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英语散文:You Promised

2006-05-16 17:43

  Dad was going to be in charge. It happened a lot nowadays, because Kitty's Mum's new job meant that sometimes she had to work on Saturdays. Once they got used to it, Kitty and Daniel didn't mind. They always had fun with Dad.

  This Saturday morning, Mum said, "There's plenty of salad in the fridge for lunch, and I want you to eat it up."

  The children groaned.

  "Rabbit food," said Daniel.

  "I don't want to eat silly, slimy salad," said Kitty.

  "Can't we have something else?" they moaned.

  But Mum had become very keen on really healthy eating. She said, "It's good for you all - but if you want something hot to go with it, Dad can cook you some rice. But remember, NO biscuits. They're bad for your teeth."

  They groaned even more loudly. But Mum took no notice, and left.

  Dad said, "Better do as we're told, kids."

  Kitty stuck out her teeth, held two fingers above her head like ears and hopped around. "I'll turn into a bunny if I eat any more lettuce, Dad!" she said.

  He laughed, and sent them out into the garden to play while he did the washing up.

  The morning passed quickly. Daniel and Kitty played hide-and-seek with William and Sally, the children next door, until heavy clouds made the sky dark.

  "It's going to rain," said Sally. "Come in for a snack."

  Her mother gave them a plate of chocolate biscuits to share, and glasses of lemonade. Daniel winked at Kitty.

  As lunch-time came near they decided they should go home. It had stopped raining, but the air was damp and cold. "Lovely weather for salad," Kitty groaned.

  They were surprised to see a strange man sitting at the kitchen table with Dad. They each had a glass of beer. Dad looked very pleased. He told the children this was a very old friend he hadn't seen for years. The man, whose name was Bill, was big and jolly. He looked at his watch, "Well, if your lady-wife isn't coming home, why don't we all go down the road and get fish and chips?"

  The children jumped up and down, screaming with delight, and clapping their hands.

  Dad looked at them, then at the fridge door, then at his watch. "We-ell……"

  "Oh, come on!" said Bill.

  "You'd better promise not to tell your Mum," said Dad.

  "We won't!" yelled Kitty.

  Twenty minutes later they were all walking down the road, munching(咀嚼) delicious fish and chips with their fingers. When they got back to the house Bill took cans of fizzy(嘶嘶作响的) drink from his pockets, which made a perfect end to the meal (使这顿饭有了一个完美的尾声). The children were sorry when he had to go.

  "Oh, dear," said Dad, looking at empty cans on the kitchen table. "We'd better clear up. Mum will be back in half an hour."

  When Mum's key turned in the lock, Dad and Daniel were watching a film on television, and Kitty was wheeling Mr Tubs up and down the hall on her old baby tricycle.

  Mum kissed her. "Hello, love, have you had a lovely day?"

  Kitty nodded. She started to feel a bit guilty.

  "And it wasn't so bad to have salad for lunch, was it?" asked Mum.

  Kitty looked at her and went red. It was no good. She couldn't tell lies - that would be terrible. So she told Mum what had happened.

  "Aha-he did, did he?" said Mum, folding her arms, a little smile showing at the corner of her mouth. She marched into the sitting room.

  "Well, was it good, having a salad of fish and chips?" she asked standing in between Dad and the TV.

  Dad looked really guilty. He looked at Kitty, and she could almost hear him thinking, "But you promised you wouldn't tell."

  "Don't be angry with me, Dad," she said.

  At that, a big smile broke across Mum's face. "Look at you all!" she said. "Like frightened rabbits! You have been eating too many greens. Well, I went to the market to get a special treat for tonight's supper, and I met Bill - which was a lovely surprise. And he told me about your lunch."

  "And you don't mind?" asked Dad.

  "Of course not. I'm not a witch, you know! Didn't I say I'm making something you like for supper?"

  "What is it, Mum?" asked Kitty.

  "Fish and chips!" said Mum.

  "Oh, no!" they all groaned. And then they started to laugh.

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