olegvm (olegvm) wrote,

О крюках и макрели

"До самого дна по стенам крюки
На них червяки у них имена"
Я. Дягилева

отрывок из "The Sea Fairies" L. Frank Baum

"Presently they came upon a small flock of mackerel, and noticed that
the fishes seemed much excited. When they saw the mermaid, they
cried out, "Oh, Merla! What do you think? Our Flippity has just gone
to glory!"

"When?" asked the mermaid.

"Just now," one replied. "We were lying in the water, talking
quietly together when a spinning, shining thing came along and our
dear Flippity ate it. Then he went shooting up to the top of the
water and gave a flop and--went to glory! Isn't it splendid, Merla?"

"Poor Flippity!" sighed the mermaid. "I'm sorry, for he was the
prettiest and nicest mackerel in your whole flock."

"What does it mean?" asked Trot. "How did Flippity go to glory?"

"Why, he was caught by a hook and pulled out of the water into some
boat," Merla explained. "But these poor stupid creatures do not
understand that, and when one of them is jerked out of the water and
disappears, they have the idea he has gone to glory, which means to
them some unknown but beautiful sea."

"I've often wondered," said Trot, "why fishes are foolish enough to
bite on hooks."

"They must know enough to know they're hooks," added Cap'n Bill

"Oh, they do," replied Merla. "I've seen fishes gather around a hook
and look at it carefully for a long time. They all know it is a hook
and that if they bite the bait upon it they will be pulled out of
the water. But they are curious to know what will happen to them
afterward, and think it means happiness instead of death. So finally
one takes the hook and disappears, and the others never know what
becomes of him."

"Why don't you tell 'em the truth?" asked Trot.

"Oh, we do. The mermaids have warned them many times, but it does no
good at all. The fish are stupid creatures."

"But I wish I was Flippity," said one of the mackerel, staring at
Trot with his big, round eyes. "He went to glory before I could eat
the hook myself."

"You're lucky," answered the child. "Flippity will be fried in a pan
for someone's dinner. You wouldn't like that, would you?"

"Flippity has gone to glory!" said another, and then they swam away
in haste to tell the news to all they met."

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