Sherwood Anderson. The Egg (a story in English, for intermediate)

The Egg. A short story adapted for beginners / pre-intermediateПолный горькой иронии рассказ американского писателя Шервуда Андерсона о своем детстве, несомненно, понравится изучающим английский язык. Этот рассказ рекомендуется для чтения на английском языке студентам и взрослым на уровне intermediate. Рассказ разделен 10 частей и к каждой части дается 7 слов  для изучения. А значит ваш словарный запас увеличится на 70 слов (Английские слова для изучения к рассказу «The Egg»). Слова для понимания, а также употребительные грамматические конструкции для изучения выделены в тексте.

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Для совершенствующихся, предлагаем читать этот рассказ на английском языке в оригинале. —  Sherwood Anderson. The Egg (in the original, 1921)

The Egg (a story by Sherwood Anderson, 1921)


Level Intermediate

Итак, читаем рассказ Шервуда Андерсона на английском языке из цикла «Рассказы американских писателей на английском языке для начинающих и продолжающих»

Copyright ©, 2016

Part 1. New words to learn:

  1. cheerful – жизнерадостный
  2. ambitious – амбициозный, честолюбивый
  3. responsible – ответственный
  4. rule – управлять
  5. give up – бросить (чем-то заниматься)
  6. disaster – катастрофа
  7. gloomy – угрюмый

My father was a cheerful kind man. Until he was thirty-four he worked as a farmhand in a place near the town of Bidwell, Ohio. He had an own horse and on Saturday evenings drove into town to spend a few hours in a local pub. He drank several glasses of beer and had talks with other farmhands.  At ten o’clock father drove home and went to bed, quite happy with his life.

a farmhand – подручный

It was in the spring of his thirty-fifth year that my father married my mother, a country school teacher, and in the following spring I came to the world, crying. Then something happened to the two people. They became ambitious. The American dream for getting up in the world took possession of them.

took possession of – завладела

My mother was responsible. She was a tall silent woman with grey eyes. Being a school teacher, she read books and magazines. She read about Americans who were poor and became famous and dreamt that I would some day rule men and cities. For herself she wanted nothing. But for father and myself she was very ambitious. So, she made my father to give up his work on the farm, sell his horse and start a business of his own.

They rented ten acres of poor stony land, eight miles from Bidwell, and started chicken raising. I was a boy then and watched the life there from the very beginning. It was a disaster. Now I am a gloomy man who always sees the dark side of life and I think it is because I spent the best days of my childhood on a chicken farm.

chicken raising – разведение цыплят

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Part 2. New words to learn:

  1. fluffy –  пушистый
  2. naked – голый
  3. decease – заболевание
  4. dreadful – ужасный
  5. be mistaken – заблуждаться
  6. fortune – состояние
  7. struggle – 1. гл. бороться, 2. борьба

Now I know how many tragic things can happen to a chicken. Only a few weeks it lives as a fluffy thing such as you can see pictured on Easter cards but then becomes naked and ugly, gets deceases called cholera and others, stands looking with stupid eyes at the sun, becomes sick and dies. Only few of them grow up and become hens. The hens lay eggs out of which come other chickens and the dreadful cycle continues. It is very complex and I think most philosophers spent their childhood on chicken farms.  A person who hopes very much from a chicken is very mistaken. Small chickens looking so bright and lovely are very stupid, in fact. If decease doesn’t kill them, they walk under the wheels of a wagon. Or they can be infested by vermin and fortunes must be spent to cure them. In other words, if two ambitious people decide to own a few hens they must be ready to spend a lot of money.

infested by vermin – заражены паразитами

But my story is not about raising chicken. In short, my father and mother struggled to make money on the chicken farm for ten years but then gave up that struggle and began another. They moved into the town of Bidwell and started a restaurant business. After ten years of worry about lovely fluffy balls that became naked and then dead, we packed our things into a wagon and drove down towards Bidwell, hoping to start a new life.

