夏洛特的网 Chapter 1
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"Where's Papa going with the ax?" said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.
"Out to the hoghouse," replied Mrs. Arable1. "Some pigs were born last night."
"I don't see why he needs an ax," continued Fern, who was only eight. 
"Well," said her mother, "one of the pigs is a runt. It's very small and weak, and it will never amount to anything. So your father has decided2 to do away with it."
"Do away with it?" shrieked3 Fern. "You mean kill it? Just because it's smaller than the others?"
Mrs. Arable put a pitcher4 of cream on the table. "Don't yell, Fern!" she said. "Your father is right. The pig would probably die anyway."
Fern pushed a chair out of the way and ran outdoors. The grass was wet and the earth smelled of spring time. Fern's sneakers were sopping5 by the time she caught up with her father.
"Please don't kill it!" she sobbed6. "It's unfair."
Mr. Arable stopped walking.
"Fern," he said gently, "you will have to learn to control yourself."
"Control myself?" yelled Fern. "This is a matter of life and death, and you talk about controlling myself." Tears ran down her cheeks and she took hold of the ax and tried to pull it out of her father's hand.
"Fern," said Mr. Arable, "I know more about raising a litter of pigs than you do. A weakling makes trouble. Now run along!"
"But it's unfair," cried Fern. "The pig couldn't help being born small, could it? If I had been very small at birth, would you have killed me?"
Mr. Arable smiled. "Certainly not," he said, looking down at his daughter with love. "But this is different. A little girl is one thing, a little runty pig is another."
"I see no difference," replied Fern, still hanging on to the ax. "This is the most terrible case of injustice7 I ever heard of."
A queer look came over John Arable's face. He seemed almost ready to cry himself.
"All right," he said." You go back to the house and I will bring the runt when I come in. I'll let you start it on a bottle, like a baby. Then you'll see what trouble a pig can be."
When Mr. Arable returned to the house half an hour later, he carried a carton under his arm. Fern was upstairs changing her sneakers. The kitchen table was set for breakfast, and the room smelled of coffee, bacon, damp plaster, and wood smoke from the stove.
"Put it on her chair!" said Mrs. Arable. Mr. Arable set the carton down at Fern's place. Then he walked to the sink and washed his hands and dried them on the roller towel.
Fern came slowly down the stairs. Her eyes were red from crying. As she approached her chair, the carton wobbled, and there was ascratching noise. Fern looked at her father. Then she lifted the lid of the carton. There, inside, looking up at her, was the newborn pig. It was a white one. The morning light shone through its ears, turning them pink.
"He's yours," said Mr. Arable. "Saved from an untimely death. And may the good Lord forgive me for this foolishness."
Fern couldn't take her eyes off the tiny pig. "Oh," she whispered. "Oh, look at him! He's absolutely perfect."
She closed the carton carefully. First she kissed her father, then she kissed her mother. Then she opened the lid again, lifted the pig out, and held it against her cheek. At this moment her brother Avery came into the room. Avery was ten. He was heavily armed--an air rifle in one hand, a wooden dagger8 in the other.
"What's that?" he demanded. "What's Fern got?"
"She's got a guest for breakfast," said Mrs. Arable. "Wash your hands and face, Avery!"
"Let's see it!" said Avery, setting his gun down. "You call that miserable9 thing a pig? That's a fine specimen10 of a pig--it's no bigger than a white rat."
"Wash up and eat your breakfast, Avery!" said his mother. "The school bus will be along in half an hour."#p#分页标题#e#
"Can I have a pig, too, Pop?" asked Avery.
"No, I only distribute pigs to early risers," said Mr. Arable. "Fern was up at daylight, trying to rid world of injustice. As a result, she now has a pig. A small one, to be sure, but nevertheless a pig. It just shows what can happen if a person gets out of bed promptly11. Let's eat!"
