- زمان مطالعه 13 دقیقه
- سطح ساده
دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
این فصل را میتوانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید
متن انگلیسی فصل
‘I do like to be beside the seaside’
Cindy made all the arrangements. She managed to borrow a wheelchair from a friend of a friend, whose father had recently died. And her friend Sue was happy to lend Cindy her car for the day.
On the Saturday night, Cindy went clubbing with a group of her old friends, but she came home early. Somehow it didn’t seem as much fun as before. In fact, the crowds, loud music and silly, shouted conversations made her feel a bit ill.
‘Happy Birthday, Gran,’ she said as she took Sarah her cup of tea the next morning.
‘What? What are you talking about?’ said Sarah.
‘Today is your birthday, Gran,’ said Cindy. ‘You’re eighty years old today.’
‘Am I? Who told you that?’
‘Gran, I’m taking you to Brighton for the day. We’re going to the seaside. Do you remember Brighton?’
Sarah seemed confused, but at the word ‘seaside’ something seemed to connect. She began singing in a high, shaky voice,
‘Oh! I do like to be beside the seaside
Oh! I do like to be beside the sea!
I do like to stroll along the prom, prom, prom
Where the brass bands play: “Tiddely-om-pom-pom!”’
Her voice faded away as her memory failed to find the words to complete the old music-hall song.
“That’s right, Gran. The seaside. That’s where we’re going. I bet you know all sorts of other songs too.’
‘I wouldn’t be surprised,’ said Sarah. ‘But I’m not saying I do, and I’m not saying I don’t. Because they’ll ask me questions if I do.’
‘Oh, will they?’ said Cindy.
‘But do I have to meet anyone special today?’
‘No, Gran. No-one special. You’re the special person for today. It’s your birthday.’
‘Where’s my hat?’ asked Sarah all of a sudden.
‘My hat. I can’t go to the seaside without a hat, can I?’
‘I suppose not. I’ll look in the wardrobe,’ said Cindy.
Eventually, she found an old straw hat with plastic fruit on it.
‘Here you are, Gran,’ she said, and put it gently on Sarah’s head. Sarah reached up immediately and changed the angle of the hat. Now she looked like one of those silent film actors from the 1920s.
‘What about that then, eh?’ she asked as she looked at herself in the mirror. Again she broke into song in her strange, high voice, ‘Where did you get that hat?
Where did you get that tile?
Isn’t it a nobby one?
And just the proper style.
I should like to have one
Just the same as that.
Where’er I go, they shout “Hello”
Her voice faded away again. She sat silently, her eyes empty. It seemed as if she could only recover small pieces of memory from the web of words and pictures that crowded her mind. The amazing thing for Cindy was that she could still speak and use language. If she could remember how to speak, why couldn’t she remember anything else properly? It was a puzzle for Cindy. She hadn’t realised that the new words made up by Sarah, ‘didgery’, ‘frooky-pooky’ and the rest, were the first signs that even her memory for words was slowly being destroyed.
Sarah had by now fallen into another light sleep. When she woke a few minutes later, she asked, ‘Where are we? I don’t remember this place. Where’s the bungalow?’
‘The bungalow? What bungalow?’ asked Cindy.
‘Oh, you know… You think I’m stupid, but I’m not so stupid as you think. Do we have to do anything special today?’
‘Oh, come on, Gran. It’s your birthday. We’re going to Brighton. We’re going to the seaside.’
‘Oh, are we? Who told you that? I don’t want to do anything wrong, you know. They’ll be asking me all those questions again. And I don’t know the answers.’ Sarah’s eyes looked about the room suspiciously, as if looking for ‘them’.
‘It’s your birthday, Gran. Let’s have a good time, OK?’
‘Is my mother coming too? What about my dad?’ Sarah looked upset and confused again.
‘Come on, Gran. Let’s get you dressed. It’s a lovely day. Look at the sunshine. It’s a lovely May morning. Let’s get on the road.’
Jan helped Cindy put Sarah into the car. By eleven o’clock, Cindy had arrived in Brighton.
The sun was shining brightly, and the sea looked inviting. She parked the car not far-from the seafront, and took the wheelchair out of the car boot. Somehow, she managed to half-lift, half-push Sarah into it.
‘Where are we?’ asked Sarah nervously.
“This is Brighton, Gran. We’re at the seaside. Come on, let’s go!’ And she began to push the wheelchair quickly down towards the pier.
‘Shall we go on the pier, Gran?’ asked Cindy.
Sarah’s eyes suddenly brightened.
‘It’s the seaside. It’s the seaside,’ she kept repeating.
There were already crowds of people walking along the seafront and sitting on the stony beach. English people are odd, thought Cindy. The minute the sun comes out, they take off their shirts and show their pale skin, even if the temperature is well below fifteen degrees celsius. And they become more open and start to talk more. As Cindy pushed the wheelchair through the crowds, people began to talk to Sarah.
