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【VOA英语】儿童故事《保罗·班扬》

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发表于 2019-1-6 19:27:30 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式




Today we tell a traditional American story called a "tall tale." A tall tale is a story about a person who is larger than life. The descriptions in the story are exaggerated – much greater than in real life. This makes the story funny. Long ago, the people who settled in undeveloped areas in America first told tall tales. After a hard day's work, people gathered to tell each other funny stories. Each group of workers had its own tall tale hero. Paul Bunyan was a hero of North America's lumberjacks, the workers who cut down trees. He was known for his strength, speed and skill. Tradition says he cleared forests from the northeastern United States to the Pacific Ocean. Some people say Paul Bunyan was the creation of storytellers from the middle western Great Lakes area of the United States. Other people say the stories about him came from French Canada. Early in the twentieth century, a writer prepared a collection of Paul Bunyan stories. They were included in a publication from the Red River Lumber Company in Minnesota. It is not known if the stories helped the company's sales, but they became extremely popular. Here is Shep O'Neal with our story about Paul Bunyan. Many years ago, Paul Bunyan was born in the northeastern American state of Maine.

His mother and father were shocked when they first saw the boy. Paul was so large at birth that five large birds had to carry him to his parents. When the boy was only a few weeks old, he weighed more than 45 kilograms. As a child, Paul was always hungry. His parents needed 10 cows to supply milk for his meals. Before long, he ate 50 eggs and 10 containers of potatoes every day. Young Paul grew so big that his parents did not know what to do with him. Once, Paul rolled over so much in his sleep that he caused an earthquake. This angered people in the town where his parents lived. So, the government told his mother and father they would have to move him somewhere else. Paul's father built a wooden cradle -- a traditional bed for a baby. His parents put the cradle in waters along the coast of Maine. However, every time Paul rolled over, huge waves covered all the coastal towns. So his parents brought their son back on land. They took him into the woods. This is where he grew up. As a boy, Paul helped his father cut down trees. Paul had the strength of many men. He also was extremely fast. He could turn off a light and then jump into his bed before the room got dark.

Maine is very cold for much of the year. One day, it started to snow. The snow covered Paul's home and a nearby forest. However, this snow was very unusual. It was blue. The blue snow kept falling until the forest was covered. Paul put on his snowshoes and went out to see the unusual sight. As he walked, Paul discovered an animal stuck in the snow. It was a baby ox. Paul decided to take the ox home with him. He put the animal near the fireplace. After the ox got warmer, his hair remained blue. Paul decided to keep the blue ox and named him Babe. Babe grew very quickly. One night, Paul left him in a small building with the other animals. The next morning, the barn was gone and so was Babe. Paul searched everywhere for the animal. He found Babe calmly eating grass in a valley, with the barn still on top of his back. Babe followed Paul and grew larger every day. Every time Paul looked, Babe seemed to grow taller. In those days, much of North America was filled with thick, green forests. Paul Bunyan could clear large wooded areas with a single stroke of his large, sharp axe. Paul taught Babe to help with his work. Babe was very useful. For example, Paul had trouble removing trees along a road that was not straight. He decided to tie one end of the road to what remained of a tree in the ground. Paul tied the other end to Babe.

Babe dug his feet in the ground and pulled with all his strength until the road became straight. In time, Paul and Babe the Blue Ox left Maine, and moved west to look for work in other forests. Along the way, Paul dug out the Great Lakes to provide drinking water for Babe. They settled in a camp near the Onion River in the state of Minnesota. Paul's camp was the largest in the country. The camp was so large that a man had to have one week's supply of food when walking from one side of the camp to the other. Paul decided to get other lumberjacks to help with the work. His work crew became known as the Seven Axemen. Each man was more than 2 meters tall and weighed more than 160 kilograms. All of the Axemen were named Elmer. That way, they all came running whenever Paul called them. The man who cooked for the group was named Sourdough Sam. He made everything -- except coffee -- from sourdough, a substance used in making sourdough bread. Every Sunday, Paul and his crew ate hot cakes. Each hot cake was so large that it took five men to eat one. Paul usually had 10 or more hot cakes, depending on how hungry he was.

