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英语故事 Professor Fox

Upon the river bank on a cozy spot overshadowed by a huge bush, lived a tortoise with her three infants. The tiny tots, round and soft, soon attracted the attention of a fox who lived in the forest that spread along the riverbank.

One morning the tortoise and the fox met. The fox greeted the tortoise most affably and asked – as though purely out of courtesy – “Madame Tortoise, how is it that nowadays I don’t see you as often as I used to?”

“Mr. Fox, a lover of nature I am indeed, but I have hardly any more time to roam about in our beautiful forest now that I have three toddlers to look after,” replied the tortoise.

“I am glad that you take your young ones so seriously. What an ideal mother you make! But tell me, what are you going to do about their education?” asked the tortoise.

“ Education?” fumbled the tortoise. “Well, to be frank, I had never given any thought to that? ?

“ I thought so. That is where most of the mothers err,” observed the fox gravely. “They pamper their kids and that is almost all that they do. Then they look on helplessly as the young ones grow up into the same stupid beings as themselves. I shudder to think of the future of our forest which once prided herself on her scholarly animals,” the fox remarked and sighed.

The tortoise grew very thoughtful. She implored the fox to shed some light on the prospect of educating her kids.

The fox said, “You see, I have given up my professorship long ago. All my students are now holding prestigious positions in the forest, in the service of King Lion. However, since you are my neighbor, I can undertake to educate your children. Come on, hand them over to me.”

So the tortoise led her young ones to the residence of the fox, which was a spacious hole a furlong away, and returned to her bush, sad at her heart but beaming with hope.

That very night the fox ate up one of the infants. When the mother tortoise went to look them up the next day, he brought the remaining two out of his hole and then led them back and brought out one of them again. The mother tortoise ambled home happily.

She paid them a visit again the second day. Although there was only one toddler surviving, the fox brought it out three times and she returned satisfied.

But of course the fox had nothing to show to the mother tortoise the third day. He therefore promptly explained away her children’s absence by saying that they had been sent to his elder brother, who happened to be the retired director of public instruction in the forest, for higher education.

On her way home, she met a crow, who asked her derisively, “At what price did you sell your kids to the fox?”

“ Sell?” she scoffed. “If is for their education, my dear crow, and because I have been keeping the future of the forest in mind I have entrusted my boys to Professor Fox? ? she said proudly.

The crow gave out a whoopee which could either be a laugh or a cry. Then, facing the bewildered tortoise, he told her what he had seen the sly fox do to her young ones.

The tortoise, mad with fury, went to confront the fox. But he slipped away easily. The tortoise could do nothing more than curse him for a full hour while the fox quietly listened to her from a safe distance with a villainous grin on his face.

But the tortoise was determined to take her revenge. One day, while the fox was crossing the river, she swam underwater and caught one of his legs. But the sly fox giggled and said, “What fun! How confidently the tortoise bites a stick of bamboo thinking that it is my leg? ?

The tortoise let go of the fox’s leg at once and the fox jumped to shore. Only then did the tortoise kept up her vigil. When the fox reappeared on the riverbank, she swam close to the surface of the water, waiting to catch him when he went in again. But the fox waited. After a long time the tortoise floated up to see what the fox was doing. At once the fox hopped on her back and in another bounce crossed to the other side.

This was too much! The tortoise swam back to her shelter and, hiding herself from others, shed bitter tears.

“I can understand your agony,” said a hoarse but kind voice. The tortoise looked up. It was the crow.

“I will help you to punish the wicked fox. Now, do as I say. While I sat on the queen’s window this morning, I heard that she is coming to bathe in the river this evening, for there is going to be a full moon. As soon as the queen is neck-deep in the water, swim near her stealthily and hang on to her necklace. As soon as she does that, slip away and see what happens thereafter, ” said the crow.

The tortoise agreed to do as advised.

Soon after moonrise the queen, accompanied by maids, reached the river. Her bodyguards waited near her bejeweled palanquin, a few yards away from the riverbank.

As soon as the queen was neck-deep in the water, the tortoise swam towards her and hung on to her diamond necklace. The horrified queen tore the necklace off her neck and, although the tortoise slipped away instantly, gave out a shriek and hurled the necklace onto the bank. Immediately the crow swooped down and, picking up the necklace, flew away.

The queen’s maid raised a hue and cry. At that the bodyguard rushed to the bank and, in the bright moonlight, saw the crow flying away with the necklace, the diamond beads glittering like a garland of stars. They ran after the crow raising their clubs and swords and shouting in order to scare it into dropping the precious ornament.

But the crow flew on undaunted, neither too fast nor too high, but always beyond the reach of the arms of the bodyguards, till he reached the place where the fox lived. He then dropped the necklace into the hole, in full sight of the queen’s men, and flew away to the safety of a tall tree.

The bodyguards surrounded the hole and one of them thrust his sword into it. When the scared fox leapt out, the guards lost no time in bringing down their heavy clubs on his back. He fell dead, but not before giving out a loud howl which the tortoise could hear from the river.

Even before the guards had had time to return the necklace to the queen, the crow had triumphantly end of Professor Fox!

原文链接:http://www.learnenglishwithmate.com/english-story/yingyugushiprofessorfox/,转载请注明出处。

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