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понедельник, 2 сентября 2013 г.

The rules of behaviour for ladies and gentlemen

Dear Friends!

Today I'd like you to read the extract from Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers (Chapter Five The Dancing Cow)
It's one of my favourite books which is full of wise thoughts and curious situation. And this one - when you have to choose between the comfort of your well-settled life and exciting but unsure future - is  typical nowadays, isn't it?

What would you prefer: to continue living the respectable but boring life or start something new? Please, leave your comments here!

The Red Cow — that’s the name she went by. And very important and prosperous she was, too (so my Mother said). She lived in the best field in the whole district — a large one full of buttercups the size of saucers and dandelions standing up in it like soldiers. Every time she ate the head off one soldier, another grew up in its place, with a green military coat and a yellow busby.

She had lived there always — she often told my Mother that she couldn’t remember the time when she hadn’t lived in that field. Her world was bounded by green hedges and the sky and she knew nothing of what lay beyond these.
The Red Cow was very respectable, she always behaved like a perfect lady and she knew What was What. To her a thing was either black or white—there was nothing in between. Dandelions were either sweet or sour—there were never any moderately nice ones.
She led a very busy life. Her mornings were taken up in giving lessons to the Red Calf, her daughter, and in the afternoon she taught the little one deportment and mooing and all the things a really well brought up calf should know. Then they had their supper, and the Red Cow showed the Red Calf how to select a good blade of grass from a bad one; and when her child had gone to sleep at night she would go into a corner of the field and chew the cud and think her own quiet thoughts.


All her days were exactly the same. One Red Calf grew up and went away and another came in its place. And it was natural that the Red Cow should imagine that her life would always be the same as it had always been—indeed, she felt that she could ask for nothing better than for all her days to be alike till she came to the end of them.
But at the very moment she was thinking these thoughts, adventure, as she afterwards told my Mother, was stalking her. It came upon her one night when the stars themselves looked like dandelions in the sky and the moon a great daisy among the stars.
On this night, long after the Red Calf was asleep, the Red Cow stood up suddenly and began to dance.


 She danced wildly and beautifully and in perfect time, though she had no music to go by. Sometimes it was a polka, sometimes a Highland Fling and sometimes a special dance that she made up out of her own head. And in between these dances she would curtsey and make sweeping bows and knock her head against the dandelions.
“Dear me!” said the Red Cow to herself, as she began on a Sailor’s Hornpipe. “What an extraordinary thing! I always thought dancing improper, but it can’t be since I myself am dancing. For I am a model cow.”




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