The table where the men ate was so long that a server usually drove to one end of the table and stayed the night. The server drove back in the morning, with a fresh load of food. Paul needed someone to help with the camp's finances. He gave the job to a man named Johnny Inkslinger. Johnny kept records of everything, including wages and the cost of feeding Babe. He sometimes used nine containers of writing fluid a day to keep such detailed records. The camp also was home to Sport, the Reversible Dog. One of the workers accidentally cut Sport in two. The man hurried to put the dog back together, but made a mistake. He bent the animal's back the wrong way. However, that was not a problem for Sport. He learned to run on his front legs until he was tired. Then, he turned the other way and ran on his back legs. Big mosquitoes were a problem at the camp. The men attacked the insects with their axes and long sticks. Before long, the men put barriers around their living space. Then, Paul ordered them to get big bees to destroy the mosquitoes. But the bees married the mosquitoes, and the problem got worse. They began to produce young insects. One day, the insects' love of sweets caused them to attack a ship that was bringing sugar to the camp. At last, the mosquitoes and bees were defeated. They ate so much sugar they could not move.

Paul always gave Babe the Blue Ox a 35-kilogram piece of sugar when he was good. But sometimes Babe liked to play tricks. At night, Babe would make noises and hit the ground with his feet. The men at the camp would run out of the buildings where they slept, thinking it was an earthquake. When winter came, Babe had trouble finding enough food to eat. Snow covered everything. Ole the Blacksmith solved the problem. He made huge green sunglasses for Babe. When Babe wore the sunglasses, he thought the snow was grass. Before long, Babe was strong and healthy again. One year, Paul's camp was especially cold. It was so cold that the men let their facial hair grow very long. When the men spoke, their words froze in the air. Everything they said remained frozen all winter long, and did not melt until spring. Paul Bunyan and Babe left their mark on many areas. Some people say they were responsible for creating Puget Sound in the western state of Washington. Others say Paul Bunyan and Babe cleared the trees from the states of North Dakota and South Dakota. They prepared this area for farming. Babe the Blue Ox died in South Dakota. One story says he ate too many hot cakes. Paul buried his old friend there. Today, the burial place is known as the Black Hills. Whatever happened to Paul Bunyan? There are lots of stories. Some people say he was last seen in Alaska, or even the Arctic Circle. Another tradition says he still returns to Minnesota every summer. It says Paul moves in and out of the woods, so few people ever know that he is there.

参考译文

今天我们讲述一个传统的美国故事:“荒诞奇谈”。荒诞奇谈是一个关于比实际大的人的故事。故事中的描述很夸张——比现实生活要夸张得多。这使得故事十分有趣。很久以前,最初在美国尚未开垦的土地定居下来的人们讲述了这些荒诞故事。一天辛苦的劳作结束后,人们聚在一起相互讲述有趣的故事。劳作的人群中,每个群落都有一个属于自己的荒诞故事英雄。保罗•班扬就是北美伐木工人中的英雄。他因为力气大,速度快,技能好而为人们所熟知。传说他将美国东北地区到太平洋地区的树木一伐而尽。一些人说保罗•班扬这个人物是由美国五大湖地区中西部的故事讲述者创造出来的。而另一些人则说关于他的故事来自于加拿大人。20世纪初,一位作家搜集了许多关于保罗•班扬的故事。它们被纳入明尼苏达州红河木材公司的出版物中。这些故事有没有增加该公司的销售量,这并不得知,但是它们很受欢迎。下面由薛•奥尼尔为我们讲述保罗•班扬的故事吧。许多年前,保罗•班扬出生于美国东北部的缅因州。刚刚看到这个孩子时,他的母亲与父亲惊呆了。保罗出生时是如此之大,五只大鸟才能把他带到他的父母面前。当这个男孩只有几周大时,他的体重便达到了45公斤。虽然只是一个孩子,但保罗却常常感到饥饿。

他的父母需要喂养10头母牛才能为他提供饮用的牛奶。不久,他每天便要吃50个鸡蛋和10箱西红柿。小小的保罗长得这么大,他的父母不知道该怎么办。一次,保罗在睡觉时因为翻身动静太大而引发了地震。这使得他们所居住的镇上的人尤为愤怒。所以,政府告诉他的母亲与父亲,他们必须把保罗送去其他的地方。保罗的父亲建造了一个木制的摇篮——传统的婴儿床。他的父母将摇篮放入缅因州沿岸的河流中。然而,保罗每翻一次身都会引起巨大的海浪,这些海浪席卷着沿岸的城镇。所以,他父母又将他带回了陆地。他们将他带进了树林。保罗就是在这里长大的。罗保还是个孩子时就帮助他的父亲砍伐树木。保罗的力气相当于度多人的力气。他还十分快。他关掉灯后,可以在屋子变黑前迅速跳回床上。许多年来缅因州的天气都很寒冷。有一天,开始下雪了。大雪笼罩了保罗的房子以及附近的森林。然而,这场大雪非同寻常。它的颜色是蓝色的。蓝色的雪不停地下,直到覆盖了整片森林。保罗穿上他的雪地鞋,出去看这番奇特的景象。行走的过程中,保罗发现一个动物陷进了雪地里。这是一头牛宝宝。保罗决定带着他一起回家。他将这只小牛安放在火炉旁。当这只小牛开始变暖和时,他身上的毛却依然是蓝色的。保罗决定收留这头蓝色的牛,并给他起了名字,叫“巴比”。巴比长得非常快。

