I am a Cat (Chapter 6 b) Section 191 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

むかし亭主ていしゅ口返答くちへんとうなんかしたおんなは、一人ひとりもなかったんだってが、それならおし女房にょうぼうにしているとおなことぼくなどは一向いっこうありがたくない。やっぱりおくさんのようにあなたはおもじゃありませんかとかなんとか云われてたいね。同じ女房をくらいなら、たまには喧嘩けんかひとふたしなくっちゃ退屈たいくつでしようがないからな。僕のははなどたら、おやじのまえはいとへいでっていたものだ。そうして二十年にじゅうねんもいっしょになっているうちに寺参てらまいよりほかにそとへ出た事がないと云うんだからなさけないじゃないか。もっとも御蔭おかげ先祖せんぞ代々だいだい戒名かいみょうはことごとく暗記あんきしている。男女間だんじょかん交際こうさいだってそうさ、僕の小供こども時分じぶんなどは寒月かんげつくんのように意中いちゅうひと合奏がっそうをしたりれい交換こうかんをやって朦朧体もうろうたい出合であって見たりする事はとうてい出来できなかった」「御気おき毒様どくさま」と寒月君があたまげる。「じつ御気の毒さ。しかもその時分の女がかならずしもいまの女より品行ひんこうがいいかぎらんからね。奥さん近頃ちかごろ女学生じょがくせい堕落だらくしたの何だのとやかましく云いますがね。なに昔はこれよりはげしかったんですよ」「そうでしょうか」と細君さいくん真面目まじめである。「そうですとも、出鱈目でたらめじゃない、ちゃんと証拠しょうこがあるから仕方しかたがありませんや。苦沙弥くしゃみ君、きみおぼえているかもれん僕等ぼくら五六歳ごろくさいときまではおんな唐茄子とうなすのようにかごれて天秤棒てんびんぼうかついでってあるいたもんだ、ねえ君」「僕はそんな事は覚えておらん」「君のくにじゃどうだか知らないが、静岡しずおかじゃたしかにそうだった」「まさか」と細君がちいさいこえと、「本当ほんとうですか」と寒月君が本当らしからぬ様子ようす

Rough translation

"In the old days, they say, a wife didn't talk back to her husband. If that's the case, then why not just marry a mute. I see no virtue in this. Better to be called out as heavy or such, as in the present case. If one's going to live with the same wife, then one needs an occasional quarrel to break the monotony. My own mother, in the presence of my father, was the picture of subservience. In twenty years together, they say she never once ventured out, save to pay homage at the temple. Terrible, really. On the upside, of course, she could recite from memory the posthumous names of all our ancestors. Even in my day, men and women didn't interact socially. The kinds of things Kangetsu enjoys, making music with one's sweetheart, exchanging deepest thoughts, musing on fanciful trysts, were out of the question." "That's a shame." Kangetsu bows his head in deference. "A shame indeed. And worse yet, it can't be said that young ladies of old were cast from a better mold. They lament, ma'am, the moral corruption of today's schoolgirls. Take it from me, though, the girls of my day were no saints." "Is that a fact?" The wife is intently engaged. "It is a fact. I kid you not. I've seen it with my own eyes. You'll probably recall, Kushami, how when we were young they put little girls in baskets, placed them on shoulder poles, and sold them around like pumpkins. Remember?" "I can't say I remember that." "I don't know about your home region, but that's how it was in Shizuoka." "Really now," the wife gasps in surprise. "Is that the truth?" Kangetsu, not believing his ears, gives Meitei a questioning look.

Vocabulary

むかし old days; former times亭主ていしゅ husband口返答くちへんとう talking back (to someone)おんな woman; female一人ひとり one person; single personう say; relate; tell ofおし mute; deaf-mute女房にょうぼう wifeおなじ same; similar; likeこと situation; caseぼく I; me一向いっこう (not) at all; (not) in the leastおくさん wife; lady of the house (used here as form of address)おもい heavyなんとか something or otherたい want to see; want to experienceつ have; hold; keep喧嘩けんか quarrel; fightひとふたつ one or two (of something)退屈たいくつ tedium; boredom; dullnessはは motherたら when it comes toまえ in front of; beforeて appearって said nothing but ...二十年にじゅうねん twenty years寺参てらまいり visiting the temple; worshiping at the templeそと outside; away from homeなさけない miserable; pitiable; most unfortunate御蔭おかげで due to; thanks to先祖せんぞ代々だいだい ancestors; past generations戒名かいみょう posthumous Buddhist name暗記あんきして learn by heart; memorize男女間だんじょかん between men and women交際こうさい association; society; interaction小供こども children (usually 子供こども)時分じぶん time; period寒月かんげつ Kangetsu (name)くん (suffix of familiarity for males)意中いちゅうひと person dear to one's heart; sweetheart合奏がっそうをしたり perform music togetherれい soul; spirit; mind交換こうかん exchange; intercourse朦朧体もうろうたい corners of one's imagination; far reaches of fantasy出合であって come together; meet出来できなかった couldn't ...御気おき毒様どくさまで what a terrible shame (for you)あたまげる bow one's head (in deference to)じつに really; trulyかならずしも (not) always; (not) necessarilyいま now; the present品行ひんこう (moral) conduct; behavior; deportmentかぎらん not a given that ...近頃ちかごろ recently; of late女学生じょがくせい schoolgirls堕落だらくした have fallen from grace; have sunk into depravityはげしかった was severe; was extreme細君さいくん the wife真面目まじめ serious; earnest出鱈目でたらめ nonsense; hogwash; unfounded rumors証拠しょうこ evidence; proof仕方しかたがありません unavoidable; irrefutable苦沙弥くしゃみ Kushami (the master's name)きみ youおぼえている rememberかもれん it may be that ...僕等ぼくら we; us五六歳ごろくさい five or six years oldとき time; periodおんな girls唐茄子とうなす squash; pumpkinかご basketれて put into天秤棒てんびんぼう shoulder (carrying) poleかついで carry on one's shoulderってあるいた made the rounds sellingくに one's home region; one's native place静岡しずおか Shizuoka (place name)ちいさい small; low (voice)こえ voiceす put forth本当ほんとう truth; reality; factらしからぬ seemingly at odds with ... (= らしくない)様子ようす appearance; lookく ask; question