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Tsipporah

时间:2005-06-09 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:幽幽草   字体: [ ]
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A few weeks after my eighth birthday, my grandmother took me to visit her friend Naomi. The rooms Naomi lived in could have been called a 1)flat, I suppose, but it wasn’t a flat in a modern block. It was in a part of 2)Jerusalem where the houses were built around a central 3)courtyard, and four or five families shared the building.

In this courtyard, there were pots filled with 4)geraniums outside one door and some watermelon seeds drying on a brass1 5)tray outside another. A small sand-colored cat with 6)limp, white paws was sleeping in a patch of shade. Naomi’s rooms were on the upper story of the house. It was about three o’clock in the afternoon, all the 7)shutters were closed. Perhaps everyone who lived here was old and taking an afternoon 8)nap.

The sun pressed down on the butter-yellow flag stones of the courtyard and the walls glittered in the heat. Suddenly I heard a noise in the middle of all the silence. A 9)cooing, a 10)whirring of small wings. I turned round to look and there almost within reach of my hand was a white dove sitting on the 11)balcony 12)railing.

“How lovely!” I said to it. “You’re a lovely bird then. Where have you come from?”

The bird 13)cocked its head and looked exactly as though it were about to answer. Then it changed its mind and in a 14)blur3 of white feathers, it flew off the railing and was gone. I leaned over to look for it in the courtyard and thought I saw it just there on a step. I ran down the stairs after it. But it was nowhere to be seen. A girl of about my age was standing4 beside a pot of geraniums.

Where had she come from? She wore a white dress, which fell almost to her 15)ankles. I thought, “She must be very religious.” I knew that very 16)devout5 Jews wore old-fashioned clothes. “Have you seen a white dove?” I asked her. “It was up there a moment ago.”

The girl smiled. She said, “Sometimes I dream that I’m a dove. Do you believe in dreams?”

“I do.”

“My name is Tsipporah, which means ‘bird’, so of course I feel exactly like a bird sometimes. What do you feel like?”

I didn’t know what to say. I was thinking, “This girl is mad.”

My name is Rachel, which means “17)yew6 lamb”, but I never feel 18)wooly7 or 19)frisky8. My cousin is called Ariy which means “lion” and he’s not a bit 20)tawny9 or fierce. I said, “I just feel like myself.”

“Then you’re lucky,” said Tsiporrah. “Sometimes I think I will turn into a bird at any moment. In fact, look! It’s happening. Feathers, white feathers on my arms!”

I did look. She 21)held out her arms and cocked her head, and I blinked in the sunlight which all at once was shining straight into my eyes and dazzling me, but in the light I could see, I think I saw, though it’s hard to remember exactly, a 22)flapping, a 23)vibration10 of wings and the crrr crrr of soft dove sounds filling every space in my head. I closed my eyes and opened them again slowly. Tsipporah had disappeared.

I could see a white bird over on the other side of the courtyard and I ran towards it calling, “Tsiporrah, if it’s you, come back! Come back and tell me!”

The dove launched itself into the air and flew up and up, over the roof and away, and I followed it with my eyes until the speck11 that it was had 24)vanished into the wide pale sky.

I felt weak, dizzy with heat. I climbed slowly back to Naomi’s room, thinking. Tsiporrah must have hidden from me. She must be a child who lives in the building and likes playing tricks.

On the way home, my grandmother started telling me one of her stories. Sometimes I don’t listen properly when she starts on her tale of how this person is related to that one. But she was talking about Naomi when she was young and that was so hard to imagine that I was 25)fascinated.

“Of course,” my grandmother said. “She was never quite the same after Tsiporrah died.”

“Who,” I asked suddenly cold in the sunlight. “is Tsipporah?”

“Naomi’s twin sister. She died of 26)diphtheria when they were eight, a terrible tragedy. But Tsiporrah was strange. Naomi always said her sister could turn herself into a bird just by wishing it.”

