A FAIR BREEZE
When the bus stopped at Seventy-second
Street, Stuart jumped out and hurried to the sail-boat pond in Central Park.
1 The west wind blew over the pond, and there were many toy
boats and schooners. They sailed with the wind. 2 Their wet
decks gleamed in the sun.
The owners of these boats, boys and
grown men, watched their ships and all the time ran around the pond. They
tried to keep the boats from bumping. 3 Some of the toy boats
were not so small: their mainmast was taller than a man's head. They were very
beautiful and ready for sea. 4 To Stuart they seemed very big
and he wished to get on board one of them 5 and sail away to
the far corners of the pond. (He was a brave little fellow and loved the
breeze, the waves and the cries of the sea-gulls.)
He sat on the shore and looked at the
ships through his spy-glass. He noticed one boat which seemed to him finer and
prouder than all the others. Her name was Wasp. 6 She was a
big black schooner with the American flag on the mainmast and a cannon on the
"She's the ship for me,"
7 thought Stuart.
When the Wasp sailed in,
8 he ran up to the man who stood on the shore near the schooner.
"Excuse me, sir," 9
said Stuart. "Are you the owner of the schooner Wasp?"
"I am," answered the man. He was
surprised to see a mouse in a sailor suit.
"I'm looking for a job on a good
ship," said Stuart. "Perhaps you will take me. I'm strong and I'm quick."
"Are you sober?" 10
asked the owner of the Wasp.
"I never drink," answered Stuart
The man looked sharply at him. He
liked the trim appearance and bold manner 11 of this little
"Well," he said at last and turned the
Wasp toward the centre of the pond, "I'll tell you what I'll do with you. Do
you see that big racing boat there?"
"I do," said Stuart.
"That's the Lillian," 12
said the man, "and I hate her with all my heart." 13
"Then so do I," 14
hate her because she always bumps into my boat," said the man, "and because her
owner is a lazy boy who does not understand sailing. He cannot tell a mast
from a mist." 15
"Or a deck from a dock," cried Stuart.
"I'll tell you what we'll do," said
the man. "The Lillian is faster than my boat, and it usually beats
16 the Wasp. But if somebody is on deck and handles the
boat, it will be quite a different story. Nobody knows how I suffer when I
stand here on shore, helpless, and watch the Wasp. She needs a steady hand on
her wheel. So, my young friend, you will sail the Wasp across the pond and
back, and if you can beat that Lillian, I'll give you a regular job."
"Aye, aye, sir," 18
said Stuart. He jumped on board the schooner and took his place at the wheel.
"Ready!" he cried.
"One moment," said the man. "How are
you going to beat the other boat?"
"I am going to set more sail,"
19 said Stuart.
"Not in my boat, thank you," said the
man quickly. "You may upset the Wasp."
"Well, then," said Stuart, "I shall
fire off the cannon!" 20 "But it must be a boat-race and not
a sea battle." "Well, then," said Stuart cheerfully, "I'll sail straight to
the opposite shore with all my might and we shall see who goes faster!"
"Bravo!" cried the man, "and good luck
to you!" 21 The wind filled the sails of the schooner and
she sailed off. Stuart turned the wheel.
"By the by," 22
cried the man on shore, "you haven't told me your name."
"My name is Stuart Little," cried
Stuart at the top of of his lungs. 23
"Good luck, Stuart!" cried his friend.
"Take care of yourself and of the ship." 24
"Aye, aye, sir," shouted Stuart. He
was so proud and happy that he began to dance on the deck. He even did not
notice a steamer which almost bumped into the schooner.
1 Central Park —
Центральный парк (в Нью-Йорке)
2 with the wind — с
3 They tried to keep
the boats from bumping. — Они пытались помешать лодкам столкнуться друг с
4 were ... ready for
sea — были ... готовы к плаванию
5 to get on board one
of them — попасть на борт одного из них
6 Her name was Wasp. —
Корабль назывался «Оса». (В английском языке ship и boat — существительные
7 She's the ship for
me — Это именно тот корабль, который мне нужен
8 sailed in — подошла
9 sir — сэр, сударь (вежливое
обращение к мужчине, обычно старшему по возрасту или по положению)
10 Are you sober? — А
ты не пьющий?
11the trim appearance
and bold manner — аккуратный вид и уверенная манера держаться
12 the Lillian — «Лилиан»
13 with all my heart
— всей душой
14 Then so do I —
Тогда и я тоже (ненавижу)
15 He cannot tell a
mast from a mist. — Он не может отличить мачты от тумана. (Здесь и ниже
сопоставляются похожие по звучанию слова морского обихода.)
16 beats — зд.
17 I'll give you a
regular job — я возьму тебя на постоянную работу
18 Aye, aye, sir —
морск. Есть, сэр
19 to set more sail —
20 I shall fire off
the cannon — я выстрелю из пушки
21 good luck to you —
22 By the by — Кстати
23 at the top of his
lungs — что было мочи
24 Take care of
yourself and of the ship. — Береги себя и судно.