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解密目标语言:德语                                解密辅助语言:英语
              Language to be decoded:  German             Auxiliary Language :  English  

  
         
解密文本:《胡狼和阿拉伯人》  [奥] 卡夫卡 原著          
 
 Schakale und Araber
 von  Franz Kafka

 

          Jackals and Arabs     
                                                                         by  Franz Kafka     
                                                                

           德汉对照(German & Chinese)                             德英对照(German & English)                           英汉对照(English & Chinese)


  


    We were camping in the oasis. My companions were asleep. An Arab, tall and dressed in white, went past me. He had been tending to his camels and was going to his sleeping place.

I threw myself on my back into the grass. I wanted to sleep. I couldn’t. The howling of a jackal in the distance—I sat up straight again. And what had been so far away was suddenly close by. A swarming pack of jackals around me, their eyes flashing dull gold and going out, slender bodies moving in a quick, coordinated manner, as if responding to a whip.

One of them came from behind, pushed himself under my arm, right against me, as if it needed my warmth, then stepped in front of me and spoke, almost eye to eye with me.

“I’m the oldest jackal for miles around. I’m happy I’m still able to welcome you here. I had already almost given up hope, for we’ve been waiting for you an infinitely long time. My mother waited, and her mother, and all her mothers, right back to the mother of all jackals. Believe me!”

“That surprises me,” I said, forgetting to light the pile of wood which lay ready to keep the jackals away with its smoke, “I’m very surprised to hear that. I’ve come from the high north merely by chance and am in the middle of a short trip. What do you jackals want then?”

As if encouraged by this conversation, which was perhaps too friendly, they drew their circle more closely around me, all panting and snarling.

“We know,” the oldest began, “that you come from the north. Our hope rests on that very point. In the north there is a way of understanding things which one cannot find here among the Arabs. You know, from their cool arrogance one cannot strike a spark of common sense. They kill animals to eat them, and they disregard rotting carcasses.”

“Don’t speak so loud,” I said. “There are Arabs sleeping close by.”

“You really are a stranger,” said the jackal. “Otherwise you would know that throughout the history of the world a jackal has never yet feared an Arab. Should we fear them? Is it not misfortune enough that we have been cast out among such people?”

“Maybe—that could be,” I said. “I’m not up to judging things which are so far removed from me. It seems to be a very old conflict—it’s probably in the blood and so perhaps will only end with blood.”

“You are very clever” said the old jackal, and they all panted even more quickly, their lungs breathing rapidly, although they were standing still. A bitter smell streamed out of their open jaws—at times I could tolerate it only by clenching my teeth. “You are very clever. What you said corresponds to our ancient doctrine. So we take their blood, and the quarrel is over.”

“Oh,” I said, more sharply than I intended, “they’ll defend themselves.

They’ll shoot you down in droves with their guns.”

“You do not understand us,” he said, “a characteristic of human beings which has not disappeared, not even in the high north. We are not going to kill them. The Nile would not have enough water to wash us clean. The very sight of their living bodies makes us run away immediately into cleaner air, into the desert, which, for that very reason, is our home.”

All the jackals surrounding us—and in the meantime many more had come up from a distance—lowered their heads between the front legs and cleaned them with their paws. It was as if they wanted to conceal an aversion which was so terrible, that I would have much preferred to take a big jump and escape beyond their circle.

“So what do you intend to do,” I asked. I wanted to stand up, but I couldn’t. Two young animals were holding me firmly from behind with their jaws biting my jacket and shirt. I had to remain sitting. “They are holding your train,” said the old jackal seriously, by way of explanation, “a mark of respect.” “They should let me go,” I cried out, turning back and forth between the old one and the young ones. “Of course, they will,” said the old one, “if that’s what you want. But it will take a little while, for, as is our habit, they have dug their teeth in deep and must first let their jaws open gradually. Meanwhile, listen to our request.” “Your conduct has not made me particularly receptive to it,” I said. “Don’t make us pay for our clumsiness,” he said, and now for the first time he brought the plaintive tone of his natural voice to his assistance. “We are poor animals—all we have is our teeth. For everything we want to do—good and bad—the only thing available to us is our teeth.” “So what do you want?” I asked, only slightly reassured.

“Sir,” he cried out, and all the jackals howled. To me it sounded very remotely like a melody. “Sir, you should end the quarrel which divides the world in two. Our ancestors described a man like you as the one who will do it. We must be free of the Arabs—with air we can breathe, a view of the horizon around us clear of Arabs, no cries of pain from a sheep which an Arab has knifed, and every animal should die peacefully and be left undisturbed for us to drain it empty and clean it right down to the bones. Cleanliness—that’s what we want— nothing but cleanliness.” Now they were all crying and sobbing. “How can you bear it in this world, you noble heart and sweet entrails? Dirt is their white; dirt is their black; their beards are horrible; looking at the corner of their eyes makes one spit; and if they lift their arms, hell opens up in their arm pits. And that’s why, sir, that’s why, my dear sir, with the help of your all-capable hands you must use these scissors to slit right through their throats”.

