动物园的猫 CATS AT THE ZOO

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在动物园,你注意到一些猫:它们是自发前往那里的访客,没被关进笼子,它们随心所欲地来来往往,很可能是无家可归的猫,大胆而很有事业心,而不是那种腐化堕落的野猫,它们不允许人类的手来爱抚或捕捉自己,它们相互之间好像并不会打架,而是避开对方,四处偷偷潜行,每只猫都各行其道。它们在铁条之间溜进较大动物的笼子,坐在那里,仿佛在临时来访期间进行一场实验,仿佛它们需要一刻钟来分享被囚禁的动物的命运,或者为了显示自己的自由自在而嘲笑那些被囚的动物,或者坐在笼子的顶上,凝视下面的动物,细心地舔着自己或者安乐地打滚。在困难之处,它们可以毫无困难地觅食而且找到食物:喂食的时候,在笼子之间掉下的或食肉动物不怎么喜欢吃的肉块,尤其重要的是海豹和其他水中动物所吃的鱼,不是那种在规定的时间里由管理员所喂的,而最重要的是由游客——孩子们所喂的,他们可以购买装在纸袋中的小鱼,将其抛撒给动物,而其中很多小鱼都掉在地上,让那些猫大快朵颐。那些猫流露出一种尊严,几乎好像是应邀而来的客人或访客,拥有固定不变的权利,需要的时候,它们可以迅速行动,但不是逃逸,它们不怕老虎的咆哮和海象的吼叫。它们似乎自信、果断,明显地感到自己与其他动物之间的差异,为自己谋求一席之地,这些自由的生灵,看不起那些被囚禁的动物及其主人——在来访的人群进进出出之处,过着临时而毫不相干的生活。

CATS AT THE ZOO

At the zoo you notice the cats: they are voluntary visitors there and are not shut in cages, they come and go as they please, probably homeless cats, bold and enterprising, but not decadent wild cats, they do not permit themselves to be caressed or captured by human hands, they don’t seem to fight among themselves, but avoid each other, slink around, each one on his own. They glide in between the iron bars into the larger animals’cages, sit there as if for an experiment, on a temporary visit, as if they want for a moment to share the fate of the imprisoned animals or perhaps scoff at them in order to show their own freedom, or they sit on the roof of the cages and gaze down at the other animals, lick themselves thoughtfully or roll into a ball in their own well-being. They search for food and find it in difficult places, without difficulty: bits of meat dropped between the cages at feeding time or left by predators without great desire to eat, and above all fish that seals and other water animals are fed, not only by the caretakers at determined times but above all by the visitors, children, who can buy small fish in paper bags and throw them to the animals, of which many land on the ground and are fished up by the cats. They show a kind of dignity, almost as if they were invited guests or visitors with fixed rights, they can be quick if they need to, but they do not flee, feel no fear of the tiger’s roaring nor the walrus’s bellowing.They seem self-assured,purposeful,obviously feel the difference between themselves and the other animals, take a place for themselves, free beings who can look down on the prisoners, their own masters, who lead their lives where the visiting crowds move in and out, temporary and rather irrelevant.