Herbert and the kitten

There was once a little kitten, who loved to play better than to do anything else. I wonder if my little reader knows any body like her. She thought every thing that moved was a plaything for her. If the wind whirled a leaf along the path, she scampered after it, as if she thought it meant to say, “Catch me, if you can.”

从前有一只小猫咪,最喜欢的就是玩。不知道在小读者们中间是否也有像她那样的人。她认为所有能动的东西都可以玩,如果风吹动了一片树叶,使树叶在路上来回飘动,她就会追着树叶,仿佛树叶在对她说:“有本事就来追我呀!”。

Grandma’s ball of knitting-yarn never fell on the floor but Kitty ran after it, not to pick it up again –O no! but to roll it, and to roll it about, until the yarn was in a fine tangle, giving poor grandma a great deal of trouble.

如果不是小猫咪总追着毛线球玩,那线球就不会掉到地上。祖母也不用去一次又一次地捡起来——哦,天啊!她把毛线球滚来滚去地玩,直到毛线球变成乱糟糟的一团,给可怜的祖母留下一个大麻烦。

All this was very fine fun, no doubt; but kittens were made for something else besides play, and old puss thought it was high time that her child was taught something useful.

所有这一切对小猫咪来说,就是乐趣,不是麻烦,但是小猫咪除了玩,还应该做其他事情,因此老猫咪认为是时候教他的孩子小猫咪做一些有用的事情了。

So one day she called her from chasing a grasshopper, which was trying to hide from her among the tall grass, and said: “My child, do you know that you are now four months old, and yet you have never caught a single mouse? Our mistress is very kind, and gives us plenty of nice milk, so we should try to be useful to her.”

一天,当一个卖草的人要把小猫咪藏在高高的草垛中,老猫不仅不让小猫咪抓他,还对他说:“我的孩子,知道吗?你已经四个月打了,但是你从来没有靠你自己抓住过一只老鼠,我们的女主人对我们非常好,给我们喝好喝的牛奶,所以我们应该做对她有帮助的猫咪。”

“I heard her complain this morning that a mouse had been eating her cake, and I think I have found its hole. Now I want you to sit here very quietly, behind the door, where the mouse can’t see you, and watch until you see it come out of its hole, then spring, as you have seen me do, and catch it with your paws.”

“今天早晨我听到她在抱怨,一直以来有只老鼠吃她的蛋糕。我已经找到了那只老鼠的洞口。现在我希望你静静地藏在门后洞口边,坐那里老鼠不会发现你,你静静地等在那里,等老鼠从洞里出来;然后你就猛冲过去,像我抓老鼠那样用你的利爪抓住它。”

Kitty promised to do her best, and after her mother left her she sat very still for a little while, but no mouse came, and she began to think it very dull work. “O dear!” said she, “I am very tired: I think I will take a little run, and then come back again.”

小猫咪向老猫保证要尽她所能做好这件事。于是老猫离开后,她就静静地做等老鼠。等了一会,没有老鼠出来,于是她开始感觉到非常物料。“哦,天啊!”她说道,“太没意思了,我想我该去溜达一会儿,然后过一会儿再回来。”

She had just reached the kitchen door when the wind whirled a piece of paper past her; and away she ran after it, over to the duck-pond before she caught it.

她刚走到厨房门口,突然刮来一阵风,一张纸被风吹起来,从她身边飘过,于是小猫咪就追了过去,还没等她抓到那张纸,纸就飞入了鸭塘中。

Master Herbert was there working for his father, but he loved play best, too; so as soon as he saw the kitten, he cried “Now for some fun! and catching hold of her, he put her into a tin pan, which was there to hold food for the ducks, and before she could even say “mew!” she was sailing off into the middle of the pond!

肖主任赫伯特当时正在那里给他的父亲干活,但他也特别爱玩。一看到小猫咪,他便喊道:“一起玩吧!”说这就去捉小猫咪,捉住后又把小猫咪放到一个锡盘中,这个锡盘是用来给鸭子装食物的。还没等她喊叫出来一声,她就已经飘到了池塘中间了!

Poor little Kitty! she did not enjoy her sail at all. She was very much frightened, and wished herself behind the door watching for the mouse; and she mewed so piteously that Herbert felt sorry for her (for he did not wish to be cruel); so he reached out the pitchfork which he had in his hand, and brought her safe ashore.

可怜的小猫咪!她可没感觉到这种航行有什么乐趣可言。她害怕极了,真希望自己现在正在门后等老鼠而不是在这里。小猫咪“喵、喵”可怜兮兮地叫着,赫伯特听到后感觉非常愧疚(因为他不希望自己很残忍),于是他立刻用手里的长柄叉子把小猫咪就上了岸。

“Ah!” said Kitty, as she jumped out and shook a few drops of water from her back, “I will never run aways  again when I am told to watch for a mouse.”

“啊哈!”小猫咪从锡盘里跳出来,把后背上的水抖落下来后立刻说道,“下次我看守老鼠时再也不会跑开了。”

“I wish,” said Herbert, as he returned to his work, “that I had not stopped to play with the kitten, for now I can not finish my work before dinner. ‘Work first, and then play,’ is father’s rule, and I think it is a very good one.”

赫伯特说:“我希望刚才我没有中途停下来戏弄小猫咪玩,那样我就不会在晚饭前做不完工作了。‘下工作,后娱乐’是我父亲的训导,我认为这句话说得太对了。”