The barn was very large. It was very old. It smelled of hay and it smelled of manure1. It smelled of the perspiration2 of tired horses and the wonderful sweet breath of patient cows. It often had a sort of peaceful smell -- as though noghing bad could happen ever again in the world. It smelled of grain and of harness dressing3 and of axle grease and of rubber boots and of new rope. And whenever the cat was given a fish-head to eat, the barn would smell of fish. But mostly it smelled of hay, for there was always hay in the great loft4 up overhead. And there was always hay being pitched down to the cows and the hourses and the sheep.
The barn was pleasantly warm in winter when the animals spent most of their time indoors, and it was pleasantly cool in summer when the big doors stood wide open to the breeze. The barn had stalls on the main floor for the work hourses, tie-ups on the main floor for the cows, a sheepfold down below for the sheep, a pigpen down below for Wilbur, and it was full of all sorts of things that you find in barns: ladders, grindsones, pitch forks, monkey wrenches6, scythes7, lawn mowers, snow shovels8, ax handles, milk pails, water buchers, empty grain sacks, and rusty9 rat traps. It was the kind of barn that swallows like to build their nests in. It was the kind of barn that children like to play in. And the whole thing was owned by Fern's uncle, Mr. Homer L. Zuckerman.
Wilbur's new home was in the lower part of the barn, directly underneath10 the cows. Mr. Zuckerman knew that a manure pile is a good place to keep a young pig. Pigs need warmth, and it was warm and comfortable down there in the barn cellar on the south side.
Fern came almost every day to visit him. She found an old milking stool that had been discarded, and she placed the stool in the sheepfold next to Wilbur's pen. Here she sat quietly during the long afternoons, thinking and listening and watching Wilbur. The sheep soon got to know her and trust her. So did the geese, who lived with the sheep. All the animals trusted her, she was so quiet and friendly. Mr. Zuckerman did not allow her to take Wilbur out, and he did not allow to get into the pigpen. But he told Fern that she could sit on the stool and watch Wilbur as long as she wanted to. It made her happy just to be near the pig, and it made her happy just to be near the pig, and it made Wilbur happy to know that she was sitting there, right outside his pen. But he never had any fun--no walks, no redes, no swims.
One afternoon in June, when Wilbur was almost two months old, he wandered out into his small yard outside the barn. Fern had not arrived for her usual visit. Wilbur stood in the sun feeling lonely and bored.
"There's never anything to do around here," he thought. He walked slowly to his food trough and sniffed11 to see if anything had been overlooked at lunch. He found a small strip of potato skin and ate it. His back itched5, so he leaned against the fence and rubbed against the boards. When he tired of this, he walked indoors, climbed to the top of the manured pile, and sat down. He didn't feel like going to sleep, he didn't feel like digging, he was tired of standing12 still, tired of lying down. "I'm less than two months old and I'm tired of living," he said. He walked out to the yard again.
"When I'm out here," he said, "there's no place to go but in. When I'm indoors, there's no place to go but out in the yard."
"That's where you're wrong, my friend, my freiend," said a voice.
Wilbur looked through the fence and saw the goose standing there.
"You don't have to stay in that dirty-llittle dirty-little dirty-little yard," said the goose, who talded rather fast. "One of the boards is loose. Push on it, push-push-push on it, and come on out!"
"What?" said Wilbur. "Say it slower!"
"At-at-at, at the risk of repeating myself," said the goose, "I suggest that you come on out. It's wonderful out here."
"Did you say a board was loose?"
"That I did, that I did," said the goose.
Wilbur walked up to the fence and saw that the goose was right--one board was loose. He put his head sown, shut his eyes, and pushed. The board gave way. In a minute he had squeezed through the fence and was standing in the long grass outside his yard. The goose chuckled13.
"How does it feel to be free?" she asked.
"I like it ," said Wilbur. "That is, I guess I like it." #p#分页标题#e#
Actually, Wilbur felt queer to be outside his fence, with nothing between him and the big world.
"Where do you think I'd better go?"
"Anywhere you like, anywhere you like," said the goose. "Go down through the orchard14, root up the sod! Go down through the garden, dig up the radishes! Root up everything! Eat grass! Look for corn! Look for oats! Run all over! Skip and dance, jump and prance15! Go down through the orchard and stroll in the woods! The world is a wonderful place when you're young."
“你不用老呆在那个肮脏的-小 肮脏的-小 肮脏的-小院子里，”母鹅说得相当的快。“这儿有一块木板松了。推开它，推-推-推开它，就能够出去！”
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