汪德均 (老顽童) 译坛新宠
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发表于:2014-12-01 16:43 [只看楼主] [划词开启]
            Chapter 4
            Tip Makes an Experiment in Magic
           第四章   初试魔法
        The boy, small and rather delicate in appearance seemed somewhat 
        embarrassed at being called "father" by the tall, awkward, pumpkinheaded 
        man, but to deny the relationship would involve another long and tedious 
        explanation; so he changed the subject by asking, abruptly: 
        "Are you tired?" 
        "Of course not!" replied the other. "But," he continued, after a pause, 
        "it is quite certain I shall wear out my wooden joints if I keep on 
        Tip reflected, as they journeyed on, that this was true. He began to 
        regret that he had not constructed the wooden limbs more carefully and 
        substantially. Yet how could he ever have guessed that the man he had 
        made merely to scare old Mombi with would be brought to life by means of 
        a magical powder contained in an old pepper-box?
        So he ceased to reproach himself, and began to think how he might yet 
        remedy the deficiencies of Jack's weak joints. 
        While thus engaged they came to the edge of a wood, and the boy sat down 
        to rest upon an old sawhorse that some woodcutter had left there. 
        "Why don't you sit down?" he asked the Pumpkinhead. 
        "Won't it strain my joints?" inquired the other. 
        "Of course not. It'll rest them," declared the boy. 
        So Jack tried to sit down; but as soon as he bent his joints farther 
        than usual they gave way altogether, and he came clattering to the 
        ground with such a crash that Tip feared he was entirely ruined. 
        He rushed to the man, lifted him to his feet, straightened his arms and 
        legs, and felt of his head to see if by chance it had become cracked. 
        But Jack seemed to be in pretty good shape, after all, and Tip said to 
        "I guess you'd better remain standing, hereafter. It seems the safest 
        "Very well, dear father,just as you say", replied the smiling Jack, who 
        had been in no wise confused by his tumble.
        Tip sat down again. Presently the Pumpkinhead asked: 
        "What is that thing you are sitting on?" 
        "Oh, this is a horse," replied the boy, carelessly. 
        "What is a horse?" demanded Jack. 
        "A horse? Why, there are two kinds of horses," returned Tip, slightly 
        puzzled how to explain. "One kind of horse is alive, and has four legs 
        and a head and a tail. And people ride upon its back." 
        "I understand," said Jack, cheerfully "That's the kind of horse you are 
        now sitting on." 
        "No, it isn't," answered Tip, promptly.
        "Why not? That one has four legs, and a head, and a tail." Tip looked at 
        the saw-horse more carefully, and found that the Pumpkinhead was right. 
        The body had been formed from a tree-trunk, and a branch had been left 
        sticking up at one end that looked very much like a tail. In the other 
        end were two big knots that resembled eyes, and a place had been chopped 
        away that might easily be mistaken for the horse's mouth. As for the 
        legs, they were four straight limbs cut from trees and stuck fast into 
        the body, being spread wide apart so that the saw-horse would stand 
        firmly when a log was laid across it to be sawed.
        "This thing resembles a real horse more than I imagined," said Tip, 
        trying to explain. "But a real horse is alive, and trots and prances and 
        eats oats, while this is nothing more than a dead horse, made of wood, 
        and used to saw logs upon." 
        "If it were alive, wouldn't it trot, and prance, and eat oats?" inquired 
        the Pumpkinhead. 
        "It would trot and prance, perhaps; but it wouldn't eat oats," replied 
        the boy, laughing at the idea." And of course it can't ever be alive, 
        because it is made of wood." 
        "So am I," answered the man. 
        Tip looked at him in surprise. 
        "Why, so you are!" he exclaimed. "And the magic powder that brought you 
        to life is here in my pocket." 
        He brought out the pepper box, and eyed it curiously.
        "I wonder," said he, musingly, "if it would bring the saw-horse to 
        "If it would," returned Jack, calmly for nothing seemed to surprise him" 
        I could ride on its back, and that would save my joints from wearing 
        "I'll try it!" cried the boy, jumping up. "But I wonder if I can 
        remember the words old Mombi said, and the way she held her hands up." 
        He thought it over for a minute, and as he had watched carefully from 
        the hedge every motion of the old witch, and listened to her words, he 
        believed he could repeat exactly what she had said and done.
        So he began by sprinkling some of the magic Powder of Life from the 
        pepper- box upon the body of the saw-horse. Then he lifted his left 
        hand, with the little finger pointing upward, and said: "Weaugh!" 
        "What does that mean, dear father?" asked Jack, curiously. 
        "I don't know," answered Tip. Then he lifted his right hand, with the 
        thumb pointing upward and said: "Teaugh!" 
        "What's that, dear father?" inquired Jack. 
        "It means you must keep quiet!" replied the boy, provoked at being 
        interrupted at so important a moment. 
        "How fast I am learning!" remarked the Pumpkinhead, with his eternal 
        Tip now lifted both hands above his head, with all the fingers and 
        thumbs spread out, and cried in a loud voice: "Peaugh!" 
        Immediately the saw-horse moved, stretched its legs, yawned with its 
        chopped-out mouth, and shook a few grains of the powder off its back. 
        The rest of the powder seemed to have vanished into the body of the 
        "Good!" called Jack, while the boy looked on in astonishment. "You are a 
        very clever sorcerer, dear father!"



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