文章来源:未知 文章作者:meng 发布时间:2010-12-27 01:48 字体: [ ]  进入论坛

Walking alone on a remote beach in southwest Florida, I was startled to hear splashes and a deep sigh coming from the water just offshore1.

As I squinted2(斜视) in the direction of the sounds, the rounded gray back of a sea creature rose amid a red froth(泡沫) , rolled turbulently(汹涌澎湃地) at the surface, then sank back into the Gulf3. Moments later a broad nose emerged and exhaled4(呼气,发出) in a great snuffling breath. It was a manatee5(海牛) , and by the looks of the reddish-colored water and the way it was thrashing, it was in trouble.

I had often watched manatees6 in these warm coastal7 waters, but I'd never seen one act like this before. Usually just their big nostrils8(鼻孔) appeared for a gulp9 of air as they foraged10 on sea grasses or swam slowly to greener underwater pastures. But I also knew how common it was for these lumbering11 giants to be gashed12 by boat propellers13 or entangled14 in crab15 traps.

I wanted to help, but what could I do? There was no one else on the beach, and the nearest phone to call the Marine16 Patrol was miles away.

Tossing my beach bag onto the sand, I began wading17 toward the animal, who continued to writhe18(翻滚,蠕动) as if in distress19. I was still only waist deep when I came close enough to make out the bristly whiskers on the manatee's muzzle20 as it thrust up out of the sea. Then, to my surprise, a second muzzle, much smaller, poked21 up beside it.

I pushed on through the shoal water, but now the manatees were also moving toward me. Before I knew what was happening, I was in chest-deep water encircled by not one or two, but at least three blimplike bodies. I felt elated(兴高采烈的) and slightly dizzy like the kid who is 'it' in a schoolyard game.

A bulbous(球根的) snout emerged next to me. In the translucent22 water, I could clearly see the rest of the huge mammal, and there, nestled close behind her, a smaller version of her massive body.

Then, with incredible gentleness for such an enormous creature, the larger manatee nudged the little one with her paddle-shaped flipper23 and pushed it to the surface beside me. I wanted to reach out and touch the pudgy(矮胖的) sea baby, but I hesitated, not knowing the rules of this inter-species encounter.

As the two slipped back underwater, two other manatees moved in from behind and slid by, one on either side, rubbing gently against my body as they swam past. They circled and repeated the action, this time followed by the mother and her calf24. Emboldened25 by their overtures26, I let my hand graze the side of the small manatee, now clinging to the mother's back, as they made their pass. Its skin felt rubbery and firm like an old fashioned hot water bottle.

The group completed several more circuits. Since they obviously enjoyed touching27 me, I began stroking each of them as they sidled by. When one of them rolled over for a scratch, I knew I had made the right move.

Eventually my new friends made their way off towards deeper water. I stood anchored to the spot, not wishing to break the spell, until finally the rising tide forced me back to shore.

I suppose I will never know exactly what took place that morning. I like to think that the manatees included me in their celebration of a birth; that I was welcomed to meet the newest member of their tribe. But over time I have come to cherish the experience without questions.

During that unexpected rendezvous28(地点) , I felt more in tune29 with the rhythms of life on this vast planet than I ever have. The memory has become a song I sing to myself when I have the blues30, a dance I do to celebrate joy.

And each year, during the last week of May, I pack a lunch and head for that isolated31 stretch of beach for a quiet little birthday picnic on the shore. After all, you never know who might show up for the party.


