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春天有「影」無?土撥鼠知道!

 

This winter has been pretty cold all over the world. Can somebody tell us when spring will finally come about?

Groundhogs may be able to tell you some news about the spring by observing their shadows. Sounds a little absurd? Don’t worry, I am not mad. Read on, and we will tell you all about this long-standing North American weather lore.

Hear Ye, I am ready to tell you about the spring...


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 英語宅急便


Without a shadow of doubt, those groundhogs know what they are talking about.

唉呀,電子報發行的今天,天氣真是越來越暖和了。但是,在春天還沒有來之前,漫漫的冬天之中,大家一定都望眼欲穿地等待春天,恨不得可以快點知道春天什麼時候會來到。以下這一對很在意天氣現象的兄妹倆,在還是有點寒冷的幾天前湊再一起探討預知春天到來的方法。讓我們來看一下他們的預測結果如何吧。

La Nina: Brrr. It’s so cold. Nino, what do you say we go and buy a heater?

El Nino: Nope. It’s going to be hot again very soon. I am not wasting my money on a heater that I can only use for a few days.

La Nina: Trust me, it’s gonna be winter for at least another month.

El Nino: Come on, the weather forecast guy on TV says that the temperature is 17 to 20 degree today. It must be that the spring is approaching.

La Nina: He is wrong. I am positive that there will be at least six more weeks of winter.

El Nino: How do you know? Do you work at a Doppler radar station? Are you equipped with a barometer? I don’t see why you can be more right than Mr. Weather Man on TV.

La Nina: Because it is still freezing cold today, it’s nothing like 17 to 20 degree!! Plus, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on the Groundhog Day.

El Nino: Er… " Punch-me-on-the-knee Feel"? Groundhog and shadow? Huh? Hmm…do you mean that groundhogs have very sore knees? Or there is a shadow in the shape of a groundhog on your knee??

La Nina: What are you talking about? It’s not Punch-me-on-the-knee Feel. God. It is "Punxsutawney Phil". Punxsutawney (/ˌpʌnksəˈtɔni/) is a small town in Philadelphia and Phil is a groundhog that lives in the town.

El Nino: Neat, so it’s not about your knees. But why would a furry little woodchuck have anything to do with our heater?

La Nina: Punxsutawney Phil is the foremost weather predictor in the North America. He is called the “the prognosticator of prognosticators and the seer of seers.” Each year on Groundhog Day, which falls on February the 2nd, Phil predicts how long the winter would last.

El Nino: You mean people depend on a rodent to tell us about the climate change? Come on, it cannot even talk, let alone prophesying about the weather.

La Nina: It speaks goundhogese.

El Nino: Groundhoges… never mind. Tell me how “Phil” reports his forecast. Does he pull out a weather forecast chart or some satellite image?

La Nina: Well. On Groundhog Day, Phil would be hibernating. People waiting to hear his prognostication would wake him up in the morning, and bring him out from his burrow.

El Nino: (sarcastically) So that people can worship the seer of seers, the prognosticator of….

La Nina: Shut up. When Phil is outside, if he sees his shadow, he will retreat back to his burrow to hunker down for another six weeks of winter. But if he does not see his shadow, he will stay out, and that represents an early spring. This year, Phil presaged six more weeks of winter.

El Nino: Are you seriously trying to convince me to buy a heater with folklore like that?

La Nina: Hey, it’s a time honored tradition, and Phil is really cute. They say that he is more than one hundred years old, staying young with the help of some magic elixir.

El Nino: Nina, the more you talk about that groundhog the less I am inclined to buy any heating devices. You better shut up and show me some satellite pictures.

La Nina: Fine, you go on being cheap. I am going to put away all your mittens, muk luks, and sweaters. Freeze for another six weeks, you stingy!

Wordbank:

forecast (n) 預報
rodent (n) 囓齒類動物
positive (adj) 肯定
prophesy (v) 預言
Doppler radar (n) 都卜勒雷達
satellite (n) 衛星

equip (v)裝備

hibernate (v) 冬眠
barometer (n) 氣壓計
burrow (n) (動物住的)洞穴
groundhog (n) 土撥鼠
hunker down (vph) 蹲下;低下身
punch (n) 揍;用拳頭打
presage (v) 預知
sore (n) 疼痛的
folklore (n) 民間傳說
furry (adj) 毛茸茸的
elixir (n) 仙丹;萬能藥水
woodchuck (n) 土撥鼠
cheap (adj) 小氣
foremost (adj) 第一流的 mitten (n) 連指手套
prognosticator (n) 預言者 muk luk (n) 毛皮靴;雪地靴

 

相關連結:

Reuters: Groundhog Day -- popular non-science

Reuters: Pennsylvania Groundhog sees six more winter weeks

National Post: Canadian groundhogs call for early srpring

 

To the readers:

很明顯地,以上的對話發生在天氣還沒轉暖之前。今天小編坐在電腦前幾乎滿身大汗,很顯然Punxsutawney Phil的預測似乎不適合台灣的天氣。但是其實散落北美四處的土撥鼠們也不見得同意Phil的預測唷。以下是加拿大報紙National Post的統計結果,看來多數土撥鼠的確覺得春天會早早來到~號稱一百二十歲的Phil爺爺,您是不是該退休了?

National Post: Groundhog Day roundup

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