I am a Cat (Chapter 5 b) Section 170 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

横向よこむきひさしいてひらいた引窓ひきまどから、また花吹雪はなふぶき一塊ひとかたまなげんではげしきかぜわれめぐおもえば戸棚とだなくちから弾丸だんがんのごとくしたものが、くるあらばこそ、風をって吾輩わがはいひだりみみいつく。これにつづくろかげうしまわかと思う間もなく吾輩の尻尾しっぽぶらがるまたた間の出来事できごとである。吾輩はなん目的もくてきもなく器械的きかいてき跳上はねあが満身まんしんちから毛穴けあなめてこの怪物かいぶつとそうとする。耳にがったのは中心ちゅうしんうしなってだらりと横顔よこがおかか護謨ゴムかんのごときやわらかき尻尾のさきおもがけなく吾輩の口に這入はい屈竟くっきょう手懸てがかに、くだけよとばかりくわえながら左右さゆうにふると、尾のみは前歯まえばあいだのこって胴体どうたい古新聞ふるしんぶんったかべあたって揚板あげいたうえかえがるところを隙間すきまなくかかればまりたるごとく、吾輩のはなづらかすめてだんふちあしちぢめてかれたなの上から吾輩をおろす、吾輩はいたから彼を見上みあぐる距離きょり五尺ごしゃく。そのなかつきひかが、大幅おおはばおびくうに張るごとくよこ。吾輩は前足まえあしちからを込めて、やっとばかり棚の上にがろうとした。前足だけは首尾しゅびよく棚の縁にかかったが後足あとあしちゅうもがいている。尻尾には最前さいぜん黒いものが、ともはなまじきいきおいで喰い下っている。吾輩はあやうい。前足をえて足懸あしがかふかくしようとする。懸け易えるたびに尻尾のおもあさくなる二三にさんすべればちねばならぬ。吾輩はいよいよ危うい。棚板たないたつめきむしるおとがりがりきこえる。これではならぬと左の前足をえる拍子ひょうし、爪を見事みごとそんじたので吾輩はみぎの爪一本いっぽんで棚からぶら下った。自分じぶんと尻尾に喰いつくものの重みで吾輩のからだがぎりぎりと廻わる。このときまで身動みうごきもせずにねらいをつけていた棚の上の怪物は、ここぞと吾輩のひたい目懸めがけて棚の上からいしぐるがごとくりる。吾輩の爪は一縷いちるのかかりをうしなみっかたまりひととなって月の光をたてってしたへ落ちる。つぎだんせてあった摺鉢すりばちと、摺鉢の中の小桶こおけジャム空缶あきかんおなじく一塊ひとかたまりとなって、下にある火消壺ひけしつぼさそって半分はんぶん水甕みずがめの中、半分は板の間の上へころがり。すべてが深夜しんやただならぬ物音ものおとてて死物しにものぐるいの吾輩のたましいをさえさむからしめた

泥棒どろぼう!」と主人しゅじん胴間声どうまごえげて寝室しんしつからして。見ると片手かたてにはランプ、片手にはステッキってぼけまなこよりは身分みぶん相応そうおう炯々けいけいたるひかりはなっている。吾輩は鮑貝あわびがいそばにおとなしくして蹲踞うずくま二疋にひきの怪物は戸棚の中へ姿すがたをかくす。主人は手持てもち無沙汰ぶさたなんだれおおきな音をさせたのは」と怒気どきびて相手あいてもいないのに聞いている。月が西にしかたむいたので、しろ光りの一帯いったい半切はんきれほどにほそくなった

