文章来源:未知 文章作者:enread 发布时间:2013-08-29 06:20 字体: [ ]  进入论坛
They were to eat peaches, as planned, after her nap, and now she sat across from the man who would have been a total stranger except that he was in fact her father. They had been together again (although she couldn't quite remember when they had been together before) for almost a hundred years now, or was it only since day before yesterday? Anyhow, they were together again, and he was kind of funny. First, he had the biggest mustache she had ever seen on anybody, although to her it was not a mustache at all; it was a lot of red and brown hair under his nose and around the ends of his mouth. Second, he wore a blue-and-white striped jersey1(运动衫) instead of a shirt and tie, and no coat. His arms were covered with the same hair, only it was a little lighter2 and thinner. He wore blue slacks3 , but no shoes and socks, He was barefoot, and so was she, of course.
He was at home. She was with him in his home in Paris, if you could call it a home. He was very old, especially for a young man—thirty-six, he had told her; and she was six, just up from sleep on a very hot afternoon in August.
That morning, on a little walk in the neighborhood, she had seen peaches in a box outside a small store and she had stopped to look at them, so he had bought a kilo.
Now, the peaches were on a large plate on the card table at which they sat.
There were seven of them, but one of them was flawed4. It looked as good as others, almost the size of a tennis ball, nice red fading to light green, but where the stem5 had been there was now a break that went straight down into the heart of the seed. 
He placed the biggest and best-looking peach on the small plate in front of the girl, and then took the flawed peach and began to remove the skin. When he had half the skin off the peach he ate that side, neither of them talking, both of them just being there, and not being excited or anything—no plans, that is.
The man held the half-eaten peach in his fingers and looked down into the cavity6(腔,洞), into the open seed. The girl looked too.
While they were looking, two feelers poked7 out from the cavity. They were attached to a kind of brown knob-head, which followed the feelers, and then two large legs took a strong grip on the edge of the cavity and hoisted8 some of the rest of whatever it was out of the seed, and stopped there a moment, as if to look around. 
The man studied the seed dweller9(居民), and so, of course, did the girl.
The creature paused only a fraction of a second, and then continued to come out of the seed, to walk down the eaten side of the peach to wherever it was going.
The girl had never seen anything like it—a whole big thing made out of brown color, a knob-head, feelers, and a great many legs. It was very active too. Almost businesslike, you might say. The man placed the peach back on the plate. The creature moved off the peach onto the surface of the white plate. There it came to a thoughtful stop.
"Who is it?" the girl said.
"Where does he live?"
"Well, he used to live in this peach seed, but now that the peach has been harvested and sold, and I have eaten half of it, it looks as if he's out of house and home."
"Aren't you going to squash10 him?"
"No, of course not, why should I?"
"He is a bug11. He is ugh."
"Not at all. He is Gaston the grand boulevardier."
"Everybody hollers when a bug comes out of an apple, but you don't holler or anything."
"Of course not. How should we like it if somebody hollered every time we came out of our house?"
"Why would they?"
"Precisely12. So why should we holler at Gaston?"
"He is not the same as us."
"Well, not exactly, but he's the same as a lot of other occupants of peach seeds. Now, the poor fellow hasn't got a home, and there he is with all that pure design and handsome form, and nowhere to go."
"Gaston is just about the handsomest of his kind I've ever seen."
"What's he saying?"
"Well, he's a little confused. Now, inside that house of his he had everything in order. Bed here, porch13 there, and so forth14."
"Show me."
The man picked up the peach, leaving Gaston entirely15 alone on the white plate. He removed the peeling and ate the rest of the peach.
"Nobody else I know would do that," the girl said. "They'd throw it away." 
"I can't imagine why. It's a perfect good peach."
He opened the seed and placed the two sides not far from Gaston. The girl studied the open halves.
"Is that where he lives?"
"It's where he used to live. Gaston is out in the world and on his own now. You can see for yourself how comfortable he was in there. He had everything."
"Now what has he got?"
"Not very much, I'm afraid."
"What's he going to do?"
"What are we going to do?"
"Well, we're not going to squash him, that's one thing we're not going to do," the girl said.
"What are we going to do, then?"
"Put him back?"
"Oh, that house is finished."
"Well, he can't live in our house, can he?"
"Not happily."
"Can he live in our house at all?"
"Well, he could try, I suppose. Don't you want to eat a peach?"
"Only if it's a peach with somebody in the seed. "
"Well, see if you can find a peach that has an opening at the top, because if you can, that'll be a peach in which you're likeliest to find somebody."
