It was morning and the new sun sparkled gold across the ripples of a gentle sea. A mile from shore a fishing boat chummed the water and the word for Breakfast Flock flashed through the air, till a crowd of a thousand seagulls came to dodge and fight for bits of food. It was another busy day beginning.
清晨旭日在微波蕩漾的海面上，灑下閃閃金光。離海岸一哩遠的地方，有艘漁船在佈餌捕魚。這個消息馬上被一群早餐團傳開，旋後，成千的海鷗飛來搶啄食物。又一個忙碌的日子開始了。But way off alone, out by himself beyond boat and shore, Jonathan Livingston Seagull was practicing. A hundred feet in the sky he lowered his webbed feet, lifted his beak, and strained to hold a painful hard twisting curve through his wings. The curve meant that he would fly slowly, and now he slowed until the wind was a whisper in his face, until the ocean stood still beneath him. He narrowed his eyes in fierce concentration, held his breath, forced one…single…more…inch…of…curve. …Then his feathers ruffled, he stalled and fell.
Seagulls, as you know, never falter, never stall. To stall in the air is for them disgrace and it is dishonor.人們都知道，海鷗絕不畏縮，絕不失速。生為海鷗，在半空中失速不僅丟臉，而且可恥。
But Jonathan Livingston Seagull, unashamed, stretching his wings again in that trembling hard curve…slowing, slowing, and stalling once more…was no ordinary bird.但岳納珊不是平凡的海鷗，他並不感到羞愧，反而重新振翼，再彎成顫抖不穩的弧形--放慢速度、再放慢，又失速墜落。
Most gulls don\’t bother to learn more than the simplest facts of flight…how to get from shore to food and back again. For most gulls, it is not flying that matters, but eating. For this gull, though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight. More than anything else, Jonathan Livingston Seagull loved to fly.
大多數海鷗只學最簡單的飛行技術--如何從岸上飛到有食物的地方，然後再飛回來。他們只在乎吃，不在乎飛行，可是岳納珊認為要緊的不是吃，而是飛行。他熱愛飛行，遠勝於一切。 This kind of thinking, he found, is not the way to make one掇 self popular with other birds. Even his parents were dismayed as Jonathan spent whole days alone, making hundreds of low-level glides, experimenting.
他發現這種想法使自己在鳥群中不受歡迎，連他的雙親都大為恐慌，因為他整日獨自苦練，不折不撓地練習低飛滑翔。 He didn\’t know why, for instance, but when he flew at altitudes less than half his wingspan above the water, he could stay in the air longer, with less effort. His glides ended not with the usual feet-down splash into the sea, but with a long flat wake as he touched the surface with his feet tightly streamlined against his body. When he began sliding in to feet-up landings on the beach, then pacing the length of his slide in the sand, his parents were very much dismayed indeed.
”Why, Jon, Why?” his mother asked. ”Why is it so hard to be like the rest of the flock, Jon? Why can\’t you leave low flying to the pelicans, the albatross? Why don\’t you eat? Son, you\’re bone and feathers!”
「為什麼，岳納珊，為什麼？」他母親問道。「難道和別的海鷗一樣真的那麼困難嗎？為什麼你就不能把低飛的玩意讓給鵜鶘或信天翁去專美呢？兒子，你為什麼不吃點東西？你已經瘦成羽包骨頭啦！」 ”I don\’t mind being bone and feathers, mom. I just want to know what I can do in the air and what I can\’t, that\’s all. I just want to know.”
「媽，瘦一點我不在乎，我只想知道自己在空中能做什麼，不能做什，就只是想知道而已！」”See here, Jonathan,” said his father, not unkindly. ”Winter isn\’t far away. Boats will be few, and the surface fish will be swimming deep. If you must study, then study food, and how to get it. This flying business is all very well, but you can\’t eat a glide, you know. Don\’t you forget that the reason you fly is to eat.”
