The Lazy King and the Clever Spider
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One upon a time, long long ago, when even grand-fatner tigers were little, there lived a king who was very very lazy.
In the mornings he had breakfast in bed, then cleaned his teeth and read the papers.
And he did nothing else all day long except stay in bed and eat sweets and read the papers; except when sometimes, he went back to sleep again.
Every evening his own band came and played for him. His own band! With a bugler and a drummer and two men who played the fife.
Then, when they'd finished playing he'd have some biscuits and milk and kiss the Queen good-night and go to sleep.
The Queen was very upset.
"He stays in bed all day long!" she said to the Prime Minister. "The people don't like it.’What's the use of a king who stays in bed all day?' they said 'We never see him to shout" Hooray! —to.
Or — Long Live the King!' If I tell him it's time to get up, he gets ever so grumpy. All he wants is to read the papers and listen to the band."
And the poor Queen began to cry.
"Oh please don't cry, Your Majesty!" said the Prime Minister
"Then he put on his hat and went home to think.
He thought all day long, but he couldn't think what to do to make the King get up.
Now in the Prime Minister's garden there lived a spider, whose name was Horatius. And that afternoon, when the Prime Minister's wife, Mathilda, was hanging-out the washing, Horatius was sitting on his web looking at her and watching the Prime Minister walking up and down, scratching his head from time to time.
"Why do you keep scratching your head?" asked Mathilda.
"Well, my dear," said the Prime Minister, "it helps me to think. And the Queen wants me to think how to make the King get up."
Horatius heard what the Prime Minister said, and thought, "If I crawled inside his hat, I could tickle his head and that would make him scratch and help him to think."
He looked down from his web and saw the Prime Minister's hat lying on the ground. So he let himself down on a long thread and hid inside it.
"Tea's ready!" called Mathilda from the house. The Prime Minister picked up his hat and went in. After tea, he put on his hat and went to see the Queen.
"My head does feel tickly!" he said, taking his hat off and scratching his head as he walked along.
Just then he had an idea.
"I know what I'll do!" he said. "I've got a plan." Then he saw Horatius.
"You are a good spider!" he said. "You tickled my head so that I had to scratch it and that made me think. And I've thought of a plan to make the King get up. The Queen and the people will be pleased."
As he was going in at the back door of the Palace, he met the man who played the bugle in the band and told him the plan he'd thought of.
"I say, that's a good idea!" said the bugler. "It'll be sure to make the King get up. I'll tell the others."
He told the other men in the band what to do as they all went into the King's bedroom as usual.
The Prime Minister told the Queen his plan and they both went in, too.
The King was very pleased to see them all. . "Come and sit on the bed!" he said to the Prime Minister. "And mind my toes!’ You, too, my dear! Come and sit down. Now we'll have some music. Please start playing!" he said to the bandsmen.
The band started to play as loudly as they knew how. The drummer banged his drums. The bugler played his bugle as loud as he could and the two men who played the fife blew so hard they nearly burst.
"Oh, that's much too loud!" said the King. "Play nice and quietly like you always do."
"Loud?" said the band-leader. "Was that loud, Your Majesty?" "I liked their playing," said the Queen. "Please play some more."
The band started to play again louder than ever.
"What nice music!" shouted the Queen.
"Yes, it is nice, Your Majesty! Nice, quiet, gentle music!" shouted back the Prime Minister.
"I must be going mad!" thought the King. "It doesn't sound nice and quiet to me."
He put his head under the pillow, but it still sounded loud.
So he said to the band, "Go outside the front gate, by the sentries, and ''play there!"
"Very well, Sir!" said the band-leader. They all went outside, but this time they only pretended to play. So no one could hear a sound.
"Why doesn't the band play?" asked the King.
"What delightful music!" said the Queen. "I've never heard them play so well before."
"Exquisite!" said the Prime Minister.
The King couldn't believe his ears, so he got out of bed. He looked out of the window.
It seemed as if the band were playing away as hard as they could, but he couldn't hear a thing.
"I must look into this!"1 he thought. He said, "Please call the butler and ask him to bring me my going-out crown."
"Your going-out crown, Sir?" said the Prime Minister. "You haven’t got a going-out crown!"
"Then send for my crown-maker!"2 said the King. "At once, if you please!"
"Ah, Mr. Whelps," said the King to his crown-maker when he came, "I want you to make me a going-out crown."
"A going-out crown, Your Majesty?" said Mr. Whelps. He was absolutely astonished.
"Yes, and Whelps," said the King, "on bathnight when I was having my bath, I put my feet up on the taps and looked at the shape they made. And I thought, 'That is a good shape for a going-out crown!'"
"A very good shape, Your Majesty," said the butler.
"Well, hurry along then, Mr. Whelps, if you please."
Mr. Whelps said good-bye to the King and the Queen and got on his bicycle and rode home.
When he got home, he had a bath and put his feet on the taps. "Ah, yes," said Mr. Whelps. "That does make a good shape for a crown."
So he got a big pot of gold and some jewels and some velvet and made the King a beautiful going-out crown.
He took it round to the Palace and gave it to the King, who was very pleased with it and tried it on at once.
"Thank you, Mr. Whelps!" he said.
Then he put on his robes and the new crown and went out.
As soon as the band saw him coming, they started marching away down, the street still pretending to play, and the King hurried after, trying to hear them.
The people in the street were very pleased to see him, and lifted their hats or curtseyed and said, "Good afternoon, Your Majesty! We are pleased to see you!"
They shook hands with him and waved to him, and an ice-cream man gave him a lollipop because he was so pleased to see him.
When they got to the town square, the band started to play properly, and the King walked about and talked to everybody and enjoyed himself very much. He went into a shop and bought a story-book and then the coalman let him have a ride in his cart back to the Palace, where the Queen and the Prime Minister were waiting to greet him.
"I had a lovely time today!" he said to the Queen. "I'm not going to stay in bed after breakfast any more. I'm going to get up and sit on my throne and tell people what to do; and go out and have processions and things and be a proper king."
The Queen was very pleased and gave him a big kiss. Then she sent for the Prime Minister.
"Thank you!" she said. "That was a very good plan of yours." .
"Well, it was Horatius, the little spider, who lives in my garden, who helped really," said the.Prime Minister. "He got inside my hat and tickled my head so much I had to scratch and that made me think a lot. More than I have ever thought before. So I managed to think' of a plan."
"What a clever spider!" said the Queen. "Please bring him to tea on Saturday."
"Very well, Your Majesty," said the Prime Minister, bowing low and kissing her hand.
When he had gone, the Queen went to her sitting-room and started knitting Horatius a lovely golden web.
On Saturday the Prime Minister brought him to tea and the Queen put the golden web on the rose bushes in the garden for him. And after tea the Queen read him some fairy stories. He was a very happy spider.
when they'd (they had) finished playing—когда они кончали играть
Long Live —Да здравствует
My head does feel tickly! —До чего же голове щекотно!It'll be sure to make the King get up.— Это наверняка заставит короля подняться,
mind my toes —зд. не сядьте на ноги - дословно: обратитевнимание)
as they knew how—зд. как условились
I must be going mad! —Должно быть, я схожу с ума!
I must look into this! —зд. Я должен вникнуть в это!
Crown-maker –тот, кто делает королевские короны
So I managed to think —Потому-то мне и удалось придумать
The Contents -Содержание
1. Coal is good for you!-Уголь это полезно! 3
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