Gods

S1E12 | Pearl (6 of 12)

珍珠(六) 

(A Chinese Mermaid Tale)

Ch 16 Pretty Penny.JPG

In our last episode, we saw a mutual rescue:

…with Hai saving Mei from Sha… and Mei saving him in return from the sea. Now that Mei and Hai have finally met each other – in human form – what’s in store?

We find out today, with Part 6 of Pearl – A Chinese Mermaid Story

(P.S. This episode is our mid-way point! We are halfway through this long-form fairy tale!!


^ Subscribe to get the newest episode as soon as it posts! ^__^


Chapter 15 – What the Moon Saw 

第十五章 – 月亮看到的那些事

Ch 15 Moon Saw_Color.JPG

CHAPTER 15 生词 | Vocabulary (151 - 160)

151. 相视而笑 (Xiāng shì ér xiào) Expression. Look and smile at each other

152. 诞生 (Dànshēng) v. be born; come into being; emerge (see 圣诞节 or Christmas)

153. 照耀 (Zhàoyào) v. Shine; illuminate

154. 粗糙 (Cūcāo) adj. coarse; rough adj. crude, rough

155. 奇形怪状 (Qíxíngguàizhuàng) IDIOM grotesque or fantastic in shape or appearance

156. 包裹(Bāoguǒ) v. wrap up; bind up n. bundle; package; parcel

157. 淡雅(Dànyǎ) adj. simple but elegant; quietly elegant; unadorned

158. 漆黑 (Qīhēi) adj. pitch-dark; pitch-black

159. 耳鬓厮磨 (Ěrbìnsīmó) IDIOM lit. ear to ear and temple to temple; fig. very close relationship

160. 日月星辰(rì yuè xīngchén) Expression the sun, the moon, and the stars; the heavenly bodies


When Hai brought his fish to market, he would stop by the fabric stand. There, he and Mei would speak, sharing their days news and laughing over shared memories. As they spoke, Mei continued to work on her embroidery. Under her fingers, shy young men and dancing maidens appeared, met, and fell in love.  

从那次见面开始,海和小妹开始渐渐地互相熟悉起来。每当海扛着鱼虾往集市上去时,他都会在丝绸摊前停留,就为了能和小妹说上一句话。他们会和彼此分享自己这一天遇到的种种趣事,会谈起两个人共同的回忆,然后相视而笑。小妹一边和海聊着天,另一边手里也不闲着。在她跳跃的指尖下,一张张精美的刺绣作品慢慢诞生,作品里,有羞涩的男孩、跳舞的女孩,他们在命运的安排下遇到对方,然后相识、相知,相爱,最后幸福地生活在一起。

  

Mei and Hai often walked together, after a shared dinner at Nainai’s table. Overhead, a pale silver moon hung low in the sky. Night after night they walked, passing under tall trees with knotted bark and fat waxy leaves. In the sky, the moon’s round face gradually waned, growing thinner and thinner until she disappeared completely.

小妹和海也常常一起回奶奶家吃饭,然后再一起出去散步。在他们的上方,一轮明月静静地照耀着夜空,静静地看着这一切。每天晚上,他们都出去散步,从高高的大树、粗糙的树皮和柔软的树叶下走过。天空中,月亮开始越变越细,直到全部消失。

 

Mei and Hai continued to explore new paths, and marveled over new landscapes. They passed under odd trees, whose branches were draped with silvery vines, which hung willow like to the ground. Red flowers -- painted purple by moonlight – bloomed on these vines, for the moon had appeared once more.

每次散步,他们都能发现一条新的小路,感受新的景色。他们路过奇形怪状的树,银色的藤蔓 包裹着树干,然后像柳枝一样垂到地上。藤蔓上开满了红艳艳的花,在月光下泛着淡雅的紫色。是的--又一轮新月出现在了    漆黑的天边。

  

At first a bashful crescent, the moon had quickly lost her shyness, becoming full and bright once again. She smiled down at the two young lovers below, their heads bent toward each other. What are they whispering? the moon wondered… How I wish I knew.