‘Hello, dear. Going for a ride?’
‘Hello, sweetheart. Where did you get that hat?’
‘Lovely day, isn’t it? Having a nice time, are you?’
Sarah was a bit surprised by all the attention. She looked around her, turning her head to the left and right.
‘Where are we going? Where’s my mum?’ she asked Cindy nervously.
‘It’s OK, Gran. We’re going to the pier.’
Brighton pier sticks out into the sea like a bridge with no land at one end. It’s like a big funfair, with small stalls selling ice cream, sticks of pink Brighton Rock, souvenirs, balloons and all sorts of toys for children of all ages. And you can try your luck at the shooting gallery, and win, perhaps, a large pink, fluffy bear. Or you can ask the fortune teller to tell you your future, or play on the pinball and gambling machines.
Cindy pushed the wheelchair to the end of the pier, where they had a good view of the sea. A few men were fishing. The sun was shining on the sea so brightly that it hurt Cindy’s eyes. She put on her sunglasses. It was beginning to get quite hot.
‘Shall I get you an ice cream, Gran?’
‘Ice cream?’ Sarah concentrated hard, trying to decide whether these words had anything to do with something she could remember. Then she suddenly started to shout, ‘Ice cream. You scream… ice cream. Nice ice cream. Oh, yes please.’
‘OK, I’ll go and get you one. I won’t be a minute. Just wait here. I’ll be straight back.’
When Cindy returned a few minutes later, she found Sarah surrounded by a group of teenage girls.
‘Hi,’ she said. ‘What’s going on?’
‘I dunno,’ said one of the girls. ‘We was walking by and she called out to us. “Where’s my Mum?” she kept saying. Is she all right?’
‘Don’t worry,’ said Cindy. ‘She gets a bit confused sometimes.’
Sarah, who had been staring out to sea, grabbed the ice cream from Cindy, and started to lick it greedily, making loud noises with her tongue and lips.
‘She seems to be enjoying it,’ said another girl.
‘It’s her birthday today,’ said Cindy. ‘She’s eighty.’
‘Wow!’ said the first girl. ‘Eighty! That’s seriously old.’
‘Come on,’ said the second girl. ‘Let’s sing “Happy Birthday”. What’s her name?’
‘Sarah,’ said Cindy.
So the group of girls began to sing,
‘Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday, dear Sarah.
Happy birthday to you.’
As they sang, more people gathered round, and some of them joined in the singing. They sang the song through again. Then they went on with, ‘For she’s a jolly good fellow.
For she’s a jolly good fellow.
For she’s a jolly good fellow
And so say all of us.’
By now a large crowd had gathered. Sarah, still wearing her old straw hat decorated with the plastic fruit, sat in her wheelchair like a queen on a throne. The ice cream was melting in the hot sun. She had ice cream all round her mouth, and it was running down her hand and on to her dress.
‘Careful, Gran. Watch out for the ice cream. Here, let me clean it up,’ said Cindy, trying to clean up the mess with some tissues.
‘Don’t take my ice cream,’ shouted Sarah. ‘I know your tricks.’
The crowd started laughing good-humouredly. Sarah frowned at them.
‘Don’t you laugh at me,’ she said. ‘I’ll teach you a lesson you won’t forget in a hurry.’
Then her mood changed again. ‘Thank you all so much for coming,’ she said in her ‘best’ voice. ‘It’s very good of you. I’d like to sing you a song, but I want you all to join in. Now, let’s start. Ready?’ And she began to sing, ‘All things bright and beautiful A few of the older people in the crowd began to sing with her, until almost everyone was taking part, even the ones who didn’t know the words.
‘Now let’s have another song,’ said Sarah when she came to the end. And she started again in her crazy, high voice, ‘Oh! I do like to be beside the seaside-‘
But this time there was no need for her to tell the crowd to join in; they began singing along with her straight away. The ‘concert’ went on for nearly half an hour, and they sang lots of old favourite songs. Sometimes Sarah forgot the words or got them all mixed up. Sometimes she sang wildly out of tune. But nobody seemed to mind. They were all enjoying themselves.
Then Sarah suddenly clapped her hands. ‘I’m very sorry. I’m afraid I have to leave you now. I have to meet someone in town. It was so kind of you all to come. Thank you all so much.’
The crowd parted to let her wheelchair through as Cindy pushed her back towards the seafront. Sarah waved her hand at them, just like a queen. A man in the crowd called out, ‘She’s a real character. Three cheers for Sarah. Hip-hip, hooray! Hip-hip, hooray! Hip-hip, hooray!’
So Sarah and Cindy left the pier in right royal style.
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