S1E13 | Pearl (7 of 12)

珍珠(七) 

(A Chinese Mermaid Tale)

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In our last episode, We saw a familiar scene…

Mei lost in her thoughts – and a shady, skulking Sha who, again, seems to be in the right place at the right time… or is it in the wrong place at the wrong time?

As Mei hurries towards the secret cave where her 7 sisters are waiting, Sha slinks off after her. Will Mei’s secret be discovered?

Today, we find out in Part 7 of Pearl – A Chinese Mermaid Story.


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Chapter 19 – Shadow

第十九章 – 影

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CHAPTER 19 生词 | Vocabulary (191 - 200)

191. 揣 (Chuāi) v. to hide (or carry) in one’s cloths (compare with 端; carry; Duān )

192. 抱怨 (Bàoyuàn) v. complain; grumble

193. 晃 (huàng, huǎng) v. flash past; dazzle v. shake; sway

194. 娇小 (Jiāoxiǎo) adj. petite; delicate

195. 幽灵 (Yōulíng) n. ghost; spectre

196. 亦步亦趋 (Yìbùyìqū) IDIOM ape sb. At every step; imitate sb.’s every move

197. 无声无息 (Wúshēng wú xī) IDIOM silent; quiet; noiseless

198. 一连串 (Yīliánchuàn) adj. a succession of; a series of; a string of

199. 傍晚 (Bàngwǎn) n. dusk; twilight

200. 隐藏 (Yǐncáng) v. hide; conceal; remain under cover


Sha’s search for wine had ended. He now clutched a jug of cheap rice wine, taking frequent swigs as he continued to bemoan his rotten luck. As he grumbled his way back to his house, something caught his eye: a slight figure, long hair in two neat braids, disappearing around a street corner.  Sha narrowed bloodshot eyes.

 沙没有找到他想要的那种酒,只好揣着一壶味道平平的米酒边走边喝,还不忘抱怨自己的运气太差。他一路骂骂咧咧地走回家,可就在这时,他的眼前晃过一个娇小的身影:那是个女孩,长头发,梳着两个小辫子。她拐过一个弯,转眼消失在了街角处。沙眯起了他那双血红的双眼,陷入了沉思。

He knew those braids...

这对辫子他认识……

  

Sha adjusted his jug of wine and set off in pursuit, shadowing Mei’s footsteps. Her bracelets, those pretty (and expensive! he thought to himself) trinkets clinked, and a night wind carried their music to Sha’s ears.  Sha followed stealthily, with quiet footsteps, careful to keep out of sight.

沙晃了晃酒壶,决定跟上去。他像幽灵一样跟在小妹的后面,亦步亦趋,无声无息。小妹手腕上那几对价值不菲的镯子随着她脚步的移动发出一连串清脆的响声,在傍晚 的清风中轻轻摇曳。

*

 

Sha needn't have bothered with subterfuge though – not tonight.  Mei was completely lost in thought..

其实,沙根本用不着这么小心翼翼地隐藏自己--至少今晚不用。因为小妹全程都在想心事,根本没有发现有人在跟着她。

My cave, Mei thought, my feet are taking me towards my cave… Where my sisters wait.

小妹的脑海里不断重复闪现着一句话,像是在跟自己强调:我的山洞--我的目的地是我的山洞,我的姐姐们在那儿等着我。


Chapter 20 – Reunion

第二十章 – 重逢

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CHAPTER 20 生词 | Vocabulary (201 - 210)

201. 寸步不离 (Cùnbù bùlí) expression. Follow sb. Closely; keep close to sb.

202. 簇拥 (cùyōng) v. cluster round

203. 覆盖 (fùgài) v. cover; n. plant cover; vegetation

204.密密麻麻 (mìmimámá) adv. As thick as stalks in a field; densely packed

205. 迷茫 (mímáng) adj. vast and hazy; confused; perplexed; dazed

206. 迫不及待 (Pòbùjídài) IDIOM very impatient; unable to hold back

207. 闪烁 (Shǎnshuò) v. twinkle; scintillate; glimmer

208. 微弱 (wéiruò) adj. faint; feeble; weak

209. 硌 (gè) v. to press against some part of one’s body causing discomfort; to chafe

210. 汗流浃背 (hànliújiābèi) IDIOM sweat streaming down and drenching one’s back


Sha followed the girl away from the village and towards the sea shore. The sun was beginning to set, and a cold wind swirled her cloak around her. As the girl hurried along, her twin braids danced in the wind. Sha soon realized that the girl was heading toward an ivy-covered cluster of rocks, which rested at the foot of a mountain ridge.

