A NARROW ESCAPE 1
While he lay there the time came for
the boat to take away the garbage. And when Stuart opened his eyes he saw
nothing but water. 2 He was already far from the shore!
"Well," 3 thought
Stuart, "this is the end. That will be my last trip in this world! I can do
nothing. I have to sit here bravely and die like a man. But I don't want to
die with egg on my trousers, butter on my coat, orange peel on my cap and
banana peel round my waist!"
Stuart became sad and began to think
about his home and his father and mother and brother and about Margalo and
Snowball. He loved them all except Snowball. "I shall never see them again,"
he thought, and tears came into his eyes. 4 He began to cry,
but suddenly he heard a whisper behind him:
He looked around, through his tears,
and there, on a big potato, was Margalo!
"Margalo!" cried Stuart. "How did you
get here?" "Well," said the bird, ''this morning I sat on the window-sill. I
saw how you went out and then hid in the can, and everything that happened
after that. I flew out of the window and followed the truck in order to help
"Oh, I am so glad to see you," said
Stuart. "But how can you help me?"
"If you take hold of my feet,"
5 said Margalo, "I can fly home with you. How much do you
ounces and a half," 6 said Stuart. "With your clothes on?"
7 asked Margalo.
"Of course," said Stuart. "Then I can
carry you easily." "And what if I get dizzy?" 8 asked Stuart.
"Don't look down," said Margalo. "Then
you will not get dizzy. Anything is better than death." "Yes, that is true,"
said Stuart. "Let us start then. Hang on!" 9
Stuart hid his skates under his coat
and took hold of Margalo's feet. "All ready!" he cried.
Margalo rose into the sky, and flew
over the ocean, toward home.
"Ugh!" 10 said
Margalo, when they were high in the air, "you smell bad, Stuart."
"I know that," he said sadly. "It's
because of the garbage, I hope that you will not get dizzy."
"I cannot breathe," Margalo answered.
"And my heart is beating! You must drop something to make yourself lighter."
11 "Shall I drop my skates? They are under my coat," said
"Oh, dear!" the bird cried. "I didn't
know that you had skates under your coat. Throw these heavy skates away
quickly or 12 we shall both fall down in the ocean."
Stuart threw his skates away and they
disappeared in the grey waves. "That is better," said Margalo. "It is all
right now. I can already see the sky-scrapers of New York City."
minutes later, they flew in through the open window of the Littles'
dining-room and landed on the bookshelf. When Mrs. Little heard about their
adventure she took Stuart in her hand, though he still smelled bad, and kissed
him. Then she sent him upstairs to the bathroom and told George to take
Stuart's clothes away.
"How was it there, in the Atlantic
Ocean?" asked Mr. Little who never went very far from home.
So Stuart and Margalo told him all
about the ocean, and the grey waves with white crests, and the sea-gulls in
the sky, and the ships and the strong wind. Mr. Little sighed. He said that
some day 13 he hoped to get away from his office and see all
those fine things.
Everybody thanked Margalo and at
supper Mrs. Little gave her a special cake.
1 a narrow escape — на
волосок от гибели
2 nothing but water —
ничего, кроме воды
3 Well — зд. Ну, что ж
4 tears came into his
eyes — на глаза его навернулись слезы
5 If you take hold of
my feet — Если ты ухватишься за мои лапки
6 Three ounces and a
half — Три с половиной унции (т. е. около 100 г; 1 унция = 28,3 г)
7 With your clothes
on? — В одежде?
8 And what if I get
dizzy? — А что если у меня закружится голова?
9 Hang on! — Цепляйся!
10 Ugh! — Фу!
11 to make yourself
lighter — чтобы весить поменьше
12 or — а то
13 some day —