文 / 周作人
译 / 张培基
I was then 14, and she about 13. I was living with grandpa's concubine Song in our temporary home in Hua-Pai-Lou, Hangzhou. The little girl was our next door neighbor Yao's daughter. She had originally been the daughter of a Yang family in Qing-Bo-Men-Tou. As she was the third childof the family, people often called her San-Gu-Niang. The old Yaos had no children of their own, so they took her as their goddaughter. Hence she put up with the Yaos for more than 20 days per month. Though Concubine Song was very friendly with the daughter-in-law of a distant neighbor named Shi, who owned a mutton shop, she was not on speaking terms with old Mrs. Yao next-door. San-Gu-Niang, however, didn't care about all that. She would push our door open and enter to have fun. She would first go upstairs to have a little chat with Concubine Song, and then, share with our servant Ruan Sheng, to watch me practicing handwriting after a wood-cut copybook for calligraphy by Lu Runxiang, carrying in her arms a big cat named San Hua.
I didn't get into any conversation with her, and nor did I ever dwell my eyes on her face and bearing - perhaps due to my myopia. But there was another reason for it. Though unconsciously attracted by her, I felt so overshadowed by her brilliance that I just couldn't lift my eyes to take a close look at her. As far as I can now remember, she seemed to be a little girl with delicate features, black eyes, slender figure and small feet, andhave nothing especially appealing. But she was the first person of the opposite sex that had caught my notice. The first person that had made me love somebody else as much as myself. The first person that had made me sexually aware. The first person that had aroused my adoration for the opposite sex.
Of course I knew then I was nothing but an “Ugly Duckling”, but that didn't damp down my passion. Whenever she came to watch me practice calligraphy with the cat in her arms, I would hearten up unwittingly and go about my job with redoubled effort and inexplicable joy in my heart. Ididn't bother whether she loved me or not, and nor did I know whether I myself was in love with her or not. Nevertheless, when she was around, I felt happy and desired to do all I could for her. That was my real state of mind, and that was also something bestowed on me by her. I didn't know how she felt, but as for me, it was just a feeling of adoration, and there was no thought of anything having to do with sexual relations at all.