Anatoly Vorobey (avva) wrote,
Anatoly Vorobey
avva

о медведях (англ.)

Из Патрика О'Брайана, The Nutmeg of Consolation - 14-я книга саги О'Брайана о Джеке Обри и Стивене Мэтьюрине. Старший лейтенант корабля вспоминает, как отец рассказывал ему о путешествии капитана Фиппса к Северному Полюсу в 1773-м году:

In a pause Fielding had just said, ‘Speaking of bears, sir, did I ever tell you that my father was a midshipman in the Racehorse under Lord Mulgrave, or Captain Phipps as he was then, in his voyage towards the North Pole?’

[...]

‘The ships were coming back from about eighty-one north; they had very nearly been frozen in, and after prodigious exertions they were lying in Smeerenburg Bay in Spitzbergen. Most of the people were allowed ashore; some played leapfrog or football with a bladder, and some ran about the country in hope of game. Those who kept to the shore killed a walrus, an enormous creature as I am sure you know, sir: they stripped off the blubber, ate what a whaler in the company told them was the best part, cooking it over the blubber, which burns pretty well, once the fire has a hold. Then some time later, a day or so later I think my father said, three white bears were seen coming over the ice, a she-bear and her cubs. The blubber was still burning, but the she-bear plucked out some pieces that were not alight and that had some flesh on them; they ate voraciously, and some of the seamen threw lumps from the carcass they still had towards her. She fetched them one by one, carried them back to the cubs and divided them. As she was fetching away the last piece the men shot the cubs dead and wounded her severely as she ran. She crawled as far as the cubs, still carrying the piece, tore it apart and laid some before each; and when she saw they could not eat she laid her paws first upon one, then upon the other and tried to raise them up. When she found she could not stir them, she went off; and when she had got at some distance, looked back and moaned; and since that did not induce them to come away, she returned, and smelling round them, began to lick their wounds. She went off a second time as before, and having crawled a few paces, looked again behind her, and for some time stood there moaning. But her cubs still not rising to follow her, she returned to them again, and with signs of inexpressible fondness went round one, and round the other, pawing them, and moaning. Finding at last that they were cold and lifeless, she lifted her head towards the men and growled; and several firing together they killed her too.’
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