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马克.吐温的青蛙

| 2019-02-05 阅读 28

1865年,马克.吐温30岁。

据说他在那一年,受到一只青蛙的启发,写出了著名的幽默小说《卡拉韦拉斯县驰名的跳蛙》,从此一举成名,开始了大作家生涯。

据有关说法,这只启发马克.吐温灵感的青蛙不是普通的青蛙,而是一种濒临灭绝的珍稀蛙类,上一次有人报告看到这种蛙类是在1969年。34年以后,这种青蛙终于又出现了。

下面先看看马克.吐温是如何描写这种青蛙的。

"有一天,他逮着一只跳蛙带回家去,说是要好好训一训;足足有三个月,他什么事都不干,光呆在后院里头教那只跳蛙蹦高。

果不其然,他把跳蛙训出来了。只要他从后头点跳蛙一下,你就看吧,那跳蛙像翻煎饼一样在空中打个转----兴许翻一个筋斗,要是起得好,也许能翻两个,然后稳稳当当地爪朝下落地,就像一只猎。

他还训那跳蛙逮苍蝇,勤学苦练,练得那跳蛙不论苍蝇飞出去多远,只要瞧得见,回回都能逮得着。

嘿,我就瞧见过他把丹尼尔·韦伯斯特放在这儿的地板上----那跳蛙叫丹尼尔·韦伯斯特----大喊一声:"苍蝇,丹尼尔,苍蝇!"快得让你来不及眨眼,跳蛙就噌曾地照直跳起来,把那边柜台上的一只苍蝇吞下去了,然后像一摊泥"扑嗒"落在地上,拿后腿抓耳挠腮,没事人似的,好像觉得自个儿比别的跳蛙也强不到哪儿去。别看它有能耐,你还真找不着比它更朴实,更爽快的跳蛙了。

只要是从平地上规规矩矩地往上跳,它比你见过的所有跳蛙都跳得高一个身子。从平地往上跳是它的拿手好戏,你明白吗?只要比这一项,斯迈雷就一路把注押上去。斯迈雷把他的跳蛙看成宝贝;要说也是,那些见多识广的老江湖都说,从来也没见过这么棒的跳蛙。"

下面是美联社的报道。

Mark Twain's Frog Makes Rare Appearance
By DON THOMPSON, Associated Press Writer

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A threatened species of frog thought to have inspired Mark Twain's tale of "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" has been rediscovered in the county, 34 years after the frogs were last seen in the area.

The children of a cattle rancher found the California red-legged frogs while playing around watering holes on their property, wildlife officials said Tuesday. They asked that the location not be disclosed as researchers work to protect the frogs and their habitat.


A Fish and Wildlife Service biologist verified the discovery, locating one male and two female frogs in October. The last such sighting in Calaveras County was in 1969.


Robert Stack of the Jumping Frog Research Institute in Angels Camp, about 60 miles southeast of Sacramento, joked that the frogs are direct descendants of "Dan'l Webster" -- Twain's fictional frog.


The wildlife service is offering to work with nearby property owners to see if the frogs survive there as well. Stack is seeking grants to develop a captive-breeding program to protect a population he estimates at 10-20 frogs, by nurturing some of the eggs next year. He hopes to use the remnant frogs to one day repopulate the county.


As a threatened species, the frog enjoys protections that have caused some trepidation for property owners and developers who fear intrusive government oversight or a drop in land values. The wildlife service removed Calaveras County from its protection plan for the species after local officials objected.


Warren "Buck" King, the unofficial "Frogtown mayor" who managed the Calaveras County Fair and Frog Jumping Jubilee until he retired this year, led local opposition to Stack's reintroduction plans. He feared it would force landowners to kill off the competing bullfrog, brought in from east of the Rockies more than a century ago after San Franciscans devoured much of the state's red-legged frog population.


The bullfrogs since have taken over much of the red-legged frog's habitat, and are the preferred frog used at the annual jumping contest named after Twain's fictional 1865 challenge in the Angels Camp Hotel bar. Twain frequented the bar while he lived in nearby Jackass Hill.


Most remaining red-legged frogs are along California's north-central coast.


___


On the Net:


www.jumpingfrog.org


www.frogtown.org


www.r1.fws.gov/news

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