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Bruno 布鲁诺
I peeped round the leg of the chair and watched the hundreds of witches' feet walking outthrough the doors of the Ballroom1. When they had all gone and the place was absolutely silent, Ibegan to move cautiously about on the floor. Suddenly I remembered Bruno. He must surely bearound here somewhere, too. "Bruno!" I called out.
I wasn't seriously expecting that I would be able to speak at all now that I had become amouse, so I got the shock of my life when I heard my own voice, my own perfectly2 normal ratherloud voice, coming out of my tiny mouth.
It was wonderful. I was thrilled. I tried it again. "Bruno Jenkins, where are you?" I called out.
"If you can hear me, give a shout!"
My voice was exactly the same and just as loud as it had been when I was a boy. "Hey there,Bruno Jenkins! " I called. "Where are you?"
There was no answer.
I pottered about between the seat-legs trying to get used to being so close to the ground. Idecided I rather liked it. You are probably wondering why I wasn't depressed3 at all. I found myselfthinking, What's so wonderful about being a little boy anyway? Why is that necessarily any betterthan being a mouse? I know that mice get hunted and they sometimes get poisoned or caught in traps.
But little boys sometimes get killed, too. Little boys can be run over by motor-cars or they can die ofsome awful illness. Little boys have to go to school. Mice don't. Mice don't have to pass exams. Micedon't have to worry about money. Mice, as far as I can see, have only two enemies, humans and cats.
My grandmother is a human, but I know for certain that she will always love me whoever I am. Andshe never, thank goodness, keeps a cat. When mice grow up, they don't ever have to go to war andfight against other mice. Mice, I felt pretty certain, all like each other. People don't.
Yes, I told myself, I don't think it is at all a bad thing to be a mouse.
I was wandering around the Ballroom floor thinking about all this when I spotted4 anothermouse. It was crouching5 on the floor holding a piece of bread in its front paws and nibbling6 away at itwith great gusto.
It had to be Bruno. "Hello, Bruno," I said.
He glanced up at me for about two seconds, then went right on guzzling7.
"What have you found?" I asked him.
"One of them dropped it," he answered. "It's a fish-paste sandwich. Pretty good."He too spoke8 with a perfectly normal voice. One would have expected that a mouse (if it wasgoing to talk at all) would do so with the smallest and squeakiest voice you could imagine. It wasterrifically funny to hear the voice of the rather loud-mouthed Bruno coming out of that tiny mouse'sthroat.
"Listen, Bruno," I said. "Now that we are both mice, I think we ought to start thinking a bitabout the future."
He stopped eating and stared at me with small black eyes. "What do you mean we?" he said.
"The fact that you're a mouse has nothing to do with me.""But you're a mouse, too, Bruno."
"Don't be a fool," he said. "I'm not a mouse.""I'm afraid you are, Bruno."
"I most certainly am not!" he shouted. "Why are you insulting me? I haven't been rude to you!
Why do you call me a mouse?"
"Don't you know what's happened to you?" I said.
"What on earth are you talking about?" Bruno said.
"I have to inform you", I said, "that not very long ago the witches turned you into a mouse.
Then they did it to me."
"You're lying!" he cried. "I'm not a mouse!"
"If you hadn't been so busy guzzling that sandwich," I said, "you would have noticed yourhairy paws. Take a look at them."
Bruno looked down at his paws. He jumped. "Good grief!" he cried. "I am a mouse! You waittill my father hears about this!"
"He may think it's an improvement," I said.
"I don't want to be a mouse!" Bruno shouted, jumping up and down. "I refuse to be a mouse!
I'm Bruno Jenkins!"
"There are worse things than being a mouse," I said. "You can live in a hole.""I don't want to live in a hole!" Bruno shouted.
"And you can creep into the larder9 at night," I said, "and nibble10 through all the packets ofraisins and cornflakes and chocolate biscuits and everything else you can find. You can stay there allnight eating yourself silly. That's what mice do.""Now that's a thought," Bruno said, perking11 up a bit. "But how am I going to open the door ofthe fridge to get at the cold chicken and all the leftovers12? That's something I do every evening athome."
