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Brownie Written By James Li

Illustrated By Matt Regan

Mandarin Translation By Nydia Lo


For pops, who couldn’t stand dogs but loved his children. You’re always in my thoughts.

© Copyright 2016 James Li. All Rights Reserved.


Brownie


Brownie came into our family when I was seven years old. 在我七歲的那一年,Brownie像命運早已安排好一般地走進我的童年。

1


My brother and I were playing in the park when she walked up and sat next to us. 那天,正當我和哥哥在公園裡玩耍,她走過來 並且在我們身邊坐下。

2


She bit George’s head off and my brother screamed. 突然間,她咬掉喬治的頭,哥哥氣得大聲吼叫。

3


Brownie followed us home and because we didn’t have any pets, we asked our parents if we could keep her. Brownie就這麼跟著我們回家,因為我們家裡沒有養任何寵物, 所以我和哥哥苦苦哀求爸媽可以收留她。

4


My father said no. My mother looked at Brownie and asked what was in her mouth. “George’s head,” I replied. 爸爸果斷地一口拒絕, 「不行。」

媽媽看著Brownie問, 「他嘴裡咬著什麼東西啊?」

「喬治的頭。」我回答。

5


We were allowed to keep her only if we promised to feed, clean and take her out for walks ourselves. 我們答應爸媽會自己照顧Brownie,幫她洗澡,還有自己帶她出去散步。

6


My brother and I needed to think of a name for her. Because she had dark brown eyes and dark brown fur, we called her Brownie. We weren’t the most creative kids in the world. 收留她的第一步就是為她取個名字,該叫什麼好呢?…我們看著她咖啡 色的眼睛、咖啡色的捲毛,好吧!那就叫做Brownie好了。哈!我知道,我 們是世界上最沒有想像力的小孩。

7


We kept our promise to our parents. We fed her two large meals a day. Usually steamed liver that we cooked ourselves, and left over rice. 你一定認為我們過沒兩天就耍賴、偷懶、不想照顧Brownie了,才不

呢!我和哥哥遵守答應爸媽的承諾。而且每天都為Brownie準備豐盛 的兩餐;通常我們會自己蒸動物內臟然後鋪在飯上面給她吃。

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On Saturdays, we’d spray her with the hose while we ran around the backyard in our underwear. 禮拜六的時候,我們只穿著內衣在後院拿著水管朝Brownie噴水, 大家滿園子亂跑。

10


We built a house for Brownie that was made out of a large, cardboard box and a pillow from an old sofa in our garage. 我們用硬紙箱為Brownie做了一個房子,還放了一個從車庫那張舊 沙發上拿來的靠枕。

11


She never slept in the house we made, but instead, slept on the old sofa. 但是她從不曾睡在我們為她做的「房子」裡,反而老愛睡在舊沙發上。

12


When my brother and I came home from school, Brownie would leap off her sofa to greet us. 當哥哥和我放學回家時,Brownie就會從沙發上跳下來迎接我們。 13


We’d play our version of hide and seek by wrapping her up in a blanket, and then running into the closet to hide. She would struggle to unwrap herself. And she would always find us. 我們總是和Brownie玩自己發明的捉迷藏,那就是用毛毯把她整個蓋住、包起來,

然後我和哥哥飛奔到衣櫃裡躲起來,她總是像橡皮糖一樣在毛毯裡扭來扭去然後 自己掙脫,接著更厲害的是她每次都找得到我們。

14


We would take Brownie to the park for walks. My brother and I climbed up pine trees in search of large pine cones for our collection. Brownie stood below and barked. 我們也會帶Brownie到公園散步。我和哥哥總爬到松樹上去蒐集最大顆的松果, 而Brownie則老愛在樹下對著我們叫個不停。 15


On Saturday mornings, my brother and I would watch cartoons. We used Brownie as a pillow while she slept. 禮拜六早上,哥哥和我準時收看我們最愛的卡通時,就會把睡覺的

Brownie當作是我們的枕頭,枕著他的身體看電視,真的非常享受。

16


I once brought Brownie to school for show and tell. My classmates gathered around to pet her and every one of them thought she was beautiful. That is, until she shat on Mrs. Floyd’s carpet. 有一天我帶著Brownie到學校上說話課,同學們搶著圍在她身邊摸摸她,大家都覺得Brownie好 可愛,直到她大便在Floyd老師的地毯上。 17