一开始,月儿还是细细的、弯弯的,可没过多久,她便褪去 羞涩,变回最初又圆又亮的模样。她笑着看着这对璧人,看着他们耳鬓厮磨,窃窃私语,不禁好奇:他们在说什么悄悄话呢?我真想知道啊!

  

As Mei and Hai stepped slowly under trees hung with vines and moonlight, a breeze weaved through the branches and made their willow-like hangings sway. Mei raised a hand, brushing against them, a smile tugging at her lips.

而另一边,月下漫步的小妹走过挂满藤蔓和月光的大树,看着晚风穿过柳枝般柔软的枝桠,惹得它们左右摇晃。小妹抬手触摸着这些树木,唇边渐渐浮起一抹笑容。

 

These odd vines reminded her of home – of the kelp forests swaying gently under the sea.  How long had it been since she'd swam amongst the reefs. How long had it been since she had left her sisters? 

这些奇怪的藤蔓枝桠,让她想起了家门前那些漂浮的海草。她多久没有在珊瑚间游走了?她多久没有回过宫殿,多久没有见到姐姐们了?

  

Hai walked slowly beside Mei, feeling the moonlight settle lightly around them. He glanced at her, and saw a glimmer of sadness pass through her eyes. She had stopped, her hands now tracing the swaying vines – seemingly lost in thought.

海安静地陪着小妹散着步。他能感受到月光稳稳地包裹着他们,也捕捉到了小妹眼里转瞬即逝的伤感。他看着她走着走着停下来,伸手抚摸着藤蔓,好像陷入了某种复杂的思绪中。

 

Hai stopped too, bent down, and retrieved a fallen blossom. It had four ruby red petals and gave off a honeyed perfume. Standing, flower in hand, Hai turned toward Mei. Sensing Hai’s movement, Mei half turned to him and smiled. Seeing the blossom he held, her eyes creased further with merriment. She was laughing when Hai tucked the blossom into her hair.

海也停了下来。他弯腰捡起了一朵掉落的花,放在手心里。那四片花瓣都是红色的,散发着蜜糖般的清香。他转向小妹,而小妹也像是意识到什么似的,朝他回眸一笑。回头时,她看到海手里的花,眼里瞬间涌动起喜悦。她笑着,任由海把这朵花别在她的发间。

 

The sweet scent of rubied honey wove through the shadows of the trees as Mei and Hai started, once again, along their path.

伴随着蜂蜜般甜美的香气,小妹和海又一次上路了。

 

Like this they walked, for two more moons, drinking in silver light from evening stars and breathing in the scent of blossoming trees.

他们就这样肆意 漫步着,走着、走着,就走过了两个月圆之夜。他们漫步着,饮着日月星辰之光,呼吸着万物开花结果的清香。


Chapter 16 – A Pretty Penny

第十六章 – “大价钱” 到底是什么?

Ch 16 Pretty Penny.JPG

CHAPTER 16 生词 | Vocabulary (161 - 170)

161. 愈发(Yù fā) adv. All the more; even more; further

162. 肩并肩 (Jiān bìngjiān) expression shoulder to shoulder; side by side

163. 疑惑 (Yíhuò) v. feel uncertain (or unconvinced)

164. 身世 (Shēnshì) n. one’s life experience; one’s past history

165. 囚禁 (Qiújìn) v. imprison; put in jail; keep in captivity

166. 得意洋洋 (Déyì yángyáng) IDIOM 被immensely proud; look triumphant

167. 顺势 (Shùnshì) v. to seize an opportunity; to take advantage of adv. conveniently

168. 余晖 (Yúhuī) n. sunset (or evening) glow; afterglow

169. 斟酌(Zhēnzhuó) v. consider; deliberate

170. 象征(Xiàngzhēng) n. symbol; emblem; token v. symbolize; signify


Autumn came and went.

