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CHAPTER I
 WHY NIBBLE1 BUNNY WAS PUZZLED
You remember all the funny things Nibble heard about Man from the guests who came to his Storm Party. That was the time the Big Hollow Oak blew down, and the brave little bunny who lived at Doctor Muskrat’s Pond rescued all the poor homeless folk who had been shaken out of it. He showed them the way to a fine little tent all made of cornstalks out in the Broad Field.
 
It was so nice and snug2 and comfortable, the minute they tucked their tails inside it, and caught their breaths, and sleeked3 down their fur and their feathers, they forgot all about how the Terrible Storm was having a tantrum outside. They had plenty of room to dance, and plenty of corn for refreshments—why, the party was as big a success as if they’d held it in a hired hall with engraved4 invitations.
 
But the most fun they had was talking about folks like you and me. And if you’d laid an ear to a crack before the wind tucked the snow blanket all around them, you wouldn’t have been very much flattered by what they said, either.
 
You might have overheard the bats insisting that Man looked like a frog. (You might say that about some folks, of course, but certainly not about you or me.) You’d prob’ly have heard the partridge say that Man was brown and wrinkly, like Grandpop Snapping-Turtle. (The man they saw certainly must have worn some funny clothes.) Chatter5 Squirrel said Man was pink and tan. (His pink was sunburn—the kind the fellows get down at the swimming-hole.)
 
Everyone just knew that everyone else was wrong. Then Gimlet Woodpecker insisted Man came as many shapes and sizes and colours as the flowers. And then they didn’t know what to think. There were just two things they all agreed on: he didn’t have a tail, and—he was dangerous. Nibble didn’t say anything, ’cause he’d never seen one.
 
But the first time he set eyes on Tommy Peele, he made up his mind they were all wrong—excepting about the tail. The little boy looked to him like a red-wing blackbird. (That was ’cause Tommy had on his new red mittens6 and his dark blue sweater and his shiny rubber boots.) But dangerous? He certainly didn’t look it. Still—when Silvertip the Fox only caught a glimpse of him, he turned tail and ran.
 
So Nibble made up his mind to copy the mouse motto: “Say nothing and stay cautious.” At least that’s what he thought he was—too cautious for anything. Wasn’t it perfectly8 safe and proper to dig into that queer lair9 where the mice were holding a party of their own? Wasn’t it nice and dark as his own hole? And nobody could possibly see him.
 
How was a bunny to know it was a soapbox? Or that it was part of a “figger-four” trap? Or that Tommy had set it ’specially for him?
 
You see he hadn’t been caught. He’d dug into it on purpose, because those nice little mice had invited him. And there the three of them were busy feasting when they heard the clump10! clump! clump! of the clumsy hind11 paws of that little boy.
 
“Mice,” he said, “it’s that Man!”
 
Before he could twiddle a tail, Tommy’s red mitten7 was across the hole, and Tommy’s bare pink paw was closing on—the lady mouse. Then things began to fly!
 
Nibble was among them. He flew to the next little cornstalk tent, his heart thumping12 faster than his paws. “They were all of them right!” he gasped13. “That Man is dangerous—dangerous as Silvertip himself. Poor Satin-skin! I s’pose that’s the end of her.”
 
He never thought of saying, “Poor Tommy Peele!” But Tommy was the right one to feel sorry for. Satin-skin had closed her little needle teeth on his finger. And before Nibble had taken a long breath he heard a voice squeaking14, “Weeak! weeak! weeak!” which is mouse for, “I’m lost! Where are you?”
 
“Here!” he thumped15 with both hind feet. And who should come scuttling16 in but Satin-skin herself? He could feel her tremble all over as she tried to squirm right under him.
 
“My ears!” Nibble exclaimed. “I thought that Man had caught you!”
 
“No, I caught him!” wept the little lady mouse. “But he shook me so hard I was scared to let go again. And when I did, he sent me tail over ears. I tell you, it was awful! wee-eeak!”
 
“Shh! he’ll hear you,” Nibble warned. “There, your head will stop whirling pretty soon.” He knew just how she felt, ’cause he’d felt the same way himself—the time he tumbled off the back of that Red Cow he took for a log when Silvertip was chasing him.
 
But Tommy wasn’t even thinking about Satin-skin, let alone listening for her. He stamped his tall rubber boots and sucked his poor nipped finger. “Funniest thing!” he wondered to himself. “I just know there was a rabbit in that trap. I saw him go in there. I don’t guess it’s very much good. I’ll try the pitcher-wire.”
 
So he pulled on his red mitten and tramped off to the path in the bushes by the fence he’d seen Nibble slip through. This time he bent17 down a springy sapling and tied a loop of wire to the tip of it—the soft kind you use to hang pictures. And he pegged18 the lower edge of the loop across Nibble’s pathway.
 

