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双语美文:孩子的礼物

It was Christmas 1961. I was teaching in a small town in Ohio where my twenty seven third graders eagerly anticipated the great day of gifts giving.
那是1961年的圣诞节。我在俄亥俄州的一个小镇上教小学三年级。班上27个孩子都在热切盼望着这个互赠礼品、激动人心的日子到来。
Each day the children produced some new wonder—strings of popcorn, hand made trinkets, and German bells made from wallpaper samples, which we hung from the ceiling. Through it all she remained aloof, watching from afar, seemingly miles away. I wondered what would happen to this quiet child, once so happy, now so suddenly withdrawn. I hoped the festivities would appeal to her. But nothing did.
每天孩子们都会做点儿新玩意——爆米花串成的细链子、手工做的小装饰品和墙纸做的德国式风铃,我们把这些风铃挂在了天花板上。但自始至终,她都是孤零零地远远观望,仿佛是隔了一道几里长的障碍。我猜想着这个安静的孩子发生了什么事,原先是那么快乐,怎么突然变得沉默寡言起来。我希望节日的活动能吸引她,可还是无济于事。
The day of gift giving finally came. We oohed and aahed over our handiwork as the presents were exchanged. Through it all, she sat quietly watching. I had made a special pouch for her, red and green with white lace. I wanted very much to see her smile. She opened the package so slowly and carefully. I waited but she turned away.
赠送礼物的那天终于到了。在交换礼物时我们为对方亲手做的小礼品不停地欢呼叫好。而整个过程中,她只是安静地坐在那儿看着。我为她做的小袋很特别,红绿相间还镶着白边。我非常想看到她笑一笑。她打开包装,动作又慢又小心。我等待着,但是她却转过了身。
After school the children left in little groups, but she lingered, watching them go out the door. I sat down to catch my breath, hardly aware of what was happening when she came to me with outstretched hands, bearing a small white box, unwrapped and slightly soiled, as though it had been held many times by unwashed, childish hands. "For me?" I asked with a weak smile. She said not a word, but nodded her head. I took the box and gingerly opened it. There inside, glistening green, lay a golden chain. In a flash I knew—she had made it for her mother, a mother she would never see again, a mother who would never hold her or brush her hair or share a funny story, a mother who would never again hear her childish joys or sorrows. A mother who had taken her own life just three weeks before.
放学后,学生们三三两两地离开了,但她磨磨蹭蹭,看着大家走出门外。我坐下来稍稍松了口气,对要发生的事没有一点准备。这时她向我走来,双手拿着一个白色的盒子向我递过来。盒子没有打包装,稍微有些脏,好像是被孩子未洗过的小手摸过了许多遍。“给我的吗?”我微微一笑。她没出声,只是点点头。我接过盒子,非常小心地打开它。盒子里面有一条金色的链子,闪闪发光。我在一瞬间明白过来——这是她为妈妈做的项链,她再也见不到的妈妈,再也不能抱她、给她梳头或一起讲故事的妈妈。她的妈妈再也不能分享她童年时光的快乐和忧伤。就在三个星期前她的妈妈离开了人世。
I held out the chain. She took it in both her hands, reached forward, and secured the simple clasp at the back of my neck. She stepped back then as if to see that all was well. I looked down at the golden chain, then back at the giver, "Maria, it is so beautiful. She would have loved it." Neither of us could stop the tears. She stumbled into my arms and we wept together. And for that brief moment I became her mother, for she had given me the greatest gift of all: herself.
我拿起那条链子。她用双手接过它,向前探了探身,在我的脖子后把简易的项链钩系好。然后她向后退了几步,好像在看看是否合适。我低下头看着金色的链子,然后抬起头望着她,说道:“玛丽亚,这链子真漂亮。你妈妈一定会喜欢的。”我们已无法抑制住泪水。她踉踉跄跄地扑进我的怀里,我们都哭了。在那短暂的一刻我成为她的妈妈,因为她把一份最珍贵的礼物送给了我:她自己。


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