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[Pottermore]猫头鹰 Owls

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Owls are magical creatures most often used for delivering post and parcels in the wizarding world. They are known for their speed and discretion and can find recipients without an address. First-year students are allowed to bring them to school as pets.



New from J.K. Rowling

The old British superstition that it is unlucky to see owls flying by daylight is readily explained, for when wizards break cover to send messages by day, something dramatic must be afoot in the magical world. Muggles may subsequently experience the unpleasant aftershocks, without any idea of their cause.

As a (mostly) nocturnal bird of prey, the owl is inevitably seen as sinister by Muggles, but it has been a faithful servant and helpmeet to witches and wizards for many centuries. In spite of the many alternatives available for magical communication across long distances, (including Patronuses, Floo powder, and enchanted devices such as mirrors and even coins) the faithful and reliable owl remains the most common method used by wizardkind across the world.

The advantages of owls as messengers are those very qualities that make Muggles view them with suspicion: they operate under cover of darkness, to which Muggles have a superstitious aversion; they have exceptionally well-developed night vision, are agile, stealthy and capable of aggression when challenged. So numerous are the owls employed by wizards worldwide that it is generally safe to assume that virtually all of them are either the property of the Owl Postal Service of their country, or of an individual witch or wizard.

Whether because they possess an innate bent for magic (just as pigs are reputed to be innately non-magical), or because generations of their ancestors have been domesticated and trained by wizards and they have inherited the traits that make this easy, owls learn very quickly, and seem to thrive on their task of tracing and tracking the witch or wizard for whom their letters are intended.

The mystical association between the name and the human who bears it has long been understood by witches and wizards of all cultures. While the process remains mysterious even to those who train up owlets to become wizarding pets or postal owls, the birds appear to be able to make such a connection between the name and its possessor that enables them to trace the witch or wizard concerned wherever he or she may be. An owl does not need to know an address, although witches and wizards generally add the place to the envelope on the off-chance that the owl is intercepted and the letter falls into other hands.

Should a witch or wizard not wish to be sent letters (or tracked in any other way), he or she will have to resort to Repelling, Disguising or Masking Spells, of which there are a great range. It is possible to protect yourself from all correspondence, or all but that carried by a specific owl. If a witch or wizard is determined not to be contactable by a persistent creditor or ex-boy or girlfriend, they might try a masking spell specific to that person, but this ploy is easily circumnavigated by asking somebody else to send the owl. In general, it takes strong protective magic, and a willingness to forego a lot of birthday cards, to avoid the attentions of Owl Post.

Trained owls are expensive, and it is quite usual for a wizarding family to share a single owl, or else only use Postal owls.

来自J.K. 罗琳的新资料


作为一种(几乎是)夜间活动的猛禽,猫头鹰不可避免地被麻瓜看作是有凶兆的。然而,它们在数个世纪前便已是女巫与巫师们的忠心仆人与得力助手。尽管有许多可供选择的且易获得的长距离魔法通信方式(包括守护神咒[Patronuses],飞路粉[Floo powder],和诸如镜子甚至是硬币之类的施过魔法的器物),忠心可靠的猫头鹰仍旧是最为全世界的巫师普遍使用的通信方式。

让猫头鹰作为邮递员的好处正是它们那些让麻瓜对它们抱有看法的特点:它们在夜幕之下行动,致使麻瓜有着一种迷信的厌恶;它们有着罕见的优异的夜视能力,敏捷、隐蔽、能在受攻击时还手。如此众多的猫头鹰被世界各地的巫师雇佣,以至于普遍地认为,几乎所有的猫头鹰要么是所在国猫头鹰邮政系统[Owl Postal Service],要么是单独的女巫或巫师的财产。



如果一个女巫或巫师不希望收到信件(或是被以任何方式追踪),他或她将不得不诉诸驱逐咒[Repelling Spell]、伪装咒[Disguising Spell]或掩藏咒[Masking Spell]等等一大系列的咒语了。保护你自己免遭所有来往书信轰炸,抑或是躲避除某一特定猫头鹰寄送之外的所有信件是有可能的。如果一个女巫或巫师决心不被不屈不挠的债主或是前男或女友联系上,她或他也许会对那个特定的人施个掩藏咒,但这小花招可以简单地通过拜托其他人寄信来迂回解决。总的来说,这需要强大的保护魔咒,并乐意放弃一大堆生日贺卡,以免引起猫头鹰邮政[Owl Post]的注意。