点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 nibble DRZzG     
n.轻咬,啃;v.一点点地咬,慢慢啃,吹毛求疵
参考例句:
  • Inflation began to nibble away at their savings.通货膨胀开始蚕食他们的存款。
  • The birds cling to the wall and nibble at the brickwork.鸟儿们紧贴在墙上,啄着砖缝。
2 snug 3TvzG     
adj.温暖舒适的,合身的,安全的;v.使整洁干净,舒适地依靠,紧贴;n.(英)酒吧里的私房
参考例句:
  • He showed us into a snug little sitting room.他领我们走进了一间温暖而舒适的小客厅。
  • She had a small but snug home.她有个小小的但很舒适的家。
3 sleeked f8a4e4d1b21d56048774a24a183ea5e9     
使…光滑而发亮( sleek的过去式 )
参考例句:
  • He sleeked down his hair with water before going out. 他出门之前用水将头发梳整得很光亮。
  • He sleeked back his hair with water before going in to meet her. 他进去见她之前,用水将头发梳理得很光亮。
4 engraved be672d34fc347de7d97da3537d2c3c95     
v.在(硬物)上雕刻(字,画等)( engrave的过去式和过去分词 );将某事物深深印在(记忆或头脑中)
参考例句:
  • The silver cup was engraved with his name. 银杯上刻有他的名字。
  • It was prettily engraved with flowers on the back. 此件雕刻精美,背面有花饰图案。 来自《简明英汉词典》
5 chatter BUfyN     
vi./n.喋喋不休;短促尖叫;(牙齿)打战
参考例句:
  • Her continuous chatter vexes me.她的喋喋不休使我烦透了。
  • I've had enough of their continual chatter.我已厌烦了他们喋喋不休的闲谈。
6 mittens 258752c6b0652a69c52ceed3c65dbf00     
不分指手套
参考例句:
  • Cotton mittens will prevent the baby from scratching his own face. 棉的连指手套使婴儿不会抓伤自己的脸。
  • I'd fisted my hands inside their mittens to keep the fingers warm. 我在手套中握拳头来保暖手指。
7 mitten aExxv     
n.连指手套,露指手套
参考例句:
  • There is a hole in the thumb of his mitten.他的手套的姆指上有个洞。
  • He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said "Take me to where you live.I want to see your brother and meet your parents".他一手接过她的钱,一手抓起她的连指手套,“带我去你住的地方,我想见见你的弟弟和你的父母。
8 perfectly 8Mzxb     
adv.完美地,无可非议地,彻底地
参考例句:
  • The witnesses were each perfectly certain of what they said.证人们个个对自己所说的话十分肯定。
  • Everything that we're doing is all perfectly above board.我们做的每件事情都是光明正大的。
9 lair R2jx2     
n.野兽的巢穴;躲藏处
参考例句:
  • How can you catch tiger cubs without entering the tiger's lair?不入虎穴,焉得虎子?
  • I retired to my lair,and wrote some letters.我回到自己的躲藏处,写了几封信。
10 clump xXfzH     
n.树丛,草丛;vi.用沉重的脚步行走
参考例句:
  • A stream meandered gently through a clump of trees.一条小溪从树丛中蜿蜒穿过。
  • It was as if he had hacked with his thick boots at a clump of bluebells.仿佛他用自己的厚靴子无情地践踏了一丛野风信子。
11 hind Cyoya     
adj.后面的,后部的
参考例句:
  • The animal is able to stand up on its hind limbs.这种动物能够用后肢站立。
  • Don't hind her in her studies.不要在学业上扯她后腿。
12 thumping hgUzBs     
adj.重大的,巨大的;重击的;尺码大的;极好的adv.极端地;非常地v.重击(thump的现在分词);狠打;怦怦地跳;全力支持
参考例句:
  • Her heart was thumping with emotion. 她激动得心怦怦直跳。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • He was thumping the keys of the piano. 他用力弹钢琴。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
13 gasped e6af294d8a7477229d6749fa9e8f5b80     
v.喘气( gasp的过去式和过去分词 );喘息;倒抽气;很想要
参考例句:
  • She gasped at the wonderful view. 如此美景使她惊讶得屏住了呼吸。
  • People gasped with admiration at the superb skill of the gymnasts. 体操运动员的高超技艺令人赞叹。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
14 squeaking 467e7b45c42df668cdd7afec9e998feb     
v.短促地尖叫( squeak的现在分词 );吱吱叫;告密;充当告密者
参考例句:
  • Squeaking floorboards should be screwed down. 踏上去咯咯作响的地板应用螺钉钉住。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Can you hear the mice squeaking? 你听到老鼠吱吱叫吗? 来自《简明英汉词典》
15 thumped 0a7f1b69ec9ae1663cb5ed15c0a62795     
v.重击, (指心脏)急速跳动( thump的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • Dave thumped the table in frustration . 戴夫懊恼得捶打桌子。
  • He thumped the table angrily. 他愤怒地用拳捶击桌子。
16 scuttling 56f5e8b899fd87fbaf9db14c025dd776     
n.船底穿孔,打开通海阀(沉船用)v.使船沉没( scuttle的现在分词 );快跑,急走
参考例句:
  • I could hear an animal scuttling about in the undergrowth. 我可以听到一只动物在矮树丛中跑来跑去。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • First of all, scuttling Yu Lung (this yuncheng Hejin) , flood discharge. 大禹首先凿开龙门(今运城河津市),分洪下泄。 来自互联网
17 bent QQ8yD     
n.爱好,癖好;adj.弯的;决心的,一心的
参考例句:
  • He was fully bent upon the project.他一心扑在这项计划上。
  • We bent over backward to help them.我们尽了最大努力帮助他们。
18 pegged eb18fad4b804ac8ec6deaf528b06e18b     
v.用夹子或钉子固定( peg的过去式和过去分词 );使固定在某水平
参考例句:
  • They pegged their tent down. 他们钉好了账篷。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • She pegged down the stairs. 她急忙下楼。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》


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