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首页 » 儿童英文小说 » Nibble Rabbit Makes More Friends13章节 » CHAPTER VIII
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Lipity, lipity, lipity, Nibble1 Rabbit hopped2 down the long lane from Tommy Peele’s red barn. He was in a dreadful hurry to get home to the Woods and Fields.
Out in the Snowy Pasture the wind blew cold. The Red Cow stood with her back to it, looking very sad and thoughtful, but she spoke3 to Nibble politely, for she’d found her temper again. Pretty soon he was passing the cornstalk tents in the Broad Field, but one of them smelled so foxy that he didn’t wait there for Silvertip to come back. Now he was in the Clover Patch. He stole past the oak that blew down in the Terrible Storm, and around the Brush Pile. Then he went straight for his own old hole.
How he had dreamed of it when Tommy had him in that cage! No one had been there since the Terrible Storm, for the doorway4 was drifted shut. So in he popped. And then he almost popped right out again, for there was someone in it.
Yes, someone was in his very own home, and he couldn’t tell who. But it was someone with a nice clovery breath, like White Cow’s, so Nibble thought he couldn’t be dangerous. “Here!” he called. “Whoever you are, wake up! This hole is mine!”
But Someone never answered.
He felt Someone’s warm fur, listened to Someone’s breathing. He touched Someone’s fat side with his paw. Then he tried to shake Someone by the scruff of his neck, but Someone was much too big for him. And Someone wouldn’t wake.
Nibble cocked his head on one side and thought about it. Then he tried a few experiments. At last he said: “Very well. There’s plenty of room for both of us in here. I don’t know but we’ll both be more comfortable. But you just remember when you do wake up that this hole is really mine.” Someone just slept on. But Nibble didn’t care, for he made a perfectly5 lovely foot-warmer.
The next morning Nibble brushed the sleep out of his eyes with his furry6 paws and nudged Someone. “Come along,” he urged. “We’ll hunt some breakfast.” For it was the dark of the moon when rabbits feed at early dawn and dusk. They prefer moonlight at other times. “I’ll get him out,” he thought, “and have a look at him.”
Someone only made a little sucking noise as though he were eating something perfectly delicious in his dream, and went on sleeping.
“You’re a funny beast,” said Nibble, right out loud. “I’m going to ask Doctor Muskrat7 about you.” Someone slept right on. So off Nibble set for the pond among the cattails. And all the breakfast he found along the way was some coarse grass, very dry and wind-whipped, and the dry brown seed heads of yarrow. And that wasn’t much after the wonderful breakfast Tommy had given him.
Everything was all changed. The cattails were drifted waist deep in snow, and the pond was all ice, so he could walk right up to Doctor Muskrat’s house in the middle of it. He thumped8 No answer. He thumped again, and then he danced as hard as he could on top of it. He was having a very busy time, all by himself, when he heard Doctor Muskrat’s gruff voice calling, “Who’s that? What do you think you’re trying to do, anyway?”
Nibble flashed about and saw the doctor’s tousled head poking9 from a hole among the cattails. “Good morning,” he said politely, “I was just looking for your front door.”
“Well, you’ll find it here, over this warm spring—the one spot in the pond that doesn’t freeze shut, so I always have a place to come for a breath of fresh air.” The old doctor was puffing10 as he made his way through the crusty hillocks between the bulrush stems. “Duck me, but it’s Nibble! Dear, dear! What did you want? You aren’t ill?” And he was all ready to dive back after one of his famous roots.
“No, indeed, but you know everything,” Nibble began confidently. “Won’t you please tell me who’s asleep in my home hole and won’t wake up?” And he told all about it.
“Hm!” Doctor Muskrat wriggled11 his nose thoughtfully, much as any nice old gentleman will when his spectacles are pulled too far down on it. “It sounds to me—it most certainly sounds to me like that fat old bluffer12, Snoof Woodchuck.”
Nibble’s ears pricked13. “Does he bite?” he asked anxiously.
