• 名称:听英语故事练听力视频
  • 分类:英语口语  
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  • 时间:2020/3/23 16:51:06

When my great grandma Anna came to America. She wore the same thick coat and big boots she had worn when she worked on her family's farm. But her family did not farm anymore. In New York City her father carried things on a wagon. The rest of the family made flowers out of cloth. Everyone was in a hurry and it was so crowded not like back home in Russia. The only things Anna had from her home in Russia were her cloths and the “babushka” or head covering she liked to throw up into the air when she was dancing. The dress she wore was getting too small. After her mother had sewn her a new one, Anna gathered her old dress and babushka. She also gathered Uncle Vladimir's old shirt and Havala's old nightgown and an old apron of Aunt Natasha's to make a quilt.

A quilt is a cover for a bed that is made from many pieces of cloth. “We will make a quilt to help us always remember home,” Anna's mother said, “it will be like having the family in Russia dance around us at night.” And so it was. Anna's mother invited all the women of the family to help make the quilt. They cut the shapes of animals and flowers from the pieces of old clothing. The edge of the quilt was made from Anna's babushka. On Friday nights, Anna's mother would say the prayers that started the Sabbath, the holy day for Jewish people. The family ate a bread called hallah and chicken soup. The quilt was on the table.

Anna grew up and fell in love with my great grandpa Sasha. To show that he wanted to be her husband, he gave Anna a gold coin, a dried flower and a piece of salt. The gold was for wealth; the flower for love and the salt so their lives would be strong and interesting. Anna was given the quilt. When they were married Anna and Sasha stood under a traditional hopper made with the quilt. After the wedding, the men and women celebrated separately. When my grandma Carle was born, Anna wrapped her baby in a quilt to welcome her warmly into the world. Carle was given a gift of gold, a flower, salt and bread. Gold, so she would have money; a flower, so she would always know love; salt, so her life would always be strong and interesting; and bread, so that she would never know hunger.

Years later, the quilt again became a wedding hopper. This time for Carle's wedding to my grandpa George. Men and women celebrated together but they were not permitted to dance together. Among Carle's wedding flowers were a gold coin, bread and salt. Carle and George moved to a farm in the state of Michigan. And great grandma Anna came to live with them. A year later, the quilt once again covered a new baby girl - Merry Allen. Great grandma Anna had grown very old and was sick a lot of the time. The quilt kept her legs warm. When Anna died her family said prayers to take her to heaven.

My mother Merry Allen was now grown up; when she left home she took the quilt with her. When she married, the quilt became her hopper. Later, the quilt welcomed to me - Patricia into the world. It covered my bed. At night I would trace my fingers around the edges of each animal on the quilt before I went to sleep. I told my mother stories about the animals on the quilt. She told me whose shirt had made the horse; whose apron had made the chicken; whose dress had made the flowers and whose babushka went around the edge of the quilt.

When I grew up I married Enzo Morrio. Men and women danced together at my wedding. In my bouquet of flowers were gold, bread and salt and a little wine so I would always know laughter. Twenty years ago I held my daughter Tracy Dennis in the quilt for the first time. Someday she too will leave home and she will take the quilt with her.

You have just heard the story "The Keeping Quilt" by Patricia Polacco. It was adapted into Special English by Karen Leggett. Now listen to a story called "Molly Banicky" by Alice Macgil. Barbara Klein is the storyteller.

This story begins on a cold grey morning in 1683 in England. Molly Walesh sat on the stool, pulling at the udder of a difficult cow. She was a milkmaid. She had to get up very early every morning and go to the barn to milk the cow. The man who owned the cow, owned the small house where she lived, a much bigger house and all the land around. The week before the cow had kicked over the container of milk. The cook had warned Molly that she would be brought before the court if someone suspected she stole the owner's milk. That was the law.

Today, it was cold in the barn. Molly's clothing was thin. She could hardly work because her hands were so cold. But finally the container was full of milk. Suddenly Molly sneezed, the cow jumped, the container fell over and the milk flowed into the damp ground. Later that day, Molly stood before the court, accused of stealing the milk. The usual punishment for stealing was death by hanging. But the law said no one who could read the Bible could be executed for stealing. So a Bible was given to Molly and her voice ran out clear and true. Molly's punishment was seven years of forced labor in a British colony. Having no family, Molly Walsh aged 17, said goodbye to England and boarded a ship to cross the ocean.

After she arrived in America, Molly worked for a planter on the eastern shore of the colony of Maryland. She cared for her master's tobacco crops. After working for the planter for seven years, Molly was free to go. The farmer gave her a large animal called an ox and a machine to make the land ready for planting. He also gave her tools, seeds, clothing and a gun. Molly traveled to an area where not many people lived and that is where she made her home. That a woman alone should take land was unheard of, but the people living near Molly saw that she was strong. They helped her build a one-room house; they helped her harvest her first crop. But Molly soon knew she needed help working her land.

