The Princess and the Frog
The night air in New Orleans (新奥尔良), thick and warm as red molasses (蜜糖), was always ready for a little magic, like a wish upon a star (对星星许下的愿望) that might just come true. And long ago, on a summer night, one particular star was shining brightly (明亮地). It was the Evening Star (夜明星). Its light was just finding its way through a window to where two very special little girls sat playing on a grand (豪华的) four-poster (有四根帷柱的) bed.
The bed was covered with plump (鼓鼓的) pink silk pillows (枕头). Lace (花边) curtains hung from the tall windows, and perfectly painted dolls lined (沿…排列) the shelves. It was the room of Miss Charlotte LaBouff (夏洛特·拉布夫小姐), one of the richest little girls in all New Orleans.
Her father, Big Daddy LaBouff (“老爹”拉布夫), always made sure she had the best of everything.
There were many fine mansions (宅邸) in New Orleans, with towering (高大的) white pillars (柱子) and swirling (缠绕的) vines (藤蔓) of wrought-iron (熟铁) trim (边饰). They lined the streets like fancy (精致的) wedding cakes in a baker’s (面包房) window. But the LaBouffs’ house was the grandest of them all.
Charlotte and her friend, Tiana (蒂安娜), were dressed in silk and satin (缎子). Charlotte was cuddling (怀抱着) a soft white kitten named Marcel (马塞尔) in her lap (在她腿上). Tiana and Charlotte looked like two little princesses, right down to the little crowns (王冠) on their heads. Their beautiful dresses had been made by Eudora (尤多拉), Tiana’s mother. Eudora was the finest seamstress (女裁缝) in the city, and she often brought Tiana with her when she visited the LaBouff estate (庄园) to do the final fittings (试衣). Eudora had created dozens of pretty dresses for Charlotte over the years.
Right now, Eudora was propping up (指把书竖起来) a big picture-filled storybook to read aloud before she and Tiana had to leave. The two little girls were delighted (高兴的). They loved it when Eudora brought out a storybook. Four-year-old Charlotte, with her blond (金色的) curls (卷发) and blue eyes, and five-year-old Tiana, with her dark braids (辫子) and huge brown eyes, jumped off the bed and snuggled (依偎) next to each other on the floor, eager to (渴望) listen.
“‘And just at that moment, the ugly little frog looked up with his sad round eyes and pleaded (恳求), Oh, please, dear princess! Only a kiss from you can break (破除) this terrible spell (咒语) that was inflicted (被强加于) on me by a wicked (邪恶的) witch!’”
Charlotte leaned closer to Tiana. “Here comes my favorite part,” she whispered in her sweet Southern drawl (拖长音调慢慢说的话). Tiana cringed (畏缩) as her mother turned the page—she knew what was coming next.
“‘And the beautiful princess was so moved (感动) by his desperate (渴望的) plea,’” Eudora read, “‘that she stooped down (弯腰), picked up the slippery (滑溜的) creature ... leaned forward ... raised him to her lips ... and kissed that little frog!’”
Tiana closed one eye and wrinkled (皱起) her nose, but Charlotte was delighted.
Eudora turned the book around to show the beautiful illustration (插画) to the two little girls. “‘Then lo and behold (你瞧，哎呦)! The frog was transformed into (变成了) a handsome prince! They were married and lived happily ever after (从那以后)! The end!’”
“Yay! Read it again! Read it again!” Charlotte cheered, clapping her hands.