芭蕉 Plantains


Gravel2) crunched3) under Simon’s worn-out Sketchers4) as he took the walk of shame up his neighbor’s driveway. The street was deserted5) and quiet.

Simon wanted to be mad at his friends, but he would’ve bolted6), too, if one of them had thrown the football into Mr. Martinez’s yard. Unfortunately, he had made the unlucky pass. Simon paused next to one of Mr. Martinez’s ornate7), handmade mirrors that he sold from his front yard. Glittering8) shards9) of broken glass reflected the warm springtime Colorado sun.

Even Simon’s best friend Sawyer had refused to stick around.

“There’s no way10) I’m going with you. Mr. Martinez loves those mirrors! Besides, what if he’s still mad about the other day?” Then Sawyer had vanished.

Simon froze on Mr. Martinez’s stoop11), remembering “the other day”. He was sorry about the broken mirror today, but he was more ashamed of what had happened last weekend.

He and Sawyer had been in Simon’s front yard “studying” Spanish.

“Donde esta el mercado?” Sawyer had begun to quiz him.
“Donde esta el mercado? (西班牙语:市场在哪里?)”索耶开始出题考他。

Simon stretched. “Um, let’s see. El mercado esta en mi casa.”
西蒙伸了个懒腰说:“嗯,让我想一想。El mercado esta en mi casa. (西班牙语:市场在我家。)”

“Get serious!” laughed Sawyer. “I asked you where the market is, and you said it’s in your house. Last time I checked, your mom wasn’t running a Piggly Wiggly12) outta13) here. You’ve never been all that great with the Español14).”
“严肃点儿!”索耶乐了,“我问你市场在哪里,你回答在你家里。上次我检查你西班牙语的时候,你妈妈并没有在家里开Piggly Wiggly大型超市。你的西班牙语还没好到那个地步吧,真会吹牛!”

Simon groaned15). “I don’t get it. We live in A-ME-RI-CA! Why does Ms. Perez think we need to know how to speak Spanish? I’m not going to Mexico! Are you?” Sawyer shook his head. “If people want to speak Spanish, they should just go back to Mexico. Spanish is totally stupid!” Simon was so wrapped up in16) his rant17) that he hadn’t noticed the color drain18) from Sawyer’s face. His friend cleared his throat loudly. “What?” Simon turned around.

Mr. Martinez stood there looking surprised and angry. Simon’s stomach flip-flopped19).

“Oh, hi, Mr. Martinez.” Mr. Martinez was Latino, spoke Spanish, and had lived next door to Simon his whole life. Simon’s foot was crammed20) so far into his mouth that he could taste his ankle.

“Hello boys. Simon, where is your mother, please?” Mr. Martinez asked politely, even though he still looked angry.

“She’s around back,” Sawyer piped up21). Simon opened his mouth to apologize, but Mr. Martinez was off, a new mirror under his arm.

Sawyer shook his head. “Dude22), you are toast23).”

Now Simon stood on Mr. Martinez’s stoop with a sense of dread24). Mr. Martinez had always been nice to him, and Simon had basically told him to get lost25). Nervously, Simon rang the bell. Mr. Martinez’s normally cheery face darkened when he saw Simon. “Yes, Simon?” he asked civilly26).

Simon started apologizing to his shoes. “I’m sorry, but I broke your mirror.”

The old man looked thoughtful. “Football?” Simon could barely nod.

“Come.” Mr. Martinez headed down the hall. Curious, Simon followed. A sweet, warm smell filled the air. Mr. Martinez went to the stove and flipped something in an iron skillet27).

“Platanos maduros, sweet plantains,” he said when he noticed Simon staring. “Sit.”
“Platanos maduros (西班牙语:甜芭蕉),香甜的芭蕉,”他注意到西蒙盯着锅看,对他说,“坐吧。”

Simon’s hunger battled with his guilt as Mr. Martinez produced a plate piled high with what looked like banana chunks28) fried a deep golden brown. Simon sampled29) the first bite hesitantly, but wolfed down30) the next two. He swallowed his shame with his last bite and said, “I’m really sorry about your mirror and about, you know, the other day. I’m glad you’re not in Mexico.”

