夏洛特的网 Chapter 4
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The next day was rainy and dark. Rain fell on the roof of the barn and dripped steadily1 from the eaves. Rain fell in the barnyard and ran in crooked2 courses down into the lane where thistles and pigweed grew. Rain spattered against Mrs. Zuckerman's kitchen windows and came gushing3 out of the downspouts. Rain fell on the backs of the sheep as they grazed in the meadow. When the sheep tired of standing4 in the rain, they walked slowly up the lane and into the fold.
Rain upset Wilbur's plans. Wilbur had planned to go out, this day, and dig a new hole in his yard. He had other plans, too. His plans for the day went something like this:
Breakfast at six-thirty. Skim milk, crusts, middlings, bits of doughnuts, wheat cakes with drops of maple5 syrup6 sticking to them, potato skins, leftover7 custard pudding with raisins8, and bits of Shredded9 Wheat.
Breakfast would be finished at seven.
From seven to eight, Wilbur planned to have a talk with Templeton, the rat that lived under his trough. Talking with Templeton was not the most interesting occupation in the world but it was better than nothing.
From eight to nine, Wilbur planned to take a nap outdoors in the sun.
From nine to eleven he planned to dig a hole, or trench10, and possibly find something good to eat buried in the dirt.
From eleven to twelve he planned to stand still and watch flies on the boards, watch bees in the clover, and watch swallows in the air.
Twelve o'clock-lunchtime. Middlings, warm water, apple parings, meat gravy11, carrot scrapings, meat scraps13, stale hominy, and the wrapper off a package of cheese. Lunch would be over at one.
From one to two, Wilbur planned to sleep.
From two to three, he planned to scratch itchy places by rubbing against the fence.
From three to four, he planned to stand perfectly14 still and think of what it was like to be alive, and to wait for Fern.
At four would come supper. Skim milk, provender15, leftover sandwich from Lurvy's lunchbox, prune16 skins, a morsel17 of this, a bit of that, fried potatoes, marmalade drippings, a little more of this, a little more of that, a piece of baked apple, a scrap12 of upside down cake.
Wilbur had gone to sleep thinking about these plans. He awoke at six and saw the rain, and it seemed as though he couldn't bear it.
"I get every thing all beautifully planned out and it has to go and rain," he said.
For a while he stood gloomily indoors. Then he walked to the door and looked out. Drops of rain struck his face. His yard was cold and wet. his trough had and inch of rainwater in it. Templeton was nowhere to be seen.
"Are you out there, Templeton?" called Wilbur. There was no answer. Suddenly Wilbur felt lonely and friendless.
"One day just like another," he groaned18. "I'm very young, I have no real friend here in the barn, it's going to rain all morning and all afternoon, and Fern won't come in such bad weather. Oh, honestly!" And Wilbur was crying again, for the second time in two days.
At six-thirty Wilbur heard the banging of a pail. Lurvy was standing outside in the rain, stirring up breakfast.
"C'mon, pig!" said Lurvy.
Wilbur did not budge19. Lurvy dumped the slops, scraped the pail and walked away. He noticed that something was wrong with the pig.
Wilbur didn't want food, he wanted love. He wanted a friend--someone who would play with him. He mentioned this to the goose, who was sitting quietly in a corner of the sheepfold.
"Will you come over and play with me?" he asked.
"Sorry, sonny, sorry," said the goose. "I'm sitting-sitting on my eggs. Eight of them. Got to keep them toasty-oasty-oasty warm. I have to stay right here, I'm no flibberty-ibberty-gibbet. I do not play when there are eggs to hatch. I'm expecting goslings."
"Well, I didn't think you were expecting wood-peckers," said Wilbur, bitterly.
Wilbur next tried one of the lambs.
"Will you please play with me?" he asked.
"Certainly not," said the lamb. "In the first place, I cannot get into your pen, as I am not old enough to jump over the fence. In the second place, I am not interested in pigs. Pigs mean less than nothing to me."#p#分页标题#e#
"What do you mean, less than nothing?" replied Wilbur. "I don't think there is any such thing as less than nothing. Nothing is absolutely the limit of nothingness. It's the lowest you can go. It's the end of the line. How can something be less than nothing? If there were something that was less than nothing, then nothing would not be nothing, it would be something--even though it's just a very little bit of something. But if nothing is nothing, then nothing has nothing that is less than it is."
