文章来源:未知 文章作者:enread 发布时间:2016-03-09 03:22 字体: [ ]  进入论坛
The old man longed for children. But he and his young wife had none, so he invited his nephew to live with them. This infuriated his wife, who had a vile1 temper. When her husband welcomed the young man with great affection, she turned pale with jealousy2. Her eyes narrowed and her head flattened3. And when she licked her lips, her nephew saw that her tongue was forked. From that day on, the young man spent as much time as possible with his uncle and tried to avoid his aunt. But she seemed to enjoy startling him, suddenly appearing when he least expected her.
One evening, the nephew returned to the house quite late. He lit a candle and started up the stairs. Halfway4 up, he tripped on what seemed to be a coiled rope. Imagine his horror when that rope uncoiled and slithered up the steps in front of him! Then he saw it glide5 across the hall and under the door of his uncle's bedroom.
"Wake up! Wake up" the young man shouted, and he knocked on the door until his knuckles6 hurt. But when his sleepy uncle finally let him in the bedroom, there was no snake in sight.
His aunt seemed to be sleeping, so the young man whispered in his uncle's ear. "I saw a snake." But his uncle was too groggy7 to respond, and he slid back under the covers. The young man searched the room quietly, looking into drawers and cupboards and corners. He peered under the bed and behind chairs. He was beginning to think he was going mad when suddenly his aunt sat up in bed, narrowed her eyes, and gave him an evil look that made his flesh creep.
"I'm sorry to bother you," he cried, racing8 to his bedroom and firmly shutting the door.
When he awoke the next morning, he noticed that the bottom of his bedroom door was arched up in the center, leaving just enough space for a snake to slither through. He bolted out of bed trembling. When he went downstairs, he was shocked to see that every door in the house had a snake-sized arch beneath it.
His aunt was sitting at the table, eating. "Your uncle left for the day," she said, licking her lips with her forked tongue. The young man was too terrified to speak, but his silence only made matters worse.
"I don't like the way you treat me," she said and grabbed his arm. Then she pressed her fingernails so deeply into his skin that he felt as if he were being bitten. He rushed outdoors and saw his arm was swelling9. His hand and fingers were beginning to throb10.
He knew he must seek help, so he ran into the forest to find the wise old hermit11 who lived there. The old man examined him carefully and handed him some leaves. "These are best for snakebite," he said "Bind12 them around your arm and keep them wet."
"But I wasn't bitten by a snake," said the young man. "Those marks were made by my aunt's fingernails."
The old hermit shook his head in despair. "The touch of a snake-woman is even worse," he said, "but try these leaves. They should help"
The young man was appalled13. "Is my aunt really a snake- woman?" he asked.
"If you want to find out," the hermit replied, "stay awake tonight, and if a snake enters you room, cut off the tip of its tail."
The young man wasn't sure how this would help, but he thanked the hermit for his advice and returned to his uncle's house. By afternoon, he was happy to see that the wet leaves had reduced the swelling.
He watched his aunt closely that evening, but he didn't notice anything strange until she tasted her soup. She said it needed more "ssssseasoning" and lingered on the "s" as if she were hissing14. Her nephew felt gooseflesh rise from the tips of his toes to the top of his head. He excused himself from the table and went up to his bedroom, but not to sleep.
He planned to watch for the snake all night long.
There was just enough moonlight for him to see the bottom of his door, so he blew out his candle and unsheathed his sword. Then he stood waiting.
He watched for hours wondering what the snake might do. What if it slithered through the window instead, crept up behind him, and struck him with its venomous fangs15? What if it slithered to the top of the wardrobe and dropped down from above? He was thinking of fleeing for his life, when he finally saw the snake glide under the door-first its head, then its body, then its tail.
Slash16! He swung the sword so quickly that the snake had no warning. And the tip of its tail began writhing17, all by itself, there on the floor. The snake raised its head as if to strike, but then it hissed18 viciously and slithered out of the room. And when he looked down the hall, he saw it disappear under his uncle's door.#p#分页标题#e#
The young man couldn't stand looking at that quivering tail, so he scooped19 it up with his sword and flung it in a drawer. He hardly slept all that night, and when he did snakes chased him through his dreams.
The next morning, he opened the drawer a crack to look at the snake's tail and was amazed to see that it had turned into human toes.
He raced back to the forest to tell the hermit what had happened. "And now my aunt is staying in bed, but do you know what my aunt said? She told him she hurt her foot while sleepwalking!"
"Either she will fear you now," said the old man. "Or she will try to get rid of you. Listen carefully. If you think you are in danger, you must search her bedroom for her snakeskin, and when you find it, burn it."
The young man thanked the hermit, but he was concerned. What would happen if he burned the snakeskin? He decided20 to give his aunt one last chance.
While she was recovering, she caused no trouble, but as soon as her wound healed, she resumed her nightly slithering about the house.
Sometimes, when the young man was lying in bed, he saw the snake slip in and out of his empty boots or up the sleeve of a coat he had worn. One dreadful night, he felt the snake wiggling under his pillow, and he jumped out of bed in a cold sweat.
His dreams grew worse. He had a terrifying nightmare in which his aunt was trying to choke him. He awoke gasping21 for breath and realized that something was coiled tightly around his neck.
It was the snake.
