, leaving their droppings all over the place.  At least I nailed a couple of them.  Yes, that what it was. Just doing my job to help to keep the wild chicken population under control.

嗯,我也确实尝试停车了。不管怎么样,它们遍地都是,繁殖起来是那么容易。可恶的东西,到处拉屎。至少我消灭掉了一些。是的,就应该是这样。至少我做了些好事,帮助控制这些野鸡的数量了。  

      The shocked mother hen and the terrified surviving clutch darted off into the some dry bush and out of sight.

受惊的母鸡和怕得要死的幸存小鸡们钻进灌木丛,在视野中消失了。  

      The head honcheho saw the road kill incident and didn't give it a second thought. 

  强壮的公鸡偶然目睹了公路惨案,倒是觉得无所谓了。  

     Ain't my kids, anyway.  Less beaks to feed, less  threats of stealing my worms and bugs.

反正不是我的孩子。少了抢食的嘴巴,少了偷吃我虫子的威胁。  

      “Hey asshole!” the cocky chicken heard from behind, on the same side of the road. 

嘿混蛋!自大的鸡听到从后面传来的声音,在公路的同一侧。  

     It was the loudest crow that the two boys had heard that morning. Much more resounding and piercing than that of the male that was heckling all the other liberated poultry.

它是两个男孩在这个早晨所听到的最大声的啼叫。比质问所有其它家禽的公鸡更响亮和刺耳。  

     On that side an old house with a large chicken coop existed.  With all the rain, the nails and hinges had rusted sufficiently that after some determined pecking, the huge cock that was confined within had successfully slipped the latch open and squeezed out of the cage's small door.

在那一边,有一栋带一个大鸡窝的老房子。由于雨水侵蚀,钉子和铰链已经锈迹斑斑,在经过奋力的啄食后,被拘禁在其中的大公鸡便成功打开锁,从笼子的小门中挤出来。  

      The surprised bully turned around and saw his nemesis.  He had always felt safe from the naturally large male on steroids in lock up, thereby enabling him to call that roadside area with good pickings of squirming treats his own.

惊讶的家伙转过身来,看见他的克星。他一直以为这个类固醇被禁锢的大块头是安全的,从而让他能够在路边这块地方呼风唤雨。  

     It was Roldopho Santiago's champion fighting chicken.  It was a survivor of many bouts.  The champion cock had killed his share of competitors to earn his keeper a tidy sum of profits.  The ruling bully of the road now backed off , with its body shaking and his two skinny legs trembling.  Its colorful crest of feathers no longer were ruffled outwards as if looking for a fight.  The feral rooster lowered its head to show no aggression to the new arrival and signal submissiveness.   The new arrival flew from the coop to stand immediately next to the roadside troublemaker.

这是罗尔多夫,圣地亚哥的斗鸡冠军。是许多回合战斗过后的幸存者。冠军公鸡杀了他的竞争对手,让它的主人赢了一大笔。公路统治者现在开始退却了,浑身发抖,两条细腿不断的哆嗦。他那丰富多彩的羽毛冠也不再想找人打架般的向外竖起。这个野公鸡低下头,显示出对新来的入侵者谦恭和顺从的信号。从鸡舍飞过来的新人立刻站在了路边霸王的旁边。  

“Do you know who I am, buster?”

你知道我是谁吗,小鬼?  

“Yes, you're the famous one they call The Gladiator.” 

是的,您是最著名的角斗士。  

“Do you, jerk, know why they call me that?”

你还真知道,混蛋,知道为什么他们那么叫我吗?  

“Er...not really,” said the cock with an obsequious demeanor.  The large feral male had never attended a chicken fight.  For sure such an event was never seen roadside since such gambling events are illegal in the state.

不太清楚,公鸡低声下气的说道。这个大块头野公鸡还从来没有参加过斗鸡。这种场面从来就没有在公路边出现过,因为本州是不允许赌博的。  

     “Because I'm a trained killer.  I've come back to roost over ten times.  I survive on superior brawn but also my wit.  More than I think you'll ever have.  Are you listening to me, Mr. Terrorist of the weak?”