When my brother and I weren’t home, Brownie would follow my mother around the house. She’d have a blanket in her mouth looking for a game of hide and seek. 當我和哥哥不在家,Brownie就會跟在媽媽後頭繞著屋子跑。她總是咬著毛毯 想找我們玩捉迷藏。

18


Brownie was a little afraid of my father who would sometimes shoot her with rubber bands when he was bored. I guess it was my father’s way of showing his affection for her. Brownie其實有點怕爸爸,因為爸爸無聊時老愛拿橡皮筋射他。不過我猜那是 爸爸想表現出喜歡Brownie的方式。

19


I’d look out the window sometimes and see Brownie sleeping in the backyard. She’d wake up to chase the crows away when they landed in my mother’s garden. 有時我望著窗外,看著在後院睡覺的Brownie。當烏鴉偷襲媽媽的花園時,她一 定會馬上醒過來把烏鴉趕跑。 20


She was a good dog. 她是一隻乖狗狗。

21


But not all the time. 但是並不是每天都如此。 22


During her time in our family, she’d managed to destroy George, four pairs of my father’s slippers, his back scratcher, my mother’s imported rug, my CD player along with 6 CDs, 2 pairs of sneakers, and a hair dryer. 有她在的日子,她就毀了哥哥的喬治、咬破了4雙老爸的拖鞋和抓背的耙子、媽 媽的進口高級毛毯、還有我的CD隨身聽、6片CD、2雙休閒鞋和一個吹風機。

23


We loved her nonetheless and thought of her as a member of the family. 即時如此,我們仍然很愛她,把她視為家中的一分子。

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Seasons change quickly when you’re a child and before we knew it, I was in junior high school, and my brother was off to university. 隨著四季更迭,當還以為自己仍是個小孩時,我已經在不知不覺中唸了國中, 哥哥也離開家去大學唸書了。

26


My brother and I weren’t able to spend much time with Brownie anymore so she often had to play by herself. 漸漸地,我和哥哥陪伴Brownie的時間越來越少,也不會躺在她身上看 卡通。Brownie自己玩的時間相對的越來越多了。

27


Whenever my brother and I did come home, she would still leap off her sofa to greet us. 當我和哥哥回到家時,她仍會從那張舊沙發上跳下來迎接我們。

28


When I went running in the mornings, I’d take Brownie with me. It was hard to keep up with her sometimes, especially when there were other dogs around. 我會帶著Brownie去晨跑,有時她實在跑得很快,很難追上她,由其當 她看到其他狗的時候更難以控制。 29


But as time passed, she began to slow down and would often need to rest a little before moving on. 但是隨著時光流逝,Brownie奔跑的速度開始慢了下來,有時還得停下來喘口氣。

30


When I turned sixteen, I got my drivers license. Too show everyone how cool I was, I’d take my mother’s station wagon out for a drive. Brownie would sit in the backseat with her head out window. 16歲那一年,我考到了汽車駕照,我開著媽媽的休旅車上街炫耀我有多酷, 而Brownie則坐在後座,興奮地把頭探出車窗外和我一起兜風。

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Around that same time, I had a girlfriend. When my parents weren’t home, we’d watch a movie and then make out on the sofa. 那年我也交了女朋友,當爸媽不在時,我們會一起坐在沙發上看影片, 而且偷偷地親來親去。

33


Brownie would sit beside us and stare. Brownie則坐在我們旁邊盯著我們瞧。

34


One day, I took Brownie out for a run. She ran out of breath after a short distance so I had to walk her the rest of the way. 有一天,我帶著Brownie去跑步,她只跑了一小段就差點喘不過氣,我只好 帶她慢慢走回家。

35


When we got home, Brownie slept on her sofa while I stood next to her. I stared at her for a long time and saw that she had gotten old. 回到家後,Brownie在沙發上睡著,而我則站在她旁邊安靜的陪她。我看著 Brownie好久好久,發現她變老了。

36


The day before I was to leave for my first year of university, my brother came home for a visit. 在我準備離開家到大學報到的那一天,哥哥還特地回來送我。

37


Brownie leapt high off her sofa to greet him. Brownie看到哥哥回來,興奮地從沙發上跳下來迎接她。

38


My brother and I took her to the park where we once played. Brownie would run to fetch her toy. Children would come up and pet her, and she’d roll around in the grass. 哥哥和我帶著Brownie去我們曾經玩耍的公園,當我們丟出喬治的頭時,他都可以撿回來。小朋友 們看到Brownie就會靠過來摸摸她。 39