The girl examined each of the peaches on the big plate.
"They're all shut," she said.
"Well, eat one, then."
"No. I want the same kind that you ate, with somebody in the seed."
"Well, to tell you the truth, the peach I ate would be considered a bad peach, so of course stores don't like to sell them. I was sold that one by mistake, most likely. And so now Gaston is without a home, and we've got six perfect peaches to eat."
"I don't want a perfect peach. I want a peach with people."
"Well, I'll go out and see if I can find one."
"Where will I go?"
"You'll go with me, unless you'd rather stay. I'll only be five minutes ."
"If the phone rings, what shall I say?"
"I don't think it'll ring, but if it does, say hello and see who it is."
"If it is my mother, what shall I say?"
"Tell her I've gone to get you a bad peach, and anything else you want to tell her."
"If she wants me to go back, what shall I say?"
"Say yes if you want to go back."
"Do you want me to?"
"Of course not, but the important thing is what you want, not what I want."
"Why is that the important thing?"
"Because I want you to be where you want to be."
"I want to be here."
"I'll be right back."
He put on socks and shoes, and a jacket, and went out. She watched Gaston trying to find out what to do next. Gaston wandered around the plate, but everything seemed wrong and he didn't know what to do or where to go.
The telephone rang and her mother said she was sending the chauffeur16 to pick her up because there was a little party for somebody's daughter who was also six, and then tomorrow they would fly back to New York.
"Let me speak to your father," she said.
"He's gone to get a peach."
"One peach?"
"One with people."
"You haven't been with your father two days and already you sound like him."
"There are peaches with people in them. I know. I saw one of them come out."
"A bug?"
"Not a bug. Gaston."
"Gaston the grand something."
"Somebody get a peach with a bug in it, and throws it away, but not him. He makes up a lot of foolishness about it."
"It's not foolishness."
"All right, all right, don't get angry at me about a horrible peach bug of some kind."
"Gaston is right here, just outside his broken house, and I'm not angry at you."
"You'll have a lot of fun at the party."
"We'll have fun flying back to New York, too."
"Are you glad you saw your father?"
"Of course I am."
"Is he funny?"
"Is he crazy?"
"Yes. I mean, no. He just doesn't holler when he sees a bug crawling out of a peach seed or anything. He just looks at it carefully. But it is just a bug, isn't it, really?"
"That's all it is."
"And we have to squash it?"
"That's right. I can't wait to see you, darling. These two days have been like two years to me. Good-bye."
The girl watched Gaston on the plate, and she actually didn't like him. He was all ugh, as he had been in the first place. He didn't have a home anymore and he was wandering around on the white plate and he was silly and wrong and ridiculous and useless and all sorts of other things. She cried a little, but only inside, because long ago she had decided17 she didn't like crying because if you ever started to cry it seemed as if there was so much to cry about you almost couldn't stop, and she didn't like that at all. The open halves of the peach seed were wrong, too. They were ugly or something. They weren't clean.
The man bought a kilo of peaches but found no flawed peaches among them, so he bought another kilo at another store, and this time his luck was better, and there were two that were flawed. He hurried back to his flat and let himself in.
His daughter was in her room, in her best dress.
"My mother phoned," she said, "and she's sending the chauffeur for me because there's another birthday party."
"I mean, there's always a lot of them in New York."
"Will the chauffeur bring you back?"
"No. We're flying back to New York tomorrow."
"I liked being in your house."
"I liked having you here."
"Why do you live here?"
"This is my home."
"It's nice, but it's a lot different from our home."
"Yes, I suppose it is."
"It's kind of like Gaston's house."
"Where is Gaston?"
"I squashed18 him."
"Really? Why?"
"Everybody squashes19 bugs20 and worms."
"Oh. Well. I found you a peach."
"I don't want a peach anymore."
He got her dressed, and he was packing her stuff when the chauffeur arrived. He went down the three flights of stairs with his daughter and the chauffeur, and in the street he was about to hug the girl when he decided he had better not. They shook hands instead, as if they were strangers. 
He watched the huge car drive off, and then he went around the corner where he took his coffee every morning, feeling a little, he thought, like Gaston on the white plate.


