Sunday, December 21, 2014

聖誕老人的馴鹿


















聖誕又到,聖誕老人又到處去派禮物了!

故事中,聖誕老人St. Nicholas,會駕起用馴鹿(糜鹿)拉著的雪橇,在天上奔馳,穿洲過省到世界各地派禮物。

 

聖誕老人拿著全世界的禮物,加上他的超級體重,車子負荷不輕,因此,他要徵用8隻馴鹿(reindeer) 去拉車子,後來更用上9隻之多。這些鹿子的名字,分別為Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder Blixem。而Rudolph是在20世紀後再加入。牠們的名字,來自於1823Clement Clarke Moore所寫的一首詩「A Visit from St. Nicholas」,該詩又名「The Night Before Christmas」或「'Twas the Night Before Christmas」。

…………….. And he whistled, and shouted, and call'd them by name:
"Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer, and Vixen!
"On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donder and Blitzen!

 

1939年,Robert Lewis May在聖誕故事中創作了一隻叫Rudolph的馴鹿,而在1949年一首聖誕歌「Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer」登上了流行榜而使這馴鹿大紅,於是便被加上聖誕老人的馴鹿名單上。

 



附錄:
(一)聖誕老人的馴鹿早期的8隻全部都是雌性的:
原因:
馴鹿是唯一一種雌雄两性都會長出長鹿角的品種,而兩性都會在每年不同時間脫角的。雌性一般在5月脫角,而雄性會在 11 月間脫角。這意味著雄性馴鹿通常不會在聖誕節期間長著鹿角的,於是,不論他們的名字是甚麼,聖誕老人的8隻馴鹿都是雌性無疑。再者,後來的Rudolph在故事中是隻雄性的,而在書面上帶頭的紅鼻子Rudolph是沒有角的。

(二)Rudolph的故事:
魯道夫Rudolph因為牠那罕見的發光紅鼻子而受到其他馴鹿的嘲笑和排擠。在某個寒冷又大霧的平安夜,聖誕老人注意到魯道夫的發光紅鼻子可以作照明,便以魯道夫帶頭拉雪橇。魯道夫幫助聖誕老人完成任務,其他馴鹿從此對牠改觀,大家都喜愛牠。

(三)A Visit from St. Nicholas的詩文:

A Visit from St. Nicholas
By Clement Clarke Moore

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danc'd in their heads,
And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap —
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call'd them by name:
"Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer and Vixen,
"On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Donder and Blitzen;
"To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
"Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys — and St. Nicholas too:
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:
He was dress'd all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnish'd with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
And he look'd like a peddler just opening his pack:
His eyes — how they twinkled! His dimples: how merry,
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laugh'd, like a bowl full of jelly:
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laugh'd when I saw him in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And fill'd all the stockings; then turn'd with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight —
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.