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CROAK!_安徒生童话全集



ALL the birds of the forest were sitting upon the branches of the trees, which had quite enough leaves;and yet the birds were unanimous in their desire for moreleaves—the"leaves"of a journal; a new,good journalwas what they longed for—a critical newspaper such as humans have so many of, so many that half of them wouldbe sufficient.

The songbirds wanted a music critic, each for his own praise—and for criticism(where it was needed) of the others. But they, the birds themselves, could notagree on an impartial critic.

"It must be a bird,though," said the Owl, who hadbeen elected president by the assembly, for he is the birdof wisdom."We ought not elect anyone from another branch of animals, except perhaps from the sea. Therefish fly, like birds in the sky, but that, of course,is ouronly relationship.However, there are quite enough ani-mals to select from between fish and birds."

The Stork took the floor and rattled from his beak,"There are indeed beings between fish and birds. Thechildren of the marsh, the Frogs—I an voting for them.They are extremely musical, and their choir singing is like church bells in a lonely wood. I get an urge to trav-el," said the Stork,"a tickling under my wings,whenthey begin to sing."

"I am also voting for the Frogs,"said the Heron."They are neither bird nor fish, but still they live with thefishes and sing like the birds."

"Now that's the musical part,"said the Owl."Butthe paper must speak of all the beauties of the forest.Wemust have coworkers.Let each of us consider everything in his family."

Then the little Lark sang out cheerfully and prettily,"The Frog should not be the editor of the paper—no,itshould be the Nightingale!"

"Stop your chirping!"said the Owl."I am hooting fororder!I know the Nightingale. We are both night birds.Neither he nor I ought to be elected,because the paperwould become an aristocratic or philosophic newspaper, abeau monde paper,run by high society. It must also be anorgan for the common man."

They agreed that the paper should be called MorningCroak or Evening Croak—or just Croak. They unanimous-ly voted for the latter.

It would fill a long-felt need in the forest. The Bee, the Ant, and the Gopher promised to write about industri- al and engineering activities,in which they had great insight.

The Cuckoo was nature's poet.

Not counted among the song- birds,he was,however,of the greatest importance to the com- mon man. "He always praises himself; he is the vainest of all birds, and yet not much to look at,"said the Peacock.

Then the Flesh Flies paid a visit to the editor in the forest."We offer our ser-vices. We know people, editors, and human criticism.We lay our larva in the fresh flesh—and then it decayswithin twenty-four hours. We can destroy a great talent,if necessary, in the editor's service.If a paper is thespokesman for a party, it dares to be rude; and if oneloses a subscriber, one will get sixteen in return. Becruel, give nicknames, put them in a pillory, whistlethrough your fingers like a gang of young radicals, andyou become a power in the state."

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