1 jersey Lp5zzo     
  • He wears a cotton jersey when he plays football.他穿运动衫踢足球。
  • They were dressed alike in blue jersey and knickers.他们穿着一致,都是蓝色的运动衫和灯笼短裤。
2 lighter 5pPzPR     
  • The portrait was touched up so as to make it lighter.这张画经过润色,色调明朗了一些。
  • The lighter works off the car battery.引燃器利用汽车蓄电池打火。
3 slacks vidzFf     
  • a pair of slacks 一条便裤
  • I saw some slacks I like in the Sears catalogue. 我在西尔斯商品目录看中了几条便裤。
4 flawed flawed     
adj. 有裂纹的, 有瑕疵的,有缺陷的
  • I would contend that the minister's thinking is flawed on this point. 我倒认为部长的想法在这一点上有漏洞。
  • The study was methodologically flawed. 这项研究在方法上有缺陷。
5 stem ZGrz8     
  • Cut the stem cleanly,just beneath a leaf joint.把茎切整齐点,正好切在叶根下。
  • The ship was in a blaze from stem to stern.整艘船从头到尾都着火了。
6 cavity tOqzs     
  • There's a cavity in the boy's tooth.这个男孩的牙上有一个洞。
  • The dentist carefully located the filling in the cavity.牙医小心地把填塞的东西放入牙洞里。
7 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》
8 hoisted d1dcc88c76ae7d9811db29181a2303df     
把…吊起,升起( hoist的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He hoisted himself onto a high stool. 他抬身坐上了一张高凳子。
  • The sailors hoisted the cargo onto the deck. 水手们把货物吊到甲板上。
9 dweller cuLzQz     
  • Both city and town dweller should pay tax.城镇居民都需要纳税。
  • The city dweller never experiences anxieties of this sort.城市居民从未经历过这种担忧。
10 squash 6reyG     
  • He is drinking lemon squash.他正在喝柠檬露。
  • She sprained her ankle playing squash.她在打软式墙网球时扭伤了脚踝。
11 bug 5skzf     
  • There is a bug in the system.系统出了故障。
  • The bird caught a bug on the fly.那鸟在飞行中捉住了一只昆虫。
12 precisely zlWzUb     
  • It's precisely that sort of slick sales-talk that I mistrust.我不相信的正是那种油腔滑调的推销宣传。
  • The man adjusted very precisely.那个人调得很准。
13 porch ju9yM     
  • There are thousands of pages of advertising on our porch.有成千上万页广告堆在我们的门廊上。
  • The porch is supported by six immense pillars.门廊由六根大柱子支撑着。
14 forth Hzdz2     
  • The wind moved the trees gently back and forth.风吹得树轻轻地来回摇晃。
  • He gave forth a series of works in rapid succession.他很快连续发表了一系列的作品。
15 entirely entirely     
  • The fire was entirely caused by their neglect of duty. 那场火灾完全是由于他们失职而引起的。
  • His life was entirely given up to the educational work. 他的一生统统献给了教育工作。
16 chauffeur HrGzL     
  • The chauffeur handed the old lady from the car.这个司机搀扶这个老太太下汽车。
  • She went out herself and spoke to the chauffeur.她亲自走出去跟汽车司机说话。
17 decided lvqzZd     
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
18 squashed 4fb4624aa9dd2928fbb889216563316e     
  • The tomatoes at the bottom of the bag had been squashed. 袋底的西红柿给压烂了。
  • I squashed a few more clothes into my case. 我往箱里多塞了几件衣服。
19 squashes 97607286c59f47f12e9f68d9e83a31ea     
n.拥挤的人群( squash的名词复数 );果汁汽水;南瓜小果(主要种类为笋瓜 winter squash 和西葫芦 summer squash);(软式)墙网球v.挤进( squash的第三人称单数 );将(某人[某物])压扁;将(某人[某物])向某方挤;平定(叛乱等)
  • They cultivated maize, beans, squashes, and tobacco, in garden beds. 他们在园圃的土坛上种植玉蜀黍、菜豆、南瓜和烟草。 来自辞典例句
  • Bug Squash Tummy-Here the bug pats hellos stomach and It'squashes and stretches. 这个虫子轻轻打它的肚子,注重肚子上边有挤压拉伸形变。 来自互联网
20 bugs e3255bae220613022d67e26d2e4fa689     
adj.疯狂的,发疯的n.窃听器( bug的名词复数 );病菌;虫子;[计算机](制作软件程序所产生的意料不到的)错误
  • All programs have bugs and need endless refinement. 所有的程序都有漏洞,都需要不断改进。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The sacks of rice were swarming with bugs. 一袋袋的米里长满了虫子。 来自《简明英汉词典》
TAG标签: seed peaches cavity