I am a Cat (Chapter 10 a) Section 329 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

「なぜそんなにねむんでしょう。きっと神経しんけい衰弱すいじゃくなんでしょう」

なんですか

本当ほんとうむやみにおこかたね。あれでよく学校がっこうつとまるのね」

「なに学校じゃおとなしいんですって」

「じゃなおるいわ。まるで蒟蒻こんにゃく閻魔えんまね」

「なぜ?」

「なぜでも蒟蒻閻魔なの。だって蒟蒻閻魔のようじゃありませんか」

「ただ怒るばかりじゃないのよ。ひとみぎえばひだり、左と云えば右で、何でも人のとおにしたことがない、――そりゃ強情ごうじょうですよ」

天探女あまのじゃくでしょう。叔父おじさんはあれが道楽どうらくなのよ。だからなにさせようとおもったらうらを云うと、こっちのおもどおになるのよ。こないだ蝙蝠傘こうもりってもらうときにも、いらない、いらないって、わざと云ったら、いらない事があるものかって、すぐ買ってくだすったの」

「ホホホホうまのね。わたしもこれからそうしよう」

「そうなさいよ。それでなくっちゃそんだわ」

「こないだ保険ほけん会社がいしゃの人が是非ぜひ御這入おはいんなさいってすすめているんでしょう、――いろいろわけを言って、こう云う利益りえきがあるの、ああ云う利益があるのって、何でも一時間いちじかんはなしをしたんですが、どうしても這入らないの。うちだって貯蓄ちょちくはなし、こうして小供こども三人さんにんもあるし、せめて保険へでも這入ってくれるとよっぽど心丈夫こころじょうぶなんですけれども、そんな事はすこしもかまわないんですもの」

「そうね、もしものことがあると不安心ふあんしんだわね」と十七八じゅうしちはちむすめ似合にあいしからん世帯しょたいみたことを云う。

Rough translation

"How can he sleep so much? Must be his nerves are shot."

"I wonder."

"He really does have a short temper. I can't see how they put up with him at the school."

"From what I hear, when he's at the school he's deferential and reserved."

"That just makes him all the worse. Have you heard the term 'jelly-wobble devil?' That's him to a tee."

"How so?"

"It's just what he is. Jelly-wobble devil is perfectly apt."

"It's not just his temper, you know. Say 'right' and he goes left. Tell him 'left' and he's sure to go right. He's never once listened to anyone else -- he's stubborn like a mule."

"He's Amanojaku incarnate, defiant by design. If you want him to do something, just tell him the opposite and he'll give you the outcome you're after. The other day, when I had him by me an umbrella, I made a point of insisting I didn't need one. 'Of course you need one!' he argued back and proceeded to buy it without hesitation."

"Ho ho ho. Well done! From here on I'll follow suit."

"By all means, give it a try. Otherwise you're just beating a dead horse."

"The other day a man from the insurance company called, recommending that we should by all means have a policy. --- He explained why at great length, taking an hour to cover this and that merit. With very little savings and three children, I'd rest easier knowing we at least had insurance, but your uncle showed no such inclination."

"I'm with you. It's worrisome to imagine if something should happen." For a young lady of seventeen or eighteen, she's surprisingly sympathetic when it comes to domestic affairs.

Vocabulary

ねむい sleepy; drowsy神経しんけい衰弱すいじゃく neurasthenia; frayed nerves なんですか I wonder 本当ほんとうに really; truly; indeedおこる grow angry; get worked up; lose one's coolかた person; man学校がっこう schoolつとまる be able to fulfill one's duties るい wrong; flawed; at fault蒟蒻こんにゃく閻魔えんま jelly-wobble devil (from konnyaku jelly and Enma, king of the world of the dead) ひと a person; anotherみぎ right (side)えば say; stateひだり left (side)う say; stateとおり just as; in accordance withこと case; instance強情ごうじょう obstinate; stubborn; headstrong 天探女あまのじゃく Amanojaku (goddess appearing in Japan's "Records of Ancient Matters"; known for highly contrary nature)叔父おじさん uncle道楽どうらく pastime; hobby; diversionなにか somethingおもったら think (to do)うら opposite; contraryおもどおり as one imagines; as one envisions蝙蝠傘こうもり umbrella (lit: "bat" umbrella - from bat wing-like black color and edge shape)って buy; purchaseとき time; occasionくだすった did (something) for me うまい well-done; clever そん disadvantage; loss 保険ほけん会社がいしゃ insurance companyて visit; call是非ぜひ absolutely; by all means御這入おはいんなさいって please join; please take partすすめて recommend; advise; encourageわけ reasons; arguments利益りえき merit; advantage一時間いちじかん one hourはなし talk; discussion; consultation貯蓄ちょちく savings小供こども children (usually 子供こども)三人さんにん three (people)心丈夫こころじょうぶ sense of security; feeling of assuranceすこしも (not) in the leastかまわない pay no heed; show no interest もしものこと unforseen circumstances; off-chance event不安心ふあんしん anxiety; apprehension十七八じゅうしちはち 17 or 18むすめ young lady似合にあいしからん not typical of世帯しょたいみた (tinged with) domesticity; home life