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您现在的位置: 考试吧 > 在线广播 > VOA慢速英语 > 正文

VOA英语慢速讲解—儿童故事:佩科斯-比尔

  Children's Story:'Pecos Bill'

  Now, the Special English Program AMERICAN STORIES.

  (MUSIC)

  Today we tell a traditional American story called a "tall tale." A tall tale is a story about a person who is larger than life. The descriptions in the story are exaggerated – much greater than in real life. Long ago, the people who settled in undeveloped areas in America first told tall tales. After a hard day's work, people gathered to tell each other funny stories.

  Pecos Bill was a larger than life hero of the American West. No one knows who first told stories about Pecos Bill. Cowboys may have invented the stories. Others say Edward O'Reilly invented the character in stories he wrote for The Century Magazine in the early nineteen hundreds. The stories were collected in a book called "The Saga of Pecos Bill" published in nineteen twenty-three.

  Another writer, James Cloyd Bowman, wrote an award-winning children's book called "Pecos Bill: The Greatest Cowboy of All Time." The book won the Newbery Honor in nineteen thirty-eight.

  Pecos Bill was not a historical person. But he does represent the spirit of early settlers in the American West. His unusual childhood and extraordinary actions tell about people who believed there were no limits to what they could do. Now, here is Barbara Klein with our story.

  (MUSIC)

  STORYTELLER:

  Pecos Bill had one of the strangest childhoods a boy ever had. It all started after his father decided that there was no longer enough room in east Texas for his family.

  "Pack up, Ma!" he cried. "Neighbors movin' in fifty miles away! It's getting' too crowded!"

  So they loaded up a wagon with all their things. Now some say they had fifteen children while others say eighteen. However many there were, the children were louder than thunder. And as they set off across the wild country of west Texas, their mother and father could hardly hear a thing.

  Now, as they came to the Pecos River, the wagon hit a big rock. The force threw little Bill out of the wagon and he landed on the sandy ground. Mother did not know Bill was gone until she gathered the children for the midday meal. Mother set off with some of the children to look for Bill, but they could find no sign of him.

  Well, some people say Bill was just a baby when his family lost him. Others say he was four years old. But all agree that a group of animals called coyotes found Bill and raised him. Bill did all the things those animals did, like chase lizards and howl at the moon. He became as good a coyote as any.

  (SOUND)

  Now, Bill spent seventeen years living like a coyote until one day a cowboy rode by on his horse. Some say the cowboy was one of Bill's brothers. Whoever he was, he took one look at Bill and asked, "What are you?"

  Bill was not used to human language. At first, he could not say anything. The cowboy repeated his question. This time, Bill said, "varmint."

  That is a word used for any kind of wild animal.

  "No you aren't," said the cowboy.

  "Yes, I am," said Bill. "I have fleas."

  "Lots of people have fleas," said the cowboy. "You don't have a tail."

  "Yes, I do," said Bill.

  "Show it to me then," the cowboy said.

  Bill looked at his backside and realized that he did not have a tail like the other coyotes. "Well, what am I then?" asked Bill.

  "You're a cowboy! So start acting like one!" the cowboy cried out. Well that was all Bill needed to hear. He said goodbye to his coyote friends and left to join the world of humans.

  (MUSIC)

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