I am a Cat (Chapter 7 a) Section 206 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

勿論もちろんただの運動うんどうでもある刺激しげきもとにはやらんとはかぎらん鰹節かつぶし競争きょうそう鮭探しゃけさがなどは結構けっこうだがこれは肝心かんじん対象物たいしょうぶつがあってうえことで、この刺激を索然さくぜんとして没趣味ぼつしゅみものになってしまう。懸賞的けんしょうてき興奮剤こうふんざいがないとすればなにげいのある運動がしてたい吾輩わがはいはいろいろかんがえた台所だいどころひさしから家根やねがるほう、家根の天辺てっぺんにある梅花形ばいかがたかわらの上に四本足よんほんあしじゅつ物干竿ものほしざおわた事――これはとうてい成功せいこうしないたけつるつるべってつめたないうしから不意ふい小供こどもびつく事、――これはすこぶる興味のある運動のひとつだが滅多めったやるとひどいから、高々たかだかつき三度さんどくらいしかこころみない紙袋かんぶくろあたまかぶせらるる事――これはくるしいばかりではなはだ興味のとぼしい方法ほうほうである。ことに人間にんげん相手あいてがおらんと成功しないから駄目だめつぎには書物しょもつ表紙ひょうしを爪で事、――これは主人しゅじん見付みつかるかならどやされる危険きけんがあるのみならず、割合わりあい手先てさき器用きようばかりで総身そうみ筋肉きんにくはたらかない。これらは吾輩のいわゆる旧式きゅうしき運動なるものである。新式しんしきのうちにはなかなか興味のふかのがある。第一だいいち蟷螂とうろう。――蟷螂狩りはねずみほどの大運動だいうんどうでないかわりにそれほどの危険がない。なつなかばからあきはじへかけてやる遊戯ゆうぎとしてはもっとも上乗じょうじょうのものだ。その方法をとまずにわ一匹いっぴき蟷螂かまきりさがし時候じこうがいいと一匹や二匹にひき見付みつのは雑作ぞうさもない。さて見付け出した蟷螂くんそばへはっとかぜってけて。するとすわこそと云う身構みがまえをして鎌首かまくびふりげる。蟷螂でもなかなか健気けなげなもので、相手の力量りきりょうらんうちは抵抗ていこうするつもりでいるから面白おもしろげた鎌首をみぎ前足まえあしでちょっとまい。振り上げたくびやわらかいからぐにゃりよこまが。このときの蟷螂君の表情ひょうじょうがすこぶる興味をえるおやと云うおも充分じゅうぶんある。

Rough translation

Simple physical motion, of course, when inspired by circumstance, is not out of the question. Racing off to nab a dried bonito or swipe a hunk of salmon is fine, but take away the all-important object of interest and all is null and void. In absense of the stimulus of reward, the next best motivation is honing some new technique. I've thought of a number of things. I could find some way to jump from the kitchen eaves to the roof, then stand on all fours on the tip-top tile, the one adorned with the plum blossom insignia. I could tightrope walk a laundry pole -- there's little chance of success here. The bamboo is too slick, and I can't get a clawhold. I could scare the children with a surprise jump from behind -- this is one of my favorites, but often there's hell to pay after, so I can't risk it more than once or twice per month. I could have a paper bag placed over my head -- this is sheer agony, though, and not something I find amusing. Further, it demands a human partner, which makes it a non-starter. I could claw book covers -- the problem here, of course, is that discovery means a tongue-lashing from the master. The other downside is concentration of motion in only the tips of the paws. It's hardly a whole-body workout. These all constitute, as I see it, classical forms of activity. There are also contemporary forms of activity, some of which are quite intriguing. First there's mantis hunting. -- While mantis hunting might not provide the workout that chasing mice does, it also entails fewer perils. From mid summer to early autumn, there's no better activity. Here's how it works. One proceeds to the garden and seeks out a mantis. On a good day, one or two are readily found. Once a quarry is identified, one races like the wind and is on it in a flash. The quarry, taken by surprise, rears up its long neck and positions its head on high. The fun thing is that the mantis, an admirable creature, prepares to defend itself, no matter how outmatched. I announce myself with a right front paw to the outstretched neck. The neck is pliant and easily swayed to the side. The look on its face, in this moment, is priceless. "Oh me, oh my!" it seems to say.