沙跟着小妹离开了沉睡的村庄,朝着海滩走去。太阳已经开始下山了,冷冰冰的风打着转,直直往小姑娘的斗篷里灌。当她奔跑的时候,辫子在风中跳起了舞。

 

Sha hung back, taking care to stay out of sight. The girl had stopped by the cluster of rocks. Sha watched as she lifted a hand toward the climbing ivy, stepped forward… and somehow into the rocks themselves.

沙寸步不离地跟着眼前的姑娘,她奔跑时,他也跟着奔跑,跑着跑着,才发现自己正朝着一堆坐落在山脚下的大石头走去。那一堆巨石背靠背地簇拥在一起,几乎被藤蔓完全覆盖。

沙停下脚步,远远观望着。只见小姑娘在那堆石头跟前停下了脚步,随后抬手揭开 密密麻麻的爬山虎藤蔓,一下子消失在了石头堆里面!

 

Sha blinked in confusion and rubbed at his eyes. She had disappeared!

沙眼睁睁地看着这一幕,心里别提多惊讶了。他有些迷茫地眨了眨眼,又狠狠揉了揉自己的眼睛--可他刚刚绝对没有看错--那丫头就是不见了!

 

Sha gurgled the rest of his wine and hurried closer to where the girl had vanished.  He ran his hands across the ivy strewn rock surface, when – suddenly – he stopped.

沙飞快地吞下壶里剩下的一点酒,便迫不及待地来到了姑娘消失的地方。他伸出手摸了摸坚硬的石头壁,可谁知,他摸着摸着,却突然停了下来。

 

What was this?

这是什么?

 

Instead of more rock, Sha felt emptiness behind the thick ivy. He brushed the foliage aside and saw... an entrance.  Narrow, hidden, and just large enough for a person to squeeze through.  Through the entrance, Sha could just make out a faint glimmer of light.

原来,沙摸到的这块地方没有被厚厚的爬山虎包裹,而是堪堪空出了一大块。他把周围的爬山虎一掀,便看到了。。山洞的入口。入口很窄,只能一个人通过。从入口的外面看去,黑漆漆洞里似乎闪烁着一丝微弱的灯光。

 

Sha squeezed his way into the opening. His belly, bloated by spirits, chafed uncomfortably against the rocks... but, finally, he was through.  Sha crept along the semi-darkness of the cave, sweating profusely.  When he reached another cluster of rocks, he half-crouched behind them, peering over his makeshift wall to see – without being seen.

沙毫不犹豫地往洞里钻。通过入口时,沙的大肚子狠狠硌着左右的岩石,可疼了。不过,他最终还是挤进了洞里。沙在黑暗中小心翼翼地摸索着前进,累得汗流浃背。终于,他在不远处找到了一堆可供 藏身的大石头,于是便躲到它们后面半蹲了下来,从石头的缝隙间向前看去。

 

Sha stared at the scene before him.

沙震惊地盯着眼前的一幕。

 

*

It looked as if the girl was sitting – somehow – at the center of a large, crystalline pool. Her hair had been loosened from her braids, and they streamed down her shoulders in ebony sheets, fanning out into the water. Though Sha could only see her back, he knew this to be the same wench he’d followed from the village. He would have recognized her glittering bracelets anywhere…

看样子,那姑娘正坐在一个很大的水晶池的中间。她的秀发散落下来,像美丽的扇子一样在水中展开。虽然只看见了女孩的背影,但沙一眼就认出了她--这可不就是他一路跟踪的那丫头嘛!别的他不敢说,就那串闪闪发光的镯子,哼,他不可能认错。

 

*

Mei sat lotus like, upon a large, flat stone at the center of the pool. With eyes closed, she raised both arms – which were bare but for the sea-hearts that adorned one wrist. Her skin glowed, pearl like, in the cave’s light. Slowly, she lowered her extended arms towards the water’s surface.

小妹静静地在水中坐着,仿佛开成了一朵清丽的莲花。她双眼紧闭,举起双手—她的手上除了一串串海之心以外,什么也没有。在山洞幽微的光线下,她的皮肤像珍珠一样闪着光芒。慢慢地,她伸出手臂,触摸水的表面。

 

One…two…three…four…

一下、两下、三下、四下。

 

five…six…seven …

五下、六下、七下。

 

Gently, Mei tapped the water with her fingertips. Spots of light appeared where her fingers met water. They shone, brighter and brighter, before spreading  out to form a glowing ring around her.

轻轻地,小妹用手指点了点水面。她每点一下,一缕亮光就从她的指尖下升起。光芒越来越亮,越来越亮,直到最后,所有的光芒连成了一片,在她的周围形成了一个圆形的光环。

  

Slowly, Mei opened her eyes.

