That was a wonderful Summer 那个暑假太美妙了!

Near the house 靠近房子 where they lived 他们居住的 there was a wood 有一片树林, and in the long June evenings 在长长的六月夜晚 the Boy liked to go there after tea 男孩喜欢在喝茶后去那里 to play 玩耍. He took the Velveteen Rabbit with him 他随身带着绒兔, and before he wandered off 在他走开 to pick flowers 摘花之时, or play at brigands among the trees 或者在树木之间玩土匪游戏, he always made the Rabbit 他总是会给兔子做 a little nest 一个小巢 somewhere among the bracken 在蕨丛中的一个地方, where he would be quite cosy 那里他很舒适, for he was a kind-hearted little boy 因为他是一位善良的小男孩 and he liked Bunny 他希望兔子 to be comfortable 舒适.

One evening 一个晚上, while the Rabbit 当兔子 was lying there alone 一个人躺在那里的时候, watching the ants 观察着蚂蚁 that ran to and from跑来跑去 between his velvet paws 在他的绒布爪子之间 in the grass 在草地上, he saw 他看到 two strange beings 两只奇怪的生物 creep out of the tall bracken 从高高的蕨丛中钻出来 near him 靠近他.

They were rabbits 他们是兔子 like himself 长得像他自己, but quite furry 但是毛茸茸的 and brand-new 而且很新. They must have been very well made 他们一定制作精良 , for their seams 因为他们身上的缝线 didn’t show at all 一点没有显示出来, and they changed shape 并且他们会改变形状 in a queer way 用一种很奇怪的方式 when they moved 当他们移动的时候; one minute they were 上一分钟他们是 long and thin 又长又瘦 and the next minute fat and bunchy 下一分钟又变得又肥又鼓, instead of always staying the same 而不是总保持一个样子 like he did 就和他自己一样. Their feet 他们的脚 padded softly 软软地铺开 on the ground 在地上, and they crept quite close to him 他们朝他凑近, twitching their noses 鼻子抽动着, while the Rabbit stared hard 兔子很仔细地观察他们 to see 想看到 which side the clockwork stuck out 发条装置是哪一边伸出来, for he knew 因为他知道 that people who jump 能够跳起来的人 generally have something 一般都会有一些东西 to wind them up 是上发条的. But he couldn’t see it 但是他没有看见. They were evidently 很明显他们是 a new kind of rabbit altogether 一种崭新的兔子.

They stared at him 他们盯着他看, and the little Rabbit stared back 小兔子也盯着对方. And all the time 从头到尾 their noses twitched 他们的鼻子都在抽动着.

“Why don’t you 为什么你不 get up 站起来 and play with us 和我们一起玩?” one of them asked 他们中的一只问道.

“I don’t feel like it 我不想,” said the Rabbit 兔子说, for he didn’t want 因为他不想 to explain 解释 that he had no clockwork 他没有发条装置.

“Ho!” said the furry rabbit 毛茸茸的兔子说道. “It’s as easy as anything 这非常容易啊.” And he gave a big hop sideways 他往旁边跳了一大步 and stood on his hind legs 然后用两条后腿站立了起来.

“I don’t believe 我不相信 you can 你能!” he said 他说道.

“I can 我可以!” said the little Rabbit 小兔子说. “I can jump higher than anything 我可以跳得比谁都高!” He meant 他的意思是 when the Boy threw him 当男孩往天上扔他的时候, but 但是 of course 当然 he didn’t want 他不想 to say so 这样说.

“Can you hop 你可以跳 on your hind legs 用你的后腿吗?” asked the furry rabbit 毛兔子问.

That was a dreadful question 这是一个很尴尬的问题, for the Velveteen Rabbit 因为绒兔 had no hind legs at all 根本没有后腿! The back of him 他的后半部分 was made all in one piece 被做成了一整块, like a pincushion 就像一个针垫. He sat still in the bracken 他安静地坐在蕨丛里, and hoped 希望 that the other rabbits 另外几只兔子 wouldn’t notice 不会注意到.

“I don’t want to 我不想!” he said again 他又说了一遍.

But the wild rabbits 但是野兔子们 have very sharp eyes 目光锐利. And this one 有一只 stretched out his neck 伸长了脖子凑上来 and looked 仔细看了看.

“He hasn’t got any hind legs 他没有任何后腿!” he called out 他大喊. “Fancy 想得到吗?/哇! a rabbit without any hind legs 没有后腿的兔子!” And he began to laugh 他开始大笑起来.

“I have 我有!” cried the little Rabbit 小兔子大喊. “I have got hind legs 我有后腿! I am sitting on them 我正坐在它们上面!”

“Then stretch them out 那你把它们伸出来 and show me 给我看看, like this 就像这样!” said the wild rabbit 野兔子说. And he began to 他开始 whirl round 转圈and dance 跳舞, till the little Rabbit 直到小兔子 got quite dizzy 开始头晕.

“I don’t like dancing 我不喜欢跳舞,” he said 他说道. “I’d rather 我宁愿 sit still 安静地坐着!”

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