Vocabulary

勿論もちろん of course; naturally運動うんどう exercise; physical training刺激しげき impetus; encouragement; incentiveもとには under ...; given ...; spurred by ...やらんとはかぎらん will not necessarily refrain from (doing)鰹節かつぶし katsuobushi; dried bonito競争きょうそう contest; race鮭探しゃけさがし hunting out salmon結構けっこう good; fine; splendid肝心かんじんの critical; all-important対象物たいしょうぶつ object of interestうえ on top of; building onこと situation; caseる take away; remove索然さくぜんとして dry; dull没趣味ぼつしゅみな void of all interest懸賞的けんしょうてき prize-like; reward-like興奮剤こうふんざい stimulantなにか something; some sort ofげい art; skill; techniqueしてたい want to try (doing)吾輩わがはい I; me; myselfかんがえた considered; thought about台所だいどころ kitchenひさし eaves家根やね roofがる jump up (onto)ほう way; method天辺てっぺん highest point; tip top梅花形ばいかがた plum blossom patternかわら roof tile四本足よんほんあし four legs; all foursつ standじゅつ art; technique物干竿ものほしざお laundry pole (for hanging clothes to dry)わたる cross; traverse成功せいこうしない not succeed; fail atたけ bambooつるつるべって smooth; glossy; shinyつめたない claws can't gripうしろ back; behind不意ふいに suddenly; without warning小供こども children (usually 子供こども)びつく jump at; jump onひとつ one (thing)滅多めったに once in a while; on rare occasionひどいう suffer consequences; catch hell高々たかだか at mostつきに in a month三度さんど three timesこころみない not try; not have a go (at something)紙袋かんぶくろ paper bagあたま headかぶせらるる be covered; be crowned (= かぶせられる)くるしい agonizing; traumatic; distressingとぼしい limited; lacking方法ほうほう method; approach人間にんげん human相手あいて other party駄目だめ no good; of no useつぎ next書物しょもつ book; books表紙ひょうし cover (of a book)く scratch; claw主人しゅじん master見付みつかる be discovered; become knownかならず invariably; without failどやされる be yelled at; get chewed out危険きけん danger; risk割合わりあいに comparatively手先てさき tips of one's hands器用きよう dexterity総身そうみ whole body; full body筋肉きんにく musclesはたらかない not work; not labor旧式きゅうしき old style; traditional; classicもの things新式しんしき new style; contemporaryふかい deep; profound第一だいいちに first of all蟷螂とうろうり mantis huntingねずみり chasing mice大運動だいうんどう strenuous exerciseかわりに while ...なつ summerなかば middleあき fall; autumnはじめ beginning; start遊戯ゆうぎ game; sport上乗じょうじょう very best; excellent; ultimateう state; explainにわ garden; yardて go out (to)一匹いっぴき one (creature)蟷螂かまきり praying mantis; mantisさがしす seek out; locate時候じこう season; time of the year二匹にひき two (creatures)見付みつす discover; find雑作ぞうさ difficultyくん (suffix of familiarity for males)そば near to; next toかぜって flying like the windけてく run; dash身構みがまえ posture; stance鎌首かまくび sickle-shaped neck (praying mantis)ふりげる raise up; lift up健気けなげ admirable; heroic; noble力量りきりょう capability; physical strengthらん not know抵抗ていこうする resist; oppose; stand up to面白おもしろい interesting; intriguingげた raised up; lifted upみぎ right (side)前足まえあし front pawまいる call on; announce oneselfくび head; neckやわらかい pliant; limberぐにゃり easily; effortlessly; flexiblyよこ sidewaysまがる bendとき time; moment表情ひょうじょう facial expression; countenanceえる add; attachおや Oh!; My!おもれ attitude (expressing emotion)充分じゅうぶん sufficiently; fully