小妹慢慢地睁开了眼睛。

  

The glowing lights had faded. In their place were Mei’s seven sisters – the seven elder daughters of the dragon king. They swam towards Mei, movements graceful and sure. One by one, they embraced their youngest sister.

光芒散去,站在小妹面前的,是她的七个姐姐。她们一个接着一个朝小妹游去,轮流拥抱了心爱的妹妹。

  

"Many moons has it been, sister of ours, since we’ve seen you last," spoke Mei’s eldest sister, her blue-eyed gaze steady and impenetrable.

“我们亲爱的妹妹,从我们上次见面到现在,已经过去很久了。” 大姐首先发话了。她温柔地凝视着小妹,蓝眼睛里满是深邃和平和。

 

 "Must be something special – or perhaps someone special – who has kept our little Mei away!” quipped sister three, her amber eyes flecked with golden merriment.  

“肯定是有什么特别的事--或什么特别的人,让我们的小妹舍不得离开呢!” 三姐眨着一双琥珀色的眼睛,打趣地笑道。

 

Mei colored rosily.  She thought of Hai. She gazed upon her sisters and began to speak.

听罢,小妹的脸上瞬间泛起一层红晕--那一刻,她想到了海。一番羞涩掩饰过后,她抬起头直视姐姐们,决定和她们好好谈一谈。


Chapter 21 – The Choice

第二十一章 – 抉择

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CHAPTER 21 生词 | Vocabulary (210 - 221)

211. 局促不安 (Júcù bù'ān) IDIOM ill at ease

212. 面面相觑 (miànmiànxiāngqù) IDIOM look at each other in blank dismay

213. 雀跃 (quèyuè) v. literary jump for joy

214. 话锋 (huàfēng) n. thread of discourse; topic of conversation

215. 僵住 (jiāng zhù) adj. motionless; unable to move

216. 渴望(kěwàng) v. aspire (or thirst, long, yearn) for

217. 孕育(yùnyù) v. give birth to; pregnant with (figu)

218. 蕴含(yùnhán) v. to contain

219. 不约而同 (bùyuē'értóng) IDIOM do or think the same thing without prior consultation

220. 隐隐(yǐnyǐn) adv. Hidden; only a hint of (compare with 稳稳; wěn wěn ; steadily)


“Sisters,” said Mei. “I would like to stay.”

小妹看着姐姐们,认真地说道:“姐姐们,我想留下来,留在人类的世界。”

 

“You may stay,” replied Elder sister, steady blue gaze resting on Mei. “Our magic will last for four moons more. For four more moons you, may stay.”

大姐严肃道:”你可以留下来,但是,四个月圆之夜以后,我们的法力就会失效,那个时候,你就必须离开。”

 

Mei swallowed. This, she already knew. What she wanted to know was…

小妹局促不安地吞咽了一下。这她早就知道了,可她想知道的其实是……

 

“But… what if I want to stay for more than four moons?” Mei looked shyly around at her seven sisters. “What if… I wanted to stay?”

“但是But…,要是四个月圆之夜过后,我还想继续待下去呢?要是我想一直一直待下去呢?”小妹有些羞涩地看着姐姐们,小声说出了自己的愿望。

  

Several of Mei’s sisters looked at each other in surprise. Sister three looked at Mei with a knowing smile, but gave a slight shake of her head. Eldest sister showed no sign of surprise. She only sighed.

几位姐姐们一听,面面相觑,难掩惊讶。三姐别有 深意地瞥了妹妹一眼,随即笑着摇了摇头。大姐似乎一点也不惊讶。她只是叹了一口气。

 

“It is possible,” she began,

“你说你想留下来,也不是没有办法。” 她慢慢开口道。

  

Mei’s heart leapt for joy –

小妹一听,兴奋地整颗心都雀跃起来。

  

“but it is a path of tears and heartbreak,” Elder sister finished.

大姐却话锋一转,继续道:”但是,你选择的注定是一条充满泪水和心酸的道路。”

  

.– Mei’s smile faded slightly. Here, Mei’s third sister continued on:

小妹的笑容渐渐僵住了。此时,三姐继续道:

“As daughters of the sea, our sea-hearts beat in tune with the ocean tides.. as long as they continue to rise, to fall, we daughters of the sea exist. And like the ocean tides, we may visit land – see its wonders and marvel at its beauty.” Mei’s other sisters nodded in agreement, several pairs of eyes misting over in memory of their own past visits to land… many, many years ago.  