秋天轻轻地来,又轻轻地去了。

 

Winter arrived and the days grew shorter.  The air cooled and blew briskness into the villagers’ steps.  Hai and Mei stepped together, quietly, along a seashore littered with half broken shells.  Mei had covered her linen tunic with a shawl of woven cotton.  The bracelets gracing her wrists hung in quiet repose. The rose-colored pearl peeked out from under Mei’s shawl. 

转眼入冬,天也黑的愈发早了。天气转凉,人们的步伐也好像带上了一股干燥的冷气。这一天,海和小妹正肩并肩地沿着缀满 贝壳的海滩散步。小妹在自己原本的衣裳上加了一件棉质的披肩。她的镯子安静地挂在手腕上,那玫瑰色的珍珠从她的披肩里害羞地探出头来,落在了海的眼里。

 

Hai’s eyes lingered upon the rose-colored pearl.  He sometimes wondered about the bracelets Mei wore, always wore, on her wrist.  She never spoke of them – almost didn't seem to notice them.  Yet they clinked musically with every move she made. Hai puzzled over where they came from – where she came from.  Mei never spoke of her past. Hai sometimes started to ask – yet could never quite bring the words to his lips.

 海盯着这枚珍珠,心下有些好奇。他一直很想知道小妹戴着的那串手镯到底是做什么用的。她从来不说起这件事,好像她根本没发觉一样。但是小妹一动,这些镯子便会发出银铃般清脆的声响。海有些疑惑,他想不明白这些镯子是从哪儿来的。但他更好奇的其实是小妹的身世。她从不谈自己的过去,海有好多次都想开口问问她,可是,每次话到嘴边,都不知道该怎么说起。

 

This day, as they walked along the sea shore, Mei suddenly spoke.   

"Hai, what’s a 'pretty penny'?"

 

走着走着,小妹突然问道:“海,大价钱是什么意思啊?”

  

She turned to look at him, her back facing the sea. It was nearing sunset, and a setting sun gilded her in gold.  

她转过身面对着他,继续说道:

  

" What’s a pretty penny ... and why do people like it so much? " 

“大价钱是什么?为什么大家都那么喜欢它?”

 

Mei thought back to the day she had spent, terrified and trapped, in Sha’s wooden pail.  She still remembered the high, nasally laugh Sha had uttered, as he imagined the price an exotic looking rose carp could fetch him at the market.   

彼时,小妹想起了那段被囚禁在沙的木桶里的日子. 她依旧记得沙那沙哑尖利的笑声--那是他想到自己这条精致的玫瑰色鲤鱼能在市场上卖到一大笔钱时,发出的 得意洋洋的笑声。

 

Hai turned to face Mei, too.  He reached for her hand, and she laced her fingers through his. As she did so, the bangles at her wrist slid against each other, glinting in the sinking sun.  Hai’s eyes stopped on them, for the briefest of moments, before meeting Mei's questioning eyes. 

海也转过身看着小妹。他牵起她的手,小妹则顺势把手指伸进了海的手中。动作间,小妹的镯子轻轻地互相撞击着发出响声,又在落日的余晖下温柔地闪着光。海飞速地扫了它们一眼,才抬眼对上小妹那双疑惑的眼眸。

 

"Why do you ask?"

“为什么想起问这个?”

  

"It's something I once heard," Mei answered.

“我以前听人说过这个词。”小妹答道。

  

Hai looked at her for a few moments more, and then turned his head toward the sea.  He spoke slowly, measuring his words out by the spoonful.  

海又专注地看了她几秒,然后转身望着平静的海面。他斟酌着,一字一顿地答道:

 

"A pretty penny... is confused happiness.  People often see this – "

“大价钱就是。。人们以为的幸福。人们总是觉得--”

 

Hai paused and reached into his pocket, drawing out two copper coins, and continued – “as tokens to happiness. He rubbed the coins together, between thumb and forefinger. Hai continued: "Men have fought over strings of these. Many more have died for ambitions of silver and gold.  Yet ..." He held the coins up. They shone dully in the dying sun.  "The penny is never pretty enough. I've seen men sink beneath the weight of greed." Hai placed the coins back into his pocket and gazed, once more, out to the sea. Mei turned towards the sea, too, and felt the warmth of Hai’s hand in hers.   

