S1E11 | Pearl (5 of 12)

珍珠(五) 

(A Chinese Mermaid Tale)

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After the rescue comes… a storm?

In our last episode, the dastardly Sha had captured the rose carp (who we know is actually Mei, the youngest daughter of the dragon king). Luckily, Hai was able to save the rose carp from harm – having just traded his entire days catch for this odd but friendly fish. Though Hai doesn’t know the rose carp is actually Mei… he does feel a sense of familiarity… he just can’t put his finger on what!

Now that Hai has rescued the rose carp, what will he do?

Today, we find out in Part 5 of Pearl – A Chinese Mermaid Story.


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Chapter 12 – The Storm 

第十二章 – 暴风雨

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CHAPTER 12 生词

Vocabulary (121 - 130)

121. 小心翼翼 (Xiǎoxīnyìyì) IDIOM with the greatest of care; very cautiously

122. 以至于 (Yǐ zhìyú) conj. To such an extent as to…. ; so…that…

123. 姹紫嫣红 (Chàzǐyānhóng) IDIOM fig. deep purples and bright reds; lit. beautiful flowers

124. 泼墨 (Pōmò) noun Chinese painting. Splash-ink; a Chinese painting technique

125. 羞怯(Xiūqiè) adj. shy; timid; sheepish

126. 犹豫 (Yóuyù) adj. hesitate; be irresolute

127. 眼眸 (Yǎn móu) n. eyes (synonsym of 眼睛)

128. 山雨欲来风满楼 (Shān yǔ yù lái fēng mǎn lóu) IDIOM the rising wind forebodes a coming storm

129. 喜怒无常 (Xǐnùwúcháng) IDIOM moody; capricious; unpredictable

130. 倾覆(Qīngfù) v. overturn; topple; capsize


Hai left the market, pockets empty of coin. Instead, he carried a single wooden pail holding the rose carp.

海离开了集市。虽然一分钱也没有挣到, 但他手里多了一个刚刚从沙手里“买”回来的木桶,木桶里的,是和他朝夕相处的玫瑰色鲤鱼。

He walked back to the dock and swiftly untied the ropes which bound his boat to shore. Then, he lowered the pail carrying the rose carp into the boat, taking care not to splash water over the bucket rim. Hai stepped in after it. Bamboo shaft in hand, he pushed out to sea.

他回到码头边,迅速地解开了渔船,然后小心翼翼 (carefully)地把木桶放进船里,小心地确保桶里的水不会洒出来。在这之后,他自己也上了船,一手撑起竹竿,把小船推向大海的方向。

  

Hai rowed.

海开始划船。

  

He rowed further than he'd ever rowed before.  

他划呀,划呀,划到比以前还要远的地方。

He rowed so far that, when he gazed back to shore, he could barely make out land.

以至于,当他回头眺望来路的时候,已经看不清陆地的轮廓。

 Hai rowed and rowed until the sky changed from pale blue to a symphony of orange, pink and violet. 

可他依旧用力地往前划,直到面前蔚蓝的天空逐渐被霞光染成了姹紫嫣红。

He rowed until that same sky painted itself with graying clouds, slate colored brushstrokes streaking across a darkening sky. 

直到地平线渐渐清晰,灰白的云彩渐渐点缀起泼墨般的天空。

 

Finally, Hai stopped.

终于,海停了下来。

 

Reaching into the pail with both hands, Hai lifted the rose carp, taking care not to squeeze.

他把手伸进木桶,温柔地捧起鲤鱼。

 

"Forgive me, friend" Hai said, almost sheepishly.  "But I didn’t save you from that shark on land only to deliver you into the jaws of a shark at sea.”

开口说话时,海的话音里竟带了一丝羞怯:“原谅我,亲爱的朋友,我是真的不得不带你到这么远的地方来。我刚救了你一命,可不想看到你再被哪只鲨鱼给吃了。”

 

The rose carp seemed to be listening to him. Instead of thrashing, as would most fish out of water, it lay quiet and still in Hai’s hands. Its eyes seemed to follow him as he examined its gleaming scales. When Hai was satisfied that Sha’s cruel jabbing had left no open wounds, he leaned over the boat and slid the rose carp gently into the water.

玫瑰色的鲤鱼静静地躺在海的手心里,似乎是在无声地聆听着。海仔细地端详着鱼儿的鳞片,似乎是想要确保她的身体没有被沙戳出明显的伤口来,而她的眼睛则紧紧追随着海的每个动作,每个表情。检查完以后,海俯下身子,轻轻地把小鱼放回了海水里。

 

Hai spoke again, “I don’t know if you can understand me, but…” he hesitated. What was he doing, talking to a fish? Yet… there was something about this carp – something familiar to Hai. He just couldn’t put his finger on what.

