Вот и весна! Все радуются ей! А всем, кто изучает английский, предлагаю окунуться в поток приятных эмоций, читая истории и сказки на языке оригинала. Итак, вдыхаем весну! Погружаемся в английский!
The Spring Beauty
by Henry R.Schoolcraft (Adapted)
An old man was sitting in his lodge, by the side of a frozen stream. It was the end of winter, the air was not so cold, and his fire was nearly out. He was old and alone. His locks were white with age, and he trembled in every joint. Day after day passed, and he heard nothing but the sound of the storm sweeping before it the new fallen snow.
One day while his fire was dying, a handsome young man approached and entered the lodge. His cheeks were red, his eyes sparkled. He walked with a quick, light step. His forehead was bound with a wreath of sweet grass, and he carried a bunch of fragrant flowers in his hand.
«Ah, my son,» said the old man, «I am happy to see you. Come in! Tell me your adventures, and what strange lands you have seen. I will tell you of my wonderful deeds, and what I can perform. You shall do the same, and we will amuse each other.»
The old man then drew from a bag a curiously wrought pipe. He filled it with mild tobacco, and handed it to his guest. They each smoked from the pipe and then began their stories.
«I am Peboan, the Spirit of Winter,» said the old man. «I blow my breath, and the streams stand still. The water becomes stiff and hard as clear stone.»
«I am Seegwun, the Spirit of Spring,» answered the youth. «I breathe, and flowers spring up in the meadows and woods.»
«I shake my locks,» said the old man, «and snow covers the land. The leaves fall from the trees, and my breath blows them away. The birds fly to a distant land, and the animals hide themselves from the cold.»
«I shake my ringlets,» said the young man, «and warm showers of soft rain fall upon the earth. The flowers lift their heads from the ground, the grass grows thick and green. My voice recalls the birds, and they come flying joyfully from the Southland. The warmth of my breath unbinds the streams, and they sing the songs of summer. Music fills the groves whereever I walk, and all nature rejoices.»
And while they were talking thus a wonderful change took place. The sun began to rise. A gentle warmth stole over the place. Peboan, the Spirit of Winter, became silent. His head drooped, and the snow outside the lodge melted away. Seegwun, the Spirit of Spring, grew more radiant, and rose joyfully to his feet. The robin and the bluebird began to sing on the top of the lodge. The stream began to murmur at the door, and the fragrance of opening flowers came softly on the breeze.
The lodge faded away, and Peboan sank down and dissolved into tiny streams of water, that vanished under the brown leaves of the forest. Thus the Spirit of Winter departed, and where he had melted away, there the Indian children gathered the first blossoms, fragrant and delicately pink — the modest Spring Beauty.
The Song of the Spring
by Annie Willis McCullough
The King was very ill indeed and no one in all the court could find out what was his ailment or how to cure it. He had been the kindest, merriest king for miles about, always ready to help a poor subject or to stop and play with the children as he drove his chariot through the village. Now he never smiled and he seemed too weary to care what happened in the kingdom; so everything went at sixes and sevens and no one knew what to do about it.
«The King needs daintier food,» said the Court Cook, so he served broiled peacock on toast, and pomegranates and cream, and wild honey, and cheese-cakes as light as feathers, and a sponge cake made with the eggs of a bantam hen. But the King would eat none of them.
«The King needs medicine,» said the Court Physician, so he searched the countryside for growing things and he brewed rose-leaf tea, and he made a potion of everlasting flowers mixed with rosemary, and he distilled wild honeysuckle with dew gathered at sunrise, but the King would drink none of these.
«Perhaps music would divert the King,» suggested the Court Wise Man. «It might make him forget whatever is troubling him.» And as music was the only remedy for the King’s most sorrowful illness that had not been tried, the Court Herald hastened through the streets, calling as loudly as he could:
«Music for the King! Music for the King! Riches and honor for whoever can play the prettiest tune and the one that will make his majesty forget his sorrow.»
