A DIRECT HIT 1
When Mrs. Little came to Stuart's room
to say good night, he asked her:
"Is the bird quite safe downstairs?"
"Quite safe, my dear," answered Mrs.
"What about that cat Snowball?"
2 asked Stuart.
"Snowball will not touch the bird,"
his mother said. "Please go to sleep and forget all about it."
Mrs. Little opened the window, turned
out the light, said good night and went away.
closed his eyes and lay there in the dark, but he could not sleep. He thought
about the bird downstairs. He thought about Snowball and his gleaming eyes. At
last he turned on the light.
"I can't trust that cat," he
whispered. "I can't sleep when Margalo is in danger."
Stuart climbed out of bed and put on
his slippers. He took his bow and arrow and his flash-light and went out into
the corridor. Everybody was asleep and the house was dark. Stuart went slowly
downstairs and came into the dining-room noiselessly. He was still weak after
his illness and he felt dizzy. 3
"I must do it," he said to himself.
Noiselessly he went across the room to the lamp which stood near the bookshelf
and climbed it up. There, on the bookshelf, he saw Margalo who was asleep in
the fern, with her head under her wing. 4
"Sleep, Margalo," Stuart whispered.
Then he hid behind a book and began to wait. At first he saw nothing and heard
nothing. The clock struck ten, and just at that moment Stuart saw two gleaming
yellow eyes under the sofa.
"So I was right," thought Stuart. He
took his bow and arrow.
The eyes came nearer. Stuart was
frightened, but he was a brave mouse. He put the arrow against the cord of the
bow 5 and waited. Snowball came softly to the bookshelf and
climbed noiselessly up into the chair quite close to it.
There he lay down, ready to spring.
His tail waved back and forth. 6 His eyes gleamed bright.
Stuart decided that the time had come. 7 He went down on his
knees, bent his bow, took aim at Snowball's left ear and shot the arrow.
Snowball screamed with pain,
8 jumped down and ran off to the kitchen.
"A direct hit!" said Stuart. "It was
good work!" 9
He was very tired when he climbed into
his bed. He closed his eyes and fell asleep at once.
1 a direct hit —
2 What about that cat
Snowball? — А как же кот Снежок?
3 he felt dizzy — у
него кружилась голова
4 with her head under
her wing — спрятав голову под крыло
5 he put the arrow
against the cord of the bow — он приложил стрелу к тетиве
6 His tail waved back
and forth. — Он махал хвостом,
7 the time had come —
8 screamed with pain —
взвыл от боли
9 It was good work! —