小鬼和太太的童话故事

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小鬼和太太的简介

园丁的太太非常有学问,能背许多诗,也能写诗。厨房里的小鬼因为气恨太太完全没有顾及它的存在而故意捣蛋。可是当小鬼听到太太与小男孩的对话时提到了一本叫《小鬼集》的诗集,诗中赞美了小鬼,这里小鬼立即改变了对太太的忌恨,反而尊敬起太太了,不再做捣蛋的事了。其实《小鬼集》中的小鬼并非指厨房中的小鬼。

小鬼和太太的故事

你认识小鬼,但是你认识太太——园丁的老婆吗?她很有学问,能背诵许多诗篇,还能提笔就写出诗来呢。只有韵脚——她把它叫做“顺口字”——使她感到有点麻烦。她有写作的天才和讲话的天才。她可以当一个牧师,最低限度当一个牧师的太太。

“穿上了星期日服装的大地是美丽的!”她说。于是她把这个意思写成文字和“顺口字”,最后就编成一首又美又长的诗。

专门学校的学生吉塞路普先生——他的名字跟这个故事没有什么关系——是她的外甥;他今天来拜访园丁。他听到这位太太的诗,说这对他很有益,非常有益。

“舅妈,你有才气!”他说。

“胡说八道!”园丁说。“请你不要把这种思想灌进她的脑袋里去吧。一个女人应该是一个实际的人,一个老老实实的人,好好地看着饭锅,免得把稀饭烧出焦味来。”

“我可以用一块木炭把稀饭里的焦味去掉呀!”太太说。

“至少你身上的焦味,我只须用轻轻的一吻就可以去掉。别人以为你的心里只想着白菜和马铃薯,事实上你还喜欢花!”于是她吻了他一下。“花就是才气呀!”她说。

“请你还是看着饭锅吧!”他说。接着他就走进花园里去了,因为花园就是他的饭锅,他得照料它。

学生跟太太坐下来,跟太太讨论问题。他对“大地是美丽的”这个可爱的词句大发了一通议论,因为这是他的习惯。

“大地是美丽的;人们说:征服它吧!于是我们就成了它的统治者。有的人用精神来统治它,有的人用身体来统治它。有的人来到这个世界上像一个惊叹号,有的人来到这个世界上像一个破折号,这使我不禁要问:他来做什么呢?这个人成为主教,那个人成为穷学生,但是一切都是安排得很聪明的。大地是美丽的,而且老是穿着节日的服装!舅妈,这件事本身就是一首充满了感情和地理知识的、发人深省的诗。”

“吉塞路普先生,你有才气!”太太说,“很大的才气!我一点也不说假话。一个人跟你谈过一席话以后,立刻就能完全了解自己。”

他们就这样谈下去,觉得彼此趣味非常相投。不过厨房里也有一个人在谈话,这人就是那个穿灰衣服、戴一顶红帽子的小鬼。你知道他吧!小鬼坐在厨房里,是一个看饭锅的人。他一人在自言自语,但是除了一只大黑猫——太太把他叫做“奶酪贼”——以外,谁也不理他。

小鬼很生她的气,因为他知道她不相信他的存在。她当然没有看见过他,不过她既然这样有学问,就应该知道他是存在的,同时也应该对他略微表示一点关心才对。她从来没有想到过,在圣诞节的晚上应该给他一汤匙稀饭吃。这点儿稀饭,他的祖先总是得到的,而且给的人总是一些没有学问的太太,而且稀饭里还有黄油和奶酪呢①。猫儿听到这话时,口涎都流到胡子上去了。

“她说我的存在不过是一个概念!”小鬼说,“这可是超出我的一切概念以外的一个想法。她简直是否定我!我以前听到她说过这样的话,刚才又听到她说了这样的话。她跟那个学生——那个小牛皮大王——坐在一起胡说八道。我对老头子说:‘当心稀饭锅啦!’她却一点也不放在心上。现在我可要让它熬焦了!”

于是小鬼就吹起火来。火马上就燎起来了。“隆——隆——隆!”这是粥在熬焦的声音。

“现在我要在老头子的袜子上打些洞了!”小鬼说。“我要在他的脚后跟和前趾上弄出洞来,好叫她在不写诗的时候有点什么东西补补缝缝。诗太太,请你补补老头子的袜子吧!”

