I am a Cat (Chapter 3 b) Section 088 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

鼻子はなこ学問がくもんじょう質問しつもんわん断念だんねんしたものとえて今度こんど話題わだいてんずる。「御話おはなしちがいますが――この御正月おしょうがつ椎茸しいたけべて前歯まえば二枚にまいったそうじゃございませんか」「ええそのけたところに空也餅くうやもちくっいていましてね」と迷亭めいていはこの質問こそわれ縄張内なわばりうちだときゅうかれ。「色気いろけのないひとじゃございませんか、なんだって楊子ようじ使つかわないんでしょう」「今度ったら注意ちゅういしておきましょう」と主人しゅじんくすくすわら。「椎茸でがかけるくらいじゃ、よほど歯のしょうわるおもわれますが、如何いかがなものでしょう」「とはわれますまいな――ねえ迷亭」「善いことはないがちょっと愛嬌あいきょうがあるよ。あれぎり、まだめないところがみょうだ。いまだに空也餅引掛所ひっかけどころになってるなあ奇観きかんだぜ」「歯を填める小遣こづかいがないので欠けなりにしておくんですか、または物好ものずで欠けなりにしておくんでしょうか」「なになが前歯まえば欠成かけなり名乗なのわけでもないでしょうから御安心ごあんしんなさいよ」と迷亭の機嫌きげんはだんだん回復かいふくしてくる。鼻子はまた問題をあらためる。「何か御宅おたく手紙てがみかなんぞ当人とうにんいたものでもございますならちょっと拝見はいけんしたいもんでございますが」「端書はがきなら沢山たくさんあります、御覧ごらんなさい」と主人しゅじん書斎しょさいから三四十さんしじゅうって。「そんなに沢山拝見しないでも――そのうち二三にさん枚だけ……」「どれどれぼくのをってやろう」と迷亭先生せんせいは「これなざあ面白おもしろでしょう」といち枚の絵葉書えはがき。「おやもかくんでございますか、なかなか器用きようですね、どれ拝見しましょう」とながめていたが「あらいやだ、たぬきだよ。何だってりにって狸なんぞかくんでしょうね――それでも狸と見えるから不思議ふしぎだよ」とすこ感心かんしんする。「その文句もんくんで御覧なさい」と主人が笑いながら。鼻子は下女げじょ新聞しんぶんを読むように読み出す。「旧暦きゅうれきとしやまの狸が園遊会えんゆうかいをやってさかん舞踏ぶとうします。そのうたいわいさ、としの夜で、御山おやま婦美ふみまいぞ。スッポコポンノポン」「何ですこりゃ、人を馬鹿ばかにしているじゃございませんか」と鼻子は不平ふへいていである。「この天女てんにょ御気おきりませんか」と迷亭がまた一枚出す。見ると天女が羽衣はごろも琵琶びわいている。

Rough translation

Hanako, realizing she's out of her element, abandons talk of scholarship for a new subject. "On an unrelated topic -- I understand that over New Year's he damaged his front teeth eating mushrooms." "He did. I can picture him still with mochi stuck in the gap." Meitei, deciding he should field this particular inquiry, was suddenly re-engaged. "Isn't that rather repulsive? Why doesn't he cut first with the skewer?" "Next time he's here I'll caution him," the master replies with a chuckle. "He must have poor teeth to begin with, if mushrooms can do such harm. What do you think?" "They can't be the best of teeth -- wouldn't you agree, Meitei?" "Certainly not strong teeth, but a bit endearing. Curious that he hasn't had them tended to. He'll snare another mochi there yet. It's quite a feature." "Can he not afford to have his teeth tended to, or does he somehow fancy the absence?" "Rest assured, I don't expect he'll be making the rounds as Mr. Absent Incisor for long." Meitei is back in high spirits. Hanako moves on to a new topic. "If you have a sample of his writing, perhap a letter he's written you, I'd like to take a look." "I've plenty of postcards." The master retrieves some thirty or forty from his study. "I don't need to see so many -- just two or three of those ..." "Let's see them. I'll help you choose," Meitei offers. "Here's a good one." He produces a picture postcard. "He does artwork too? A man of many talents. Let's have a look." Hanako takes it in. "Good lord, a tanuki! Of all the thing to draw -- even at that, it's not half bad." She acknowledges the quality of the work. "Read what he wrote," the master suggests with a grin. Like a maidservant reading the newspaper, Hanako tackles the text. "It's the close of the year, by the old calendar. The mountain tanuki, gathered for a garden party, dance to their hearts' content. 'Suppoko-pon-no-pon. 'tis the evening of the year's end, and no one this way comes,' echoes their song." "What nonsense is this? Mischief intended to mock?" Hanako voices her discontent. "How about a heavenly nymph?" Meitei offers another card. A nymph, adorned in celestial raiment, is strumming a lute.

