Unit Five  sound.gif (2200 字节)
                      A miserable and merry Christmas? How could it


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           Christmas was coming.  I wanted a pony.  To make sure that my par-

     ents understood, I declared that I wanted nothing else.

           "Nothing but a pony?"my father asked.

           "Nothing, "I said.

  5       "Not even a pair of high boots?"

           That was hard.  I did want boots,  but I stuck to the pony. "No,  not

     even boots . "

         "Nor candy?  There ought to be  something to fill  your  stocking with, 

     and Santa Claus can't put a pony into a stocking. " .

10     That was true, and  he  couldn't  lead a  pony down the chimney either.

     But no. "All  I want  is a pony. "I said. "If  I can't  have a  pony,  give  me 

     nothing, nothing. "

          On Christmas  Eve I  hung  up  my  stocking  along  with  my  sisters' .

          The next  morning  my sisters  and  I  woke up at six.  Then we raced 

15 downstairs to  the  fireplace.  And  there  they were,  the gifts,  all sorts of

     wonderful things, mixed-up piles of presents. Only my stocking was emp-

     ty;  it  hung  Iimp;  not a  thing  in  it;  and  under and around  it -- nothing.

     My sisters had knelt down, each by her pile of gifts; they were crying with

     delight, till they looked up and saw me standing there looking so miserable.

20 They came over to me and felt my stocking: nothing.

           I don't remember whether I cried at  that  moment,  but my sisters did. 

     They ran with  me  back to my bed;  and there  we all criey till I became in 

     dignant. That  helped some.  I got  up,  dressed,  and  driving  my  sisters 

     away, I went out alone into the stable, and there, all by myself, I wept.

25 My mother came out to me and she tried to comfort me. But I wanted no 

     comfort. She left me.and went on into the house with sharp words for my 


          My sisters. came to me,. and I was rude. I ran away from them. I went 

     around to the front of the house, sat dadown  on the steps, and the crying 

30 over , I ached . I was wronged, I was hurt : And my father must have been

     hurt,  too,  a little I saw him looking out of  the window.  He was watching

     me or something for an hour or two,  drawing back the curtain so little lest

     I catch him, but I saw his  face, and I think I can see now the anxiety upon

     it, the worried impatience.

35       After an hour or two,  I caught sight of  a  man riding a pony down the

     street,  a pony  and a brand--new saddle;  the  most beautiful saddie  I ever 

     saw, and it was a boy's saddle. And the pony ! As he drew near, I saw that 

     the  pony was really a  small  horse,  with  a  black  mane and tail,  and one 

     white  foot  and  a white  star on  his forehead.  For such  a horse  as that I 

40 would have given anything.

           But the man  came  along,  reading  the numbers on the houses, and, as 

     my hopes - my impossible hopes - rose, he looked at our door and passed 

     by,  he and the pony, and the saddle. Too much,  I  fell upon the steps and 

     broke into tears. Suddenly I heard a voice.

45        "Say, kid,"it said, "do you know a boy named Lennie Steffens"

            I looked up. It was the man on the pony, back again. 

           "Yes, "I spluttered through my tears. "That's me. "

           "Well, "he said, "then this is your horse. I've been Iooking all over for 

     you  and  your house.  Why don't  you  put  your number where it can be 

50 seen? "

           "Get down, "I said, running out to him. I wanted to ride. 

           He went on saying something about "ought to have got here at seven 

     o'clock, but --"

     I hardly heard,  I  could scarcely wait.  I  was  so  happy,  so  thrilled.  I 

55 rode off up the street. Such a beautiful pony.  And mine!  After a while I  

     turned and trotted back to the stable. There was the family, father, moth-

     er, sisters, all working for me, all happy. They had been putting .in place 

     the tools of my new business: currycomb, brush, pitchfork - everything, 

     and there was hay in the loft.

           But that Christmas, which my father had planned so carefully, was it 

60 the best or the worst I ever knew? He often asked me that ; I never could 

     answer as a boy.  I  think now that it was both.  It covered the whole dis-

     tance  from broken--hearted misery to bursting  happiness -- too fast.  A 

     grown-up could hardly have stood it.
                                                New Words
miserable/  a: causing unhappiness;very unhappy 悲惨的
merry / a.   cheerful, -full of lively happiness, fun, etc: 欢乐
    , 愉快的
pony / n.      a small horse 矮种马;小马
boot / n.       长统靴
candy / . n.      (AmE) sveets 糖果
stocking / n. 长(统)袜
chimney / n. 烟筒
eve / n.        前夕
fireplace / n.            壁炉
mixed-up / a. (different things) put together 混合的,混杂的
limp / a.     soft;  not stiff or firm 软的 ; 松沓的
kneel / ( knelt /nelt/ ) v go down or remain on the knee(s) 跪下
indignant / a. angry at sth: . unfair 气愤的; 愤慨的
stable / n building for keeping and feeding animals, esp.
       horses 马厩
weep v. cry 哭泣;流泪
rude / a. not at all polite 粗鲁的, 不礼貌的
wrong/ vt. treat unjustly 委屈
curtain / n.     窗帘
lest / conj. for fear that 唯恐;以免
anxiety / n. fear caused by uncertainty about sth. 焦虑
impatience / n. inability to wait calmly 不耐烦,急躁 ,
   patience /n.  
brand // n.        商标, 牌子
brand-new a. entirely new and unused 崭新的
saddle / n.     马鞍
mane / n.       马鬃
forehead / n.     that part of the face above the eyes and below
     the hair 前额
kid / n. child
splutter / v. speak quickly and confusedly ( from excitement,
      etc. ) 语无伦次地说
scarcely / ad. hardly, almost not 几乎不, 简直不
   scarce/ a.  
thrill / vt.    excite greatly 使非常激动
trot / vi.     run or ride slowly, with short steps ( ) 小跑
currycomb / n a special comb used to rub and clean a horse 马梳
pitchfork / n. 干草叉
hay / n.     dried grass 干草
loft / n.  a room over a stable, where hay is kept 草料棚
broken-hearted./ a. filled with grief; very sad 心碎的; 极其伤心的
misery / n.    the state of being very unhappy, poor, ill, lone-
       ly, etc. 悲惨 ; 不幸 ; 苦难
happiness /n.  the state of being happy, 快乐, 幸福
grown-up / a. & n. ( of ) an adult person 成人 ( )

                                                  Phrases & Expressions
make sure act so as to make something certain 确保 ; 查明
nothing but nothing other than; only 除了…以外没有什么;仅仅,
stick to refuse to give up or change 坚持 , 不放弃
hang up fix (sth. ) at a high place so that it does not touch the
  ground 挂起
or something (used when the speaker is not sure) 诸如此类
catch sight of see suddenly or for a moment 看到, 发现
draw near move near 接近
break into suddenly start ( to cry, laugh , etc . ) 突然 "' 起来
in place in the right place 在适当的位置

                             proper Names
Santa Claus /     圣诞老人
Christmas Eve         圣诞前夜
Lennie Steffens /  伦尼·斯蒂芬斯