Long ago, in the Scottish Highlands (苏格兰高地), there was a kingdom call DunBroch (邓布洛奇). The land was ruled by King Fergus (国王弗格斯) and Queen Elinor (王后埃莉诺). Their sons, the triplet princes, were a trio of mischief-makers (恶作剧者).
And then there was Merida (梅莉达), the princess of DunBroch.
Every day, Queen Elinor spent hour after hour teaching Merida how a princess should behave. But Merida refused to listen.
Sometimes the queen wondered how she would ever get through to her daughter.
Merida dreaded her mother’s lessons. She preferred (喜欢) riding her horse, Angus (安格斯), and practicing with her bow and arrows. Merida was a skilled archer (弓箭手) and rarely missed a shot.
One day, Queen Elinor told her daughter it was time to follow family tradition and invite suitors (求婚者) from three Highland clans (部落) to compete for (为…比赛) the princess’s hand in marriage. But Merida said she wasn’t ready to marry!
Queen Elinor told her a legend (传说) about an ancient prince who had refused to follow the traditions of his kingdom. He had split from his three brothers, and their kingdom had fallen. “Legends are lessons,” said the queen. Merida was not convinced.
But the clans were already on their way. A few days later, the royal family received (接待) them in the castle’s Great Hall.
Lords Macintosh (麦金塔), MacGuffin (麦格芬), and Dingwall (丁握) stepped forward to present their firstborn sons—the suitors who would compete for the princess’s hand in the Highland Games.
Young Macintosh was the first suitor. “With his own sword, he vanquished (击败) one thousand foes!” his father, Lord Macintosh, bragged (吹嘘).
The next suitor was Young MacGuffin. “With his bare hands, he vanquished two thousand foes!” his father, Lord MacGuffin, boasted.
Wee Dingwall was last. “He vanquished ten thousand foes single-handedly!” his father, Lord Dingwall, bluffed (吹嘘).
Queen Elinor outlined (概述) the rules of the Highland Games. Only the firstborn descendant (后裔) of each of the clan leaders could compete for the hand of the princess. The princess herself would choose the challenge (挑战).
Merida’s eyes lit up. Firstborn? she thought. Suddenly, she had an idea.
“I choose archery!” she cried.
The competition took place on the castle grounds that very afternoon. Young MacGuffin almost missed his target altogether.
Young Macintosh’s shot was better—but his attitude (态度) was not.
Wee Dingwall was the worst (最差的) archer of all. But somehow he hit the bull’s-eye (靶心)!
Then Merida appeared on the field.
“I am the firstborn descendant of Clan DunBroch!” she declared. “And I’ll be shooting for my own hand!”
“I forbid (禁止) it!” Queen Elinor cried. But Merida ignored her mother and took aim.
One, two, three arrows took flight—and hit all three bull’s-eyes!
Merida was thrilled—until a furious Queen Elinor dragged (拖拽) her back to the castle.
“You embarrassed (使难堪) them!” the queen shouted at Merida when they were alone. “You embarrassed me!”
“I’ll never be like you!” Merida cried angrily. She slashed (劈) the family tapestry (挂毯) with a sword, splitting the images of her and her mother.