Now, every time I see a white dove, I wonder if it’s her, Tsipporah, or perhaps some other girl who’s stretched her wings out one day, looking for the sky. CE

 

05、琦珀兰

 

我八岁的生日过后数周,祖母带我去探望她朋友诺米。我想诺米住着的房子大概算得上是公寓吧,不过不是现代式的那种公寓。它和耶路撒冷的一些房子一样,院子在当中,四、五家人合住在一块儿。

院子里的一扇门外放着装满天竺葵的几个罐子,另一扇门外摆着晾有西瓜子的铜盘。一只沙黄色、白爪的小瘸腿猫躺在一片阴影下瞌睡。诺米的房间在房子的上层。当时是下午三点钟,百叶窗都关着。这儿住的或许都是些老人,正在午休吧。

阳光照在院中土黄的旗石上,热气熏得四墙发亮。寂静中我突然听到一个声响。是咕咕声和轻轻的鼓翼声。我转过身看,一只白鸽离我近在咫尺,栖在阳台的栏杆上。

“多可爱啊!”我对它说,“你真是只可爱的鸽子。你从哪里来的呢?”

鸽子伸了伸脖子,仿佛想要回答似的。接着它又改变了主意,白羽毛的身影掠出去,它飞离栏杆不见了踪迹。我探身向前朝院子里张望着,以为它落在一阶楼梯上。我跑下楼追过去,可却难觅它的踪影。在一罐天竺葵旁,站着一个与我年龄相仿的女孩。

她是从哪来的呢?女孩身着一袭白裙,齐至足踝。我想:“她一定是虔诚的教徒。”我知道虔诚的犹太教徒是穿旧式服装的。“你看到一只白鸽了吗?”我问她,“刚才它还在这上边。”

女孩微微一笑。她说:“有时候我梦见自己就是只白鸽。你相信梦吗?”

“相信。”

“我叫琦珀兰,名字的含义是‘鸟’,所以当然时不时地我觉得自己就是鸟儿。你觉得自己像什么?”

我不知道说什么才好,我想道:“这是个疯女孩。”

我叫雷切尔,意思是“紫杉木羊羔”,可我从不觉得自己毛乎乎的,也不觉得很活蹦乱跳。我的表兄叫阿里,意思是“狮子”,可他既不是棕黄色的,性子也不暴烈。于是我说:“我只觉得像自己。”

“那你太幸运了。”琦珀兰说,“有时我想自己随时都会变成鸟了。其实,瞧啊!我在变了。羽毛,我的胳膊上长出了白色的羽毛!”

我确实看到了。她伸直了胳膊,挺起头,那一瞬阳光刺进并耀花了我的双眼,我眨了眨眼睛,可即使在白光中我也能看到—我想我是看到了,尽管细节记得不太清楚—拍打的、鼓动的羽翼,还有鸽子轻柔的咕咕声,这些充盈在我的脑海中。我闭上双眼,然后再慢慢睁开,琦珀兰却已经消失了踪影。

我看到院子的另一头有只白鸟,便跑过去喊道:“琦珀兰,如果是你的话,回来吧!回来,告诉我!”

鸽子飞起来,越飞越高,飞过屋顶,飞远了,我紧紧地盯着它,直至那个小点消失在广阔的灰暗的天空里。

热气令我虚弱而晕眩。我慢慢地走回诺米家,心里想着:琦珀兰一定是要躲着我。她一定是住在这栋楼里的一个爱捉弄人的孩子。

回家路上,祖母开始跟我讲故事。有些时候我不怎么听她的那些故事,总是关于谁和谁有什么样的关系。可她说的是诺米年轻时候的事情,难以相信的是我听入了迷。

“当然。”祖母说,“琦珀兰死后诺米就变了个人。”

阳光下我忽然感到一阵发冷:“琦珀兰是谁?”

“是诺米的孪生姐妹。八岁时她死于白喉症,那真是件悲惨的事。可琦珀兰非常奇怪。诺米总说琦珀兰可以随心所欲地变成鸟儿。”

如今我每次见到白鸽,我都会猜测那是不是琦珀兰,或者还是别的哪个女孩,在某一天向天空展开了她的双翼。CE

 

1) flat [flAp] n. 公寓,楼房的一层

2) Jerusalem [dVE5ru:sElEm] n. 耶路撒冷

3) courtyard [5kC:tja:d] n. 庭院,院子

4) geranium [dVi5reiniEm] n. 天竺葵

5) tray [trei] n. 盘,碟子

6) limp [limp] a. 瘸的

7) shutter2 [5FQtEr] n. 百叶窗

8) nap [nAp] n. 小睡,打盹

9) coo [ku:] v. 鸽子咕咕地叫

10) whir [wE:r] v. 使呼呼响

11) balcony [5bAlkEni] n. 阳台

12) railing [5reiliN] n. 栏杆

13) cock [kCk] v. 使竖起

14) a blur of 模糊不清的一片,一团

15) ankle [5ANkE] n.