他看着水中的鲤鱼,不自觉地又加了一句:“我不知道你能不能听懂我说的话,但是。。。” 说到这,他突然犹豫了:自己竟然在和一条鱼说话! 可是,不知为何,海总觉得这条鱼有点眼熟,好像他们之间曾经有过某种联系,可是具体是什么联系,他说不上来。

 

The rose carp waited patiently by the side of Hai’s boat, tail drifting in the water, its head slightly raised toward Hai. It seemed to be looking at him. Its eyes, Hai noticed for the first time, were a gray-blue with hints of green – the color of a storm-tossed sea.

玫瑰色鲤鱼耐心地在海的渔船附近摆尾游动着,她的头微微朝海的方向偏了一点,好像是在凝望着他。海第一次注意到,她的眼眸是灰蓝中带着一抹绿色—那是被风暴席卷过的海面的颜色。

 

Hai gave himself a little shake, trying to clear his head. He looked into those sea-storm eyes and continued to speak.

海猛地摇了摇头,试图理清自己的思绪。他看着面前这对深邃的双眼,继续说道:

 

“You need to stay away from us, my friend.”

“我的朋友, 你必须离我们这些人远一点。

 

Hai gestured at his boat, and then at himself. “These boats – and the men on them – they mean you nothing but harm. We are, after all, fishermen by trade… you shouldn’t trust so easily.”

他指着他的船,然后又指着自己,说道:“这些船—还有船上的人们—他们很危险,因为他们,包括我自己,我们都是以打渔为生的,你不能这么轻易地相信我们。”

 

Still, the rose carp remained, making no move to leave. It must be hungry, Hai thought to himself. Of course! It must not have eaten since this morning. He reached into his pocket and produced the few scraps of the man-tou bun he had saved from breakfast. Hai scattered the scraps of man-tou into the sea, and then said: 

可是,鲤鱼还是待在原地,丝毫没有离开的意思。喔,她一定是饿了!海想道。她肯定是从早上到现在都没有吃过东西!这么想着,海赶忙从口袋里掏出自己早晨剩下的一点馒头,然后将其掰成一块块喂给鲤鱼。

  

"Chi-ba...Eat and swim away, my odd little friend."

海轻声说道:“吃吧,Eat, 吃了就快游走吧,我的朋友!”

 

And with that, Hai turned his boat back toward shore and began to row.

说完,海把自己的小船转了一个弯,朝着岸边划去。

 

He didn't look back.

他没有回头。

  

As he rowed, ever darkening clouds erased what remained of the dwindling daylight. Salt winds whipped Hai’s face, and the sea – previously calm – began to churn with rough and choppy waves. The wind howled. A ribbon of silver lightning danced across the sky. Thunder roared its approval.

可是,就在这个时候,黑压压的云朵开始在海的上空聚集,咸咸的海风狠狠地拍打着海的脸颊,而原本平静的海面,也突然开始动荡了起来。狂风咆哮、电闪雷鸣,

  

Then, the rains came.

然后,下起了瓢泼的大雨。

 

Fat, stinging rain with no preamble of a shower. It slashed across Hai’s skin, clawing at his eyes, soaking him in seconds.  He ran a hand across his face, trying in vain to wipe away the water, the frustration, and the mounting fear. 

豆大的雨滴毫无准备地从天空中滚落下来。雨水像利剑一般抽打着海的皮肤,模糊了他的双眼,湿透了他的全身。他艰难地伸手,试图抹去脸上的水,却还是掩盖不住内心不断升腾的担忧和恐惧。

  

He couldn't believe how quickly the storm had come – yet he should have known better. Hai remembered the sweltering heat which had blanketed the past few days, thought of the eerie calm that always foretold a storm. He should have known better...

他不敢相信, 暴风雨居然来的这样迅猛—但是,或许他早该预料到的。海回忆起前几天酷热 难耐的高温,还有空气中弥漫着的那股 山雨欲来风满楼的味道。。。他早该料到的。

At that thought, an enormous wave plucked up Hai’s boat – a tempestuous child rough-housing with a toy. It slammed back down with a splintering crash, tearing Hai’s boat into pieces. Hai, too, was thrown into the sea.

就在这时,一道巨大的浪花卷起了海的小船—就像一个喜怒无常的孩子搬弄自己的玩具一样。大浪随之倾泻而下,小船也在重力的作用下整个摔了下来,瞬间断成了碎片。小船倾覆了,船上的人沉入了深深的海底。

 

As saltwater filled his lungs and his vision clouded, he thought he saw a flash of rose.

