英文原著双语阅读 :《夏洛特的网》第十五章 蟋蟀

       chapter 15 The crickets

      The crickets sang in the grasses. They sang the song of summer's ending, a sad, monotonous song. "Summer is over and gone," they sang. "Over and gone, over and gone. Summer is dying, dying."The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last forever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year--the days when summer is changing into fall--the crickets spread the rumor of sadness and change.

      Everybody heard the song of the crickets. Avery and Fern Arable heard it as they walked the dusty road. They knew that school would soon begin again. The young geese heard it and knew that they would never be little goslings again. Charlotte heard it and knew that she hadn't much time left. Mrs. Zuckerman, at work in the kitchen, heard the crickets, and a sadness came over her, too. "Another summer gone," she sighed. Lurvy, at work building a crate for Wilbur, heard the song and knew it was time to dig potatoes.

      "Summer is over and gone," repeated the crickets. "How many nights till frost?" sang the crickets. "good-bye, summer, good-bye, good-bye."The sheep heard the crickets, and they felt so uneasy they broke a hole in the pasture fence and wandered up into the field across the road. The gander discovered the hole and led his family through, and they walked to the orchard and ate the apples that were lying on the ground. A little maple tree in the swamp heard the cricket song and turned bright red with anxiety.

      Wilbur was now the center of attraction on the farm. good food and regular hours were showing results: Wilbur was a pig any man would be proud of . One day more than a hundred people came to stand at his yard and admire him. Charlotte had written the word RADIANT, and Wilbur really looked radiant as he stood in the golden sunlight. Ever since the spider had befriended him, he had done his best to live up to his reputation. When Charlotte's web said SOME PIG, Wilbur had tried hard to look like some pig. When Charlotte's web said TERRIFIC, Wilbur had tried to look terrific. And now that the web said RADIANT, he did everything possible to make himself glow.

      It is not easy to look radiant, but Wilbur threw himself into it with a will. He would turn his head slightly and blink his long eyelashes. Then he would breathe deeply. And when his audience grew bored, he would spring into the air and do a back flip with a half twist. At this the crowd would yell and cheer. "How's that for a pig?" Mr. Zuckerman would ask, well pleased with himself. "That pig is radiant."Some of Wilbur's friends in the barn worried for fear all this attention would go to his head and make him stuck up. But it never did. Wilbur was modest; fame did not spoil him. He still worried some about the future, as he could hardly believe that a mere spider would be able to save his life. Sometimes at night he would have a bad dream. He would dream that men were coming to get him with knives and guns. But that was only a dream. In the daytime, Wilbur usually felt happy and confident. No pig ever had truer friends and he realized that friendship is one of the most satisfying things in the world. Even the song of the crickets did not make Wilbur too sad. He knew it was almost time for the County Fair, and he was looking forward to the trip. If he distinguish himself at the Fair, and maybe win some prize money, he was sure Zuckerman would let him live.

      Charlotte had worries of her own, but she kept quiet about them. One morning Wilbur asked her about the Fair.

      "You're going with me, aren't you, charlotte?" he said.

      "Well, I don't know," replied Charlotte. "The Fair comes at a bad time for me. I shall find it inconvenient to leave home, even for a few days.""Why?" asked Wilbur.

      "Oh, I just don't feel like leaving my web. Too much going on around here.""Please come with me!" begged Wilbur. "I need you, Charlotte. I can't stand going to the Fair without you. You've just got to come.""No," said charlotte, "I believe I'd better stay home and see if I can't get some work done.""What kind of work?" asked Wilbur.

      "Egg laying. It's time I made an egg sac and filled it with eggs.""I didn't know you could lay eggs," said Wilbur in amazement.

      "Oh, sure," said the spider. "I'm versatile.""What does 'versatile' mean--full of eggs?" asked Wilbur.

      "Certainly not," said Charlotte. "'Versatile' means I can turn with ease from one thing to another. I can turn with ease from one thing to another. It means I don't have to limit my activities to spinning and trapping and stunts like that.""Why don't you come with me to the Fair Grounds and lay your eggs there?" pleaded Wilbur. "It would be wonderful fun."Charlotte gave her web a twitch and moodily watched it sway. "I'm afraid not," she said. "You don't know the first thing about egg laying, Wilbur. I can't arrange my family duties to suit the management of the County Fair. When I get ready to lay eggs, I have to lay eggs, Fair or no Fair. However, I don't want you to worry about it--you might lose weight. We'll leave it this way: I'll come to the Fair if I possibly can.""Oh, good!" said Wilbur. "I knew you wouldn't forsake me just when I need you most."All that day Wilbur stayed inside, taking life easy in the straw. Charlotte rested and ate a grasshopper. She knew that she couldn't help Wilbur much longer. In a few days she would have to drop everything and build the beautiful little sac that would hold her eggs.

