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VOA慢速英语2011--Short Story: 'Angelina's Dress'

时间:2011-12-27 05:59来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]
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AMERICAN STORIES - Short Story: 'Angelina's Dress'

JUNE SIMMS: And now, for the season of Christmas, we present "Angelina's Dress," written for VOA Special English. Here is Doug Johnson with our story.

DOUG JOHNSON: It was dinner time at the Wilsons' house. Henry and Susan Wilson and their two children were starting their meal. The food was left from their Thanksgiving dinner two days before.

There was turkey soup. There was turkey meat mixed with potatoes and covered with turkey gravy1. There were even small pieces of the traditional Thanksgiving bird with the salad greens.

Eleven year old Angelina Wilson asked:

SADIE GIDNER: Are we having turkey ice cream, too?

DOUG JOHNSON: Her father covered his mouth for a second. Then he said:

CHRISTOPHER CRUISE2: Angelina, have you forgotten that I had no job for a whole year? Now I have work again. You should be very thankful.

DOUG JOHNSON: He did not sound angry, however. Henry Wilson also felt he had eaten enough turkey -- more than enough.

Angelina wore her brown hair pulled back into a single braid, and she turned it thoughtfully4. She regretted her comment. She regretted it especially because she had planned to ask her parents for something special. She knew that eating put them in good spirits.

Then she decided5 to act on her plan.

SADIE GIDNER: I am very sorry I said that about the turkey! But unless I get a new dress, I will not look good for the Christmas Festival.

DOUG JOHNSON: The Festival was the winter holiday celebration6 of a group she belonged to: the Avalon Girls' Service Club. The city's Avalon neighborhood was large. All the sixth and seventh grade girls from miles around took part.

Usually the club members worked hard. They wrote cheerful7 cards for hospital patients. They cooked meals for the homeless. Or they helped old people with their shopping needs.

But the Christmas Festival was different. The Community Center was brightly lit and ready for the big event. The girls wore party clothes. They sang and danced, and many people from the neighborhood came to see them perform. But for this special celebration, Angelina had only a plain gray, wool dress that she had worn8 to the event last year. And now it was a little too short. Angelina was growing.

Her best friend Margo kept saying:

DAISY BRACKEN: My dress is blue, and beautiful.

DOUG JOHNSON: She said the dress was a copy of one designed by Giulio Someone of Rome. Or, was it Paris?

Angelina appealed to her parents.

SADIE GIDNER: I stopped into Forbes Department Store after school the other day. There is the most beautiful red dress there, just my size.

DOUG JOHNSON: Her mother put her fork down.

JOAN KORNBLITH: Well, we cannot buy it. We have to be careful. You never know when I might lose MY job.

SADIE GIDNER: But I have at least some money. Or you could give me the dress for Christmas.

DOUG JOHNSON: She had earned a little money by staying with her younger brother Louis when her parents went out at night.

JOAN KORNBLITH: Angelina, you need to save for much more important things, like books and school clothes.

SADIE GIDNER: But Mother --

DOUG JOHNSON: Mr. Wilson intervened9.

CHRISTOPHER CRUISE: We want to have nice Christmas gifts for both you and your brother, Angelina. You do not want to be selfish10, do you?

DOUG JOHNSON: That gave nine-year-old Louis his chance to speak up. Louis always had to get into the action.

ADAM KONE: You just care about you, Angie. You are selfish.

CHRISTOPHER CRUISE: Louis, be quiet! Everybody, just you eat your turkey.

DOUG JOHNSON: Angelina turned her braid some more. All hope was not gone. There was a sign in the Forbes store window that said "layaway." She decided that she would return to the store and ask about that. Maybe it was something that could help her.

After school the next day, Angelina went directly11 to the place in the store where girls' clothing was sold. The saleswoman there wore a label12 on her dress with the name "Mrs. Harding." Angelina asked her what "layaway" meant.

Mrs. Harding explained that buyers could choose a dress on layaway and pay just part of the total cost. That part was called a deposit13. But the buyer could not take the dress home. The buyer had to return in two weeks to pay the rest of the price. If not, the dress would go back where anyone could buy it. And, the store would keep some of the deposit.

Angelina pulled ten worn dollar bills from her coat pocket. She showed them to the salesperson14.

SADIE GIDNER: This is enough for you to hold 'my' dress for me, right?

CATY WEAVER15: Yes, it is. But you must come back in two weeks to pay the rest. Or, the store keeps 'your' dress and a little of your first payment16.