Immediately the palace was filled with music, some of it very beautiful and all of it played by very famous people. A sweet singer came with his lute and sang to the King of all the princesses and queens that had listened to his tunes. But at the end the King was still weak and sorrowful. A harpist from a far country came and played music that sounded like the mighty wind on high mountain tops and the rushing flow of great mountain streams. But the King only thanked the harpist and requested that he be paid for his pains and his journey and go back to his home. Later, there came a trumpeter who gave great battle calls on his trumpet, but the King covered his ears to shut out the sound and looked more sad than ever because the sound of the trumpet gave him a headache.
So it seemed as if not even music would make the King well, and no one knew what to do.
Gladheart was the little boy who tended sheep in the valley. He was the youngest of five brothers, and there was little room and less food for them in their father’s house. But Gladheart had been given his name because he always smiled over a crust of bread, even when he was a baby. Now that he was a little lad of ten with a great flock of ewes and lambs to tend and drive through sun and storm, he had smiles and kind words for all, and he played his fiddle all day long until its sweet tunes filled the valley.
«I must go and play before the King,» Gladheart said one day.
«They will only laugh at your small fiddle,» said his brothers, but the eldest said he would tend the sheep for a day, and Gladheart set out for the palace.
«The King will have naught to do with a shepherd lad dressed in goatskin and bearing an old fiddle,» the guards at the door said. But Gladheart touched the strings with the bow and such a blithe tune came forth that the guards opened the door, and Gladheart went inside to play before the King.
At first the sight of the King sitting so bent and sorrowful on the throne with a face as frowning and sad as a storm frightened Gladheart. But he took courage and stood as straight as he could in front of the throne, and began to play on the fiddle a tune that he had learned while he was in the fields with his sheep.
It was a lovable tune, like a dozen birds and a little wandering wind and the voice of a rippling brook all joined with the sounds of the little earth singers, the bees, the katydids, and the crickets. As the King listened, his bent shoulders straightened and his face became bright with smiles. He reached out his hands to Gladheart. «I heard that tune once before when I was a boy,» he said. «It makes me well to hear it now. What is it about, lad?»
«It is about the spring, your majesty,» said Gladheart. «It is the song that I learned from the fields when winter was over. If your majesty will come with me to my sheep pasture, you may hear it there every day.»
No one could understand why the King was suddenly so well or why he went often to sit with Gladheart and the sheep, but they were all very happy over it. And they gave Gladheart the riches and the honor that they had promised whoever could heal their King.
The Fairy Tulips
An English Folk-tale
Once upon a time there was a good old woman who lived in a little house. She had in her garden a bed of beautiful striped tulips.
One night she was wakened by the sounds of sweet singing and of babies laughing. She looked out at the window. The sounds seemed to come from the tulip bed, but she could see nothing.
The next morning she walked among her flowers, but there were no signs of any one having been there the night before.
On the following night she was again wakened by sweet singing and babies laughing. She rose and stole softly through her garden. The moon was shining brightly on the tulip bed, and the flowers were swaying to and fro. The old woman looked closely and she saw, standing by each tulip, a little Fairy mother who was crooning and rocking the flower like a cradle, while in each tulip cup lay a little Fairy baby laughing and playing.
The good old woman stole quietly back to her house, and from that time on she never picked a tulip, nor did she allow her neighbors to touch the flowers.
The tulips grew daily brighter in color and larger in size, and they gave out a delicious perfume like that of roses. They began, too, to bloom all the year round. And every night the little Fairy mothers caressed their babies and rocked them to sleep in the flower cups.
The day came when the good old woman died, and the tulip bed was torn up by folks who did not know about the Fairies, and parsley was planted there instead of the flowers. But the parsley withered, and so did all the other plants in the garden, and from that time nothing would grow there.
But the good old woman’s grave grew beautiful, for the Fairies sang above it, and kept it green — while on the grave and all around it there sprang up tulips, daffodils, and violets, and other lovely flowers of spring.