新编英语教程第三册Unit12

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Unit 12

TEXT I

A Winter to Remember

Text

According to the weather men last winter was one of the worst in living memory.
We live in the depths of the country, and my whole family agree that it was certainly a winter we shall never forget. Snow began to fall at round about the beginning of the New Year and continued on and off for approximately ten days.
At first we were all thrilled to see it. It fell silently and relentlessly in large soft flakes until every ugly patch and corner of our rather rambling garden was smoothed over and had become a spotless white canopy. The children soon spoilt its beauty by having snowball fights and leaving their footprints all over it. Hungry birds too, in search of scraps of food, made delicate impressions on its surface. It was now, when the garden was all churned up and of a dirty grey colour, that a severe frost set in, hardening the snow into ugly lumps of grimy concrete. For the next three months the whole countryside lay in a grip of iron.
Every day the birds grew tamer, often waiting hopefully almost on our backdoor step. We fed them with bits of cheese, chopped up meat and any leftovers we had. We also put out bowls of water, which unfortunately within an hour had frozen solid.
Indoors it was pretty cold too. Our central heating system proved both inadequate and uncooperative: inadequate partly because it needed overhauling and partly because the poor state of the doors and most of the windows made a whistling stream of cold air come through; unco-operative because occasionally it simply went on strike. To make matters worse there were tiny holes in the brickwork of many of the rooms. As a result the water pipes froze so that for several weeks our water supply had to be brought in buckets from a nearby farm. We tried to buy a number of oil-stoves to keep these rooms warm, but other people had thought of doing this too — when we called at the village shop the shopkeeper told us she had sold out and that although there were more on order they were unlikely to be delivered until the spring — which, of course, was a great comfort.
Throughout January and February and much of March we sat about in our overcoats and warmed ourselves by tramping to and from the farm, lugging buckets of water.
On one occasion the water actually froze before it reached the house, and our youngest son — not the most intelligent of youth — promptly took it all the way back to the farm.
However, one good thing did happen. One of the children dropped a container with a dozen eggs in it. I stooped down furiously to pick up what I thought would be the messy remains only to discover the eggs had come to no harm — they were as solid as if they had been hard-boiled.
Late in March, it finally thawed. Water squirted from pipes in at least half a dozen places. Instead of carting buckets of water into the kitchen from the farm we now brought them in from different parts of the house. Eventually we found a plumber. The plumber undoubtedly saved us from drowning. I have been devoted to plumbers ever since.
By Robert Best

TEXT II

January Wind

The January wind has a hundred voices. It can scream, it can bellow, it can whisper, and it can sing a lullaby. It can roar through the leafless oaks and shout down the hillside, and it can murmur in the white pines rooted among the granite ledges where lichen makes strange hieroglyphics. It can whistle down a chimney and set the hearth-flames to dancing. On a sunny day it can pause in a sheltered spot and breathe a promise of spring and violets. In the cold of a lonely night it can rattle the sash and stay there muttering of ice and snowbanks and deep-frozen ponds.
Sometimes the January wind seems to come from the farthest star in the outer darkness, so remote and so impersonal is its voice. That is the wind of a January dawn, in the half-light that trembles between day and night. It is a wind that merely quivers the trees, its force sensed but not seen, a force that might almost hold back the day if it were so directed. Then the east brightens, and the wind relaxes — the stars, its source, grown dim.
And sometimes the January wind is so intimate that you know it came only from the next hill, a little wind that plays with leaves and puffs at chimney smoke and whistles like a little boy with puckered lips. It makes the little cedar trees quiver, as with delight. It shadow-boxes with the weather-vane. It tweaks an ear, and whispers laughing words about crocuses and daffodils, and nips the nose and dances off.
But you never know, until you hear its voice, which wind is here today. Or, more important, which will be here tomorrow.
By Hal Borland
Unit 12 TEXT I A Winter to Remember Text According to the weather men last winter was one of the worst in living memory. We live in the depths of the country, and my whole family agree that it was certainly a winter we shall never forget. Snow began to fall at round about the beginning of the New Year and continued on and off for approximately ten days. At first we were all thrilled to see it. It fell silently and relentlessly in large soft flakes until every ugly patch and corner of our rather rambling garden was smoothed over and had become a spotless white canopy. The children soon spoilt its beauty by having snowball fights and leaving their footprints all over it. Hungry birds too, in search of scraps of food, made delicate impressions on its surface. It was now, when the garden was all churned up and of a dirty grey colour, that a severe frost set in, hardening the snow into ugly lumps of grimy concrete. For the next three months the whole countryside lay in a grip of iron. Every day the birds grew tamer, often waiting hopefully almost on our backdoor step. We fed them with bits of cheese, chopped up meat and any leftovers we had. We also put out bowls of water, which unfortunately within an hour had frozen solid. Indoors it was pretty cold too. Our central heating system proved both inadequate and uncooperative: inadequate partly because it needed overhauling and partly because the poor state of the doors and most of the windows made a whistling stream of cold air come through; unco-operative because occasionally it simply went on strike. To make matters worse there were tiny holes in the brickwork of many of the rooms. As a result the water pipes froze so that for several weeks our water supply had to be brought in buckets from a nearby farm. We tried to buy a number of oil-stoves to keep these rooms warm, but other people had thought of doing this too — when we called at the village shop the shopkeeper told us she had sold out and that although there were more on order they were unlikely to be delivered until the spring — which, of course, was a great comfort. Throughout January and February and much of March we sat about in our overcoats and warmed ourselves by tramping to and from the farm, lugging buckets of water. On one occasion the water actually froze before it reached the house, and our youngest son — not the most intelligent of youth — promptly took it all the way back to the farm. However, one good thing did happen. One of the children dropped a container with a dozen eggs in it. I stooped down furiously to pick up what I thought would be the messy remains only to discover the eggs had come to no harm — they were as solid as if they had been hard-boiled. Late in March, it finally thawed. Water squirted from pipes in at least half a dozen places. Instead of carting buckets of water into the kitchen from the farm we now brought them in from different parts of the house. Eventually we found a plumber. The plumber undoubtedly saved us from drowning. I have been devoted to plumbers ever since. By Robert Best TEXT II January Wind The January wind has a hundred voices. It can scream, it can bellow, it can whisper, and it can sing a lullaby. It can roar through the leafless oaks and shout down the hillside, and it can murmur in the white pines rooted among the granite ledges where lichen makes strange hieroglyphics. It can whistle down a chimney and set the hearth-flames to dancing. On a sunny day it can pause in a sheltered spot and breathe a promise of spring and violets. In the cold of a lonely night it can rattle the sash and stay there muttering of ice and snowbanks and deep-frozen ponds. Sometimes the January wind seems to come from the farthest star in the outer darkness, so remote and so impersonal is its voice. That is the wind of a January dawn, in the half-light that trembles between day and night. It is a wind that merely quivers the trees, its force sensed but not seen, a force that might almost hold back the day if it were so directed. Then the east brightens, and the wind relaxes — the stars, its source, grown dim. And sometimes the January wind is so intimate that you know it came only from the next hill, a little wind that plays with leaves and puffs at chimney smoke and whistles like a little boy with puckered lips. It makes the little cedar trees quiver, as with delight. It shadow-boxes with the weather-vane. It tweaks an ear, and whispers laughing words about crocuses and daffodils, and nips the nose and dances off. But you never know, until you hear its voice, which wind is here today. Or, more important, which will be here tomorrow. By Hal Borland
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