两个姑娘的童话故事

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所属分类:民间故事

你曾经看到过一位姑娘没有?这也就是说铺路工人所谓的一位“姑娘”。她是一种把石头打进土里去的器具。她完全是由木头做成的,下面宽,并且套着几个铁箍。她的上部窄小,有一根棍子穿进去,这就是她的双臂。

在放工具的那个屋子里就有这么两个姑娘。她们是跟铲子、卷尺和独轮车住在一起。它们之间流传着一个谣言,说姑娘不再叫做“姑娘”,而要叫做“手槌”了。在铺路工人的字眼中,这是对我们从古时起就叫做“姑娘”的东西起的一个最新、而且也是最正确的名词。

在我们人类中间有一种所谓“自由女子”,比如私立学校的校长、接生娘娘、能用一条腿站着表演的舞蹈家、时装专家、护士等。工具房里的这两位姑娘也把自己归到这类妇女的行列中去。她们是路政局的“姑娘”。她们决不放弃这个古老的好名称,而让自己被叫做“手槌”。

“‘姑娘’是人的称号,”她们说,“‘手槌’不过是一种物件。我们决不能让人叫作物件——这是一种侮辱。”

“我的未婚夫会跟我闹翻的,”跟打桩机订了婚的那个顶年轻的“姑娘”说。打桩机是一个大器具。他能把许多桩打进地里去,因此他是大规模地做“姑娘”小规模地做的工作。“他把我当做一个姑娘才和我订婚;假如我是一个‘手槌’,他是不是还愿意娶我就成了问题。因此我决不改变我的名字。”

“我呢,我宁愿我的两只手折断。”年长的那位说。

不过,独轮车却有不同的见解,而独轮车却是一个重要的人物,他觉得自己是一辆马车的四分之一,因为它是凭一只轮子走路。

“我得告诉你们,‘姑娘’这个名称是够平常的了,一点也没‘手槌’这个名称漂亮,因为有这个名字你就可以进入到‘印章’①的行列中去。请你想想官印吧,它盖上一个印,就产生法律的效力!要是我处于你们的地位,我宁愿放弃‘姑娘’这个名称。”

“不成,我不会幼稚到干这种事情!”年长的那一位说。

“你们一定没有听到过所谓‘欧洲的必需品’②这种东西吧!”诚实的老卷尺说。“一个人应该适应他的时代和环境。如果法律说‘姑娘’应该改成‘手槌’,那么你就得叫做‘手槌’。一切事情总得有一个尺度!”

“不成;如果必须改变的话,”年轻的那一位说,“我宁愿改称为‘小姐’,最低限度‘小姐’还带一点‘姑娘’的气味。”

“我宁愿给劈做柴烧。”年长的那位姑娘说。

最后他们一同去工作。那两位姑娘乘车子——因为她们被放在独轮车上。这是一种优待。不过她们仍然被叫做“手槌”。

“姑——!”当她们在铺路石上颠簸着的时候说,“姑——!”她们几乎把“姑娘”两字整个念出来了,不过她们临时中断,把后面的一个字吞下去了,因为她们觉得没有理睬的必要。她们一直把自己叫做“姑娘”,同时称赞过去的那些好日子:在那些日子里一切东西都有它们正确的名字,姑娘就叫做姑娘。她们也就成了一对老姑娘,因为那个大器具——打桩机——真的跟年轻的那位解除了婚约,他不愿意跟一个手槌有什么关系。

①手槌的工作是在地上按压;印章的工作是在纸上按压。按照工作性质,它们是同一类东西。

②“欧洲的必需品”是指“尺度”。这是作者对当时社会的一个讽刺。的当时阶级森严的欧洲,人与人之间的关系都是以地位的高下去衡量的。

英文版:Two Maidens

HAVE you ever seen a maiden? I mean what our pavers call a maiden, a thing with which they ram down the paving-stones in the roads. A maiden of this kind is made altogether of wood, broad below, and girt round with iron rings. At the top she is narrow, and has a stick passed across through her waist, and this stick forms the arms of the maiden.

In the shed stood two Maidens of this kind. They had their place among shovels, hand-carts, wheelbarrows, and measuring-tapes; and to all this company the news had come that the Maidens were no longer to be called “maidens,” but “hand-rammers,” which word was the newest and the only correct designation among the pavers for the thing we all know from the old times by the name of “the maiden.”

Now, there are among us human creatures certain individuals who are known as “emancipated women,” as, for instance, principals of institutions, dancers who stand professionally on one leg, milliners, and sick-nurses; and with this class of emancipated women the two Maidens in the shed associated themselves. They were “maidens” among the paver folk, and determined not to give up this honorable appellation, and let themselves be miscalled “rammers.”

“Maiden is a human name, but hand-rammer is a thing, and we won’t be called things—that’s insulting us.”

“My lover would be ready to give up his engagement,” said the youngest, who was betrothed to a paver’s hammer; and the hammer is the thing which drives great piles into the earth, like a machine, and therefore does on a large scale what ten maidens effect in a similar way. “He wants to marry me as a maiden, but whether he would have me were I a hand-rammer is a question, so I won’t have my name changed.”

“And I,” said the elder one, “would rather have both my arms broken off.”

But the Wheelbarrow was of a different opinion; and the Wheelbarrow was looked upon as of some consequence, for he considered himself a quarter of a coach, because he went about upon one wheel.

“I must submit to your notice,” he said, “that the name ‘maiden’ is common enough, and not nearly so refined as ‘hand-rammer,’ or ‘stamper,’ which latter has also been proposed, and through which you would be introduced into the category of seals; and only think of the great stamp of state, which impresses the royal seal that gives effect to the laws! No, in your case I would surrender my maiden name.”

“No, certainly not!” exclaimed the elder. “I am too old for that.”

“I presume you have never heard of what is called ‘European necessity?’” observed the honest Measuring Tape. “One must be able to adapt one’s self to time and circumstances, and if there is a law that the ‘maiden’ is to be called ‘hand-rammer,’ why, she must be called ‘hand-rammer,’ and no pouting will avail, for everything has its measure.”

“No; if there must be a change,” said the younger, “I should prefer to be called ‘Missy,’ for that reminds one a little of maidens.”

“But I would rather be chopped to chips,” said the elder.

At last they all went to work. The Maidens rode—that is, they were put in a wheelbarrow, and that was a distinction; but still they were called “hand-rammers.”

“Mai—!” they said, as they were bumped upon the pavement. “Mai—!” and they were very nearly pronouncing the whole word “maiden;” but they broke off short, and swallowed the last syllable; for after mature deliberation they considered it beneath their dignity to protest. But they always called each other “maiden,” and praised the good old days in which everything had been called by its right name, and those who were maidens were called maidens. And they remained as they were; for the hammer really broke off his engagement with the younger one, for nothing would suit him but he must have a maiden for his bride.

文章来源:安徒生童话

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