mermaid

S1E14 | Pearl (8 of 12)

珍珠(八) 

(A Chinese Mermaid Tale)

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We ended our last episodeon a bit of a sad note:

Mei is presented with a terrible choice: should she risk Hai’s life by revealing her secret… or should she give up on becoming human?

Oh, and what about the dastardly Sha wo is sneak-listening in the shadowy corner of the cave?

Today, we find out in Part 8 of Pearl – A Chinese Mermaid Story.


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Chapter 22 – Another Way

第二十二章– 他法

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CHAPTER 22 生词 | Vocabulary (221 - 230)

221. 姿势(Zīshì) n.posture; gesture

222. 意味(Yìwèi) v.signify; mean; imply

223. 被迫(Bèi pò) v.compel, force, constrain

224. 揭示(Jiēshì) v.show, make known

225. 自以为是(Zìyǐwéishì) IDIOM consider onself (always) in the right

226. 僵硬(Jiāngyìng)adj. stiff; rigid

227. 遗憾(Yíhàn) n.regret; sorrow; remorse

228. 显而易见(Xiǎn'éryìjiàn) IDIOM obviously; evidently; clearly

229. 包容(Bāoróng) v.forgive; accept; pardon

230. 奇迹(Qíjī) n.miracle


Sha crouched, hidden in the shadows of the cave which had – until then – been Mei’s secret. His right leg was cramping, yet his wicked heart cackled with glee. Who could have imagined that pretty wench had such secrets tucked away? So, the girl was an immortal eh?  

沙蹲在地上,躲在石壁的阴影之后,定定地看着这一幕。他的右脚因长时间保持一个姿势而有些抽筋,可是他那颗恶毒的心却乐开了花。谁曾想到,这小妮子居然藏着这么个天大秘密?所以,到头来,她是个仙子?

Sha’s mind whirled into action, forming devious plan. The woman in blue had said, clear as day, that Mei’s lover would have to accept her in all her…strangeness. Hai would have to believeMei’s story… well. Sha would just have to make sure that the foolish boy couldn’tbelieve her. 

沙的头脑飞快地运转着,没过多久,一个邪恶的计划便应运而生。穿蓝衣服的女人说的很明白了,小妹的爱人必须接受她的全部,包括她特殊的身份。他必须相信小妹的话。那么这就意味着。。。。自己必须搞定那个傻小子,确保他不会相信小妹。

Perhaps, Sha mused slyly, Mei might even be forced to use some of her magic before Hai. Ha! How Sha would love to see that self-righteous boy perish! Either way, Sha gloated, that insufferable Hai would lose his precious Mei.  

也许,小妹会被迫在海面前揭示自己的身份!啊哈哈哈,他恨不得马上看到那个自以为是的男孩死在自己面前!不论结果如何,海都会失去他那心爱的小妹,沙幸灾乐祸地想道。

 

Pleased with this thought, Sha slipped out of the cave, squeezing himself out through the gap in the stones. Night had fallen and a dark cloud hid the moon from sight. Sha smiled a wicked smile and melted into a shadowless night. 

这么想着,沙喜滋滋地离开了山洞。夜深了,一片乌云挡住了残月,沙在黑暗的掩护下鬼魅般穿行着,不一会儿便消失在茫茫的夜色中。

As Sha crept away into the darkest night, Mei sat frozen on the cold stone at the center of the cavern pool. Her sisters surrounded her still, graceful and silent. A faint shaft of moonlight filtered into the cave from the opening in the ceiling. The moon was waning.    

在另一边的山洞里,小妹僵硬地端坐在水池的中央。她的姐妹们还是围坐在她的身边,安静地陪着她。一缕轻飘飘的月光从洞顶洒下来,摔进了水里。又一轮明月开始亏缺。

 Elder sister raised her head to gaze at the sliver of moon. “Sisters, it is time for us to return” she murmured.

大姐抬起头,看着银色的弯月,低声说道:“妹妹们,我们该回去了。”

 

Eldest sister turned her gaze to Mei for one final time, smiling sadly at her youngest sister. “You see why love between immortal and mortal beings are not meant to be.” Regret laced spirals of blue into her words. 

她转过头,最后一次凝望着小妹,嘴角绽开了一个悲伤的弧度。她说:“最终你会明白,人类和我们之间本就无法拥有爱情。”这句话里的遗憾和伤痛显而易见。

 

"The coral palace waits for you. Stay for four more moons, if you must. Then, you know what you must do." 

