Pu Songling: The Story of a Myna ~ 蒲松龄 《鸲鹆》 with English Translations

小编导读:《鸲鹆》是清代文学家蒲松龄《聊斋志异》中的一篇文章。

蒲松龄 《鸲鹆》

王汾滨言:其乡有养八哥者,教以语文,甚狎习,出游必与之俱,相将数年矣。一日,将过绛州,而资斧已罄,其人愁苦无策。鸟云:“何不售我?送我王邸,当得善价,不愁归路无资也。”其人云:“我安忍。”鸟言:“不妨。主人得价疾行,待我城西二十里大树下。”其人从之。携至城,相问答,观者渐众。有吕贵见之,闻诸王。王召入,欲买之。其人曰:“小人相依为命,不愿卖。”王问鸟:“汝愿住否?”言:“愿住。”王喜。鸟又言:“给价十金,勿多予。”王益喜,立畀十金。其人故作懊恨状而去。王与鸟言,应对便捷。呼肉啖之。食已,鸟曰:“臣要浴。”王命金盆贮水,开笼令浴。浴已,飞檐间,梳翎抖羽,尚与王喋喋不休。顷之,羽燥,翩跹而起,操晋声曰:“臣去呀!”顾盼已失所在。王及内侍,仰面咨嗟。急觅其人,则已渺矣。后有往秦中者,见其人携鸟在西安市上。毕载积先生记。

The Story of a Myna
Pu Songling

Wang Fenbin said that in his village there was a man who had a myna. He trained it to speak and they got attached to each other. Wherever he went he took it with him. They had been together for years.

When he was arriving at Jiangzhou one day, he found that he had run out of money. He was upset, not knowing what to do. The myna said, “Why not sell me? Take me to the perfect and you can sell me for a good price and traveling expenses will be no problem.” The man said, “I can’t bear to sell you.” The myna said, “That’s nothing. As soon as you get the money, get away from here quickly and wait for e under a big tree about twenty li west of town.” The man took its advice. He went to town with the bird, engaging it in brief conversations. Soon they attracted many onlookers. The steward of the perfect saw the bird and told the prefect about it. The prefect summoned the man to his house and he wanted to buy the bird. The man said, “We depend on each other for survival. I cannot sell it to you.” The prefect asked the bird, “Do you like to stay with me?” The bird answered, “Yes, I do.” The prefect was delighted to hear it. Then the bird said again, “Give him ten liang of silver and no more.” The prefect was all the more delighted. He gave the man ten liang of silver. The man left, with a feigned look of dejection.

The prefect asked the bird questions and the bird answered with great readiness. He ordered to give it meat to eat. The moment it finished the eat, the bird said, “I want to take a bath.” The prefect ordered to bring a gold basin, fill it with water, open the cage and let it bathe in it. When the bath was over, the bird flew up to the eave where it shook off the water and trimmed its plumage, in the meantime, chattering away with the prefect. In another moment its plumage was dried and the bird fluttered up, saying in the local accent, “I am going, sir.” When they looked up to see, the bird was out of sight. The prefect and his servants could do nothing but sigh toward the sky. When servants were sent to look for the birdman he was nowhere to be found. Later someone, traveling to Shaanxi, saw the man with his bird in Xi’an.

This story is told by Mr. Bi Zaiji.

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