But Fern couldn't eat until her pig had had a drink of milk. Mrs. Arable found a baby's nursing bottle and a rubber nipple. She poured warm milk into the bottle, fitted the nipple over the top, and handed it to Fern. "Give him his breakfast!" she said.
A minute later, Fern was seated on the floor in the corner of the kitchen with her infant between her knees, teaching it to suck from the bottle. The pig, although tiny, had a good appetite and caught on quickly.
The school bus honked12 from the road.
"Run!" commanded Mrs. Arable, taking the pig from Fern and slipping a doughnut into her hand. Avery grabbed his gun and another doughnut.
The children ran out to the road and climbed into the bus. Fern took no notice of the others in the bus. She just sat and stared out of the window, thinking what a blissful world it was and how lucky she was to have entire charge of a pig. By the time the bus reached school, Fern had named her pet, selecting the most beautiful name she could think of.
"Its name is Wilbur," she whispered to herself.
She was still thinking about the pig when the teacher said: "Fern, what is the capital of Pennsylvania?"
"Wilbur," replied Fern, dreamily. The pupils giggled13. Fern blushed.


1 arable     
  • The terrain changed quickly from arable land to desert.那个地带很快就从耕地变成了沙漠。
  • Do you know how much arable land has been desolated?你知道什么每年有多少土地荒漠化吗?
2 decided     
  • 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。
3 shrieked     
v.尖叫( shriek的过去式和过去分词 )
  • She shrieked in fright. 她吓得尖叫起来。
  • Li Mei-t'ing gave a shout, and Lu Tzu-hsiao shrieked, "Tell what? 李梅亭大声叫,陆子潇尖声叫:“告诉什么? 来自汉英文学 - 围城
4 pitcher     
  • He poured the milk out of the pitcher.他从大罐中倒出牛奶。
  • Any pitcher is liable to crack during a tight game.任何投手在紧张的比赛中都可能会失常。
5 sopping     
adj. 浑身湿透的 动词sop的现在分词形式
  • We are sopping with rain. 我们被雨淋湿了。
  • His hair under his straw hat was sopping wet. 隔着草帽,他的头发已经全湿。 来自汉英文学 - 骆驼祥子
6 sobbed     
哭泣,啜泣( sob的过去式和过去分词 ); 哭诉,呜咽地说
  • She sobbed out the story of her son's death. 她哭诉着她儿子的死。
  • She sobbed out the sad story of her son's death. 她哽咽着诉说她儿子死去的悲惨经过。
7 injustice     
  • They complained of injustice in the way they had been treated.他们抱怨受到不公平的对待。
  • All his life he has been struggling against injustice.他一生都在与不公正现象作斗争。
8 dagger     
  • The bad news is a dagger to his heart.这条坏消息刺痛了他的心。
  • The murderer thrust a dagger into her heart.凶手将匕首刺进她的心脏。
9 miserable     
  • It was miserable of you to make fun of him.你取笑他,这是可耻的。
  • Her past life was miserable.她过去的生活很苦。
10 specimen     
  • You'll need tweezers to hold up the specimen.你要用镊子来夹这标本。
  • This specimen is richly variegated in colour.这件标本上有很多颜色。
11 promptly     
  • He paid the money back promptly.他立即还了钱。
  • She promptly seized the opportunity his absence gave her.她立即抓住了因他不在场给她创造的机会。
12 honked     
v.(使)发出雁叫似的声音,鸣(喇叭),按(喇叭)( honk的过去式和过去分词 )
  • I drove up in front of the house and honked. 我将车开到屋子前面然后按喇叭。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • He honked his horn as he went past. 他经过时按响了汽车喇叭。 来自《简明英汉词典》
13 giggled     
v.咯咯地笑( giggle的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The girls giggled at the joke. 女孩子们让这笑话逗得咯咯笑。
  • The children giggled hysterically. 孩子们歇斯底里地傻笑。 来自《简明英汉词典》
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