DOUG JOHNSON: Angelina felt like jumping into the air. She could get the dress on layaway. Angelina was so happy that she told Mrs. Harding about the Avalon Service Club's work and its Christmas party. Mrs. Harding wished her luck. She sounded as if she meant it.

Angelina almost floated out of the store. As she left, she saw a sign in one window that she did not read. She supposed it said something about the wonderful layaway plan.

(MUSIC)

Angelina did not tell her parents about the layaway plan, however. She was sure she could earn enough money baby-sitting to pay for the dress. She had stayed with Louis several times, after all.

Angelina shook and suffered in the cold December wind as she asked other families in the Avalon neighborhood for work. Could she baby-sit for them?

One after another, they said the same things. "We already have a sitter. Or, "It is fine for you to watch bigger kids. But we have a new baby. We need someone older." Seeing the look on her face, most were kind.

Then, happily, Margo's parents decided that Angelina should help Margo's little sister make new clothing for her dolls. It seemed that Margo could not sew very well. Angelina, however, was just excellent at sewing. Sure enough, the dolls' dresses turned out beautifully. Margo's parents paid Angelina twenty dollars.

Still, she was far from having enough money for her dress. The days passed way too fast. She felt helpless17 as the date for her final payment arrived. Angelina did not have enough money for "her" dress.

She returned sadly to Forbes' Store. This time, she read the sign in the window. It said, "Going Out of Business in January."

When Angelina arrived at the girls department, she again spoke18 to the saleswoman, Mrs. Harding.

SADIE GIDNER: I do not have enough money for the dress for the Festival.

DOUG JOHNSON: Then she saw that Mrs. Harding's eyes were red. She looked like she had been crying. Mrs. Harding said:

CATY WEAVER: You know, the store is closing. I am losing my job. And I would like to make one of my last sales here to someone who belongs to your service club. You do good work. I would like you to have this dress for your Festival. I will pay the rest of what you owe3 so you can have it.

DOUG JOHNSON: Angelina thought how much she wanted the red dress. But she remembered how worried and sad her father had felt during that long, long year when he had no work.

She chose her words carefully.

SADIE GIDNER: That is very good of you, Mrs. Harding. But you will need all your money until you get another job. I know about that.

CATY WEAVER: Are you sure? Are you very sure? I meant what I said.

SADIE GIDNER: Yes, I am very sure.

CATY WEAVER: Well, I will pay to return all of the ten-dollar deposit that you left with us.

DOUG JOHNSON: Angelina expressed thanks and closed her hand around the worn dollar bills.

SADIE GIDNER: I hope you find another job very soon.

DOUG JOHNSON: With that, she said goodbye and ran out of the store into the cold street.

Outside, a man who looked like Santa Claus was asking people for money to help poor people. Other people were ringing Christmas bells.

Angelina stood still for a moment on the snowy sidewalk. Then, quite suddenly, she gave the man dressed as Santa Claus several dollars.

SADIE GIDNER: Mrs. Harding is not the only one wants to help other people.

DOUG JOHNSON: Just as suddenly she decided that maybe she would buy some material to add length to her old gray wool dress. And she started to plan how she would sew bright red ribbons19 along the neckline.

Who knew, maybe she could look good at the Festival after all. But, in any event, she would have fun. After all, it was Christmas time.

Angelina turned around in the icy20 December wind and went back inside the store.