He jerked his head, and in response a jackal came up carrying on its canine tooth a small pair of sewing scissors covered with old rust.

“So finally the scissors—it’s time to stop!” cried the Arab leader of our caravan, who had crept up on us from downwind. Now he swung his gigantic whip.

The jackals all fled quickly, but still remained at some distance huddled closely together, many animals so close and stiff that it looked as if they were in a narrow pen with jack o’ lanterns flying around them.

“So, you too, sir, have seen and heard this spectacle,” said the Arab, laughing as cheerfully as the reticence of his race permitted. “So you know what the animals want,” I asked. “Of course, sir,” he said. “That’s common knowledge—as long as there are Arabs, these scissors will wander with us through the deserts until the end of days. Every European is offered them for the great work; every European is exactly the one they think qualified to do it. These animals have an absurd hope. They’re idiots, real idiots. That’s why we’re fond of them. They are our dogs, finer than the ones you have. Now, watch this. In the night a camel died. I have had it brought here.”

Four bearers came and threw the heavy carcass right in front of us. No sooner was it lying there than the jackals raised their voices. Every one of them crept forward, its body scraping the ground, as if drawn by an irresistible rope. They had forgotten the Arabs, forgotten their hatred. The presence of a powerfully stinking dead body wiped out everything and enchanted them. One of them was already hanging at the camel’s throat and with its first bite had found the artery. Like a small angry pump which—with a determination matched only by its hopelessness—seeks to put out an overpowering fire, every muscle of its body pulled and twitched in its place. Then right away all them were lying there on the corpse working in the same way, piled up like a mountain.

Then the leader cracked his sharp whip powerfully all around above them. They raised their heads, half fainting in their intoxicated state, looked at the Arab standing in front of them, started to feel the whip now hitting their muzzles, jumped away, and ran back a distance. But the camel’s blood was already lying there in pools, stinking to heaven, and the body was torn wide open in several places. They could not resist. They were there again. The leader once more raised his whip. I grabbed his arm. “Sir, you are right,” he said. “We’ll leave them to their calling. Besides, it’s time to break camp. You’ve seen them. Wonderful creatures, aren’t they? And how they hate us!”



 