“作为海的女儿,我们的海之心随着潮汐的变化不停跳动着,只要大海照常潮起潮落,我们就能够继续活着。就像潮水一样,我们能够踏足陆地,能够见识它的广阔和美丽。” 说到这,小妹的其他几个姐姐们点点头表示赞同。她们想到了多年前,自己曾经在陆地上度过的美好时光,眼眶不禁有些湿润。

 

“However,” sister three added, “like the tides from whence we came, we all must return to sea. Immortals like us cannot remain on land… only humans may.”

这时,三姐又加了一句,”但是,总有一天,我们要跟随那送我们上岸的潮水,再次回到大海。像我们这样的仙女,是不能够长久地留在陆地上的,只有人类才可以。”

 

“And that,” said Eldest sister, “is the terrible possibility you seek.” She looked again at Mei. “The only way for you to remain, past your twelve moons, is to become truly human.”

大姐接过三姐的话头,总结道:”但是,你却渴望一种新的可能。那现在姐姐就告诉你,要想一直留在陆地上,你就必须真正地变成人类。”

 

Mei’s mind whirled. She thought about the beauty held in a single seed. The sunshine contained in a piece of fruit. She thought of the tales the villagers told, recreated, and told anew… and she thought of Hai’s quiet smile and steady hands. Her decision was made – had already been made, perhaps – the very first night she’d decided to leave.

听到大姐的最后一句话,小妹只觉得自己的脑袋“嗡”了一声。真的要付出这么大的代价吗?可是,她转念想到自己在人类世界所体验到的种种美好:一颗普通种子里孕育的伟大生命、一片水果里蕴含的灿烂阳光、渔民们口口相传的故事,还有海 腼腆的微笑,他坚强的双臂。。。她舍不得这一切,她必须留下来。。又或许,早在离开深海家园的那一天,她就已经下定了决心。

 

“I choose this,” Mei told her sisters, sea-storm eyes as steady as they had been on that very first night. “I choose humanity. Please, tell me how.”

“我选择成为人类。请姐姐们告诉我应该怎么做。”

 

Mei’s sisters looked at each other. Sister three whispered to sister two, and they both turned their eyes toward Mei, one smiling in approval – the other in sadness. Mei’s fourth sister said nothing, her green eyes unreadable. Sisters five, six, and seven were quiet too, their hands clasped in each others as they gazed at little Mei.

姐姐们有些担忧地互相对视了一番。三姐靠在二姐耳边窃窃私语了一阵,随后两人不约而同地看向小妹,其中一位姐姐眼里满是赞许,另一位则有些伤感。四姐什么话也没说,她那翠绿的双眸里涌动着难以明状的情绪。五姐、六姐、七姐也不言语,她们只是默默地牵起手,一致凝视着小妹。

 

Eldest sister fixed a piercing blue gaze on Mei, and finally replied: “To become human, you must love, and be loved in return. To become fully mortal – both you, and the one who loves you, must choose to surrender your immortality.”

大姐用一双蓝眼睛敏锐地注视着小妹,最后答道:“想要真正成为人类,你必须去爱,然后获得别人的爱。想要真正成为人类,你必须放弃永生,而爱你的那个人,也必须和你一起做出这个选择。”

  

“But,” Mei began, confused, “Hai thinks me a village girl – he knows nothing of my past.”

“可是,在海的眼里,我就是一个普通的渔村姑娘,他不知道我究竟是谁,也不了解我的过去。”小妹有些疑惑。

 

Mei’s second sister shook her head and took Mei’s hands in her own. Her eyes, the same ruby red as her sea-heart, were sad as she spoke, “Ah dear Mei… your Hai must accept you fully as you are, as the eighth daughter of the southern seas. But rare is a mortal who has such welcoming heart – ”

二姐摇了摇头。她拉过小妹的手,看着小妹的眼睛说道;”啊,亲爱的小妹,你的心上人必须接受那个真实的你—作为南海第八个女儿的你。但是,拥有这样宽容的心的人类甚少——

 

“You must remember,” Elder Sister cut in, “that you may not reveal your magic before him. For, should you try to make him believe, your young man will perish, and his heart will cease to beat.”

大姐插话道:“请务必牢记,绝对不能在他面前施展魔法,来证明你的身份。因为,如果你通过这种方式去说服他,他的心就会停止跳动,而他的身体,也将会永远地消失在这个世界上。”

 

Mei gazed at her Eldest sister, face glazed in shock.

小妹震惊地盯着大姐,一句话也说不出来。

"Belief cannot be forced, little one," Elder sister whispered, lifting a hand to stroke Mei’s cheek.

大姐抬手摸摸小妹的脸,爱怜地说道:“孩子,要知道,信任这个东西,是强迫不来的。”

 

A hint of sadness tinged her voice.

她的声音里,隐隐嵌着一丝忧伤。


Story Video (with bonus drawing process! )

coming soon