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Part 3. New words to learn:

  1. battlefield – поле боя
  2. discouraged – разочарованный
  3. far – далекий
  4. treasure – сокровище
  5. raise – вырастить
  6. make a fortune – сколотить состояние
  7. wonder – чудо
  8. surprising – удивительный

We were like running away from a battlefield. Mother and I walked sadly along the road behind the wagon full of cheap chairs, tables, piles of bedclothes, boxes with kitchen things and what not. Father drove the wagon. He was a bald-headed man of forty-five. Since he married my mother and started raising chicken, he became silent and discouraged.  All ten years he had to work in other farms to get money and most of that money my mother spent on wonderful remedies for chicken deceases, she found advertised in newspapers. I remember that as a child I liked to sit before the stove looking at him. It was on Sunday afternoons in the winter. I was half asleep and pictured myself going along the road into a far beautiful place where there were no chicken farms and where life was happy without eggs.

had to – приходилось

wonderful remedies – чудо средства

be half-asleep – почти засыпая

So, my mother and I walked along the road for eight miles.  The only seat of the wagon beside father had our greatest treasure. Now I will tell you of that.

On a chicken farm surprising things sometimes happen. When thousands of chicken come out of eggs, some of them are born with four legs, two pairs of wings, two heads or what not. The things do not live. This fact was one of the tragedies of life to father. He thought that if he could raise a five-legged hen or a two-headed rooster, he would make a fortune. He dreamt he would take the wonder about the country and grow rich by showing it to people.

Грамматический комментарий: He dreamt he would take … —  Он мечтал, что возьмет …

По согласованию времен вместо will (будущее время) нужно ставить would. Изучить правила согласования времен в английском языке. СКОРО

So, my father saved all the little monstrous things that were born on our chicken farm. He preserved them in alcohol and put each in a glass bottle. Now these glass bottles were in the box on the wagon seat beside him. Later he put these bottles on the shelf behind the counter of the restaurant. Mother protested but father said that people liked to look at strange and wonderful things.

Грамматический комментарий: were put – были поставлены

В предложении нет действующего лица, при этом действие совершено над объектом – бутылками. В этом случае надо использовать пассивный залог. Изучить конструкцию пассивного залога в английском языке. СКОРО

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Part 4. New words to learn:

  1. exaggerate – преувеличивать
  2. main – главный
  3. empty – пустой
  4. profitable – приносящий выгоду
  5. rise – подняться
  6. necessary – необходимый
  7. obey – слушаться, повиноваться

Did I say that we started a restaurant business in the town of Bidwell? I exaggerated a little. The town was at the foot of a low hill and on the shore of a small river. The railroad did not run through the town and the station was a mile away to the north. In the morning and in the evening buses came down to the station along the main road from the hotel on the main street. To start the business in the out of the way place was mother’s idea.  She talked of it for a year and then one day went off and rented a an empty store building opposite the railway station.

the out of the way – непроходное место

It was her idea that the restaurant would be profitable. Travelling men, she said, would be waiting to take trains out of town and town people would come to the station to meet their people. They would come to the restaurant to buy pieces of pie and drink coffee. Now I am older, and see that my mother had another motive to go. She was ambitious for me. She wanted me to rise in the world, to get into a town school and to become a town man.

At Bidwell father and mother worked hard as they always did. At first, it was necessary to get the place look like a restaurant. That took a month. Father made a shelf on which he put tins of vegetables. He painted a sign on which he put his name in large letters. Below his name was the command – «EAT HERE». The commands are seldom obeyed, you know. A show case was bought and filled with cigars and tobacco. My mother scrubbed the floor and the walls of the room. I went to school in the town and was glad to be away from the farm and from the sad-looking chickens. Still I was not very happy. It seemed to me that a boy who spent his childhood on a chicken farm and saw death every day would not be happy at all.

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