The Watch 表 (1980)

The Watch 表 (1980) #

By Leonid Panteleyev, adapted by Dong Qingdong 董青冬, illustrated by Hua Sanchuan 华三川, Beijing: Lianhuanhua chubanshe, 2003. (Reprint of an earlier edition by Renmin meishu chubanshe, Beijing, 1980, translated by Laura Aymar, Bettina Jin, Piet Kortenjan, Lena Henningsen, Sascha Sacknieß, Sophia Schöller, Joschua Seiler, Miriam Stadler, Yixiong Wang and Jenny Wiggermann).1

Introduction to the Text #

Lena Henningsen

“The Watch” is a soviet Russian children’s story whose transcultural journey into China merits attention. The author, Leonid Panteleyev (also: Panteleev, pen name of Alexei Ivanovich Jeremejew) was born 1908 in St. Petersburg and died 1987 in the same city (then called Leningrad). After the turmoil of the October Revolution, the family had left the city and Panteleyev returned alone in 1921. He ended up in a school commune for homeless and difficult youngsters. Together with Grigory Georgiyevich Belykh (1906-1938), Panteleyev wrote the novel The Republic of ShKID (published in 1927) which is based to some extent on their experiences there. “The Watch” is set in a similar environment and was published only a year later in 1928. Panteleyev later continued to weave historical events into the stories he wrote for children and youth readers.

Addressing a young readership, the plot of “The Watch” serves a certain didactic agenda, which it combines with elements of a bildungsroman and entertaining, sometimes even comic scenes and episodes. The characters are lively, and defy easy characterization into “good” or “bad”. The adults may be strict, but believe in the good sides of the children. Petka – the protagonist of the story – is an eleven-year-old boy who learned to survive on the streets and at first appears as a stubborn and unruly character. The treatment he receives at the reformatory to which he is sent, however, help him mature into a responsible young boy diligently studying and doing his chores for the community. Also, he acknowledges past mistakes – and tries to amend them, at least to a certain degree, leaving a certain amount of ambivalence right to the end. This situates the story firmly within the socialist literary cosmos, as a children’s story affirming the values of the communist system, while at the same time calling for a sympathetic reading, for taking sides with the protagonist, despite (or because of) the ambivalence of his character.

Soon after its publication, “The Watch” was translated into into Spanish (El Reloj o Las Aventuras de Petika, published in 1931 by Cenit) and into German (Die Uhr, transl. Maria Eisenstein, published in 1930 by Verlag der Jugendinternationale). In Nazi Germany, it was forbidden, but was republished both in East and West Germany after the War. The first East German publication appeared in 1949 and saw countless republications until the 1980s, though not without controversies as some found the contradictions within the soviet system inappropriate in a literary text for children (Pieper 2006: 1048-1049). The first West German publication appeared in 1974, with two more publications until the late 1980s.

The Chinese translation was produced by no one less than Lu Xun in 1935, shortly before his death and was based on the German translation. In the preface to the translation, Lu Xun also acknowledges a translation into Japanese which helped him through the text and some of its idiomatic expressions, but he took the German version as his core point of reference. He also states as his aim that the story should provide young readers in China with new contents (as opposed to the old contents in most available literature) and target them by using words that a ten-year-old would be able to read (Lu Xun 1935: “Preface”). “The Watch” is one of a few pieces of children’s literature translated by Lu Xun and thus form part of the effort of Lu Xun and a number of other members of his generation to foster the creation of an indigenous children’s literature. While most of the children’s literature translated by Lu Xun still had a predominantly adult readership, “The Watch” enjoyed distinct popularity among younger readers and was even staged as a children’s play in Kunming during the 1940s (Lundberg 1989: 196-208; 264).

Overall, the lianhuanhua follows the plot line set out in the original story, and in a number of places, it uses phrases from Lu Xun’s translation. There are, however, significant simplifications in a number of sub-plots and in the overall language of the text – targeting, most likely, juvenile readers almost half a century later. Often, and similar to other literary adaptations into lianhuanhua, words from Lu Xun’s translation find their way into the characters’ speech. In the beginning and the end, the lianhuanhua follows the plot line closely in its illustrations, spending one or two panels on each page in the translation. In the middle, however, the lianhuanhua strides forward at a faster pace thus significantly reducing the content reproduced. This holds true, in particular, for the passages which delve into Petka’s inner life: page 40, thus omits a longish passage in which Petka fantasizes about what he would want to buy in exchange for the golden watch; page 49 omits a quarrel among the boys, a dream by Petka and a reference to Gogol’s Nose and the merits of reading; pages 54-57 reduce the content of 14 pages and thus purge several explorations of moral values, responsibility, and guilt; likewise, Petka’s transformation is treated much more elaborately in the original (page 65 as compared to p. 82 in the translation) – and the amusements that Petka and Natasha experience are reduced from 5 pages to just one page (66).

The story gained what may be called second order prominence in 1977 through the short story “The Class Teacher” (班主任) by Liu Xinwu 刘心武 (Liu 1977). This story is one of the central texts of the scar literature genre, a first attempt to confront the pain and scars inflicted upon individuals during the Cultural Revolution. As I have elaborated elsewhere (Henningsen 2022 forthcoming), “The Watch” operates as a powerful intertext to “The Class Teacher”: On the first level, Teacher Zhang, the protagonist of the story, discusses the text with his students in order to come to terms with a prospective new student in the class. Lu Xun is explicitly referred to in the story as having translated the story with “great ardor”, thus adding to the weight of the story. On the second level, “The Watch” provides the narrative frame for the plot line of “The Class Teacher” as the plot of the latter text is clearly modeled on the first. Knowledge of “The Watch” thus adds another layer of interpretation to “The Class Teacher”. Soon after, in 1980, the present adaptation appeared as a lianhuanhua – almost contemporaneous to the lianhuanhua version of “The Class Teacher” (Liu 1978).

