黑骏马
Black Beauty


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    1 My first home
    1 My first home
    
    The first place I can remember well was a pleasant field with a pond of clear water in it.Trees made shadows over the pond,and water plants grew at the deep end.On one side was another field,and on the other side we looked over a gate at our master's house, which stood by the roadside.At the top of our field were more tall trees,and at the bottom was a fast-running stream.
    While I was young,I lived on my mother's milk,but as soon as I was old enough to eat grass,my mother went out to work during the day and came back in the evening.
    There were six other young horses in me field,although they were older than I was.We all galloped together round the field, and had great fun.But sometimes the others would kick and bite.
    'They are young farm horses and haven't learned how to behave,'my mother told me.'You are different.Your father is well known, and your grandfather twice won the most important race at Newmarket.Your grandmother was quiet and gentle,and you have never seen me kick or bite,have you? I hope you will grow up to be gentle and a willing worker, and never bite or kick.'
    I have never forgotten my mother's advice.She was a clever and sensible old horse.Her name was Duchess,but our master often called her Pet.He was a good,kind man,and my mother loved him very much.Whenever she saw him at the gate,she trotted across.He used to pat her and say,'Well,old Pet,and how is your little Darkie?'I was a dull black colour,so he called me Darkie.He sometimes brought a piece of bread for me,or a carrot for my mother,and I think we were his favourites.
    When I was two years old,something happened which I have never forgotten.It was early spring,and there was a light mist over the trees and fields.I and the other young horses were feeding at the lower end of the field when we heard the distant cry of dogs.
    The oldest among us lifted his head to listen.'There are the hounds!'he said,and immediately raced off.The rest of us followed him to the top of the field,where we could see several fields beyond.
    My mother and another old horse were standing near.'They've found a hare,'said my mother,'and if they come this way,we shall see the hunt.'
    Soon the dogs were all racing down the field next to ours,making a loud'yo-yo-yo-yo!'sound at the top of their voices.After them came men on horses,some in green coats,and all galloping as fast as they could.Suddenly,the dogs be-came silent and ran around with their noses to the ground.
    'They've lost the smell of the hare,'said the old horse.'Perhaps it will escape.'
    But the dogs began their'yo-yo-yo-yo!'again and came at full speed towards our field.Just then a hare,wild with fear,ran towards the trees.The dogs jumped over the stream and ran across the field,followed by the huntsmen. Six or eight jumped their horses over the stream,close behind the dogs.Be-fore the hare could get away,the dogs were upon her with wild cries.
    We heard a terrible scream,and that was the end of the hare.One of the men picked her up and held her by the leg.She was covered in blood, but all the huntsmen seemed pleased.
    I was so greatly surprised that at first I did not see what was happening by the stream, but when I did look, I saw a sad sight.Two fine horses were down,one in the stream and the other on the grass. One rider, who seemed unhurt,was climb-ing out of the water,but the other lay quite still.
    'His neck is broken,'said my mother.'I can't understand why men are so fond of this sport.They quite often hurt them-selves and ruin good horses,all for one hare that they could get more easily some other way. But we are only horses, and don't know why men do these things.'
    They carried the dead rider to our master's house, and I heard afterwards that it was George Gordon, the only son of a local landowner, and a fine young man.
    A man from the village came to look at the black horse on the grass.The animal was in great pain and one of his legs was broken.The man began to feel the horse all over,then he shook his head.Someone ran to our master's house and came back with a gun.Soon after, there was a loud bang and a terrible cry,then all was still.The black horse did not move again.
    My mother was very unhappy.'I've known that horse for years,'she said.'His name was Rob Roy.He was a good brave horse.'She never went near that end of the field again.
    Not many days after,we heard the church bell and saw a long,strange black carriage,pulled by black horses.they were taking the body of young George Gordon to the churchyard to bury him.He would never ride again.I never knew what they did with Rob Roy,but it was all for one little hare.
    
