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CHAPTER IV
 WHY DOGS LOVE BABIES
“You know how the wolves ate the cows in the First-Off Beginning,” said Watch, after he had taken a sniff1 to make sure Ouphe was still in the haystack. “It was because the Plants just wouldn’t be eaten. And they were too clever to starve.” He settled himself down by Nibble2’s cage.
 
“Yes,” answered Nibble, “and how the good stupid Cows did starve, so Mother Nature had to give them horns because they’d worn all their teeth off.” “Much good did that do them,” sniffed3 Watch. “Horns or no horns, you just ought to see me handle them.” He was very proud of his work, that nice dog.
 
“Well,” he went on, “some of us were terribly ashamed over the way we’d acted. But Mother Nature wouldn’t forgive us. She said if we ever were trusted we’d have to earn it ourselves. She’d never trust us. Her good Beasts wouldn’t have anything to do with us, and we wouldn’t have anything to do with the bad ones because we knew we weren’t as bad as they were. And we got lonely and unhappy—so, of course, we got sulky and snappy, too.
 
“Then the bad Beasts took to calling us ‘Dogs’—and that was a terrible insult in those days. And deep down inside we were very, very sorry—because we did so want to be trusted.
 
“One day a dog was walking all alone in the Forest and he saw the funniest little Creature playing there. It was so funny he sat down on his tail to watch it play. It hadn’t any teeth to speak of, and it hadn’t any hair, but it walked like a little cub4 bear. Just like one. It would stagger along a little ways and then it would sit down—plump! And then it would laugh. So that made the dog prick5 up his ears.
 
“He liked the sound it made when it laughed so much that he stayed there to listen to it. And pretty soon it saw him. But it didn’t run away. It just walked right up to him. And the queerest feeling came over that dog. He was happy, deep down inside him. Because it was trusting him.
 
“So he sat very still. And the little thing walked right up and felt of his teeth, and tried to find out how he winked6 his eyes. And the more it hurt him the better he loved it because then he was sure it was trusting him. And it had the sweetest smell. He put out his tongue and tickled8 it; and, of course, it laughed again. So he found out how to make it laugh whenever he wanted to. And they played out there in the sun and were very happy.
 
“By and by a Man came running up and behind him was a woman. So, of course, that dog knew that he had been playing with their Baby. And he got up and crept away because he knew that least of all they would have trusted him. But the Baby cried and held out its hands for him.
 
“All that night the dog was lonely because he’d lost the little soft thing that laughed and trusted him. And he told the Moon about it. Dogs always tell things to the Moon. And he was the most unhappy dog in the Forest because he’d only learned half of the secret about being trusted.”
 
Here Watch paused to rush at the haystack with a terrible bark because he thought Ouphe was sticking his nose out again. “Wurff!” he cleared his throat. “I’ll catch that fellow some day,” he remarked as he came back to Nibble Rabbit’s cage and sat down again.
 
Nibble was waiting for him with his little feet pressed close to the wires. He wasn’t afraid of any one while that dog was there to talk to him. “Go on, please,” he demanded. “You said its Father and Mother took away the little soft cub who had trusted him. And the poor dog felt lonely.”
 
“Cub? I didn’t say ‘cub,’ Bunny. It was a Baby. My, but you are a green little wild thing.” He smiled again, but this time Nibble wasn’t afraid of the long teeth he showed.
 
“You said it was like a little bear,” Nibble insisted, and he wrinkled up his own nose.
 
“Well, Cub or Puppy or Baby,” the dog went on. “That first dog wanted it the worst way. So he just trailed its people back to where they lived in a cave, and he hid up on top of the cave, where the gray smoke came creeping up through a crack. And sometimes he’d hear it laugh. And nobody thought of looking there for him.
 
“The dog would see the Man go out to hunt, and the Woman go down for water, and he could hear the Baby pattering around inside the cave. And then it would sit down, ‘plump!’ the way it did in the Forest. And then it would laugh again. And the dog’s tongue would just itch9 to tickle7 the Baby.
 
“So on the third day, when the Man went out to hunt and the Woman went down for water, he sneaked10 around to the cave door and first thing he knew he had his tickly tongue on the little soft thing. And his ears were so full of the noises it made that he didn’t hear its mother’s bare feet when she came back. And she threw the first thing that she had in her hand—which was the water—all over him.
 
“Of course that didn’t hurt him. He didn’t exactly like it any more than he liked the Baby’s fingers when they pulled his whiskers, but he never imagined she was fighting. He thought she was playing with him. So he trusted her—which is the whole secret about being trusted.
 
