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(英譯中)
 
把摩麗小姐送回家
無論我怎樣看,她不是迷路之犬
張聯璋教授譯
 
我開著那輛老掉了牙的卡車,咯吱咯吱地往德克薩斯州威理斯市前進,一路上想到的無非是那頓習以為常的便點式早餐。那是一月份的一個早晨,冷氣襲人,我迫不及待地想坐下來吃一頓飽含膽固醇的香腸雞蛋漢堡包,加上一杯咖啡。
所以,當我發現路邊那條長耳朵黃毛狗時,我決不是給自己的生活尋找麻煩事兒。根據她那低垂的肚子和乳頭,可以斷定,她還在給狗仔喂奶呢。她缺少食物而兩側肋骨凸現。我放慢車速,為她的處境而納悶。她那恐懼而絕望的眼神讓我心碎。
我的卡車繼續前行時,我的良知卻與我作起對來。我養了二條狗,再來一條怎么辦?但她那一臉愁容的形象卻留在我的心中備受折磨。我幾乎顧不上吃下去了。喝第二杯咖啡時,我決定給那處境悲慘的狗媽以一臂之力。我多買了二個香腸包,回到原先撞見她的地方。我等了又等,叫了幾聲,不見動靜,于是留下一個漢堡包就開走了,反正我是打算再來的。那天下午回來時,那漢堡包不見了,但仍未見到她的蹤影。
那天晚上,我無法入眠。北風把屋子四角吹得嗖嗖作響。我眼前不時浮現出那雙哀怨的眼睛。那目光似乎提示我,本來可以把她從一個充滿苦難的世界解救出來的機會與我失之交臂了。
我非得把她找到不可。我把另一個漢堡包在微波爐上熱了一下,踏進破曉前一片灰暗和寒冷之中,銳利剌人的凍雨珠子拍打著我的雙頰。
我孤身一人站在路邊灌木叢,手里看著溫熱的漢堡包,大聲呼叫,但是我的嗓音卻被風勢吹得干干凈凈,于是轉身離開了。
接下來是一陣颯颯聲。不錯,透過那灌木叢貪貪窺視著我的正是那張悲怨而受驚的臉。我們彼此的眼睛凝視對方達數秒鐘之久。她那令人憐憫的叫聲顯示她試圖判斷我是否就是值得她信賴的人而猶豫不決的兩難境地。
我輕聲細語表示了我的心意。她趴在地上,不愿靠近。我留下了那塊漢堡包,慢慢退去。她警惕地爬過來,拍塔一聲叼了就走。
 
一天早晨,她拒食漢堡包
一邊吠號,一邊回頭張望
“讓我看看,你究竟想要我做些什么?”我喊道
 
以后兩天,我每天早晚在同一地點帶著漢堡包與她見面,以示誠意。她一次比一次靠得近了。她的雙眼隱約露出信任的光輝。然而在第三天早晨,她拒食漢堡包,凄切地吠叫起來,歪頭張望那身后的叢林!白屛铱纯,你究竟要跟我說什么呀?”我說道。接著她就消失在叢林中,回來時后面有三條黑白相間的犬仔搖搖晃晃地跟著。
她打我身邊經過,繼續向停放卡車的地方前進,后面是一窩犬仔。她停下來,抬頭望著那輛卡車悲慘地叫了起來,此時此刻即使不是火箭科學家也會明白她需要什么。我打開車門,她跳了進去。那些犬仔奮邊掙扎,但個子不夠,我幫了一把。我驅車回家,下一步怎么辦還是心中無數,但確認我正在進行的事情捫心無愧。
 
