小王子 Chapter 5
文章来源:未知 文章作者:enread 发布时间:2016-07-11 07:32 字体: [ ]  进入论坛
As each day passed I would learn, in our talk, something about the little prince's planet, his departure from it, his journey. The information would come very slowly, as it might chance to fall from his thoughts. It was in this way that I heard, on the third day, about the catastrophe1 of the baobabs.
This time, once more, I had the sheep to thank for it. For the little prince asked me abruptly-- as if seized by a grave doubt-- "It is true, isn't it, that sheep eat little bushes?" 
"Yes, that is true."
"Ah! I am glad!"
I did not understand why it was so important that sheep should eat little bushes. But the little prince added:
"Then it follows that they also eat baobabs?"
I pointed2 out to the little prince that baobabs were not little bushes, but, on the contrary, trees as big as castles; and that even if he took a whole herd3 of elephants away with him, the herd would not eat up one single baobab.
The idea of the herd of elephants made the little prince laugh.
"We would have to put them one on top of the other," he said.
But he made a wise comment: 
"Before they grow so big, the baobabs start out by being little."  
"That is strictly4 correct," I said. "But why do you want the sheep to eat the little baobabs?"
He answered me at once, "Oh, come, come!", as if he were speaking of something that was self-evident. And I was obliged to make a great mental effort to solve this problem, without any assistance.
Indeed, as I learned, there were on the planet where the little prince lived-- as on all planets-- good plants and bad plants. In consequence, there were good seeds from good plants, and bad seeds from bad plants. But seeds are invisible. They sleep deep in the heart of the earth's darkness, until some one among them is seized with the desire to awaken5. Then this little seed will stretch itself and begin-- timidly at first-- to push a charming little sprig inoffensively upward toward the sun. If it is only a sprout6 of radish or the sprig of a rose-bush, one would let it grow wherever it might wish. But when it is a bad plant, one must destroy it as soon as possible, the very first instant that one recognizes it.
Now there were some terrible seeds on the planet that was the home of the little prince; and these were the seeds of the baobab. The soil of that planet was infested7 with them. A baobab is something you will never, never be able to get rid of if you attend to it too late. It spreads over the entire planet. It bores clear through it with its roots. And if the planet is too small, and the baobabs are too many, they split it in pieces…
"It is a question of discipline," the little prince said to me later on. "When you've finished your own toilet in the morning, then it is time to attend to the toilet of your planet, just so, with the greatest care. You must see to it that you pull up regularly all the baobabs, at the very first moment when they can be distinguished8 from the rosebushes which they resemble so closely in their earliest youth. It is very tedious work," the little prince added, "but very easy."
And one day he said to me: "You ought to make a beautiful drawing, so that the children where you live can see exactly how all this is. That would be very useful to them if they were to travel some day. Sometimes," he added, "there is no harm in putting off a piece of work until another day. But when it is a matter of baobabs, that always means a catastrophe. I knew a planet that was inhabited by a lazy man. He neglected three little bushes…"
So, as the little prince described it to me, I have made a drawing of that planet. I do not much like to take the tone of a moralist. But the danger of the baobabs is so little understood, and such considerable risks would be run by anyone who might get lost on an asteroid9, that for once I am breaking through my reserve. "Children," I say plainly, "watch out for the baobabs!"
My friends, like myself, have been skirting this danger for a long time, without ever knowing it; and so it is for them that I have worked so hard over this drawing. The lesson which I pass on by this means is worth all the trouble it has cost me. 
Perhaps you will ask me, "Why are there no other drawing in this book as magnificent and impressive as this drawing of the baobabs?"#p#分页标题#e#
The reply is simple. I have tried. But with the others I have not been successful. When I made the drawing of the baobabs I was carried beyond myself by the inspiring force of urgent necessity.
为了叫我的朋友们警惕这种危险——他们同我一样长期以来和这种危险接触,却没有意识到它的危险性—— 我花了很大的功夫画了这副画。我提出的这个教训意义是很重大的,花点功夫是很值得的。


1 catastrophe WXHzr     
  • I owe it to you that I survived the catastrophe.亏得你我才大难不死。
  • This is a catastrophe beyond human control.这是一场人类无法控制的灾难。
2 pointed Il8zB4     
  • He gave me a very sharp pointed pencil.他给我一支削得非常尖的铅笔。
  • She wished to show Mrs.John Dashwood by this pointed invitation to her brother.她想通过对达茨伍德夫人提出直截了当的邀请向她的哥哥表示出来。
3 herd Pd8zb     
  • She drove the herd of cattle through the wilderness.她赶着牛群穿过荒野。
  • He had no opinions of his own but simply follow the herd.他从无主见,只是人云亦云。
4 strictly GtNwe     
  • His doctor is dieting him strictly.他的医生严格规定他的饮食。
  • The guests were seated strictly in order of precedence.客人严格按照地位高低就座。
5 awaken byMzdD     
  • Old people awaken early in the morning.老年人早晨醒得早。
  • Please awaken me at six.请于六点叫醒我。
6 sprout ITizY     
  • When do deer first sprout horns?鹿在多大的时候开始长出角?
  • It takes about a week for the seeds to sprout.这些种子大约要一周后才会发芽。
7 infested f7396944f0992504a7691e558eca6411     
adj.为患的,大批滋生的(常与with搭配)v.害虫、野兽大批出没于( infest的过去式和过去分词 );遍布于
  • The kitchen was infested with ants. 厨房里到处是蚂蚁。
  • The apartments were infested with rats and roaches. 公寓里面到处都是老鼠和蟑螂。
8 distinguished wu9z3v     
  • Elephants are distinguished from other animals by their long noses.大象以其长长的鼻子显示出与其他动物的不同。
  • A banquet was given in honor of the distinguished guests.宴会是为了向贵宾们致敬而举行的。
9 asteroid uo1yD     
  • Astronomers have yet to witness an asteroid impact with another planet.天文学家还没有目击过小行星撞击其它行星。
  • It's very unlikely that an asteroid will crash into Earth but the danger exists.小行星撞地球的可能性很小,但这样的危险还是存在的。
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