Lindy and the Nuts                                                             

 

Once upon a time there was a little girl, Lindy, who lived on the mountaintop.  She lived in a small cottage with her grandmother. 

 

One day her grandmother said to her, “Lindy, would you please go down to the woods and collect some nuts for me?  I am going to make a nut pie.” Lindy loved nut pies, and she loved going to the woods.  So she happily put on her coat and found her favorite pink basket.

 

 “Now, Lindy, before you go,”  her grandmother said to her gently. “I need to remind you that there are many animals and unfriendly beasts in the woods.  Make sure you stay on the path and be back by lunch time.”  “Okay, I’ll remember that.  Bye, grandmother!”

 

Lindy happily bid farewell to her grandmother and walked down the mountain.  The road that led to the woods was a winding one.  It meandered around some shrubs and bushes, on top a hanging cliff, through a ravine, before leading onto the woods.

 

Before long, Lindy was approaching the shrubs.  It was a fine day and the birds were flying high in the sky. 

 

“Oh, I wish the birds can come and sing to me,”  Lindy thought to herself.  She then started whistling her favorite tune when she tried to skirt around the shrubs. 

 

“Hey, little girl, I love that tune you’re whistling,”  a small voice was ringing somewhere.  “Who’s there?”  Lindy asked as she looked around, trying to make out who it was talking to her.  Then she saw a little blue bird on one of the branches of the shrubs. 

 

“I’m over here, little girl,”  the little blue bird chirped with gaiety.   

“You told me you like the tune I was whistling, didn’t you?” 

“Yes, I did.  In fact, I love to sing that tune with you.” 

“Oh, you do?  I would love to stay and sing with you.  However, I need to go to the woods and collect some nuts for my grandmother.  So I really need to keep going.”

“I have an idea,” the little blue bird cheeped.  “I can hop into your basket and we can sing together while you’re going to the woods.”

“This is a great idea!  Please hop right in!”  Lindy invited.

 

The little bird hopped right into Lindy’s pink basket.

 

They then sang and whistled the happy tune together.  And Lindy’s spirit was lifted.  Before they finished singing the tune, Lindy reached the path on top of the hanging cliff. 

 

“Little bird, I must stop singing now because I have to pay attention while strolling along the cliff.  There are wild animals over here, and I must watch out for them.”

“If you’re with me, you’ll not be afraid of wild animals,” a voice growled.

 

Lindy quickly looked up and saw a cougar cub.

 

“Cougar cub, I thought you’re supposed to be with your mother,”  Lindy asked timidly.

“Well, Mommy has gone hunting and I’m a bit bored.  I would love to have company.”  the cougar cub snuffled.

“I have to go to the woods to collect nuts for grandmother.  Would you like to join little bird and me and go for a walk?”

“I would love to!”  cougar cub exclaimed eagerly.  So he jumped right into Lindy’s pink basket, which is just the right size for little bird and cougar cub.

 

Lindy whistled and skipped as she tottered down the mountain and came to the ravine.  There was a little bridge over the brook which is flowing nosily through the ravine.  The water is clear and refreshing.

“Oh, the brook looks really inviting.  I wish I can stay and have a dip in the water.”  Lindy said.

“Why don’t you plunge right in?  You have dirt on your hair and your coat.  The water will surely clean you up!” a voice croaked.

Lindy squinted toward the voice and saw a frog enjoying a sun tan on a fallen leaf.

 

“I am afraid I’ll have to do that later, as I have to go to the woods to collect nuts for my grandmother,”  Lindy sighed.

“The wood is my favorite place for a lazy afternoon nap after my sun tan.  Could I join you?”  the frog begged.

“Only if you don’t mind, as my basket is getting crowded.”

“There is always space for a little frog,”  declared the frog while he hopped inside the basket.  Little bird and cougar cub curled up a bit to leave room for the frog.

 

Lindy continued to walk toward the woods, and her basket is getting heavier and heavier.  When she was only a little way into the woods, she started to look for nuts.

“Oh, the nuts are fresh.  I can’t wait to bring these to Grandmother,”  Lindy said to herself as she picked nuts up from the ground.

“What is your grandmother doing with the nuts?”  a small voice squeaked.