“Me too, since I am from Cuba!” Across the table, his neighbor’s eyes twinkled with mischief as he ate a platano. “You know, where I’m from it is believed that anyone who breaks a mirror will have seven years bad luck.”

“Oh great,” Simon groaned. “Just what I need!”

Mr. Martinez laughed. “No te preocupes, don’t worry my friend. I actually think you are a very lucky boy!”
马丁内斯先生哈哈一笑:“No te preocupes (西班牙语:别担心),别担心,我的朋友。我倒觉得你是个幸运的孩子。”

“How am I lucky? I can’t speak Spanish or throw a decent31) pass!” Simon eyed his empty plate, wishing he could ask for more.

Mr. Martinez carried the plate into the kitchen. “Ah, but if you had not broken my mirror and come to apologize, you would not have found the perfect Spanish tutor. And,” Mr. Martinez returned the refilled plate to the table, “You would never have tried my platanos! How do you like them?”

Simon’s mouth was so full he could barely smile. “Excelente!”
西蒙嘴里塞得太满都没法笑了:“Excelente! (西班牙语:太棒了!)”

1. plantain [ˈplæntɪn] n. 【植】芭蕉,大蕉
2. gravel [ˈɡræv(ə)l] n. 沙砾,砾石;沙砾层
3. crunch [krʌntʃ] vi. 发出嘎吱声
4. Sketchers: 斯凯奇鞋,斯凯奇(Sketcher)是一个时尚休闲运动鞋品牌。
5. deserted [dɪˈzɜː(r)tɪd] adj. 无人居住的,荒废的
6. bolt [bəʊlt] vi. 逃跑
7. ornate [ɔː(r)ˈneɪt] adj. 装饰华丽的
8. glittering [ˈɡlɪtərɪŋ] adj. 闪光的,闪耀的
9. shard [ʃɑː(r)d] n. 碎片,碎块
10. no way: <美口> 无论如何不,决不;不可能
11. stoop [stuːp] n. <美> 门廊;门阶
12. Piggly Wiggly: 美国第一家真正意义上的自选超市,于1916年9月6日在美国田纳西州孟菲斯市开业。它的经营者克拉伦斯·桑德斯(Clarence Saunders)在1917年为这种由消费者自行在货架上挑选商品最后结账的零售店经营模式申请了专利,这就是超级市场的雏形。
13. outta [ˈaʊtə] prep. <非规范> = out of
14. Español [espɑːˈnjɔːl] n. 西班牙语
15. groan [ɡrəʊn] vi. <口> 抱怨
16. be wrapped up in: 专心致志于……,对……倾注全部注意力
17. rant [rænt] n. 大话;夸夸其谈;豪言壮语
18. drain [dreɪn] vi. 脸色变得苍白
19. flip-flop [ˈflɪpflɒp] vi. 啪嗒啪嗒地响(或动)
20. cram [kræm] vt. 把……塞进
21. pipe up: (尖声地)说,讲话
22. dude [duːd] n. <美> (男)人,家伙
23. be toast: <主美口> 完蛋,结束
24. dread [dred] n. 畏惧;恐惧
25. get lost: <口> [常用作命令句] 走开,别来烦我
26. civilly [ˈsɪvəli] adv. 有礼貌地,客气地,谦恭地
27. skillet [ˈskɪlɪt] n. 长柄平底煎锅
28. chunk [tʃʌŋk] n. 厚片,大块
29. sample [ˈsɑːmp(ə)l] vt. 品尝,试尝
30. wolf down: 狼吞虎咽地吃(或吞)
31. decent [ˈdiːs(ə)nt] adj. 像样的;相当漂亮的