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CHAPTER XII
 TOMMY PEELE’S FRIENDS STAND UP FOR HIM
Of course Nibble1 Rabbit wouldn’t eat the pile of meal Tommy Peele left for Doctor Muskrat2.
 
But he thought he was going to have a terrible time to keep all those foolish young muskrats3, who were scuttling4 round in the marsh5 trying to start their spring love affairs, from doing it. He forgot that everything around the place where Tommy had set it still smelled of the little boy and his dog. So not another beast dared come near it.
 
Chaik the Jay and Chewee the Chickadee stole a few beakfuls, but Nibble knew Doctor Muskrat wouldn’t mind that. And he wanted company. So he told them all about how Tommy had caught the doctor and let him go again. And how Tommy had thrown away the trap.
 
Chaik raised and lowered his crest6, just as we sometimes do our eyebrows7, when we’re puzzled about anything. “He was lucky,” Chaik said. “I’ve seen beasts suffer in a trap for whole days before they died. And I never heard of any before that got out of one alive. I believe that human is queer. Sometimes I think he’s trying to think the way we woods folk do.”
 
“I know it,” chimed in Chewee. “When it was so terribly cold I was having an awful time. The ice had frozen over the cones8 so I couldn’t even pick a living among the pine trees. And do you know what he did? He tied a big lump of fat pork away out on the end of a springy branch, so that fat house cat couldn’t reach it. Just for me! Wasn’t that clever” And he began hopping9 about in the excited way he has whenever he gets to talking.
 
“Well, he most certainly is trying to make friends with us,” Nibble observed. “Only catching10 us in traps isn’t a very comfortable way of doing it. You fellows will have to help me convince Doctor Muskrat.”
 
Help! He needed it. It was two whole days before the doctor poked12 his head out of the hole where Watch had smashed the crumbly ice. The wise old beast wasn’t using his front door any more.
 
“Come on,” called Nibble cheerfully. “See what Tommy Peele left you to say he was sorry he bit you.”
 
“Not I,” growled13 the doctor. “I’ve had enough of his jaws14.” He spread out his paddle paw. The good roots he stores in his medicine chest had nearly healed it, but his little toe was gone. “I’m going to move away as soon as I can travel.”
 
“Don’t do that,” pleaded Nibble. “If he bit your foot you certainly bit his. Now he doesn’t mean ever to use those jaws again. He threw them into that very hole.”
 
Pop! Down went the doctor to have a look. And his face was mighty15 surprised when it popped up again. “It’s the truth!” he said. “Those jaws are biting the mud. We needn’t worry so long as we can keep an eye on them. Nibble, I’ll just dip a whisker into that present Tommy Peele left for me!”
 
And he liked the meal quite as well as Nibble had—better, in fact. “I tell you what, Nibble,” he said as he stopped for breath, “this was mighty thoughtful of that Man. Now I wonder if he knew that I couldn’t dig or swim with my paw hurting me, because his paw was hurting him? I hope not.”
 
And that was very nice of him, because it was all Tommy’s fault in the beginning. Tommy had deliberately16 set that trap.
 
Chaik the Jay swallowed such a big beakful of meal that he had to crane his neck over it; then he blinked very seriously because Nibble was giggling17 at him. “Do you s’pose we could all trust Tommy the way Nibble can if we all were friends with him?” he demanded.
 
“Of course, of course!” chirped18 the enthusiastic Chickadee.
 
“Hm!” sniffed19 old Doctor Muskrat a bit gruffly, “that sounds very well from you birds. You have wings so you can fly away from him.”
 
“Certainly,” Chaik retorted, “but I’ve never seen him swim.”
 
“Hmm, hmm!” the doctor snorted again. And he hitched20 himself on his three sound legs over to a big stone that had grown warm in the sun and spread himself out flat like a small furry21 rug. He meant to think it over. But he felt so comfortable and full that he fell into a snooze.
 