“姐姐希望你记得,珊瑚王宫的大门一直为你敞开。我们会在那里,等着你回家。姐姐劝你,最多待四个满月的时间,然后你知道你该怎么做。”

 

With these final words, she pressed a gentle kiss to Mei's forehead and melted back into the sea.  One by one, Mei's oldest sisters kissed her and departed.  Finally, only one sister remained by Mei’s side.

言毕,大姐在小妹额头上轻轻种下一吻,随后便调转鱼尾,沉入深深的大海中。其他几个姐姐们也依次和小妹吻别,直到最后,只有七姐留在了小妹的身边。

Mei’s seventh sister drew close to her, and pressed a kiss to her forehead just as the others had done. And then, 七姐spoke. 

七姐靠近自己的妹妹,和其他姐姐一样轻吻小妹,随后说道:

“Mei… there may be another way.”

“小妹,我想也许还有另一种办法。

 

“Another way?” Mei asked, voice thick with unshed tears.

另一种办法?”小妹带着浓浓的哭腔,惊讶地问道。

 

 “Shi-de,” seventh sister replied, “another way.” 

“是的,七姐回答道。“还有一种办法。”

 

She gestured to the eight bracelets Mei still wore and continued, “Our eldest sister spoke true. Belief forced is not belief given freely – love based on something forced cannot be what you wish it to be. Your Hai must accept you with an open and trusting heart… though in human love there are no guarantees.” 

她指了指小妹手上的镯子,说道:“我们的大姐说的没错,被迫相信和发自内心的信任是两回事---只有发自内心的爱才会真正带给你幸福。你的海必须以一颗包容的心,接纳你、信任你,但是人类之间的爱情往往不是这样的。”

 

Here, Mei’s seventh sister ran a finger down the jewels on Mei’s wrist. “But,” she continued, “when it comes to love, there are two hearts at play.” 七姐rested her forefinger on the rose pearl – Mei’s very own sea-heart. “There’s another way to humanity. And it is this: give him your hai-shing, your sea heart, instead.”

在这里,姐姐伸出手,轻轻抚摸着小妹手上的珍珠,然后继续说道:“但是,爱情也是两颗心的碰撞,因此,信任和付出也都是双向的。”说到这,七姐的指尖落在了小妹那颗粉色的珍珠上。“所以,你还有一种选择,那就是把你的海之心交给他。”

 

“But,” Mei looked at her seventh sister with large, questioning eyes, “but if I take off my heart… if I give it to Hai… won’t I die?”

小妹睁大了双眼,不可置信地看着姐姐,问道:“可。。可是,如果我这么做了,不是就会死吗?”

 

“Yes,” whispered 七姐. 

“是的。”七姐喃喃道。

  

“Yes, what we told you before holds true: should any of these sea-hearts leave your wrist, your connection to the sea – that which gives you life – will be broken. You will become as immobile as the stones you wear.”

“还记得我们之前对你的告诫吗?你手上的每一颗海之心,都代表着你和大海之间的联系和羁绊,是他们给予了你生命。如果你失去了他们,就会变成一座没有生气的石像,永世无法逃离那副躯体。”

 

“However,” 七姐continued, “Your young man, should his heart be true ... well.  Miracles happen.  Often for mortals. And, sometimes, even for us…"   seventh sister’s voice trailed off, her eyes distant, as if lost in memory.

说到这里,七姐话锋一转:“不过,如果那位小伙子真心爱你的话,奇迹也许会出现。”七姐说着说着,声音便小了下去,她的视线开始飘忽游走,好像陷进了某种回忆。

 

“七姐, how do you know all of this?” Mei asked, eyes searching seventh sister’s face. 七姐smiled, a little sadly, before meeting her younger sister’s eyes. “I, too, fell in love with a mortal… a long, long time ago. What I’ve just told you, a wise old woman once told me.” 七姐touched Mei’s cheek and continued. “But I’ve already made my choice… though I sometimes wonder about the path I did not – was not brave enough – to take…”

“七姐,你。。你是怎么知道这些的?”小妹看着姐姐的脸,认真地问道。七姐有些苦涩地笑了。她抬手摸了摸小妹的脸颊,说道:“我刚刚跟你说的话,是曾经一个老妇人跟我说过的。当时我也爱上了一个人类。可是,我最终决定放弃这份爱情。但现在回想起来,我不知道我的决定是否正确,如果当年我再勇敢一些,现在的结果会不会不同呢?”

 

Sister seven’s voice faded just as the faint moonlight vanished behind a dark cloud.Mei opened her mouth to ask another question, but the last of her sisters had already vanished, melting back into sea. 