"Oh, be quiet!" said the lamb. "Go play by yourself! I don't play with pigs.
Sadly, Wilbur lay down and listened to the rain. Soon he saw the rat climbing down a slanting20 board that he used as a stairway.
"Will you play with me, Templeton?" asked Wilbur.
"Play?" said Templeton, twirling his whiskers. "Play? I hardly know the meaning of the word."
"Well," said Wilbur, "it means to have fun, to frolic, to run and skip and make merry."
"I never do those things if I can avoid them, " replied the rat, sourly. "I prefer to spend my time eating, gnawing21, spying, and hiding. I am a glutton22 but not a merry-maker. Right now I am on my way to your trough to eat your breakfast, since you haven't got sense enough to eat it yourself." And Templeton, the rat, crept stealthily along the wall and disappeared into a private tunnel that he had dug between the door and the trough in Wilbur's yard. Templeton was a crafty23 rat, and he had things pretty much his own way. The tunnel was an example of his skill and cunning. The tunnel enabled him to get from the barn to his hiding place under the pig trough without coming out into the open. He had tunnels and runways all over Mr. Zuckerman's farm and could get from one place to another without being seen. Usually he slept during the daytime and was abroad only after dark.
Wilbur watched him disappear into his tunnel. In a moment he saw the rat's sharp nose poke24 out from underneath25 the wooden trough. Cautiously Templeton pulled himself up over the edge of the trough. This was almost more than Wilbur could stand: on this dreary26, rainy day to see his breakfast being eaten by somebody else. He knew Templeton was getting soaked, out there in the pouring rain, but even that didn't comfort him. Friendless, dejected, and hungry, he threw himself down in the manure27 and sobbed28.
Late that afternoon, Lurvy went to Mr. Zuckerman. "I think there's something wrong with that pig of yours. He hasn't touched his food." 
"Give him two spoonfuls of sulphur and a little molasses," said Mr. Zuckerman. 
Wilbur couldn't believe what happening to him when Lurvy caught him and forced the medicine down his throat. This was certainly the worst day of his life. He didn't know whether he could endure the awful loneliness any more. 
Darkness settled over everything. Soon there were only shadows and the noises of the sheep chewing their cuds, and occasionally the rattle29 of a cow-chain up overhead. You can imagine Wilbur's surprise when, out of the darkness, came a small voice he had never heard before. It sounded rather thin, but pleasant. "Do you want a friend, Wilbur?" it said. "I'll be a friend to you. I've watched you all day and I like you." 
"But I can't see you," said Wilbur, jumping to his feet. "Where are you? And who are you?" 
"I'm right up here," said the voice. "Go to sleep. You'll see me in the morning." 


1 steadily     
  • The scope of man's use of natural resources will steadily grow.人类利用自然资源的广度将日益扩大。
  • Our educational reform was steadily led onto the correct path.我们的教学改革慢慢上轨道了。
2 crooked     
  • He crooked a finger to tell us to go over to him.他弯了弯手指,示意我们到他那儿去。
  • You have to drive slowly on these crooked country roads.在这些弯弯曲曲的乡间小路上你得慢慢开车。
3 gushing     
adj.迸出的;涌出的;喷出的;过分热情的v.喷,涌( gush的现在分词 );滔滔不绝地说话
  • blood gushing from a wound 从伤口冒出的血
  • The young mother was gushing over a baby. 那位年轻的母亲正喋喋不休地和婴儿说话。 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 standing     
  • 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。
5 maple     
  • Maple sugar is made from the sap of maple trees.枫糖是由枫树的树液制成的。
  • The maple leaves are tinge with autumn red.枫叶染上了秋天的红色。
6 syrup     
  • I skimmed the foam from the boiling syrup.我撇去了煮沸糖浆上的泡沫。
