Вы держите в руках новую книгу для домашнего чтения под названием «Черная курица». Эта книга не совсем простая. Почему? Во-первых, она написана на английском языке, который вы уже начали изучать. Во-вторых, эту удивительную волшебную историю читали еще ваши пра-пра-прабабушки и пра-пра-прадедушки, не говоря уж о бабушках и дедушках, мамах и папах. Сказку «Черная курица» сочинил еще в 1829 году русский писатель Антоний Погорельский (его настоящее имя — Алексей Перовский). Он написал ее для своего десятилетнего племянника Алеши, будущего писателя Алексея Константиновича Толстого. Героя книги тоже зовут Алеша. Он попадает в волшебный подземный мир и получает в подарок от короля чудесный дар. Сможет ли он правильно распорядиться этим даром? Вы узнаете об этом, прочитав эту чудесную сказку до конца. Это будет нетрудно, если вы станете запоминать новые слова и выражения и делать упражнения, которые вы найдете после каждой главы. Чтение этой книги поможет вам лучше разбираться в грамматике английского языка, высказывать свое мнение о прочитанном, а также рассказывать о себе.
Интересных вам впечатлений! Успехов в изучении английского языка!
Перевод заданий к упражнениям
Answer the questions. — Ответь на вопросы.
Choose right. — Сделай правильный выбор.
Complete the chart. — Заполни таблицу.
Complete the sentences. — Дополни предложения.
Correct the statements. — Исправь утверждения.
Draw a picture and describe it. — Нарисуй картинку и опиши ее.
Explain why. — Объясни почему.
Fill in the prepositions. — Вставь предлоги.
Fill in the verbs. — Вставь глаголы.
Fill in the words from the box. — Вставь слова из рамки.
Match the opposites. — Подбери слова с противоположным значением.
Match the two parts of the sentences. — Соедини обе части предложений.
Put the sentences in the right order. — Расставь предложения в правильном порядке.
Say who. — Скажи кто.
Say why. — Объясни почему.
Speak for yourself. — Расскажи о себе.
This story happened many years ago in St. Petersburg. The city was not as beautiful as it is today. Some of the houses were still wooden. Bridges were old and narrow.
There lived a headmaster of a school for boys in this city. The school was not very big. Boys studied and lived there. Some of the rooms were classrooms and bedrooms for boys. The headmaster with his wife and two Dutch ladies lived in the other rooms. The ladies were very old.
There were thirty or forty children in the school. One of the boys was Alyosha. He was nine or ten. His parents lived far from St. Petersburg. Alyosha was a nice clever boy. He always studied well. Everyone was fond of him.
On Saturdays, all Alyosha's friends went home to their families. But Alyosha stayed at school. He felt lonely without his parents. On Sundays and on holidays he was alone all the time. Then he read the books from the headmaster's small library. Alyosha liked fairy tales and stories about noble knights.
He knew much about many famous knights. He liked to imagine himself in a knight's castle or in a dark forest.
The school had a large yard with a wooden fence. Alyosha always played there. He liked to come up to the fence. The boy often looked through the round holes in the fence. Alyosha hoped to see a good fairy in the street some day. He wanted to get from her a toy or a letter from his mother and father. But he never saw any fairy.
During his walks in the yard Alyosha also liked to feed the hens. They lived in a small hen-house near the fence. The hens played and ran all day. Alyosha knew them all by name and often gave them small pieces of bread. He was fond of a black hen called Blacky. She liked him too. Blacky even let him touch her. Alyosha kept the best pieces of bread for her. Blacky was a nice and quiet hen. She didn't fight with the other hens. She liked to play with Alyosha more than with other hens.
It was a warm day in winter. Alyosha came out into the yard to play. The headmaster and his wife were very busy that day.
"We have a very important guest today. It's the inspector of schools," the headmaster told Alyosha. "I'm going to buy meat and cheese and fruit for dinner."
And the headmaster went away. Alyosha helped to decorate the house. Then he decided to play in the yard. First he came up to the fence and looked through a hole. There was no one in the street. Then the boy went to his hens. Suddenly he saw the cook with a big knife. He didn't like the cook. She was an unkind woman with a loud voice. She was always angry.
"She's going to catch a hen. It's terrible! But there's nothing I can do. I can't help my friends now," Alyosha thought.
He ran away.
"Alyosha, Alyosha, help me catch a hen!" shouted the cook.
But Alyosha ran faster. Then he hid behind the hen-house. The tears from his eyes started falling on the ground.
Alyosha stood behind the henhouse long. The cook still tried to catch a hen. Suddenly the boy's heart started beating harder. He heard the voice of his dear Blacky. He must help her! Alyosha ran up to the cook.
"Please, don't touch my Blacky!" he cried.
Blacky flew up to the roof of the hen-house.
The cook was angry. She wanted to tell the headmaster about Alyosha. But he came up to her and said:
"You're so good, nice and kind. Please, don't take my Blacky! You can have this."
Alyosha took an old gold coin out of his pocket. It was a present from his grandmother. The cook looked at the coin. She liked it. Alyosha wanted very much to keep the coin. But he gave it to the cook to save his favourite hen.
