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儿童英语读物 The Mystery of the Mixed-Up Zoo CHAPTER 4 More Trouble at the Zoo

时间:2017-07-17 08:54来源:互联网 提供网友:qing   字体: [ ]

When the children arrived home from the bookstore, they greeted Grandfather, who was digging holes for the new shrubs1 he had bought that morning.

Entering the house, they were surprised to see Edward in an angry conversation with a woman in a red suit and a black hat.

Edward stopped talking when he saw the children. “Hi, kids,” he called. He briefly2 introduced them to the woman, whose name was Helen Brooks3. She scarcely gave them a glance as she impatiently tapped her shoe.

After saying hello to her, the Aldens excused themselves and went into the kitchen.

They sat around the table while Jessie poured milk into three glasses and one pink cup, which was Benny’s.

As they drank, they couldn’t help overhearing Edward arguing with Helen Brooks.

“I tell you,” Miss Brooks said in a stern voice, “that zoo of yours is not worth another penny of the taxpayers’ money!”

Edward shot back a cold reply, “The zoo means everything to the children in Rosedale, and to lots of adults, too.”

Helen Brooks sneered5. “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. The zoo should be closed down. It costs thousands of dollars a year for food and medicine alone!” She continued in a raspy voice, “As a member of the town council, I intend to bring this up at the next meeting!”

“And what will happen to the monkeys and lions and all the other animals?” Edward shouted.

“How should I know?” Helen Brooks snapped back.

“If you had a heart, you’d care,” Edward said sadly.

“Animals can be sent to other zoos,” Helen said in a quarrelsome tone, “or you can give them away. I don’t care!”

“I’ll never give my animals away,” Edward answered defiantly6. “Each one means a lot to me!”

“That’s too bad!” Helen said. “At the next meeting the zoo will be the first order of business!”

The children had stopped drinking and stared at one another. Violet felt a stab of concern. The town council couldn’t get rid of Edward’s zoo, she thought, and all his wonderful animals. Or could they? Jessie and Henry had the same thought.

Benny pushed his milk away. “I think the zoo is great,” he murmured. He looked as if he were going to cry.

Henry jumped up. “I’ll tell that Helen Brooks how we feel about the zoo,” he said in a low voice.

“No,” Jessie whispered. “Let’s wait and see what Edward wants us to do.”

Slowly, Henry sank back. “I guess you’re right. But that woman …”

“I know,” Violet said.

“You can be certain that I’ll be at the next council meeting!” Edward shouted. “You won’t get away with this!”

“You’re stubborn, Edward Marlow!” Helen retorted, “but it won’t do you any good!”

The door slammed and it was quiet.

For a moment all the Aldens heard was the tick of the clock. Then Benny stood up and rushed into the living room. “We heard what that mean woman said!” he cried. “The zoo won’t be shut down, will it?”

Jessie, Violet, and Henry stood in the doorway7, waiting for Edward’s answer.

Edward shook his head. “Not if I can help it!” He glanced at each one. “Hey! Don’t look so glum8! I have lots of people on my side.”

Benny smiled.

So did Jessie. But she wondered if Edward had any friends on the town council.

“Let’s go check out the animals at the zoo!” Edward said.

As they walked along, Henry began, “Edward, we found a picture of you in a pilot’s uniform.” He looked at Edward, uncertain if he was intruding9 or not.

Surprised, Edward smiled. “Oh, you found the one of me and our squadron’s mascot10, Billy. That was when I was in the air force in Texas.”

“Billy looked fierce,” Violet said.

“He was fierce!” Edward said. “He was one of the fiercest wildcats I’ve ever seen. When I saw him, he was in a tiny cage and I was determined11 to put him in an area where he could run. I found an unused dog run and rented it. There Billy could prance12, sleep in the sun, or just play with the leaves.”

“Billy must have been special,” Jessie said, noticing Edward’s caring face.

“He was!” Edward said emphatically. “After the war was over and I returned from overseas, I went back to Texas for Billy. Other soldiers had taken care of him. At first I didn’t know what I’d do, but Billy gave me the idea of raising money for a zoo, a place where animals could have freedom to roam about. I’ve always loved animals, and this gave me a purpose in life.” He paused, remembering. “Billy was my first zoo inhabitant.”

“What happened to Billy?” Benny asked.

“My wildcat lived to a ripe old age, then died in his sleep.”

Entering the zoo’s gates, Benny was excited to see the animals.

The children strolled by the elephants where a boy about Henry’s age was grooming13 a baby elephant. When he saw Edward, he stopped and waved.

“Hi, David,” Edward called. “He looks good!”

