I am a Cat (Chapter 4 b) Section 130 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

「いやー珍客ちんきゃくだね。ぼくのような狎客こうかくになると苦沙弥くしゃみはとかく粗略そりゃくにしたがっていかん。なんでも苦沙弥のうちへは十年じゅうねん一遍いっぺんくらいくるかぎ。この菓子かしはいつもより上等じょうとうじゃないか」と藤村ふじむら羊羹ようかん無雑作むぞうさ頬張ほおば鈴木すずきくんもじもじしている主人しゅじんはにやにやしている。迷亭めいていくちをもがもがさしている。吾輩わがはいはこの瞬時しゅんじ光景こうけい椽側えんがわから拝見はいけんして無言劇むごんげきものはゆう成立せいりつおもった禅家ぜんけ無言むごん問答もんどうをやるのが以心いしん伝心でんしんであるなら、この無言の芝居しばいあきらかに以心伝心のまくである。すこぶるみじかいけれどもすこぶるするどい幕である。

きみ一生いっしょう旅烏たびがらすかと思ってたら、いつのにかもどったね。長生ながいきはしたいもんだな。どんな僥倖ぎょうこうめぐわんともかぎらんからね」と迷亭は鈴木君たいしても主人に対するごとくごう遠慮えんりょと云うことらぬ。いかに自炊じすい仲間なかまでも十年もわなければ、何となくのおけるものだが迷亭君に限って、そんな素振そぶりえぬのは、えらいのだか馬鹿ばかなのかちょっと見当けんとうがつかぬ

可哀かわいそうに、そんなに馬鹿にしたものでもない」と鈴木君はあたらずさわらず返事へんじはしたが、何となくちつきかねてれい金鎖きんぐさり神経的しんけいてきいじっている。

「君電気でんき鉄道てつどうったか」と主人は突然とつぜん鈴木君に対して奇問きもんはっする

今日きょう諸君しょくんからひやかされにようなものだ。なんぼ田舎者いなかものだって――これでも街鉄がいてつ六十株ろくじゅっかぶってるよ」

「そりゃ馬鹿ばか出来できないな。僕は八百はっぴゃく八十はちじゅう八株はっかぶはん持っていたが、しい事に大方おうかたむしってしまって、いまじゃ半株はんかぶばかりしかない。もう少しはや君が東京とうきょうてくれば、虫の喰わないところを十株じゅっかぶばかりやるところだったが惜しい事をした」

相変あいかわらずくちるい。しかし冗談じょうだんは冗談として、ああ云う株は持っててそんはないよ、年々ねんねんたかくなるばかりだから」

Rough translation

"Well, well! An honored guest! I'm a familiar face here, and Kushami, it pains me to say, treats me as such. Once per decade, it would seem, is the proper cadence for calling. Those sweets are a cut above the usual fare, are they not?" Meitei unceremoniously stuffs his cheeks with Fujimura yōkan. Suzuki fidgets in his seat. The master floats a grin. Meitei works his jaw. I take in this scene from the veranda. A silent drama unfolding, it strikes me, in splendid form. In a zen temple, the wordless exchange of questions and answers is how one soul communes with another. This silent drama is clearly in the same vein. Its brevity renders it all the more vivid.

"The career vagabond, with little fanfare, suddenly finds his way home. Never thought I'd live to see it. It's worth soldiering on in this world just to behold such wonders." In his approach to Suzuki, as in his approach to the master, Meitei knows no restraint. Even a former kitchen mate, after ten years' absence, is shown due deference. Except with Meitei. Whether this marks Meitei a sage or a fool is hard to say.

"Sadly enough, disdain doesn't run so deep." Suzuki provides an equivocal response, but his discomfort is apparent. He fiddles nervously with his gold chain.

"Have you tried the electric trains?" Out of nowhere, the master hits Suzuki with a curious question.

"You gentlemen, it seems, have it in for me today. I may be fresh from the country -- even at that, though, I'll have you know I hold sixty shares in Tōkyō Rail."