The cook went back into the house. Blacky flew down from the roof and came up to Alyosha. All morning she followed the boy around the yard like a dog.
"She wants to tell me something," thought Alyosha. "But she can't do it. She is only a hen."
Helpful Words & Notes
headmaster — директор школы.
by name — по имени.
1 Answer the questions.
1) When did this story happen?
2) How old was Alyosha?
3) What did Alyosha do on holidays?
4) Who is Blacky?
5) Why did the cook want to catch a hen?
6) How did Alyosha save Blacky?
2 Choose right.
1) Alyosha studied and lived in a school for____.
2) Alyosha hoped to see ____ in the street one day.
a) his parents
b) the headmaster
c) a good fairy
3) Alyosha kept the best pieces of ____ for Blacky.
4) The gold coin was a present from Alyosha's ____.
3 Correct the statements.
1) There were fifty children in the school.
2) Alyosha liked to read stories about hens and dogs.
3) Alyosha was fond of a white hen called Whitey.
4) The cook was a nice woman with a loud voice.
4 Complete the chart.
5 Answer the questions and speak about Alyosha.
1) How old was he? What do you know about his parents?
2) What books did he like? What did he do in the yard?
3) Why did he save Blacky from the cook? Was he a kind boy?
6 Speak for yourself.
1) How old are you? Do you have brothers or sisters?
2) What books do you read?
3) What presents do you like to get?
4) What do you do on your holidays?
Two hours or so before the dinner the guests started to come. Alyosha wanted to see the inspector very much.
"He must be a famous knight," he thought. "I think he is young and tall and very brave."
But then Alyosha remembered the black hen. He saw the awful picture again: the cook with a knife, trying to catch his favourite hen.
"What did Blacky want to tell me?" he thought. "I can go to the hen-house. But not now. I must go to the dinner first. It is very important for the headmaster."
Soon the inspector came. The headmaster's wife saw him through the window. She told her husband about the important guest. Everything in the house started moving. The headmaster went out of the house to meet the inspector. The other guests followed him. Even Alyosha forgot about his hen. He came up to the window to see the noble knight. But he didn't see him: the inspector was already in the house.
A few minutes later the headmaster's wife opened the door of the drawing room. Alyosha came up to the door and saw … a little man in a grey suit!
"He is not a knight at all," thought the boy.
Everyone sat down to have dinner. There were a lot of wonderful things on the table, but Alyosha ate very little. He couldn't stop thinking about his Blacky. After the dinner he came up to the headmaster and said:
"Can I go out to play in the yard?"
"Yes," said the headmaster, "but don't stay there long."
Alyosha put on his red coat and a green hat and ran out into the yard. It was four o'clock. The hens were already sleepy. They didn't even want to take new pieces of bread from the boy. Only Blacky was not sleepy. She came up to Alyosha at once. He played with the hen for a long time. Then it got dark: it was time for supper. Alyosha closed the door of the hen-house. The black hen looked at the boy. Her eyes were like two bright stars in the sky.
"Is she asking me to stay?" thought Alyosha. "No, it can't be!"
After supper Alyosha went to the classroom and sat there alone. The guests left at half past ten. Before that Alyosha went downstairs to the bedroom. He got into his bed. The boy put out the light. But he couldn't sleep. Some time later the headmaster entered the bedroom. He had a candle in his hand. He looked at Alyosha and left, closing the door.
Alyosha looked at the moon. All was quiet. Suddenly the boy heard a noise. He looked at the bed of his best friend and saw something strange. "The sheet on the bed is moving!" he thought. And then a voice called him quietly:
Alyosha closed his eyes. He was alone in the bedroom. He was afraid to open his eyes.
"There is somebody under the bed," he thought, "but how can he know my name?"
Alyosha sat up in bed. The sheet started moving again. Somebody called him once more. Suddenly from under the white sheet came… the black hen!
"Oh! It's you, Blacky!" Alyosha cried. "How did you get here?"
Blacky flew up on his bed and said:
"Yes, it's me, Alyosha! You're not afraid of me, are you?"
"No, Blacky, I'm not afraid of you. You are my friend. It's nice to hear your voice. You can speak so well."
"If you are not afraid of me," said the hen, "come with me now. Please, put on your clothes. Quickly!"
"You are funny, Blacky!" said Alyosha. "How can I do that? It's so dark here. I don't see my clothes."
"OK. I have an idea," said the hen.
Then she said something in a strange voice. And suddenly Alyosha saw a lot of very small candles everywhere. The candles were on the floor, on the chairs, at the windows. It was no longer dark in the room. Alyosha put on his clothes. Then Blacky said something again, and the candles disappeared.
"Follow me!" she told him.
Helpful Words & Notes
drawing room — гостиная.
at all — совсем, вовсе.
at once — сразу же.
at half past ten — в половине одиннадцатого.
The boy put out the light. — Мальчик погасил свет.
once more — еще раз.
no longer — больше не.
1 Say who:
1) wanted to see the inspector of schools.
2) saw the inspector through the window.
3) didn't want to take new pieces of bread from Alyosha.
4) left at half past ten.
5) entered Alyosha's bedroom with a candle in his hand.
6) said something in a strange voice.
7) put on his clothes.
2 Put the sentences in the right order.