文章来源: 文章作者: 发布时间:2008-06-21 03:02 字体: [ ]  进入论坛
    THERE was once a darning-needle who thought herself so
fine that she fancied she must be fit for embroidery1. "Hold me
tight," she would say to the fingers, when they took her up,
"don't let me fall; if you do I shall never be found again, I
am so very fine."

    "That is your opinion, is it?" said the fingers, as they
seized her round the body.

    "See, I am coming with a train," said the darning-needle,
drawing a long thread after her; but there was no knot in the

    The fingers then placed the point of the needle against
the cook's slipper2. There was a crack in the upper leather,
which had to be sewn together.

    "What coarse work!" said the darning-needle, "I shall
never get through. I shall break!- I am breaking!" and sure
enough she broke. "Did I not say so?" said the darning-needle,
"I know I am too fine for such work as that."

    "This needle is quite useless for sewing now," said the
fingers; but they still held it fast, and the cook dropped
some sealing-wax on the needle, and fastened her handkerchief
with it in front.

    "So now I am a breast-pin," said the darning-needle; "I
knew very well I should come to honor some day: merit3 is sure
to rise;" and she laughed, quietly to herself, for of course
no one ever saw a darning-needle laugh. And there she sat as
proudly as if she were in a state coach, and looked all around
her. "May I be allowed to ask if you are made of gold?" she
inquired of her neighbor, a pin; "you have a very pretty
appearance, and a curious head, although you are rather small.
You must take pains to grow, for it is not every one who has
sealing-wax dropped upon him;" and as she spoke4, the
darning-needle drew herself up so proudly that she fell out of
the handkerchief right into the sink, which the cook was
cleaning. "Now I am going on a journey," said the needle, as
she floated away with the dirty water, "I do hope I shall not
be lost." But she really was lost in a gutter5. "I am too fine
for this world," said the darning-needle, as she lay in the
gutter; "but I know who I am, and that is always some
comfort." So the darning-needle kept up her proud behavior,
and did not lose her good humor. Then there floated over her
all sorts of things,- chips and straws, and pieces of old
newspaper. "See how they sail," said the darning-needle; "they
do not know what is under them. I am here, and here I shall
stick. See, there goes a chip, thinking of nothing in the
world but himself- only a chip. There's a straw going by now;
how he turns and twists about! Don't be thinking too much of
yourself, or you may chance to run against a stone. There
swims a piece of newspaper; what is written upon it has been
forgotten long ago, and yet it gives itself airs. I sit here
patiently and quietly. I know who I am, so I shall not move."

    One day something lying close to the darning-needle
glittered so splendidly that she thought it was a diamond; yet
it was only a piece of broken bottle. The darning-needle spoke
to it, because it sparkled6, and represented herself as a
breast-pin. "I suppose you are really a diamond?" she said.

    "Why yes, something of the kind," he replied; and so each
believed the other to be very valuable, and then they began to
talk about the world, and the conceited7 people in it.

    "I have been in a lady's work-box," said the
darning-needle, "and this lady was the cook. She had on each
hand five fingers, and anything so conceited as these five
fingers I have never seen; and yet they were only employed to
take me out of the box and to put me back again."

    "Were they not high-born?"

    "High-born!" said the darning-needle, "no indeed, but so
haughty. They were five brothers, all born fingers; they kept
very proudly together, though they were of different lengths.
The one who stood first in the rank was named the thumb, he
was short and thick, and had only one joint8 in his back, and
could therefore make but one bow; but he said that if he were
cut off from a man's hand, that man would be unfit for a
soldier. Sweet-tooth, his neighbor, dipped himself into sweet
or sour, pointed9 to the sun and moon, and formed the letters
when the fingers wrote. Longman, the middle finger, looked
over the heads of all the others. Gold-band, the next finger,
wore a golden circle round his waist. And little Playman did
nothing at all, and seemed proud of it. They were boasters,
and boasters they will remain; and therefore I left them."

    "And now we sit here and glitter," said the piece of
broken bottle.

    At the same moment more water streamed into the gutter, so
that it overflowed10, and the piece of bottle was carried away.