“Thanks,” the boy said.

“That’s David Adams,” Edward explained, moving on to the monkeys’ area. “He’s a reliable helper after school and on Saturdays. During the summer, he works three days a week. You’ll have to get to know him.”

They stopped to watch the monkeys. Several flew through the air on a trapeze while others played in the trees, swinging from branch to branch.

“Isn’t that one cute?” Violet said, pointing at the smallest monkey. His bright button eyes peeked14 at them through a cluster of leaves.

Edward chuckled15. “You know zoos often name their animals, and I enjoy naming mine. That’s Amos, a real show-off. He loves people and is a smart little fellow.”

Amos swung down and plucked a tin cup off the ground and hugged it to his chest.

“I’ll bet that’s his very own cup,” Benny said. “Just like I have my pink cup.”

“He’s an imp4. But everyone loves him,” Edward said. “He likes to clown for an audience, and when they clap, he claps back.”

Edward moved on.

“I like Amos,” Benny said, following the others. He glanced back for one last glimpse of the monkey.

At the zebra enclosure, Violet said, “The zebras’ coloring is so different.”

“Good camouflage16 on the plains,” Edward answered.

“How striking! White stripes on black,” Jessie said.

“Oh?” Henry teased. “I thought it was black stripes on white.”

Puzzled, Benny asked, “Which is it?”

“Whatever you want it to be,” Violet said, smiling.

A roar startled them. They hurried around the corner and saw two orange-and-black-striped tiger cubs17 rolling about in the dirt. Nearby, the mother swam in the pool.

“I didn’t know cats liked water,” Jessie said.

“Not many of them do,” Edward explained, “but the Bengal tiger from India is the exception. Isn’t Zelda a beauty?”

“Zelda’s jaws18 are huge!” Violet said.

“Zelda eats about ten pounds of meat a day and a beef shank every Wednesday,” Edward said. As if knowing she were being talked about, Zelda opened her mouth and roared. Edward chuckled. “Zelda knows it’s almost dinnertime.”

The two cubs, biting and growling19, continued to roll about in play.

“Oh, here’s a sight you’ll like to see,” Edward said, crossing to the other side.

Two bears splashed in a pool, shoving a log back and forth20. “You need to give the animals playthings,” Edward said. “Otherwise they get bored. It gives them good exercise, too.”

“The way they toss that log,” Jessie said, “you’d think it was as light as a toothpick.”

“Brown bears are strong, all right,” Edward said, walking on to the giraffes.

Suddenly, Pat caught up with them. “The electricity is off in the kitchen,” she said breathlessly.

“What!” Edward whirled about. “I’ll check the transformers.”

“I’ve already done that,” Pat said. “All of them are in place. I phoned the electrician and he’ll be here as soon as he can.”

Edward frowned. “Why is the electricity off?” He gave Pat a worried glance. “Without electricity, the big food processor will be off. It will take hours to mash21 the food and chop vegetables. And there’ll be no hot water to mix with the food,” Edward said, running his fingers through his gray hair. “Do you kids want to help?”

“You bet!” Benny answered.

“Come with me to the kitchen. We’ll have to slice vegetables, fruit, meat, and get the bales of hay for the elephants,” Edward said.

Violet hurried after Edward. She frowned, deep in thought. First the animals’ signs were switched. Then Helen Brooks wanted to close down the zoo. Now the kitchen electricity was cut off. She didn’t like it. She didn’t like it at all.


