"Listen, comrade!" said they; "you are so ugly that we have quite taken a fancy to you. Will you scud about with us and become a bird of passage? Close by here, in another fen, are some sweet, delightful wild geese, maiden ladies the whole lot of them, who can say 'Quack!' most charmingly. You'l
l be able to cut a fine figure there ugly as you are!"
"Pop! Pop!" sounded the same instant, and the two wild geese fell dead among the rushes, while the water turned blood-red. "Pop! Pop!" sounded
again, and whole swarms of wild geese flew up out of the rushes. Then there were fresh bangs. It was a shooting party; the sportsmen lay around about the fen, nay, some even sat up in the branches of the trees which st
retched right over the rushes; the blue smoke went like clouds among the dark trees and hung far over the water, and the hunting dogs came splash-splashing through the mire. Reeds and sedges swayed in every direction; it was a terrible
moment for the poor duckling, who turned its head round or put it beneath its wing, and the same instant a frightful big dog stood right in front of it, his tongue hanging far out of his mouth, his eyes shining fearfully; he put his jaws right against th
e duckling, showed his sharp teeth-and splash! off he went again without seizing it.
"Oh, heaven be praised!" sighed the duckling. "I am so ugly that even the dog doesn't like to bite me."
And it lay quite still while the shots hissed among the sedges and gun after gun cracked and banged away.
「听着！伙伴！」他们说：「你丑得很可爱，我们都忍不住喜欢你了。 你就做一只候鸟，和我们一块儿飞走好吗？ 另外有一块沼泽地离这儿很近，那里有好几只活泼可爱的雁儿。他们都是小姐，都会叫『呱呱！』 你是如此的丑，可以在她们那儿碰碰你的运气！」
「砰！砰！」天空中发出一阵响声。这两只公雁跌落到芦苇里，死了，把水染得鲜红。 「砰！砰！」又是一阵响声。整群的雁儿都从芦苇里惊飞起来。 接着又是一阵枪声响起。 原来有人在大规模地打猎，猎人在这沼泽地的周围埋伏，有几个人甚至坐在芦苇上面的树枝上。蓝色的烟雾像云层似地笼罩着这些树，由水面上缓缓地向远方飘去。这时，猎狗都噗哧噗哧地往泥淖里奔跑过来。 灯芯草和芦苇便向两边倒去。这对于可怜的小鸭来说真是件可怕的事情！他把头埋进翅膀里。不过，正在这时候，一只凶恶的大猎狗紧靠在小鸭的身边。他的舌头从嘴里伸出很长，眼睛发出凶恶和可怕的光。他把鼻子顶在小鸭的身上，露出了尖牙利齿，可是──噗哧！噗哧！──他跑开了，没有把他抓走。