References #

Henningsen, Lena 2022 (forthcoming): “Fictional Texts as Sites of Knowledge: From Intertexts to Transtextuality”, in: Martin Hofmann, Virginia Leung, Joachim Kurtz [ed.]: Wissensorte in China, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

Liu Xinwu 刘心武 1977: “The Class Teacher” 班主任, in Renmin wenxue 11, 16–29.

Liu Xinwu 刘心武 1978: The Class Teacher 班主任, adapted by Sun Jianying 孙剑影, illustrated by Xu Xiuyu 徐修余, Jiangsu: Jiangsu renmin chubanshe.

Liu, Hsin-wu (Liu Xinwu) 1979: “The Class Teacher”, in: Yang, Winston L. Y., Nathan K. Mao [eds.]: Stories of Contemporary China, New York: Paragon Book Gallery, 83-103.

Liu, Xinwu 1995 (1978): “The Class Teacher” (transl. Zhihua Fang), in: Fang, Zhihua [ed.]: Chinese Short Stories of the Twentieth Century: An Anthology in English, New York: Garland Publishing, 85-120.

Lu, Xun 鲁迅 [1935]: “Preface”, in: Panteleyev, Leonid [1935]: The Watch 表, transl. by Lu Xun 鲁迅, Shanghai: Shenghuo Shudian, I-IV.

Lundberg, Lennart 1989: Lu Xun as a Translator: Lu Xun’s Translation and Introduction of Literature and Literary Theory, 1903-1936, Stockholm: Orientaliska Studier, Stockholm University.

Panteleyev, Leonid [1935]: The Watch 表, transl. by Lu Xun 鲁迅, Shanghai: Shenghuo Shudian.

Panteleyev, Leonid 2003 [1980]: The Watch 表, adapted by Zhong Qingdong 重青冬, Hua Sanchuan 华三川 Beijing: Lianhuanhua chubanshe.

Pantelejew, Leonid [1958]: Die Uhr, transl. by Maria Eisenstein, illustrated by Paul Rosiè, Berlin: Der Kinderbuchverlag.

Pieper, Katrin 2006: “Die besten Helden: Literatur für Kinder und Jugendliche nach sowjetischen Vorbildern”, in: Karl Eimermacher and Astrid Volpert [ed.]: Tauwetter, Eiszeit und gelenkte Dialoge: Russen und Deutsche nach 1945, München: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 1033-1056.

