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探秘苏格兰“狗自杀桥”

更新时间:2019/3/28 19:03:25 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

‘Dog Suicide Bridge’: Why Do So Many Pets Keep Leaping Into a Scottish Gorge?
探秘苏格兰“狗自杀桥”

DUMBARTON, Scotland — “I was sure she was dead,” Lottie Mackinnon said quietly.

苏格兰敦巴顿——“我以为她死定了,”洛蒂·麦金农(Lottie Mackinnon)平静地说。

Mackinnon was sitting huddled in the corner of a cafe with her two children, sipping hot chocolate as she described the day three years ago when she was walking with her Border collie, Bonnie, over the Overtoun Bridge in Dumbarton, Scotland.

麦金农和她的两个孩子挤坐在咖啡馆的一角,喝着热巧克力,描述了三年前的一天,她和她的边境牧羊犬邦妮(Bonnie)在苏格兰敦巴顿的奥弗顿桥上散步。

“Something overcame Bonnie as soon as we approached the bridge,” Mackinnon said. “At first she froze, but then she became possessed by a strange energy and ran and jumped right off the parapet.”

“我们一走近桥头,邦妮就好像被什么东西控制了,”麦金农说。“一开始她愣在那里,但后来她好像被一种奇怪的能量附体,奔跑着从栏杆上跳下去。”

A bewitched dog lured to leap off a bridge by a malevolent force? It sounds like a preposterous scene straight from an old “Twilight Zone” episode.

一条狗被邪恶力量迷惑,从桥上跳下去?听起来像是电视剧《迷离时空》(Twilignt Zone)里的荒谬场景。

But Mackinnon’s dog is one of hundreds that Scots insist have suddenly been compelled to throw themselves off the gothic stone structure since the 1950s. Many have ended up dead on the jagged rocks in the deep valley bed below.

但是苏格兰人坚持认为,自1950年代以来,数百条狗突然受到驱使,从这座哥特式石桥上跳下去,麦金农的狗也是其中之一。许多狗最后死在桥下布满崎岖岩石的山谷深处。

Residents of Dumbarton, which is northwest of Glasgow, began calling Overtoun, a century-old bridge that stretches across a 50-foot gorge, the “dog suicide bridge.”

位于格拉斯哥西北部的敦巴顿市的居民,把这条横跨50英尺峡谷上的百年老桥奥弗顿称为“狗自杀桥”。

Mackinnon, who grew up in the neighboring village of Milton, winced at the memory of scurrying down the gorge through the trees and the bushes in a desperate hunt for Bonnie. But when she approached the dog’s body, Bonnie started to whimper and eventually tried to stand up.

麦金农在附近的弥尔顿村长大,回忆当初冲下峡谷,穿过树林和灌木丛,拼命寻找邦妮的经历,她还心有余悸。但是当她走近,邦妮开始呜咽,还试图站起来。

“It was a miracle that she survived,” she said.

“她能活下来真是奇迹,”她说。

In a land rife with superstitions, myths and monsters — Scotland is the land of the Loch Ness legend, after all — the bridge has been at the center of an enduring mystery. Why do so many dogs jump?

在这片充满迷信、神话和怪兽的土地上——苏格兰毕竟是产生了尼斯湖传说的地方——这座桥成了一个经久不息的谜团的核心。为什么这么多狗会跳下去?

Local researchers estimate more than 300 have sailed off the bridge; tabloid reports say it’s 600. At least 50 dogs are said to have died.

据当地研究人员估计,已有300多条狗从桥上跳下去;小报报道说是600条。据说至少有50条狗死亡。

Some say there are rational explanations involving the terrain and the scents of mammals in the gorge that may drive the dogs into a frenzy.

一些人提供了一些理性的解释,涉及到峡谷的地形,还有峡谷中的哺乳动物的气味可能让狗陷入疯狂。

Other explanations take on a more paranormal tone.

还有一些解释则带有超自然色彩。

The bridge’s location, hushed, lush and sometimes still, fits the description of what the pagan Celts called a “thin place,” a mesmerizing spot where heaven and earth overlap.

这座桥的所在地异常宁静,绿树成荫,有时甚至让人感觉一切都静止了,完全符合凯尔特异教徒所谓的“稀薄之处”——一个令人心醉神迷的地方,天与地在这里交汇。

“People in Dumbarton are very superstitious,” said Alastair Dutton, a local taxi driver. “We grew up playing in the Overtoun grounds, and we believe in ghosts here because we’ve all seen or felt spirits up here.”

“敦巴顿的人非常迷信,”当地出租车司机阿拉斯泰尔·达顿(Alastair Dutton)说。“我们从小在奥弗顿这片地方玩耍,我们相信这儿有鬼魂,因为我们都在这里看到或感觉到幽灵。”

The leaps inspired an episode of the American TV series “The Unexplained Files.” An entire book is dedicated to exploring the phenomenon.

这些跳桥事件为美国电视剧《神秘档案》(The Unknown Files)的一集提供了灵感。还有一本书是专门探讨这个现象的。

But despite all this attention, the mystery lives on, unsolved.

但是,尽管有这么多的关注,这个谜团仍然存在,没有得到解决。

From a distance, its seems as if the ornate Victorian bridge, built in 1895, is a mere extension of the driveway of an adjoining 19th-century manor built in Dumbarton by a wealthy industrialist, James White.