“Oh, no,” Doctor Muskrat reassured14 him. “He’s a harmless old crank, and a strict vegetarian15, though the garter snakes say he’s a snappish fellow before he completely wakes up in the spring. Who wouldn’t be, with their perpetual whispering and squirming? He lets it out that he’s a kind of hermit16, and sits meditating17 in his hole, with his eye on the weather, but I’ve always suspected he was snoozing. On the day after the first February moon casts her shadow, he pretends to come out and deliver his opinion. Though I never knew any one who really saw him.”
Even People know the story. They call it Groundhog Day. And “Groundhog” is just a rude nickname for the woodchuck. Though how any one but the woodsfolk came to hear about it is a mystery.
“I’ll bet you a sassafras root,” went on the doctor contemptuously, “that lazy old skeezicks never wakes up a day before Tad Coon.”
“But if everybody thinks he does,” Nibble objected, “there must be something behind it.”
“There is,” Doctor Muskrat agreed. “There’s a lot of talk, and he’s the one who starts it, too. It would make you sick to hear him straddling around after the frost is out of the ground saying ‘I told you so. I told you it would be bad weather, or good weather,’ whichever it has happened to be. But I never saw any one who had heard him say it.”
“Well,” Nibble insisted, “why doesn’t someone keep watch and tell on him?”
Doctor Muskrat shook his head. “If you didn’t keep watch so that everyone would know they’d go right on believing him. And if you did that, and he did wake up, the joke would be on you. And that’s never any fun.”
Well, that certainly kept Nibble quiet for a little while. He was thinking. Pretty soon his nose began to wrinkle and his eyes hid like little pinpoints18, deep in his fur. He was trying so hard not to laugh. “Doctor Muskrat,” said he, “how soon is that February moon?”
Doctor Muskrat waddled19 up the bank and took a nip of willow20 stem. “Grubs and clam21 shells!” he exclaimed in surprise. “Sap’s stirring. Why, it’s only the hatching of an egg away. [That’s two weeks as the woodsfolk count time.] Nibble,” he added curiously22, “I believe you’re smelling something.”
“I am,” Nibble chuckled23. “I’m smelling a wonderful joke. Half of it will be on that old snoozer in my hole and the other half will be—who’ll the other half be on?”
“There aren’t many folks out,” answered the doctor, telling them off on his paw. “There’s Chewee the Chickadee, Chaik the Jay, and Gimlet the Woodpecker—you couldn’t possibly fool him —and the fieldmice. The fieldmice! They do nothing but tattle and gossip and they’ll believe anything!”
And Nibble was delighted. “Well, the other half of this joke will be on the fieldmice. Doctor Muskrat, did you ever hear that the fur of a woodchuck woven into a mouse’s nest is a sure charm against an owl’s catching24 them? But it’s got to be plucked the day after the first February moon.”
Doctor Muskrat thought a minute, and then he laughed. He laughed so hard he slapped his tail on the ice, because he saw what Nibble Rabbit was thinking about.


1 nibble DRZzG     
  • 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 hopped 91b136feb9c3ae690a1c2672986faa1c     
跳上[下]( hop的过去式和过去分词 ); 单足蹦跳; 齐足(或双足)跳行; 摘葎草花
  • He hopped onto a car and wanted to drive to town. 他跳上汽车想开向市区。
  • He hopped into a car and drove to town. 他跳进汽车,向市区开去。
3 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
4 doorway 2s0xK     
  • They huddled in the shop doorway to shelter from the rain.他们挤在商店门口躲雨。
  • Mary suddenly appeared in the doorway.玛丽突然出现在门口。
5 perfectly 8Mzxb     
  • 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。
