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英语励志美文精华 45

时间:2009-02-12 05:48来源:互联网 提供网友:jinyingxue   字体: [ ]

Three O' Cat Is Still a Game

by Lillian Bueno Mccue

What do I believe? What laws do I live by? There are so many answers - work, beauty, truth, love - and I hope I do live by them.

But in everyday things I live by the light of a supplementary1 set of laws. I'd better call them rules of thumb. Rules of thumb aren't very grand, but they do make the wheels go round.

My father and mother sent me to good schools, but the finest thing they did for my education was to have seven children. I was the oldest, and my brothers and sisters were my best teachers.

I learned first to pull my own weight in the boat. Kids making a bob-sled have no use for the loafer who wants a free ride. Neither has the world. I learned to make the bed I slept in, and wash the glass I used, and mend what I broke, and mop up where I spilled. And if I was too lazy or too dainty or too busy, and left it for someone else, somebody else soon taught me different.

Then, the same way, I learned that anger is a waste. It hurts nobody but me. A fit of the sullens got short shrift in our house. It wasn't pulling my weight in the boat. It was spoiling sport. And among seven children it got me nowhere. It might reduce four o'cat to three o'cat, but the game went on just the same, and where was I? Out of it. Better go in and join the group around the piano and forget my grievance2. Better still, next time don't fling down my bat in a tantrum; keep my temper, and stay in the game.

Here's a rule thumb that's important, and the older I get, the more important I think it is. When I can do something, and somebody wants me to do it, I have to do it. The great tragedy of life is not to be needed. As long as you are able and willing to do things for people, you will be needed. Of course you are able; and if so, you can't say no. My mother is seventy-seven. In seventy-seven years she has never said no. Today she is so much in demand by thirteen grandchildren and countless3 neighbors that her presence is eagerly contended for. When I want to see her I have to pretend emergency.

Then there's the rule of curiosity. Your body would die if you stopped feeling hunger and thirst, and your mind will die if you lose your curiosity. This I learned from my father. My father was a naturalist4. He could see the beetle5 under the bark, and draw it forth6 unharmed for us to squint7 at through the magnifying glass. He sampled the taste of thirty-three different caterpillars8. Fired by his example, once, my sister ate an ant. In case you are wondering, caterpillars taste like the green leaves they eat, and ants taste of lemon. I personally haven't tasted any entomological specimens9 lately, but I am still rejoicing in the limitless curiosity, the draws me to books and people and places. I hope I never lose it. It would be like pulling down the blind.

Finally, there is the rule of happiness. Happiness is a habit. I was taught to cultivate it. A big stomach-ache, or a big heart-ache, can interrupt happiness, but neither can destroy it unless I permit. My mother simply wouldn't have unhappy faces moping about the place. If it was stomach-ache, she does it. If it was heart-ache, she administered love and understanding and lots of interesting things to do, and soon the sun came out again. Even the heartbreaks that can't really be mended, even those seem to yield to the habit of finding happiness in doing things, in love and in the memory of love. I hope I never lose that habit either. It would be like putting out the light.

So I learned to live, by the great laws, and these little rules of thumb. I wouldn't take a million dollars for any one of them, or a million times that for the years at home that taught them to me.


1 supplementary 0r6ws     
  • There is a supplementary water supply in case the rain supply fails.万一主水源断了,我们另外有供水的地方。
  • A supplementary volume has been published containing the index.附有索引的增补卷已经出版。
2 grievance J6ayX     
  • He will not easily forget his grievance.他不会轻易忘掉他的委屈。
  • He had been nursing a grievance against his boss for months.几个月来他对老板一直心怀不满。
3 countless 7vqz9L     
  • In the war countless innocent people lost their lives.在这场战争中无数无辜的人丧失了性命。
  • I've told you countless times.我已经告诉你无数遍了。
4 naturalist QFKxZ     
  • He was a printer by trade and naturalist by avocation.他从事印刷业,同时是个博物学爱好者。
  • The naturalist told us many stories about birds.博物学家给我们讲述了许多有关鸟儿的故事。
5 beetle QudzV     
  • A firefly is a type of beetle.萤火虫是一种甲虫。
  • He saw a shiny green beetle on a leaf.我看见树叶上有一只闪闪发光的绿色甲虫。
6 forth Hzdz2     
  • The wind moved the trees gently back and forth.风吹得树轻轻地来回摇晃。
  • He gave forth a series of works in rapid succession.他很快连续发表了一系列的作品。
7 squint oUFzz     
v. 使变斜视眼, 斜视, 眯眼看, 偏移, 窥视; n. 斜视, 斜孔小窗; adj. 斜视的, 斜的
  • A squint can sometimes be corrected by an eyepatch. 斜视有时候可以通过戴眼罩来纠正。
  • The sun was shinning straight in her eyes which made her squint. 太阳直射着她的眼睛,使她眯起了眼睛。
8 caterpillars 7673bc2d84c4c7cba4a0eaec866310f4     
n.毛虫( caterpillar的名词复数 );履带
  • Caterpillars eat the young leaves of this plant. 毛毛虫吃这种植物的嫩叶。
  • Caterpillars change into butterflies or moths. 毛虫能变成蝴蝶或蛾子。 来自辞典例句
9 specimens 91fc365099a256001af897127174fcce     
n.样品( specimen的名词复数 );范例;(化验的)抽样;某种类型的人
  • Astronauts have brought back specimens of rock from the moon. 宇航员从月球带回了岩石标本。
  • The traveler brought back some specimens of the rocks from the mountains. 那位旅行者从山上带回了一些岩石标本。 来自《简明英汉词典》
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