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CHAPTER XIII
 WISE WORDS FROM A WISE BEAST
Neither Nibble1 Rabbit, nor Chaik Jay, nor Chewee the Chickadee, nor all of them together could make Doctor Muskrat2 say what he thought of Tommy Peele.
 
“No,” he insisted, “I haven’t made up my mind. It’s a safe rule for any beast to do as his kind have done before him, and I never knew any muskrats4 who made friends with a man.”
 
“Nor any man who wanted to be friends with a muskrat, either,” pleaded Nibble. “Tommy Peele’s different.”
 
“That’s the way with men,” said the doctor. “They’re always changing. Only the wild things stay the same.”
 
“What is Man, anyway?” Nibble asked. “He isn’t a bird and he isn’t a fish, and of course he isn’t a snake. But the bats, who came to my storm party in the cornstalk tent, said he couldn’t be a beast because he hadn’t any tail.”
 
“Nonsense!” snorted the doctor. “Tad Coon’s cousin, the bear, hasn’t any more tail than that. What did the bats think he was?”
 
“A kind of a frog,” said Nibble promptly5. “But Chatter6 Squirrel didn’t agree with them.”
 
“A frog! A frog! Had those bats ever seen a man, then? Or a frog, either? Eh?” And the doctor made such a face of disdain7 that his whiskers bristled8 up like a lot of long darning needles on Granny’s fat pin cushion. “Why, a frog is less than a beast and a man—well, there used to be a tale going around when I wasn’t much bigger than Chewee there that Man was kin3 to Mother Nature herself in the very First-Off Beginning.” The old muskrat sank his head back between his shoulders and half closed his eyes.
 
“Go on,” said Nibble breathlessly.
 
“Eh? What?” The doctor came back with a start as though the shadow of an owl9 had passed near him. “I was just thinking about that winter. There was a big family of us the year I was born, for food was very plentiful10. So were minks11. And when my mother thought she heard one sniffing12 close by she’d tell us stories to keep us quiet. Otherwise we wriggled13 around in that dark old house like a lot of tadpoles14, popping in and out of the water until you could almost swim on the very floor, it was so wet from our dripping. And when we got to romping15 we’d squeal16 more than a whole stump17 full of fieldmice.” Nibble couldn’t imagine the dignified18, portly old fellow scuttling19 and squeaking20. A rabbit hole is always very quiet. Because it’s on the ground and so many hunters might hear it if it weren’t.
 
“I just remember,” finished the doctor, “that one of our favourite tales was about how Man quarrelled with Mother Nature in the First-Off Beginning. She was used to the wild things. And most of them, excepting the ones who came up from under the earth, are very obedient. But Man just wouldn’t obey her. And she wouldn’t stand that, because it would be unfair to the rest of us, and because he was kin to her. So she said he could try getting along without her help and see how he liked that. And he certainly surprised her. He——”
 
But that’s as far as the wise old fellow ever got. For right then there came a most startling interruption. And so many brand-new happenings began that I’ll have to write a whole brand-new book to tell about them all.

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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 kin 22Zxv     
n.家族,亲属,血缘关系;adj.亲属关系的,同类的
参考例句:
  • He comes of good kin.他出身好。
  • She has gone to live with her husband's kin.她住到丈夫的亲戚家里去了。
4 muskrats 3cf03264004bee8c4e5b7a6890ade7af     
n.麝鼠(产于北美,毛皮珍贵)( muskrat的名词复数 )
参考例句:
5 promptly LRMxm     
adv.及时地,敏捷地
参考例句:
  • He paid the money back promptly.他立即还了钱。
  • She promptly seized the opportunity his absence gave her.她立即抓住了因他不在场给她创造的机会。
6 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。
7 disdain KltzA     
n.鄙视,轻视;v.轻视,鄙视,不屑
参考例句:
  • Some people disdain labour.有些人轻视劳动。
  • A great man should disdain flatterers.伟大的人物应鄙视献媚者。
8 bristled bristled     
adj. 直立的,多刺毛的 动词bristle的过去式和过去分词
参考例句:
  • They bristled at his denigrating description of their activities. 听到他在污蔑他们的活动,他们都怒发冲冠。
  • All of us bristled at the lawyer's speech insulting our forefathers. 听到那个律师在讲演中污蔑我们的祖先,大家都气得怒发冲冠。
9 owl 7KFxk     
n.猫头鹰,枭
参考例句:
  • Her new glasses make her look like an owl.她的新眼镜让她看上去像只猫头鹰。
  • I'm a night owl and seldom go to bed until after midnight.我睡得很晚,经常半夜后才睡觉。
10 plentiful r2izH     
adj.富裕的,丰富的
参考例句:
  • Their family has a plentiful harvest this year.他们家今年又丰收了。
  • Rainfall is plentiful in the area.这个地区雨量充足。
11 minks f9730ded2a679b4c54bcdc64b15a2252     
n.水貂( mink的名词复数 );水貂皮
参考例句:
  • Fuck like minks, forget the rug rats, and live happily ever after. 我们象水貂一样作爱,忘掉小水貂吧,然后一起幸福生活。 来自互联网
  • They fuck like minks, raise rug rats, and live happily ever after. 他们象水貂一样做爱,再养一堆小水貂,然后一起幸福的生活。 来自互联网
12 sniffing 50b6416c50a7d3793e6172a8514a0576     
n.探查法v.以鼻吸气,嗅,闻( sniff的现在分词 );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:
  • We all had colds and couldn't stop sniffing and sneezing. 我们都感冒了,一个劲地抽鼻子,打喷嚏。
  • They all had colds and were sniffing and sneezing. 他们都伤风了,呼呼喘气而且打喷嚏。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
13 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》
14 tadpoles 1abae2c527b80ebae05cd93670639707     
n.蝌蚪( tadpole的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • The pond teemed with tadpoles. 池子里有很多蝌蚪。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Both fish and tadpoles have gills. 鱼和蝌蚪都有鳃。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
15 romping 48063131e70b870cf3535576d1ae057d     
adj.嬉戏喧闹的,乱蹦乱闹的v.嬉笑玩闹( romp的现在分词 );(尤指在赛跑或竞选等中)轻易获胜
参考例句:
  • kids romping around in the snow 在雪地里嬉戏喧闹的孩子
  • I found the general romping in the living room with his five children. 我发现将军在客厅里与他的五个小孩嬉戏。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
16 squeal 3Foyg     
v.发出长而尖的声音;n.长而尖的声音
参考例句:
  • The children gave a squeal of fright.孩子们发出惊吓的尖叫声。
  • There was a squeal of brakes as the car suddenly stopped.小汽车突然停下来时,车闸发出尖叫声。
17 stump hGbzY     
n.残株,烟蒂,讲演台;v.砍断,蹒跚而走
参考例句:
  • He went on the stump in his home state.他到故乡所在的州去发表演说。
  • He used the stump as a table.他把树桩用作桌子。
18 dignified NuZzfb     
a.可敬的,高贵的
参考例句:
  • Throughout his trial he maintained a dignified silence. 在整个审讯过程中,他始终沉默以保持尊严。
  • He always strikes such a dignified pose before his girlfriend. 他总是在女友面前摆出这种庄严的姿态。
19 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
20 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》


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