您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 观点 >> 正文

一只狗的真心

更新时间:2017-12-28 20:15:57 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Inside of a Dog
一只狗的真心

I took her picture last year, one sparkling autumn day, as she stood on our dirt road waiting for me. There was a bright red maple leaf on the ground.

去年我给她照了张相,那是个明媚的秋天,她站在我们那条泥巴路上等着我。地上有一片亮红色枫叶。

This fall, I held that photo in my hands as the tears rolled down. Eva Cassidy was singing on the radio: “But I miss you most of all, my darling, when autumn leaves start to fall.”

今年的秋天,我拿着她的相片却止不住眼泪。伊娃·卡斯蒂(Eva Cassidy)在收音机里唱:“但我最想念你的时候啊,我亲爱的,是秋天的叶子开始落下的时候。”

This is the season when columnists write stories about lives that came to an end during the year and remember small acts of grace — those gifts that cannot be asked for, only received. Here’s mine.

这是专栏作家们写作一年之中消逝的生命故事的时候,是回忆起所有细小恩惠的时节——这些恩赐恳求不来,只能被给予。下面便是我的故事。

My sons were 12 and 10 in 2006, and our family had been through a wrenching couple of years. And yet, we’d emerged on the other side of those days still together, the four of us plus Ranger, the black lab. Our lives revolved around that dog, and one another. But we worried that Ranger felt puny when we weren’t around. Sometimes we arrived back at the house to hear him howling piteously. It was heartbreaking, his loneliness.

2006年,我的儿子一个12岁,一个10岁,我们一家刚刚经历了比较痛苦的几年。但我们仍然一起熬过了那段时光,我们四个,还有那只黑色的拉布拉多犬兰杰(Ranger)。我们的生活绕着兰杰转,绕着彼此转。但当我们不在家时,我们担心兰杰会觉得自己很可怜。有时,在我们回家时会听到他的哀嚎。太令人心碎了,他的孤独。

Then, someone emailed us about this dog named Indigo. She’d had puppies a few months before, and now she needed a home. Were the Boylans interested?

后来,有人写信告诉我们有一只叫因迪戈(Indigo)的狗。几个月前她刚生下几只小狗,现在她需要一个家。你们博伊兰家有兴趣吗?

The Boylans were. And so Indigo joined us, as Ranger’s wing-dog. When she first stepped through the door, her underbelly still showed the recent signs of the litter she’d delivered. Between the wise, droopy face and the swinging dog teats, she was a sight to behold.

博伊兰家有兴趣。于是因迪戈以兰杰的“僚狗”身份加入了我们。刚刚进家门时,她的腹部最近生产过幼崽的痕迹依然可见。她那透着机灵的脸耷拉着,再加上晃晃悠悠的乳头,样子很不寻常。

She had a nose for trouble. On one occasion, I came home to find that she’d eaten a five-pound bag of flour. She was covered in white powder, and flour pawprints were everywhere. I asked the dog what had happened, and Indy just looked at me with a glance that said, “I cannot imagine what you are referring to.”

她总能嗅到麻烦。有一次,我到家发现她吃掉了一袋五磅重的面粉。她浑身都是白色的粉末,四处都有面粉爪印。可当我问她发生了什么,因迪戈只是望着我,眼神好像在说,“我想不出来你指的是什么。”

Time passed. Our boys grew up and went off to college. I left my job at Colby College in Maine and joined the faculty at Barnard College in New York. My mother died at age 94. The mirror, which had reflected a young mom when Indigo first barged through the door, now showed a woman in late middle age. I had surgery for cataracts. I began to lose my hearing. We all turned gray: me, my spouse, the dogs.

时光流逝。男孩们长大了,去上大学了。我不再在缅因州的科尔比学院(Colby College)工作,而是去了纽约巴纳德学院(Barnard College)。我的母亲在94岁时去世。而那面在因迪戈第一次冲进家门时映出了一个年轻母亲的镜子,现在只映出一个走进了中年尾声的女人。我做了白内障手术,听力也开始衰退。我们都长出了银发:我、我的另一半和狗狗们。

This summer, I took Indigo for one last walk. She was slow and unsteady on her paws. She looked up at me mournfully. “You did say you’d take care of me, when the time came,” her eyes said. “You promised.”

今年夏天,我带着因迪戈最后散了一次步。她走得很慢,脚下很不稳。她悲伤地抬起头看着我。“你说要是时候到了,你会好好照料我,”她的眼睛在说。“你答应过。”

She died on an August afternoon, a tennis ball at her side.

