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散文佳作108篇 第1期:丑石An Ugly Stone

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丑石

贾平凹

我常常遗憾我家门前的那块丑有呢:它黑黝黝地卧在那里,牛似的模样;谁也不知道是什么时候留在这里的,谁也不去理会它。只是麦收时节,门前摊了麦子,奶奶总是要说:这块丑石,多碍地面哟,多时把它搬走吧。

于是,伯父家盖房,想以它垒山墙,但苦于它极不规则,没棱角儿,也没平面儿;用錾破开吧,又懒得花那么大气力,因为河滩并不甚远,随便去掮一块回来,哪一块也比它强。房盖起来,压铺台阶,伯父也没有看上它。有一年,来了一个石匠,为我家洗一台石磨,奶奶又说:用这块丑石吧,省得从远处搬动。石匠看了看,摇着头,嫌它石质太细,也不采用。

它不像汉白玉那样的细腻,可以凿下刻字雕花,也不像大青石那样的光滑,可以供来浣纱捶布;它静静地卧在那里,院边的槐荫没有庇覆它,花儿也不再在它身边生长。荒草便繁衍出来,枝蔓上下,慢慢地,竟锈上了绿苔、黑斑。我们这些做孩子的,也讨厌起它来,曾合伙要搬走它,但力气又不足;虽时时咒骂它,嫌弃它,也无可奈何,只好任它留在那里去了。

稍稍能安我们的,是在那石上有一个不大不小的坑凹儿,雨天就盛满了水。常常雨过三天了,地上已经干燥,那石凹里水儿还有,鸡儿便去那里渴饮。每每到了十五的夜晚,我们盼着满月出来,就爬到其上,翘望天边;奶奶总是要骂的,害怕我们摔下来。果然那次就摔了下来,磕破了我的膝盖呢。

人都骂它是丑石,它真是丑得不能再丑的丑石了。

终有一日,村子里来了一个天文学家。他在我家门前路过,突然发现了这块石头,眼光立即就拉直了。他再没有走丢,就住了下来;以后又来了好些人,说这是一块陨石,从天上落下来已经有二三百年了,是一件了不起的东西。不久便来了车,小心翼翼地将它运走了。

这使我们都很惊奇!这又怪又丑的石头,原来是天上的呢!它补过天,在天上发过热,闪过光,我们的先祖或许仰望过它,它给了他们光明、向往、憧憬;而它落下来了,在污土里,荒草里,一躺就是几百年了?!

奶奶说:“真看不出!它那么不一般,却怎么连墙也垒不成,台阶也垒不成呢?”

“它是太丑了。”夫文学家说。

“真的,是太丑了。”

“可这正是它的美!”天文学家说,“它是以丑为美的。”

“以丑为美?”

“是的,丑到极处,便是美到极处。正因为它不是一般的頑石,当然不能去做墙,做台阶,不能去雕刻,捶布。它不是做这些小玩意儿的,所以常常就遭到一般世俗的讥讽。”

奶奶脸红了,我也脸红了。

我感到自己的可耻,也感到了丑石的伟大;我甚至怨恨它这么多年竟会默默地忍受着这一切,而我又立即深深地感到它那种不屈于误解、寂寞的生存的伟大。

An Ugly Stone

Jia Pingwa

I used to feel sorry for that ugly black piece of stone lying like an ox in front of our door; noneknew when it was left there and none paid any attention to it, except at the time when wheatwas harvested and my grandma, seeing the grains of wheat spread all over the ground in thefront yard of the house, would grumble: “This ugly stone takes so much space. Move it awaysomeday.

Thus my uncle had wanted to use it for the gable when he was building a house, but he wastroubled to find it of very irregular shape, with no edges nor corners, nor a flat plane on it.And he wouldn’t bother to break it in half with a chisel because the river bank was nearby,where he could have easily fetched a much better stone instead. Even when my uncle was busywith the flight of steps leading to the new house he didn’t take a fancy to the ugly stone. Oneyear when a mason came by, we asked him to make us a stone mill with it. As my grandma putit: “Why not take this one, so you won’t have to fetch one from afar.” But the mason took alook and shook his head: he wouldn’t take it for it was of too fine a quality.

It was not like a fine piece of white marble on which words or flowers could be carved, nor like asmooth big bluish stone people used to wash their clothes on. The stone just lay there insilence, enjoying no shading from the pagoda trees by the yard, nor flowers growing aroundit. As a result weeds multiplied and stretched all over it, their stems and tendrils graduallycovered with dark green spots of moss. We children began to dislike the stone too, and wouldhave taken it away if we had been strong enough; all we could do for the present was to leave italone, despite our disgust or even curses.

The only thing that had interested us in the ugly stone was a little pit on top of it, which wasfilled with water on rainy days. Three days after a rainfall, usually, when the ground had becomedry, there was still water in the pit, where chickens went to drink. And every month when itcame to the evening of the 15th of lunar calendar, we would climb onto the stone, looking upat the sky, hoping to see the full moon come out from far away. And Granny would give us ascolding, afraid lest we should fall down and sure enough, I fell down once to have my kneebroken. So everybody condemned the stone: an ugly stone, as ugly as it could be.

Then one day an astronomer came to the village. He looked the stone square in the eye themoment he came across it. He didn’t take his leave but decided to stay in our village. Quite anumber of people came afterwards, saying the stone was a piece of aerolite which had fallendown from the sky two or three hundred years ago what a wonder indeed! Pretty soon a truckcame, and carried it away carefully.

It gave us a great surprise! We had never expected that such a strange and ugly stone shouldhave come from the sky! So it had once mended the sky, given out its heat and light there, andour ancestors should have looked up at it. It had given them light, brought them hopes andexpectations, and then it had fallen down to the earth, in the mud and among the weeds, lyingthere for hundreds of years!

My grandma said: “I never expected it should be so great! But why can’t people build a wall orpave steps with it?”

‘It’s too ugly,” the astronomer said.

“Sure, it’s really so ugly.”

“But that’s just where its beauty lies!” the astronomer said, “its beauty comes from itsugliness.”

“Beauty from ugliness?”

“Yes. When something becomes the ugliest, it turns out the most beautiful indeed. The stone isnot an ordinary piece of insensate stone, it shouldn’t be used to build wall or pave the steps, tocarve words or flowers or to wash clothes on. It’s not the material for those petty commonthings, and no wonder it’s ridiculed often by people with petty common views.”

My grandma became blushed, and so did I.

I feel shame while I feel the greatness of the ugly stone; I have even complained about it havingpocketed silently all it had experienced for so many years, but again I am struck by thegreatness that lies in its lonely unyielding existence of being misunderstood by people.


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