在下沉之前,海感觉到咸咸的冰水直直灌入自己的胸腔,他的视线渐渐模糊,而在他完全失去意识之前,却感知到了一个玫瑰色的东西在面前闪过。


 

Chapter 13 – The Rescue

第十三章 – 得救

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CHAPTER 13 生词 | Vocabulary (131 - 140)

131. 缠绕 (Chánrào) v. twine; bind; wind v. pester; bother; harass

132. 阴郁 (Yīnyù) adj. gloomy; dismal; depressed

133. 欣慰 (Xīnwèi) adj. gratified

134. 凝视 (Níngshì) v. gaze fixedly; stare

135. 五彩缤纷 (Wǔcǎibīnfēn) IDIOM colorful; blazing with color

136. 满天繁星 (Mǎn tiān fánxīng) IDIOM whole sky, a multitude of stars

137. 支支吾吾 (Zhī zhīwú wú) Expression hem and haw; to stall; to stammer; to mumble

138. 扑哧一笑 (Pūchī yīxiào) Expression snort with laughter; chuckle

139. 矫健 (Jiǎojiàn) adj. strong and vigorous; robust

140. 出神(Chūshén) v. be spellbound; be in a trance; be lost in thought


A tangle of limbs.

缠绕的身体。

 

She grasped his waist, firmly, and swam – heart thudding like a drum inside her chest, echoing off her ribcage.  

她紧紧抓着他的腰,向岸边游去,她的心砰砰地跳动着,震得她的肋骨有些发麻。

 

She swam with all her might, pausing only to breathe life into his lungs.  She moved through the water, body twisting sinuously, her legs – or was it her tail? – propelling her toward shore. She carried him with her, his body made light by salt crystals in the sea.  

她用力地向前游着,只是偶尔停下来帮助海深呼一口气。她在水里游动着,她的身体—或者应该说是她的尾巴?--载着她前往岸边。她扶着他,感觉他的身体因为海水中的盐晶体而显得有点轻飘飘的。

  

Finally, they reached land.  Mei pulled Hai ashore.  The rain had stopped.  The sky had spent all of its gray-green fury, and had settled back into a curtain of satiny blue.  A few bright stars winked, cautiously, above Mei and Hai.  

最后, 他们终于上了岸。小妹把海轻轻放在了沙滩上。雨停了。天空从阴郁的灰绿色开始渐渐泛起了丝绒版的深蓝,几颗明亮的星星小心地眨起了眼睛。

 

He lay before her, still and unmoving.

海就躺在她的面前,一动也不动。

 

Mei smoothed a hand over Hai’s brow, brushing a few locks of wet hair away from his face.  His skin felt cool to her touch, still damp from sea water. Mei bent and pressed her ear against his chest.  There it was – a steady drumbeat.  

小妹伸手摸了摸海的额头,用手指拨开他湿漉漉的黑发。他的皮肤在潮湿海水的浸泡下显得有些冰凉。小妹弯下腰,想要听他的心跳—她听到了,那稳定而有力的心跳。

 

She smiled in relief.

她欣慰地笑了。

 

Drawing back, she gazed at him for a few moments more. He was safe… A salt breeze brushed soft lips across Mei’s bare shoulders. Hai stirred too, eyelids fluttering – as if about to open. It was then that Mei realized –

她抽回身,又花了几分钟时间认真地凝视着海。他没事了,真好。。。此时的海风轻轻 轻吻着她柔软的嘴唇,还有她的肩膀,一切都美好而平静。突然,海动了动眼皮,好像要睁开眼睛。也是在那个时候,小妹才突然意识到,

My clothes!

自己没穿衣服!

 

They were still in the cave! Leaping to her feet, Mei hastened back to the water. She slipped back into the sea, transforming once more into the rose carp – and swam toward the underwater passage leading to her cave. Soon, Mei had reached her hidden alcove.

她的衣服还在山洞里呢!想到这,小妹赶忙站起身,一头扎进了水里,再次变回了一条鲤鱼。她以鲤鱼的形态向前游去,穿过水下隧道,最终来到了她的秘密藏身之处。

 

She rose from the crystalline pool, rose scales falling away to reveal soft skin, flowing tail becoming legs once more. Mei retrieved her village maiden’s clothing from the patch of dry rock, donning them before slipping out through the cave’s narrow entrance. She looked at the sky – now midnight blue and sprinkled with stars – and smiled.