猫儿这时打了一个喷嚏。它伤风了,虽然它老是穿着皮衣服。

“我打开了厨房门,”小鬼说,“因为里面正熬着奶油——比浆糊还要稠的奶油。假如你不想舔几口的话,我可是要舔的!”

“如果将来由我来挨骂和挨打,”猫儿说,“我当然是要舔它几口的!”

“先舔后挨吧!”小鬼说。“不过现在我得到那个学生的房间里去,把他的吊带挂在镜子上,把他的袜子放进水罐里,好叫他相信他喝的混合酒太烈,他的脑袋在发昏。昨天晚上我坐在狗屋旁边的柴堆上,跟看家狗开了一个大玩笑:我把我的腿悬在它头上摆来摆去。不管它跳得怎样高,它总是够不到。这把它惹得火起来了,又叫又号,可是我只摇摆着双腿。闹声可真大啦。学生被吵醒了,起来三次朝外面望,可是他虽然戴上了眼镜,却看不见我。他这个人老是戴着眼镜睡觉。”

“太太进来的时候,请你喵一声吧!”猫儿说。“我的耳朵不大灵,因为我今天身体不舒服。”

“你正在害舔病!”小鬼说。“一舔就好了!把你的病舔掉吧!但是你得把胡子弄于净,不要让奶油留在上面!我现在要去听了。”

小鬼站在门旁边,门是半掩着的。房间里除了太太和学生以外,什么人也没有。他们正在讨论学生高雅地称为“家庭中超乎锅儿罐儿之上的一个问题——才气的问题”。

“吉塞路普先生,”太太说,“现在我要给你一件有关这一类的东西看。这件东西我从来没有给世界上的任何人看过——当然更没有给一个男人看过。这就是我所写的几首小诗——不过有几首也很长。我把它们叫做‘一个淑女②的叮当集’!我这个人非常喜欢古雅的丹麦字。”

“是的,我们应该坚持用古字!”学生说。“我们应该把德文字从我们的语言中清除出去。”

“我就是这样办的!”太太说。“你从来没有听到我用这Kleiner或者Butterdeig③这样的字,我总是说Fedtkager和Bladdeig④。”

于是她从抽屉里取出一个本子;它的封面是淡绿色的,上面还有两摊墨渍。“这集子里有浓厚的真实感情!”她说。“我的感情带有极强烈的感伤成分。这几首是《深夜的叹息》,《我的晚霞》。还有《当我得到克伦门生——我的丈夫的时候》——你可以把这首诗跳过去,虽然里面有思想,也有感情。《主妇的责任》是最好的一首——像其他的一样,都很感伤:这正是我的优点。只有一首是幽默的。它里面有些活泼的思想——一个人有时也不免是这样。这是——请你不要笑我!——这是关于‘做一个女诗人’这个问题的思想。只有我自己和我的抽屉知道这个思想,但现在你,吉塞路普先生,也知道了。我喜欢诗:它迷住我,它跟我开玩笑,它给我忠告,它统治着我。我用《小鬼集》这个书名来说明这种情况。你知道,古时农民有一种迷信,认为屋子里老是有一个小鬼在弄玄虚。我想象我自己就是一个屋子,我身体里面的诗和感情就是小鬼——这个小鬼主宰着我。我在《小鬼集》里就歌唱他的威力。不过请你用手和嘴答应我:你永远不能把这个秘密告诉我的丈夫和任何其他的人。请你念吧,这样我就可以知道你是不是能看清我写的字。”

学生念着,太太听着,小鬼也在听着。你要知道,小鬼是在偷听,而且他到来的时候,恰恰《小鬼集》这个书名正在被念出来。

“这跟我有关!”他说。“她能写些关于我的什么事情呢?我要捏她,我要捏她的鸡蛋,我要捏她的小鸡,我要把她的肥犊身上的膘弄掉。你看我怎样对付这女人吧!”

他努起嘴巴,竖起耳朵,静静地听。不过当他听到小鬼是怎样光荣和有威力、小鬼是怎样统治着太太时(你要知道,她的意思是指诗,但是小鬼只是从字面上理解),他的脸上就渐渐露出笑容,眼睛里射出快乐的光彩。他的嘴角上表现出一种优越感,他抬起脚跟,踮着脚尖站着,比原先足足增长了一寸高。一切关于这个小鬼的描写,使他感到非常高兴。

“太太有才气,也有很高的教养!我真是对她不起!她把我放进她的《叮当集》里,而这集子将会印出来,被人阅读!现在我可不能让猫儿吃她的奶油了,我要留给自己吃。一个人总比两个人吃得少些——这无论如何是一种节约。我要介绍、尊敬和恭维太太!”