"Maybe your rich father will get you a special little mouse-fridge all to yourself," I said. "Onethat you can open."
"You say a witch did this to me?" Bruno said. "Which witch?""The one who gave you the chocolate bar in the hotel lobby yesterday," I told him. "Don't youremember?"
"The filthy13 old cow!" he shouted. 'I'll get her for this! Where is she? Who is she?""Forget it," I said. "You don't have a hope. Your biggest problem at the moment is yourparents. How are they going to take this? Will they treat you with sympathy and kindness?"Bruno considered this for a moment. "I think", he said, "that my father is going to be a bit putout."
"And your mother?"
"She's terrified of mice," Bruno said.
"Then you've got a problem, haven't you?"
"Why only me?" he said. "What about you?"
"My grandmother will understand perfectly," I said."She knows all about witches."Bruno took another bite of his sandwich. "What do you suggest?" he said.
"I suggest we both go first of all and consult my grandmother," I said. "She'll know exactlywhat to do."
I moved towards the doors which were standing14 open. Bruno, still grasping part of thesandwich in one paw, followed after me.
"When we get out into the corridor," I said, "we're going to run like mad. Stick close to thewall all the way and follow me. Do not talk and do not let anyone see you. Don't forget that just aboutanyone who catches sight of you will try to kill you."I snatched the sandwich out of his paw and threw it away. "Here goes," I said. "Keep behindme."



1 ballroom SPTyA     
  • The boss of the ballroom excused them the fee.舞厅老板给他们免费。
  • I go ballroom dancing twice a week.我一个星期跳两次交际舞。
2 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。
3 depressed xu8zp9     
  • When he was depressed,he felt utterly divorced from reality.他心情沮丧时就感到完全脱离了现实。
  • His mother was depressed by the sad news.这个坏消息使他的母亲意志消沉。
4 spotted 7FEyj     
  • The milkman selected the spotted cows,from among a herd of two hundred.牛奶商从一群200头牛中选出有斑点的牛。
  • Sam's shop stocks short spotted socks.山姆的商店屯积了有斑点的短袜。
5 crouching crouching     
v.屈膝,蹲伏( crouch的现在分词 )
  • a hulking figure crouching in the darkness 黑暗中蹲伏着的一个庞大身影
  • A young man was crouching by the table, busily searching for something. 一个年轻人正蹲在桌边翻看什么。 来自汉英文学 - 散文英译
6 nibbling 610754a55335f7412ddcddaf447d7d54     
v.啃,一点一点地咬(吃)( nibble的现在分词 );啃出(洞),一点一点咬出(洞);慢慢减少;小口咬
  • We sat drinking wine and nibbling olives. 我们坐在那儿,喝着葡萄酒嚼着橄榄。
  • He was nibbling on the apple. 他在啃苹果。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
7 guzzling 20d7a51423fd709ed7efe548e2e4e9c7     
v.狂吃暴饮,大吃大喝( guzzle的现在分词 )
  • The kids seem to be guzzling soft drinks all day. 孩子们似乎整天都在猛喝汽水。
  • He's been guzzling beer all evening. 整个晚上他都在狂饮啤酒。 来自《简明英汉词典》
8 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。
9 larder m9tzb     
  • Please put the food into the larder.请将您地食物放进食物柜内。
  • They promised never to raid the larder again.他们答应不再随便开食橱拿东西吃了。
10 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。
11 perking 1beafacd66037f0c7b4b9416f7101809     
(使)活跃( perk的现在分词 ); (使)增值; 使更有趣
  • The weather seems to be perking up. 天气似乎要变好。
  • She is perking herself at mirror. 她正对镜化妆。
12 leftovers AprzGJ     
  • He can do miracles with a few kitchen leftovers.他能用厨房里几样剩饭做出一顿美餐。
  • She made supper from leftovers she had thrown together.她用吃剩的食物拼凑成一顿晚饭。
13 filthy ZgOzj     
  • The whole river has been fouled up with filthy waste from factories.整条河都被工厂的污秽废物污染了。
  • You really should throw out that filthy old sofa and get a new one.你真的应该扔掉那张肮脏的旧沙发,然后再去买张新的。
14 standing 2hCzgo     
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。


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