Nibble was snoozing, too, snuggled up beside him, but he awoke when he heard Tommy’s tall rubber boots splattering through the slush. His father had put a patch on the hole, when he was mending an automobile22 tire, so it was as good as ever. Nibble nudged the doctor and then hurried over to greet Tommy, jumping the splashiest puddles23 and pattering right through the little ones because he didn’t want his friend to think Chaik and Chewee were the only ones who’d take the trouble. And Tommy took an ear of corn out of his pocket and shared it between them.
 
Then Tommy ordered Watch to stay back while he tried to speak to Doctor Muskrat. And the old doctor didn’t flash right into the water—as he really meant to. He sat up, holding his poor paw in front of him, and squinted24 his eyes to get a good look at the little boy. He didn’t even jump when Tommy laid down the other ear of corn, nor when Watch came sneaking25 disobediently up behind him because he wanted to poke11 his nose into what was going on. For Tommy caught him by the fur and pointed26 that inquisitive27 nose straight at the doctor. “There,” he ordered, “take a good smell so you’ll know him again. That’s my muskrat!”
 
And Nibble was so pleased he took a leap and kicked his furry heels so high that Tommy laughed at him. “You’re safe! You’re safe!” he rejoiced. “Isn’t it almost worth being caught for?”
 
And Doctor Muskrat considered his sore paw and then he considered the little boy. And he looked very thoughtful.

