1．The Hat Maker and the Monkeys
Once upon a time there was a man who made hats. He was a hat maker. He had enough hats to sell. One day he put the hats into his barrow and went along the road to the market. It was a long way and the hat maker was tired and hot. He came to a tree and sat down. Soon he fell asleep. There were monkeys up in the tree. The hat maker did not know this. The monkeys looked down. They saw the hats. Then they came down and took them. Each monkey put a hat on and each monkey went up the tree again.
Then the man woke up. His barrow was empty. There were no hats in it. "Where are my hats?"he said. He looked left. He looked right. He looked round about. Then he looked up. He saw the monkeys with his hats on. "Oh dear!" he said. "Those naughty monkeys have stolen my hats."He shook his fist at them. The monkeys shook their fists too. The hat maker had an idea. He took off his hat and threw it on the ground. The monkeys took off their hats too and threw them on the ground. The hat maker put his hats back in his barrow and quickly left for the market.
fall asleep 入睡
naughty 顽皮的, 淘气的
Rota is a very small town in Spain. It is famous for its fruits and vegetables. In particular, it is famous for its tomatoes and pumpkins.
One would think that the soil of this region must be very good. It must be very rich in order to grow such excellent tomatoes and pumpkins. But the soil is not good. It is poor. It is only sand and rock — nothing more. The winds of the ocean blow hard. They have carried away the good soil. They have left only sand in its place. There is also little water. The soil is dry and hard.
The farmers of this region have to work very hard. They work from morning till night. They dig wells wherever there is water. They carry water by hand to their gardens. They use anything and everything to make the soil a little richer around each plant. They cover the young plants with leaves. In this way they protect them from the sun and wind. They watch each plant carefully. They watch the plants which are not strong. They give these plants more water and more attention. They show the plants the same affection they show for their wives or children.
There is a proverb about Rota farmers: the farmer of Rota touches each tomato plant at least forty times a day.
region 区域, 地方
dig 掘, 挖