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AMERICAN STORIES - Tale for a Frosty Morning

时间:2006-05-09 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:yeying0716   字体: [ ]
    (单词翻译:双击或拖选)

AMERICAN STORIES - Tale for a Frosty Morning

By Merrill Pollack

Broadcast: Saturday, August 13, 2005

Ben was awakened2 by a gunshot. The sharp noise came through the thick stone walls of the house.

It was cold in the bedroom and Ben Newman was shaking as he got out of bed.

He put on his eyeglasses and went over to the window. The field was covered with white frost1. Nothing moved out there in the deep quiet just before sunrise.

Ben looked past the field to the thick woods. Two weeks ago he saw a deer among the trees. He held his breath5 with excitement; then the deer walked off.

Ben wondered where the shot3 had come from. He thought perhaps he had dreamed he heard a gunshot.

He looked out toward6 the frozen7 lake. Near the trees he saw a shining piece of metal. When it moved, Ben saw that it was a long gun.

A minute later a man came out of the woods. He wore hunting clothes.

Suddenly a bird flew upward8. The man quickly put the gun to his shoulder and shot.

Ben watched the bird, praying it had not been hurt. It flew near the ground and went into some tall grass.

Safe, Ben thought.

The hunter did not move for a moment, then he began to follow the bird.

Hate for the hunter burned inside of Ben. "Hey!" he shouted.

His voice cut through the stillness.

The hunter stopped, but then continued to follow the bird.

Ben shouted again, but this time the hunter did not stop and Ben started to move toward him. But Ben was in his night clothes and he did not go far. Istead he returned to the house. He got a metal shovel9 and hit the stone sides of the house so that the noise would warn10 the birds and animals of danger.

The hunter looked back at Ben.

"No hunting!" Ben shouted, "No hunting on my land!" The man called back, "Where can I hunt?"

"South," Ben said, "go South," and pointed11 behind the man.

The hunter started to walk away.

Ben had just bought this house in the woods. He wanted to protect everything on his land. He thought that everyone would obey the signs: "No Hunting."

Ben had just finished putting on his clothes when he heard another gunshot.

He walked toward the lake. He did not want to fight, but the man must go.

He walked quietly. He wanted to surprise the hunter. But then, what would he do? He could not fight the hunter.

Suddenly he heard a bird's wings beating the dry grass. Ben moved quickly toward the sound.

He saw a colored head ... the head of a beautiful pheasant bird. The bird did not move until Ben came close. Then it tried to fly away, but one wing was broken.

Ben lifed the bird and held it close against his body. The bird fought ot escape, but soon lay quietly in Ben's arms. Its body was warm and heavy.

Ben decided12 to take the bird home and fix its broken wings so that it could fly again.

He was almost tbroug the woods when he heard the hunter behind him.

"You just find that bird?" the hunter asked.

"Yes," Ben answered.

"It is mine!"

Ben was afraid and tried to answer, but his mouth was too dry to speak. But be wet his lips13 and said "No."

"I shot him and I say he is mine!"

"But he is not dead yet," Ben answered, "and besides, anything on my land belongs to me."

The hunter reached out for the bird. "I will have to kill it," he said. "Tbe bird will soon die anyway."

Ben got angry. "Get out of here!" he said. "I told you before and I am telling you again: get off my land!"

The hunter looked down at the little man and smiled. "Say, who are you?"

Ben's voice shook with both fear and anger. "I own this land. There are signs everywhere that say, "no hunting."

"No need to get angry, mister," the hunter said. "Control youself."

There was something threatening in the man's cool quiet voice. And he had a gun. His arms were free and Ben's were not.

The hunter stepped closer and said, "Give me that bird!"

Ben was white with anger. "No!" he answered. His eye glasses became wet and he had to look over top of them to see the other man.

"Give me the bird and I will go away," the hunter said.

"You get off my land," Ben told him. "Get off right now...you do not belong here!"

The man's face got red. "Mister," he said, "l nave14 been hunting here all my life. I grew up here."

"That is a thing of the past," Ben said. "I do not know who you are and I do not care. I own this place now and I am telling you to leave. You go back through the woods and get off my land!"

"Now look, mister," the hunter said, "be reasonable."

"I am trying to be as reasonable as I can," said Ben,holding the bird tightly15. "I just want you to get off my land."

The hunter raised his gun.

A cold wind blew across Ben's face. He looked into tbe hunter's gray eyes. Ben was frightened. It was not too late, he thought.

He could still give the bird to the hunter and return safely home...that would end this whole ugly business.

The bird struggled weakly and made a wild, strange noise.

Then Ben knew he could never give this bird to the hunter. This feeling gave Ben great strength, and he was no longer afraid.

"I will never let you kill this bird," he said. "Get away from here. If you try to take this bird, I will fight...you have a gun and you are bigger, but that does not worry me. You will never get this bird...you will have to kill me first."

The two men looked at each other. Ben's fear returned. His knees began to shake and he felt sick. Yet he stood straight, wondering what would happen next.

They stood close to each other for a long time. The woods were strangely guiet. Then the hunter's rough4 voice broke the silence.

"You are a fool." And then to Ben's surprise, he slowly walked away.

Ben watched until he was gone. His arms hurt, his body felt was and cold... he went to the house.

Ben carried the bird into the kitchen and put it gently on the floor. It did not move. Ben took off his foggy glasses and dried his face. The bird watched him. Ben smoothed its feathers with gentle fingers.

He carefully studied the injured16 wing. There seemed to be no hope. The wing was pulled almost away from the body. The bullet17 had smashed18 the bone.

Ben knew the bird was dying19 ...there was nothing he could do to help it. He wondered if birds felt pain. He wondered how long it took a bird to die. The hunter was right, the bird would soon die.

