"Oh, most delightful, I am sure," said the hen. "You're mad, I think! Ask the cat; he's the wisest person I know. If he likes floating on the water or taking dives, I'll say no more. Ask our mistress, the old woman; there is no one in the whole world wiser than she. Do you fancy that she has any desire to float on the water and take dives?"
"You don't understand me!" said the duckling.
"If we don't understand you, I should like to know
who does! You will never be wiser than the cat and the old woman, let alone myself! Don't make a fool of yourself, child, and thank Heaven for all the kindness that has been shown to you. Have you not
been admitted into a warm room and into company from which you can learn something? But you're a wretch and association with you is anything but pleasant. You may take my word for it. I only mean it
for your good when I tell you unpleasant truths. 'Tis only one's real friends who talk to one like that! See that you lay eggs and learn to purr or give out sparks."
"I think I wil
l go out into the wide world," said the duckling.
"Do by all means!" said the hen.
So the duckling went, It floated upon the water, and took dives, but all the other animals look
ed down upon it because it was so ugly.
And now autumn came. The leaves of the forest grew yellow and brown, the wind caught hold of them and made them dance about, and there was a cold look high in
「是的，那一定很快乐！」母鸡说。 「你简直发疯了！ 你去问问猫儿，在我所认识的朋友当中，他是最聪明的。 你去问他喜欢不喜欢在水里游泳，或者潜进水里去。我先不说我自己。 你去问问你的主人──那个老太婆，世界上再也没有比她更聪明的人了！ 你以为她想去游泳，让水淹到她的头顶上吗？」
「我们不了解你？那么请问谁了解你呢？ 你绝对不会比猫儿和女主人还要聪明吧！我先不说我自己。 孩子！你不要自以为了不起！你现在得到这些照顾，就应该感谢上帝。 你现在到了一个温暖的屋子里，有了一些朋友，还可以向他们学习很多的东西，不是吗？ 不过，你真是令人讨厌，跟你在一起真不愉快。 请相信我。 我对你说这些不动听的话，完全是为了帮助你呀！ 唯有这样，你才知道谁是你真正的朋友！ 请你专心学习生蛋、喵喵叫，或者摩擦出火花吧！」