Chapter 2

2016-10-11 09:43| 发布者: admin| 查看: 182| 评论: 0

摘要: .

My Grandmother

Part 1



1. I myself had two separate encounters with witches before I was eight years old.

2. From the first I escaped unharmed, but on the second occasion I was not so lucky.

3. Things happened to me that will probably make you scream when you read about them.

4. That can't be helped.

5. The truth must be told.



1. The fact that I am still here and able to speak to you (however peculiar I may look) is due entirely to my wonderful grandmother.

2. My grandmother was Norwegian.

3. The Norwegians know all about witches, for Norway, with its black forests and icy mountains, is where the first witches came from.

4. My father and my mother were also Norwegian, but because my father had a business in England,.

5. I had been born there and had lived there and had started going to an English school.



1. Twice a year, at Christmas and in the summer, we went back to Norway to visit my grandmother.

2. This old lady, as far as I could gather, was just about the only surviving relative we had on either side of our family.

3. She was my mother's mother and I absolutely adored her.

4. When she and I were together we spoke in either Norwegian or in English.

5. It didn't matter which. We were equally fluent in both languages, and I have to admit that I felt closer to her than to my mother.



1. Soon after my seventh birthday, my parents took me as usual to spend Christmas with my grandmother in Norway.

2. And it was over there, while my father and mother and I were driving in icy weather just north of Oslo, that our car skidded off the road and went tumbling down into a rocky ravine.

3. My parents were killed.

4. I was firmly strapped into the back seat and received only a cut on the forehead.

5. I won't go into the horrors of that terrible afternoon.



1. I still get the shivers when I think about it.

2. I finished up, of course, back in my grandmother's house with her arms around me tight and both of us crying the whole night long.

3. "What are we going to do now?" I asked her through the tears.

4. "You will stay here with me," she said, "and I will look after you."



1. "Aren't I going back to England?"

2. "No," she said.

3. "I could never do that.

4. Heaven shall take my soul, but Norway shall keep my bones."




1. The very next day, in order that we might both try to forget our great sadness, my grandmother started telling me stories.

2. She was a wonderful story-teller and I was enthralled by everything she told me.

3. But I didn't become really excited until she got on to the subject of witches.

4. She was apparently a great expert on these creatures and she made it very clear to me that her witch stories, unlike most of the others, were not imaginary tales.



1. They were all true.

2. They were the gospel truth.

3. They were history.

4. Everything she was telling me about witches had actually happened and I had better believe it.

5. What was worse, what was far, far worse, was that witches were still with us.



1. They were all around us and I had better believe that, too.

2. "Are you really being truthful, Grandmamma? Really and truly truthful?"

3. "My darling," she said, "you won't last long in this world if you don't know how to spot a witch when you see one."

4. "But you told me that witches look like ordinary women, Grandmamma.

5. So how can I spot them?"


Part 2



1. "You must listen to me," my grandmother said.

2. "You must remember everything I tell you.

3. After that, all you can do is cross your heart and pray to heaven and hope for the best."

4. We were in the big living-room of her house in Oslo and I was ready for bed.



1. The curtains were never drawn in that house.

2.And through the windows I could see huge snowflakes falling slowly on to an outside world that was as black as tar.

3. My grandmother was tremendously old and wrinkled, with a massive wide body which was smothered in grey lace.

4. She sat there majestic in her armchair, filling every inch of it.

5. Not even a mouse could have squeezed in to sit beside her.



1. I myself, just seven years old, was crouched on the floor at her feet, wearing pyjamas, dressing-gown and slippers.

2. "You swear you aren't pulling my leg?" I kept saying to her.

3. "You swear you aren't just pretending?"

4. "Listen," she said, "I have known no less than five children who have simply vanished off the face of this earth, never to be seen again.

5. The witches took them."



1. "I still think you're just trying to frighten me," I said.

2. "I am trying to make sure you don't go the same way," she said.

3. "I love you and I want you to stay with me."

4. "Tell me about the children who disappeared," I said.

5. My grandmother was the only grandmother I ever met who smoked cigars.



1. She lit one now, a long black cigar that smelt of burning rubber.

2."The first child I knew who disappeared", she said, "was called Ranghild Hansen.

3. Ranghild was about eight at the time, and she was playing with her little sister on the lawn.

4. Their mother, who was baking bread in the kitchen, came outside for a breath of air.



1. 'Where's Ranghild?' she asked.

2. " 'She went away with the tall lady,' the little sister said. "

3. 'What tall lady?' the mother said.

4. " 'The tall lady in white gloves,' the little sister said.

5. 'She took Ranghild by the hand and led her away.' No one", my grandmother said, "ever saw Ranghild again."



1. "Didn't they search for her?" I asked.

2. "They searched for miles around.

3. Everyone in the town helped, but they never found her."

4. "What happened to the other four children?" I asked.

5. "They vanished just as Ranghild did."



1. "How, Grandmamma? How did they vanish?"

2. "In every case a strange lady was seen outside the house, just before it happened."

3. "But how did they vanish?" I asked.

4. "The second one was very peculiar," my grandmother said.

5. "There was a family called Christiansen.



