“瓜、豆和茄子种满着的园里”译为In a vegetable garden thickly planted with melons, beans and eggplants，其中用 thickly planted with 或 densely planted with表达“种满着”，不宜改用overgrown with，因它有“生长过度”、“植被蔓生”等含义。
“与其饿，不如死”意同“宁死毋饿”，可译为Rather die than go hungry或Better die than go hungry。
“在每个刺猬的胃里装满了瓜、豆和茄子的时候”可按“在每个刺猬都吃饱了瓜、豆和茄子的时候”译为When each hedgehog had eaten his fill of the melons, beans and eggplants，其中成语to eat one’s fill of的意思是“吃饱”、“充分享用”等。
“我似乎应当尊重自己的趣味”可按“看来我应当尊重自己的趣味”译为It seems（或Maybe）I should follow my own inclination。
“它在壁上自由行动”译为It became a maverick on he wall，其中maverick在口语中作“独行其是者”、“不守成规者”解。
“从煤块底下”译为from under the coals，其中coals指“煤块”，尤其是“燃烧着的煤块”。而coal则泛指“煤炭”。
◎ Shi Zhecun
The Scarecrow and the Hungry Hedgehogs
In a vegetable garden thickly planted with melons, beans and eggplants, stood a tall, upright man.
On the first night, the timid hedgehogs popped their heads out of the holes in the ground to see if there was any food available. They looked around and found they could enjoy a big dinner with the vegetables growing in the garden. But the trouble was there was a night watchman standing beside the eggplant patch. And they seemed to hear him bawling out a string of curses at them. So all they could do was shrink back to their narrow, damp cellar on an empty stomach.
On the second night, the hedgehogs came out stealthily again, their stomachs rumbling with hunger. They started drooling at the sight of the ripening melons, beans and eggplants. The tempting vegetables made their stomachs rumble even more loudly. But the watchman was still there. They pushed and shoved one another, trying furtively to get to the melon awning — a place nearest to them. Then, at a sudden gust of wind, the watchman stirred waving the fan in his hand. Shivering with fear, the hedgehogs all scurried back to their cellar.
On the third night, all the hedgehogs looked emaciated. Starvation impelled them to hold a meeting in the cellar.
Hedgehog A cried out,“Rather die than go hungry.”
Hedgehog B cried out,“Rather die than go hungry.”
Hedgehog C cried out,“Rather die than go hungry.”
A resolution was adopted. They all set out, ready to risk death. In the dim moonlight, however, the watchman stood waving his fan with feigned impressiveness. So the hedgehogs cowered and stuck closely to their holes.
“Rather die than go hungry,”a strange voice suddenly began to ring in their little ears.
When each hedgehog had eaten his fill of the melons, beans and eggplants, the watchman seemed all the more helpless.
Down in the cellar, the hedgehogs held a meeting to celebrate their victory.
Hedgehog A exclaimed,“Never fear worthless bigwigs!”
Hedgehog B exclaimed,“Victory to the starvelings!”
Hedgehog C exclaimed,“Starvelings will never die. No, never. They live forever.”
Thereupon, the crowd broke into an ovation.
There was a thermometer hanging on the wall. The mercury dropped when it got cold, and rose when it got warm. It was operating with unerring accuracy.
People called it a good thermometer.
One day, however, it became skeptical of its own lifestyle.“Why should I act by always keeping pace with weather?”it thought aloud.“I’ll rise or drop as I please. I’ll take a rest whenever I want to. It seems I should follow my own inclination.”
So it decided on acting on its own, and no longer paid attention to weather.
It became a maverick on the wall.
Consequently, people called it trash and threw it away to the ground.
Wind · Fire · Coal · Mountain
There lived a blacksmith at the foot of a mountain. Every day he would stand working beside his blazing furnace.
One morning, when primary school pupils Zhang and Zhao were walking past the smithy on their way to school, they saw the blacksmith pumping a bellows to urge the fire in his furnace and blazing flames shooting up vigorously from under the coals.
A question popped into Zhang’s little brain.
“Why is he using the bellows?”he asked.
Zhao asked in reply,“You silly, how could he make the fire burn better without using the bellows?”
Then they started quarrelling over this question: Which was more capable, wind or fire? Without wind, fire could not burn nicely. Without fire, wind would be blowing for nothing.
Unable to settle the quarrel, they asked the blacksmith to draw a conclusion.
“Neither wind nor fire would be any good if coals in the furnace didn’t burn,”said the blacksmith.“So coal has greater capability. But we would never have coal had it not been for the tree trunks and animal skeletons buried deep under mountains for hundreds or thousands of years. Now think it over and see which has greater capability.”
Having heard out the story, the two kids walked away smilingly and gazed at the yonder bulky mountain.
“You’re more capable,”Zhang addressed the mountain.“Give us more coal from your deposits so that we can burn it with the help of wind.”
“Let’s enjoy seeing still more brilliant sparks flying out of the furnace,”said Zhao.