One day Molly read an announcement that a ship would be coming soon. She decided to watch the arrival of this ship, a slave ship from Africa. She watched the men walked by, one after the other. She saw the pain, anger and dishonor on their faces as they were sold into slavery. Then Molly noticed a tall, wonderful looking man who looked into the eyes of everyone who tried to buy him. Molly bought him and told him she would treat him well and set him free as soon as her farm was doing well. Molly talked to this man using her hands to tell him about the land where she was born and of her years as a forced labor. He smiled at this strange looking woman, he told her his name - Banicky.

Banicky would walk up and down the roads of tobacco. He showed Molly how to dig places in the dirt to guide streams of water down the roads of plants. As the tobacco grew ready to harvest, Molly and Benicky grew to love each other. She signed his freedom papers and a traveling religious official married them. Molly had broken colonial law by marrying a black man. But her neighbors accepted this marriage and welcomed Banicky.

Years passed, Molly and Banicky had four young daughters. They had a large house and many smaller buildings on 40 hectares of land. Suddenly, there was a great sadness in the family, Banicky died. Molly held her daughters close to her. Then she taught them how to work the land. In time, she had a grandson. In her Bible, Molly wrote her new grandson's name - Benjamin Picnicker. She taught this young boy to read and write. She told him about his grandfather - the son of a king in Africa and about her days as a milkmaid across the ocean in England.

You have just heard the American story "Molly Banicky". Molly's grandson Benjamin Picnicker became a very famous African-American scientist and mathematician. This story was written by Alice Macgil and adapted into Special English by Karen Leggett. Listen again next week for another American story in VOA Special English. I'm Steve Ember

The snow kept coming down, quietly, ghostlike, covering the land deeper and deeper. It seemed as if it would go on forever. It was the first snowfall of the year. Billy looked through the kitchen window. He felt like diving into the snow and burying himself in its softness.
"Billy," his mother shouted, she was standing at his side but had to raise her voice because he was not listening.
"Do you have to call me Billy?"
"I meant Bill," his mother answered quickly, "I forgot how close you're to being a man. Go help pa with the fence."

Billy started out toward the fence. That was the story of his life, fixing this, fixing that. He walked slowly. The falling snow had a strange power, a power that did not seem real. It was like magic. Billy wanted to keep going, wishing there was no fence to reach or to fix. And then suddenly, out across the fields he went, he did not know what he was doing, he liked to help his father, but he kept thinking that at home he would never be more than a boy with small jobs to do. He crossed the frozen creek and then walked up into the hills when he came down into the flat lands. He began to run, racing against the whole world.

Then he saw his friend Joey standing near his father's barn with a pail in his hand.
"What's gotten into you?" Joey asked.
"I just feel good. That's all."
"You look kind of funny," Joey said. Billy wiped his hot face with snow. "I don't think I ever feel so good."

Joey said he was going to the town hall for music and dancing. Billy went with him. The town hall was on a hill, between two long valleys. As they drove up, they heard music coming out of the hall. Inside the hall, the air was sweet and warm. Some of the girls smiled at Billy in a funny way. He could not tell if the smiles were friendly or not. He turned back to the door and decided to stand there for a moment and then go, there was too much noise inside.
"You're standing right in the cold." Someone said to him. It was one of the Joey's cousins Sheila. Sheila something or other, she lived in the next town. Billy didn't even know her last name.
"Oh," he said, his face getting red. He moved a little.
"You're still in it." She said. Bill looked at her. She was sort of pretty with long black hair and blue-green eyes. But Billy wished she would go away.

"It's only fresh air," he said, "go pick on somebody else."
"I'm not picking on you. I'm trying to help you. That's what."
"Too many things they're helping when there're none." Billy said.
She studied him. "Well," she said, "that's true." Then, she smiled. "You don't like it in here, do you?"
"I feel better outside," he answered. Without thinking Billy said, "Look! Would you like to go out just for a few minutes?"
She turned her head away then said, "I'll get my coat."

Outside, they stood in the snow looking at the lighted windows of the hall. She walked quietly beside him, a stranger in white coat, shoes and gloves. He could still hear the music from the hall, but it was part of the snowfall. It seemed to be made not for dancers but for walkers. It seemed strange and wonderful that there should be someone so near him.

Suddenly he asked, "Did you say something?"
"No," she said, "did you?"
He shook his head.
"What do you think about when you walk like this?" she said.
"Oh, different things. What I like to do and never can, it's daydreaming I guess."
"Yes," she said, "I do that, too."
The snow seemed to be falling faster now and the music from the hall was gone. From far below came the sound of bells followed by a few coughs from an old car. Then there was just silence as if the snow had cut off all the sounds of the world. Billy looked at her white coat and hat beside him. They belong to that world of wonder, that world of magic that was born with the first snowfall. He touched her hat.