有的时候,年轻人正躺在床上,就看见蛇爬进他的靴子里面然后又爬出来,或者爬到他的大衣袖子上。在一个可怕的夜晚, 他感觉到蛇在枕头下面蠕动着,吓得他出了一身冷汗,马上跳下床。


1 vile YLWz0     
  1. Who could have carried out such a vile attack?会是谁发起这么卑鄙的攻击呢?
  2. Her talk was full of vile curses.她的话里充满着恶毒的咒骂。
2 jealousy WaRz6     
  1. Some women have a disposition to jealousy.有些女人生性爱妒忌。
  2. I can't support your jealousy any longer.我再也无法忍受你的嫉妒了。
3 flattened 1d5d9fedd9ab44a19d9f30a0b81f79a8     
  1. She flattened her nose and lips against the window. 她把鼻子和嘴唇紧贴着窗户。
  2. I flattened myself against the wall to let them pass. 我身体紧靠着墙让他们通过。
4 halfway Xrvzdq     
  1. We had got only halfway when it began to get dark.走到半路,天就黑了。
  2. In study the worst danger is give up halfway.在学习上,最忌讳的是有始无终。
5 glide 2gExT     
  1. We stood in silence watching the snake glide effortlessly.我们噤若寒蝉地站着,眼看那条蛇逍遥自在地游来游去。
  2. So graceful was the ballerina that she just seemed to glide.那芭蕾舞女演员翩跹起舞,宛如滑翔。
6 knuckles c726698620762d88f738be4a294fae79     
n.(指人)指关节( knuckle的名词复数 );(指动物)膝关节,踝v.(指人)指关节( knuckle的第三人称单数 );(指动物)膝关节,踝
  1. He gripped the wheel until his knuckles whitened. 他紧紧握住方向盘,握得指关节都变白了。
  2. Her thin hands were twisted by swollen knuckles. 她那双纤手因肿大的指关节而变了形。 来自《简明英汉词典》
7 groggy YeMzB     
  1. The attack of flu left her feeling very groggy.她患流感后非常虚弱。
  2. She was groggy from surgery.她手术后的的情况依然很不稳定。
8 racing 1ksz3w     
  1. I was watching the racing on television last night.昨晚我在电视上看赛马。
  2. The two racing drivers fenced for a chance to gain the lead.两个赛车手伺机竞相领先。
9 swelling OUzzd     
  1. Use ice to reduce the swelling. 用冰敷消肿。
  2. There is a marked swelling of the lymph nodes. 淋巴结处有明显的肿块。
10 throb aIrzV     
  1. She felt her heart give a great throb.她感到自己的心怦地跳了一下。
  2. The drums seemed to throb in his ears.阵阵鼓声彷佛在他耳边震响。
11 hermit g58y3     
  1. He became a hermit after he was dismissed from office.他被解职后成了隐士。
  2. Chinese ancient landscape poetry was in natural connections with hermit culture.中国古代山水诗与隐士文化有着天然联系。
12 bind Vt8zi     
  1. I will let the waiter bind up the parcel for you.我让服务生帮你把包裹包起来。
  2. He wants a shirt that does not bind him.他要一件不使他觉得过紧的衬衫。
13 appalled ec524998aec3c30241ea748ac1e5dbba     
v.使惊骇,使充满恐惧( appall的过去式和过去分词)adj.惊骇的;丧胆的
  1. The brutality of the crime has appalled the public. 罪行之残暴使公众大为震惊。
  2. They were appalled by the reports of the nuclear war. 他们被核战争的报道吓坏了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
14 hissing hissing     
n. 发嘶嘶声, 蔑视 动词hiss的现在分词形式
  1. The steam escaped with a loud hissing noise. 蒸汽大声地嘶嘶冒了出来。
  2. His ears were still hissing with the rustle of the leaves. 他耳朵里还听得萨萨萨的声音和屑索屑索的怪声。 来自汉英文学 - 春蚕
15 fangs d8ad5a608d5413636d95dfb00a6e7ac4     
n.(尤指狗和狼的)长而尖的牙( fang的名词复数 );(蛇的)毒牙;罐座
  1. The dog fleshed his fangs in the deer's leg. 狗用尖牙咬住了鹿腿。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  2. Dogs came lunging forward with their fangs bared. 狗龇牙咧嘴地扑过来。 来自《简明英汉词典》
16 slash Hrsyq     
  1. The shop plans to slash fur prices after Spring Festival.该店计划在春节之后把皮货降价。
  2. Don't slash your horse in that cruel way.不要那样残忍地鞭打你的马。
17 writhing 8e4d2653b7af038722d3f7503ad7849c     
(因极度痛苦而)扭动或翻滚( writhe的现在分词 )
  1. She was writhing around on the floor in agony. 她痛得在地板上直打滚。
  2. He was writhing on the ground in agony. 他痛苦地在地上打滚。
18 hissed 2299e1729bbc7f56fc2559e409d6e8a7     
发嘶嘶声( hiss的过去式和过去分词 ); 发嘘声表示反对
  1. Have you ever been hissed at in the middle of a speech? 你在演讲中有没有被嘘过?
  2. The iron hissed as it pressed the wet cloth. 熨斗压在湿布上时发出了嘶嘶声。
19 scooped a4cb36a9a46ab2830b09e95772d85c96     
v.抢先报道( scoop的过去式和过去分词 );(敏捷地)抱起;抢先获得;用铲[勺]等挖(洞等)
  1. They scooped the other newspapers by revealing the matter. 他们抢先报道了这件事。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  2. The wheels scooped up stones which hammered ominously under the car. 车轮搅起的石块,在车身下发出不吉祥的锤击声。 来自《简明英汉词典》
20 decided lvqzZd     
  1. This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  2. There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
21 gasping gasping     
adj. 气喘的, 痉挛的 动词gasp的现在分词
  1. He was gasping for breath. 他在喘气。
  2. "Did you need a drink?""Yes, I'm gasping!” “你要喝点什么吗?”“我巴不得能喝点!”
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