从远处看,这座建于1895年维多利亚时代的华丽桥梁,似乎只是毗邻的一栋19世纪庄园的车道延伸,该庄园由富有的实业家詹姆斯·怀特(James White)在敦巴顿建造。

Closer still, one can make out the bridge’s three archways spanning a small river, the Overtoun Burn. Standing in the middle on the bridge’s blackened granite parapets, it is easy to forget the space beneath falls away into the deep gorge.

这座桥横跨小小的奥弗顿·伯恩河,再走近一点,你就能看到它的三个桥拱。站在桥的黑色花岗岩护墙之间,很容易忘记桥下就是深深的峡谷。

In the manor nearby, the current tenant, Bob Hill, said he and his wife had seen several dogs suddenly dive off the bridge since they moved into the property, now called Overtoun House, more than 17 years ago.

在附近的庄园里,目前的租户鲍勃·希尔(Bob Hill)说,自从17多年前搬进这处如今名为奥弗顿庄园(Overtoun House)的房产以来,他和妻子曾看到几只狗突然从桥上跳下去。

But Hill, a pastor from Texas who runs a local center for women in crisis, had an earthbound explanation: The smell of small animals scurrying around in the gorge below the bridge drives the dogs into a frenzy, then they break free of leashes — if they’re on any — and jump.

希尔是一个来自德克萨斯州的牧师,在当地经营一家困境妇女援助中心,他对此提供了一个很实际的解释:小型动物在桥下的峡谷疾走,散发的气味令狗疯狂,然后他们摆脱牵狗绳——如果他们是被牵着的——从桥上一跃而下。

“The dogs catch the scent of mink, pine martens or some other mammal, and then they will jump up on the wall of the bridge,” Hill said. “And because it’s tapered, they will just topple over.”

“这些狗闻到水貂、松貂或其他哺乳动物的气味后,就会跳到桥的护栏上,”希尔说。“因为护栏是尖的,它们就会摔下去。”

Still, he allowed, the Overtoun grounds are “more spiritual than other parts.”

不过,他承认,奥弗顿这一带“是比较灵异的地方”。

“Scotland is kind of a place where there is a lot of the supernatural, and it is very common in people’s lives,” he added.

“苏格兰是一个有很多超自然现象的地方,这在人们的生活中很常见,”他补充说。

Paul Owens, a teacher of religion and philosophy in Glasgow, grew up in a town close to the bridge and recently published a book about the mystery. When it comes to an explanation for the leaping dogs, he is firmly in the supernatural camp.

保罗·欧文斯(Paul Owens)是格拉斯哥的一名宗教和哲学教师,他在这座桥附近的一个小镇长大,最近出版了一本关于这个谜团的书。在对狗跳桥现象作出解释时,他坚定地站在超自然的阵营。

“After 11 years of research, I’m convinced it’s a ghost that is behind all of this,” he declared, while sitting outside a pub on a drizzly day in Glasgow.

“经过11年的研究,我确信一切的背后是一个幽灵,”在格拉斯哥一个小雨的日子里,他坐在一家酒吧外面宣称。

Owens’ theory is popular among some local residents, who grew up hearing stories about the “White Lady of Overtoun,” also known as the grieving widow of John White, James’ son.

欧文斯的理论在一些当地居民中很受欢迎,他们从小就听着“奥弗顿的怀特女士”(White Lady of Overtoun)的故事长大,这位女士是詹姆斯之子约翰·怀特(John White)的悲痛遗孀。

“The lady lived alone in grief for more than 30 years after her husband died in 1908,” said Marion Murray, a Dumbarton resident. “Her ghost has been lurking around here ever since. She’s been sighted in windows and walking around the grounds.”

“1908年丈夫去世后,这个女人在悲伤中独自度过了30多年,”敦巴顿居民玛丽昂·穆雷(Marion Murray)说。“自那以后,她的幽灵就一直在这一带徘徊。人们看到过她出现在窗户边,还在四周走动。”

One day, Emma Dunlop, who said she had heard “the horror stories,” took her Labrador retriever, Ginger, for a walk to Overtoun anyway.

有一天,说自己听到过“恐怖故事”的艾玛·邓洛普(Emma Dunlop)无论如何带着她的拉布拉多猎犬金杰(Ginger)去奥弗顿走了一遭。

She did not let him out of her station wagon until he was on a leash.

她直到把他用绳索拴住才让他走出她的旅行车。

“He’s never tried to jump,” she said, “but sometimes he freezes or hesitates when he gets on the bridge, so I’m always careful.”

“他从没试图往下跳,”她说,“但有时他走到桥上时,会顿住或徘徊不前,所以我一直都很小心。”

Ginger jumped from the car, raced around his owner and headed straight toward Overtoun Bridge, crossing it without any hesitation.

金杰跳出车、围着主人快跑,然后直奔奥弗顿桥,毫不犹豫地跑到了另一端。

But then Ginger froze, looking back intently at something on the bridge, which appeared empty to human eyes.

但随后金杰愣住了,回过头专注地望着桥上的什么东西,但人眼似乎什么都看不到。

“Aye, there she is — there’s the White Lady,” Dunlop said with a laugh, suggesting Ginger had seen the bridge’s ghost.

“啊,她在那儿——就是那个白衣女,”邓洛普笑着说,暗示金杰看到了桥上的幽灵。

Then the pair continued their walk.

然后他俩接着散步了。

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