時間一天天過去,狗媽媽和她的犬仔過得歡快順暢。我們之間形成了一種信任和善意的紐帶。我明白,那怕只是出于呼喚的需要,也該給那年青的媽媽取個名字吧!暗氯,“培茜”或“奈麗”之類都不能引起她的熱情,但我叫“摩麗”時,她搖頭擺尾,我知道我對了。
摩麗和她的犬仔喜歡在我出街時坐在卡車墊子上。我會給他們帶木棍的棒糖,放在嘴中。我們不論開到何處,這一做法都讓他們興致勃勃。
與此同時,去麥當勞買早餐仍是每天要做的例行事務。一天早晨,我高高興興地吃香腸包時,不經意間瞥了布告牌一眼,一股預示不祥的陰森之氣油然而生。布告牌上有一幅酷似摩麗的照片。
“12月23號走失長耳朵黃毛狗一條,懷孕。如發現,請與金·安特生聯系,酬金300美元!蔽以陂喿x照片的文字說明時,心潮澎湃,不能自己。
那天晚上,幾次三番,拿起話筒還未撥號就放了回去。我知道該做的事是不容推諉的。如有人撿到了我失去的狗又不肯告知,我又會如何?我鼓起勇氣,撥通電話。
“是嗎?”一位男士的聲音應答說。
“我估計就是你的那條!
我們約定在威理斯市麥當勞見面。我知道那次會見心理不會好受。
 
在我一生中,人與動物之間存在如此親情,
實屬前所未見。摩麗興奮不已
 
那是約定的最后一天,我載著摩麗和她的犬仔先去市里買棒糖,然后去麥當勞。我早到了五分鐘,但很快就覺察到一輛轎車旁邊站著一男一女和兩個孩子。
當他們瞧見摩麗時,尖聲叫了起來,一邊奔跑過去。在我一生中,人與動物之間存在如此親情實屬前所未見。摩麗興奮不已,發出又悲又喜的尖叫聲,做出一些不同尋常的動作。
我禁不住要哭出聲來。在中午時分的麥當勞,讓成群用餐客人看到一個大男子哭哭啼啼實在不成體統,我自言自語說。
“一個月前,我們在此吃早餐時她走失了!蹦腥私忉尩,“我估計有人把她帶走了。到處尋找,不見蹤跡。孩子們極為悲傷。她叫柯蒂!闭f著,從口袋里掏出一大扎鈔票。
“我不要錢!蔽艺f道,“我要的是他們過得快樂!
我最后一次摸摸摩麗,不,摸摸柯蒂的腦袋。那一家人開車離開時可以看出我的感受。
我懷著沉重的心情,想進店喝杯咖啡。此時令我吃驚的是,他們的汽車又開了回來,匆忙地停在外面。女主人從車里出來,手里捧著其中我叫之為斯寶脰的犬仔!拔覀儾恢闶欠裣胧震B一只犬仔!蔽艺f道。
“好呀!”我興奮地回答說。我可以瞧見柯蒂從汽車窗口張望著,她似乎并不介意,一份信任正在我們之間成長起來——那里一件力量強大的紐帶。我注視著他們加速駛入高速公路而在遠處消失。
此時留下來的就剩我和斯寶脰倆個了。我把它放入卡車。進店給它買了個漢堡包。歸途中,我買一袋棒糖。
我永遠也忘不了摩麗,不過斯寶脰和我也同樣合得來。
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Turning Point
 
Driving Miss Molly
Whatever I was looking for, it wasn’t a lost dog
 
By PHILLIP WILLIAMS
 
Rattling towards the Texas town of Willis in my time-ravaged truck, I could think of little but my customary fastfood breakfast. It was a bitterly cold January morning, and I could hardly wait to sit down to a cholesterol-laden sausage-and-egg burger and a cup of coffee.
So I wasn’t exactly looking for complications in my life when I noticed the blond cocker spaniel at the road’s edge. I could tell by her low-hanging belly and teats that she was nursing young ones. Her ribs protruded from lack of food. I slowed, wondering about her circumstances. The fear and desperation that shone in her eyes stabbed me through.
As my truck rolled onwards, I fought with my conscience. I had two dogs. What would I do with another? But the image of that face was burned in my mind. I scarcely noticed my breakfast.
 