因为我是个训练有素的杀手。我下斗鸡场已经十几次了。靠着超强的体力和聪明活下来了。肯定比你强十倍。你正在听我说话吗,欺软怕硬的东西?  

      “Yes, Mr. Gladiator, Sir.”  It said this as it lowered its head and slowly backed off from the crowned aggressor.  The latter did have a larger red fleshy crown on top of its head.  It was now the new king of the road.

是的,角斗士先生。在说这些话的时候,他低下头并且慢慢的后退,远离这个有冕之王。后来者头顶确实有一个红色的大鸡冠子。它现在成为了新的公路之王。  

      “Well this time you've gone too far... ‘cause I managed to break out. I watch you everyday picking on others less your fat-ass size.”

嗯,这次你干的过火了因为在我努力出来的时候。我看到你每天都在欺负比你块头小的鸡。  

      The other rooster remained quiet and subservient.  What could he say in his defense?  He was guilty as charged.

其它的公鸡仍安静和顺从的听着。还需要什么辩护呢?他确实罪名成立。  

      “Know why I got these knives on at the bottom of my feet?”

知道我为什么把着这些刀子放在我的脚底下?  

      “Because they make you look cool?”

因为它们让你看起来很酷?  

      “No, you idiot.  Because my trainer just finished a session with me, went to piss, and hadn't returned yet to remove these blades – before I got out to come here, and teach you a permanent lesson.”

不是的,你这个白痴。因为我的教练刚刚跟我谈过,去小便了,还没有时间回来移除这些利刃在我出去来这儿之前,给你一个永久的教训。  

      “I'm sorry...” as all that the feral rooster could say before the other asked,

对不起在新来者发问前,这个野公鸡能说的就只有这一句,  

     “I have another nickname besides The Gladiator.  Wanna know what it is?”

我除了角斗士之外还有个外号。想知道是什么吗?  

     “Do tell me, Oh mighty Gladiator.”

一定要告诉我,强大的角斗士。

     “The crowds around the arena also call me The Slasher.”

这一带的鸡们还叫我砍刀。  

     “The what?”

什么?  

     “Never mind, you're chicken salad now, mister tough guy!”  Without another word - make that squawk, the trained killer flew in the air, flinging outwards from around its neck the display of its fighting colors in the form of feathers.  With its wings flapping wildly, the razor-sharp long blades that were attached to its claws sliced open the ill-matched feral's throat with a well-aimed swipe.  Blood spurted profusely, making the outflow last but a minute.  Thereafter, the mortally wounded cock lay on the roadside; its eyes wide and fixated as it stared without focus up at the sky.  The rooster’s red crown matched its head, now completely covered it blood.  After one last jerk, it was a corpse with its mouth still agape.

没关系,你现在是鸡肉沙拉了,硬汉先生!再也没说什么粗声大气、训练有素的杀手飞到空中,脖子外的羽毛都炸起来,显示出了战斗的色彩。随着双翅有力的挥动,爪子上锋利的长刃一个精确的横扫,切开了恃强凌弱的公鸡的喉咙。血如泉涌,也就一分钟就流光了。此后,身受重伤的公鸡趴在路边;它的眼睛大睁,茫然地仰望着天空。公鸡头上的红色鸡冠,现在已经完全被鲜血覆盖。经过最后一个挣扎,它变成了一具张口结舌的尸体。  

       With the confrontation over before it started, The Gladiator started to scratch about on the ground, uncovering and pulling up morsels of fresh earthworms, poking their heads out of the mud created by the earlier morning rainfall.   Soon its owner returned and managed to get the his prize fighter back into its coop.

对峙还没有开始就结束了,角斗士开始在地面上四处觅食,找到并拉起残缺的新鲜蚯蚓,头不断戳着早晨的降雨产生的泥浆。不久,它的主人回来,设法让他屡获殊荣的斗士回到了鸡舍。