学习啦【英语文摘】 编辑：韦彦 发布时间：2016-08-27
A Puma at large
Pumas are large, cat-like animals which are found in America. When reports came into London Zoo that a wild puma had been spotted 45 miles south of London, they were not taken seriously. However, as the evidence began to accumulate, experts from the Zoo felt obliged to investigate, for the descriptions given by people who claimed to have seen the puma were extraordinarily similar. The hunt for the puma began in a small village where a woman picking blackberries saw 'a large cat' only 5 yards away from her. It immediately ran away when she saw it, and experts confirmed that a puma will not attack a human being unless it is cornered. The search proved difficult, for the puma was often observed at one place in the morning and at another place 20 miles away in the evening. Wherever it went, it left behind it a trail of dead deer and small animals like rabbits. Paw prints were seen in a number of places and puma fur was found clinging to bushes. Several people complained of 'cat-like noises' at night and a businessman on a fishing trip saw the puma up a tree. The experts were now fully convinced that the animal was a puma, but where had it come from ? As no pumas had been reported missing from any zoo in the country, this one must have been in the possession of a private collector and somehow managed to escape. The hunt went on for several weeks, but the puma was not caught. It is disturbing to think that a dangerous wild animal is still at large in the quiet countryside.
Has it ever happened to you? Have you ever put your trousers in the washing machine and then remembered there was a large bank note in your back pocket? When you rescued your trousers, did you find the note was whiter than white? People who live in Britain needn't despair when they made mistakes like this and a lot of people do! Fortunately for them, the Bank of England has a team called Mutilated Ladies which deals with claims from people who fed their money to a machine or to their dog. Dogs, it seems, love to chew up money! A recent case concerns Jane Butlin whose fiancé, John, runs a successful furniture business. John had a very good day and put his wallet containing £3,000 into the microwave oven for safekeeping. Then he and Jane went horse-riding. When they got home, Jane cooked their dinner in the microwave oven and without realizing it, cooked her fiancé's wallet as well. Imagine their dismay when they found a beautifully-cooked wallet and notes turned to ash! John went to see his bank manager who sent the remains of wallet and the money to the special department of the Bank of England in Newcastle: the Mutilated Ladies! They examined the remains and John got all his money back. 'So long as there's something to identify, we will give people their money back,' said a spokeswoman for the Bank. 'Last year, we paid £1.5 million on 21,000 claims.'
这种事情在你身上出现过吗?你有没有把裤子塞洗衣机，然后又想在裤子的后兜有一张大面值的纸币?当你把裤子抢救出来时，你有没有发现那张纸币已经变得比白纸还白?当英国人犯这种错误时，他们不必感到绝望(而许多国家的人都有这种绝望的感觉)。对英国人来说，值得庆幸的是英国银行有一个残钞鉴别组，负责理那些把钱塞进机器或塞给狗的人提出的索赔要求。看起来，狗很喜欢咀嚼钱币。 最近的一个案例与简.巴特林有关，她的未婚夫约翰拥有一家生意兴隆家具店。有一天约翰的生意很好，他把一只装有3,000 英镑的钱包放进微波炉内保存。然后，他和简一起去骑马。回家后，简用微波炉煮了晚饭，无意中之中把她未婚夫的钱包也一起煮了。可以想像他们发现一只煮得很好看的钱包，钞票已化成灰时的沮丧心情。约翰去找银行经理，经理把约翰的钱包和纸币的残留物送到英国银行在纽卡斯尔的一个专门部门——残钞鉴别组。他们鉴定了这些残留物。约翰拿回了他损失的全部数额。“只要有东西可供识别，我们会把钱还给人家的，”银行的一位女发言人说。“去年，我们对21，000 起索赔要求支付了150万英镑。”
Editors of newspapers and magazines often go to extremes to provide their readers with unimportant facts and statistics. Last year a journalist had been instructed by a well-known magazine to write an article on the president's palace in a new African republic. When the article arrived, the editor read the first sentence and then refused to publish it. The article began: 'Hundreds of steps lead to the high wall which surrounds the president's palace'. The editor at once sent the journalist a fax instructing him to find out the exact number of steps and the height of the wall. The journalist immediately set out to obtain these important facts, but he took a long time to send them. Meanwhile, the editor was getting impatient, for the magazine would soon go to press. He sent the journalist two more faxes, but received no reply. He sent yet another fax informing the journalist that if he did not reply soon he would be fired. When the journalist again failed to reply, the editor reluctantly published the article as it had originally been written. A week later, the editor at last received a fax from the journalist. Not only had the poor man been arrested, but he had been sent to prison as well. However, he had at last been allowed to send a fax in which he informed the editor that he had been arrested while counting the 1,084 steps leading to the 15-foot wall which surrounded the president's palace.
