The Story of the Husband and the Parrot
A good man had a beautiful wife, whom he loved passionately, and never left if possible. One day, when he was forced by important business to go away from her, he went to a place where all kinds of birds are sold and bought a parrot. This parrot not only spoke well, but it had the gift of telling all that had been done before it. He brought it home in a cage, and asked his wife to put it in her room, and take great care of it while he was away. Then he departed. On his return he asked the parrot what had happened during his absence, and the parrot told him some things which made him scold his wife.
She thought that one of her slaves must have been telling tales about her, but they told her it was the parrot, and she decided to revenge herself on it.
When her husband next went away for one day, she told a slave to turn under the bird’s cage a hand-mill, another to throw water down from above the cage, and a third to take a mirror and turn it in front of its eyes, from left to right by the light of a candle. The slaves did this for part of the night, and did it very well.
The next day when the husband came back he asked the parrot what he had seen. The bird replied, “My good master, the lightning, thunder and rain disturbed me so much all night long, that I cannot tell you what I have suffered.”
The husband, who knew that it had neither rained nor thundered in the night, was convinced that the parrot was not speaking the truth, so he took him out of the cage and threw him so roughly on the ground that he killed him. Nevertheless, he was sorry afterwards, for he found that the parrot had spoken the truth.
“When the Greek king,” said the fisherman to the genie, “had finished the story of the parrot, he added to the vizier, “And so, vizier, I shall not listen to you, and I shall take care of the physician, in case I regret as the husband did when he had killed the parrot.” But the vizier was determined. “Sire,” he replied, “the death of the parrot was nothing. But when it is a question of the life of a king it is better to sacrifice the innocent than save the guilty. It is no uncertain thing, however. The physician, Douban, wishes to assassinate you. My loyalty makes me tell this to your Majesty. If I am wrong, I deserve to be punished as a vizier was once punished.” “What had the vizier done,” said the Greek king, “to deserve the punishment?” “I will tell your Majesty, if you will do me the honour to listen,” answered the vizier.”
1. passionately (adv.) -熱情地;激昂地
2. gift (n.) –天賦, 才能
3. revenge (n.) –報仇, 復仇
4. hand mill (n.) –手磨機
5. convinced (adj.) –確信的, 深信的
6. assassinate (v.) –暗殺, 行刺
7. regret (v.) –為…感到遺憾, 後悔
8. nevertheless (adv.) -仍然, 不過
9. guilty (adj.) – 有罪的
10. parrot (n.) –鸚鵡
11. disturb (v.) –擾亂
1) Choose the best answers.
1.The man went away
(a) because he was sick of his wife.
(b) because he wanted a holiday.
(c) on business.
2.Before he went away
(a) he brought home a bird.
(b) he sold his bird.
(c) he ate a bird.
(a) gave everyone gifts.
(b) could tell what it had seen.
(c) talked a lot.
4.He asked his wife to
(a) ignore the bird
(b) cook the bird.
(c) look after the bird.
5.When the man returned the bird told him
(a) that his wife had been good.
(b) that his wife had misbehaved.
6.The wife wanted to
(a) take revenge on the bird.
(b) behave better in future.
(c) leave her husband.
7.The mirror and candle were used to
(a) show the bird it’s face.
(b) make it look like lightning.
(c) entertain the bird.
8.The hand mill was used to
(a) make a sound like thunder.
(b) make flour.
(c) calm the bird.
9. The water was used to
(a) clean the bird.
(b) make it seem like it was raining.
(c) give the bird a drink.
10.The bird told the man
(a) there had been a storm.
(b) his wife had behaved well.
(c) that it had slept all the time.
11.The man killed the bird because
(a) he thought the bird had lied to him.
(b) it was fat enough to cook.
(c) he didn’t like birds.
12.Later the man
(a) bought another bird.
(b) divorced his wife.
(c) realized the bird was telling the truth.
13.The vizier believed the king’s life was
(a) more important than anything else.
(c) too long.
14.The king didn’t want to
(a) hurt the doctor.
(b) listen to any more stories.
(c) be king.
15.The vizier was determined to
(a) tell more stories.
(b) get rid of the physician.
(c) become king.
2) Answer in complete sentences
1) Why did the man buy a parrot?
2) What talents did the parrot have?
3) What did the parrot tell the man?
4) What did the man do to his wife?
5) Who did the wife think had told her husband at first?
6) What did the wife use the mill, mirror, candle and water for?
7) What did the parrot tell the man the next time?
8) Why did the man think the parrot was lying?
9) What did the man do to the parrot?
10) When did the vizier think it was alright to sacrifice the innocent?
3) Choose words from the list to complete the sentences. Make any necessary changes.
parrot gift guilty revenge
nevertheless disturb convinced
regret passionately assassinate
1. He was _________ addicted to pop music.
2. His heart burned with longing for _________.
3. He was _________ of her innocence.
4. The police exposed a criminal plot to_________ the president.
5. She _________ her lost youth.
6. Freda knew that she would not win, _________she went on trying.
7. The man was found _________ of armed robbery, and sentenced to eight years imprisonment.
8. There were many birds including a _________.
9. If you get up early try not to ________everyone else.
10. She has a great __________ for music.
4) Write T for True or F for False beside these statements about the story.
(a) The husband trusted his wife. ___
(b) The parrot told the man that his wife had done some bad things. ____
(c) The wife killed the parrot. ___
(d) The weather was fine while the man was away. ___
(e) The man was glad the parrot was dead. ___
5) Find words or phrases in the story similar in meaning to the following.
1. ability __________________
2. retribution _______________
3. persuaded _________________
4. bother ___________________
5. however __________________
6. blameworthy __________________
7. ardently _____________________
8. kill _________________________
9. be sorry _____________________
6) Complete the following paragraph by putting in the correct form of the verb in brackets.
A man (go) _________ away on business, but before he (leave) ________ he (buy) _________ a parrot. This (be) _________ no ordinary parrot, for it (have) _________ two talents. First, it (can) _______ (talk) ________, and secondly it (can) _______ (report) _________ on everything it (see) _______. When the man (return) __________ from his business trip, he (ask) _________ the parrot what it (have) _________ (see) _______. The parrot (tell) ________ the man what his wife (have) _________ (be) _________ (do) __________ and the man then (scold) ___________ his wife because she (have) _________ (be) _________ (misbehave) ___________. At first, the wife (think) __________ her servants (have) _________ (tell) ________ the husband but later (find) _________ out it (be) _________ the parrot. The next time the man (go) _________ away, the wife (have) _________ her revenge. She (use) _________ a candle, a mirror, a hand mill and some water (simulate) ___________ a storm in front of the parrot’s cage. When the man (return) __________ from his trip he (ask) ___________ the parrot what it (have) _________ (see) __________. The parrot (reply) ________ that it (be) _________ exhausted as it (have not) _________ (sleep) __________ due to a thunderstorm the previous night. The man (know) __________ there (have) _________ (be) _________ no storm, so he (believe) ___________ that the parrot (be) _________ (lie) ________. He (grab) _________ the bird in anger and (throw) _________ it to the floor (kill) _________ it. He (discover) ____________ later that the bird (have) _________ (be) _________ (tell) _________ the truth, but it (be) _________ too late then.