1 offshore FIux8     
  • A big program of oil exploration has begun offshore.一个大规模的石油勘探计划正在近海展开。
  • A gentle current carried them slowly offshore.和缓的潮流慢慢地把他们带离了海岸。
2 squinted aaf7c56a51bf19a5f429b7a9ddca2e9b     
斜视( squint的过去式和过去分词 ); 眯着眼睛; 瞟; 从小孔或缝隙里看
  • Pulling his rifle to his shoulder he squinted along the barrel. 他把枪顶肩,眯起眼睛瞄准。
  • I squinted through the keyhole. 我从锁眼窥看。
3 gulf 1e0xp     
  • The gulf between the two leaders cannot be bridged.两位领导人之间的鸿沟难以跨越。
  • There is a gulf between the two cities.这两座城市间有个海湾。
4 exhaled 8e9b6351819daaa316dd7ab045d3176d     
v.呼出,发散出( exhale的过去式和过去分词 );吐出(肺中的空气、烟等),呼气
  • He sat back and exhaled deeply. 他仰坐着深深地呼气。
  • He stamped his feet and exhaled a long, white breath. 跺了跺脚,他吐了口长气,很长很白。 来自汉英文学 - 骆驼祥子
5 manatee Donzde     
  • We watched dolphin,manatee,sea lion and whale shows.我们看了海豚、海牛、海狮和鲸的表演。
  • One of the most extraordinary river creatures is Amazonian manatee.其中河里最特别的生物之一要数亚马孙海牛。
6 manatees 838c504e9733f033c37f82abeb0e60f1     
n.海牛(水生哺乳动物,体宽扁,尾圆,有鳃状肢)( manatee的名词复数 )
  • The manatees tamed quickly. 海牛很快地被驯服。 来自互联网
  • Gentle and slow moving, manatees are said to be the mythical mermaids of sailors' imaginations. 海牛游动温和而缓慢,被认为是海员遐想中富有神秘色彩的美人鱼。 来自互联网
7 coastal WWiyh     
  • The ocean waves are slowly eating away the coastal rocks.大海的波浪慢慢地侵蚀着岸边的岩石。
  • This country will fortify the coastal areas.该国将加强沿海地区的防御。
8 nostrils 23a65b62ec4d8a35d85125cdb1b4410e     
鼻孔( nostril的名词复数 )
  • Her nostrils flared with anger. 她气得两个鼻孔都鼓了起来。
  • The horse dilated its nostrils. 马张大鼻孔。
9 gulp yQ0z6     
  • She took down the tablets in one gulp.她把那些药片一口吞了下去。
  • Don't gulp your food,chew it before you swallow it.吃东西不要狼吞虎咽,要嚼碎了再咽下去。
10 foraged fadad0c0b6449a2cf267529b6c940462     
v.搜寻(食物),尤指动物觅(食)( forage的过去式和过去分词 );(尤指用手)搜寻(东西)
  • He foraged about in the cupboard. 他在碗橱里到处寻找食物。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • She foraged about in her handbag, but she couldn't find her ticket. 她在她的手提包里搜寻,但她没能找到她的票子。 来自辞典例句
11 lumbering FA7xm     
  • Lumbering and, later, paper-making were carried out in smaller cities. 木材业和后来的造纸都由较小的城市经营。
  • Lumbering is very important in some underdeveloped countries. 在一些不发达的国家,伐木业十分重要。
12 gashed 6f5bd061edd8e683cfa080a6ce77b514     
v.划伤,割破( gash的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He gashed his hand on a sharp piece of rock. 他的手在一块尖石头上划了一个大口子。
  • He gashed his arm on a piece of broken glass. 他的胳膊被玻璃碎片划了一个大口子。 来自《简明英汉词典》
13 propellers 6e53e63713007ce36dac451344bb87d2     
n.螺旋桨,推进器( propeller的名词复数 )
  • The water was thrashing and churning about under the propellers. 水在螺旋桨下面打旋、翻滚。 来自辞典例句
  • The ship's propellers churned the waves to foam. 轮船的推进器将海浪搅出泡沫。 来自辞典例句
14 entangled e3d30c3c857155b7a602a9ac53ade890     
adj.卷入的;陷入的;被缠住的;缠在一起的v.使某人(某物/自己)缠绕,纠缠于(某物中),使某人(自己)陷入(困难或复杂的环境中)( entangle的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The bird had become entangled in the wire netting. 那只小鸟被铁丝网缠住了。
  • Some military observers fear the US could get entangled in another war. 一些军事观察家担心美国会卷入另一场战争。 来自《简明英汉词典》
