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老外在中国:狗为啥会死心塌地跟着人类?

中国日报网 2018-04-28 16:08

数万年前,在人类漫长的进化过程中,狗决定放弃大自然,让项圈束缚住自己,丢失了自己的狼性,陪伴在人类左右,吃着人类给的骨头,而不是和群狼一样,咬断人类的脖颈,将其当作开胃菜。你可能会问,驯化后的犬类为何会对任性的人类忠心耿耿?如果有一天,狗突然能够说话了,它或许会告诉你答案。

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Whether or not you spell their name backwards, or consider that they may in fact be the species with nine lives as the number itself is fully spelled out within their very name, dogs (aka: canines) are indeed sublime, perhaps even divine critters.

不管你将它们的名字反着拼(dog——god),还是根据它们的物种名字(canine)认为它们实际上有九条命,狗(犬科动物)确实是崇高的,甚至是神圣的动物。

As luck would have it, Canis domesticus has for some reason decided to hitch its waggly-tailed wagon to we upright-walking—though hardly upright—schmucks.

幸好,出于某种原因,它们决定被人类驯化,摇摆着尾巴做直立行走(虽然极少品行正直之辈)的愚蠢人类的跟班。

At some point tens of thousands of years ago in the evolution of mankind, dogs decided to throw nature for a loop and lose their lupus tendencies, preferring long walks by our side and dry bones for snacks instead of the loose flesh of our necks as appetizers, as wolfpacks are wont to do.

数万年前,在人类漫长的进化过程中,狗决定放弃大自然,让项圈束缚住自己,丢失了自己的狼性,陪伴在人类左右,吃着人类给的骨头,而不是和群狼一样,咬断人类的脖颈,将其当作开胃菜。

As for their loyalty to we wayward folk, you may well ask what’s in it for domesticated dogs?

你可能会问,驯化后的犬类为何会对任性的人类忠心耿耿?

I for one have no idea, but having said that, perhaps it’s a good thing they remain speechless – having been stuck with a single-word vocabulary (woof! bow-wow! wan!... pick your patois) since we ditched the trees and hit the savanna standing.

这我不知道,但是不得不说,在我们砍伐森林、破坏热带草原的时候,它们没法儿说话——只能发出一个词(呜!嗷呜!汪!……随便选个调调)也许是一件好事。

What if they were suddenly gifted with intelligible speech, and admitted they were only with us for the free lunch and protection from coyotes?

如果它们突然能够说话了,承认和我们一起只是为了享用免费的吃食和免受土狼攻击的保护,那该怎么办?

How depressing.

那这得多叫人郁闷啊。

Let’s see what the ancients have to say.

再让我们来看看古人是怎么说的。

The Tang Dynasty’s (618–907) leading poetic rivals made a few references to man’s best friend in their copious body of work.

在唐朝(公元618-907)时期,文人墨客各领风骚,挥洒华章无数,其中部分作品曾提到这位人类最好的朋友。

“A dog's bark amid the water's sound; Peach blossom that's made thicker by the rain…” said Li Bai (701–762) in his Visiting the Taoist Priest Dai Tianshan But Not Finding Him.

“犬吠水声中,桃花带雨浓。”李白在(701–762)《访戴天山道士不遇》中吟咏道。

The mention evokes a sense of longing and melancholia, associated with a common background din that forms an aural construct around our memories.

诗中“犬吠”一词,与我们记忆中建立了听觉概念的一种常见的喧闹背景融在一起,令人读罢心驰神往,略带忧伤。

And Du Fu (712-770), in his A Song of War Chariots, perhaps unwittingly revealed that we often take our barking brothers for granted.

而杜甫(712-770)在他的《兵车行》中不经意间透露出,我们经常把我们的狗兄弟不当回事儿。

“Men of China are able to face the stiffest battle; But theirofficers drive them like chickens and dogs.”

“况复秦兵耐苦战,被驱不异犬与鸡。”

Moving back to modernity, the staying power of the popular pet is testament to its adaptability.

说回现代,狗狗的忍耐力也证明了它们良好的适应性。

Several millennia ago, during the pastoral stage of social organization, dogs were bred for their ability to keep sheep and other vegetarians from running beyond the shepherd’s ken – while eagerly awaiting their “masters” to slaughter these same ruminants and then throw them a bone.

几千年前,当社会组织还处于畜牧阶段的时候,人们饲养狗是因为他们能看守绵羊和其他草食动物,避免它们跑出牧羊人的视线——同时,它们也急切地渴望着“主人”去宰杀这些反刍动物,然后扔块骨头给它们。

As if a loyal pup’s wagging tail and playful pouncing when we arrive home each night isn’t enough to cement their friendship with us forever – let’s not forget that when buildings crumble in quakes or the sightless try and negotiate a busy intersection, it’s not the cats and goldfish that are called to duty.

每天晚上当我们回到家时,忠诚的小狗崽都会摇着尾巴欢快地扑过来,如果这还不够巩固人犬之间永恒的友谊的话,别忘了,房屋建筑在地震中倒塌,盲人试图穿过繁忙的十字路口时,来帮忙的可不是猫和金鱼。

英文来源:“CHINA DAILY”微信公众号

翻译:沈家欢(实习生)

编审:丹妮 董静

音频编辑:焦洁

About the author & broadcaster

A. Thomas Pasek has served as a government official focused on international trade at the American Institute of Taiwan in Taipei, and worked in financial journalism for nearly a decade in both Beijing and Shenzhen. He holds a Master's Degree from New York University in History.

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