"What're you doing?"
"I don't know," he said, "I just…", he stopped.
There was nothing real but the snow. Even the whiteness of her coat and hat seemed to come from the snow. He turned around; all signs of the world were gone.
"We are the only two in the world left," he said.
"Is that why you touched my hat?"
He said nothing. But then in a rush of words, bravely he said, "Maybe I wanted to kiss you."
She laughed. "I wouldn't let you," she said, "I don't like kissing."
"I don't either," he said.
"Oh, well, that's a good thing, because she wouldn't really be able to."
"Why not?"
"I'm too strong for you," she said.
"So that's what you think. You're wrong. If I really wanted to, I guess I could do alright."
"Dreamer!" She gave him a push and ran back toward the hall, before he knew it he was after her, he had caught her. Laughing she pushed him and down they went into the snow. He expected her to let him kiss her now. That's what often happened in the stories he read. Why would she laugh if her struggle against him were real? But she did not let him. She fought him as if she wanted to hurt him, wanted to make him feel small.

"You're a child," she said, pulling away from him.
I should let her go, he thought. But he held on to her until he felt that he could hold on forever. He wanted to hold on forever. It was really a simple thing to hug a girl he thought. Her hat had been pushed off and the snow shining on her dark hair, he now felt a strange gentleness for her. As she looked angrily at him, her face red and full of fight, he told himself that it was not the right moment to kiss her. However, he tried to kiss her anyway, more in pride than anything else but he missed her mouth. He still held on as the snow light and cool as a fresh white sheet began to cover them. She was getting tired. She was looking at him differently now with less anger. And he tried to kiss her again. This time he did not miss her mouth and met hers fully. Had she moved to meet him? He did not know. In his daydreams, success had always lifted him up. People cheered him. But being able to kiss her was a different kind of success. He did not feel lifted up, there were no cheers and there was no fire in his blood as some of his dreams made him believe there would be, instead he felt something else. He looked at the small hat in the snow, and that the small wet face of one who was not strong enough. He felt sorry for her. This feeling was new to him. He wondered how such a feeling could be part of another feeling that seemed so good. Very gently, Billy kissed her a third time. Then he let her go and they stood up. He picked up her hat and put it on her head. They began to walk back toward the hall.

The music came to them again as light as the snow that had covered down. As they walked, her hand touched his. She didn't mean to do it. Her touch was just another part of what now seemed to be a world of light and gentle things.

"Do you want to go back in the hall?" she asked, her voice was low. She no longer looked so strong.
"I guess not," he answered, "are you going in?"
"I'd better," she answered, "I came with friends. I'll see you again, won't I? "
Her question surprised him, he had not thought about seeing her again, he was still lost in a dream thinking of the day's happenings, feeling the wonder and excitement of newborn things, like the first snowfall, the first spring flowers, the first feelings of growing up becoming a man.

Billy heard her asked again, "I'll see you again, won't I?"
He shook his head.
"You mean I won't?" she asked.
"I mean you will." he answered.
She smiled and went inside.
He began walking along the road toward the valley. The snowfall seemed to be stopping but he believed that it would last until he got home.

You have just heard the American story "Light and Gentle Things". It was written by William S for the New England magazine called Yankee. Our narrator was Shep O'Neal. For VOA Special English, this is Susan Clark.

John Lyman stood on the steps of the summer house, watching his wife climbing into the car and drive off along the lake road. She was going to the village to get some boxes for his manuscripts and books. He looked unhappy, he had done little work on his book and the summer was now gone. “A wasted summer,” he had said to his wife.
“Not wasted, John,” she had said gently. “It’s been good for all of us.”
“But not good for my work,” he’d answered bitterly.

He put his pipe down, smiled weakly as his old dog Bingo came up to sniff it. The dog did this to be near him and he patted it on the head. Then he remembered his unfinished book and he asked his child hopefully “Isn’t there something else you would like to do instead of going sailing on our last day here?” The child stopped wiggling her toes in the hot dust and turned up her face and said with an unhappy look.

“Do we have to go home tomorrow, daddy?”
“Yes,” he answered, “school begins Monday you know?”
She moaned. She looked small in her swimsuit and frail. Bingo pushed against his hand and he thought about a number of things that he had had the dog longer than his child who was almost nine. And he remembered that Bingo had been his dog even before he met his wife Doris. She had been 18 then and was now 29. For 11 years, she had tried to be as old as himself and he had tried to be as young as she. Now any anger you wondered if their love was worth the years of trying and so often failing.

The child said, “Daddy, I can't think of anything else I would rather do than go sailing.”
This made him more angry. He was a poor sailor and had already upset the boat once. His wife was probably right, he thought. She said he was always thinking so much about his book on early grey card that he let the wind and the boat get the better of him.

