Old Sultan (ENGLISH) - 老苏丹 (CHINESE)


Old Sultan



A farmer once had a faithful dog called Sultan, who had grown old, and lost all his teeth, so that he could no longer hold anything fast. One day the farmer was standing with his wife before the house-door, and said, "To-morrow I intend to shoot Old Sultan, he is no longer of any use."
His wife, who felt pity for the faithful beast, answered, "He has served us so long, and been so faithful, that we might well give him his keep."

"Eh! what?" said the man. "You are not very sharp. He has not a tooth left in his mouth, and not a thief is afraid of him; now he may be off. If he has served us, he has had good feeding for it."

The poor dog, who was lying stretched out in the sun not far off, had heard everything, and was sorry that the morrow was to be his last day. He had a good friend, the wolf, and he crept out in the evening into the forest to him, and complained of the fate that awaited him. "Hark ye, gossip," said the wolf, "be of good cheer, I will help you out of your trouble. I have thought of something. To-morrow, early in the morning, your master is going with his wife to make hay, and they will take their little child with them, for no one will be left behind in the house. They are wont, during work-time, to lay the child under the hedge in the shade; you lay yourself there too, just as if you wished to guard it. Then I will come out of the wood, and carry off the child. You must rush swiftly after me, as if you would seize it again from me. I will let it fall, and you will take it back to its parents, who will think that you have saved it, and will be far too grateful to do you any harm; on the contrary, you will be in high favor, and they will never let you want for anything again."

The plan pleased the dog, and it was carried out just as it was arranged. The father screamed when he saw the Wolf running across the field with his child, but when Old Sultan brought it back, then he was full of joy, and stroked him and said, "Not a hair of yours shall be hurt, you shall eat my bread free as long as you live." And to his wife he said, "Go home at once and make Old Sultan some bread-sop that he will not have to bite, and bring the pillow out of my bed, I will give him that to lie upon."

Henceforth Old Sultan was as well off as he could wish to be.

Soon afterwards the wolf visited him, and was pleased that everything had succeeded so well. "But, gossip," said he, "you will just wink an eye if when I have a chance, I carry off one of your master's fat sheep." - "Do not reckon upon that," answered the dog; "I will remain true to my master; I cannot agree to that." The wolf, who thought that this could not be spoken in earnest, came creeping about in the night and was going to take away the sheep. But the farmer, to whom the faithful Sultan had told the wolf's plan, caught him and dressed his hide soundly with the flail. The wolf had to pack off, but he cried out to the dog, "Wait a bit, you scoundrel, you shall pay for this."

The next morning the wolf sent the boar to challenge the dog to come out into the forest so that they might settle the affair. Old Sultan could find no one to stand by him but a cat with only three legs, and as they went out together the poor cat limped along, and at the same time stretched out her tail into the air with pain.

The wolf and his friend were already on the spot appointed, but when they saw their enemy coming they thought that he was bringing a sabre with him, for they mistook the outstretched tail of the cat for one. And when the poor beast hopped on its three legs, they could only think every time that it was picking up a stone to throw at them. So they were both afraid; the wild boar crept into the under-wood and the wolf jumped up a tree.