About the translation
This translation is the outcome of a joint translation project taught in the winter of 2020/2021 at the University of Freiburg. Our aim in this translation was to remain as faithful as possible to the Chinese original while at the same time conveying a tone of narration in line with a comic book addressed to young readers based on a “classical” piece of children’s literature. As the story takes place in early 20th century Russia, the given names of the characters are given in Russian.
Front and back cover
Page 01
彼帝加对做过的事情都糊涂得很。他在市场里到处走,什么都想过了。他又懊恼、又伤心。他饿得很,想买点儿吃的,可是口袋里一分钱也没有。 Petka was confused about the things he had done. He walked around the marketplace thinking about all sorts of things. He was frustrated and sad. He was terribly hungry and wanted to buy something to eat, but he did not have any money in his pocket.
Page 02
忽然,他看见一个女人在卖蛋饼,那蛋饼焦黄、松脆,还冒着热气。他馋得直流 口涎,于是走过去,拿起一个蛋饼,嗅了一嗅,塞在袋子里,转身走开了。 All of a sudden, he saw a woman selling pancakes which were brown, crisp and gave off hot steam. His mouth was watering, so he went and took one of the pancakes, smelled it, stuffed it in his pocket, turned around and walked away.
Page 03
那女人追了过来,一把抓住他的肩膀,嚷道:“你偷东西!还我蛋饼!” The woman chased after him, grabbed his shoulder and shouted: “You thief! Give back my pancake!”
Page 04
随着那女人的叫嚷声,一下子围上一大群人。人们把他拖在地上,毒打了一顿,接着又把他拉到警察局去。 Following the woman’s shouting, a group of people immediately gathered around them. They dragged him to the floor, beat him relentlessly and took him to the police station.
Page 05
他被拘留了。他仰望窗外清朗、明净和蓝的发亮的天空,苦恼在脑子里打转:人生是多么糟糕!只为了一个蛋饼…… 他只等待着临头的命运。 He was held in custody and looked outside the window at the bright, clear and shining sky as his sorrows were whirling around his head: “Life is so terrible! Only for a pancake…” He was just waiting for his impending fate.
Page 06
忽然,传来一阵敲击木头隔板的声音:“老爷!同志!放我出去吧!看在老天爷面上!我的孩子们在等我呢!“一股浓烈的酒气涌了过来。原来那是个醉汉。 Suddenly, he noticed a tapping sound on the wooden wall: “Masters! Comrades! Let me out! In the name of God! My children are waiting for me!” A wave of boozy breath came over. It turned out to be a drunkard.
Page 07
真是可笑极了。“傻瓜,“彼帝加说,“我怎么能放你出去呢?我也是像你一样,关在这里的呀!” This was ridiculous! “You fool”, Petka said, “how can I let you out? I am locked up in here just like you!”
Page 08
“局长同志,请您放我出去吧!你瞧,这是多好的一块金表呀!“果然,从板缝里伸过一只手,手掌里托着一块闪闪发光的金表。表链上还挂着各式各样的小玩艺。 “Comrade director, please let me free! Look at this wonderful golden watch!” Sure enough, there was a hand reaching through the gap in the wall. There was a twisting sparkling golden watch in its palm. All sorts of little charms were hanging on the watch chain.
Page 09
彼帝加清晰地听到那表滴答地响,他的心也跟着猛跳起来。“嘿,真走运!“他抓过表,快活得喘不过气,血忽地涌到小脑瓜里去了。 Petka could clearly hear the watch ticking, and his heart started to beat in time with the watch. “How lucky!” He grabbed the watch so happy he could hardly breathe, and suddenly the blood rushed to his head.
Page 10
那醉汉顿着脚,好像给枪剌着一样大叫着:“救命呀!强盗……“彼帝加吓坏了,紧紧抓着那块表。忽然,他想出了一个好主意。 The drunkard stomped his feet and yelled as if he had been stabbed: “Ah, help! Bandits…” Petka was scared and held the watch tightly. All of a sudden, he had a good idea.
Page 11
他把表链和那些小玩艺一起揪下来,塞进板缝:“喏,拿去!“那醉汉已经糊涂了,早把表忘记了。他接过表链,喃喃地说:“多谢!多谢!我的心肝!” He pulled off the chain with the charms and stuffed it through the gap: “Here, take it!” The drunkard was muddle-headed. He had already forgotten about the watch. He took the chain and murmured: “Thanks a lot! Thanks a lot! My precious!”
Page 12
太阳在窗外放光,表在彼帝加手里发亮。他想:聪明人说得对,因祸得福。这表值五十卢布……把它卖了,我得买个白面包,还有猪油、香肠、靴子、带条纹的汗衫…… The sun was shining outside the window, and the watch was gleaming in Petka’s hand. He thought: “The wise man was right about gaining profit by misfortune. This watch is worth 50 Roubles… after selling it, I’ll buy myself white bread and lard, sausages, boots, and also a striped undershirt…”
Page 13
一切都很好。只有一样不好,就是像罐子里的老鼠一样被关住了。“不要紧!“他安慰自己,“晚上,市场一收摊子,他们就放我了。“可是时间又是多么长呀!太阳简直一点儿也不着急。 Everything was fine. Only one thing was not fine, to be locked up like a mouse in a jar. “Never mind!” He comforted himself, “in the evening, once the market closes, they will let me go.” But how slowly the time passed! The sun was not in a hurry at all.
Page 14
他又仔细看了看那表,才把它塞在破烂的裤袋里。为了牢靠,他把袋子打了一个结。不一会儿,们锁响了,一个警察走进来叫他出去。彼帝加高兴地跳了起来,提一提裤子,跟着警察走出禁闭室。 Carefully, he looked at the watch and put it into the pocket of his tattered trousers. Just in case, he tied the pocket with a knot. After a while, the door opened, a policeman walked in and called him out. Rejoicing, Petka jumped up, pulled up his pants and followed the policeman out of the guardroom.