“这个小鬼!他才算得是一个人呢!”老猫儿说。“太太只须温柔地喵一下——喵一下关于他的事情,他就马上改变态度。太太真是狡猾!”

不过这倒不是因为太太狡猾,而是因为小鬼是一个“人”的缘故。

如果你不懂这个故事,你可以去问问别人;但是请你不要问小鬼,也不要问太太。

①请参看《小鬼和小商人》。

②原文是Danneqvinde。这是一个古丹麦字。

③这都是从德文转借过来的丹麦字。

④这是地道的丹麦字,意思是“油糕”和“黄油面团”。

英文版:The Goblin and the Woman

YOU have all heard of the Nis, but have you ever heard of the Dame,—the Gardener’s Dame? She had plenty of reading; knew verses by heart; aye, and could write them herself with ease; except that the rhymes, “clinchings,” as she called them, cost her a little trouble. She had gifts of writing, and gifts of speech; she could well have been priest, or, at all events, the priest’s wife.

“The earth is beauteous in her Sunday gown,” said she, and this thought she had set in regular form and “clinching;” set it up in a ditty, that was ever so fine and long.

The Under-schoolmaster, Mr. Kisserup (not that it matters about his name), was a cousin of hers, and on a visit at the Gardener’s; he heard the Dame’s poem, and it did him good, he said—a world of good. “You have soul, ma’am” said he.

“Fiddle-de-dee!” said the Gardener. “Don’t be putting such stuff in her head. Soul indeed! a wife should be a body, a plain, decent body, and watch the pot to see that the porridge is not burnt.”

“The burnt taste I can take out of the porridge with a little charcoal,” said the Dame, “and out of you with a little kiss. One might fancy you thought of nothing but greens and potatoes; and yet you love the flowers;” and so saying, she kissed him. “Flowers are all soul!” said she.

“Mind your porridge-pot,” said he, and went off into the garden. This was his porridge-pot, and this he minded.

But the Under-schoolmaster sat in the Dame’s parlor, and talked with the Dame. Her fine words, “Earth is beauteous,” he made the text of a whole sermon, after his own fashion.

“Earth is beauteous, make it subject unto you! was said, and we became the lords. Some rule it with the mind, others with the body. This man is sent into the world like an incorporate note of admiration! that man like a dash of hesitation: We pause, and ask, Why is he here? One of us becomes a bishop; another only a poor under-master; but all is for the best. Earth is beauteous, and always in her Sunday gown! That was a thought-stirring poem, ma’am full of feeling and cosmography!”

“You have soul, Mr. Kisserup,” said the Dame, “a great deal of soul, I assure you. One gains clearness of perception by talking with you.”

And so they went on in the same strain, as grand and, excellent as ever. But out in the kitchen there was somebody else talking; and that was the Nis, the little gray-jacketed Nis with his red cap—you know him. The Nis sat in the kitchen, playing the pot-watcher. He talked, but nobody heard him except the great black tom-cat,“Cream-thief,” as the Dame called him.

The Nis was snarling at her, because she did not believe in his existence, he found: true, she had never seen him; but still, with all her reading, she ought to have known he did exist, and have shown him some little attention. She never thought, on Christmas Eve, of setting so much as a spoonful of porridge for him; though all his forefathers had got this, and from dames, too, who had had no reading at all: their porridge used to be swimming with cream and butter. It made the cat’s mouth water to hear of it.

“She calls me an idea!” said the Nis: “that’s quite beyond the reach of my ideas. In fact, she denies me. I’ve caught her saying so before, and again just now, yonder, where she sits droning to that boy-whipper, that understrapper. I say with Daddy, ‘Mind your porridge-pot.’ That she doesn’t do: so now for making it boil over.”

And the Nis puffed at the fire till it burned and blazed. “Hubble—bubble—hish!” the pot boiled over.

“And now for picking holes in Daddy’s sock,” said the Nis. “I’ll unravel a long piece, from toe to heel; so there’ll be something to darn when she’s not too busy poetizing, Dame poetess, please darn Daddy’s stockings.”

The Cat sniggered and sneezed; he had caught cold somehow, though he always went in furs.

“I’ve unlatched the larder-door,” said the Nis. “There’s clotted cream there as thick as gruel. If you won’t have a lick, I will.”