Before my brother left that evening, we cooked her a large meal of chicken livers and rice. We then watched the ball game as Brownie chewed on her toy. 當哥哥要回去的那個晚上,我們煮了很大一份的雞肝和飯給Brownie吃,然後當Brownie 咬他的玩具時,我們則在一旁看著籃球比賽。 40


The next morning, I went to the garage and saw that Brownie was still asleep. She laid beside her toy and had a smile on her face. 隔天早上,我去倒垃圾時看到Brownie還在睡覺,她的喬治頭靜靜的躺在她身邊。我彷彿 看到Brownie臉上掛著微笑。

41


But her body was cold and she would not wake up. 但是當我上前摸摸她,卻發現她的身體是冰冷的,而她再也不會醒來了。

42


We gave my brother a call to tell him what had happened. When he got home, we stood around and stared at Brownie while she slept. 我趕緊打了電話告訴哥哥,當他趕回家時,我們全都圍繞在Brownie的身邊凝視 著她熟睡的身軀。

43


My brother and I said our goodbyes and carried her to the backyard. We buried her next to my mother’s garden where she had once chased the crows away. 哥哥和我對Brownie說了再見之後便把她帶到後院,我們把她燒了以後埋在她曾 經追逐烏鴉的花園裡。 44


I packed up my things and left for university. 接著我收拾好行李,準備展開我的大學生活。 45


46


Whenever I’d come home, I’d still expect to see Brownie ready to leap off her sofa to greet me. 每當我回到家門口,我彷彿仍見到Brownie從沙發上跳下來迎接我。

47


But instead, I’d only see her old pillow and her toys that lay around it. 但是我只看到她的老枕頭和玩具躺在沙發上。

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It was difficult getting used to not having Brownie around, but in time, we learned to let go and moved on with our lives. 真的很不習慣Brownie不在身邊的日子,但是我們也逐漸的釋懷她已離我們而去 的哀傷,一切就這麼雲淡風輕。

50


Ten years have passed and I am now a man, busy with a career and other responsibilities. But every now and then, I would think back to my youth, recalling the magical times I’ve had. 10年的時光就這麼從我們眼前流過,我不再是個毛頭小子,我每天辛 勤的工作,並且背負著更多更多的責任。但是有時候我回想起過去, 總是喚起我曾有的那段奇妙時光。

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And it would feel more real than reality itself. 那回憶比現實還清晰真實的浮現在我眼前。

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People, places and experiences come in and out of our lives. But some stay with us forever. 身邊的人在我的生命中來來去去,有些人向我走來,有些人對我揮揮手 離開,而有些人則永遠守候在我的身邊。 55


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You will always be in my thoughts. 我會一直把你牢記在心田。

57


Until we meet again in greener fields. 直到我們在天際另一邊的青綠草原上再相逢的那天。

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The Contributors

James Li, Author James was born in Taichung, Taiwan but spent his formative years in the United States. Shortly after graduating from California State University Sacramento, James returned to Taiwan where he taught English to young learners and freelanced as a graphic designer. ‘Brownie’ was written and illustrated as a semibiographical account of his childhood growing up in suburban America. James cofounded Blimp Creative in 2012 where he currently serves as an art director.


The Contributors

Matt Regan, Illustrator Matthew graduated from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor’s degree in graphic design. He had worked in Australia as a designer for some time before traveling through Asia and arriving in Taiwan. Since that time, Matt has based himself from Taiwan and cofounded Blimp Creative with James Li in 2012. Matt has been a part of design teams small and large as well as projects far and wide. Matt enjoys a challenge and loves spending time being as creative as he can.


The Contributors

Nydia Lo, Mandarin Translation

喜歡插畫、繪本、手作、料理。擅長圖文式創作、紙膠帶拼貼,現有開設生活畫畫 課程,目標是引導第一次學畫畫的朋友愛上創作與想像。也希望藉著各種分

享方式,成為具有生活感染力的創作者。Nydia作品與Zine在Pinkoi設計館: www.pinkoi.com/store/ilovenydia


Brownie  

Brownie is a short story about a simpler and magical time in our childhoods.

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