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An Encounter with the Manatees 与海牛的一次邂逅

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据悉,该摩托车手当时正行驶在泰国北部清莱府的乡间小路上。他回忆称,一只鹦鹉突然出现在距离他身旁约100米的地方,然后飞过他的头顶,朝前面飞去。致富小机器近日,专项责任清单扩容,新增缓解交通拥堵、突发事件应急救助、雪天道路交通应急保障、城市轨道交通突发事件应急处置、突发公共卫生事件应急处置等5个专项责任清单,共明确了40余个市级部门和各区政府、街道乡镇近800个责任事项,形成了50张工作流程图,为相关领域提升管理水平提供了制度保证。

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2019年06月12日

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An Encounter with the Manatees 与海牛的一次邂逅

◎ Linda Ballou

 

Walking alone on a remote beach in southwest Florida, I was startled to hear splashes and a deep sigh coming from the water just offshore.

独自漫步在佛罗里达西南荒无人烟的海滩上,我惊奇地听到海岸上传来海水喷溅的声音,以及一声深深的叹息。

As I squinted in the direction of the sounds, the rounded gray back of a sea creature rose amid a red froth, rolled turbulently at the surface, and then sank back into the Gulf. Moments later a broad nose emerged and exhaled in a great snuffling breath. It was a manatee, and by the looks of the reddish-colored water and the way it was thrashing, it was in trouble.

我眯着眼睛,顺着声音的方向望去,一个海洋生物的圆形灰色脊背从一片玫瑰色泡沫之间摇荡着浮出海面,接着又潜回海湾。不一会儿,一个宽大的鼻子冒出来,困难地呼出一口气,好似鼻塞一般。那是一头海牛,从被染红的海水和它呼吸的方式来看,它好像有什么麻烦。

I had often watched manatees in these warm coastal waters, but I’d never seen one act like this before. Usually just their big nostrils appeared for a gulp of air as they foraged on sea grasses or swam slowly to greener underwater pastures. But I also knew how common it was for these lumbering giants to be gashed by boat propellers or entangled in crab traps.

我以前经常在温暖的沿海水域看到海牛,但我从没见过海牛有这样的举动。通常,它们只是觅食海草,或者在海底缓慢行进以绿化海底,露出大鼻子吸进一口气。但是我也知道,它们巨大的身躯被螺旋桨划伤,或者遭遇螃蟹的陷阱,也是很普遍的现象。

I wanted to help, but what could I do? There was no one else on the beach, and the nearest phone to call the Marine Patrol was miles away.

我想去帮助它,可是我能做什么?海滩上一个人也没有,距离最近的可以向海洋巡逻处求救的电话亭也有数英里远。

Tossing my beach bag onto the sand, I began wading toward the animal, who continued to writhe as if in distress. I was still only waist deep when I came close enough to make out the bristly whiskers on the manatee’s muzzle as it thrust up out of the sea. Then, to my surprise, a second muzzle, much smaller, poked up beside it.

我把包扔在沙滩上,朝着海牛的方向涉水而去,此时它还在翻腾着,似乎情况非常紧迫。走到及腰深的地方时,我看到海牛嘴巴前林立的胡须。然后,令我惊奇的是,旁边还有另一个小一点儿的嘴巴。

I pushed on through the shoal water, but now the manatees were also moving toward me. Before I knew what was happening, I was in chest-deep water encircled by not one or two, but at least three blimp like bodies. I felt elated and slightly dizzy like the kid who is ‘it’ in a schoolyard game.

我继续在浅水中前进,此时,海牛也在向我这边移动。我还没意识到发生了什么事情,就已经走到了至胸深的位置,四周被不是一个两个,至少有三个身体大的生物包围着。我感觉有些兴奋和头晕,就像在校园里操场上游戏的孩子一样。

A bulbous snout emerged next to me. In the translucent water, I could clearly see the rest of the huge mammal, and there, nestled close behind her, a smaller version of her massive body.

这时,一个灯泡状的鼻子出现在我旁边,在半透明的水里,我可以清晰地看到这个巨大哺乳动物的其他身体部分,靠在它旁边的,还有一只小海牛。

Then, with incredible gentleness for such an enormous creature, the larger manatee nudged the little one with her paddle-shaped flipper and pushed it to the surface beside me. I wanted to reach out and touch the pudgy sea baby, but I hesitated, not knowing the rules of this inter-species encounter.

接着,这只巨大的生物用一种难以置信的温柔,通过它桨状的鳍把小海牛推到我的身边。我想伸手去接住这只矮墩墩的小海牛,可是我犹豫了一下,因为不知道这种物种间的相遇应该通过怎样一种方式。

As the two slipped back underwater, two other manatees moved in from behind and slid by, one on either side, rubbing gently against my body as they swam past. They circled and repeated the action, this time followed by the mother and her calf. Emboldened by their overtures, I let my hand graze the side of the small manatee, now clinging to the mother’s back, as they made their pass. Its skin felt rubbery and firm like an old fashioned hot water bottle.

随着这两只海牛在水下划走,另外两只从我的身后游来,一左一右,经过我身边的时候,它们轻轻地摩擦着我的身体。绕了个圈,然后继续这样,这次母海牛和小海牛也加入到它们的队伍中。有了它们这样的举动,当它们从我身边经过时,我用手轻擦紧抱母亲后背的小海牛。它的皮肤像橡胶一样,硬硬的,有如老式的热水袋。

The group completed several more circuits. Since they obviously enjoyed touching me, I began stroking each of them as they sidled by. When one of them rolled over for a scratch, I knew I had made the right move.

海牛们就这样绕了几圈。显然,他们很喜欢碰触我的感觉,于是,当他们游过我身边的时候,我开始抚摩它们。当其中一只绕回来让我抚摩时,我意识到我这么做是对的。

Eventually my new friends made their way off towards deeper water. I stood anchored to the spot, not wishing to break the spell, until finally the rising tide forced me back to shore.

最后,我的新朋友们朝着深处的水域游走了。我站在那里,不希望打破这样的气氛,直到最后潮水把我涌回岸边。

I suppose I will never know exactly what took place that morning. I like to think that the manatees included me in their celebration of a birth; that I was welcomed to meet the newest member of their tribe. But over time I have come to cherish the experience without questions.

我想我永远也弄不清那天早晨到底发生了什么事情。我愿意想成是海牛们邀请我参加它们生日的庆典,欢迎我共同见证新生命的降临。但是随着时间的推移,我珍视着这次经历,毫无缘由。

During that unexpected rendezvous, I felt more in tune with the rhythms of life on this vast planet than I ever have. The memory has become a song I sing to myself when I have the blues, a dance I do to celebrate joy.

经过那次意想不到的邂逅,我前所未有地感觉到我与偌大星球上的生命是如此合拍。这个记忆变成我失意时唱给自己听的歌,愉悦时为自己庆祝的舞蹈。

And each year, during the last week of May, I pack a lunch and head for that isolated stretch of beach for a quiet little birthday picnic on the shore. After all, you never know who might show up for the party.

每年5月的最后一周,我都会带着食物来到那片荒芜的海滩,在海岸上静静地享受生日的餐点。总之,你从不知道谁将会在生日聚会上出现。

 

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