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散文佳作108篇 第9期:The Story of a Myna

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The Story of a Myna

蒲松龄

Pu Songling

王汾滨言:其乡有养八哥者,教以语言,甚押习,出游必与之俱,相将数年矣。一日,将过绛州,而资斧已罄,其人愁苦无策。鸟云:“何不告我?送我王邸,当得善价,不愁归路无资也。”其人云:“我安忍。”鸟言:“不妨。主人得价疾行,待我城西二十里大树下。”其人从之。携至城,相问答,观者渐众。有中贵见之,闻诸王。王召入,欲买之。其人日:“小人相依为命,不愿卖。”王问鸟:“汝愿住否?”言:“愿住。”王喜。鸟又言:“给价十金,勿多予。”王益喜,立界十金。其人故作懊恨状而去。王与鸟言,应对便捷。呼肉淡之。食已,鸟曰:“臣要浴。”王命金盆贮水,开笼令浴。浴已,飞檐间,梳翎抖羽,尚与王喋喋不休。顷之,羽燥,翩趾而起,操晋声曰:“臣去呀!”顾盼已失所在。王及内侍,仰面咨磋。急觅其人,则已渺矣。后有往秦中者,见其人携鸟在西安市上。毕载积先生记。

Wang Fenbin said that in his village there was a man who had a myna. He trained it to speakand they got attached to each other. Wherever he went he took it with him. They had beentogether for years. When he was arriving at 3iangraou one day, he found that tie had run outof money. He was upset, riot knowing what to do. The myna said, "Why not sell me? Take meto the prefect and you can sell me for a good price and traveling expenses will be no problem."The man said, "I can't bear to sell you." The myna said, "That's nothing. As soon as you get themoney, get away from here quickly and wait for me under a big tree about twenty R west oftown." The man took its advice. Re went to town with the bird, engaging it in briefconversations. Soon they attracted marry onlookers. The steward of the prefect saw the birdand told the prefect about it. The prefect summoned the man to his house and he wanted tobuy the bird. The man said, "We depend on each other for survival. I cannot sell it to you." Theprefect asked the bird, "Do you like to stay with me?" The bird answered, "Yes, I do." Theprefect was delighted to hear it. Then the bird said again, "Give him ten liang of silver and nomore." The prefect was all the more delighted. He gave the man ten hang of silver. The man left,with a feigned look of dejection. The prefect asked the bird questions and the bind answeredwith great readiness. He ordered to give it meat to eat. The moment it finished the meat, thebird said, "I want to take a bath." The prefect ordered to bring a gold basin, fill it with water,open the cage and let it bathe in it. When the bath was over, the bird flew up to the eave whereit shook off the water and trimmed its plumage, in the meantime, chattering away with theprefect. In another moment its plumage was dried and the bird fluttered up, saying in the localaccent, "I am going, sir, " When they looked up to gee, the bird was out of sight. The prefectand his servants could do nothing but sigh toward the sky. When servants were sent to lookfor the birdman he was nowhere to be found. Later someone, traveling to Shaanxi, saw theman with his bird in Xi' an. This story is told by Mr. Bi Zaiji.


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