七姐的声音和头顶的月光一起渐渐弱了下去。小妹想张口追问,但七姐已经失去了踪影。

 

Mei sat, alone at the center of the cavern pool, thoughts swirling: Could she love – completely, bravely – with no guarantees?  

小妹只得在原地坐着,陷入了沉思:她真的能够毫无保留地、义无反顾地去爱吗?

 

Mei sat still, until the dark cloud passed, until moonlight once again streamed into the cave from the opening above. Then, she rose to her feet, finally standing on the flat rock at the center of the pool. She stepped off the rock, out into the pool, yet her feet did not touch water. Instead, smooth stones appeared where Mei’s feet trod. As Mei continued to walk back across the cavern lake, she left a stone pathway in her wake, white stones gleaming softly under dwindling moonlight.

 

小妹就这样静静地坐着,直到新的一抹月光通过石缝倾泻下来。她起身,站到了水池中央扁平的石头上。然后她迈开步子向前走去,她每走一步,一块石头就出现在她的脚下。等到她离开水池的时候,小妹的身后已经形成了一个崭新的石头桥。一个又一个白色的石头向前排列着,在渐渐逝去的月光下闪着温柔的光芒。


Chapter 23 – Rumors

第二十三章 – 谣言

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CHAPTER 23 生词 | Vocabulary (231 - 240)

231. 传播(Chuánbò) v.disseminate; propagate; spread

232. 肆意(Sìyì) adv.Wantonly; recklessly; willfully

233. 抓挠(Zhuānao) dialect v. to scratch at

234. 沸腾(Fèiténg) V.see with excitement; boil over

235. 亲(Qīn) n. in this context, concubine n. bride n. intimate n. relation

236. 失宠(Shīchǒng) v. pejorative fall into disfavour

237. 背地里(Bèidìlǐ) expression.Behind sb.’s back; on the sly

238. 纠缠(Jiūchán) v.get entagled

239. 况且(Kuàngqiě) conj.Moreover; besides; in addition

240.议论纷纷(Yìlùn fēnfēn)IDIOMall sorts of comments; gossip of all sorts


A funny thing about rumors...

谣言这东西,就是这么神奇。

 

Once given breathe, they take on a life of their own, spreading from ear to ear like worms made of smoke, burrowing in deep and sinking suspicious claws into the heart.  

只要有人开个头,它们就会像获得了生命一般,疯狂地传播,简直和裹着硝烟的虫子一样,从一个人的耳朵钻到另一个人的耳朵里,深深地钻进去,然后肆意抓挠着人们本就敏感多疑的心。

 

A whisper here.  A hint dropped there.

这里传一句话。那里顺一句嘴。

 

Soon, the entire village was abuzz.

很快,整个村子都沸腾了。

 

"See that girl there, her head in the clouds?" “Does anyone actually know where she came from?” “I heard…she was a rich man’s concubine who fell out of favor.” “Yes, see those shining baubles she wears around her wrist - what do you make of that?” “She stole them, if you ask me… how else could a simple maiden possess such fineries?” “Goodness! A thief as well!” 

看到那边那丫头了吧?看看她,是不是整个人都快上天了?你说这么久了,也没人搞得清楚她到底从哪来的。我听说啊,她原是一个富商的妾,现在好了,失宠了吧,就流落到咱这来了。还有啊,你们看看她手上的那堆珠宝,她哪来这么多钱的,啊?依我看啊,那些准是她从别人那儿偷的,否则就她那样一个普通丫头,怎么可能担负得起这么贵重的东西嘛!天啊,原来她不但是个妾,还是个小偷!

 

Sha watched the rumors spread with glee.  He had been careful, dropping suggestions into welcoming ears. These days, villagers cast pitiful looks at Hai, murmuring to each other when they passed him on the streets: 

沙看着流言飞快地散播,心里别提多开心了。这可都是他的功劳啊!过去的几天里,他在背地里编排小妹,很快所有的村民都知道了。所以这几天,每当海经过的时候,人们都对他指指点点,或者干脆是一脸同情地望着他。

 

"Poor boy, to end up with a temptress like that. Why, he knows nothing of her past. He can't possibly give her the treasures she desires... it's only a matter of time before she leaves him for 'richer' pastures."  

我看那小伙子也够可怜的,本来老老实实的一人,却偏要和那种女人纠缠到一块儿去。他应该根本就对她的过去一无所知吧?况且,他也满足不了她对珠宝和财富的渴望。迟早有一天,这丫头要是傍上个大款了,准是第一个把他抛弃

 

Hai went about his work, heading out to sea each morning and bringing his catch to market each day.  He acted as if he heard nothing of the rumors, which spread virus like through the sleepy village. Yet now, when he and Mei walked together, Hai could see both men and women casting dark looks their way.