There was just one thing to do now to stop its suffering.

Ben could kill it quickly.

He put his hands around the bird's neck. But when he felt the warm life under his fingers, he could not kill this beautiful thing.

Tears filled his eyes. He knew now what he would do ... he would stay with the bird, smoothing its feathers until it died.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 frost zhZxp     
n.霜,冰冻,冷漠;vt.覆着霜,冻结,结霜;vi.受冻,起霜
参考例句:
  • A lot of crops were damaged by the frost.这次霜冻,受害的庄稼不少。
  • Try to harvest the fruit before the first frost.在第一次霜冻以前要设法把水果收摘完。
2 awakened de71059d0b3cd8a1de21151c9166f9f0     
v.(使)醒( awaken的过去式和过去分词 );(使)觉醒;弄醒;(使)意识到
参考例句:
  • She awakened to the sound of birds singing. 她醒来听到鸟的叫声。
  • The public has been awakened to the full horror of the situation. 公众完全意识到了这一状况的可怕程度。 来自《简明英汉词典》
3 shot xyiwb     
n.炮弹,射击,射手;v.射击,发出,发芽;vbl.射击,发出,发芽
参考例句:
  • He shot a wild duck.他射中一只野鸭。
  • All the children shot out their hands for the money.所有的孩子突然伸出手来要钱。
4 rough BXRxI     
adj.粗糙的;粗略的,大致的;粗野的,粗暴的
参考例句:
  • It's just a very rough translation.这只是一篇非常粗糙的译稿。
  • His reply was a bit rough.他的答复过于粗鲁了一点。
5 breath 9SCyv     
n.呼吸,气息,微风,迹象,精神,一种说话的声音
参考例句:
  • I'm just going out for a breath of fresh air.我正要出去呼吸新鲜空气。
  • While climbing up the stairs the old man always loses his breath.那老人上楼时总是气喘吁吁的。
6 toward on6we     
prep.对于,关于,接近,将近,向,朝
参考例句:
  • Suddenly I saw a tall figure approaching toward the policeman.突然间我看到一个高大的身影朝警察靠近。
  • Upon seeing her,I smiled and ran toward her. 看到她我笑了,并跑了过去。
7 frozen 2sVz6q     
adj.冻结的,冰冻的
参考例句:
  • He was frozen to death on a snowing night.在一个风雪的晚上,他被冻死了。
  • The weather is cold and the ground is frozen.天寒地冻。
8 upward Sj7wQ     
adj.向上的,上升的;adv.向上,上升
参考例句:
  • The birds flew upward.鸟儿向上飞去。
  • Prices have an upward tendency.价格有上升的趋势。
9 shovel cELzg     
n.铁锨,铲子,一铲之量;v.铲,铲出
参考例句:
  • He was working with a pick and shovel.他在用镐和铲干活。
  • He seized a shovel and set to.他拿起一把铲就干上了。
10 warn bg0wx     
vt.警告,注意,远离;vi.提醒
参考例句:
  • I must warn you that my patience is almost at an end.我必须警告你我已经没有耐心了。
  • If you warn me in advance,I will have your order ready for you.你若预先通知我,我就能给您准备好了。
11 pointed Il8zB4     
adj.尖的,直截了当的
参考例句:
  • He gave me a very sharp pointed pencil.他给我一支削得非常尖的铅笔。
  • She wished to show Mrs.John Dashwood by this pointed invitation to her brother.她想通过对达茨伍德夫人提出直截了当的邀请向她的哥哥表示出来。
12 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。
13 lips f6e924595f10c1d9b68b5ae6a448f051     
abbr.logical inferences per second 每秒的逻辑推论n.嘴唇( lip的名词复数 );(容器或凹陷地方的)边缘;粗鲁无礼的话
参考例句:
  • Her lips compressed into a thin line. 她的双唇抿成了一道缝。
  • the fullness of her lips 她丰满的双唇
14 nave TGnxw     
n.教堂的中部;本堂
参考例句:
  • People gathered in the nave of the house.人们聚拢在房子的中间。
  • The family on the other side of the nave had a certain look about them,too.在中殿另一边的那一家人,也有着自己特有的相貌。
15 tightly ZgbzD7     
adv.紧紧地,坚固地,牢固地
参考例句:
  • My child holds onto my hand tightly while we cross the street.横穿马路时,孩子紧拉着我的手不放。
  • The crowd pressed together so tightly that we could hardly breathe.人群挤在一起,我们几乎喘不过气来。
16 injured fqIzAN     
adj.受伤的
参考例句:
  • Our best defender is injured and won't be able to play today.我们最佳的防守员受伤了,今天不能参加比赛。
  • The injured men have been dug out of the snow.受伤人员从雪中被挖了出来。
17 bullet GSUyA     
n.枪弹,子弹
参考例句:
  • The bullet wound in his shoulder was opened up for treatment.切开他肩上的枪伤进行治疗。
  • The bullet missed me by a hair's s breadth.那颗子弹差一点就打中了我。
18 smashed smashed     
adj.喝醉酒的v.打碎,捣烂( smash的过去式和过去分词 );捣毁;重击;撞毁(车辆)
参考例句:
  • Several windows had been smashed. 几扇窗户劈里啪啦打碎了。
  • In time-honoured tradition, a bottle of champagne was smashed on the ship. 依照由来已久的传统,对着船摔了一瓶香槟。 来自《简明英汉词典》
19 dying 1rGx0     
adj.垂死的,临终的
参考例句:
  • He was put in charge of the group by the dying leader.他被临终的领导人任命为集团负责人。
  • She was shown into a small room,where there was a dying man.她被领进了一间小屋子,那里有一个垂死的人。
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TAG标签:   american  story  tale  frosty
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