(Translation) 2019 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 : Kristina Kaltenbach

Once, the dragon king’s daughter of the eastern see had an illness in her heart. The healer said: "Obtain a hare liver and combine it with herbs and then you can cure the disease.” But in the middle of the sea there were no hares, and nothing could be done about it.
There was one turtle who spoke to the Dragon king: "I can get it." It succeeds to come ashore, saw a hare and said: "In the middle of the sea there is an Island, there are clear springs, white stones, luxuriant forests and beautiful fruits and the cold and the heat cannot reach there, hawks and falcons cannot invade. If you get there you can live with peace and without trouble."
So the turtle carried the hare on its back and went about 2 or 3 li.
The turtle turned back to the hare and said: "Now the dragon king's daughter is affected by a disease; she needs a hare liver for medicine. Therefore I didn't mind the hardship; I carried you and came here and that's it."
The hare replied: "Alas, I am a godly descendant: I can take out my five organs, and I can wash them and put them back inside. Temporarily I had put them at the bottom of a rock; but hearing your sweet talk, I came (with you) quickly with my liver still there. Why don't we go back and get the liver? Then you get that which you seek, and I can still be alive even if I had no liver. How is that not suitable for both of us?"
The turtle believed it and returned. As soon as they landed on the shore the hare escaped and entered into the bushes.
It said to the turtle: "How stupid you are, how is there one who can be alive without a liver?"
The turtle, pitifully and silently, retreated.

  • Discussion Questions:

(YO) A few minor points:
遂登陸見兎言: Accordingly, it climbed ashore and found a hare, and it said (to hare)
顧: look back at
故不憚勞, 負爾來耳: so only for that (耳), I without minding the hardship carried you here on my back
今龍女被病: right now, the Dragon Lady is suffering from illness
吾神明之後: I am a descendant of gods