Page 15
彼帝加被带进局长办公室。“你好!小扒手。“局长问,“你什么时候生的?““不知道,可是我十一岁了。““好像是第七次到我这儿来做客吧?我的判决是原谅你年幼无知,送你到少年教养院去。“彼帝加的头嗡的一声胀大了。 Petka was taken into the chief's office. “Hello, little pickpocket! When were you born?” The chief asked. “I don’t know, but I am eleven years old.” - “You seem to be my guest for the seventh time? My decision is to forgive you your youth and ignorance, and send you to the reformatory.” Petka’s head started to buzz.
Page 16
更糟糕的是,局长命令警察搜他的身。他想:从此永远分手了,我的宝贝表!幸亏警察嫌脏,不肯动手。 To make matters worse, the chief ordered the policeman to search his body. He thought: “Farewell forever, my beloved watch.” Fortunately, the policeman disliked filth and was unwilling to move.
Page 17
局长对警察说:“不搜也罢,这不关紧要。你带上公文,把这小浪子交给少年教养院去。“警察把公文塞在皮包里,对彼帝加说:“流浪儿,走吧!“彼帝加庆幸地一提裤子,迈开大步便走。 The chief said to the policeman: “Don’t search, it doesn't matter. Take this document and bring this little hooligan to the reformatory.” The policeman stuffed the document into his briefcase and turned to Petka: “Hooligan, let's go!” Happily, Petka pulled up his pants and followed with big steps.
Page 18
他们穿过热闹的市场,彼帝加只有一个念头:跑掉!他的心思被警察看透了:“想溜到吗?那就跑吧!“可他却一本正经的说:“我才不跑呢!即使打死我,我也不跑。” As they crossed the lively market, Petka only had one thought: “Run away!” The policeman read his mind. “Want to slip away? Just run away then!” But he answered seriously: “I won’t run away! Even if you beat me to death, I won’t run away.”
Page 19
警察走得口渴了,正好跟过一个叫 “米兰” 的茶馆,他叫彼蒂加一同进去喝茶,彼蒂加不肯。警察说:“我知道你是不跑的,你是一个乖小子……“他让彼蒂加在外边等着,自己进去了。 The policeman walked and became thirsty, just as they passed by a teahouse called “Milan”. He asked Petka to go in together to drink some tea, but Petka refused. The policeman said: “I know you won’t run away. You’re a good boy…” He left Petka waiting outside and went in by himself.
Page 20
彼蒂加二话没说拔脚就跑。他像插上了翅膀,转过街角,狂奔飞跑,心都快要从胸口里跳出来了。往哪儿去呢?他自己也不知道。 Without another word, Petka turned around and ran. He seemed to have grown wings, he turned around the corner and his heart was about to jump out of his chest. Where should he go? He did not know himself.
Page 21
他终于在街市的尽头站住了。回头望望没有人追踪,心想:到底跑掉了! 现在我自由了! 他想起了表,用手一摸,哎呀! 表不在了,连袋子也没了。他灰心丧气,差一点哭出来。 Finally, he stopped at the end of the market. He turned around and saw that no one was following him, thinking: “In the end I got away! Now I’m free!” He remembered the watch and felt for it. OH NO! The watch was gone, even his pocket had disappeared. He was so disheartened that he almost began to cry.
Page 22
他循着原路回去找,可连表的影子也没看到。快到"米兰"茶馆时,他的眼睛突然一亮,马路上躺着装着表的袋子,他弯腰拾起袋子,哈! 表还在呢! He went back the same way, but he did not even see a shadow of his watch. When he had almost reached the “Milan” teahouse, his eyes suddenly brightened, as he saw the pocket with the watch in it. He bent down to pick it up. HA! The watch was still there!
Page 23
这时警察从茶馆里出来了:“好!你毕竟等着,真是好样儿的!“他拿出一块甜饼递给彼蒂加。随后,他们继续向教养院走去。 Right at that moment, the policeman stepped out of the teahouse: “Good! You’ve waited after all. What a good boy!” He took out a piece of sweet cake and handed it to Petka. After this, they continued their walk to the reformatory.
Page 24
不多时,他们来到教养院。教养院的房子全是绿顶白墙,窗户带着罩窗,还有个院子,右头围墙,一重大门。彼蒂加叹了一口气。他想,这监牢似的教养院,谁能从这儿逃走呢? Before long, they arrived at the reformatory. The building of the reformatory had a green roof and white walls. The windows had curtains and there was a yard. On the right side of the fence, there was a heavy gate. Petka sighed. He thought: “This reformatory is like a prison, who can escape from here?”
Page 25
警察叫开门,他们走进二楼去见院长。警察向院长要了收据,看了彼蒂加一眼:“孩子好好地在这儿生活吧!再见!” The policeman called to open the door and they went to the second floor to see the director. The policeman requested for a receipt from the director and glanced at Petka: “Child, live well here! Goodbye!”
Page 26
院长一边翻看着警察局的公文,一边对彼蒂加说:“哦,小偷?这干不得!你这小,再边几年就能成为一个有用的人了……现在我们首先得整理你的外表。” While the director looked through the police documents, he turned to Petka: “Oh, a thief? This can’t be! You’re still young, in a few years, you can turn into a useful person… now, we first have to put your appearance in order.”
Page 27
彼蒂加被带到卫生科。卫生员叫他把衣服脱光进浴盆洗澡,还要把他的破衣服烧掉,换一身新的。 Petka was taken to the infirmary. The health worker told him to take off all his clothes, to take a bath in the bathtub and to burn his worn-out clothes in exchange for a set of new ones.
Page 28
