放生的故事:从第十到第一

 来源:沪江社团    要点:小学英语故事  
编辑点评: In the old days, few people anywhere in the world could read or write. In China, parents hoped they could make a little bit more money so they could send their sons to a teacher to learn how to read and write.

In the old days, few people anywhere in the world could read or write. In China, parents hoped they could make a little bit more money so they could send their sons to a teacher to learn how to read and write. If they studied very, very hard and passed the Imperial Examinations, they could win posts in the government.This brought respect, glory, and power to the whole family. However, the examinations were extremely difficult. Many students took the examinations over and over until they were old men, but never passed.

过去,世界上很少有人能够读书识字。在中国,家长们都希望他们能多赚一些钱好让他们的儿子们跟随老师学习读写。如果他们用功读书,通过科举考试,还能在朝廷中谋得职位。这将给全家带来尊严、荣誉和权力。但是,科举考试非常难。很多人从少年到白头,考了一遍又一遍,还是没能通过考试。

One year, the brothers Song Jiao and Song Ji went to the capital together to take the examinations. On the way, they met a monk, who looked carefully at Song Jiao and exclaimed, "I can tell by looking at your features that you have saved many, many lives. According to your original fortune, you should fail in the imperial examinations, but because you have saved so many lives, this year you will win the highest place in the entire empire. Let this poor monk be the first to congratulate this future official."

有一年,宋(人名待议)交和宋吉两兄弟一同上京赶考。在路上,他们碰到了一个和尚。和尚打量了宋交一下,说,"我能从你的面相上看出,你曾经救过很多动物。你本来是注定要在科举中落榜的,但是因为你救了那么多生命,今年你将高中榜首。让贫僧做第一个向未来高官贺喜的人吧。"

Song Jiao thought this was strange. "When did I ever save many lives?"

宋交觉得这事很奇怪。"我什么时候救过很多生命呢?"

The monk said, "Once you saved ants in distress."

和尚答道,"你曾经救过困境中的蚂蚁。"

"What? You mean saving some measly ants means saving lives?"

"什么?你说我救了一些蚂蚁就是救了许多生命?"

Exactly.All living creatures have lives and fates, even a bug as lowly as an ant. Your brother was originally destined to win the top score in these examinations, but you will not do worse than he."

"当然了。所有的生物都有生命和命运,即使是像蚂蚁那么微小的虫子。你的兄弟本来注定该一举夺魁,但是你不会比他差的。"

The Sung brothers could hardly believe this. As they walked away, Chi asked Chiao, "Did you really save a bunch of ants?"

宋氏兄弟很难相信他的话。当他们走了以后,宋吉问宋交,"你真的救过一群蚂蚁吗?"

Yes," his brother answered, "Once I saw some ants about to get drowned, so I made a little bridge out of a piece of bamboo and they got away."

"是的。"宋交回答,"有一次我看到一些蚂蚁快要被淹死了,我就用一根竹子搭了一座桥,帮助它们离开了险境。"

The imperial examinations were more important to them than any ants or monk's predictions, and they forgot all about it as they made their way to the capital and did their last minute cramming.

科举考试对他们俩来说比什么蚂蚁或者和尚的预言要重要的多,他们很快就忘了这回事,继续往京都赶去,继续温习。

When all of the test papers had been graded, the results were announced to the Emperor. Song Ji had won the highest score in the entire empire. Song Jiao was in tenth place —— of course this was also a very high score. The Emperor examined the list of the highest scores.

卷子被评判后,结果被送到皇帝那里。宋吉得到了全国的最高分。宋交排在第十——当然,这样的分数已经很高了。皇帝正在审核着高分者的名单。

"This will not do," the Emperor said, "Song Ji has won first place, ranking higher than his elder brother Song Jiao. It is not natural for the younger brother to be exalted above the elder brother. Switch Song Jiao to the first place, and rank Song Ji tenth."

"这不应该,"皇帝说,"宋吉是第一,比他的哥哥宋交还高。弟弟比哥哥还高,这不正常啊。把宋交换成第一,把宋吉换成第十。"

The Emperor's command was carried out. When the brothers heard about the switch, they remembered what the monk had said, and burst out laughing. On their way home to tell their parents the wonderful news about the examination, they made a special trip to give their thanks to the old monk, and compliment him on his wisdom.

皇帝的命令被执行了。当兄弟俩听到调换的消息后,他们想起了和尚说过的话,忍不住笑起来。在他们赶回家告诉父母这个好消息的路上,特地去向老和尚表达他们的谢意和对他智慧的钦佩。

Before long, the story spread all over China, and everyone knew about the brother who ants boosted to first place.

不久后,这件事就在中国传开了, 所有人都知道了蚂蚁助其夺魁的宋交 .

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