(Translation) 龜兔之說

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Original Script

昔, 東海龍女病心, 醫言: 「得兎肝合藥, 則可療也。」 然 海中無兎, 不奈之何。 有一龜白龍王言: 「吾能得之。」 遂登陸見兎言: 「海中有一島, 淸泉白石, 茂林佳菓, 寒暑 不能到, 鷹隼不能侵。爾若得至, 可以安居無患。」 因負 兎背上, 游行二三里許。 龜顧謂兎曰: 「今龍女被病, 須 兎肝爲藥, 故不憚勞, 負爾來耳。」 兎曰: 「噫, 吾神明之 後, 能出五藏, 洗而納之。日者小覺心煩, 遂出肝心洗之, 暫置巖石之底, 聞爾甘言徑來, 肝尙在彼, 何不廻歸取肝, 則汝得所求, 吾雖無肝尙活, 豈不兩相宜哉。」 龜信之而 還, 纔上岸, 兎脫入草中, 謂龜曰: 「愚哉, 汝也, 豈有無肝 而生者乎。」 龜憫黙而退.


Student Translation : (Kathy Lin)

In the past, the daughter of a dragon of the eastern sea had a malady of the heart. The healer said, “Obtain the liver of a rabbit as medicine, and you will be healed.” But as there was no rabbit in the middle of the sea, there was nothing to be done. There was a tortoise who addressed the dragon king, saying, “I can get this.” And thereupon climbed onto the land and, seeing a rabbit, said, “In the middle of the ocean there is an island. On it there are clear founts of water and white rock, and luxurious woods with good fruit. Heat and cold cannot arrive there, and hawks cannot disturb you. If you go there, you can quietly settle down without any worries.” So the tortoise carried the rabbit on its back and swam about two or three lis. Then it turned around and said to the rabbit, “Today the dragon daughter is sick; she must have rabbit liver as medicine. For this reason I didn’t mind exerting myself, and carried you here. The rabbit said, “Alas! I am the descendent of a spirit. Thus I can take out my five internal organs to wash them and then put them back. A few days ago I felt a little disturbance in my heart, so took out my heart and liver to wash them. At the moment they are beneath a rock. When I heard your sweet words I came straightaway, and the liver is still there. Why don’t we return there to fetch my liver. Then you’ll obtain what you’re looking for, and I can still live, without my liver. Is this not fitting for both parties?” The tortoise believed the rabbit, and they went back. The moment they were onshore, the rabbit slipped away into the grasses, saying to the tortoise, “You are a fool! How can someone be without their liver and still live!” The tortoise fell into a melancholy silence and left.

  • Discussion Questions:

+(YO) 得兎肝合藥 should be: "Obtain the liver of a rabbit and combine/mix (it) with medicine." Also, to be more precise, 鷹隼 is "hawks and falcons".