Rough translation

A strong gust sends another volley of blossoms through the kitchen vent. Just as I'm feeling its swirl, something shoots from the cupboard like a bullet. Before I can react, it's cut through the air and clamped its teeth onto my left ear. Immediately after, a dark shadow circles behind me and fastens itself to my tail. All this happens in an the wink of an eye. Reflexively, I spring to my feet. Mustering all the strength in my bones, I work to shake these monsters loose. The one that's bitten into my ear looses its balance and dangles off the side of my face. Its tail, soft like a rubber tube, finds its way into my mouth. Seizing the moment, I bite down and thrash my head from side to side. The tail stays put, locked in my front teeth, while the torso goes airborn, striking the paper-patched wall and bouncing over the floor boards. I bear down immediately, lest it regain its footing. As I do so, it zips past me like a kicked ball, grazing my muzzle, and landing itself on an upper shelf, where it crouches on tucked legs. It peers down at me from its perch on the shelf, and I gaze up at it from my spot on the wooden floor. The distance between us is a meter and a half. The light of the moon, shining in at an angle, brightens a broad path through the intervening space. Leaping for all I'm worth, I just manage to land my front paws on the shelf. My front paws firmly grip the edge of the shelf, but my hind paws are loose in the air. The aforementioned dark shadow has anchored its teeth in my tail and is hanging on for dear life. I find myself in a bind. I try to reposition my front paws for a better grip, but each time I do so I'm thwarted by the weight on my tail. A few more slips and I'm gone. The situation is dire. My claws dig into the wood of the shelf with a loud scraping sound. In desperation, I extract my left paw for re-engagement, only to have its claws miss their mark. I'm hanging now by a single claw on my right paw, with the weight of my body, plus the weight of the my tail anchor, slowly turning in space. In this instant the monster perched on the shelf, having watched and waited its chance, hurls itself like a stone, taking aim at my forehead. My last clawhold fails me. The three of us, as one unified mass, plunge down through the moonlight. We're joined by the earthenware mortar, the small bucket, and an empty jam tin from the lower shelf, which in turn upset the charcoal pot. Half of the lot splashes into the water basin, and the other half goes tumbling over the wood floor. The stillness of the wee hours is ruptured by the awful crash. Even as I struggle in the midst of it all, the sound sends a chill down my spine.

"Burglar!" the master bellows as he rushes out from the bedroom. In one hand he's holding a lamp, in the other his stick. His eyes, though still half asleep, are doing their utmost to shine with a fierce light. I crouch quietly by my clamshell dish. The two monsters have disappeared into the cupboard. "Who's here? What's going on?" The master, finding no other course of action, calls out in irritation to no one in particular. The moon is setting toward the west. Its light is reduced now to half what it was.

