The Bad Girl 壞女孩

17

提 要
「專注」是對的,專注於研究學問、探討真理,可以豐富知識,甚至造福他人;但是當「專注」變成「著迷」時,往往會太過沉浸執著,導致忽略更重要的事、疏於照顧關心身邊的親人。
Doris was always be called “the bad girl”, for she had once, when she was little, put her tongue out at the postman. She lived alone with her grandmother and her three brothers in the cottage beyond the field, and other girls in the village took no notice of her.
This “bad girl” Doris did not mind this, her full attention was always on the cuckoo clock. The clock stood in one corner of the cottage, and every hour a door would open at the top, and a little cuckoo came out and sang, just the same number of times that the clock ought to have struck, and sang it so loudly and in so much haste that seems the clock was afraid to strike at all.
Doris was always wondering whether it was worse for the clock to have a cupboard in its forehead, and a bird that was always hopping in and out, or for the poor cuckoo to spend so much time in a dark little prison. “If it could only getaway to the woods,” she said to herself, “who knows but its voice might grow sweet, and even life itself might come to it!”
“She thought of the clock so much.” grandmother used to say.
“Ah, lassie, if you would only think of me sometimes! ” But the bad girl would answer, “You are not in prison, granny dear, and you have not even a bee in your bonnet, let alone a bird in your head. Why should I think of you?”
One day, close by the farm, Doris saw the big girls from the school gathering flowers.
“Give me one,” she said; “perhaps the cuckoo would like it.” But they all cried, “No, no!” and tried to frighten her away. “They are for the little one’s birthday. Tomorrow she will be seven years old,” the big girls said,” and she will have a crown of flowers and a cake, and all the afternoon we shall play merry games with her.”
“Is she unhappy, that you are taking so much trouble for her?” asked the bad girl.
“Oh, no, she is very happy, and it will be her birthday, and we want to make her happier.”
“Why?”
“Because we love her,” said one.
“Because she is so little,” said another girl.
“Because she is alive,” said the third.
“Are all things that live should be loved and cared for? ” Doris asked, but those girls were too busy to listen, so she went on her way thinking, and it seemed as if all things around the birds, and bees, and the rustling leaves, and the little tender wildflowers, half-hidden in the grass answered, as she went along.
“Yes, they are all to be cared for and made happier, if it is possible.” “But the cuckoo clock is not alive,” she realized.
“Oh, no, it is not alive,” those trees answered; “but many things that do not live have voices, and many others are just signposts, pointing the way.”
“The way! The way to what, and where?”
“We find out for ourselves; we must all find out for ourselves,” those trees sighed and whispered to each other.
As Doris entered the cottage, the cuckoo clock sang eleven times, but she did not even look up. She walked straight across the living room, to the chair by the fireplace and kneeled down, kissed her granny’s hands.
解 說
朵瑞絲總一直被稱為「壞女孩」,因為她小時候,曾經有一次對郵差吐舌頭。她與祖母和三個兄弟住在田野外的小屋裡,村裡的其他女孩,都不怎麼在意她。
這個「壞女孩」朵瑞絲並不介意這一點,她全神貫注於咕咕鐘。這座鐘矗立在小屋的一個角落裡,每隔一小時,就有一扇門在頂部打開,一隻小布穀鳥會出來唱歌,就像時鐘應該報時的次數一樣,小鳥唱得那麼大聲,又那麼匆忙,似乎讓時鐘都不敢敲擊了。
朵瑞絲總是想知道,咕咕鐘的頭上是不是有一個讓小鳥跳進跳出的櫃子;或者,是那個可憐的布穀鳥,在黑暗的小監獄裡,度過這麼長的時間。「如果牠逃到樹林裡去。」她對自己說:「說不定牠的聲音可能會變得甜美,甚至變得有生命。」
「她念茲在茲都是這座鐘。」奶奶時常這麼說。
「啊,小姑娘,如果妳有時候會想著我的話!」但這個「壞女孩」會回答:「妳不是住在監獄裡啊,親愛的老奶奶,妳的軟帽上甚至沒有蜜蜂,更別提頭上沒有小鳥了,我為什麼要想著妳?」
有一天,朵瑞絲看到學校裡的大女孩們,在農場附近採集鮮花。
「給我一個,」她說:「也許布穀鳥會喜歡它。」但她們齊聲大叫:「不,不!」並試圖嚇走她。「這些花是為了小傢伙的生日。明天她將滿七歲。」大女孩們說:「她將戴上鮮花冠、吃蛋糕,我們整個下午都會跟她一起玩快樂的遊戲。」
「妳們給她帶來了這麼多麻煩,她不會不開心嗎?」「壞女孩」這麼問。
「哦,不,她很高興,而且這是她的生日,我們想讓她更快樂。」
「為什麼?」
「因為我們愛她,」一個女孩說。
「因為她太小了,」另一個女孩說。
「因為她還有生命,」第三個女孩說。
「所有的生命都應該被愛與照顧嗎?」朵瑞絲問,但是那些女孩正忙著,沒聽進去,於是她繼續邊走邊想著,似乎所有念頭都圍繞著鳥和蜜蜂,小小的嫩野花半藏在草叢中,當她經過時,沙沙作響。
「是的,如果可能的話,他們都應該受到照顧並變得更快樂。」「但咕咕鐘沒有生命。」她明白了。
「哦,不,它沒有生命。」那些樹回答:「但許多沒有生命的東西會發出聲音,而其他許多東西只是標示,指引方向。」
「指引!指引什麼,指引到哪裡去?」
「我們自己找答案;我們必須為自己找到答案。」那些樹嘆了口氣,低聲地對彼此說。
當朵瑞絲進入小屋時,布咕咕鐘唱了十一次,但她不看那鐘,連頭都沒抬。她徑自穿過客廳,走到爐邊的椅子邊,跪在地上吻著奶奶的手。

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