While drinking my second cup of coffee, I made a decision: I had to help that downcast dog. Ordering two extra sausage burgers, I returned to the spot where I’d first seen her. I waited, calling out to her several times. Nothing. Leaving a burger, I drove away, knowing I’d be back. I returned that afternoon. The burger was gone, but she never reappeared.
That night I was unable to sleep. A northerly wind blasted round the corners of the house. I kept visualising those sad eyes. Something told me I’d missed the chance to ease pain in a suffering world.
I had to find that dog. I heated the extra sausage burger in the microwave and stepped out into the insufficient light of a cold dull-grey dawn. Stinging pellets of sleet hit my face.
Alone in the roadside thickets, warm burger in hand, I called out to her. But my voice was swept away by the wind. I turned to leave.
  Then I heard a rustle. There, peeping through the bushes, was the sad, frightened face. For a few frozen seconds we looked into each other’s eyes. I held out the burger. Her pitiful whine revealed her dilemma: she was trying to decide if she could trust me.
  I spoke to her softly. She lay on her belly, reluctant to come closer. I left the burger and made a slow retreat. Crawling forward warily, she grabbed the burger with a snap of her jaw. Then she was gone.
 
One morning, the dog refused a burger, whining and looking back.
“Show me what you’re trying to tell me,” I said
 
  For the next two days, I met her at the same spot in the morning and evening with burger offerings. Gradually she came closer, a glimmer of trust shining in her eyes. But on the third morning, she refused a burger, whining, barking and looking behind her in the bushes. “Show me what you’re trying to tell me,” I said. She disappeared into the bushes and returned with three black-and-white pups waddling behind.
  She walked right past me, moving towards my truck with her brood in tow. She stopped, looked up at the vehicle and whined. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to tell what she wanted. I opened the door, and she jumped in. The pups struggled mightily but were too short, so I helped them in. I drove home, not knowing what I would do but knowing I was doing the right thing.
 
  The days passed, and the dogs thrived. A bond of trust and goodwill formed between us. I knew the young mother must have a name if I could only call it. She didn’t seem too enthusiastic about Daisy, Betsy or Nellie. When I said, “Molly,” she wagged her tail. I felt I’d found it.
  Molly and the pups liked to sit in the bed of the truck when I went to town. I’d get them suckers with wooden sticks and put them in their mouths. It caused quite a stir where ever we went.
  Meanwhile, I continued my ritual of going to McDonald’s each day for breakfast. One morning, I was happily eating my sausage burger, when I glanced at the noticeboard. A chill of apprehension coursed through my body. There was a picture of a dog that looked just like Molly.
  My heart raced as I read the caption: “Lost on December 23. One blonde cocker spaniel – pregnant. $500 reward. If found, please contact Jim Anderson. ”
  That evening, I picked up the phone several times, only to put it down again before dialling. I knew I had to do the right thing. What if someone had my dog and refused to call me? Finally I mustered my courage and made the connection.
  “Yes?” a male voice replied.
  “I think I’ve found your dog.”
  We arranged to meet at the McDonald’s in Willis. I knew the meeting would be painful.
In all my life I have never seen such affection between
humans and animals. Molly was beside herself
 
  On that last day, I loaded Molly and the pups into the truck and took them into town for suckers. Then I drove to McDonald’s. I was five minutes early. But I soon became aware of a man, a woman and two children standing beside a sedan.
  When they saw Molly, they screamed and came running. In all my life I have never seen such affection between humans and animals. Molly was beside herself, whining, barking and carrying on.
  A lump formed in my throat. It would not be right, I told myself, for the crowd of midday diners at McDonald’s to see a grown man cry.
  “She disappeared from here a month ago while we were having breakfast,” the man explained. “I think someone took her. We looked everywhere, but there was no trace of her. The kids were devastated. Her name is Goldy.” He took a thick bundle of notes from his pocket and passed them towards me.
  “I don’t want money,” I said. “All I want is for the dogs to be happy.”
  I patted Molly’s – no, Goldy’s – head one last time. The family could tell I was upset as they drove away.
  Heavy-hearted, I went inside for a cup of coffee. Then, startled, I saw their car return and hurried outside. The woman got out of the car. She was holding one of the pups – the one I called Spot. “We wondered if you’d want one of the pups,” the woman said.
  “Yes,” I said excitedly. I could see Goldy watching from the window. She didn’t seem to mind. A trust had grown between us – a powerful bond. I watched as their car accelerated onto the freeway and faded in the distance.
  Now it was just Spot and me. I put him in the truck and went inside to get him a burger. On the way home, I picked up a bag of suckers.
  I’d never get over Molly. But Spot and I would be just fine.
 
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