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CHAPTER VIII. MY STRANGE ADVENTURE
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 Now come the most exciting and in some respects the hardest events of my life thus far.
 
I have told of my great love of music, and have also said that the Dolphin family is a very sociable1 one. Yes, and I could grow fond of Folks, I know, if only they could live in the sea, or I could live on the land. But as neither of these things can be, I must be content with liking2 them at a distance.
 
One afternoon I was full of sport, and felt lively as a cricket. Oh, yes, I know the small, frisky3 fellow you call a cricket, with his little old black legs, and have heard him sing. So on this calm and lovely afternoon I began leaping upward instead of forward, and all at once I heard sounds of music floating across the upper sea. You can believe I floundered alongside, and oh, such sweetness as trilled out into the clear air!
 
The truth was, a great steamer was crossing the Mediterranean4 with a pleasure party on board. What I heard was the music of a brass5 band. My! My! Isn't it enough to delight the heart of any creature that has ears to hear? It actually would make a fish dance.
 
Now I didn't know it, but I made such plunges6 upward that my great dark body could be seen in the clear water, and some sailors began "laying" for me, half suspecting what might happen.
 
Well-a-well, I got so full of music, joy, and friskiness7, that all at once I gave a tremendous jump, and flounced right on to the deck of the fine steamer. Had I not been so utterly8 surprised, I should immediately have flounced back again to my ocean bed "quick shot," as I afterward9 heard a sailor say. But dear, deary me! I hesitated just a moment too long, and when I made a flop10 intending to bounce away, lo! a stout11 rope was about my body, and another about my tail, and I was a prisoner!
 
Then the Folks all gathered about me, and the sailors went laughing off, saying something about "making the fellow's bed."
 
Oh, it was all very strange and unnatural12. And in a few moments I began panting for breath. Just as you would gasp13, if by accident you popped over from a boat into the water. Only you would gasp for want of air, and I was gasping14 from too much of it.
 
But it was not long before I was taken to a side of the vessel15, and after straining and tugging16 with my great weight, I was indeed bounced into water, but when I tried to swim, oh, misery17! what kind of a place was I in?
 
Only a tank, some twenty feet long by fifteen feet wide, filled with sea water!
 
Truth was, there was a man-Folk on board who had caught, and wanted to carry to a great park in some far-distant land, a crocodile. Boo! a great sea-reptile that I wonder any one should want to have around, even as a curiosity. It had been taken from the river Nile in Egypt, much farther up the Mediterranean borders than I had ever been.
 
The crocodile did not live, so I was put into its tank, and that was the "bed" the sailors had made, by filling it with salt water. Shade of my royal grandfathers! how long I could live in such pinching quarters was a question.
 
I was given plenty of herring—so called—and other kinds of fish to eat, and "Folks" visited me about every hour of the day. There were children on the steamer, pretty little dears, that never tired of talking to me, and between them all, passengers, sailors, and the children, I learned how Folks talked, and a great many other things besides.
 
One fine, manly18 little fellow visited me constantly. He was voyaging for his health, and took much pleasure in sitting beside the tank, book in hand, yet watching my movements, and once he said something that made me wish I could talk in the language of Folks. Yet before I tell what it was, I want to say that there was one thing I did not like at all, but was not able to let the Folks know it.
 
The sailors called me "Dolly!" A great name to give a lord of the sea, a fellow bearing the title I owned!
 
The next morning after my capture, a really fine Jack—sailors are all "Jack," you know—came rolling toward my tank, and sang out in sea-breezy fashion:
 
"Hulloo, Dolly-me-dear, how do you find yourself to-day?"
 
I liked his hearty19 manner and cheery voice, but, dear me, I was "Dolly" to every man-Jack on board after that, and to all the others as well.
 
So this dear little man once said to me:
 
"Oh, Dolly, how I wish you could tell me about things under the sea! I know if you could only talk my way, you could tell stories by the hour, and what pleasure it would be to listen."
 
"Stories, indeed, my pretty," I thought, and I did wish I could open my wide mouth and entertain the little fellow with a few sea yarns20. And now that in some way I can make Folks understand me, I only hope that my young steamer friend, among others, will see and enjoy Lord Dolphin's story.
 