海说到一半,突然想起什么似的从口袋里掏出了两个铜币,用大拇指和食指搓了搓,随后继续道:“钱是幸福的象征,人们为了得到它,不惜互相残杀。。多少人因为钱财丧命,然而,再多的钱也满足不了人们的贪婪。” 海一边说着,一边把硬币举了起来。铜质的底色在夕阳的照射下显得有点暗淡。海把硬币放了回去,又一次望向大海。小妹也跟着他的目光往海面上看去,一边感受着海手掌的温度。

 

They looked out, together, into the calm undulating blue.

他们一起遥望,遥望远方的那一片宁静起伏的蔚蓝。


 

Chapter 17 – Good Luck Charm

第十七章 – 好运符

CH 17 Cover pic.JPG

CHAPTER 17 生词 | Vocabulary (171 - 180)

171. 好运符(Hǎo yùn fú) n. good luck charm

172. 糟心 (Zāo xīn) adj. vexed; annoyed; dejected; upset

173. 嫌弃(Xiánqì) v. dislike and avoid; cold-shoulder

174. 沐浴 (Mùyù) v. to take a bath; to bathe; v. to immerse; be immersed in

175. 骂骂咧咧 (Màmaliēliē) expression. To swear while talking; to be foul mouthed

176. 时时刻刻 (Shíshí kèkè) expression. All the time; always; constantly

177. 一味 (Yīwèi) adv. Blindly; persistently; stubbornly

178. 美如天仙 (Měi ruò tiānxiān) expression. As beautiful as an angel; very beautiful

179. 白日梦 (Bái rì mèng) n. daydream

180. 胡思乱想 (Húsīluànxiǎng) IDIOM go off into flights of fancy; give way to foolish thoughts


Sha was having a wicked kind of day.  He'd woken in an evil mood when unwelcome rays of sunlight stung at his eyes. Sha reached for his wine gourd, and his mood spiraled further when he found it empty.  He threw it aside with a snort of disgust. 

沙这一天过的很糟心。他一觉醒来,就被一束阳光刺得睁不开眼睛,顿时感觉一口气闷在胸口里堵得慌。他伸手去拿自己的酒壶,拿到嘴边才发现,壶里的酒只剩几滴了。他气愤不已,恶狠狠地冷笑了一声,一脸嫌弃地把酒壶扔到了一边。 

 

Sha swiped the back of his hand over his nose, and then wiped a trickle of saliva from his mouth.  He glowered towards his door - which was slightly open - and at the streets bathed in daylight.  Sha cursed the daylight which had roused him.  Had it been raining, he would have cursed the rain.  

沙用手背擦了擦鼻子,随后又抹了抹嘴边的口水。他气呼呼地瞪着眼前的大门--大门稍稍 敞开,门外的街头沐浴在金色的日光下。沙看着这美好的阳光,骂骂咧咧地抱怨起这天气来,说是这阳光打搅了他的清梦。不过你还别说,就沙这个爱抱怨的劲,就算今天下雨,他也照样抱怨。

 

Sha considered going to market, and he frowned. The picture of a quiet young man came to mind, the one who always arrived at market before him.  A hot bolt of annoyance shot from Sha’s stomach to his feet.  

沙想着要不要去集市,可是一想到集市,他就想到那个每次都比自己先到的年轻小伙。沙越想越气,他感到心中的愤怒和不甘像闪电一样,贯穿着他的全身。

  

Hai…Ocean. Sha grunted in disgust.  What a name. What were his fool parents thinking, to name the boy something so... Sha’s clouded mind struggled to find the word, so... poetic. It's no pity the fools had died.   

