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「十二生肖的由來,內幕大爆料」- Story of the Chinese Zodiac


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'Twas the night before Chinese New Year, and all through the lands, not a creature was stirring—except for the rat, cat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig, and pretty much every single animal on the lands, as they were all preparing for a race.
那是中國新年前夕,整個大地,沒有半隻動物在活動--除了老鼠、貓、牛、老虎、兔子、龍、蛇、馬、羊、猴子、公雞、狗、還有豬,還有陸地上幾乎每一隻動物,因為牠們全在為一場比賽做準備。

The Jade Emperor, ruler of the heavens, called for all the creatures to participate in a race on his birthday. He decided the people of China needed a way to measure time in 12-year increments. So the first 12 winners of the race would each win the honor of getting a year named after them. The race would be a long and arduous one, passing through a densely wooded forest and a wide river.
玉皇大帝,天庭的統治者,要求所有動物在他生日這天參與一場競賽。他決定中國的人民需要一個方法來以十二年分計算時間。比賽前十二名贏家會各得到一年以牠們命名的榮耀。這會是場漫長且艱辛的比賽,穿越一座茂密的森林以及一條寬闊的河流。

Cat and Rat were friends and agreed to win the race together by cleverly asking the strong and kind Ox to give them a ride, promising to finish after Ox won. As they were crossing the river, the cunning Rat pushes the Cat into the water. Then when they neared shore, Rat jumps ahead and wins the race. Ox comes in a close second.
貓和老鼠是朋友且同意合作贏得比賽,靠著聰明地請強壯又友善的牛載牠們一程,還有答應在牛贏之後才穿過終點。當牠們渡河時,狡詐的老鼠把貓推到河裡。接著在牠們靠近河岸時,老鼠先跳過去並贏得比賽。牛則得到差距微小的第二名。

Tiger, the king of all creatures in China, struggled with the strong currents, but finally made it across and became the third zodiac sign. Lucky Rabbit hopped across as the fourth, saying she found rocks and boulders to take her across the waters. The powerful and mystical Dragon was the favorite to win the race as he can fly. As he whizzes past the finish line, he explains to the Jade Emperor that he has stopped to make rain to quell a dangerous fire. This kind act pleases the emperor, and he gladly designated the dragon the fifth zodiac sign.
老虎,中國的萬獸之王,和湍急水流奮鬥,不過最後終於成功渡河然後成為第三個生肖。幸運的兔子跳過去成為第四,說自己找到石頭和大圓石帶她穿越河水。強大又神祕的龍是最可能贏得比賽的動物,因為他能飛。當他嗖嗖越過終點線時,他向玉帝解釋自己停下來造雨平息一場危險的大火。這般善良的舉動讓玉帝大為歡喜,因此他開心地指派龍為第五個生肖。

Soon, thunderous hooves are heard as Horse is about to finish the race. Snake jumps out!—having secretly hitched a ride on Horse's hoof. Startled, Horse raised back on her hind legs as Snake slithers across the finish line as number six. With a snort, Horse crosses in at seventh place. Meanwhile, Sheep, Monkey, and Rooster help each other along the race. At the river crossing, Rooster spots a raft. And with lots of pulling, tugging, and paddling, they all manage across the waters. The emperor, pleased to see this great team effort, honors the sheep eighth, monkey ninth, and rooster the tenth zodiac signs.
不久後,當馬快要完成比賽時,隆隆馬啼聲響起。蛇跳了出來!--他偷偷地纏在馬蹄上搭順風車。受到驚嚇,馬兒揚起前蹄,在蛇滑過終點線成為第六名那時。不滿地用鼻子噴了氣,馬通過終點線成為第七名。同時,羊、猴子還有公雞在整場比賽中幫助彼此。渡河時,公雞看到一艘木筏。費很大的勁又拉、又拖,還有划,他們全成功渡過河流。玉皇大帝,很開心見到這樣出色的團隊合作,賜給羊第八、猴子第九,而公雞第十個生肖的榮耀。

With a bark, Dog bounds across the finish line as number eleven. Such a strong runner and swimmer, he finishes after some of the slower creatures because he couldn't resist playing in the water.
一聲吠叫,狗跳過終點線成為第十一名。如此強壯的跑者和游泳選手,他卻在一些比較慢的動物後完成比賽,因為他無法抗拒在水中玩耍。

Last but not least, Pig trots over and is designated the twelfth and final animal. The emperor asked Pig what took him so long, to which Pig replies, "I got hungry and stopped to forage for food. Then after eating, I got sleepy and took a nap. Thankfully, I woke up in time to finish the race." Everyone laughs and then celebrates their honors as the 12 lucky signs of the Chinese zodiac.
最後,豬碎步跑過來,然後被派為第十二也就是最後一個動物。玉帝問豬怎麼這麼久才到,豬回答道:「我餓了停下來找吃的。然後吃完後,我想睡覺就打了個盹。幸好,我及時醒來完成比賽。」大家都笑了,然後慶祝他們成為十二生肖幸運符號的榮耀。

Hey! But what happened to Cat? Cat nearly drowned after her friend betrayed her. By the time she made it to the finish line, festivities were already under way. Bitterly, she vowed to forever hate the Rat, and this is why cats chase rats and are forever enemies.
嘿!不過貓怎麼了?貓在她的朋友背叛她後差點溺死。等她成功抵達終點線時,慶祝活動早在進行了。苦澀地,貓發誓要永遠討厭老鼠,而這就是為什麼貓會追老鼠而且是一輩子的死對頭。

The End
故事結束

  • 「差不多、幾乎」- Pretty Much

    ...except for the rat, cat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig, and pretty much every single animal on the lands...
    ...除了老鼠、貓、牛、老虎、兔子、龍、蛇、馬、羊、猴子、公雞、狗、還有豬,還有陸地上幾乎每一隻動物...

  • 「要求」- Call For

    The Jade Emperor, ruler of the heavens, called for all the creatures to participate in a race on his birthday.
    玉皇大帝,天庭的統治者,要求所有動物在他生日這天參與一場競賽。

  • 「通過、穿過」- Pass Through

    The race would be a long and arduous one, passing through a densely wooded forest and a wide river.
    這會是場漫長且艱辛的比賽,穿越一座茂密的森林以及一條寬闊的河流。

  • 「載某人一程」- Give Someone A Ride

    Cat and Rat were friends and agreed to win the race together by cleverly asking the strong and kind Ox to give them a ride...
    貓和老鼠是朋友且同意合作贏得比賽,靠著聰明地請強壯又友善的牛載牠們一程...

  • 「最後但同樣重要的」- Last But Not Least

    Last but not least, Pig trots over and is designated the twelfth and final animal.
    最後,豬碎步跑過來,然後被派為第十二也就是最後一個動物。

  • 「小睡、打盹」- Take A Nap

    Then after eating, I got sleepy and took a nap.
    然後吃完後,我想睡覺就打了個盹。

  • 「及時」- In Time

    Thankfully, I woke up in time to finish the race.
    幸好,我及時醒來完成比賽。

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