“Oh, it’s you, little squirrel!”  Lindy looked behind her and spotted little squirrel.  “She is going to make a nut pie.”

“Yum!  I love nuts and I especially love nut pies.  Do you think you can bring me to your grandmother if I bring my collection of fresh nuts with me?”  little squirrel asked longingly.

“Oh, that would be lovely!”  Lindy cried out excitedly, as she was getting tired after carrying the heavy basket.  “But I’m afraid that my basket is getting really crowded.”

“A little squirrel wouldn’t add much to the burden,”  little squirrel said as she squeezed into the basket.  Now little bird, cougar cub, and the frog had to really curl up in order to let little squirrel into the basket.  It was now extremely crowded.

 

Lindy picked up the now heavily loaded basket, hauled it upon her shoulders and started her way home.

 

She crossed the bridge over the brook, climbed the jagged path up the hanging cliff, wound her way through the shrubs and the bushes, while thistles and thorns pricked her hands and feet and tore off her coat strip by strip.

 

She finally saw the small cottage and her grandmother waving to her in front of the door.  She was so excited and relieved to see her grandmother that she waved to her and let go of the basket.  At the same time, the handle of the basket broke and the basket fell noisily onto the ground.

 

The little squirrel quickly jumped out and disappeared into the trees.  The frog hopped and croaked all its way back into the ravine.  Cougar cub yapped and bounced right over the ridge and was seen no more.  And the little bird soared high up into the air before she hurriedly twittered a quick goodbye to Lindy.

 

Grandmother came running to Lindy.

“My eyes are getting old and weak and I can’t see clearly,” grandmother said.  “What did I see tumbling onto the ground, my dear Lindy?”

 

Lindy looked around her on the ground and saw the mess that was scattering everywhere.  “Nuts!”  she muttered.

 

22/9/2008

 

妮妮和堅果

 

從前有個小女孩妮妮。她住在山頂上。 她和祖母住在一間小屋裡。

 

一天,她的祖母對她說:「妮妮,請你下到樹林裡給我取些堅果好嗎? 我要做一個堅果餡餅。」妮妮喜歡堅果餡餅,她也喜歡去樹林裡。 於是,她高興地穿上外套,找到了她最喜歡的粉紅色籃子。

 

「現在, 妮妮,在你走之前,」她的祖母輕輕地對她說:「我需要提醒你,有許多動物和不友好的野獸在樹林裡。 確保你留在路上走,並在午餐時間前回來。」「好吧,我會記得的! 再見,祖母!」

 

妮妮高興地向祖母告別,走下山。 通往樹林的道路蜿蜒曲折。 它蜿蜒在一些灌木叢中,在懸垂的懸崖上,穿過一個小峽谷,然後通向樹林。

 

不久, 妮妮正在接近灌木叢。 天氣晴朗,鳥兒在天空中飛得很高。

 

「哦,我希望鳥兒能來為我唱歌。」妮妮自想。 然後,當她正在繞過灌木叢時,她開始用口哨吹著她最喜歡的曲調。

 

「嘿,小女孩,我喜歡你吹口哨的曲調,」一個小聲音在某處響起。「誰在那裡?」妮妮看著問,試圖弄清楚是誰在和她說話。 然後,她看到一隻藍色的小鳥在灌木的樹枝上。

 

「我在這裡,小女孩!」那隻藍色的小鳥歡快地叫著。 

「你告訴我你喜歡我吹口哨的曲調,不是嗎?」

「是的,我很喜歡。 事實上,我喜歡和你一起唱那首曲子。」

「哦,是嗎? 我很樂意留下來和你一起唱歌。 然而,我需要去樹林裡為祖母收集一些堅果。 所以我真的需要繼續前進了。」

「我有個主意,」那隻藍色的小鳥叫道:「我可以跳進你的籃子裡,我們便可以一起唱歌,而你也可以去樹林。」

「這是個好主意! 請跳進來吧!」妮妮笑著說。

 

那隻小鳥便跳進妮妮的粉紅色籃子裡。

 

然後,他們一起唱著歡快的曲調。妮妮便提起精神了。 在唱完曲子之前, 妮妮到達了懸垂的懸崖頂上的小路。

 