1 shrubs b480276f8eea44e011d42320b17c3619     
灌木( shrub的名词复数 )
  • The gardener spent a complete morning in trimming those two shrubs. 园丁花了整个上午的时间修剪那两处灌木林。
  • These shrubs will need more light to produce flowering shoots. 这些灌木需要更多的光照才能抽出开花的新枝。
2 briefly 9Styo     
  • I want to touch briefly on another aspect of the problem.我想简单地谈一下这个问题的另一方面。
  • He was kidnapped and briefly detained by a terrorist group.他被一个恐怖组织绑架并短暂拘禁。
3 brooks cdbd33f49d2a6cef435e9a42e9c6670f     
n.小溪( brook的名词复数 )
  • Brooks gave the business when Haas caught him with his watch. 哈斯抓到偷他的手表的布鲁克斯时,狠狠地揍了他一顿。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Ade and Brooks exchanged blows yesterday and they were severely punished today. 艾德和布鲁克斯昨天打起来了,今天他们受到严厉的惩罚。 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 imp Qy3yY     
  • What a little imp you are!你这个淘气包!
  • There's a little imp always running with him.他总有一个小鬼跟着。
5 sneered 0e3b5b35e54fb2ad006040792a867d9f     
讥笑,冷笑( sneer的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He sneered at people who liked pop music. 他嘲笑喜欢流行音乐的人。
  • It's very discouraging to be sneered at all the time. 成天受嘲讽是很令人泄气的。
6 defiantly defiantly     
  • Braving snow and frost, the plum trees blossomed defiantly. 红梅傲雪凌霜开。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • She tilted her chin at him defiantly. 她向他翘起下巴表示挑衅。 来自《简明英汉词典》
7 doorway 2s0xK     
  • They huddled in the shop doorway to shelter from the rain.他们挤在商店门口躲雨。
  • Mary suddenly appeared in the doorway.玛丽突然出现在门口。
8 glum klXyF     
  • He was a charming mixture of glum and glee.他是一个很有魅力的人,时而忧伤时而欢笑。
  • She laughed at his glum face.她嘲笑他闷闷不乐的脸。
9 intruding b3cc8c3083aff94e34af3912721bddd7     
v.侵入,侵扰,打扰( intrude的现在分词);把…强加于
  • Does he find his new celebrity intruding on his private life? 他是否感觉到他最近的成名侵扰了他的私生活?
  • After a few hours of fierce fighting,we saw the intruding bandits off. 经过几小时的激烈战斗,我们赶走了入侵的匪徒。 来自《简明英汉词典》
10 mascot E7xzm     
  • The football team's mascot is a goat.足球队的吉祥物是山羊。
  • We had a panda as our mascot.我们把熊猫作为吉详物。
11 determined duszmP     
  • I have determined on going to Tibet after graduation.我已决定毕业后去西藏。
  • He determined to view the rooms behind the office.他决定查看一下办公室后面的房间。
12 prance u1zzg     
  • Their horses pranced and whinnied.他们的马奔腾着、嘶鸣着。
  • He was horrified at the thought of his son prancing about on a stage in tights.一想到儿子身穿紧身衣在舞台上神气活现地走来走去,他就感到震惊。
13 grooming grooming     
n. 修饰, 美容,(动物)梳理毛发
  • You should always pay attention to personal grooming. 你应随时注意个人仪容。
  • We watched two apes grooming each other. 我们看两只猩猩在互相理毛。
14 peeked c7b2fdc08abef3a4f4992d9023ed9bb8     
v.很快地看( peek的过去式和过去分词 );偷看;窥视;微露出
  • She peeked over the top of her menu. 她从菜单上往外偷看。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • On two occasions she had peeked at him through a crack in the wall. 她曾两次透过墙缝窥视他。 来自辞典例句
15 chuckled 8ce1383c838073977a08258a1f3e30f8     
轻声地笑( chuckle的过去式和过去分词 )
  • She chuckled at the memory. 想起这件事她就暗自发笑。
  • She chuckled softly to herself as she remembered his astonished look. 想起他那惊讶的表情,她就轻轻地暗自发笑。
16 camouflage NsnzR     
  • The white fur of the polar bear is a natural camouflage.北极熊身上的白色的浓密软毛是一种天然的伪装。
  • The animal's markings provide effective camouflage.这种动物身上的斑纹是很有效的伪装。
17 cubs 01d925a0dc25c0b909e51536316e8697     
n.幼小的兽,不懂规矩的年轻人( cub的名词复数 )
  • a lioness guarding her cubs 守护幼崽的母狮
  • Lion cubs depend on their mother to feed them. 狮子的幼仔依靠母狮喂养。 来自《简明英汉词典》
18 jaws cq9zZq     
  • The antelope could not escape the crocodile's gaping jaws. 那只羚羊无法从鱷鱼张开的大口中逃脱。
  • The scored jaws of a vise help it bite the work. 台钳上有刻痕的虎钳牙帮助它紧咬住工件。
19 growling growling     
n.吠声, 咆哮声 v.怒吠, 咆哮, 吼
  • We heard thunder growling in the distance. 我们听见远处有隆隆雷声。
  • The lay about the deck growling together in talk. 他们在甲板上到处游荡,聚集在一起发牢骚。
20 forth Hzdz2     
  • The wind moved the trees gently back and forth.风吹得树轻轻地来回摇晃。
  • He gave forth a series of works in rapid succession.他很快连续发表了一系列的作品。
21 mash o7Szl     
  • He beat the potato into a mash before eating it.他把马铃薯捣烂后再吃。
  • Whiskey,originating in Scotland,is distilled from a mash of grains.威士忌源于苏格兰,是从一种大麦芽提纯出来的。
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