Vocabulary

横向よこむき sidewaysひさし eavesいて face (toward)ひらいた opened (onto)引窓ひきまど skylight (opened and closed by pulling a cord)花吹雪はなふぶき flurry of falling blossoms一塊ひとかたまり one lump; one bundleなげんで throw into; toss intoはげしき intense; strongかぜ wind; gustわれ I; meめぐる surround; encircleおもえば in the moment of; no sooner than戸棚とだな cupboard; cabinetくち opening; outlet弾丸だんがん bullet; shot; shellした flew outもの thingくる avoid (interval of) timeあらばこそ can't possibly be (= あろうはずはない)って cut; cut through吾輩わがはい I; me; myselfひだり left (side)みみ earいつく bite intoつづく follow; come afterくろい black; darkかげ shadow; figure; shapeうしろ back; behindまわる go round; circle round (to)尻尾しっぽ tailぶらがる hang off ofまたたく blink出来事できごと happening; occurrenceなんの (no) sort of目的もくてき purpose; aim; objective器械的きかいてきに reflexively跳上はねあがる jump up; spring up満身まんしんちから all one's strength毛穴けあな pores (of one's skin)めて pour into怪物かいぶつ monsters; demonsとそうとする work to shake offがった hung by one's teeth中心ちゅうしん balanceうしなって loseだらりと loosely; danglingが my横顔よこがお side of the faceかかる hang (off of)護謨ゴムかん rubber tubeやわらかき limber; pliantさき tip; endおもがけなく by chance這入はいる go into; enter屈竟くっきょうの quickest; most convenient (given the situation)手懸てがかり holdくだけよ break; thrash tailくわえながら hold in one's mouth左右さゆう left and right前歯まえば front teethあいだ gap; space betweenのこって remain胴体どうたい body; torso古新聞ふるしんぶん old newspapersった affixed; attached; plasteredかべ wallあたって hit; strike揚板あげいた movable floor boardsうえ top ofかえる bounce off ofがる get up; raise oneself隙間すきまなく without lapse; not missing a beatかかれば lean into; bear down onまり ballたる kickはなづら muzzleかすめて graze; skimだん suspended shelfふち edge; rimあし feet; legsちぢめて draw inつ standかれ he; himたな shelfおろす look down atいた wooden floor; plank floor見上みあぐる look up at距離きょり distance五尺ごしゃく 5 shaku (about 1.5 meters; about 5 feet)なか middle; betweenつき moonひかり light大幅おおはばの wide; broadおび band; strip; swathくう air; space; emptinessよこに from the side; sidewaysむ shine into前足まえあし front feetちから force; energyがろうとした managed to jump up (to)首尾しゅびよく successfully後足あとあし back feet; hind feetちゅう space; air; midairもがいて writhe; wriggle最前さいぜんの shortly before; previously (mentioned)ぬ die; perishとも even if ...はなる be separated; quit; give upまじき should not; must notいきおい vigor; force; tenacityあやうい in danger; in peril; at riskえて reapply; reposition足懸あしがかり foothold; footingふかくしよう deepen; engage more fullyたび time; instanceおもみ weight; burdenあさくなる grow shallower; weaken二三にさん 2 or 3 bu (about 9 mm; about 0.4 in)すべれば slipちねばならぬ will (certainly) fall棚板たないた shelf boardつめ clawsきむしる scratch at; tear atおと soundがりがり scraping (sound)きこえる be heard; be audibleえる draw out; extract (in order to reengage)拍子ひょうしに in the process of ...見事みごとに splendidly; spectacularlyそんじた lost one's grip on; lost one's holdみぎ right (side)一本いっぽん one (long slender object)自分じぶん oneselfとき time; moment身動みうごきもせずに without movingねらいをつけていた was taking aim at; had set one's sight onひたい forehead; brow目懸めがけて aim at; shoot forいし rock; stoneぐる throw; hurlりる jump down; leap down一縷いちる single thread; last sliverうしなう loseみっつ three (things)かたまり lumps; bundlesひとつ one (thing)たてに in a straight (vertical) lineって cut throughした below; beneathつぎ nextだん levelせてあった had been placed摺鉢すりばち (earthenware) mortar (for grinding)小桶こおけ small bucketジャム jam空缶あきかん empty canおなじく similarly; likewise一塊ひとかたまり one lump; one bundle火消壺ひけしつぼ charcoal pot (for extinguishing live coals)さそって bring along半分はんぶん half水甕みずがめ water jar; water basinころがりす tumble out; roll out (onto)深夜しんや late at nightただならぬ uncommon; extraordinary; alarming物音ものおと sound; noise; disturbanceてて raise up; stir up死物しにものぐるいの desperate; franticたましい soul; spiritさむからしめた sent a chill through; turned cold 泥棒どろぼう burglar主人しゅじん master胴間声どうまごえ booming voiceげて raise (one's voice)寝室しんしつ sleeping room; bedroomしてる come flying out片手かたて one handランプ lampげ bring along; carryステッキ stick; caneって holdぼけまなこ sleepy eyes身分みぶん相応そうおう within one's means炯々けいけいたる glaring; piercingひかり lightはなって give off; radiate; cast鮑貝あわびがい abalone shell (used as feeding dish)そば proximity; vicinity蹲踞うずくまる crouch; squat二疋にひき two (critters)姿すがたをかくす hide themselves手持てもち無沙汰ぶさたに having nothing to do; finding no course of actionなんだ what is itだれだ who is itおおきな big; loud (noise)怒気どき anger; wrathびて take on; show hints of相手あいて other party西にし westかたむいた had descended; had wanedしろい white一帯いったい belt; zone; strip半切はんきれ cut by halfほそくなった had narrowed