海。。大海的海。这是什么破名字!想到这,沙不屑地哼了一声。也不知道这家伙的父母脑子里成天在琢磨些什么,竟然给自己孩子取了这么一个。。富有诗意的名字。这种人,活该早死。

"Hai"

 

Sha said the name out loud, spitting it out as if it were a bad taste in his mouth. Hai. Always at the market with the better fish, flaunting his strait-laced diligence in Sha’s face. And now, it seemed as if the boy had come into a good deal of luck – ever since he had cheated Sha out of his prize rose-carp!    

沙恶狠狠地从嘴里吐出了这个名字:”海。” 那个永远最早来到集市的男孩,那个永远卖着质量更好更鲜美的鱼,时时刻刻在炫耀自己勤劳 付出的那个男孩。而自从他从自己手里买了那只珍贵的玫瑰色鲤鱼开始,就好像突然撞了大运,什么好事都落他头上了!

 

Sha was working himself into a fury. He conveniently forgot that he'd gotten more than his fair trade that day. Yes, that rose carp was a good luck omen, and that boy had swindled it from right under Sha’s nose! And that good luck didn’t just bring good fishing… it had even landed that boy the prettiest maiden the village had ever seen! 

沙越想越气。他早就忘了,其实那一天,自己拿到的补偿已经够多了。他只是一味地抱怨,觉得那玫瑰鲤鱼是个好运符,本该属于自己,都是那个臭小子把属于他的东西活生生地从他眼皮子底下骗走了。事实证明,那条鲤鱼是真的灵,不仅让那小子捕了一堆大鱼,还为他赚到了全村最美的姑娘!

 

Sha licked his lips at the thought of pretty Mei.  His mind began to spin, whirling him further into a fantasy world. Yes, if he still had that rose-carp, then that pretty wench would have been his...  

想到美若天仙的小妹,沙不禁舔了舔嘴唇。他开始做起了白日梦:“是啊,如果那条锦鲤还在我的手上,现在拥着那美妞的,肯定是我,不是他。。。”

 

Sha groped around him and found his discarded gourd. He brought it to his mouth for a swig. Finding it empty still, he gave grunt, and headed out in search of more wine.    

沙一边胡思乱想着,一边摸索着周边寻找他的酒壶。他正想拿起酒杯灌一口,突然想起酒早已经喝光了。他只好狠狠地咕哝一声,拉开门准备出去找酒喝。


Chapter 18 – The Call

第十八章 – 呼唤

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CHAPTER 18 生词 | Vocabulary (181 - 190)

181. 明媚 (Míngmèi) adj. bright and beautiful; radiant and enchanting

182. 倏然 (Shūrán) adv. Literary suddenly; abruptly

183. 弧度(Húdù) n. curve n. radian n. arc

184. 冷不丁(Lěngbudīng) expression. Suddenly; unexpectedly

185. 瞥(Piē) v. shoot a glance at; dart a look at; n. a quick look

186. 自顾自(Zì gù zì) expression. Each minding his own business

187. 闭目养神(Bì mù yǎngshén) IDIOM close one’s eyes and rest; repose; take a rest

188. 浑浊 (Húnzhuó) adj. muddy; turbid; cloudy

189. 与此同时(Yǔ cǐ tóngshí) expression at the same time; meanwhile

190. 鬼鬼祟祟(Guǐ guǐsuì suì) IDIOM sneaking; furtive; stealthy

The day was cold, despite bright sunshine that blanketed the village streets.  

那天的天气很冷。虽说明媚的阳光把大街小巷包裹在一层金黄的光芒中,可是街面上空气依旧是凉丝丝的。

  

Mei was making tea for Nainai. She lifted the teapot and poured, watching pale wisps of steam curl up from the dark fragrant liquid. As she poured, Mei thought of the eight moons she had already spent on land. She had grown to love this village, her life with Nainai, and the days – the moons – she had spent with Hai.