“If I am to get all the blame and beating,” said the Cat, “I’ll have my share of the cream.”

“A sweet lick is worth a kick!” said the Nis. “But now I’ll be off to the Schoolmaster’s room, hang his braces on the looking-glass, put his socks in the water-jug, and make him believe that the punch has set his brain spinning. Last night: I sat on the woodstack by the kennel. I dearly love to bully the watch-dog; so I swung my legs about in front of him. His chain was so short he could not reach them, however high he sprang: he was furious, and went on bark-barking, and I went on dingle-dangling; that was rare sport! Schoolmaster awoke, and jumped up, and looked out three times; but he couldn’t see me, though he had got barnacles on; he sleeps in his barnacles.”

“Say mew, if Dame is coming,” said the Cat; “I am hard of bearing: I feel sick to-day.”

“You have the licking sickness,” said the Nis; “lick away; lick the sickness away. Only be sure to wipe your beard, that the cream mayn’t hang on it. Now I’ll go for a bit of eavesdropping.”

And the Nis stood behind the door, and the door stood ajar. There was no one in the parlor except the Dame and the Under-master. They were talking about things which—as the Schoolmaster finely observed—ought in every household to rank far above pots and pans—the Gifts of the Soul.

“Mr. Kisserup,” said the Dame, “I will now show you something in that line, which I have never yet shown to any living creature—least of all to a man—my smaller poems -some of which, however, are rather long. I have called them ‘clinchings by a Gentlewoman.’ I cling to those old designations.”

“And so one ought,” said the Schoolmaster; “one ought root the German out of our language.”

“I do my best toward it,” said the Dame. “You will never hear me speak of Butterdeig or Kleiner; no, I call them past-leaves and fatty-cakes.”

And she took out of her drawer a writing-book, in a bright green binding, with two blotches of ink on it.

“There is much in the book that is earnest,” said she: “my mind inclines toward the sorrowful. Here now is my ‘Midnight Sigh,’ my ‘Evening Red,’ and here ‘When I was wedded to Klemmensen’—my husband, you know; you may pass that over, though it has thought and feeling. ‘The Housewife’s Duties’ is the best piece—sorrowful, like all the rest; I am strongest in that style. Only one single piece is jocular: it contains some lively thoughts—one must indulge in them now and then—thoughts about—don’t laugh at me—about being a poetess! It has hitherto been all between me and my drawer; and now you make the third of us, Mr. Kisserup. Poetry is my ruling passion; it haunts and worries me—it reigns over me. This I have expressed in my title ‘The Little Nis.’ You know the old cottage tales about the Nis, who is always playing pranks in the house. I have depicted myself as the house, and my poetical feelings as the Nis, the spirit that possesses me. His power and strength I have sung in ‘The Little Nis;’ but you must pledge me with hands and mouth never to reveal my secret, either to my husband or any one else. Read it aloud, so that I may hear whether you understand the composition.”

And the Schoolmaster read, and the Dame listened, and so did the little Nis. He was eavesdropping, you know; and he came up just in time to hear the title of “The Little Nis.”

“Ho! ho!” said he; “that’s my name! what has she been writing about me? O, I’ll give her tit for tat; chip her eggs, nip her chickens, hunt the fat off her fatted calf: fie upon such a Dame!”

And he listened with pursed-up lips and pricked-up ears but as he heard of the Nis’s power and glory, and his lordship over the Dame (it was poetry, you know, she meant, but the Nis took the name literally), the little fellow began smiling more and more; his eyes glistened with pleasure; then came lines of dignity in the corners of his mouth; he drew up his heels, and stood on his toes an inch or two higher than usual; he was delighted with what was said about the little Nis.

“I have done her wrong! She is a Dame of soul and high breeding! She has put me into her ‘Clinchings,’ and they will be printed and read! No more cream for Master Cat: I shall let nobody touch it but myself. One drinks less than two, so that will be a saving: and that I shall carry out, and pay respect and honor to our Dame.”

“Ah, he’s a man all over, that Nis,” said the old Cat. “Only one soft mew from the Dame, a mew about himself, and he changes his mind in a jiffy! And that Dame of ours, isn’t she sly!”

But the Dame was not sly; it was all because the Nis was a man.

If you cannot understand this story, ask somebody to help you; but do not ask the Nis—no, nor yet the Dame.

文章来源:安徒生童话

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