彼蒂加吃了一惊。他紧紧抓住裤子,怎么办呢?表……幸运的是卫生员暂时离开了浴室。他来不及多想,迅速地从口袋里掏出表,把它塞进嘴里。 Petka was shocked. He firmly held on to his trousers: “What should I do? The watch…” Fortunately, the health worker left the bathroom for a moment. He did not have much time to think, so he quickly took the watch out of his pocket and put it in his mouth.
Page 29
卫生员来了,他用钳子把彼蒂加的脏衣服夹了出来,然后又回来给他洗澡。彼蒂加已经五年没洗澡了,躺在浴盆里感到舒服极了。卫生员问他问这问那。彼蒂加因为嘴里含着表,一句话也说不出,只是点头或摇头。 The health worker came back. He carried Petka’s clothes outside with pliers, then returned to give him a bath. Petka had not taken a bath in five years, so when he lay in the bathtub, it felt really comfortable. The health worker asked a stream of questions. But because Petka had the watch in his mouth, he could not say a word, he just nodded or shook his head.
Page 30
卫生员终于关上了他的话匣子。他放掉脏水,又放进干净的水,然后拿起报纸:“孩子,如果太冷或太热,你就说话。” The health worker finally turned off his chatterbox. He let the dirty water out, and filled it up with clean water, then he took the newspapers: “Kid, if it’s too cold or too hot, just tell me.”
Page 31
热水不断地从龙头里涌出,浴盆里渐渐地烫起来,彼蒂加焦急不安地折腾开了,却又说不出话来。最后,他实在熬不住了,一下子把表吐在浴盆里,大叫一声:“烫呀!“并像弹簧似的跳了出来。 The hot water gushed from the tap ceaselessly. The water in the bathtub got hotter and hotter. Petka tossed about uneasily but was unable to speak out. In the end, he could not take it anymore. All of a sudden, he spit the watch into the bathtub, and screamed: “It’s boiling!” and jumped out like a metal spring.
Page 32
卫生员又放了许多冷水在浴盆里,彼蒂加又重新跳了进去。他急忙在盆底摸表,终于碰到了光滑的圆东西,他惊喜地又把它塞进嘴里。不知为什么,浴盆里的水在逐渐减少。 The health worker then poured cold water into the bathtub, so Petka jumped in again. He anxiously felt for the watch at the bottom of the bathtub and finally got hold of a smooth round thing. He eagerly put it into his mouth again. He did not know why, but the water in the bathtub became less and less.
Page 33
洗完澡,卫生员给他一套新衣服。他第一次穿这么漂亮的衣服,乐得咧着嘴笑了。卫生员诧导地看着他嘴里发亮的东西:“这是什么?” When he was done bathing, the health worker gave him a set of new clothes. It was the first time for him to wear such pretty clothes, so he grinned with his mouth wide open. The health worker was surprised to see something shiny in his mouth: “What is this?”
Page 34
彼蒂加赶紧闭上嘴,卫生员哪肯放过。最后,彼蒂加只得把它吐出来。天啊!这不是浴盆的铜塞子吗?卫生员惊奇地问:“告诉我,为什么把它放进嘴里?“彼蒂加只好撤谎:“我饿!” Petka hastily closed his mouth, but the health worker would not let go. In the end, Petka had to spit it out. Good heavens! Was this not the copper plug of the bathtub? The health worker was surprised: “Tell me, why did you put that into your mouth?” Petka had to lie: “I’m hungry!”
Page 35
表哪去了?彼蒂加偷偷朝浴盆张望。浴盆里水已流净,只有一块浴巾。卫生员把铜塞子扔回浴盆,去拿浴巾。彼蒂加心想:这可惜了!表一定在浴巾下面。他灵机一动,突然大叫起来:“啊唷!肚子痛!” Where did the watch go? Petka secretly peeped towards the bathtub. The water in the bathtub had already drained away, there was only a washcloth left. The health worker threw the plug back into the bathtub and was about to take the washcloth. Petka thought: “Too bad! The watch must be under the towel.” He had a sudden idea and screamed: “Ouch! My stomach is aching!”
Page 36
卫生员慌了,急忙奔出门去取药。彼蒂加扑到浴巾上,一点不错,表就躺在浴巾下面。他急忙把它抓在手里,把水擦干,欣赏着。手心里的表活像是太阳在放光。 The health worker panicked and hurried out the door to get some medicine. Petka launched towards the cloth. And indeed!, the watch was really under the cloth. He grabbed it really fast, wiped it dry, and admired it. The watch in his hands was shining like the sun.
Page 37
彼蒂加急忙把表装进崭新的裤袋里。这时,卫生员拿来一瓶阿摩尼亚水,他嗅了嗅,打了几个喷嚏,就装作病好了。经过梳洗打扮,他变成一个漂亮的小伙子了。 Petka hastily put the watch into the pocket of his brand-new pants. Right then, the health worker brought a bottle of ammonia solution. Petka sniffed it, sneezed a few times, and then pretended to be cured. Now that he had freshened up, he turned into a pretty young lad.
Page 38
彼蒂加来到食堂,饭菜又热又香。他贪婪地吃着,连盘子都舔光了。独眼龙毕塔珂夫逗弄起他来了:“大饭桶,比大象吃得还多!“彼蒂加生气了,把匙子掷过去,正敲在独眼龙的脑门上。 When Petka arrived at the canteen, the food was hot and smelled good. He ate greedily, even licking the plate clean. The one-eyed Pyatakov began to tease him: “You greedy pig! You eat more than an elephant!” Petka became angry and threw his spoon right at One Eye’s forehead.
Page 39
出了乱子了,院长赶来了。他用严厉的目光看着彼蒂加:“站到门口去,直到大家吃完午饭为止!” 孩子们吃完午饭,三三两两从彼蒂加面前跑过去,有的向他伸舌头,有的向他扮鬼脸。 Upon the commotion, the director rushed in. He gave Petka a stern look: “Stand in the doorway until everybody has finished their lunch!” After the children had finished their lunch, they ran past Petka in groups of twos and threes, some of them sticking out their tongues, some of them making faces at him.
Page 40