海依旧每天一早出去打渔,晚上带着海鲜到市场上摆摊售卖。他假装自己什么也没听见、什么也没看见。但是,谣言就像病毒一样肆虐着沉睡的小村庄,现在,连他和小妹走在一起的时候,也会遭人指指点点。

 

The village children had a new rhyme to sing, as well. It went something like this:

就连孩子们也知道了这件事,还编了一个童谣,童谣是这么唱的:

 

Beauty and her fool

Beauty and her fool

keep not a bird from flight

Beauty's fool best say goodbye 

娇娇女,傻阿弟

娇娇女,傻阿弟

凤凰飞,干瞪眼

傻阿弟,没福气。

 

Hai never said a word. Yet, when he passed whispering villagers on the street, the tips of his ears glowed red.   

海听了,总是一言不发。可是,当他路过那些指指点点的村民时,耳根不受控制地泛红了。

 

"If she really loved him, she'd give him one of those expensive baubles,” the villagers hissed behind their backs.  

“如果那女人真的爱他,就会给他几个珠宝首饰,让他一起享享福。”村民们在背后议论纷纷。

 

"Give him a pearl to prove your heart!"

有本事,就给他一粒珍珠,证明自己的爱!”


Chapter 24 – Please Believe!

第二十四章– 请相信我!

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CHAPTER 24 生词 | Vocabulary (241 - 250)

241. 思绪(Sīxù) n.train of thought; emotional state

242. 拒绝(Jùjué) v.refuse; eject; turn down; decline

243. 急匆匆(Jícōngcōng)adv. In a hurry; hurriedly

244. 争先恐后(Zhēngxiānkǒnghòu) IDIOM strive to be the first and fear of being left behind

245. 清贫(Qīngpín) adj.poor but upright; dignified

246. 支吾(Zhīwú) v.stammer; respond evasively

247. 一模一样(Yīmúyīyàng)IDIOM exactly alike; like two peas in a pod

248. 央求(Yāngqiú) v.beg; plead; implore

249. 一股脑(Yīgǔnǎo) adv. All in on go; all of it; lock, stock, and barrel

250. 乞求(Qǐqiú) v.begging


Mei and Hai sat down to dinner. Hai had caught a bushel of oysters that day, and Mei cooked them in a pot of sea water, flavoring the succulent meat with sea salt. Mei watched as Hai’s chopsticks lifted a mouthful of rice. He said nothing as he ate, his eyes fixed on the bowl before him.

这天晚上,小妹和海一同坐下用餐。那天下午海正好捉到了一堆牡蛎,小妹把牡蛎放在水里慢慢炖,再加上海盐,就成了一道美味。海用筷子夹起几粒米饭,默默地吃着,一双眼睛直直地盯着面前的饭碗。

Sensing Mei’s gaze, Hai paused and met her eyes with his own. "Hai", she began, voice softened with hesitation.  "You hear what the villagers say..." Hai colored slightly but kept silent.  "Have you nothing to ask me?"

 感觉到小妹在看着自己,海抬起了头,有些迟疑地注视着小妹。“海”,她开口道。“你也听到村里人的议论了吧?难道你就没有什么话要问我的吗?”海听罢,脸唰一下红了,却依旧不说话。

Mei's fingers played nervously with the bangles around her wrist. Hai seemed to be gathering his thoughts. Finally, he spoke – his words forming a single question.  

小妹见状,有些紧张地开始摆弄着手上的镯子。海似乎是在整理思绪。最后,他发话了,只是简单的一个问句:

 

"Mei. Are you happy?"

小妹,你快乐吗?

 

Surprise flickered across Mei's face. She had expected him to ask –  perhaps about her bracelet, perhaps about her past.  Yet this – she had not expected this.  

一丝惊异的神情划过小妹的脸庞。她以为海会问她镯子的事,或者试图了解她的过往。她真的没有想到他会问这个问题。

  

Mei reached for Hai’s hand.  Her bracelets clinked.  His fingers lay motionless beneath hers.  Two hands – one small, one large. One darkened by sun and calloused by sea; the other slender and light.  

小妹伸手握住海的双手,她的镯子发出了叮叮叮的声响。她感觉到海的双手一动不动,任她握着—两只手,一只

小巧纤细,一只粗糙宽厚。

 

Hai stared at their hands, mistaking Mei’s silence for denial.

