短篇小说- 醋溜先生和他的财富

来源:网络 2019-02-21

 Mr. Vinegar and His Fortune

Long time ago, there lived a poor man whose real name has been forgotten. He was little and old and his face was wrinkled, and that was why his friends called him Mr. Vinegar. His wife was also little and old, and they lived in a little old cottage at the back of a little old field.

"John," said Mrs. Vinegar, "you must go to town and buy a cow. I will milk her and churn(搅拌) butter and we shall never want for anything."

"That is a good plan," said Mr. Vinegar, so he started off to town while his wife waited by the roadside.

Mr. Vinegar walked up and down the street of the town looking for a cow. After a time, a farmer came that way, leading one that was very pretty and fat.

"Oh, if I only had that cow," said Mr. Vinegar, "I would be the happiest man in the world!"

"She's a very good cow," said the farmer.

"Well," said Mr. Vinegar, "I'll give you these 50 gold pieces for her."

The farmer smiled and held out his hand for the money, "You may have her," he said, "I always like to oblige(施恩惠) , my friends!"

Mr. Vinegar took hold of the cow's halter and led her up and down the street. "I am the luckiest man in the world," he said, "for only see how all the people are looking at me and my cow!"

But at one end of the street, he met a man playing bagpipes(风笛) . He stopped and listened -- Tweedle Dee Tweedle Dee.

"Oh, that is the sweetest music I ever heard," he said, "and just see how all the children crowd around the man and give him pennies! If I only had those bagpipes, I would be the happiest man in the world!!"

"I'll sell them to you," said the piper.

"Will you? Well then, since I have no money, I will give you this cow for them."

"You may have them," answered the piper, "I always like to oblige a friend."

Mr. Vinegar took the bagpipes and the piper led the cow away.

"Now we will have some music," said Mr. Vinegar, but try as hard as he might, he could not play a tune. He could get nothing out of the bagpipes but "squeak, squeak". The children instead of giving him pennies laughed at him.

The day was chilly and in trying to play the pipes, his fingers grew very cold. He wished he had kept the cow.

He just started for home when he met a man who had warm gloves on his hands. "Oh, if I only had those pretty gloves," he said, "I would be the happiest man in the world."

"How much will you give for them?" asked the man.

"Oh, I have no money, but I will give you these bagpipes," answered Mr. Vinegar.

"Well," said the man, "you may have them for I always like to oblige a friend."

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Mr. Vinegar gave him the bagpipes and drew the gloves on over his half frozen fingers. "How lucky I am," he said as he trudged(跋涉) homeward. His hands were soon quite warm, but the road was rough and the walking hard. He was very tired when he came to the foot of the steep hill. "How shall I ever get to the top?" he said. Just then he met a man who was walking the other way. He had a stick in his hand which he used as a cane to help him along.

"My friend," said Mr. Vinegar, "if only I had that stick of yours to help me up this hill, I would be the happiest man in the world!"

"How much will you give me for it?" asked the man.

"Well, I have no money, but I will give you this pair of warm gloves," said Mr. Vinegar.

"Well," said the man, "you may have it for I always like to oblige a friend."

Mr. Vinegar's hands were now quite warm, so he gave the gloves to the man and took the stout(结实的) stick to help him along. "How lucky I am!'' he said as he toiled upward.

At the top of the hill he stopped to rest. But as he was thinking of all his good luck that day, he heard someone calling his name. He looked up and saw only a green parrot sitting in a tree.

"Mr. Vinegar, Mr. Vinegar," it cried.

"What now?" said Mr. Vinegar.

"You're a dunce(傻瓜) , you're a dunce!'' answered the bird, "you went to seek your fortune and you found it, then you gave it for a cow, and the cow for some bagpipes, and the bagpipes for some gloves, and the gloves for a stick which you might of cut by the roadside. He He He, you're a dunce! You're a dunce!''

This made Mr. Vinegar very angry. He threw the stick at the bird with all his might. But the bird only answered, "You're a dunce! You're a dunce!" And the stick lodged in the tree where he could not get it again.

Mr. Vinegar went on slowly for he had many things to think about. His wife was standing by the roadside and as soon as she saw him, she cried out, "Where's the cow? Where's the cow?"

"Well, I just don't know where the cow is," said Mr. Vinegar. And then he told her the whole story.