傍晚,彼蒂加担心把表带在身上会出乱子,于是来到院子里,在墙根挖了个小坑。他把表包好,埋在小坑里,还插上一根小树枝,免得记错了地方。 At dusk, Petka worried that keeping the watch on him might cause trouble, so he went to the yard and dug a small hole at the foot of a wall. He wrapped up the watch, buried it and stuck a small twiglet on it in order not to remember the wrong spot.
Page 41
当天空布满星星的时候,就寝钟响了。彼蒂加倒在床上直睡到天亮。“起来!快起来!“院长摇着他的肩膀,“警察局长要你去一趟。“彼蒂加慌神啦,脚怎么也伸不进裤脚里去。 When the sky was full of stars, the bell rang. Petka fell into bed and slept till dawn. “Get up! Get up!” The director shook his shoulder. “The chief wants you to come.” Petka panicked and could not get his feet into his trousers no matter how hard he tried.
Page 42
彼蒂加被带到警察局长办公室。他看见局长身旁站着一个红鼻子老汉。彼蒂加想,这一定是那个醉汉了。“凭良心回答,你偷了库兑耶尔的表吗?“局长问。“我敢赌咒,我从来没有见过表……“彼蒂加坦然地回答。 Petka was taken to the chief’s office. He saw an old, red-nosed man standing next to the chief. Petka thought this was for sure the drunkard. “Answer honestly, did you steal Kudeyar’s watch?’’ the chief asked. “I swear, I've never seen that watch…’’, Petka answered calmly. s
Page 43
局长命令警察将彼蒂加从头到脚搜一遍。彼蒂加一点也不害怕,心里非常好笑。后来局长和库兑耶尔一齐动手,结果什么也没有搜到。 The chief ordered a policeman to search Petka from head to toe. Petka, silently finding it hilarious, was not afraid at all. Later, both the chief and Kudeyar joined in, but in the end, they could not find anything.
Page 44
“他根本就没有表。他诬赖好人!“彼蒂加对局长说。局长教训了库兑耶尔一顿。库兑耶尔放声大哭。局长命令警察把彼蒂加送回教养院。 “He doesn’t even own a watch, he’s accusing innocent people!” Petka said to the chief. The chief read Kudeyar the riot act. Kudeyar began to cry loudly. The chief ordered the policeman to take Petka back to the reformatory.
Page 45
警察对彼蒂加说:“你一个人回去吧,我对你的诚实深信不疑。“彼蒂加真的一个人向教养院走去。现在他是不肯逃走的了,因为他心爱的表还埋在教养院的院子里呢! The policeman said to Petka: “Go back by yourself, you are an honest boy.’’ And Petka indeed started to walk back to the reformatory. He did not want to run away now because his beloved watch was still buried in the yard of the reformatory!
Page 46
忽然,库兑耶尔从后面追了上来,扑倒在他的脚上:“求求你,还我表吧!我的女人在生病,孩子在挨饿。看上帝面上,还给我!” Suddenly, Kudeyar caught up with him and threw himself at his feet: “I beg you, give me back my watch! My wife is sick, the children are starving. In the name of God, give it back to me!”
Page 47
彼蒂加毫不理会,继续往前走。库兑耶尔从后面追上来嚷着:“我控告你!我给你吃官司!““告去就是了,谁也不会相信你这个老酒鬼!“彼蒂加觉得很开心,只管自己的路。 Petka did not pay him any attention and continued to walk ahead. Kudeyar caught up with him, yelling: “I will sue you! I will file a lawsuit!’’ - “Go ahead and sue me, no one will believe an old drunkard like you.’’ Petka felt very happy and went his way.
Page 48
彼蒂加打算先把表挖出来,然后翻墙逃走。可是当他一走进教养院,却看见院子里停放着许多辆运木材的大马车。孩子们在院长的指挥下,正从马车上往下搬运木材。不一会儿,木材就堆满了院子。 Petka came up with a plan. He would first dig out the watch, and then climb over the wall and run away. However, when he arrived at the reformatory, he saw that numerous horse carriages loaded with timber were parked in the courtyard. Under the command of the director, the children unloaded the logs from the carriages. Before long, the courtyard was all filled with timber.
Page 49
他来到埋表的地方,那上面高高地堆放着木材。“我的表……“他伤心地哭了起来。 He arrived at the spot where he had buried the watch. Timber was piled high on top of it. “My watch…” Broken-hearted, he started to cry.
Page 50
这天夜里,他被火车的汽笛声惊醒:“唉唉,车站该是多么有趣!掏空那些有钱人的腰包多开心……“他打定主意,今晚把表弄到手后就逃走。 At night, the sound of a train whistle woke him up. “Oh, how much fun it would be to be at the station and empty out the pockets of all those rich people…” He made up his mind: Tonight, he would get the watch into his hands and just run away.
Page 51
他打开窗户,从排水管滑下来溜到院子里,来到埋表的地方。他使劲地搬开木材,一根,两根,三根……才搬了二三十根,他就上气不接下气了。 He opened the window, glided down the drainpipe, landed in the courtyard, and went to the place where his watch was buried. With all his strength he dragged away the logs. One log, two logs, three logs... when he had dragged away only twenty or thirty logs, he was gasping for air already.
Page 52
当他再搬一根很重的圆木材时,一不小心滑脱了手,整个木材垛塌了下来,发出吓人的声响。随着一声嗥叫,一只大狗向他扑来。彼蒂加吓得浑身发抖,拚命地逃回宿舍里去。 Just when he was pulling one especially heavy log, it slipped out of his hands in a moment of carelessness. The entire pile of tree trunks collapsed, making a frightening noise. Following a loud growl, a huge dog jumped at Petka. Petka's entire body trembled with fear, and he ran back to the dorm for his dear life.
Page 53
第二天,彼蒂加得了严重的肺炎,整整昏睡了三个星期。 The next day, Petka came down with a serious pneumonia and slept for three weeks.
Page 54