              第十五章 蟋蟀

        蟋蟀们在草丛中歌唱着。他们唱起了一曲悲伤而又单调的,夏天的挽歌。“夏天去了,”他们唱,“去了,去了。夏天正在死亡,死亡。”

      蟋蟀感到他们有责任警醒每一个人,夏日的好时光不会永远的继续下去。即使到了一年中最美丽的日子——夏即将被点染成秋的那一天——蟋蟀们也还是在传唱着这些有关悲伤与变迁的谶言。

      所有人都听到了蟋蟀的歌声。在尘土飞扬的路上走着的埃弗里和芬听到这歌声,知道学校不久就要开学了;小鹅们听到这歌声,知道他们将不再是小鹅了;夏洛听到这歌声,知道她已经没有多少剩下来的时间了;在厨房工作的祖克曼太太听到这歌声,一种忧伤的情绪也立即从心头袭过,“又一个夏天过去了,”她轻声叹息;给威伯做板条箱的鲁维听到这歌声,知道到了去地里挖土豆的时候了。

      “夏天去了,”蟋蟀一遍遍地哀唱。“离下霜时还剩几天?”蟋蟀凄吟。“再-见-了,夏天,再-见-了,再-见-了!”

      绵羊听到蟋蟀的歌,感觉异常的烦躁,以至竟在草场上的篱笆里撞出了一个洞,就从那里穿过小路茫然地徘徊到田野里。公鹅发现了这个洞,就领着他的一家人由此而出,走到果园去吃熟落在地上的苹果。湿地上的小枫树听到蟋蟀的歌,由于焦急使自己变得鲜红。

      威伯现在是农场里最引人注目的。那些不断送来的美餐和定期来参观的人流足以表明这一点:威伯是一头令任何人都足以骄傲的猪。每天都有超过一百人在他的院子里赞美他。夏洛已经把写有“闪光”字样的网织好了。在金色的阳光下的威伯看起来也真的闪闪发光。自从这只蜘蛛帮助了他以后,他一直在尽力使自己做得更好。当夏洛的网里写着“好猪”时,威伯努力使自己看上去像头好猪;当夏洛的网里织着“很棒”时,威伯又勉力使自己看起来很棒;现在那网里说“闪光”,他便尽可能的去做每一件使自己闪光的事。

      看上去能闪光并不容易,但威伯还是愿意这样去努力。他会轻轻地晃着脑袋,让他长长的睫毛闪闪颤动起来。然后他再做一个深呼吸。当他的观众看腻了这些,他就会跳起来做一个后空翻。这时人群将会大声喝起彩来。“那猪怎么样?”祖克曼先生会满心自豪地问别人。“那猪真是闪闪发光。”

      谷仓里的一些威伯的朋友担心他会骄傲,但他不会的。威伯是最谦虚的,名气不能毁了他。他还在为将来担心,因为他几乎不敢相信仅仅一只蜘蛛就能救他的命。有时夜里他还会做噩梦,梦见人们拿着刀子和枪来杀他。但那不过是个梦境罢了。白天时,威伯总是感到快乐而又自信。没有一头猪有过这么真诚的朋友,他意识到友谊是这世界上令人最幸福的东西之一。甚至连蟋蟀的歌也没有让威伯感到太悲伤。他知道他快去参加郡展览会了,他渴望着这次旅行。如果他能在会上有卓越的表现,就可能赢得奖品,那时祖克曼更会善待他了。

      夏洛则在为自己担心,但却没对别人表露这一点。一天早上威伯问她有关展览会的事。

      “你会和我一起去吗,夏洛?”他说。

      “哦,我不知道,”夏洛回答,“开会那天对我来说是个坏日子。那时我将很难有力气离家,更别说离家数天了。”

      “为什么?”威伯问。

      “噢,我只是不愿离开我的网。有太多事要做了。”

      “请跟我去吧!”威伯乞求,“我需要你,夏洛。去参加展览会时没你我会无法忍受的,你还是去吧。”

      “不,”夏洛说,“我相信我最好还是留在家里,我有工作要做。”

      “那是什么工作?”威伯问。

      “产卵。那时我该造一个囊,往里产卵了。”

      “我不知道你还能产卵哩。”威伯惊奇地说。

      “哦,我当然会,”蜘蛛说,“我多才多艺。”

      “'多才多艺'是什么意思——身上都是卵吗?”威伯问。

      “当然不是,”夏洛说。,“‘多才多艺’是说我能轻松地做很多事。那意味着我不仅仅只会织网和抓小虫,还懂得产卵的绝技。”

      “你为什么不跟我到展览会去产卵?”威伯恳求,“产卵一定有趣极了。”

      夏洛拉了拉她的网,忧郁地看着这些丝线轻轻晃动的样子。“恐怕不那么有趣,”她说道,“你不了解产卵的重要性,威伯。我不能不顾我的家庭,跟你去展览会。当我准备产卵时,我就得产卵,不管有没有展览会。无论如何,我不想你担心——你会因此变瘦的。让我们这么约定吧:如果有可能,我就去和你参加展览会。”

      “噢,好吔!”威伯说,“我就知道你在我最需要的时候不会抛下我的。”

      那一整天,威伯都呆在谷仓里,享受着稻草堆里的舒适生活。夏洛休息了一会儿,吃了个蚂蚱。她知道她以后不能再帮威伯了。几天后她将停下手头的一切,开始造一个用来盛放她的卵的美丽的小囊了。

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