很久以前,有一个穷人,他的原名叫什么已经不记得了。他个头很矮,脸上皱皱巴巴的,所以朋友们管他叫醋溜先生。他的太太也是又矮又老,他们住在一块小荒田后边的小屋里。

“约翰,”醋溜太太说道,“你到城里去买一头奶牛吧。我用挤出的牛奶做黄油,以后我们就衣食不愁了。”

“好主意,”醋溜先生说,于是他出发进城,他的太太在路边等候他。

醋溜先生在城里走啊走,四处找牛。过了一会儿,一个农夫拉着一头非常漂亮而肥壮的奶牛走了过来。

“哦,如果那头牛是我的,我就是世界上最幸福的人了!”

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“这可是头很好的牛,”农夫说。

“啊,”醋溜先生说,“我出五十块金币的价买它。”

农夫微笑着伸手接钱,“你把它带走吧,”他说,“我就喜欢成人之美,朋友!”

醋溜先生抓住牛绳,拉着它在街上走啊走。“我是全世界最幸运的人了,”他说,“瞧瞧大家看着我和牛的眼神!”

可是在街的另一头,他见到一个吹风笛的人。他停下脚步聆听,笛声曼妙。

“哦,这是我听过的最动听的音乐了,”他说,“瞧瞧有这么多孩子围着那人,塞钱给他!如果我有风笛的话,就是世界上最幸福的人了!!”

“我可以卖给你呀,”风笛手说道。

“是吗?可是我没有钱了,我拿这头牛和你换吧。”

“拿去吧,”风笛手答道,“我最喜欢成人之美了。”

于是醋溜先生拿过了风笛,风笛手牵走了奶牛。

“现在我们可有音乐听了,”醋溜先生说,但是他花了老大的劲,还是吹不出什么调来。风笛只发出吱吱的怪声。孩子们非但没给他钱,还对他百般嘲笑。

天冷极了,为了吹风笛,醋溜先生的手指都冻僵了。他真希望自己没把牛给换走。

他开始往家走的时候,遇到一个人,那人戴着暖暖的手套。“哦,如果那副漂亮手套是我的,”他说,“那我就是世界上最幸福的人了。”

“你出多少钱买?”那人问道。

“噢,我没钱了,可我用风笛和你换吧,”醋溜先生答道。

“这样的话,”那人说,“你就拿去吧,我就喜欢成人之美。”

醋溜先生把风笛给了那人,拿过手套戴在冻僵的手指头上。“我多幸运啊,”他边往家走边说道。他的手很快就暖起来了,可是道路坑坑洼洼的,走得很艰难。走到一个陡坡下的时候,他累极了。“我怎么才能爬上去呢?”他说。这时候,他看到一个人从另一边走了过来。那人手里握着一根棍,用做爬坡的杖子。

“朋友,”醋溜先生说道,“如果我能有你那根杖子来爬坡,我就是这世界上最幸福的人了!”

“你出多少钱来买?”那人问道。

“啊,我没钱了,可我愿把这副暖和的手套给你,”醋溜先生说。

“这样的话,”那人说道,“你就拿去好了,因为我最喜欢成人之美。”

醋溜先生的手早暖和过来了,于是他拿手套跟那人换了根上坡用的粗杖。“我多幸运啊!”他一边费劲地上坡一边说道。

到了山顶,他停下来休憩。可正当他想着一整天的好运时,他听到有谁在叫着自己的名字。他抬起头,只看到树枝上坐着只绿鹦鹉。

“醋溜先生,醋溜先生,”鹦鹉喊道。

“怎么了?”醋溜先生问。

“你是傻瓜,你是傻瓜!”鸟儿答道,“你出门找钱,找到了,却拿钱买牛,用牛换了风笛,用风笛换了手套,又用手套去换根能在路边弄到的棍子。呵呵呵,你是傻瓜!你是傻瓜!”

这话让醋溜先生生气极了。他用尽力气拿棍子朝鸟儿掷去。可鸟儿只回了句:“你是傻瓜!你是傻瓜!”而棍子又卡在树枝上,他够不着。

醋溜先生慢慢地向前走着,他脑子里乱腾腾的。他的太太正站在路边呢,一见到他,她就喊起来:“奶牛呢?奶牛呢?”

“唔,我可不知道奶牛到哪去了,”醋溜先生说道。接着他把事情完完整整地告诉了她。




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