    1 我的第一个家
    
    我记忆中的第一个地方是一大片美丽的田野和一个清澈的池塘。树影倒映在塘中,深水中长着水草。田野的一边连着另一片田野,从另一边越过一道门能看见主人的房子就在路边。田野高处是片高高的树林,低处是一条湍流不息的小河。
    我小时候吃妈妈的奶,等我长大了,能吃草了,妈妈就白天出去干活,晚上回来。
    在这片田野上还有另外6匹年轻的马,他们比我大。我们一起奔跑着穿过田野,非常好玩。不过有时他们会踢打撕咬起来。
    “他们是年轻的农场马,没学过怎么举手投足,”妈妈告诉我,“你是不同的。你爸爸很有名,你的祖父曾两次在纽马克特得过最重要的赛马比赛的冠军。你的祖母又安静又温和,你也没看见过我踢人或咬人,是吧?我希望你长大以后能够性情温和、工作勤劳,永远不要踢咬。”
    我从没忘记过妈妈的忠告。她是一匹聪慧、明理的老马,叫杜琪丝,不过我们主人常叫她宝贝。他是一个善良的好人,我妈妈非常爱他。每当看到他出现在门口,妈妈就快步跑过去。他常拍拍她说:“喂,老宝贝,你的小黑好吗?”我全身都是深黑色,所以他叫我小黑。有时他带给我一片面包,或是给我妈妈一根胡萝卜,我觉得我们是他的心头肉。
    我两岁的时候,发生了一件我永远无法忘掉的事。那是一个初春,树林和田野都笼罩着一层薄雾。我和其他年轻的马们在田野的低地边吃草,这时我们听到远处传来狗的叫声。
    我们中年纪最大的一个抬头听了听,说:“是猎犬!”然后他立刻跑了过去。我们也跟着他往高处跑,在那儿我们能看见远处的几片田野。
    我妈妈和另一匹老马正站在附近。“他们发现了一只野免,”妈妈说,“如果他们往这边来,我们就能看到这场狩猎。”
    很快猎犬们向我们旁边的田野冲下来,高声地狂吠着。随后人们骑着马跑来了,有的穿着绿色外衣,全都尽力飞奔。突然,狗们静了下来,边跑边用鼻子在周围的地面上嗅。
    “他们闻不着兔子的味儿了,”那匹老马说,“也许兔子能跑掉。”
    但是狗们又叫开了,并全速向我们的田野冲来。这时一只野兔向树林冲来,简直吓疯了。狗们跳过小河跑过田野,猎人们紧随其后。6或8个人策马跃过小河,紧跟在狗后面。在野兔能逃走之前,狗们已经狂野地吠着扑到了她身上。
    我们听到了一声可怕的尖叫,那只野兔就这么完了。一个人抓住她的腿把她拎了起来。兔子全身血淋淋的,但所有的猎人看上去都很高兴。
    我吃惊地看着这一幕,没顾得上看河边的情形。可是当我望过去的时候,看到的则是一幅悲惨的景象。两匹好马倒在那里,一匹在河水里,另一匹在草地上。一个骑手正从水里往外爬,看上去没受伤,但另一个却静静地躺在地上。
    “他脖子折断了,”我妈妈说。“我真不明白为什么人们如此喜爱这种游戏。他们经常伤了自己,也毁了好马,这一切就是为了一只野兔。而他们本可以很容易地以其他方式获得的。不过我们只是马,搞不懂人们为什么这样做。”
    他们把死了的骑手抬到我们主人的房子里,后来我听说那是乔治·高顿,本地农场主的独生子,一个挺不错的小伙子。
    一个人从村里出来看草地上的那匹黑马。那马痛得要命,一条腿断了。那人摸了摸马的全身,然后摇了摇头。有人跑回我们主人的房子,拿来了一枝枪。随后是一声巨响和一声可怕的长嘶,一切便都静了下来。那匹黑马一动不动了。
    我妈妈非常不高兴。“我认识那马有好几年了,”她说,“他叫罗伯·罗伊,是一匹勇敢的好马。”她从此再没靠近过那片田野。
    没过几天,我们听到了教堂的钟声,还看见一辆长长的、奇怪的黑色马车,被几匹黑马拉着。他们是在把年轻的乔治·高顿的遗体运到墓地去埋掉。他永远不能再骑马了。我不知他们对罗伯·罗伊是怎么处置的,但这一切都不过是为了一只小野兔。
    

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