The double life of Alfred Bloggs
These days, people who do manual work often receive far more money than people who work in offices. People who work in offices are frequently referred to as "white-collar workers' for the simple reason that they usually wear a collar and tie to go to work. Such is human nature, that a great many people are often willing to sacrifice higher pay for the privilege of becoming white-collar workers. This can give rise to curious situations, as it did in the case of Alfred Bloggs who worked as a dustman for the Ellesmere Corporation. When he got married, Alf was too embarrassed to say anything to his wife about his job. He simply told her that he worked for the Corporation. Every morning, he left home dressed in a smart black suit. He then changed into overalls and spent the next eight hours as a dustman. Before returning home at night, he took a shower and changed back into his suit. Alf did this for over two years and his fellow dustmen kept his secret Alf's wife has never discovered that she married a dustman and she never will, for Alf has just found another job. He will soon be working in an office. He will be earning only half as much as he used to, but he feels that his rise in status is well worth the loss of money. From now on, he will wear a suit all day and others will call him 'Mr. Bloggs', not 'Alf'.
An unknown goddess
Some time ago, and interesting discovery was made by archaeologists on the Aegean island of Kea. An American team explored a temple which stands in an ancient city on the promontory of Ayia Irini. The city at one time must have been prosperous, for it enjoyed a high level of civilization. Houses, often three storeys high, were built of stone. They had large rooms with beautifully decorated walls. The city was equipped with a drainage system, for a great many clay pipes were found beneath the narrow streets. The temple which the archaeologists explored was used as a place of worship from the 15th century B.C. until Roman times. In the most sacred room of temple, clay fragments of 15 statues were found. Each of these represented a goddess and had, at one time, been painted. The body of one statue was found among remains dating from the 15th century B.C. It's missing head happened to be among remains of the 5th century B.C. This head must have been found in Classical times and carefully preserved. It was very old and precious even then. When the archaeologists reconstructed the fragments, they were amazed to find that the goddess turned out to be a very modern-looking woman. She stood three feet high and her hands rested on her hips. She was wearing a full-length skirt which swept the ground. Despite her great age, she was very graceful indeed, but, so far, the archaeologists have been unable to discover her identity.
Thirteen equals one
Our vicar is always raising money for one cause or another, but he has never managed to get enough money to have the church clock repaired. The big clock which used to strike the hours day and night was damaged many years ago and has been silent ever since. One night, however, our vicar woke up with a start: the clock was striking the hours! Looking at his watch, he saw that it was one o'clock, but the bell struck 13 times before it stopped. Armed with a torch, the vicar went up into the clock tower to see what was going on. In the torchlight, he caught sight of a figure whom he immediately recognized as Bill Wilkins, our local grocer. 'Whatever are you doing up here Bill?' asked the vicar in surprise. “I'm trying to repair the bell,” answered Bill.“I've been coming up here night after night for weeks now. You see, I was hoping to give you a surprise.” 'You certainly did give me a surprise!' said the vicar. 'You've probably woken up everyone in the village as well. Still, I'm glad the bell is working again.' 'That's the trouble, vicar,' answered Bill. 'It's working all right, but I'm afraid that at one o'clock it will strike 13 times and there's nothing I can do about it.' 'We'll get used to that Bill,' said the vicar. '13 is not as good as one but it's better than nothing. Now let's go downstairs and have a cup of tea.'
我们教区的牧师总是为各种各样的事筹集资金。但始终未能筹足资金把教堂的钟修好。教堂的钟很大，以前不分昼夜打点报时，但很多年前遭到毁坏，从此便无声无息了。 一天夜里，我们的牧师突然被惊醒了，大钟又在“打点”报时了!他一看表，才1点钟，可是那钟一边敲了13下才停。牧师拿着一支电筒走上钟楼想去看看究竟发生了什么事情。借着电筒光。他看见一个人，马上认出那是本地杂货店主经比尔.威尔金斯。 “你究竟在这上面干什么，比尔?”牧师惊讶地问。 “我想把这口钟修好，”比尔回答说。“好几个星期了，我天天夜里到钟楼上来。嗯，我是想让你大吃一惊。” “你确实使我大吃了一惊!”牧师说，“也许同时你把村里所有的人都吵醒了。不过，钟又能报时了，我还是很高兴的。” “问题就在这里，牧师，”比尔回答说。“不错，钟能报时了，但是，恐怕每到1点钟，它总要敲13下，对此我已无能为力了。” “大家慢慢就习惯了，比尔，”牧师说。“13下是不如1下好，但总比1下也不敲强。来，咱们下楼去喝杯茶吧。”