15 crab xoozE     
  • I can't remember when I last had crab.我不记得上次吃蟹是什么时候了。
  • The skin on my face felt as hard as a crab's back.我脸上的皮仿佛僵硬了,就象螃蟹的壳似的。
16 marine 77Izo     
  • Marine creatures are those which live in the sea. 海洋生物是生存在海里的生物。
  • When the war broke out,he volunteered for the Marine Corps.战争爆发时,他自愿参加了海军陆战队。
17 wading 0fd83283f7380e84316a66c449c69658     
(从水、泥等)蹚,走过,跋( wade的现在分词 )
  • The man tucked up his trousers for wading. 那人卷起裤子,准备涉水。
  • The children were wading in the sea. 孩子们在海水中走着。
18 writhe QMvzJ     
  • They surely writhe under this pressure.他们肯定对这种压力感到苦恼。
  • Her words made him writhe with shame.她的话使他惭愧地感到浑身不自在。
19 distress 3llzX     
  • Nothing could alleviate his distress.什么都不能减轻他的痛苦。
  • Please don't distress yourself.请你不要忧愁了。
20 muzzle i11yN     
  • He placed the muzzle of the pistol between his teeth.他把手枪的枪口放在牙齿中间。
  • The President wanted to muzzle the press.总统企图遏制新闻自由。
21 poked 87f534f05a838d18eb50660766da4122     
v.伸出( poke的过去式和过去分词 );戳出;拨弄;与(某人)性交
  • She poked him in the ribs with her elbow. 她用胳膊肘顶他的肋部。
  • His elbow poked out through his torn shirt sleeve. 他的胳膊从衬衫的破袖子中露了出来。 来自《简明英汉词典》
22 translucent yniwY     
  • The building is roofed entirely with translucent corrugated plastic.这座建筑完全用半透明瓦楞塑料封顶。
  • A small difference between them will render the composite translucent.微小的差别,也会使复合材料变成半透明。
23 flipper flipper     
n. 鳍状肢,潜水用橡皮制鳍状肢
  • The seal's flipper is homologous with the human arm. 海豹的鳍肢与人类的手臂同源。
  • It's almost like a flipper action as she kicks down. 她向下踢腿时有鱼鳍的效果。
24 calf ecLye     
  • The cow slinked its calf.那头母牛早产了一头小牛犊。
  • The calf blared for its mother.牛犊哞哞地高声叫喊找妈妈。
25 emboldened 174550385d47060dbd95dd372c76aa22     
v.鼓励,使有胆量( embolden的过去式和过去分词 )
  • Emboldened by the wine, he went over to introduce himself to her. 他借酒壮胆,走上前去向她作自我介绍。
  • His success emboldened him to expand his business. 他有了成就因而激发他进一步扩展业务。 来自《简明英汉词典》
26 overtures 0ed0d32776ccf6fae49696706f6020ad     
n.主动的表示,提议;(向某人做出的)友好表示、姿态或提议( overture的名词复数 );(歌剧、芭蕾舞、音乐剧等的)序曲,前奏曲
  • Their government is making overtures for peace. 他们的政府正在提出和平建议。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He had lately begun to make clumsy yet endearing overtures of friendship. 最近他开始主动表示友好,样子笨拙却又招人喜爱。 来自辞典例句
27 touching sg6zQ9     
  • It was a touching sight.这是一幅动人的景象。
  • His letter was touching.他的信很感人。
28 rendezvous XBfzj     
  • She made the rendezvous with only minutes to spare.她还差几分钟时才来赴约。
  • I have a rendezvous with Peter at a restaurant on the harbour.我和彼得在海港的一个餐馆有个约会。
29 tune NmnwW     
  • He'd written a tune,and played it to us on the piano.他写了一段曲子,并在钢琴上弹给我们听。
  • The boy beat out a tune on a tin can.那男孩在易拉罐上敲出一首曲子。
30 blues blues     
  • She was in the back of a smoky bar singing the blues.她在烟雾弥漫的酒吧深处唱着布鲁斯歌曲。
  • He was in the blues on account of his failure in business.他因事业失败而意志消沉。
31 isolated bqmzTd     
  • His bad behaviour was just an isolated incident. 他的不良行为只是个别事件。
  • Patients with the disease should be isolated. 这种病的患者应予以隔离。
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