I am a Cat (Chapter 5 a) Section 143 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

台所だいどころ雨戸あまどにトントンと二返にへんばかりかるあたったものがある。はてな今頃いまごろひとはずがない。大方おおかたれいねずみだろう、鼠なららんことめているから勝手かってあばれるがよろしい。――またトントンと中る。どうも鼠らしくない。鼠としても大変たいへん用心深ようじんぶか鼠である。主人しゅじんうちの鼠は、主人の学校がっこう生徒せいとのごとく日中にっちゅうでも夜中やちゅうでも乱暴らんぼう狼藉ろうぜき練修れんしゅう余念よねんなく憫然びんぜんなる主人のゆめ驚破きょうはするのを天職てんしょくのごとく心得こころえいる連中れんじゅうだから、かくのごとく遠慮えんりょするわけがない。今のはたしかに鼠ではない。せんだってなどは主人の寝室しんしつにまで闖入ちんにゅうしてたかからぬ主人のはなあたまんで凱歌がいかそうしてげたくらいの鼠にしてはあまり臆病おくびょうすぎるけっして鼠ではない。今度こんどはギーと雨戸をしたからうえげるおとがする、同時どうじこし障子しょうじ出来できるだけゆるやかにみぞうてすべらせる。いよいよ鼠ではない。人間にんげんだ。この深夜しんやに人間が案内あんないわず戸締とじまりずして御光来ごこうらいになるとすれば迷亭めいてい先生せんせい鈴木すずきくんではないきまっている御高名ごこうめいだけはかねてうけたまわっている泥棒どろぼう陰士いんしではないからん。いよいよ陰士とすればはや尊顔そんがんはいしたいものだ。陰士は今や勝手かっての上におおいなる泥足どろあしを上げて二足ふたあしばかりすすんだ模様もようである。三足目みあしめおもころ揚板あげいたつまずいてか、ガタリとよるひびような音をてた吾輩わがはい背中せなか靴刷毛くつばけぎゃくすられたような心持こころもちがする。しばらくは足音あしおともしない。細君さいくんくちをあいて太平たいへい空気くうき夢中むちゅう吐呑とどんしている。主人はあかほん拇指おやゆびはさまれた夢でも見ているのだろう。やがて台所でマチ音がきこえる。陰士でも吾輩ほど夜陰やいんかぬと見える。勝手かってがわるくてさだめし不都合ふつごうだろう。

このとき吾輩は蹲踞うずくまりながらかんがえた。陰士は勝手からちゃ方面ほうめんけて出現しゅつげんするのであろうか、またはひだり玄関げんかん通過つうかして書斎しょさいへとけるであろうか。――足音はふすまの音とも椽側えんがわ。陰士はいよいよ書斎へ這入はいった。それぎり音も沙汰さたもない。

Rough translation

Someone, or something, makes two light taps on the kitchen shutter. Who would be calling at this hour? Probably the mice. Catching mice, I've decided, is not my thing. Let them scurry about as they please. -- Two more taps. Perhaps it's not the mice. For the mice it's much too guarded. The master's mice, just like the students at the master's school, are a rambunctious lot. It's their divine mission, they believe, to tear about at all hours of the day and night, leaving the poor man hardly a moment's peace. They've never been known to exercise any restraint. This can't be the mice. Just the other day, one of them stole into the master's bedroom, nibbled at the tip of his flat nose, pranced triumphantly, and retreated. Why should they be timid now? It can't be the mice. Next there's a scraping sound. The shutter's been raised, and at the same time the paneled shōji's been gently slid in its track. Absolutely not the mice. Someone's come. Neither Meitei nor Suzuki would call this late hour without notice. Nor would they breach a locked door to gain entry. Could it be the cat burglar, that master of stealth who's said to be making the rounds? If it is the burglar, then I'm eager to see his face. It seems he's planted his muddy feet on the kitchen floor and proceeded two steps forward. In lieu of a third step, he stumbles over a loose floorboard and kicks up a din that resounds through the dark. I feel as though someone took a shoeshine brush and rubbed it the wrong way up my back. For a while, there are no further steps. I look at the wife. Her mouth is still open, and she's dreaming away as she breathes in and expels air. The master's thumb is still wedged in his red book, and he seems to be off in la-la land. Finally, I hear the sound of a match struck in the kitchen. Even a burglar, it seems, can't see in the dark like I can. That must be a terrible handicap.