And so, after he agreed to take out the boat it happened again today. He was so troubled with the lost of his time but he let a gust of wind turned his light boat over. He went under and was terrified. Not because of his own safety but that of the child. Usually she swam well but it was different today. In a panic, he broke through the surface of the water and looked wildly about for her. He saw the boat first. It had swum to the right, its red painted side glistening in the sun. Then to his left, he saw her bright hair. In her terror she was fighting the water, gasping and screaming. He called out to calm her and swam to her. She came up sobbing. He put an arm around her and held her close. She clung to him like a thin, frightened animal. He could feel her terror who was like something alive and in singing. Suddenly he wanted to shout for help though he knew there was no one to hear, and he wanted to fight against the water with all his strength. But he forced himself to keep calm.

“Don’t cry,” * said gently, “we’re all right.” He stayed in the same spot, moving his legs up and down in the water to keep afloat. He held her close talking quietly, at last she heard him. When her arms loosened, he laughed and said, “We’ll never hear the last of this from mother.” She laughed too and asked, “Where’s the boat?” He finally saw it far to the right. “It’s running away from us.” he said.

Alone he might have caught up with it and let it carry them to safety. Lifting his head he saw how far they were from shore. Almost half a mile! Again he became tense, frightened, but he said, “Thank you for hanging on while I swam.” She laughed again and put her arms around his neck. She seemed liked it first and he told himself he could make it. Swam one hundred strokes, he kept saying to himself, then float and rest awhile.

After the third rest period she seemed to have grown surprisingly heavy. He was too old for something like this, he thought. Now he had lost count of the rest periods. He felt physically spent unable to make it to shore. He’d always cared more for books than sports and now he wondered if he had not spent too many hours of his life by himself, studying, writing, teaching, too many hours of wanting nothing more than his pipe, his dog and his books. He remembered how Doris had come into one of his classes, a girl of 18, the oldest of a large family. A fresh lovely girl with laughter in her eyes.

One day he found her on a college grounds, gently touching Bingo and said he was a beautiful dog. Really Bingo was a big ugly brute. Doris said that Bingo had character. He laughed and told her what a lazy, no good Bingo was. And then she laughed too. Listening he knew that she was what he wanted. Then came a wedding day, she said she would give him a houseful of noisy sons, they would make him forget his books and filling with laughter. The first was to be named John Junior. But she succeeded in giving him only a tiny daughter who arrived too early and was given only a small chance to live. But she lived and they named her Joanna and called her Jonnie. Now he was swimming to shore with her, while a great weakness filled every inch of his body. He felt there was little hope, he was tiring fast. He wondered what it would be like to die at nine and at forty. He wondered what would become of old Bingo, and the pipe he had left on the front steps of this house. He wondered how long it would be before Doris would laugh again, and he knew how foolish it was to be angry because of book had not been written.

“Daddy,” Jonnie asked, “is our boat lost for good?”
“Oh no, it, it wash ashore.”
“And will we sail it next summer?”
“Of course, and probably upset it again.”
She laughed and he swam on. The next time he painfully lifted his head, he saw they were quite close to land. For as far as he was concerned, it didn’t matter. He had reached the point where he could no longer move, not an inch.
“Now,” he said smiling, “I’ll wish you to the house, I’ll come to him and then give you that much of start, no looking back.”

Excitedly she swam on on her own. He closed his eyes. His feet and legs were like lead pulling him down. Slowly the water covered his chin, his mouth and then surprisingly, his feet touched bottom. At last he pushed forward on his stomach along the dry hot sand.

“I won!” Jonnie cried as she ran back toward where her father lay, “I’ve been to the house already.” He sat up slowly to look at her, funny looking means, thin arms and legs. He had been like that when he was a boy of nine. Blonde hair, blue eyes, that part of her was Doris’ gift. Then he knew that if he had drowned, it would not have mattered much. But if Jonnie had drowned, he and Doris would have been lost and the whole future would have been changed. Suddenly he knew why he himself had been born into this world. Not to write a book, but to father and protect this one child.

“That comes mother!” Jonnie cried and went racing away.
Somehow he was able to get to his feet and followed.
“Daddy and I upset the boat.” He heard Jonnie say laughingly, “then we swam a race to shore and I won!”
Doris' shocked eyes met his immediately without being told, she seemed to know what had almost happen to him and Jonnie. She sat down as if her knees had suddenly turned to rubber. He dropped down behind her and took her hand in his.
“You were right,” he said gently, “It has been a good summer.” And when she stopped shaking, he kissed her.

You have been listening to the story "Upset". It was written by Frank ?. Copyright by Family Circle incorporated. All rights reserved. Your storyteller was Walter Guthrie. Listen again next week at this same time for another American story told in Special English on the Voice of America. This is Shirley Griffith