         我们宿营在一块绿洲上,旅伴们都睡了。一个阿拉伯人,他高高的个子,白白的皮肤,从我身旁走过去。他刚安顿好骆驼,正向睡铺走去。
  我仰面躺在草丛中,总想睡觉,却又睡不着。远处,一只亚洲胡狼在哀嚎。我又重新坐起来。刚才还很遥远的东西,现在一下子近在眼前。一群胡狼向我涌来,它们眼睛一闪一闪地放出黯淡的金光,细长的身躯,像是在鞭子的指挥下有规律地、灵活地运动着。
  其中一只从背后挤过来钻在我的臂下,跟我紧紧地贴在一起,好像它需要我身体的热量,然后走到我面前,几乎贴着脸面对我说道:“我是这一带最老的亚洲胡狼,很幸运还能在此向你问好。我几乎已经气馁了,因为很久很久以来我们都在期盼着你,我母亲等待过你,她的母亲以及母亲的母亲以至全部亚洲胡狼的母亲都等待过你。请相信这一点。”“这使我感到吃惊。”我说,同时却忘记点燃那堆木柴,用它的烟可以吓退胡狼。“听到这些我感到十分吃惊。我来自遥远的北方这只是巧合,现在做短暂旅行。胡狼们,你们到底想要什么?”
  好像是受到我那似乎过分友好的答话的鼓舞,它们更紧地围在我身边,都短促地喘着气。
  “我们知道,”那只最老的开始说,“你来自北方,这正是我们的希望所在,那里有理解,而这在此地的阿拉伯人中间是无法觅到的。他们冷漠傲慢,毫无理解可言,这你也知道。他们戕害动物以为食,而对于腐烂的动物尸体则不屑一顾。”
  “说话声音别这么大,”我说,“阿拉伯人就睡在附近。”
  “你真是个外地人,”那亚洲胡狼说,“否则你该知道,在世界历史上还从未有过胡狼害怕阿拉伯人的事。难道要我们惧怕他们吗?我们被下逐与这样的民族为伍,这难道还不够倒霉吗?”
  “可能,有可能,”我说,“但对于与我毫不相干的事情,我不敢妄做评论。这好像是一场由来已久的争吵,它已经与双双的血液融为一体,因此,也许只有血流尽了,矛盾才能解除。”
  “你太聪明了,”那个老胡狼说。所有胡狼呼吸更加急促,尽管一动不动地站着,胸脯却起伏不断。一股苦苦的、有时只有紧咬牙关才能忍受的气味从它们张开的嘴中涌出。“你真是太聪明了,你所说的正符合我们的古训。那么,我们就喝了他们的血来结束这场争吵。”
  “哎!”我异常地惊叫道,“他们会保卫自己,他们会用他们的火枪把你们成群成群地杀死。”“你误解了我们,”它说,“看来这种人在北方高地也是有的。我们是不会杀死他们的,况且尼罗河水也不够清洗我们身上的血迹。只要看一眼他们活着的躯体我们就会跑开,跑到干净的空气里,跑到沙漠里去,那儿因此就成了我们的家。”
  这期间,从远处又跑来许多胡狼。所有的胡狼都把头低下来夹在两腿之间,用爪子擦洗着,似乎要掩藏一种厌恶的心情,这厌恶狰狞可怖,我恨不得一纵身逃出它们的包围圈。
  “那么你们想干什么?”我问道,并试图站起来,然而我不能,因为两只小胡狼在身后紧紧地咬住了我的外衣和衬衣,我只好继续坐着。“它们咬着你们的衣襟呢,这是尊敬的表示。”那老胡狼认真地解释道。“它们应该放开我!”我吼道,一会儿对着那老狼,一会儿又对着那两个小狼。“它们自然会放开的,如果你这样要求的话。但是需要稍等片刻,因为按照习俗它们咬的很深,必须慢慢地才能松开牙齿。利用这点时间,请你听听我们的请求吧。”“你们的做法并未怎么使我动心。”我说。“我们再不要这样因为行为笨拙而互相报复。”它说,第一次以其自然的声调哀求道:“我辈乃是可怜的动物,无论好事情还是坏事情,我们都只能使用这副牙齿。”“你究竟想要什么?”我问道,语气稍微缓和了一些。“先生啊,”它叫道,同时其他胡狼都嚎叫起来,远远地听起来好像一首曲子。“先生啊,你可要来结束这场使世界分裂为二的争吵啊!你正是我们祖先所描述的那位肩负这使命的人。我们一定要从阿拉伯人那里获得和平,我们一定要得到可呼吸的空气以及未受阿拉伯人玷污的环顾一切的视野,我们不要听到羊遭到阿拉伯人屠杀时的悲哀鸣叫。所有动物的死都应该是平平静静的。我们要毫无干扰地喝尽它们的血,吃尽它们的肉。我们只要纯洁无瑕,除此而外,别无所求。”——这时,所有的胡狼都抽噎地哭起来——“为什么这世界上只有你还能忍受这种事?你灵魂高贵,内脏甜美。他们的白衣服肮脏不堪,他们的黑衣服污秽至极,他们的胡须狰狞可怖,看一眼他们的眼角令人作呕,他们抬起胳膊时,腋窝里肮脏得如同地狱。因此,先生啊,因此,尊贵的先生啊,请用你万能的双手,请用你万能的双手拿这把剪刀剪断他们的喉咙吧!”随着它的头猛地一转,走过来一只胡狼,用尖牙叼着一把满是老锈的小剪刀。
  “这把剪刀终于出现了,那么事情可以结束了!”我们旅队的阿拉伯向导喊道。他迎风悄悄地摸到了我们跟前,现在正挥舞着他那巨大的鞭子。
  胡狼们顿时作鸟兽散,但在不远处又停住了。这么一大群动物紧挨着呆呆地蹲在一起,看起来像一条窄窄的栅栏,被鬼火包围着。
  “先生,你现在也耳闻目睹了这出表演,”那阿拉伯人说,他愉快地笑着,但不失其民族的矜持。“你现在知道了这些动物想要什么吗?”我问。“当然,先生,”他说,“这个妇孺皆知。只要有阿拉伯人存在,这把剪刀就会在沙漠上游曳,跟踪我们直到天边。它们会把这把剪刀交给每一个欧洲人去完成这一重大的使命,而每个欧洲人都可能是它们的合适人选。一种荒谬的企图附着于这些动物身上,它们是笨蛋,十足的笨蛋。因此,我们喜欢它们,它们是我们的爱犬,比你们的要好。看着吧,一头骆驼在夜里死了,我叫人把它弄来。”
  四个人把一具沉重的尸体抬到我们面前,扔到地上。不等它落地,胡狼们就叫了起来。每只都好像被绳索牵着一样顺从地、时断时续地爬过来。它们完全忘记了阿拉伯人的存在,忘记了仇恨,那具散发着浓浓的气味的尸体使它们着了魔,忘记了一切。一只已经抱住了死骆驼的脖子,一口就咬住了动脉血管。像一台疯狂的小水泵不顾一切而又无望地想扑灭一场大火一样,它浑身每一块肌肉都被扯动、都在抽搐。转眼间,所有的胡狼扑过去,像座小山一样压在那具尸体上,干起了同样的事情。
  这时,那向导挥起坚利的鞭子,左右开弓,用力向它们抽打过去。它们抬起头,似醉似昏,看见阿拉伯人站在面前,这才感觉到嘴被鞭子抽打的疼痛。于是后跳一步,又向后跑了一段距离。但是那骆驼的血已经流得满地都是,还蒸发着热气,躯体已被撕开了好几个大口子。它们抵挡不住这诱惑,又扑上去。那向导又举起了鞭子,这次,我抓住了他的胳臂。
  “你是对的,先生,”他说,“让它们继续它们的营生吧,而且,我们也该出发了。你已经看到它们了,奇怪的动物,不是吗?它们是多么恨我们呀!”



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