All the while I crouch and think. Will the burglar head from the kitchen into the living room, I wonder, or will he take a left, cutting through the entryway, and enter the study? -- The footsteps, accompanied by the sliding of the fusuma, make their way to the veranda. He's gone into the study. No further sounds reach my ears.

Vocabulary

台所だいどころ kitchen雨戸あまど sliding storm shutter二返にへん two times; twiceかるく lightlyあたった tappedもの person; thingはてな well now; isn't that strange今頃いまごろ at this timeひと a personる come; call大方おおかた probably; most likelyれいの that ...; said ...ねずみ mouse; ratらん not catchことめて decide to ...勝手かってに as one likesよろしい good; fine大変たいへん very much; a great deal用心深ようじんぶかい careful; cautious主人しゅじん masterうち house (usually うち)る come to; appear at; attend学校がっこう school生徒せいと students日中にっちゅう during the day夜中やちゅう during the night乱暴らんぼう狼藉ろうぜき running amok; tearing about練修れんしゅう practice (of)余念よねんなく intent (on)憫然びんぜんなる poor; pitiableゆめ dreams驚破きょうはする throw into disarray; disrupt天職てんしょく divine mission; life's calling心得こころえて regard as; take for連中れんじゅう company; lot; gang遠慮えんりょする exercise restraintわけ reason; expectation寝室しんしつ sleeping room; bedroom闖入ちんにゅうして intrude into; trespassたかからぬ not tall; not highはなあたま tip of one's noseんで gnaw; nibble; bite凱歌がいかそうして sound a triumphal tune; exult overげた withdrew; left臆病おくびょうすぎる too cowardly; too timidけっして by (no) means今度こんど this time; nextした belowうえ aboveげる lift upおと sound同時どうじに at the same timeこし障子しょうじ shōji with wooden panel at its base出来できるだけ as much as possibleゆるやかに gently; easily; slowlyみぞ groove; channelうて in line with; followingすべらせる slide人間にんげん human being; person深夜しんや late in the night案内あんない guidance; admittanceわず without requesting戸締とじまり locked door or windowずして detach; remove御光来ごこうらいになる pay a visit迷亭めいてい Meitei (name)先生せんせい teacher; professor; scholar鈴木すずき Suzuki (name)くん (suffix of familiarity for males)きまっている there's no doubt that ...御高名ごこうめい fame; renown; exploitsかねて already; for some timeうけたまわっている have heard of; am informed of泥棒どろぼう burglar陰士いんし shadow master; master of stealthではないからん might it be that ...はやく soon尊顔そんがん countenanceはいしたい want to see勝手かって kitchenおおいなる big; large泥足どろあし muddy feet二足ふたあし two stepsすすんだ advanced模様もよう state; condition三足目みあしめ third stepおもう think; imagineころ time揚板あげいた movable floor boardsつまずいて stumble; tripよる evening; nightひびく resound; reverberateてた raised; set up吾輩わがはい I; me; myself背中せなか back (of the body) hair; hairs; fur靴刷毛くつばけ shoeshine brushぎゃくに conversely; contrarily; against the grainすられた was rubbed; was scraped心持こころもち feeling; sensation足音あしおと sound of footsteps細君さいくん the wifeる look atだ still; yetくち mouth太平たいへいの peaceful; tranquil空気くうき air夢中むちゅうに while dreaming吐呑とどんして breathe in and outあかい redほん book拇指おやゆび thumbはさまれた be wedged withinマチ match (to light fire with; usually マッチ)る strike (a match)きこえる be audible; be heard夜陰やいん dark of night eyesかぬ not be effective; not function勝手かってがわるくて inconvenient; incommodiousさだめし surely; certainly不都合ふつごう inconvenient; unfavorable; difficult とき time; moment蹲踞うずくまりながら crouch; squatかんがえた considered; thought aboutちゃ living room方面ほうめん directionけて turn toward出現しゅつげんする appear; emerge (into)ひだり left (side)れ turn (toward)玄関げんかん entryway通過つうかして pass through書斎しょさい study; den; reading roomける come out (into)ふすま fusuma (sliding screens)ともに together with椽側えんがわ verandaた went out (onto)這入はいった entered沙汰さた information; news; tidings