「小鳥,我現在必須停止唱歌,因為我必須要集中精神,而在懸崖上減慢步伐。 這裡有野生動物,我必須提防牠們。」

「如果你和我在一起,你不會害怕野生動物的。」一個聲音咆哮著。
 

妮妮迅速抬起頭,看見一隻美洲獅幼崽。

 

「小獅,我以為你應該和媽媽在一起哩!」妮妮膽怯地問道。

「嗯,媽媽去了打獵,我有點無聊。 我很樂意有個伴兒。」美洲獅幼崽吸著鼻子說。

「我必須去樹林裡為祖母收集堅果。 你想加入跟小鳥和我去散步嗎?」

「我很樂意!」美洲獅幼崽急切地呼叫。 於是他跳進妮妮的粉紅色籃子裡。這個籃子正好是小鳥和美洲獅幼崽的合適大小。

 

妮妮吹著口哨和跳躍著。她蹣跚下山, 來到小峽谷。 小溪上有一座小橋。溪水正順著山溝流過。 水清澈清爽。

「哦,小溪看起來真的很誘人。 我真希望我能留下來,在水中暢游。」妮妮說。

「你為什麼不直接跳進去? 你的頭髮和外套上沾有污垢。 水一定可以把你清理乾淨!」妮妮朝著聲音斜視,看見一隻青蛙在落葉上曬太陽。

 

「恐怕我以後才能這麼做,因為我必須去樹林裡為祖母收集堅果,」妮妮嘆了口氣。

「樹林是我最喜歡的地方,在曬太陽後,可以睡一會兒午覺。 我可以加入你們嗎?」青蛙懇求。

「只有當你不介意,因為我的籃子越來越擁擠了。」

「總是有空間給小青蛙的。」青蛙說著便跳進籃子裡。 小鳥和美洲獅幼崽捲曲了一點,為青蛙留了空間。

 

妮妮繼續朝樹林走去,她的籃子越來越重了。 當她只是進入了樹林一點點,她開始尋找堅果。「哦, 這些堅果很新鮮呢! 我真迫不及待地想把這些帶給祖母啊!」妮妮從地上撿起堅果時對自己說。

 

「你的祖母會用堅果做什麼呢?」一個小的聲音吱吱作響。

「哦,是你,小松鼠!」妮妮看著她身後,發現了小松鼠。「她要做一個堅果餡餅。」

「美味啊! 我喜歡堅果,我特別喜歡堅果餡餅。 你認為如果我帶我收藏的新鮮堅果,你能帶我到你的祖母那裡嗎?」小松鼠渴望地問。

 

「哦,這將是太美好了!」妮妮興奮地叫了出來,因為她在背著沉重的籃子後太累了。「但我擔心我的籃子已變得非常擁擠。」

「小松鼠不會增加多少負擔啦!」小松鼠說著便擠進籃子裡。 現在小鳥,美洲獅幼崽,和青蛙必須結實地捲曲起來,以便讓小松鼠進入籃子。 現在真的是非常擁擠了。

 

妮妮撿起現在滿載的籃子,把它扛到她的肩膀上,開始回家的路。

 

她踏過小溪上的橋,爬上懸垂的懸崖上的山路, 繞過灌木叢,而薊和荊棘刺傷了她的手和腳, 也把她的外套撕破了。

 

她終於看到小屋和她的祖母在門前向她揮手。 看到祖母,她非常興奮和寬慰,她向祖母揮手,放開了籃子。 與此同時,籃筐的把手斷了,籃筐吵鬧地摔倒在地上。

 

小松鼠迅速跳出來,消失在樹上。 青蛙跳起來,一路嘶啞著跳回山溝裡。 美洲獅幼崽在山脊上狂吠, 並彈了起來,再也看不見了。 那隻小鳥衝向天空中,然後匆匆地向妮妮道別。

 

祖母跑到妮妮的身邊。祖母說: 「我的眼睛越來越老弱了。我看不清楚。我看到有東西翻滾在地上,我親愛的妮妮,那些是什麼?」

 

妮妮環顧地上,看到到處散落的爛攤子。「傻瓜堅果!」她喃喃地說。