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 muskrat G6CzQ     
n.麝香鼠
参考例句:
  • 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。
3 muskrats 3cf03264004bee8c4e5b7a6890ade7af     
n.麝鼠(产于北美,毛皮珍贵)( muskrat的名词复数 )
参考例句:
4 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
5 marsh Y7Rzo     
n.沼泽,湿地
参考例句:
  • There are a lot of frogs in the marsh.沼泽里有许多青蛙。
  • I made my way slowly out of the marsh.我缓慢地走出这片沼泽地。
6 crest raqyA     
n.顶点;饰章;羽冠;vt.达到顶点;vi.形成浪尖
参考例句:
  • The rooster bristled his crest.公鸡竖起了鸡冠。
  • He reached the crest of the hill before dawn.他于黎明前到达山顶。
7 eyebrows a0e6fb1330e9cfecfd1c7a4d00030ed5     
眉毛( eyebrow的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • Eyebrows stop sweat from coming down into the eyes. 眉毛挡住汗水使其不能流进眼睛。
  • His eyebrows project noticeably. 他的眉毛特别突出。
8 cones 1928ec03844308f65ae62221b11e81e3     
n.(人眼)圆锥细胞;圆锥体( cone的名词复数 );球果;圆锥形东西;(盛冰淇淋的)锥形蛋卷筒
参考例句:
  • In the pines squirrels commonly chew off and drop entire cones. 松树上的松鼠通常咬掉和弄落整个球果。 来自辞典例句
  • Many children would rather eat ice cream from cones than from dishes. 许多小孩喜欢吃蛋卷冰淇淋胜过盘装冰淇淋。 来自辞典例句
9 hopping hopping     
n. 跳跃 动词hop的现在分词形式
参考例句:
  • The clubs in town are really hopping. 城里的俱乐部真够热闹的。
  • I'm hopping over to Paris for the weekend. 我要去巴黎度周末。
10 catching cwVztY     
adj.易传染的,有魅力的,迷人的,接住
参考例句:
  • 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。
11 poke 5SFz9     
n.刺,戳,袋;vt.拨开,刺,戳;vi.戳,刺,捅,搜索,伸出,行动散慢
参考例句:
  • We never thought she would poke her nose into this.想不到她会插上一手。
  • Don't poke fun at me.别拿我凑趣儿。
12 poked 87f534f05a838d18eb50660766da4122     
v.伸出( poke的过去式和过去分词 );戳出;拨弄;与(某人)性交
参考例句:
  • She poked him in the ribs with her elbow. 她用胳膊肘顶他的肋部。
  • His elbow poked out through his torn shirt sleeve. 他的胳膊从衬衫的破袖子中露了出来。 来自《简明英汉词典》
13 growled 65a0c9cac661e85023a63631d6dab8a3     
v.(动物)发狺狺声, (雷)作隆隆声( growl的过去式和过去分词 );低声咆哮着说
参考例句:
  • \"They ought to be birched, \" growled the old man. 老人咆哮道:“他们应受到鞭打。” 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He growled out an answer. 他低声威胁着回答。 来自《简明英汉词典》
14 jaws cq9zZq     
n.口部;嘴
参考例句:
  • The antelope could not escape the crocodile's gaping jaws. 那只羚羊无法从鱷鱼张开的大口中逃脱。
  • The scored jaws of a vise help it bite the work. 台钳上有刻痕的虎钳牙帮助它紧咬住工件。
15 mighty YDWxl     
adj.强有力的;巨大的
参考例句:
  • A mighty force was about to break loose.一股巨大的力量即将迸发而出。
  • The mighty iceberg came into view.巨大的冰山出现在眼前。
16 deliberately Gulzvq     
adv.审慎地;蓄意地;故意地
参考例句:
  • The girl gave the show away deliberately.女孩故意泄露秘密。
  • They deliberately shifted off the argument.他们故意回避这个论点。
17 giggling 2712674ae81ec7e853724ef7e8c53df1     
v.咯咯地笑( giggle的现在分词 )
参考例句:
  • We just sat there giggling like naughty schoolchildren. 我们只是坐在那儿像调皮的小学生一样的咯咯地傻笑。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • I can't stand her giggling, she's so silly. 她吃吃地笑,叫我真受不了,那样子傻透了。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
18 chirped 2d76a8bfe4602c9719744234606acfc8     
鸟叫,虫鸣( chirp的过去式 )
参考例句:
  • So chirped fiber gratings have broad reflection bandwidth. 所以chirped光纤光栅具有宽的反射带宽,在反射带宽内具有渐变的群时延等其它类型的光纤光栅所不具备的特点。
  • The crickets chirped faster and louder. 蟋蟀叫得更欢了。
19 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》
20 hitched fc65ed4d8ef2e272cfe190bf8919d2d2     
(免费)搭乘他人之车( hitch的过去式和过去分词 ); 搭便车; 攀上; 跃上
参考例句:
  • They hitched a ride in a truck. 他们搭乘了一辆路过的货车。
  • We hitched a ride in a truck yesterday. 我们昨天顺便搭乘了一辆卡车。
21 furry Rssz2D     
adj.毛皮的;似毛皮的;毛皮制的
参考例句:
  • 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。
22 automobile rP1yv     
n.汽车,机动车
参考例句:
  • He is repairing the brake lever of an automobile.他正在修理汽车的刹车杆。
  • The automobile slowed down to go around the curves in the road.汽车在路上转弯时放慢了速度。
23 puddles 38bcfd2b26c90ae36551f1fa3e14c14c     
n.水坑, (尤指道路上的)雨水坑( puddle的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • The puddles had coalesced into a small stream. 地面上水洼子里的水汇流成了一条小溪。
  • The road was filled with puddles from the rain. 雨后路面到处是一坑坑的积水。 来自《简明英汉词典》
24 squinted aaf7c56a51bf19a5f429b7a9ddca2e9b     
斜视( squint的过去式和过去分词 ); 眯着眼睛; 瞟; 从小孔或缝隙里看
参考例句:
  • Pulling his rifle to his shoulder he squinted along the barrel. 他把枪顶肩,眯起眼睛瞄准。
  • I squinted through the keyhole. 我从锁眼窥看。
25 sneaking iibzMu     
a.秘密的,不公开的
参考例句:
  • She had always had a sneaking affection for him. 以前她一直暗暗倾心于他。
  • She ducked the interviewers by sneaking out the back door. 她从后门偷偷溜走,躲开采访者。
26 pointed Il8zB4     
adj.尖的,直截了当的
参考例句:
  • He gave me a very sharp pointed pencil.他给我一支削得非常尖的铅笔。
  • She wished to show Mrs.John Dashwood by this pointed invitation to her brother.她想通过对达茨伍德夫人提出直截了当的邀请向她的哥哥表示出来。
27 inquisitive s64xi     
adj.求知欲强的,好奇的,好寻根究底的
参考例句:
  • Children are usually inquisitive.小孩通常很好问。
  • A pat answer is not going to satisfy an inquisitive audience.陈腔烂调的答案不能满足好奇的听众。


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