"One can't make light of that. I myself held eight hundred eighty eight and a half shares, but unfortunately, owing to insect damage, I'm down to only a half share left. Had you come to Tōkyō sooner, before the insects set in, I'd have gifted you ten of those shares. Such a shame."

"Your tongue hasn't lost it's edge. But joking aside, you can't go wrong with those shares. They only appreciate with time."

Vocabulary

珍客ちんきゃく unexpected (but welcome) visitor; rare guestぼく I; me狎客こうかく regular guest; familiar face苦沙弥くしゃみ Kushami (the master's name)粗略そりゃく coarsely; crudelyなんでも anyhow; at any rate; it would seem十年じゅうねん ten years一遍いっぺん one time; onceかぎる be limited to菓子かし sweets; snacks上等じょうとう first-rate; excellent藤村ふじむら Fujimura (name of confectionery in Hongō; famous for yōkan)羊羹ようかん yōkan (jellied dessert made from red bean paste, agar, and sugar)無雑作むぞうさに casually; without ceremony頬張ほおばる stuff one's cheeks; fill one's mouth鈴木すずき Suzuki (name)くん (suffix of familiarity for males)もじもじしている be fidgety; squirm; grow uneasy主人しゅじん master迷亭めいてい Meitei (name)くち mouth吾輩わがはい I; me; myself瞬時しゅんじ moment光景こうけい scene; spectacle; sight椽側えんがわ veranda拝見はいけんして view; regard無言劇むごんげき silent dramaう called; referred to asゆうに skillfully; well成立せいりつる can be pulled off; can be orchestratedおもった thought; felt; perceived禅家ぜんけ Zen temple無言むごんの silent; wordless問答もんどう questions and answers; exchange以心いしん伝心でんしん tacit communication from one soul to another芝居しばい dramaあきらかに clearly; plainlyまく act (in a play)みじかい short; briefするどい sharp; vivid きみ you一生いっしょう all one's life; for a lifetime旅烏たびがらす wanderer; vagabond (lit: traveling crow)いつのにか at some point; before one knows itもどった found one's way back長生ながいき long life僥倖ぎょうこう godsend; windfall; good fortuneめぐわんともかぎらん one can't rule out meeting with ...たいして with respect to; regardingごうも (not) at all; (not) in the least遠慮えんりょ reserve; restraint; discretionこと thingらぬ not know; be oblivious to自炊じすい doing one's own cooking仲間なかま comradeわなければ not meet; not seeのおける behave with some formality; treat with deference素振そぶり attitude; mannerえぬ not be apparent馬鹿ばか foolishness; folly見当けんとうがつかぬ have no idea 可哀かわいそうに sadlyあたらずさわらず noncommittal; equivocal; circumspect返事へんじ reply; responseちつきかねて unable to relax; unable to compose oneselfれいの the aforementioned金鎖きんぐさり gold chain神経的しんけいてきに nervously; anxiously 電気でんき鉄道てつどう electric railwayった rode (on)突然とつぜん all of a sudden; out of the blue奇問きもんはっする pose a curious question 今日きょう today諸君しょくん you gentlemenひやかされにた came over to be chaffedなんぼ however much田舎者いなかもの fellow fresh from the country; bumpkin街鉄がいてつ Tōkyō Municipal Railway Company (short for 東京とうきょう市街鉄道しがいてつどう株式会社かぶしきがいしゃ)六十株ろくじゅっかぶ sixty sharesってる have; possess; own 馬鹿ばか出来できない can't make light of八百はっぴゃく八十はちじゅう八株はっかぶはん eight hundred eighty eight and a half sharesしい regrettable; unfortunate大方おうかた large part; greater partむし insectsって eatいま now; the present半株はんかぶ half a shareもう少しはやく a little sooner東京とうきょう Tōkyōてくれば come (to); make one's appearance (in)十株じゅっかぶ ten shares 相変あいかわらず as alwaysくちるい have a mischievous tongue冗談じょうだん jest; jokeそん loss; disadvantage年々ねんねん year on year; year over yearたかくなる go up (in value); appreciate