The dog and the cat, when they came up, wondered that there was no one to be seen. The wild boar, however, had not been able to hide himself altogether; and one of his ears was still to be seen. Whilst the cat was looking carefully about, the boar moved his ear; the cat, who thought it was a mouse moving there, jumped upon it and bit it hard. The boar made a fearful noise and ran away, crying out, "The guilty one is up in the tree." The dog and cat looked up and saw the wolf, who was ashamed of having shown himself so timid, and made friends with the dog.
一个牧羊人有一条很忠诚的狗,叫做苏丹。 苏丹现在已经老了,连牙齿也掉完了。 有一天,牧羊人和他的妻子站在房屋前,牧羊人说:"我准备明天上午把老苏丹杀掉,因为它已经没有用了。"妻子却说道:"请把这条可怜的狗留下吧,它为我们忠心耿耿地服务了许多年,我们应该在它有生之年里继续供养它。"牧羊人反驳她说:"可我们留着它又能为我们做什么事呢?它嘴里没有一颗牙齿,小偷根本不会在乎他。你说得不错,它的确为我们做过不少事,但那是它谋生的方式,我们也不曾亏待它呀!它现在这样子,明天杀了它更好。"
可怜的苏丹就躺在他们身旁不远处,它把牧羊人和他妻子的这番对话都听了去,想到明天就是它的末日,它非常害怕。 傍晚,它去了住在森林里的好朋友狼那儿,把自己的事都告诉了它,说他的主人准备明天要将它杀死。 狼听了说道:"你先别慌,我给你出一个好主意。你的主人每天清晨都会带着他们的小孩去地里干活,这你是知道的。他们干活时,就会把小孩放在篱笆下的阴凉处。明天清晨你蹲在小孩附近,做出照看小孩的样子,我从森林里跑出来把小孩叼走,你必须装做拼命追赶我的样子,我也装做惊慌的样子扔下小孩逃走。然后你就可以把小孩带回去了。经过这一闹,你的主人一定会很感激你救回了他们的孩子,他们就会留下你,继续供养你了。"狗非常赞赏这个办法。
第二天清晨,它们按计划进行,狼刚把小孩叼走跑不多远,牧羊人和他妻子就惊慌地叫喊起来。 这时候,老苏丹跳起来奋力向狼追去,很快就追上了狼,并帮它的男主人和女主人救回了那可怜的小家伙。 看见小孩安然无恙,牧羊人拍了拍苏丹的头,说道:"老苏丹,你从狼口里救回了我们的孩子,我不会再杀你了,还要好好地养活你,给你好多吃的东西。"说完又转头对妻子说:"走!回家去吧,给老苏丹做一顿好吃的,把我的旧靠垫做窝给它睡,让它过得好一点。"从这以后,苏丹终于如愿以偿,过上了倍受主人家青睐的生活。
不久,狼来向苏丹祝贺,同时对它说:"我的好朋友,现在你也该帮我个忙了,我很久没吃过一顿饱餐了 ,就请你在我抓吃你主人的肥羊时,把头调过去,只当没看见。 "苏丹说:"那不行,我得忠于我的主人。 "狼听了之后,以为它不过是说说笑话,不会认真对待此事的。晚上,它跑来准备抓只羊美餐一顿,但苏丹把狼的企图告诉了主人。主人躲在羊圈的门后面,等候着狼的到来。狼来了以后,主人等它正忙着物色肥羊时,一记闷棍狠狠地打在了它的背上,连背上的毛都掉下了好大一撮,狼仓皇逃走了。
挨了这一棍,狼非常气愤,它叫苏丹是"一个老杂种",发誓要对它进行报复。 第二天早晨,狼派野猪来挑战,要苏丹到森林里去,以决斗的方式来解决它们之间的事。 此刻,苏丹除了主人家的一只三条腿的瘸脚猫外,再也找不到第二个帮手,它只好叫上这只猫和它一道前往。 这可怜的猫跛着腿走起路来极不方便,所以就把尾巴举起来平衡身子。
狼和野猪先在路上等着苏丹,当它们发现对方时,远远看见猫竖在空中那长长的尾巴,以为那是猫为帮助苏丹决斗而带来的一把刀。 猫走起来一跛一跛的,它们以为猫每跛一次,就拾起了一块石头,是准备用来向它们投掷的。 看到这情况,它们俩心里害怕起来,打起了退堂鼓,说最好取消决斗为好。 说完,野猪急急忙忙地藏进了灌木丛里,狼跳到一棵大树上。 苏丹和猫不久就走了过来,四下一瞧,很奇怪它们怎么还没来。 然而,野猪这时还没有把自己完全藏好,它的耳朵还露在灌木丛外面,就在它的耳朵轻轻晃动之际,那只猫觉察到有东西在灌木丛中晃动,以为是一只老鼠,跳起来扑了上去,又是撕咬又是抓挠。 野猪受不了了,它又是跳又是叫,一边逃跑,一边大声叫道:"快看树上,那上面坐的才是你们要找的对头。"苏丹和猫一齐向树上望去,后见狼正坐在树枝上,它们叫它是一个胆小鬼,不准它下来。 狼十分羞愧,就答应和苏凡讲和,这样它和老苏丹又成了好朋友。

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