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Preparing for Winter

更新时间:2010-04-14    来源/发布:www.en369.cn    作者/编辑:yaojing1

Preparing for Winter
Autumn was coming to an end. All the insects and animals were working very hard to stock their larders with enough food to last them the winter. They all knew that winter time would be tough - it would be cold and food would be scarce. As it would get dark really soon, it would be difficult to go looking for food. Therefore, everyone was working hard, all except Mr Grasshopper. He loved autumn. Autumn was a time when the leaves changed colour. It was all so so pretty. The trees seemed to be on fire with red, yellow and orange leaves, which then fell off and covered the ground. There was a pleasant breeze too. Mr Grasshopper spent his days playing. He jumped from leaf to leaf and from one fallen twig to another. What he liked best was the way the leaves bounced when he jumped off them, and how the leaf he landed on swayed with his weight. "Yooo eeeeee. Life is lovely, the world is beautiful, I want to play forever..." he sang. Just then little Miss Ant happened to pass by. She was dragging a heavy grain of rice behind her. "Oowf. This is so heavy. I wish I could get some help with this. I should have asked my brother to come along to help me," she was muttering. "Oh, do you need help?" asked Mr Grasshopper. "Yes, sir. Would you give me a hand? My ant hill is just a few trees away, but this is so heavy," replied the ant happily. "Naw. First you come and play with me for some time, then I shall gladly help you. What are you toiling for anyway? Autumn is so beautiful, you too should enjoy the weather while you can," the grasshopper said."No, Mr Grasshopper. You too must start collecting your food for the winter. Otherwise it will be tough as there won\'t be anything to eat," said the concerned ant. "Nothing doing. I will go out and find all the food I want when I am hungry. Right now it is time to play and have a party," the silly grasshopper replied. So Miss Ant just shook her head and went on - "Huff, puff, huff, puff."Then winter came. It was so cold that the ants didn\'t dare to come out. But their tummies were full and they were warm and happy. Actually, everyone was warm and happy, except for Mr Grasshopper. He was cold and hungry. As he went hunting for food only when it was less cold than usual, he got very little to eat and soon became weak with hunger. "Oh, why did I spend my days playing? I should have listened to the ant..." he thought with regret.
Early every morning, a shepherd took his flock of sheep out in the fields to graze. He would sit by watching - as the sheep lazily munched on fresh grass. After they had eaten, he would round them up and walk back home. Sometimes while watching his flock, he would curl up in a quiet corner and go off to  sleep. One day, the shepherd caught a wolf which had strayed into the field, eyeing his sheep. However, it was some distance away and it made no effort to come nearer. The shepherd at first stood on guard against the wolf, as against an enemy, and kept a strict watch over its movements. But the wolf did not do anything. When the shepherd herded the sheep and headed home with his flock, the wolf quietly followed them at a distance.This continued for a while. The shepherd would find the wolf waiting at the edge of the field every morning. But it made not the slightest effort to seize the sheep and  would just watch. So, by and by, the shepherd let down his guard a bit. A few days later, he began to actually look forward to the wolf\'s presence. The wolf, who generally sat on a large piece of rock, looked like a big sheep dog from afar. The shepherd thought that other wild animals or mischief-makers would be scared of the \'dog\'\'s presence and not harm his flock while it was around. Now, he began to look upon the wolf as a guardian of his flock. One day, in the middle of grazing his sheep, the shepherd was called back to home urgently. Leaving the sheep entirely in charge of the wolf, he left. When he came back, what did he find? That the wolf had eaten most of his flock, with only a few sheep wandering about. Carcasses of the dead sheep lay around, everywhere.The shepherd sat down in shock after witnessing the slaughter. "Serves me right," he moaned to himself, "after all, I entrusted the welfare of my flock to a wolf."Two young brothers were always arguing. On day their father called them together. “Bring me a bundle of sticks tied with twine,” said the father.The boys gathered the bundle of sticks. The father asked the older son to break it in half.The older son tried, but he could not even bend the bundle. So the father handed it to the younger son. He could not bend it either.The father untied the bundle and handed each boy a single stick. The brothers broke them easily.“Do you see?” said the father. “Stop arguing and keep together like brothers. Then no one can hurt you, for you will be too strong. But if you quarrel and are divided like these sticks, then anyone can break you with ease.”

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