彼蒂加终于活下来了,恢复知觉了。一天,小伙伴米罗诺夫给他送来一本画书,还告诉他,在他害病的那天,毕塔珂夫因偷木材被送到少年管教所去了。彼蒂加禁不住绯红了脸。 Petka finally started to get better and recovered his consciousness. One day, his mate Milonov brought him a picture book. He told him that Pyatakov had been sent to the youth custody centre for stealing wood on the same day that Petka had fallen ill. Petka could not help but blush.
Page 55
米罗诺夫走后,彼蒂加很难过,心想:毕塔珂夫虽然讨厌,毕竟是自己的小伙伴,不能让他白受冤在。他决定去找院长,说明那天晚上是他搬动了木材,但埋表的事是绝对不能讲的。 After Milonov had left, Petka felt very bad and thought to himself: “Even though I detest Pyatakov, he is still my mate, and I can’t let him be accused wrongly.” He decided that he would go to the director and explain that it had been Petka himself, who had moved the logs on that very night, but he would not say a word about the watch.
Page 56
可是,他来到院长办公室,却又失掉了勇气。院长问他有什么事,他只说是来向院长借画书的。院长见他喜欢读书了,很高兴,就拿给他许多书。 However, when he arrived in the director’s office, his courage left him. The director asked him what the matter was, but he only managed to say that he had come to borrow some picture books from him. When the director saw that he liked reading, he was very happy, and gave him many books.
Page 57
一个星期六的晚上,库兑耶尔突然带着乳酪糖球来看望彼蒂加,他恳求彼蒂加把表还给他。彼蒂加脸色一下子变白了:“我不要!请您走吧!““什么?叫我走?你还我表!“库兑耶尔大吵大嚷起来。 One Saturday evening, Kudeyar suddenly came to pay Petka a visit, bringing toffees and begging him to return his watch. Petka’s face instantly turned white: “No! I ask you to leave!” – “What? You tell me to go? Give me back my watch!” Kudeyar started to make a big scene.
Page 58
院长赶来了问:“怎么一回事?“彼蒂加说:“他是我的伯父,是从疯人院出来的。请您不要再放他进来了!“于是大家把库兑耶尔赶走了。 The director hurried over and asked: “What’s going on here?” Petka said: “He is my uncle, he ran away from the madhouse. Please don’t let him come in again!” So everyone chased off Kudeyar.
Page 59
冬天到了,下起了大雪。院长叫孩子们把院子里的木材搬进库房去。彼蒂加想到心爱的表就可以到手了,所以劲头也来了:“快点儿,加油!“他干得很卖力,像个指挥官似的组织大家传递木材。 Winter came and heavy snow fell. The director called the children to carry the timber from inside the courtyard into the storehouse. Petka thought of how he could finally get his hands on his beloved watch, so he also joined with enthusiasm: “Move up, come on!” He threw himself into the task at hand and ordered everyone to pass the timber just like a commander.
Page 60
可是库房满了,木材没有搬完,彼蒂加大失所望,因为他的心爱的表仍然拿不出来。虽然院长表扬了他,可他感到很遗憾。 But the storage room was full before all the timber had been moved in. Petka lost all his hope, because he could not get hold of his beloved watch. Although the headmaster praised him, he felt quite sorrowful.
Page 61
由于他劳动积极,大家一致选举他当总务组的组长。彼蒂加又高兴起来了。 Because he had worked energetically, everyone elected him unanimously as group leader for general affairs. This cheered Petka up again.
Page 62
大家对他非常信任,他也热心为大家办事;他用心读书,进步很快。到新年时,他升了级,跟高年级孩子一起读书了。表的事也来不及去想了。 Everybody trusted him a lot, and he took care of all of their affairs with his full heart; he studied diligently and made good progress. When the new year started, he moved up to a higher class and studied together with the senior students. He did not have time to think about the matter of the watch anymore.
Page 63
日子飞快地过去了。三月里,巴黎公社纪念日这一天,孩子们去烈士陵园扫墓。他们在路上遇见了一个醉汉,大家把他推来推去,还用雪球打他的脸。彼蒂加认出那个醉汉正是库兑耶尔。 The days were passing faster and faster. In March, on the Paris Commune Memorial Day, all the kids went out to sweep the tombs at the martyrs’ cemetery. On their way, they came across a drunkard. Everyone rudely pushed and pulled him back and forth and even threw snowballs at his face. Petka recognized that this drunkard was Kudeyar.
Page 64
库兑耶尔呻吟着、挣扎着、躲来躲去。彼蒂加忽然产生了同情心,于是跳出来,叫道:“喂,住手吧!” Kudeyar groaned, fought, and tried his best to duck away from the children. Petka suddenly felt sorry for him and so he jumped between them and shouted: “Hey, stop it!”
Page 65
库兑耶尔也认出了他,怒吼道:“你这流氓!你偷了我的表!“彼蒂加又羞又愧。 Kudeyar also recognized Petka and shouted in anger: “You rogue! You stole my watch!” Petka felt very ashamed.
Page 66
复活节快到了。经院长许可,彼蒂加和小伙伴米罗诺夫一起到集市上去玩耍。彼蒂加认识了一个叫娜塔莎的小女孩。他们彼此谈得很亲密,一直玩到很晚才分手。 Easter was near. The director allowed Petka to go out with his mate Milonov to spend some time at the market. There, Petka got to know a girl called Natasha. They started getting closer to each other and only separated when it was very late.
Page 67
积雪融化了。一天,彼蒂加发现院子里的木材也烧完了。他左思右想,一夜没睡好。第二天清早,他悄悄来到埋表的地方,把表挖了出来。表依然闪闪放光,但彼蒂加却觉得它黯然失色。 The masses of snow had melted away. One day, Petka noticed that all the timber in the yard had been used up. He pondered and pondered, and he could not sleep the entire night. The next day, he secretly went to the place where he hid the watch and dug it out. It was still sparkling and glittering, but Petka had the feeling that it had lost its splendour.