海愣愣地盯着他们交握的双手,把小妹的沉默当成了无声的拒绝。

 

"Perhaps I ama fool to keep you here, if – in your heart –  you do not wish to stay." Hai rushed on, words tumbling out before Mei could respond. "I am but a fisherman - and a poor one at that.  A fisherman I will always be.  If it is me you choose, then I... am the happiest boy you will meet. But… can you ever be truly happy with a poor fisherman like me?”

“是我不好,我不该让你留在我这,我是说,如果你本身不愿意的话。”海急匆匆地说道。他说的太过急促,不等小妹回答,一串串话语就争先恐后地从他的嘴里滚落出来。“你也知道,我只是一个普普通通的渔夫,而且一辈子都会是这样。如果你选择和我在一起,我肯定是这世界上最幸福的小伙子。可是,你和我这样的一个清贫的渔夫在一起,真的会幸福吗?”

 

"Of course Hai, of course!"

“当然了,海,我当然会幸福!”

 

Mei cried happily, relief pouring like sunshine into her heart. Hai would accept her. She just knew he would. She opened her mouth to speak, but it was Hai who spoke first. 

小妹开心地叫道,她感到一阵欣慰像阳光一样照进了她的心。海愿意接受她,她就知道他一定会的。小妹张开嘴想要再说什么,但是海先说话了。

 

"If you don’t need wealth to be happy,” Hai said, searching Mei’s eyes with his own, “can you show me? Those bracelets you wear – could you give them up? Leave them to the sea and wear them no more… if I am truly enough for you.” Hai felt his face grow hot, the tips of his ears burning bright.  His heart pounded with hope… and with fear.

“如果你真的不在乎钱,那你可以证明给我看吗?”海看着小妹的眼睛,认真地说道。“这些镯子。。你可以放弃他们吗?把他们放进大海里,不要再戴了。你有我就足够了。”说着说着,海感觉自己的脸颊烧了起来,耳尖也变得滚烫滚烫的。他的心不安地砰砰跳动着,既害怕又紧张。

 

The sunshine which had flooded Mei's chest blotted out.  Storm clouds gathered in the skies outside.  

小妹听罢,心瞬间凉了半截。窗外,乌云渐渐聚集了起来,覆盖了原本晴朗的天空。

  

"I..." Mei faltered, heart sinking.

“我。。。”小妹支吾着,一句完整的话也说不出来。

 

Hai saw Mei’s hesitation, and doubt blanketed his own heart. From his pocket, he took two copper coins – the very same coins he had shown to Mei many moons ago. Hai placed them on the table. The coins clinked dully against the wood.  

海察觉到了小妹的迟疑,顿时一颗心也被疑惑和猜忌填满。他从口袋里掏出两枚铜币—和他曾经在海滩上给小妹看的那两个一模一样。他把硬币拍在桌子上,铜制的材料碰到木桌子,发出了沉沉的闷响。

 

"Metal symbols and shining stones - these I cannot give you.  You want – you deserve – more. One day, you’ll no longer wish to stay. And if you are to leave, I’d rather it be today.” 

“铜钱和珠宝,这些我的确没法给你。你需要—你值得拥有更好的东西。我害怕的是,总有一天你会离开我。如果你真的想走,我宁愿你现在就走。”

 

Words spoken, Hai rose to his feet and turned toward the door. His hands were clenched, his nails digging into his palm. The pain barely registered compared to the sharp ache in his heart. He was giving Mei her freedom. It was time for him to walk away – no matter how much it hurt. 

说罢,海起身走到了门口。他的手掌全程都紧握成拳,指甲陷进肉里,刺得生疼。但他的心更疼。他给小妹自由,却要真正失去她。但是他别无选择,为了让小妹幸福,他必须离开,不管这样的选择有多痛、多难。

Stinging heat swept up from Mei’s chest and into her cheeks. Hot tears gathered behind her eyes. Desperate, she called for Hai to wait – to listen to her, please.

小妹见状,整颗心都绞在一起,热热的泪水盈满她的眼眶,昭示着她的痛苦。她出声央求,求海等一等,等我把话说完,等我跟你解释—

 

Mei spoke to him, her words tangling and tripping over themselves, of her palace of coral and jade. She spoke of her seven sisters – and their warnings. She begged him to remember the rose-colored carp he had once saved, the one he had once told her about. Gazing imploringly into Hai’s eyes, Mei cried. “Hai, that was me.Please!

她把一切都一股脑地告诉了海。她的身世、东海海底的珊瑚宫殿、她姐姐告诫过她的话、还有那只他曾经救过的粉色的鲤鱼。小妹用充满乞求的眼神望着海的眼睛,大声说道:“那只鲤鱼,就是我啊!”

 

Please believe!

“请你相信我!”


Story Video (with bonus drawing process! )

coming soon