一天夜里,保罗将他和其他动物一起放在小屋中。第二天早上,蓄棚不见了,巴比也不见了。保罗四处寻找动物的下落。他发现了巴比,他正在溪谷旁静静地吃着草,蓄棚还在他的牛背上。巴比跟着保罗,一天比一天长大。每次保罗看巴比,都觉得他又长高了。那个时候,北美大部分地区都被覆盖着茂密葱郁的树林。保罗手持一把锋利的斧头,只需一下,就能将大树林中的树木砍尽。保罗教巴比干活,巴比是保罗的得力助手。例如,保罗在一条弯曲的路上移动树木遇到了麻烦。保罗决定把路的一头系在地上剩下的一棵树上,把另一头系在巴比身上。巴比把脚踩在地上,使劲地拉,直到路变直为止。后来,保罗和巴比离开了缅因州,去了西部的其他森林找活。一路上,保罗挖出五大湖为巴比提供水。他们在明尼苏达州阿尼河附近的一个营地安顿了下来。保罗的营地是全国最大的。营地太大了,从营地的一头走到另一头必须得带上一周的食物。保罗决定找其他伐木工来帮忙。他的同伴被称为“七斧人”。每人身高超过2米,体重超过160公斤。他们都叫埃尔默,保罗一叫他们,他们都跑过来了。为这群人做饭的人叫Sourdough Sam。除了咖啡,所有食物都是用酸面团做的,酸面团是用来做酸面包的。

每个星期天,保罗和他的同伴们吃热蛋糕。每个热蛋糕是如此之大,五个人才能吃完一个。保罗通常吃10个或更多的热蛋糕,具体根据饿的程度。他们吃饭的桌子太长了,以至于服侍者通常会开车到桌子的一头过夜。服侍者早上开车回来,带了一车新鲜的食物。保罗需要有人帮忙打理营地的财务。他把这项工作交给了一个叫约翰尼•英克斯林格的人。约翰尼把每件事都记录下来,包括工资和巴比的伙食费。有时他一天要用9个容器的墨汁来详细记录。营地也是Sport(一条叛逆的狗)的家。其中一个人不小心把Sport分成两半。那人急忙把Sport给合在一起,但是犯了个错误。他把狗的背部给接错了。然而,这对Sport来说不是问题。它学会了用前腿跑,累了,然后换个方式,用后腿跑。大蚊子是营地的一个问题。这些人用斧子和长棍击打这些虫子。不久,这些人在他们的生活区周围设置了屏障。然后,保罗命令他们找来大蜜蜂消灭蚊子。

但是蜜蜂和蚊子结婚了,问题变得更糟。他们开始生下小昆虫。一天,昆虫因为喜欢吃甜食袭击了一艘载糖到营地的船只。最后,蚊子和蜜蜂被打败了。它们吃了太多的糖,走不动了。当巴比表现好的时候,保罗总是给它一块35公斤重的糖。但有时巴比喜欢恶作剧。晚上,巴比会发出声音,用脚撞击地面。营地里的人以为是地震,跑出他们睡觉的地方。冬天来了,巴比找不到足够的食物吃。一切东西上都覆盖着白雪。铁匠奥立解决了这个问题。他给巴比做了一副巨大的绿色太阳镜。巴比戴上墨镜时以为雪是草。不久,巴比又恢复了强壮和健康。有一年,保罗的营地特别冷。天气很冷,男人们留了长胡子。这些人说话时,话语在空气中凝固了,然后冰封了整个冬天,直到春天才融化。保罗•班扬和巴比在许多地区留下了他们的印记。一些人说他们在西部华盛顿州创造了普吉特湾。其他人说,保罗•班扬和巴比清除了北达科他州和南达科塔的树木。他们整地待耕。巴比在南达科他州去世。有传言说他吃了太多热蛋糕。保罗把他的老朋友葬在那里。这个墓地在今天被称为黑山。保罗•班扬到底发生了什么?众说纷纭。有人说,保罗最后一次露面是在阿拉斯加,甚至是北极圈。还有人说,保罗每年夏天都会回到明尼苏达州,保罗在森林里进进出出,很少有人知道他在那里。



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