Vocabulary

鼻子はなこ Hanako (nickname for Madam Kaneda)学問がくもん scholarship; eruditionじょう concerning ...質問しつもん questions; enquiriesわん be too much for one; be beyond one's capacities断念だんねんした gave up; abandonedえて appear; seem今度こんど this time; next話題わだい topic; subjectてんずる alter; shift御話おはなし talk; conversationちがいます different御正月おしょうがつ New Year's椎茸しいたけ shiitake (mushrooms)べて eat; partake of前歯まえば front tooth二枚にまい two (flat objects)った broke off; gave way; yieldedけた was missing; was gone空也餅くうやもち kūya mochi (chunky mochi made with half-polished rice, stuffed with red bean paste)くっいて cling; stick; adhere (to)迷亭めいてい Meitei (name)われ縄張内なわばりうち one's turf; one's domainきゅうに suddenly; abruptlyかれす come to life; show interest色気いろけ appeal; charm (with respect to the opposite sex)ひと person; manなんだって for whatever reason楊子ようじ toothpick; skewer for cutting and eating Japanese sweets使つかわない not use; not applyったら see; meet注意ちゅういして advise; caution主人しゅじん masterくすくすわらう chuckle; snicker toothしょう nature; character; qualityわるい bad; poor; inferiorおもわれます it would seem ...如何いかがなものでしょう how about it; what do you thinkい good; fineわれますまい one can't say ...こと situation; circumstance愛嬌あいきょう endearing; winning; disarming (nature)めない not fill; leave openみょう odd; curiousいまだに still; even now引掛所ひっかけどころ place that hooks; place that snares奇観きかん wonder; marvel小遣こづかい pocket money; spending money物好ものずき fancy; whimなにも (no)thingながく for long前歯まえば欠成かけなり Mr. Absent Incisor名乗なのる call oneself; adopt as one's name; go byわけ situation; circumstance; case御安心ごあんしんなさい rest assured; don't worry機嫌きげん humor; temper; mood回復かいふくしてくる recover; improveあらためる change; alter; redirect御宅おたく your home; your residence手紙てがみ letter; correspondence当人とうにん the person in questionいた wrote; penned拝見はいけんしたい would like to see端書はがき postcard沢山たくさん a lot; many; plenty御覧ごらんなさい take a look主人しゅじん master書斎しょさい study; den; reading room三四十さんしじゅう thirty or fortyってる bring out; produceそのうち among them二三にさん two or three; severalぼく I; meい good; fineって choose; select先生せんせい teacher; professor; scholar面白おもしろい interesting; intriguingいち one絵葉書えはがき picture postcardす take out; put forth; present picture; painting器用きよう dextrous; skilledながめて look at; take inたぬき tanuki; raccoon dogりにって of all the things one could choose不思議ふしぎ curious; surprisingすこし a little; a bit感心かんしんする be impressed文句もんく wordsんで readう ask; suggest下女げじょ maidservant新聞しんぶん newspaper旧暦きゅうれき old calendarとし close of the yearやま mountain園遊会えんゆうかい garden partyさかんに energetically; enthusiastically; heartily舞踏ぶとうします danceうた songいわく according to ...いさ (play on こいさ in Kōchi dialect) this evening; tonight御山おやま婦美ふみ (word play on お山踏み) mountain traverser; surveyor of mountainsまい won't come; won't likely show馬鹿ばかにして play for a fool; make sport of; mock不平ふへい discontent; displeasureてい appearance; condition; state天女てんにょ heavenly nymph; celestial maiden御気おきりませんか do you like; would you prefer羽衣はごろも robe of feathers; celestial raimentて wear琵琶びわ biwa (Japanese lute)いて play (a stringed instrument)