小妹从闪闪发光的池子里站起来的时候,已经不再是一条鲤鱼了。五彩缤纷的鳞片从她身上剥落,露出了她光滑柔软的皮肤。随后,她穿上了普通渔村姑娘的衣服,从山洞狭窄的出口走了出来。她抬头望了望天,看着午夜的苍穹 点缀着满天繁星,开心地笑了。

 

“Out for a late swim?”

“大晚上的,一个人出来游泳啦?”

 

Mei started at the familiar voice. There, beside her, stood the old woman – Nainai, as Mei now fondly called her. Standing beside Nainai, chewing placidly on a mouthful of straw, was a fat old donkey.

这个声音有些耳熟呀!小妹转过身一看,原来是老奶奶来了!站在奶奶身边,慢悠悠地啃着稻草的,是一头又肥又胖的老驴。

Nainai – !” Mei stammered, “Where, where – ”.

小妹见状,吃了一惊:“奶奶!它。。它怎么--?”

  

“Oh, we were out for a late night stroll,” Nainai chuckled, giving the donkey’s flank an affectionate pat. “This old fellow followed me home from market today.” Nainai smiled at the memory, and then looked at Mei with laughing eyes.

奶奶咯咯一笑, 一边亲切地拍了拍驴的一侧,一边说道:“是这只老家伙先跟着我的,从集市,一路跟到家里来。” 奶奶说着说着,好像回忆起什么了似的,看向小妹的眼里,满是笑意。

  

“Ah,” Mei stammered, more confused than ever. “Well – ”

小妹听得有些糊涂,只好支支吾吾地应道:“啊,原来如此,呃,那么。。。”

 

“Well!” Nainai interrupted with a chuckle, “Good thing he came along… look there!” She pointed a gnarled finger at the prone figure of Hai, lying on the sand a distance away.

“好啦好啦!” 奶奶扑哧一笑,挥手打断了小妹,接着说道:“有它跟着,挺好的。。诶,对了,你看那边!”

  

“That young man’s been lying there for a while now,” Nainai told Mei. “I was having darndest time thinking of how to get him on the donkey… but now that you’re here, you can help me lift him!”

奶奶伸出满是疙瘩的手指,直直指向沙滩边上躺着的海,声音里有些担忧:“那小伙子在那儿躺了好一会儿了,也不知道怎么样了,我刚才还头脑发热,想着怎么把他扛上驴背,不过现在你来了,快帮帮我把他扶起来吧!”

 

The old woman lifted the hand that held her cane, as if to demonstrate said lifting. Then, she turned and shuffled toward the unconscious Hai, moving much more quickly than one would think a bent old woman with a gnarled old cane could move. The fat donkey plodded, much more slowly, after her.  

老奶奶一面说着,还一面抬起了拐杖示意动作。然后, 她转身向海走去。虽然她看上去有些驼背,还拄着拐杖,可是步履却矫健的很呢!而那头驴却拖着沉沉的脚步跟在她后面,和她的速度简直没得比。

  

Mei gazed dazedly at them both, before hurrying along to lend a hand.

小妹有些出神地望着他们的背影,过了好一会儿才突然反应过来,匆匆上前帮忙。


 

Chapter 14 – Second Meeting

第十四章 – 第二次见面

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CHAPTER 14 生词 | Vocabulary (141 - 150)

141. 身处 (Shēn chǔ) v. in (someplace) v. to be in (adversity, a difficult situation)

142. 掀开 (Xiān kāi) v. open; lift; draw

143. 袅袅 (Niǎoniǎo) adj. literary curling upwards; in waves

144. 舀 (Yǎo) v. to ladle out; spoon out; scoop

145. 灵丹妙药 (Língdānmiàoyào) IDIOM magic (or wonder) drug; miraculous cure; panacea

146. 精气神儿 (Jīng qì shén er) expression. Vigour; energy; drive

147. 末了(Mòliǎo) n. last; finally; in the end

148. 纤细 (Xiānxì) adj. slender; fine; thin; tenuous

149. 清秀 (Qīngxiù) adj. delicate and pretty

150. 怔怔(Zhèngzhèng) adj. dialect staring blankly; dazed; in a trance


He woke to the scent of steamed rice. A sweet and delicate scent –  one he had loved since he was a boy.  He felt beneath him and realized that he was lying on a woven mat of thin bamboo strips. The material felt cool against his skin.  