JUNE SIMMS: Our story "Angelina's Dress" was written by Jerilyn Watson. Sadie Gidner played Angelina. Adam Kone was Louis. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson were played by Christopher Cruise and Katherine Cole. Caty Weaver was our producer and Mrs. Harding. Join us again next week for another American story in VOA Special English.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 gravy Przzt1     
n.肉汁;轻易得来的钱,外快
参考例句:
  • You have spilled gravy on the tablecloth.你把肉汁泼到台布上了。
  • The meat was swimming in gravy.肉泡在浓汁之中。
2 cruise 2nhzw     
v.巡航,航游,缓慢巡行;n.海上航游
参考例句:
  • They went on a cruise to Tenerife.他们乘船去特纳利夫岛。
  • She wants to cruise the canals of France in a barge.她想乘驳船游览法国的运河。
3 owe wKjxk     
vt./vi.欠(债等);感激;把……归功于某人
参考例句:
  • We still owe one hundred dollars for the car.为这部车我们还欠着100美元。
  • We owe it to society to make our country a better place.把国家建设得更美好是我们对社会应尽的责任。
4 thoughtfully aoiwf     
ad.考虑周到地
参考例句:
  • She rubbed her chin thoughtfully. 她若有所思地抚摩着下巴。
  • The man pulled thoughtfully at his pipe before commenting on our proposal. 那人若有所思地吸了口烟,然后就我们的建议发表自己的见解。
5 decided lvqzZd     
adj.决定了的,坚决的;明显的,明确的
参考例句:
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
6 celebration xUhyq     
n.庆祝,庆祝会;典礼
参考例句:
  • The celebration passed off successfully.庆祝活动圆满结束。
  • The celebration of Christmas is a custom.庆祝圣诞节是一种习俗。
7 cheerful SU0yQ     
adj.快活的,高兴的,兴高采烈
参考例句:
  • Yellow is a cheerful colour.黄色是令人高兴的颜色。
  • This state of things holds out a cheerful prospect.事态呈现出可喜的前景。
8 worn seCzJu     
adj.用旧的,疲倦的;vbl.wear的过去分词
参考例句:
  • The child's trousers have worn through at the knees.孩子裤子的膝盖处磨破了。
  • My shoes are worn out.我的鞋子穿坏了。
9 intervened c73b3e12a97af699e6bce7fe253fa79c     
阻碍( intervene的过去式和过去分词 ); 出面; 插嘴; 介于…之间
参考例句:
  • The President intervened personally in the crisis. 总统亲自出面处理这场危机。
  • We enjoyed the picnic until a thunderstorm intervened. 那次野餐我们玩得很痛快,后来一场暴风雨使它中断了。
10 selfish 5z5ww     
adj.自私的,利己主义的,自我中心的
参考例句:
  • You must learn to share and not be so selfish.你一定要学会与他人分享,不要那么自私。
  • She is a selfish person.她是一个自私自利的人。
11 directly DPIzn     
adv.直接地,径直地;马上,立即
参考例句:
  • I will telephone you directly I hear the news.我一听到消息,马上打电话给你。
  • She answered me very directly and openly.她非常坦率地、开门见山地答复了我。
12 label d2vxe     
n.卷标,标签,标记;称号,绰号;v.贴标签于,把…称为
参考例句:
  • The label is on the inner side of the box.标签贴在盒子内侧。
  • He has been given the label of "playboy".他被起了个“花花公子”的绰号。
13 deposit Rwkx5     
n.定金,存款,矿藏;vt.使沉淀,寄存,储蓄
参考例句:
  • There is too much deposit in a bottle of wine.酒瓶里有太多的沉淀物。
  • The hotel requires a deposit for all advance bookings.旅馆规定凡预订房间都要先付订金。
14 salesperson 7Yoxa     
n.售货员,营业员,店员
参考例句:
  • A salesperson works in a shop.售货员在商店工作。
  • Vanessa is a salesperson in a woman's wear department.凡妮莎是女装部的售货员。
15 weaver LgWwd     
n.织布工;编织者
参考例句:
  • She was a fast weaver and the cloth was very good.她织布织得很快,而且布的质量很好。
  • The eager weaver did not notice my confusion.热心的纺织工人没有注意到我的狼狈相。
16 payment qL4xJ     
n.付款,支付,偿还,偿还,报应
参考例句:
  • I gave ten pounds in payment for the goods I bought.我买那些东西付了10英镑。
  • This last payment will wipe out your debt to me.这最后一笔付款将了结你欠我的债务。
17 helpless FdAxb     
adj.无助的,无依无靠的;不能自力的
参考例句:
  • The other team was helpless and we had a real field day.对方队很弱,我们轻易取胜。
  • They felt helpless to do anything about it.他们对这事感到无能为力。
18 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
参考例句:
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
19 ribbons aa3d8d2fa9eef2d3474d9a9d38f4ca5d     
n.带( ribbon的名词复数 );(打印机的)色带;绶带;带状物
参考例句:
  • Her hair was interlaced with ribbons and flowers. 她的头发上编扎着缎带和花。
  • Typewriter ribbons may be all black or black and red. 打字机的色带可以是全黑的或黑红色的。 来自《简明英汉词典》
20 icy HbdxE     
adj.寒冷的;冰冷的
参考例句:
  • Father will not chance driving on the icy roads.父亲不愿意冒险在结冰的道路上开车。
  • She fixed her questioner with an icy glare.她冷冷地盯着审问者。
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TAG标签:   VOA慢速英语  Short  Story
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