Page 68
这回彼蒂加该按照他的计划逃走了吧?可是,不!现在他不想离开这儿了。那表怎么办呢?扔掉它?怪愚蠢的,最好是还给库兑耶尔,但到哪儿去找他呢?彼蒂加揣着这只可恨的表,心里很痛苦。 Should Petka run away as he had planned? No, of course not! Now he did not want to leave this place. So, what should he do with the watch? Throw it away? That was quite stupid, the best option was to give it back to Kudeyar, but where could he find him? Petka hid this detestable watch in his clothes, his heart heavy.
Page 69
夏天到了,屋顶要油漆一下,院长叫彼蒂加上街去买油漆。他来到市场,想起先前的流浪生活,想到偷东西挨打的难堪情景……唉!真无聊!真糊涂! Summer had arrived, and the roof needed to be painted. The director asked Petka to go shopping for paint. When he came to the market, he thought of his previous vagrant life and the embarrassment of stealing and being beaten up… UGH! What a bore! How confusing!
Page 70
“捉贼!捉住他!“突然传来一阵叫喊声。转眼间,从他面前跑过一个蓬头垢面的孩子。彼蒂加立刻认出那是毕塔珂夫。他一下子抓住毕塔珂夫的肩膀。毕塔珂夫一闪身,回手照他心窝就是一拳。 “Catch the thief! Catch him!” Suddenly there was shouting. In the blink of an eye, an unkempt child ran past him. Petka immediately recognized that it was Pyatakov. He grabbed Pyatakov’s shoulder at once. Pyatakov flinched, and then gave him a punch in the gut.
Page 71
“不要撒野!你不认识我啦!我是彼蒂加。“他们来到远离街心的僻静的地方,“原谅我吧,全是我不好……“他对毕塔珂夫讲述了那晚偷搬木材的事。 “Don’t be wild! Don’t you know me? I’m Petka!” They came to a secluded place, away from the middle of the street, “forgive me, it's all my fault…,” he told Pyatakov about the matter of stealing the wood that night.
Page 72
毕塔珂夫大笑起来:“可那一夜我确实弄了十六根木材,卖给小贩了……“他敲了一下彼蒂加的前额,就踉踉跄跄地走了。 Pyatakov started laughing: “But I did get 16 pieces of lumber that night, and sold that to a black-market handler…” he hit Petka on the forehead and staggered away.
Page 73
突然,毕塔珂夫又转身回来打了彼蒂加一记耳光:“把表给我!听见没有?你当我不知道?我跟库兑耶尔同住了半年监牢,他都对我讲了……现在他还关在监狱里。“彼蒂加真想快点儿把表交给毕塔珂夫。 Suddenly, Pyatakov turned around and slapped Petka into the face: “Give me the watch! Did you hear that? You think I don’t know? I spent half a year in jail with Kudeyar, and he told me everything… he is still locked up in jail.” Petka really wanted to give the watch to Pyatakov quickly.
Page 74
这时,警察和一群人赶来了。毕塔珂夫被捕了。 At this time, the police and a group of people arrived. Pyatakov was arrested.
Page 75
彼蒂加穿过市场,闷闷不乐地向颜料店走去。他狠狠地捏住口袋里的表:我要这包袱干什么?这个倒霉的玩艺儿!他转过街角,忽然看见一个卖表链的小女孩,原来是娜塔莎。 Petka crossed the market and walked to the paint shop gloomily. He squeezed the watch in his pocket fiercely: What do I want this burden for? This hapless game! As he turned around the corner of the street, he suddenly saw a girl selling a watch chain. The girl turned out to be Natasha.
Page 76
他分明认得,那表链正是库兑耶尔的。他问娜塔莎表链是从哪儿来的。她说:“这是我爸爸的。他从监狱捎来一封信,叫我卖……我没办法生活……” He clearly recognized that the watch chain belonged to Kudeyar. He asked Natasha where the watch chain came from. She said: “This is my father's. He sent a letter from prison asking me to sell it… I can’t live like this…”
Page 77
彼蒂加觉得脑袋在胀大,脚下的地面在摇动,他几乎要跌倒了。他把表链接过来,久久地端详着…… Petka felt his head swell and the ground under his feet shaking, and he almost fell. He took the watch chain and looked at it for a long time…
Page 78
他从衣袋里掏出那只表,用发抖的手把它挂在表链上,递给娜塔莎说:“给你!“然后,飞快地跑走,消失在喧闹的人群中了。 He took the watch out of his pocket, attached it to the watch chain with trembling hands and handed it to Natasha: “Here, for you!” Then he ran away quickly and disappeared into the noisy crowd.

  1. This translation was produced in a joint translation project by BA students at the Institute of Chinese Studies, University of Freiburg, supervised by Lena Henningsen. We acknowledge the support of the ERC-funded project “The Politics of Reading in the People’s Republic of China” (READCHINA, Grant agreement No. 757365/SH5: 2018-2023). Special thanks go to Julia Schneider for a critical reading of the translation and to our colleagues Matthias Arnold and Hanno Lecher from the Centre for Asian and Transcultural Studies (CATS), Heidelberg University, for providing us with high resolution scans of the comics which are part of the Seifert collection.

    We have taken much effort to contact the publisher of this comic in order to acquire permission by the copyright holder to publish the pages online. We regret that we have not received responses to our inquiries. If you believe that copyrights are not being respected, please send an email message to: readchina"at" We will respond as soon as possible and will work with you to either accredit the material correctly or remove it entirely. ↩︎