他是闻着蒸米饭的清香醒来的。那是一个又甜美又清淡的味道—他从小就喜欢的那种味道。他动了动身子,才意识到自己原来是躺在一个竹子织成的凉席上。竹席抵着他的皮肤,凉丝丝的。 

 

Hai sat up and looked around.  He was in a modest hut.  To his right was the entrance.  In the place of a door, someone had hung a length of blue cloth.  On the cloth was stitched – with delicate needlework –  two dancing carp.  

海坐了起来,左右看了看。他身处一个简朴的小屋,他的右边是屋子的大门,大门上悬挂着一个蓝色的帘子。门帘的样式很特别,蓝色的布料上还绣着两只跳跃的鲤鱼。

 

The carps moved.  The curtain moved.  Into the hut hobbled an old woman, hair white as snow. In her hands, she cupped a bowl filled with dark-brown liquid. White steam rose in tendrils from the bowl of medicine. The old woman made her way toward Hai, each step slow and measured, taking care to not spill a drop.

这时,有人掀开帘子走了进来—原来,是老奶奶来了。她手上还抱着一碗深棕色的液体,袅袅白气从那碗药里升腾起来。老奶奶小心翼翼地向海走去,确保不让药洒出一滴。

 

"Lie back down, young man" she rasped, voice scratchy with age and gentled with concern.  

“小伙子,你怎么起来了?快躺下。” 老奶奶在海的跟前停下,用她那沙哑的声音关心地说。

  

"We've brewed you some mountain herbs.  The sea took much out of you and you need to rest".

“我们给你采了一些草药,你现在身子虚,要多休息。”

As she spoke, her wizened hands stirred the medicine with a carved wooden spoon. Once. Twice. Thrice.  The old woman lifted spoonful of the brew, putting it to her own lips to taste. Satisfied with its temperature, she proffered the bowl to Hai.  

老奶奶继续说着,随后抬起了她干瘪的双手,拿起碗里的木勺搅拌。一次,两次,三次。然后她舀起一口放在唇边试了试温度,觉得可以了,才把碗递给海。

  

The medicine smelled bitter. It tasted worse.  Hai forced himself to swallow the stuff with what he hoped was a grateful expression.  He even mustered small smile.  

搅拌以后,药材的香味更浓了,味道却更苦了。海一口气把药喝完,末了还挤出一丝笑容。

 

The old woman was not fooled.

不过,这可骗不过老奶奶。

 

She clucked with amusement and rapped him lightly on the knuckles with her wooden spoon. "No elixir of the gods,” she chuckled, "but it does wonders for the body. Eases pain and livens the soul.” She laughed again as Hai took another shuddering swallow.

她用勺子敲了敲海的关节,好笑地说:“不是什么灵丹妙药,不过就是个补身子的方子,能为你减轻痛苦,让你更有精气神儿。”

 

“Sure is bitter though!” the old woman laughed. She gave Hai a knowing look, and added –  “Perhaps its bitterness might be easier to swallow… if it was offered by the medicine maker herself?”  

老阿婆笑着说完,末了又加了一句:“这药确实很苦,不过,如果你知道是谁亲自给你煎的这药,应该就觉得它不那么难以 下咽了吧?” 她说完,还颇有深意地看了海一眼。

 

The old woman turned and called over her shoulder. 

下一刻,海就听见老奶奶沙哑的呼唤声。

 

"Mei!"

“小妹!”

  

Her voice traveled past the blue curtain out to the modest yard where Mei was tending a small fire.

她的声音穿过蓝色的门帘,一直传到小院里。

  

"Mei! Lai

Come!"

小妹,快来!

 

Mei lifted the small kettle hanging over the fire, in which simmered the remaining herbal brew. She carried it carefully toward the entrance of the hut. Inside the hut, Hai watched as blue curtain lifted by a small hand. A slender wrist, adorned with eight colorful bangles, followed. Then came a quiet face, with eyes the color of a summer storm. 

小妹正蹲在院子里烧水,听到奶奶的呼唤声,便小心地拿起药壶,药壶里面,还装着煎了一半的药。她提着药壶进屋了。海躺在床上,只看到了一双纤细的手掀起帘子,还有那手腕上五彩缤纷的镯子。然后,一张清秀的脸从帘子后浮现出来,然后,是一双盛夏暴风雨般灰绿的眼眸。

  

She smiled him. He looked back at her.

小妹朝他笑了。而他只是怔怔地望着她。

  

"Ah" she thought, "this is the first time you've looked at me ... as me"

她想:“啊,这应该是你第一次看到。。我原本的样子。”

 

"Oh" he thought. 

他也寻思着:“哦,原来是你啊。”

  

Oh.

原来是你。

*

To be continued in Pearl (Part 6)


Bilingual Videos:

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