16) devout [di5vaut] a. 虔诚的

17) yew [ju:] n. 紫杉,红豆杉

18) wooly [wu:li] a. 羊毛的

19) frisky [5friski] a. 活泼的

20) tawny [5tC:ni] a. 茶色的

21) hold out 伸出

22) flap [flAp] v. 拍打

23) vibration [vai5breiFEn] n. 振动

24) vanish [5vAniF] v. 消失

25) fascinated [5fAsineitid] a. 着迷的

26) diphtheria [dif5WiEriE] n. 白喉


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 brass DWbzI     
n.黄铜;黄铜器,铜管乐器
参考例句:
  • Many of the workers play in the factory's brass band.许多工人都在工厂铜管乐队中演奏。
  • Brass is formed by the fusion of copper and zinc.黄铜是通过铜和锌的熔合而成的。
2 shutter qEpy6     
n.百叶窗;(照相机)快门;关闭装置
参考例句:
  • The camera has a shutter speed of one-sixtieth of a second.这架照像机的快门速度达六十分之一秒。
  • The shutter rattled in the wind.百叶窗在风中发出嘎嘎声。
3 blur JtgzC     
n.模糊不清的事物;vt.使模糊,使看不清楚
参考例句:
  • The houses appeared as a blur in the mist.房子在薄雾中隐隐约约看不清。
  • If you move your eyes and your head,the picture will blur.如果你的眼睛或头动了,图像就会变得模糊不清。
4 standing 2hCzgo     
n.持续,地位;adj.永久的,不动的,直立的,不流动的
参考例句:
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
5 devout Qlozt     
adj.虔诚的,虔敬的,衷心的 (n.devoutness)
参考例句:
  • His devout Catholicism appeals to ordinary people.他对天主教的虔诚信仰感染了普通民众。
  • The devout man prayed daily.那位虔诚的男士每天都祈祷。
6 yew yew     
n.紫杉属树木
参考例句:
  • The leaves of yew trees are poisonous to cattle.紫杉树叶会令牛中毒。
  • All parts of the yew tree are poisonous,including the berries.紫杉的各个部分都有毒,包括浆果。
7 wooly Cfpw8     
adj.毛茸茸的;糊涂的
参考例句:
  • I like the feel of this cloth and it has a warm wooly feel.我喜欢这块布的手感,它摸上去毛茸茸的很暖和。
  • He wore a brown t-shirt with jeans and a pair of shoes,with a wooly hat covering his hair.小贝身穿一件棕色t恤,搭配牛仔裤和皮鞋,头戴一顶盖住头发的羊毛帽子。
8 frisky LfNzk     
adj.活泼的,欢闹的;n.活泼,闹着玩;adv.活泼地,闹着玩地
参考例句:
  • I felt frisky,as if I might break into a dance.我感到很欢快,似乎要跳起舞来。
  • His horse was feeling frisky,and he had to hold the reins tightly.马儿欢蹦乱跳,他不得不紧勒缰绳。
9 tawny tIBzi     
adj.茶色的,黄褐色的;n.黄褐色
参考例句:
  • Her black hair springs in fine strands across her tawny,ruddy cheek.她的一头乌发分披在健康红润的脸颊旁。
  • None of them noticed a large,tawny owl flutter past the window.他们谁也没注意到一只大的、褐色的猫头鹰飞过了窗户。
10 vibration nLDza     
n.颤动,振动;摆动
参考例句:
  • There is so much vibration on a ship that one cannot write.船上的震动大得使人无法书写。
  • The vibration of the window woke me up.窗子的震动把我惊醒了。
11 speck sFqzM     
n.微粒,小污点,小斑点
参考例句:
  • I have not a speck of interest in it.我对它没有任何兴趣。
  • The sky is clear and bright without a speck of cloud.天空晴朗,一星星云彩也没有。
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