「聽著，岳納珊，」他父親溫和地說，「冬天快到了，船隻會更少，魚兒會潛入深海。如果你想研究，就該研究食物，以及如何獲得食物。飛行當然是件好事，但是，你要知道，滑翔不能當飯吃。不要忘記，你飛行就是為了吃。」Jonathan nodded obediently. For the next few days he tried to behave like the other gulls; he really tried, screeching and fighting with the flock around the piers and fishing boats, diving on scraps of fish and bread. But he couldn\’t make it work.
岳納珊順服地點點頭。在往後幾天，他試著使自己的一舉一動和其他海鷗無異。他試著在碼頭和漁船附近跟群鷗尖叫、打架、爭食小魚和麵包屑，他真的試過了，然而他實在沒辦法這樣混下去。 It\’s all so pointless, he thought, deliberately dropping a hard-won anchovy to a hungry old gull chasing him. I could be spending all this time learning to fly. There\’s so much to learn!
多麼無意義呀！他一邊想著，一邊故意把辛苦搶來的鯷魚拋給在後面追逐的饑餓老海鷗。我大可利用這些時間來學習飛行，該學的東西太多了！ It wasn\’t long before Jonathan Gull was off by himself again, far out at sea, hungry, happy, learning.
不久，岳納珊又落單了，他飛到遙遠的海上，飢餓卻快樂地學習飛翔。 The subject was speed, and in a week practice he learned more about speed than the fastest gull alive.
第一個課題是速度，經過一個星期的練習，他的速度已經比任何海鷗都快了。From a thousand feet, flapping his wings as hard as he could, he pushed over into a blazing steep dive toward the waves, and learned why seagulls don\’t make blazing steep power-dives. In just six seconds he was moving seventy miles per hour, the speed at which one\’s wing goes unstable on the upstroke.
他從一千呎的空中，盡力拍著翅膀，以筆直的角度向海浪俯衝，並領悟到何以海鷗不用高速筆直全力俯衝。原來，在短短六秒鐘內，他的時速已達到七十哩，在這樣的速度下，翅膀一往上提就會搖晃不穩。Time after time it happened. Careful as he was, working at the very peak of his ability, he lost control at high speed.
一次又一次，屢試不爽。他雖然很小心，竭盡最大的努力，還是在高速時失去了控制。 Climb to a thousand feet. Full power straight ahead first, then push over, flapping, to a vertical dive. Then, every time, his left wing stalled on an upstroke, he\’d roll violently left, stall his right wing recovering, and flick like fire into a wild tumbling spin to the right.
爬高到一千呎，全速向前直飛，然後低頭向下、鼓翼、垂直俯衝。然而每次要往上揚起時，左翼就不能動，身體猛烈地向左翻轉，他於是把右翼停下來恢復平衡，接著就像一團火狂野地向右旋轉。 He couldn\’t be careful enough on that upstroke. Ten times he tried, and all ten times, as he passed through seventy miles per hour, he burst into a churning mass of feathers, out of control, crashing down into the water.
他揚起翅膀時，真是夠小心的了。他試了十次，每次時速達七十哩時，全身就變成一團凌亂的羽毛，失去控制，跌入海裡。The key, he thought at last, dripping wet, must be to hold the wings still at high speeds-----to flap up to fifty and then hold the wings still.
他變成了一隻落湯鷗，但終於抓到了竅門，就是在高速時翅膀必須保持靜止狀態--鼓翼加速到五十哩，然後雙翼保持靜止不動。 From two thousand feet he tried again, rolling into his dive, beak straight down, wings full out and stable from the moment he passed fifty miles per hour. It took tremendous strength, but it worked. In ten seconds he had blurred through ninety miles per hour. Jonathan had set a world speed record for seagulls!
他又在二千呎的高空試了一次，一等時速超過五十哩，他就翻身俯衝，尖喙筆直朝下，翅膀全部張開，穩住不動。這樣做相當費力，但成功了。在十秒鐘內，他的速度突破九十哩。岳納珊為海鷗締造了一項世界性的速度紀錄！ But victory was short-lived. The instant he began his pullout, the instant he changed the angle of his wings, he snapped into that same terrible uncontrolled disaster, and at ninety miles per hour it hit him like dynamite. Jonathan Seagull exploded in midair and smashed down into a brick-hard sea.