The lion

The lion is often called the “king of beasts.” His height varies from three to four feet, and he is from six to nine feet long. His coat is a yellowish brown or tawny color, and about his neck is a great shaggy mane which gives his head a majestic appearance.

The strength of the lion is so great that he can easily crush the skulls of such animals as the horse or ox with one blow of his paw. No one who has not seen the teeth of a full grown lion taken out of their sockets can have any idea of their real size; one of them forms a good handful, and might easily be mistaken for a small elephant’s tooth.

The home of the lion is in the forests of Asia and Africa, where he is a terror to man and beast. He generally lies concealed during the day, but as darkness comes on he prowls about where other animals are accustomed to go for food or drink. Then he springs upon them unawared, with a roar that sounds like the rumble of thunder.

The lion sometimes lives to a great age. One by the name of Pompey died in London in the year 1760, at the age of seventy years. If taken when young the lion can be tamed, and will even show kindness to his keeper.

In a menagerie in Brussels, there was a cell where a large lion, called Danco, used to be kept. The cell happened to be in need of repair, and the keeper, whose name was William, desired a carpenter to come and mend it. The carpenter came, but was so afraid of the lion, that he would not go near the cell alone.

So William entered the cell, and led the lion to the upper part of it, while the other part was refitting. He played with the lion for some time; but, at last, being wearied, both he and the lion fell asleep. The carpenter went on with his work, and when he had finished he called out for William to come and see it.
于是威廉走进这个笼子,然后让狮子待在笼子的上层部分,而其它部分让木匠整修。他与狮子表演了一段时间 ;但是,最后因为十分疲倦,他和狮子一起睡着了。木匠继续他的工作,并且当他完成工作之后,他就想叫醒威廉起来看一看他的工作成果。

He called again and again, but William didn’t answer. The poor carpenter began to be frightened, lest the lion had made his dinner of the keeper, or else crushed him with his great paws. He crept round to the upper part of the cell, and there, looking through the railing, he saw the lion and William sleeping side by side as contentedly as two little brothers. 

He was so astonished that he uttered a loud cry. The lion, awakened by the noise, stared at the carpenter with an eye of fury, and then placing his paw on the breast of his keeper, as if to say, “Touch him if you dare,” the heroic beast lay down to sleep again. The carpenter was dreadfully alarmed, and, not knowing how he could rouse William, he ran out and related what he had seen. 

Some people came, and, opening the door of the cell, contrived to awaken the keeper, who, rubbing his eyes, quietly looked around him, and expressed himself very well satisfied with his nap. He took the lion’s paw, shook it kindly, and then retired uninjured from the cell.

I. Answer the questions.
1. What does a lion usually do in the day and at night?
2. What is the main idea of the story about the keeper, the lion and the carpenter?
3. Why was the carpenter frightened after he repaired the cell?

II. Find out the two figures of speech (比喻) used by the author to describe the lion’s teeth and roar.
Teeth: ______________________________________________.
Roar: ______________________________________________.

III. Find out the stylish sentences used by the author to express the following ideas.
1. The lion’s mane gives him a great look.
2. The carpenter was afraid and shouted loudly.
3. The keeper had a good sleep.


What does a lion usually do in the day and at night?

A generally lies concealed during the day and hunts at night

B generally lies concealed during the day and plays at night

C generally lies concealed during the day and roars at night