Then the lady-Folks were fine, with their pretty dresses, nice manners, and soft voices. But I did so like the children! One cute little nymph of a girl was crazy to get near me, yet nearly scared to pieces if I so much as looked at her. Oh, she was so fair to see, with her golden hair flying back in the breeze, eyes blue as the sky, and her sweet, dimpled face full of smiles!
 
She would come running up to the tank with a great show of courage, crying bravely: "Hi, old Mister Dolly! I'se goin' a-put your great eye out!" But when the eye half-looked at her, off she would scud21, and all I could see was a mass of flying yellow hair, a whisking of snowy skirts, and my little nymph was gone.
 
A dozen times a day she would appear, and as long as I remained under water, she would hover22 near. There was a railing around the tank, which was sunk in, lower than the deck, so she could not fall in, nor could I possibly get out, but as soon as my head began rearing above the water, scoot! little Amy was missing.
 
We had no hard storm while steaming over the bright Mediterranean. But one day the little man, whose name was Roland, said to wee Amy:
 
"Clear day, isn't it?"
 
And Amy replied, woman-fashion, "Yes, booful day, but what sood you do if there comed a big storm, and we all went ricketty, rockerty, and couldn't stand up single minute? Wouldn't you be 'fraid?"
 
"N-o," said Roland, speaking slowly and thoughtfully, "I don't think I should be much afraid, but I should want to keep quiet and think. What should you do?" and he smiled.
 
"Oh, me would say my prayers, and keep a-sayin' them," said the child, soberly, then she added, "and up would go my prayers into the sky, and so I needn't be frightened a bit."
 
Now I don't know in the least what "prayers" mean, but I remembered at once what that other child had done in the storm, and it made me think that the Friend the other little girl trusted lives up in the sky, and can hear when Folks tell that they need help. How lovely! Really, Folks ought to be very thankful for all they know!