1. They lived up on Holmenkollen, and they had an old oil-painting in the living room which they were very proud of.

2. The painting showed some ducks in the yard outside a farmhouse.

3. There were no people in the painting, just a flock of ducks on a grassy farmyard and the farmhouse in the background.

4. It was a large painting and rather pretty.

5. Well, one day their daughter Solveg came home from school eating an apple.



1. She said a nice lady had given it to her on the street.

2. The next morning little Solveg was not in her bed.

3. The parents searched everywhere but they couldn't find her.

4. Then all of a sudden her father shouted, 'There she is! That's Solveg feeding the ducks!'

5. He was pointing at the oil-painting, and sure enough Solveg was in it.


Part 3



1. She was standing in the farmyard in the act of throwing bread to the ducks out of a basket.

2. The father rushed up to the painting and touched her.

3. But that didn't help.

4. She was simply a part of the painting, just a picture painted on the canvas."



1. "Did you ever see that painting, Grandmamma, with the little girl in it?"

2. "Many times," my grandmother said.

3. "And the peculiar thing was that little Solveg kept changing her position in the picture.

4. One day she would actually be inside the farmhouse and you could see her face looking out of the window.

5. Another day she would be far over to the left with a duck in her arms."



1. "Did you see her moving in the picture, Grandmamma?"

2. "Nobody did.

3. Wherever she was, whether outside feeding the ducks or inside looking out of the window, she was always motionless, just a figure painted in oils.

4. It was all very odd," my grandmother said.

5. "Very odd indeed.



1. And what was most odd of all was that as the years went by, she kept growing older in the picture.

2. In ten years, the small girl had become a young woman.

3. In thirty years, she was middle-aged.

4. Then all at once, fifty four years after it all happened, she disappeared from the picture altogether."

5. "You mean she died?" I said.

6. "Who knows?" my grandmother said.



1. "Some very mysterious things go on in the world of witches."

2. "That's two you've told me about," I said.

3. "What happened to the third one?"

4. "The third one was little Birgit Svenson," my grandmother said.

5. "She lived just across the road from us.



1. One day she started growing feathers all over her body.

2. Within a month, she had turned into a large white chicken.

3. Her parents kept her for years in a pen in the garden.

4. She even laid eggs."

5. "What colour eggs?" I said.



1. "Brown ones," my grandmother said.

2. "Biggest eggs I've ever seen in my life.

3. Her mother made omelettes out of them. Delicious they were."

4. I gazed up at my grandmother who sat there like some ancient queen on her throne.

5. Her eyes were misty-grey and they seemed to be looking at something many miles away.



1. The cigar was the only real thing about her at that moment, and the smoke it made billowed round her head in blue clouds.

2. "But the little girl who became a chicken didn't disappear?" I said.

3. "No, not Birgit.

4. She lived on for many years laying her brown eggs."

5. "You said all of them disappeared."



1. "I made a mistake," my grandmother said.

2. "I am getting old.

3. I can't remember everything."

4. "What happened to the fourth child?" I asked.


Part 4



1. "The fourth was a boy called Harald, " my grandmother said.

2. "One morning his skin went all greyish-yellow.

3. Then it became hard and crackly, like the shell of a nut.

4. By evening, the boy had turned to stone."

5. "Stone?" I said. "You mean real stone?"



1. "Granite," she said.

2. "I'll take you to see him if you like.

3. They still keep him in the house.

4. He stands in the hall, a little stone statue.

5. Visitors lean their umbrellas up against him."



1. Although I was very young, I was not prepared to believe everything my grandmother told me.

2. And yet she spoke with such conviction, with such utter seriousness,

3. And with never a smile on her face or a twinkle in her eye, that I found myself beginning to wonder.

4. "Go on, Grandmamma," I said.

5. "You told me there were five altogether. What happened to the last one?"



1. "Would you like a puff of my cigar?" she said.

2. "I'm only seven, Grandmamma."

3. "I don't care what age you are," she said.

4. "You'll never catch a cold if you smoke cigars."

5. "What about number five, Grandmamma?"



1. "Number five", she said, chewing the end of her cigar as though it were a delicious asparagus, "was rather an interesting case.

2. A nine-year-old boy called Leif was summer-holidaying with his family on the fjord,

3. And the whole family was picnicking and swimming off some rocks on one of those little islands.

4. Young Leif dived into the water and his father, who was watching him, noticed that he stayed under for an unusually long time.

5. When he came to the surface at last, he wasn't Leif any more."



1. "What was he, Grandmamma?"

2. "He was a porpoise."

3. "He wasn't! He couldn't have been!"

4. "He was a lovely young porpoise," she said.

5. "And as friendly as could be." "Grandmamma," I said.



1."Yes, my darling?"

2. "Did he really and truly turn into a porpoise?"

3. "Absolutely," she said.

4. "I knew his mother well.

5. She told me all about it.




1. She told me how Leif the Porpoise stayed with them all that afternoon giving his brothers and sisters rides on his back.

2. They had a wonderful time.

3. Then he waved a flipper at them and swam away, never to be seen again."

4. "But Grandmamma," I said, "how did they know that the porpoise was actually Leif?"

5. "He talked to them," my grandmother said.



1. "He laughed and joked with them all the time he was giving them rides."

2. "But wasn't there a most tremendous fuss when this happened?" I asked.

3. "Not much," my grandmother said.

4. "You must remember that here in Norway we are used to that sort of thing.

5. There are witches everywhere.



1. There's probably one living in our street this very moment.It's time you went to bed."

3. "A witch wouldn't come in through my window in the night, would she?" I asked, quaking a little.

4. "No," my grandmother said.

1. "A witch will never do silly things like climbing up drainpipes or breaking into people's houses.

2. You'll be quite safe in your bed.Come along.I'll tuck you in."




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