Cari nipoti: “Il Libro della Giungla” …

Salerno, sabato 22 Dicembre 2012.

Carissimi nipoti…

Carissimi Ale, Giorgia e Giulia. Avevo intorno ai 15 anni quando ho letto la prima volta “Il Libro della Giungla”, ed ora, alla mia età,  l’ ho riletto con piacere.Ho fatto un tuffo nel passato, ricordando tante cose che sembravano essere svanite dalla mia memoria…
Ho riletto il libro anche nella versione originale (…è ancora più bello!), perfezionando così le mie capacità di tradurre dall’ inglese.

Ho scritto quest’ articolo per raccomandarvi – quando avrete l’ età giusta, ma tu Ale quasi ci sei! –  di fare come me, e cioè leggerlo, e poi rileggerlo ancora anche nella lingua originale, e poi ancora … Vi scoprirete sempre nuove cose!

Nel frattempo, potreste provare a tradurre gli stralci riportati solo nella lingua originale.
Imparare presto l’ Inglese è importantissimo.


rikki-cobraThis is the story of the great war that Rikki-tikki-tavi fought single-handed, through the bath-rooms of the big bungalow in Segowlee cantonment. Darzee, the Tailorbird, helped him, and Chuchundra, the musk-rat, who never comes out into the middle of the floor, but always creeps round by the wall, gave him advice, but Rikki-tikki did the real fighting.

He was a mongoose, rather like a little cat in his fur and his tail, but quite like a weasel in his head and his habits. His eyes and the end of his restless nose were pink. He could scratch himself anywhere he pleased with any leg, front or back, that he chose to use. He could fluff up his tail till it looked like a bottle brush, and his war cry as he scuttled through the long grass was: “Rikk-tikk-tikki-tikki-tchk!”

Questa è la storia della grande guerra che Rikki-tikki-tavi combattè da sola, attraverso le stanze da bagno del grande bungalow nell’accantonamento di Segowlee. Lo aiutò Darzee, l’uccello tessitore, e Chuchundra, il topo muschiato che non si avventura mai in mezzo alla stanza, ma striscia lungo i muri, lo consigliò, ma fu Rikki-tikki a combattere veramente.

Era una mangusta, simile a un gattino nel pelo e nella coda, ma donnola dalla testa ai piedi nel muso e nelle abitudini. Gli occhi e la punta del nasino irrequieto erano rosa; riusciva a grattarsi in qualsiasi punto volesse con una qualsiasi delle quattro zampe, davanti o dietro; gonfiava la coda fino a farla sembrare uno scopettino per pulire le bottiglie, e il suo grido di guerra, mentre sgattaiolava nell’erba alta era: “Rikk-tikk-tikki-tikki-chk!”
Inserisco per voi questo bel video, narrato da  Orson Welles: Rikki Tikki Tavi


Mowgli’s Brother

mowgli-brothersIt was seven o’clock of a very warm evening in the Seeonee hills when Father Wolf woke up from his day’s rest, scratched himself, yawned, and spread out his paws one after the other to get rid of the sleepy feeling in their tips. Mother Wolf lay with her big gray nose dropped across her four tumbling, squealing cubs, and the moon shone into the mouth of the cave where they all lived. “Augrh!” said Father Wolf. “It is time to hunt again.” He was going to spring down hill when a little shadow with a bushy tail crossed the threshold and whined: “Good luck go with you, O Chief of the Wolves. And good luck and strong white teeth go with noble children that they may never forget the hungry in this world.”



tiger-buldeo“He killed at dawn,–a pig,–and he has drunk too. Remember, Shere Khan could never fast, even for the sake of revenge.”

“Oh! Fool, fool! What a cub’s cub it is! Eaten and drunk too, and he thinks that I shall wait till he has slept! Now, where does he lie up? If there were but ten of us we might pull him down as he lies. These buffaloes will not charge unless they wind him, and I cannot speak their language. Can we get behind his track so that they may smell it?”



After a long time there came back the drawling, sleepy snarl of a full-fed tiger just wakened.

“Who calls?” said Shere Khan, and a splendid peacock fluttered up out of the ravine screeching.

“I, Mowgli. Cattle thief, it is time to come to the Council Rock! Down–hurry them down, Akela! Down, Rama, down!”

The herd paused for an instant at the edge of the slope, but Akela gave tongue in the full hunting-yell, and they pitched over one after the other, just as steamers shoot rapids, the sand and stones spurting up round them. Once started, there was no chance of stopping, and before they were fairly in the bed of the ravine Rama winded Shere Khan and bellowed.

“Ha! Ha!” said Mowgli, on his back. “Now thou knowest!” and the torrent of black horns, foaming muzzles, and staring eyes whirled down the ravine just as boulders go down in floodtime; the weaker buffaloes being shouldered out to the sides of the ravine where they tore through the creepers. They knew what the business was before them–the terrible charge of the buffalo herd against which no tiger can hope to stand. Shere Khan heard the thunder of their hoofs, picked himself up, and lumbered down the ravine, looking from side to side for some way of escape, but the walls of the ravine were straight and he had to hold on, heavy with his dinner and his drink, willing to do anything rather than fight. The herd splashed through the pool he had just left, bellowing till the narrow cut rang. Mowgli heard an answering bellow from the foot of the ravine, saw Shere Khan turn (the tiger knew if the worst came to the worst it was better to meet the bulls than the cows with their calves), and then Rama tripped, stumbled, and went on again over something soft, and, with the bulls at his heels, crashed full into the other herd, while the weaker buffaloes were lifted clean off their feet by the shock of the meeting. That charge carried both herds out into the plain, goring and stamping and snorting. Mowgli watched his time, and slipped off Rama’s neck, laying about him right and left with his stick.


Toomai degli Elefanti.

danza-elefanti“I will remember what I was, I am sick of rope and chains
– I will remember my old strength and all my forest affairs.
I will not sell my back to man for a bundle of sugar cane;
I will go out to my own kind, and the wood-folk in their lairs.

I will go out until the day, until the morning break
– Out to the wind’s untainted kiss, the water’s clean caress;
I will forget my ankle-ring and snap my picket stake.
I will revisit my lost love and playmates masterless!”

Mi ricorderò quello che fui. Sono stanco della pastoia e della catena.
Ricorderò la mia antica forza e le mie avventure nella foresta.
Non voglio vendere il mio dorso all’ uomo per un fascio di canne da zucchero:
voglio tornare tra i miei fratelli, fra gli abitatori delle tane nella foresta.
Me ne andrò finchè spunterà il giorno, finchè spunterà l’ alba…
Fuori, al bacio puro dei venti, alla carezza delle acque limpide…
Dimenticherò l’anello che mi serra il piede e strapperò il mio picchetto.
Visiterò i miei perduti amori e i miei liberi compagni di giochi!

Nonno Zeferino



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