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1 sociable hw3wu     
adj.好交际的,友好的,合群的
参考例句:
  • Roger is a very sociable person.罗杰是个非常好交际的人。
  • Some children have more sociable personalities than others.有些孩子比其他孩子更善于交际。
2 liking mpXzQ5     
n.爱好;嗜好;喜欢
参考例句:
  • The word palate also means taste or liking.Palate这个词也有“口味”或“嗜好”的意思。
  • I must admit I have no liking for exaggeration.我必须承认我不喜欢夸大其词。
3 frisky LfNzk     
adj.活泼的,欢闹的;n.活泼,闹着玩;adv.活泼地,闹着玩地
参考例句:
  • I felt frisky,as if I might break into a dance.我感到很欢快,似乎要跳起舞来。
  • His horse was feeling frisky,and he had to hold the reins tightly.马儿欢蹦乱跳,他不得不紧勒缰绳。
4 Mediterranean ezuzT     
adj.地中海的;地中海沿岸的
参考例句:
  • The houses are Mediterranean in character.这些房子都属地中海风格。
  • Gibraltar is the key to the Mediterranean.直布罗陀是地中海的要冲。
5 brass DWbzI     
n.黄铜;黄铜器,铜管乐器
参考例句:
  • Many of the workers play in the factory's brass band.许多工人都在工厂铜管乐队中演奏。
  • Brass is formed by the fusion of copper and zinc.黄铜是通过铜和锌的熔合而成的。
6 plunges 2f33cd11dab40d0fb535f0437bcb9bb1     
n.跳进,投入vt.使投入,使插入,使陷入vi.投入,跳进,陷入v.颠簸( plunge的第三人称单数 );暴跌;骤降;突降
参考例句:
  • Even before he plunges into his program, he has his audience in his pocket. 他的节目甚至还没有出场,就已控制住了观众。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • 'Monseigneur, he precipitated himself over the hill-side, head first, as a person plunges into the river.' “大人,他头冲下跳下山坡去了,像往河里跳一样。” 来自英汉文学 - 双城记
7 friskiness 4e342cb14723320390abaef31871c1c9     
n.活泼,闹着玩
参考例句:
  • The party's new friskiness promises to make life uncomfortable for Angela Merkel, the CDU chancellor. 社民党欣欣向荣的景象一定会让基民盟主席安吉拉?默克尔夫人如坐针毡。 来自互联网
8 utterly ZfpzM1     
adv.完全地,绝对地
参考例句:
  • Utterly devoted to the people,he gave his life in saving his patients.他忠于人民,把毕生精力用于挽救患者的生命。
  • I was utterly ravished by the way she smiled.她的微笑使我完全陶醉了。
9 afterward fK6y3     
adv.后来;以后
参考例句:
  • Let's go to the theatre first and eat afterward. 让我们先去看戏,然后吃饭。
  • Afterward,the boy became a very famous artist.后来,这男孩成为一个很有名的艺术家。
10 flop sjsx2     
n.失败(者),扑通一声;vi.笨重地行动,沉重地落下
参考例句:
  • The fish gave a flop and landed back in the water.鱼扑通一声又跳回水里。
  • The marketing campaign was a flop.The product didn't sell.市场宣传彻底失败,产品卖不出去。
11     
参考例句:
12 unnatural 5f2zAc     
adj.不自然的;反常的
参考例句:
  • Did her behaviour seem unnatural in any way?她有任何反常表现吗?
  • She has an unnatural smile on her face.她脸上挂着做作的微笑。
13 gasp UfxzL     
n.喘息,气喘;v.喘息;气吁吁他说
参考例句:
  • She gave a gasp of surprise.她吃惊得大口喘气。
  • The enemy are at their last gasp.敌人在做垂死的挣扎。
14 gasping gasping     
adj. 气喘的, 痉挛的 动词gasp的现在分词
参考例句:
  • He was gasping for breath. 他在喘气。
  • "Did you need a drink?""Yes, I'm gasping!” “你要喝点什么吗?”“我巴不得能喝点!”
15 vessel 4L1zi     
n.船舶;容器,器皿;管,导管,血管
参考例句:
  • The vessel is fully loaded with cargo for Shanghai.这艘船满载货物驶往上海。
  • You should put the water into a vessel.你应该把水装入容器中。
16 tugging 1b03c4e07db34ec7462f2931af418753     
n.牵引感v.用力拉,使劲拉,猛扯( tug的现在分词 )
参考例句:
  • Tom was tugging at a button-hole and looking sheepish. 汤姆捏住一个钮扣眼使劲地拉,样子显得很害羞。 来自英汉文学 - 汤姆历险
  • She kicked him, tugging his thick hair. 她一边踢他,一边扯着他那浓密的头发。 来自辞典例句
17 misery G10yi     
n.痛苦,苦恼,苦难;悲惨的境遇,贫苦
参考例句:
  • Business depression usually causes misery among the working class.商业不景气常使工薪阶层受苦。
  • He has rescued me from the mire of misery.他把我从苦海里救了出来。
18 manly fBexr     
adj.有男子气概的;adv.男子般地,果断地
参考例句:
  • The boy walked with a confident manly stride.这男孩以自信的男人步伐行走。
  • He set himself manly tasks and expected others to follow his example.他给自己定下了男子汉的任务,并希望别人效之。
19 hearty Od1zn     
adj.热情友好的;衷心的;尽情的,纵情的
参考例句:
  • After work they made a hearty meal in the worker's canteen.工作完了,他们在工人食堂饱餐了一顿。
  • We accorded him a hearty welcome.我们给他热忱的欢迎。
20 yarns abae2015fe62c12a67909b3167af1dbc     
n.纱( yarn的名词复数 );纱线;奇闻漫谈;旅行轶事
参考例句:
  • ...vegetable-dyed yarns. 用植物染料染过色的纱线 来自辞典例句
  • Fibers may be loosely or tightly twisted into yarns. 纤维可以是膨松地或紧密地捻成纱线。 来自辞典例句
21 scud 6DMz5     
n.疾行;v.疾行
参考例句:
  • The helpers came in a scud.救援者飞奔而来。
  • Rabbits scud across the turf.兔子飞快地穿过草地。
22 hover FQSzM     
vi.翱翔,盘旋;徘徊;彷徨,犹豫
参考例句:
  • You don't hover round the table.你不要围着桌子走来走去。
  • A plane is hover on our house.有一架飞机在我们的房子上盘旋。


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