受过训练的猫头鹰价格昂贵,因此在同一个巫师家庭中共享一只猫头鹰或仅仅倚赖猫头鹰邮政系统[Postal owls]是比较普遍的。

J.K. Rowling’s thoughts

My love of, and fascination with, owls long pre-dates the first idea for Harry Potter. I trace it to a cuddly owl toy that my mother made me when I was six or seven, which I adored.

Of course, owls have been associated with magic for a long time, and feature in many old illustrations of witches and wizards, second only to cats as Most Magical Creature. The owl*s association with wisdom was established in Roman times, for it is the emblem of Minerva, goddess of wisdom.

Owl breeds shown within the Harry Potter books include the eagle owl (large, tufted and fierce-looking, owned by Draco Malfoy); the Little Owl (tiny, cute, but perhaps not very impressive, like Pigwidgeon, owned by Ron); and the Snowy Owl, which is also known as the Ghost Owl (Harry*s Hedwig).
I made a few elementary mistakes when it came to my depiction of Hedwig. Firstly, Snowy Owls are diurnal (ie, they fly by day). Secondly, they are virtually mute, so Hedwig*s frequent hoots and chirrups of approval and comfort should be taken as signs of her magically enhanced abilities.

Thirdly, as countless well-meaning owl-lovers and experts kept writing to me in the early days, owls do not eat bacon (Hedwig enjoys a bit of bacon rind when she delivers post at breakfast).

When I dreamed up Errol, the aged, long-suffering and overworked Weasley family owl, I had in mind a picture I thought I had seen, which featured a very comical, large, fluffy, grey, bewildered-looking bird whose breed I had never known. In fact, I wondered whether it had been a real photograph, or whether imagination was distorting the image. It was with sheer delight, therefore, that I rounded a corner on my first ever visit to the aviary at Leavesden Studios, where they were filming Harry Potter and the Philosopher*s Stone, and saw a line of big, grey, fluffy, bewildered-looking owls blinking back at me, each an exact replica of the half-remembered picture I thought I might have dreamed. They were all playing Errol, and they are Great Greys.

J.K. 罗琳的想法


当然,长久以来,猫头鹰都与魔法相联系着,并且在许多关于女巫与巫师的古旧插画中起着重要作用。在最具有魔力的生物中[Most Magical Creature],它仅次于猫。猫头鹰和智慧的联系在古罗马时代[Roman times]被公认,因为它是智慧女神弥涅尔瓦[Minerva]的象征。

在《哈利·波特》系列中出现的猫头鹰的品种包括雕枭[the eagle owl](巨大,毛发簇生,长相凶残,由德拉科·马尔福拥有);小枭[the Little Owl](迷你,可爱,但也许不那么令人赞叹,就像罗恩饲养的小猪);以及雪枭[the Snowy Owl],抑被称作幽灵枭[the Ghost Owl](像哈利的海德薇)。


当我想出埃罗尔,这只年老的、饱受苦难的、超负荷的韦斯莱家的家庭猫头鹰时,我的脑海中总浮现着似乎在哪儿见过的一幕,画面的主角是一只十分滑稽、巨大、毛茸茸、灰色的,看上去挺糊涂的鸟。我不知道它是什么品种的。事实上,我十分想知道这是一张真实的照片,还是因想象而改变了的图像。因而,当我首次参观正在拍摄《哈利·波特与魔法石》的利维斯顿拍摄基地[Leavesden Studios]的鸟舍,并看到一整排的毛茸茸、巨大、灰色,看上去挺糊涂的猫头鹰向我眨巴着眼睛时,我是多么欣喜!这场景,简直就是我那似乎梦见过的、已记不太清了的图景的准确复制。它们都是扮演埃罗尔的猫头鹰——乌林枭[Great Greys,又译大灰枭]。

原文:http://www.pottermore.com/en/boo k4/chapt er28/mom ent1/owls
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