  • Tinned fruit usually has a lot of syrup with it.罐头水果通常都有许多糖浆。
7 leftover     
  • These narrow roads are a leftover from the days of horse-drawn carriages.这些小道是从马车时代沿用下来的。
  • Wonder if that bakery lets us take leftover home.不知道那家糕饼店会不会让我们把卖剩的带回家。
8 raisins     
n.葡萄干( raisin的名词复数 )
  • These raisins come from Xinjiang,they taste delicious. 这些葡萄干产自新疆,味道很甜。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Mother put some raisins in the cake. 母亲在糕饼中放了一些葡萄干。 来自辞典例句
9 shredded     
  • Serve the fish on a bed of shredded lettuce. 先铺一层碎生菜叶,再把鱼放上,就可以上桌了。
  • I think Mapo beancurd and shredded meat in chilli sauce are quite special. 我觉得麻婆豆腐和鱼香肉丝味道不错。 来自《简明英汉词典》
10 trench     
  • The soldiers recaptured their trench.兵士夺回了战壕。
  • The troops received orders to trench the outpost.部队接到命令在前哨周围筑壕加强防卫。
11 gravy     
  • You have spilled gravy on the tablecloth.你把肉汁泼到台布上了。
  • The meat was swimming in gravy.肉泡在浓汁之中。
12 scrap     
  • A man comes round regularly collecting scrap.有个男人定时来收废品。
  • Sell that car for scrap.把那辆汽车当残品卖了吧。
13 scraps     
  • Don't litter up the floor with scraps of paper. 不要在地板上乱扔纸屑。
  • A patchwork quilt is a good way of using up scraps of material. 做杂拼花布棉被是利用零碎布料的好办法。
14 perfectly     
  • 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。
15 provender     
  • It is a proud horse that will bear his own provender.再高傲的马也得自己驮草料。
  • The ambrosial and essential part of the fruit is lost with the bloom which is rubbed off in the market cart,and they become mere provender.水果的美味和它那本质的部分,在装上了车子运往市场去的时候,跟它的鲜一起给磨损了,它变成了仅仅是食品。
16 prune     
  • Will you prune away the unnecessary adjectives in the passage?把这段文字中不必要的形容词删去好吗?
  • It is our job to prune the side branches of these trees.我们的工作就是修剪这些树的侧枝。
17 morsel     
  • He refused to touch a morsel of the food they had brought.他们拿来的东西他一口也不吃。
  • The patient has not had a morsel of food since the morning.从早上起病人一直没有进食。
18 groaned     
v.呻吟( groan的过去式和过去分词 );发牢骚;抱怨;受苦
  • He groaned in anguish. 他痛苦地呻吟。
  • The cart groaned under the weight of the piano. 大车在钢琴的重压下嘎吱作响。 来自《简明英汉词典》
19 budge     
  • We tried to lift the rock but it wouldn't budge.我们试图把大石头抬起来,但它连动都没动一下。
  • She wouldn't budge on the issue.她在这个问题上不肯让步。
20 slanting     
  • The rain is driving [slanting] in from the south. 南边潲雨。
  • The line is slanting to the left. 这根线向左斜了。
21 gnawing     
  • The dog was gnawing a bone. 那狗在啃骨头。
  • These doubts had been gnawing at him for some time. 这些疑虑已经折磨他一段时间了。
22 glutton     
  • She's a glutton for work.She stays late every evening.她是个工作狂,每天都很晚才下班。
  • He is just a glutton.He is addicted to excessive eating.他就是个老饕,贪吃成性。
23 crafty     
  • He admired the old man for his crafty plan.他敬佩老者的神机妙算。
  • He was an accomplished politician and a crafty autocrat.他是个有造诣的政治家,也是个狡黠的独裁者。
24 poke     
  • 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。
25 underneath     
  • Working underneath the car is always a messy job.在汽车底下工作是件脏活。
  • She wore a coat with a dress underneath.她穿着一件大衣,里面套着一条连衣裙。
26 dreary     
  • They live such dreary lives.他们的生活如此乏味。
  • She was tired of hearing the same dreary tale of drunkenness and violence.她听够了那些关于酗酒和暴力的乏味故事。
27 manure     
  • The farmers were distributing manure over the field.农民们正在田间施肥。
  • The farmers used manure to keep up the fertility of their land.农夫们用粪保持其土质的肥沃。
28 sobbed     
哭泣,啜泣( sob的过去式和过去分词 ); 哭诉,呜咽地说
  • She sobbed out the story of her son's death. 她哭诉着她儿子的死。
  • She sobbed out the sad story of her son's death. 她哽咽着诉说她儿子死去的悲惨经过。
29 rattle     
  • The baby only shook the rattle and laughed and crowed.孩子只是摇着拨浪鼓,笑着叫着。
  • She could hear the rattle of the teacups.她听见茶具叮当响。
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