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The Two Brothers-1

编辑:Yuting来源:英语爱好者点击:1日期:2010-01-18

Once upon a time...
Long ago there lived two brothers, both of them very handsome, and both so very poor that they seldom had anything to eat but the fish which they caught. One day they had been out in their boat since sunrise without a single bite, and were just thinking of putting up their lines and going home to bed when they felt a little feeble tug, and, drawing in hastily, they found a tiny fish at the end of the hook.
'What a wretched little creature!' cried one brother. 'However, it is better than nothing, and I will bake him with bread crumbs and have him for supper.'
'Oh, do not kill me yet!' begged the fish; 'I will bring you good luck--indeed I will!'
'You silly thing!' said the young man; 'I've caught you, and I shall eat you.'
But his brother was sorry for the fish, and put in a word for him.
'Let the poor little fellow live. He would hardly make one bite, and, after all, how do we know we are not throwing away our luck! Put him back into the sea. It will be much better.'
'If you will let me live,' said the fish, 'you will find on the sands to-morrow morning two beautiful horses splendidly saddled and bridled, and on them you can go through the world as knights seeking adventures.'
'Oh dear, what nonsense!' exclaimed the elder; 'and, besides, what proof have we that you are speaking the truth?'
But again the younger brother interposed: 'Oh, do let him live! You know if he is lying to us we can always catch him again. It is quite worth while trying.'
At last the young man gave in, and threw the fish back into the sea; and both brothers went supperless to bed, and wondered what fortune the next day would bring.
At the first streaks of dawn they were both up, and in a very few minutes were running down to the shore. And there, just as the fish had said, stood two magnificent horses, saddled and bridled, and on their backs lay suits of armour and under-dresses, two swords, and two purses of gold.
'There!' said the younger brother. 'Are you not thankful you did not eat that fish? He has brought us good luck, and there is no knowing how great we may become! Now, we will each seek our own adventures. If you will take one road I will go the other.'
'Very well,' replied the elder; 'but how shall we let each other know if we are both living?'
'Do you see this fig-tree?' said the younger. 'Well, whenever we want news of each other we have only to come here and make a slit with our swords in the back. If milk flows, it is a sign that we are well and prosperous; but if, instead of milk, there is blood, then we are either dead or in great danger.'