關于五年級英語故事：Pluto Chases Kid
Visitors to Disneyland in southern California see lots of life-sized cartoon characters, such as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Pluto the Dog. Most parents take their small kids right up to these characters. If the child doesn’t start bawling because he or she is afraid of the cartoon character, the parents will take snapshots or videos of their kid with Snow White, Grumpy, Goofy, or others. Often the camera will be rolling even when the child looks afraid or is crying.
Last week, Eva Gunderson took her 7-year-old son Billy Bob to Disneyland. Pluto was the first character they met once they got inside. Eva asked Billy Bob if he wanted a picture with Pluto. Billy Bob said no. He said Pluto’s tail was too skinny and his nose was too big. Eva told him to go ahead, please, just so she could show daddy. Billy Bob reluctantly agreed.
He went over to Pluto and sat on his lap. Eva said, “Say cheese!” and both Billy Bob and Pluto said the magic word. Then, as Billy Bob got off Pluto’s lap, he grabbed Pluto’s round black plastic nose and ripped it off Pluto’s costume. Pluto yelled “Ouch!” (even though it didn’t hurt). Billy Bob started running, and Pluto started chasing him. Just as Pluto got close enough to grab him, Billy Bob kicked Pluto between his legs. Pluto fell to the ground, groaning. This time he really was in pain.
Eva got it all on video cam. “That was great, honey!” she told her son as they walked off to find more characters. “Wait till daddy sees this. He’ll be so proud of you!”
關于五年級英語故事：In Harm’s Way
A new invention, called “Arm Yourself,” is in arcades in Japan. It is a mechanical arm-wrestling machine. In the old days, fairs and carnivals usually had a “Test Your Strength” contest that required a player to swing a small sledge hammer as hard as he could to ring a bell and get a prize. The Japanese invention also challenges a player’s strength. Players can set it to four different levels: Baby, Girl, Man, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The mechanical arm operates at half-strength for the first 10 seconds: “Baby,” for example, would be “Half-Baby,” or 50-percent full-strength, for 10 seconds initially.
“This gives the human time to evaluate his mechanical opponent, and usually allows him to win,” says the inventor. But after 10 seconds elapse, the mechanical arm instantly achieves full strength, so that weak Baby suddenly becomes strong Baby. “That comes as a surprise to the human,” said the inventor. “If you watch the human compete, you will see a look of surprise come over his face at the machine’s sudden burst of strength. It’s funny to see!”
Unfortunately for some players, the look of surprise is followed by the look of pain, as the steel and plastic arm breaks their flesh and blood arm! Two players recently went to the hospital. The inventor said that he wouldn’t put a warning sign on the machine.
“It’s not the machine’s fault,” he said. “Humans often think that they’re smarter, faster, and stronger than they actually are. I think it’s a good lesson that they are learning. Many refuse to combat the machine at the Baby or Girl level because they think that they’re equal to the Man or Arnold level. They don’t know their limitations. They’re proud and foolish, and some of them have to pay the price for their pride.”
Semper Fi means Always Faithful. It’s the motto of the Marine Corps, which is a segment of the US Navy. The Marines do whatever the federal government tells them to do, and the government always talks about how important the Marines are and how grateful the government is. So when a former marine, James Reid, recently applied for a Purple Heart for a wound that he received while serving in the Korean War more than 50 years ago, he expected no problems. But a Navy official said that they had no more Purple Hearts. If Reid wanted one, he could buy it at a military supply store. “They’re only $42,” said Arthur Chertoff. “It’s not exactly like buying a new car.”
However, the 75-year-old Reid subsists on a military pension that barely covers his rent. His daughter and son send him money for food, transportation, and other expenses. “Well, then, let your kids pay for it,” Chertoff said when Reid told him that he depended on his kids for living expenses. So Reid asked his son for $42 for the medal. His son got so upset about the ungratefulness of the Navy that he called the local newspaper.
The local newspaper printed a front page article about how the Navy couldn’t be bothered to pay for and present Reid his Purple Heart 50 years after his injury. Network television news picked up the story. The Navy, of course, was immediately embarrassed. Somehow, officials found the money and the time to buy Reid his Purple Heart and even make a ceremonial presentation.
“We are always eager and happy to show that we take care of our own,” said the broadly smiling Chertoff as he presented Reid the medal in front of TV news cameras. “Thank you so much for your service to your country.”
關于五年級英語故事：A Little Respect, Please
It sounds incredible, but the small country of Greece seems to be burning down. Police believe arsonists are responsible for at least half of the fires. Thirty people have died so far, many of them trapped in their homes or their cars. Residents all over Greece have called fire departments, police, and media about fires surrounding their homes, but there have simply not been enough firemen to respond to all these fires.
The government has asked for aid from France, Italy, and Germany. Greek ruins that are almost 3,000 years old are in danger of being burnt down. Fires surround Athens, the capital city. The hillsides are ablaze, and there seems to be no end in sight. Entire villages have been destroyed. There has been no rain for two months, and the trees are so dry that just the heat from an approaching fire causes them to explode into flames.
Police have arrested three suspected arsonists. One suspect, oddly enough, was still complaining about the 2004 Olympics. He had applied to carry the torch into the stadium and light the fire to officially start the Games. His application was ignored. “You have to be somebody,” was the reply he got when he called the Olympic Committee in Athens. “And you’re not—you’re nobody,” an official told him. The man was in jail for three years for trying to blow up the committee’s headquarters. Yesterday, police caught him walking away from a new fire with an empty gas can in his hands.
“I’m nobody, huh?” he told the police. “Well, I’m somebody now!”