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 曾 经落马受伤的经历让女儿一度望马生畏,但 当她看着一匹老马忠诚而温润的眼睛时,孩 子不由得想再次将信任交付。







By Tom Maupin

熙凡 选 徐菲菲 译


The majestic eye peered through the opening in the stall door. It was a gaze that reflected years of success and experience as a champion reining horse. It also conveyed gentleness and wisdom. It belonged to an old Quarter Horse named Twist. Now past thirty years old, he had spent the last few years relegated to the rank of dependable trail companion for his owner. But inside the rough, aged exterior , the heart of a true winner still beat with the same spirit to be part of a rider’s life. This spirit had not faded even as younger horses arrived at the barn and took up more and more of Twist’s owner’s time. Little did I know the effect that the old champion’s spirit would have on my daughter.

A few years before, my daughter Stacy had had a bad experience with a runaway horse. She was just eight at the time, and a terrifying fall accompanied the disaster. Although she broke no bones, her confidence, love for horses and the desire to learn to ride were shattered. No matter how her mother and I tried, we had no success in healing the damage caused on that fateful day. But as I stood there and saw Stacy look into the eye of the old fellow in the stall, I knew this was going to be the beginning of a special relationship.

Fortunately, Stacy’s accident had not diminished her love for animals in general, and this small opening was all that Twist needed to establish a special bond. Stacy was now thirteen years old, which is a critical age for all young ladies to handle. It is a time when special bonds are not easy to form, but so crucial to possess. Would Twist be able to wipe away Stacy’s reluctance to get back into a saddle after five years? It was as if Twist recognized the challenge and the importance of victory. It wasn’t a blue ribbon, trophy or award that was at stake, but the heart of a child, and what a special medal of victory he then would possess.

In the days and weeks that followed, my daughter began to express daily interest in coming to the barn with me and my wife. We were careful not to interfere. We did not dare disrupt the magic of the old man at work. Though she said she was there to see the barn cats, Stacy would seek out Twist. She took the initiative to spend time with him, feeding, brushing, combing and stroking him from head to hoof, all the while talking to him about her life.

Though age had taken away some of the tone of the old Quarter Horse’s muscles, it had not lessened his ability to strike the stance of a champion as he stood quietly while she groomed him.

Then one day as my wife was readying one of our horses for a ride, Twist’s owner noticed the old guy’s eager expression and desire to be included, too. So the owner asked Stacy if she wanted to get Twist ready and take him out for a ride. In response, Stacy looked once again into the old man’s eye. I can't say that he winked at her, but it was that moment their two spirits met and completed the bond that had been forming over a couple of months. Continuing to look deep into his eyes, Stacy didn’t speak, she only nodded yes. Moments later, I stood there as they rode off together, Stacy winning renewed confidence and desire, and Twist winning his medal of a child’s heart. I had not seen his head held higher or his walk more regal than in that first minute.

As this first ride turned into many more, Twist took very good care of his young friend and slowly replaced her fear with confidence. I nearly cried the day I looked across the field and caught sight of Stacy and Twist cantering back to the barn. Her long hair was pulled back and flowing in the breeze in a way that seemed to mimic the appearance of the old man’s tail. He had won. He had beaten fear, removing years of bad memories and replacing them with moments of happiness that are etched forever not only in my daughter’s heart but mine as well. I know I always will be grateful for what Twist did for my family. I will forever remember the time I looked deep into the eyes of this champion and saw the love of a child looking back at me.

一 只炯炯有神的眼睛从马厩的门缝中向外张望。这 眼神中闪烁着一匹优质驯马常年在马术赛场上的成功和经验,也流露出温顺和聪慧。那是一匹老夸特马,名字叫忒斯特,已经三十多岁了。过去几年,它 被降级为主人行路时可靠的座骑。尽 管从外表上看毛发粗糙,垂垂老矣,可 它那颗胜者之心仍然以多年前那股精神气跳动着,期 盼自己仍是骑手生命中的一部分。即使来了更年轻的马,占 用了忒斯特的主人越来越多的时间,它 的这种精神也没有消减。而我也丝毫不知道,这 匹老马的精神会给我女儿带来怎样的影响。

几年以前,我 的女儿史黛西骑马时,马脱了缰。那时候她才八岁,从马上摔了下来,很可怕。虽然没有任何骨折,可 她对马儿怀有的信任和爱意,以 及想学骑马的愿望一并不复存在了。无 论她妈妈和我怎么尝试,我 们都无法平复孩子在那个不幸的日子里所遭受的创伤。但当我站在那里,看 见史黛西凝视着马厩中那匹老马的眼睛时,我知道,这 会是一段特别的关系的开始。

幸运的是,史 黛西并未因为那次事故而减少对动物们的爱心。现 在只消透过这个窄小的门缝,忒 斯特就可以和史黛西建立一种特殊的感情纽带。史黛西现在13岁了,是 所有年轻女孩子都要面临的重要时期。在这个时期,特 殊的情感纽带不易形成,但 保有这种关系又特别重要。忒 斯特能否消除史黛西的疑虑,让 她时隔五年之后重新跨上马鞍呢?忒斯特仿佛觉察到了,这是一个挑战,最后的胜利很重要。这 关乎的并非一条蓝色绶带,一 个奖杯或是什么奖品,而是一个孩子的心灵,这 将是多么特别的一份胜利奖品啊。

在 随后的数天和数周里,我 女儿开始每天都表示有兴趣和我和我妻子一起到马厩中来。我 俩都谨慎地不做任何干涉,我 们不敢惊扰了施展魔法的马儿。虽 然史黛西总说她是去看猫的,不 过她总要找找忒斯特在哪儿。她 主动提出要和它一起玩,喂它,帮它刷洗、梳毛,还从头到脚地抚摸它,一直跟它说话,讲 着关于她生活的一切。

尽 管年岁让老夸特马的肌肉略失光泽,但 它依然能保持自己作为一匹良驹的身姿;在 史黛西照料它的时候,它就那么安静地站着。

有一天,我 的妻子正在备马准备骑乘。这 时忒斯特的主人注意到,忒 斯特露出渴望的神情,显然也很想参与。马 主人就问史黛西想不想打点一下忒斯特,骑着它出去兜一圈。作为回应,史 黛西又一次凝视着老马的眼睛。我 倒不能说它朝她使了个眼色,不过就在那一刻,她和它彼此心神相通,过 去几个月以来一直形成发展着的关系在此刻变得圆满。史 黛西继续深深凝望着它的眼睛,没有说话,只 是点了点头表示默许。过了几分钟,我站在那儿,看着她们走远。史 黛西找回了她对马儿的信任和骑马的渴望,而 忒斯特也赢得了一个孩子的心。史黛西刚刚骑上它时,我 从未看见它的头比那一刻抬得更高,也 从未看到过它走得比那一刻更加庄严。

有了第一次,就有了第二次,第三次。忒 斯特很注意照顾它的小朋友,渐 渐地打消了她的恐惧,代之以信任。有一天,我望向田野,恰 好看见忒斯特载着史黛西慢跑回马厩,我感动得热泪盈眶。她的长发束成马尾,在清风中飘拂着,像忒斯特的尾巴一样,有节奏地摇摆着。他赢了。他战胜了恐惧,消 除了几年来的糟糕记忆,代 之以欢乐时光的回忆。那 些回忆不仅将永远刻在我女儿的心上,也将留在我的心中。我 知道我将永远感谢忒斯特为我的家人所做的一切。我会永远记得,当 我深深凝望这匹马儿的眼睛时,我 看到的是它以孩童般的爱意回望着我。

(来源:英语学习杂志 编辑:丹妮)



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