A miserable and merry Christmas? How could it
A MISERABLE, MERRY CHRISTMAS
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.
||causing unhappiness;very unhappy 悲惨的
|merry / a.
||cheerful, -full of lively happiness, fun, etc: 欢乐
|| 的, 愉快的
|pony / n.
||a small horse 矮种马；小马
|boot / n.
|candy / . n.
||(AmE) sveets 糖果
|stocking / n.
|chimney / n.
|eve / n.
|fireplace / n.
|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
|rude / a.
||not at all polite 粗鲁的, 不礼貌的
||treat unjustly 委屈
|curtain / n.
|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.
||entirely new and unused 崭新的
|saddle / n.
|mane / n.
|forehead / n.
||that part of the face above the eyes and below
|| the hair 前额
|kid / n.
|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 ( 马 ) 小跑
|currycomb / n
||a special comb used to rub and clean a horse 马梳
|pitchfork / n.
|hay / n.
||dried grass 干草
|loft / n.
||a room over a stable, where hay is kept 草料棚
||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
||the state of being happy, 快乐, 幸福
|grown-up / a. & n.
||( of ) an adult person 成人 ( 的 )
Phrases & Expressions
||act so as to make something certain 确保 ; 查明
||nothing other than; only 除了…以外没有什么；仅仅，
||refuse to give up or change 坚持 , 不放弃
||fix (sth. ) at a high place so that it does not touch the
||(used when the speaker is not sure) 诸如此类
|catch sight of
||see suddenly or for a moment 看到, 发现
||move near 接近
||suddenly start ( to cry, laugh , etc . ) 突然 "' 起来
||in the right place 在适当的位置
|Santa Claus /
|Lennie Steffens /