Beneath my clenched fingers the alder was wriggling like a small, frightened snake. My father saw that I was about to drop it.
"Hang on to it!"
“The branch is squirming," I repeated大学英语精读2课文原文. "And I hear something that sounds like a river!"
"Open your eyes," my father ordered.
I was stunned, as though he'd awakened me while I was dreaming.
"What does it mean?" I asked my father.
"It means that underneath us, right here, there's a little freshwater spring. If we dig, we could drink from it. I've just taught you how to find a spring. It's something my own father taught me. It isn't something you learn in school. And it isn't useless: a man can get along without writing andarithmetic, but he can never get along without water."
Much later, I discovered that my father was famous in the region because of what the people called his "gift": before digging a well they always consulted him; they would watch him prospecting the fields or the hills, eyes closed, hands clenched on the fork of an alder bough. Wherever my father stopped, they marked the ground; there they would dig; and there water would gush forth.
Years passed; I went to other schools, saw other countries, I had children, I wrote some books and my poor father is lying in the earth where so many times he had found fresh water.
One day someone began to make a film about my village and its inhabitants, from whom I've stolen so many of the stories that I tell. With the film crew we went to see a farmer to capture the image of a sad man: his children didn't want to receive the inheritance he'd spent his whole life preparing for them—the finest farm in the area. While the technicians were getting cameras and microphones ready the farmer put his arm around my shoulders, saying:
"I knew your father well."
"Ah! I know. Everybody in the village knows each other... No one feels like an outsider."
"You know what's under your feet?"
"Hell?" I asked, laughing.
"Under your feet there's a well. Before I dug I called in specialists from the Department of Agriculture; they did research, they analyzed shovelfuls of dirt; and they made a report where they said there wasn't any water on my land. With the family, the animals, the crops, I need water. When I saw that those specialists hadn't found any. I thought of your father and I asked him to come over. He didn't want to; I think he was prettyfed up with me because I'd asked those specialists instead of him. But finally came; he went and cut off a little branch, then he walked around for a while with his eyes shut; he stopped, he listened to something we couldn't hear and then he said to me: "Dig right here, there's enough water to get your whole flock drunk and drown your specialist besides." We dug and found water. Fine water that's never heard of pollution.
The film people were ready; they called to me to take my place.
"I'm gonna show you something," said the farmer, keeping me back." You wait right here."
He disappeared into a shack which he must have used to store things, then came back with a branch which he held out to me.
"I never throw nothing away; I kept the alder branch your father cut to find my water. I don't understand, it hasn't dried out."
Moved as I touched the branch, kept out of I don't know what sense of piety—and which really wasn't dry—I had the feeling that my father was watching me over my shoulder; I closed my eyes and, standing above the spring my father had discovered, I waited for the branch to writhe, I hoped the sound of gushing water would rise to my ears.
The alder stayed motionless in my hands and the water beneath the earth refused to sing.
Somewhere along the roads I'd taken since the village of my childhood I had forgotten my father's knowledge.
"Don't feel sorry," said the man, thinking no doubt of his farm and his childhood; "nowadays fathers can't pass on anything to the next generation."
And he took the alder branch from my hands.
1.Beneath adv. 在下方 prep. 在...之下
The ship sank beneath the waves.
2.wriggle n. 蠕动,蜿蜒 v. 蠕动,蜿蜒前进
I can't brush your hair if you keep wriggling all the time.
3.squirm vi. (因不舒适、羞愧或紧张而)蠕动
He was squirming (around) on the floor in agony.
4.arithmetic n. 算术
I'm good at history but not so hot at arithmetic.
5.prospecting n. 勘探
Great successes were achieved in geological prospecting.
6.bough n. 大树枝
The bird settled on the topmost bough.
7.gush n. 涌出 v. 使涌出,迸出
Oil gashed out from the broken pipe.
8.inhabitant n. 居民
He lives in a city with 100000 inhabitants.
9.inheritance n. 遗传,遗产
On the maternal side his inheritance was a happy one.
10.shovelful n. 满铲(一铲的量,一锹的量)
He put a shovelful of snow in Kate's bed as a practical joke.
11.be fed up with 受够了，厌倦
I am be fed up with this dull life!
12.piety n. 虔诚
The old man has great piety towards God.
1.they would watch him prospecting the fields or the hills, eyes closed, hands clenched on the fork of an alder bough.
【结构解析】这里用了watch sb. doing sth.意思是“看到某人正在做某事”。“eyes closed, hands clenched...”做“prospecting ”的伴随状语，表示同时发生的动作。
2.One day someone began to make a film about my village and its inhabitants, from whom I've stolen so many of the stories that I tell.
【结构解析】"its"指的是“my village”。“ from whom I've stolen so many of the stories that I tell”是定语从句，修饰“ inhabitants”。
3.I had the feeling that my father was watching me over my shoulder.
【结构解析】这句话相当于"I feel that my father..."。