    "So he is promoted," said the darning-needle, "while I
remain here; I am too fine, but that is my pride, and what do
I care?" And so she sat there in her pride, and had many such
thoughts as these,- "I could almost fancy that I came from a
sunbeam, I am so fine. It seems as if the sunbeams were always
looking for me under the water. Ah! I am so fine that even my
mother cannot find me. Had I still my old eye, which was
broken off, I believe I should weep; but no, I would not do
that, it is not genteel to cry."

    One day a couple of street boys were paddling in the
gutter, for they sometimes found old nails, farthings, and
other treasures. It was dirty work, but they took great
pleasure in it. "Hallo!" cried one, as he pricked11 himself with
the darning-needle, "here's a fellow for you."

    "I am not a fellow, I am a young lady," said the
darning-needle; but no one heard her.

    The sealing-wax had come off, and she was quite black; but
black makes a person look slender, so she thought herself even
finer than before.

    "Here comes an egg-shell sailing along," said one of the
boys; so they stuck the darning-needle into the egg-shell.

    "White walls, and I am black myself," said the
darning-needle, "that looks well; now I can be seen, but I
hope I shall not be sea-sick, or I shall break again." She was
not sea-sick, and she did not break. "It is a good thing
against sea-sickness to have a steel stomach, and not to
forget one's own importance. Now my sea-sickness has past:
delicate people can bear a great deal."

    Crack went the egg-shell, as a waggon12 passed over it.
"Good heavens, how it crushes!" said the darning-needle. "I
shall be sick now. I am breaking!" but she did not break,
though the waggon went over her as she lay at full length; and
there let her lie.

                            THE END


1 embroidery Wjkz7     
  • This exquisite embroidery won people's great admiration.这件精美的绣品,使人惊叹不已。
  • This is Jane's first attempt at embroidery.这是简第一次试着绣花。
2 slipper px9w0     
  • I rescued the remains of my slipper from the dog.我从那狗的口中夺回了我拖鞋的残留部分。
  • The puppy chewed a hole in the slipper.小狗在拖鞋上啃了一个洞。
3 merit l7NzA     
  • There is great merit in dealing fairly with your employees.公正地对待你的雇员有极大好处。
  • History affords us lessons that merit attention.历史给我们提供了值得注意的借鉴。
4 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
5 gutter lexxk     
  • There's a cigarette packet thrown into the gutter.阴沟里有个香烟盒。
  • He picked her out of the gutter and made her a great lady.他使她脱离贫苦生活,并成为贵妇。
6 sparkled 7169434428068e4cd834f66dafa60e1a     
v.发火花,闪耀( sparkle的过去式和过去分词 );(饮料)发泡;生气勃勃,热情奔放,神采飞扬
  • Her jewellery sparkled in the candlelight. 烛光下,她的首饰光彩熠熠。
  • Her eyes sparkled with excitement. 她的眼睛由于兴奋而发亮。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
7 conceited Cv0zxi     
  • He could not bear that they should be so conceited.他们这样自高自大他受不了。
  • I'm not as conceited as so many people seem to think.我不像很多人认为的那么自负。
8 joint m3lx4     
  • I had a bad fall,which put my shoulder out of joint.我重重地摔了一跤,肩膀脫臼了。
  • We wrote a letter in joint names.我们联名写了封信。
9 pointed Il8zB4     
  • He gave me a very sharp pointed pencil.他给我一支削得非常尖的铅笔。
  • She wished to show Mrs.John Dashwood by this pointed invitation to her brother.她想通过对达茨伍德夫人提出直截了当的邀请向她的哥哥表示出来。
10 overflowed 4cc5ae8d4154672c8a8539b5a1f1842f     
  • Plates overflowed with party food. 聚会上的食物碟满盘盈。
  • A great throng packed out the theater and overflowed into the corridors. 一大群人坐满剧院并且还有人涌到了走廊上。 来自《简明英汉词典》
11 pricked 1d0503c50da14dcb6603a2df2c2d4557     
刺,扎,戳( prick的过去式和过去分词 ); 刺伤; 刺痛; 使剧痛
  • The cook pricked a few holes in the pastry. 厨师在馅饼上戳了几个洞。
  • He was pricked by his conscience. 他受到良心的谴责。
12 waggon waggon     
  • The enemy attacked our waggon train.敌人袭击了我们的运货马车队。
  • Someone jumped out from the foremost waggon and cried aloud.有人从最前面的一辆大车里跳下来,大声叫嚷。