“And then wasn’t he glad. He just rolled around on the cave floor to dry himself—though the cave floor was never very clean. And he wriggled11 and giggled12 over it all. And he gave the Baby a lick with his tickly tongue so it laughed with him. But the Woman just stood there looking at him.
 
“Now, it’s a queer thing, Bunny, but Humans can’t stay angry if they laugh. There was the dog, all sprawly legs and waggly tail, not looking like a wolf at all, and the Baby laughing at him. And the Woman began to laugh, too. ‘You look so funny,’ she said, ‘you’ve got leaves in your whiskers.’ And so they were friends.”

点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 sniff PF7zs     
vi.嗅…味道;抽鼻涕;对嗤之以鼻,蔑视
参考例句:
  • The police used dogs to sniff out the criminals in their hiding - place.警察使用警犬查出了罪犯的藏身地点。
  • When Munchie meets a dog on the beach, they sniff each other for a while.当麦奇在海滩上碰到另一条狗的时候,他们会彼此嗅一会儿。
2 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。
3 sniffed ccb6bd83c4e9592715e6230a90f76b72     
v.以鼻吸气,嗅,闻( sniff的过去式和过去分词 );抽鼻子(尤指哭泣、患感冒等时出声地用鼻子吸气);抱怨,不以为然地说
参考例句:
  • When Jenney had stopped crying she sniffed and dried her eyes. 珍妮停止了哭泣,吸了吸鼻子,擦干了眼泪。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The dog sniffed suspiciously at the stranger. 狗疑惑地嗅着那个陌生人。 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 cub ny5xt     
n.幼兽,年轻无经验的人
参考例句:
  • The lion cub's mother was hunting for what she needs. 这只幼师的母亲正在捕猎。
  • The cub licked the milk from its mother's breast. 这头幼兽吸吮着它妈妈的奶水。
5 prick QQyxb     
v.刺伤,刺痛,刺孔;n.刺伤,刺痛
参考例句:
  • He felt a sharp prick when he stepped on an upturned nail.当他踩在一个尖朝上的钉子上时,他感到剧烈的疼痛。
  • He burst the balloon with a prick of the pin.他用针一戳,气球就爆了。
6 winked af6ada503978fa80fce7e5d109333278     
v.使眼色( wink的过去式和过去分词 );递眼色(表示友好或高兴等);(指光)闪烁;闪亮
参考例句:
  • He winked at her and she knew he was thinking the same thing that she was. 他冲她眨了眨眼,她便知道他的想法和她一样。
  • He winked his eyes at her and left the classroom. 他向她眨巴一下眼睛走出了教室。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
7 tickle 2Jkzz     
v.搔痒,胳肢;使高兴;发痒;n.搔痒,发痒
参考例句:
  • Wilson was feeling restless. There was a tickle in his throat.威尔逊只觉得心神不定。嗓子眼里有些发痒。
  • I am tickle pink at the news.听到这消息我高兴得要命。
8 tickled 2db1470d48948f1aa50b3cf234843b26     
(使)发痒( tickle的过去式和过去分词 ); (使)愉快,逗乐
参考例句:
  • We were tickled pink to see our friends on television. 在电视中看到我们的一些朋友,我们高兴极了。
  • I tickled the baby's feet and made her laugh. 我胳肢孩子的脚,使她发笑。
9 itch 9aczc     
n.痒,渴望,疥癣;vi.发痒,渴望
参考例句:
  • Shylock has an itch for money.夏洛克渴望发财。
  • He had an itch on his back.他背部发痒。
10 sneaked fcb2f62c486b1c2ed19664da4b5204be     
v.潜行( sneak的过去式和过去分词 );偷偷溜走;(儿童向成人)打小报告;告状
参考例句:
  • I sneaked up the stairs. 我蹑手蹑脚地上了楼。
  • She sneaked a surreptitious glance at her watch. 她偷偷看了一眼手表。
11 wriggled cd018a1c3280e9fe7b0169cdb5687c29     
v.扭动,蠕动,蜿蜒行进( wriggle的过去式和过去分词 );(使身体某一部位)扭动;耍滑不做,逃避(应做的事等)
参考例句:
  • He wriggled uncomfortably on the chair. 他坐在椅子上不舒服地扭动着身体。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • A snake wriggled across the road. 一条蛇蜿蜒爬过道路。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
12 giggled 72ecd6e6dbf913b285d28ec3ba1edb12     
v.咯咯地笑( giggle的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • 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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