她在八月的一个下午去世,身旁是一个网球。

Sometimes, this autumn, I’d find myself looking for her, as if she might be sleeping in one of my children’s empty bedrooms. But she wasn’t there.

今年秋天,我发现自己会时不时地去找她,好像她正在孩子们的哪间空卧房里睡觉。但她不在。

When you lose a dog, you not only lose the animal that has been your friend, you also lose a connection to the person you have been. For a dozen years, Indigo had been a constant, part of the glue that held us together. Now she was gone.

当你失去了一只狗,你失去的不只是一个曾经的动物朋友,你也失去了与过往的自己的联系。十二年来,因迪戈都一直是把我们聚在一起的胶水的一部分。现在她走了。

Then one day I got a call from the place where we board our dogs when we are out of town, a “bed ’n’ biscuit” called Willow Run. One of their customers was dying of cancer. Her dog, Chloe, was a black lab, and she needed a home. We rolled our eyes. They had to be kidding. We were in mourning, and we were pretty sure we didn’t want another big dog, especially an older one, and we were just too banged up. We told them we were sorry, but no.

然后,有天我接到了一个名叫Willow Run的食宿旅馆打来的电话,那是我们平时外出时托养狗的地方。他们的一位顾客身患癌症即将去世,她的狗克洛依(Chloe)是一只黑色拉布拉多犬,需要一个家。我们翻了个白眼。他们是在开玩笑吧。我们正处在哀悼期,也十分确定我们不想再要一只大狗了,尤其是一只年纪更大的狗,我们是实在太伤心了。我们和他们说了抱歉,无能为力。

Then, one weekend when I picked up Ranger after an overnight at Willow Run, I met Chloe. Her face was soft. I asked, maybe I could just take her home for a day? You know how this story ends.

后来在一个周末,我在去Willow Run接留宿了一夜的兰杰时见到了克洛依。她有一张柔和的脸庞。我问,是否有可能只把她领回家一天?你也能猜到故事的结尾了。

Over three million dogs enter animal shelters in the United States annually. Many of them are strays that are returned to their owners; 1.6 million other dogs are adopted. But more than 600,000 dogs are euthanized every year because they do not have a home. People wanting to adopt a pet can contact one of the many organizations working on animal rescue: the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, AdoptAPet.com, the Humane Society.

美国每年有300多万只狗被收入动物收容所。其中很多是走失的狗,归还给了他们的主人,另有160万只狗被收养。但每年仍有60多万狗被施以安乐死,因为他们没有家。想领养宠物的人可以联系从事动物救助工作的众多组织之一,比如,美国防止虐待动物协会(American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)、AdoptAPet.com网站和人道协会(Humane Society)。

When Chloe entered our house, she was cautious and uncertain. She spent hours that first day going to every corner, sniffing things out. At the end of the day she sat down by the fireplace and gave me a look. “If you wanted,” she seemed to say, “I would stay with you.”

到我们家后,克洛依很警惕,疑心重重。第一天,她花了几个小时去每一个角落,把所有的东西都闻了个遍。那天傍晚,她在壁炉边坐下,看了我一眼。“如果你愿意的话,”她像是在说,“我会和你在一起。”

Ranger has a new wing-dog.

兰杰有了一只新“僚狗”。

I had hopes of having a conversation with Chloe’s owner, trying to learn what their history had been. I wanted to bring Chloe over to her house so that her owner could know that her dog had a good home, so that the two of them could have a proper farewell. When I finally got through, though, I learned that Chloe’s owner had died the week before.

我本希望能跟克洛依原来的主人进行一次谈话,试图了解她们过去的情况。我想把克洛依带到她家,让她的主人知道,她的狗被一个好人家收养了,她们俩还可以好好告个别。不过,等我最终得到联系方式时,得知克洛依的主人已经在一周前去世了。

It snowed that night, and I woke up in a room made mysterious by light and stillness. In the morning I sat up and found that Chloe had climbed into bed with us as we slept.

那天晚上下雪了,我半夜里醒来,发现房间因为灯光和寂静而变得很神秘。早上,我坐起来,发现克洛依在我们睡着时爬上床和我们睡到了一起。

“Well?,” she asked. I touched her soft ears in the bright, quiet room and thought about the gift of grace.

“可以吗?”她问。我在明亮、安静的房间里抚摸着她柔软的耳朵,觉得她是恩赐给我的礼物。

“If you wanted,” I said, “I would stay with you, too.”

“如果你愿意的话,”我说,“我也会和你在一起。”

“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表