6 furry Rssz2D     
  • This furry material will make a warm coat for the winter.这件毛皮料在冬天会是一件保暖的大衣。
  • Mugsy is a big furry brown dog,who wiggles when she is happy.马格斯是一只棕色大长毛狗,当她高兴得时候她会摇尾巴。
7 muskrat G6CzQ     
  • Muskrat fur almost equals beaver fur in quality.麝鼠皮在质量上几乎和海獭皮不相上下。
  • I saw a muskrat come out of a hole in the ice.我看到一只麝鼠从冰里面钻出来。
8 thumped 0a7f1b69ec9ae1663cb5ed15c0a62795     
v.重击, (指心脏)急速跳动( thump的过去式和过去分词 )
  • 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。
9 poking poking     
n. 刺,戳,袋 vt. 拨开,刺,戳 vi. 戳,刺,捅,搜索,伸出,行动散慢
  • He was poking at the rubbish with his stick. 他正用手杖拨动垃圾。
  • He spent his weekends poking around dusty old bookshops. 他周末都泡在布满尘埃的旧书店里。
10 puffing b3a737211571a681caa80669a39d25d3     
v.使喷出( puff的现在分词 );喷着汽(或烟)移动;吹嘘;吹捧
  • He was puffing hard when he jumped on to the bus. 他跳上公共汽车时喘息不已。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • My father sat puffing contentedly on his pipe. 父亲坐着心满意足地抽着烟斗。 来自《简明英汉词典》
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)
  • 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 bluffer bc4f3543cdc07cf274670aed816f6be1     
  • He is a bluffer, and a screwball, a kind of freak. 他是个吹牛家,是个怪物,是个畸形人。
  • He said she was the best bluffer he'd ever seen. 父亲说母亲是他有生以来见到的出牌高手。
13 pricked 1d0503c50da14dcb6603a2df2c2d4557     
刺,扎,戳( prick的过去式和过去分词 ); 刺伤; 刺痛; 使剧痛
  • The cook pricked a few holes in the pastry. 厨师在馅饼上戳了几个洞。
  • He was pricked by his conscience. 他受到良心的谴责。
14 reassured ff7466d942d18e727fb4d5473e62a235     
adj.使消除疑虑的;使放心的v.再保证,恢复信心( reassure的过去式和过去分词)
  • The captain's confidence during the storm reassured the passengers. 在风暴中船长的信念使旅客们恢复了信心。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • The doctor reassured the old lady. 医生叫那位老妇人放心。 来自《简明英汉词典》
15 vegetarian 7KGzY     
  • She got used gradually to the vegetarian diet.她逐渐习惯吃素食。
  • I didn't realize you were a vegetarian.我不知道你是个素食者。
16 hermit g58y3     
  • He became a hermit after he was dismissed from office.他被解职后成了隐士。
  • Chinese ancient landscape poetry was in natural connections with hermit culture.中国古代山水诗与隐士文化有着天然联系。
17 meditating hoKzDp     
  • They were meditating revenge. 他们在谋划进行报复。
  • The congressman is meditating a reply to his critics. 这位国会议员正在考虑给他的批评者一个答复。
18 pinpoints 42a4e5e5fdaaa77bfc7085fcb54b536a     
准确地找出或描述( pinpoint的第三人称单数 ); 为…准确定位
  • The bombs hit the pinpoints at which they were aimed. 炸弹精确地击中了目标。
  • There's really no point in arguing about pinpoints. 为芝麻绿豆般的小事争论实在毫无意义。
19 waddled c1cfb61097c12b4812327074b8bc801d     
v.(像鸭子一样)摇摇摆摆地走( waddle的过去式和过去分词 )
  • A family of ducks waddled along the river bank. 一群鸭子沿河岸摇摇摆摆地走。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The stout old man waddled across the road. 那肥胖的老人一跩一跩地穿过马路。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
20 willow bMFz6     
  • The river was sparsely lined with willow trees.河边疏疏落落有几棵柳树。
  • The willow's shadow falls on the lake.垂柳的影子倒映在湖面上。
21 clam Fq3zk     
  • Yup!I also like clam soup and sea cucumbers.对呀!我还喜欢蛤仔汤和海参。
  • The barnacle and the clam are two examples of filter feeders.藤壶和蛤类是滤过觅食者的两种例子。
22 curiously 3v0zIc     
  • He looked curiously at the people.他好奇地看着那些人。
  • He took long stealthy strides. His hands were curiously cold.他迈着悄没声息的大步。他的双手出奇地冷。
23 chuckled 8ce1383c838073977a08258a1f3e30f8     
轻声地笑( chuckle的过去式和过去分词 )
  • She chuckled at the memory. 想起这件事她就暗自发笑。
  • She chuckled softly to herself as she remembered his astonished look. 想起他那惊讶的表情,她就轻轻地暗自发笑。
24 catching cwVztY     
  • There are those who think eczema is catching.有人就是认为湿疹会传染。
  • Enthusiasm is very catching.热情非常富有感染力。


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