小妹正在为奶奶沏茶。她拿起茶壶倒了一杯茶,一边出神地盯着棕褐色液体上方悠悠升起的白雾。倒茶的时候,小妹倏然想起,自己已经在陆地上待了八个月了。她对这个渔村已经产生深厚的感情,她舍不得这里,舍不得奶奶,舍不得那些与海一同度过的每一个清晨,和每一个月光灿烂的夜晚。

 

Yet…

不过。。。

  

Something tugged inside her, a call Mei had yet to answer. Steam rose in swirls. Mei's bangles clinked wistfully.  

她却时常感到,内心有一股声音在呼唤着自己。茶水的热气越升越高,模糊了小妹的双眼。就连她手上的镯子,也跟着发出了低沉而忧伤的闷响。

 

Nainai accepted the tea Mei poured for he, lifting the cup to breath in its earthy fragrance. The old woman’s eyes were closed; her wrinkled mouth smiling. She sipped at the tea, lips pursed in pleasure.  Eyes still closed, Nainai spoke:

 奶奶接过小妹的茶,然后凑上前去闻了闻。她闭着眼睛,皱巴巴的嘴唇弯成了一抹微笑的弧度。随后她开始品茶,一小口一小口地品,脸上满是享受的表情。过了一阵子,奶奶终于开口说道:

  

"You are sad, child"

“孩子,你有心事。“

 

Mei said nothing to this - for she knew not what to say.  She bent to refill the old woman's tea cup.  

小妹没有回答,因为她真的不知道该怎么回答,于是只好低下头去给奶奶添茶。

 

"You should go to them.  Their sea-hearts call to you".

“你应该去找她们。她们的海之心正在呼唤着你呢。

  

Mei faltered, nearing spilling the tea. She glanced at Nainai, whose eyes were still closed. As if she felt Mei’s gaze upon her, the old woman opened her eyes and looked steadily back at Mei. Despite cataract clouded eyes, Nainai seemed to see her clear as day.

小妹听罢有些吃惊,冷不丁手一抖,差一点把茶水洒出来。她飞快地瞥了奶奶一眼,而奶奶却还是自顾自地闭目养神。过了一会儿,仿佛是感受到了小妹疑问的目光,奶奶终于睁开眼睛,专注地凝视着小妹。小妹觉得,奶奶的双眼虽然浑浊,却好像能够明明白白地看穿自己的心。

 

"Go child, for they wait."

“去吧,孩子,她们都等着你呢。”

 

Nainai needn't have spoken twice.  The blue curtain, which hung by the door, had already lifted and dropped back into place.

奶奶这话根本用不着说第二遍。下一秒,门口挂着的蓝色的门帘就被瞬间掀起,然后轻轻地落回原处。

 

Mei had gone.

小妹已经走了。 

*

Mei hurried down the village streets, mind spinning with questions. How did Nainai know… what exactly did Nainai know?

她匆匆地穿过熙熙攘攘的街头,满脑子都是疑问。为什么奶奶都知道?她究竟知道了些什么呢?

 

Sea-hearts,

海之心,

  

Mei thought to herself, Nainai must be talking about my sisters.

小妹觉得,奶奶一定是在说自己的姐姐们。

 

As Mei turned down a street corner, she sank even deeper into thought. Go child… for they wait, Nainai had said. But her twelve moons on land were not yet up – where could her sisters be waiting? Even as her mind formed this last question, Mei's heart answered.  Her bracelets sang with each step she took, and she moved swiftly.

拐进下一个街道时,她又一次陷入了沉思。奶奶说的是,快去吧,她们在等你。但是,她在陆地上的时间还没有用完,她的姐姐们会在哪里等她呢?可与此同时,内心的声音回答了她的疑问。她每走一步,手上的镯子都轻声吟唱着,似乎是在给她信心。于是她加快了脚步。

 

She was headed to the cave.

她直奔山洞而去。

 

As she hurried along, Mei did not see the all-too-familiar figure skulking, not far behind her.

可是,小妹走得太急,根本没有注意到她身后不远处那个熟悉的、鬼鬼祟祟的身影。。

*

To be continued in Pearl (Part 7)


Bilingual Videos:

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