In the warm tropical (热带的) waters off the coast (海岸) of Australia, two clownfish (小丑鱼) swam at the edge of the Great Barrier Reef (大堡礁). Here the ocean was a place of brightly colored (色彩鲜艳的) anemones (海葵), towering (高耸的) corals (珊瑚), and delicate (纤弱的) sea plants. But just beyond the reef was the vast open sea.
“Yes, honey. It’s beautiful,” a clownfish named Coral (珊珊) said nervously (紧张地) to her husband, Marlin.
“When you said you wanted an ocean view, you didn’t think you were gonna get the whole ocean, did you? Oh, yeah. A fish can breathe out here,” Marlin (马林) boasted (夸口说).
He grinned. The edge of the Great Barrier Reef! He couldn’t think of a better spot (地点) to make their new home.
“I know that the Drop-off (峭壁) is desirable (值得拥有的), with the great schools and t he amazing view and all that. But do we really need so much space?” Although Coral loved her new anemone home, she was a bit cautious (谨慎的) about the location (位置) near the open sea, with its unpredictable (无法预料的) dangers.
“Coral, honey. Our kids deserve (值得) the best,” Marlin said. “They’ll wake up, poke (探) their little heads out of the window, and they’ll see a whale passing right by (经过).”
“Shhh! You’re gonna wake the kids,” Coral whispered. They gazed inside the cozy (舒服的) cave (洞) just below the anemone, where hundreds of tiny fish eggs (鱼卵) nestled (依偎) close together—Marlin and Coral’s children.
Marlin couldn’t wait (迫不及待) for their babies to hatch (孵化). He wanted to show his children all the sights (景色) of the glorious (壮丽的) ocean.
“We still have to name them,” Coral said.
Marlin puffed up with pride (骄傲起来) and drew an imaginary (想象中的) line down the center of the group of eggs with his fin (鱼鳍). “We’ll name this half Marlin junior (小马林) and this half Marlene (马琳).”
“I like Nemo,” Coral said.
“Nemo?” Marlin repeated.
“Well, we’ll name one Nemo.” Coral looked over at Marlin wistfully (满怀憧憬地).
“Just think,” she said. “In a couple of days we’re going to be parents.”
“What if they don’t like me?” Marlin said.
“There’s over four hundred eggs. Odds (几率) are one of them is bound to (一定会) like you,” Coral teased (戏弄地说).
Marlin stared at her and shyly (害羞地) asked, “You remember how we met?”
“Well, I try not to,” Coral replied.
Marlin playfully (闹着玩地) chased his wife in and out of the anemone. “I remember,” he said. “‘Excuse me, miss. Could you check and see if I have a hook (钩子) in my lip? Oh, you gotta look closer.’”
Coral laughed and swam out of the anemone to avoid getting caught by her husband. Marlin poked his head out of the anemone and was startled (震惊的) to find that the neighborhood was eerily (可怕地) quiet. He spotted Coral, who was motionless (一动不动的), staring into (凝视) the water at a hungry barracuda (梭鱼).
“Get inside the house, Coral,” he whispered.
But Coral didn’t want to leave her babies exposed (暴露在外的). She darted (飞奔) for the grotto (洞穴), but was too slow—the barracuda reached her as she entered the cave.
Marlin slammed (猛撞) against the barracuda, trying desperately to save his wife. But with a quick swish (嗖嗖声) of its tail, the barracuda batted (打击) Marlin against some rocks. Dazed (晕眩的), Marlin floated (漂浮) down into the protective (保护的) fronds (叶子) of an anemone.
After the sand had settled (沉淀), Marlin came to with a start (猛然惊醒) and bolted (冲出) out of the anemone.
“Coral?” he called.
There was no answer. He peered inside the grotto. Empty. He squinted (细眯着眼看) into the vast blue water.
Coral was gone. The eggs were gone.
Marlin couldn’t believe this was happening! In the space of a few minutes, his life had been changed forever. His family was gone. He shook his head. He felt like it was his fault. He shouldn’t have insisted (坚持) they live by the Drop-off. As he sadly turned away, he noticed something out of the corner of his eye.
Lying on a small ledge (暗礁) not far away was one tiny egg. It was damaged with a small scratch (擦伤). But the egg was alive. Alive!
Marlin cradled (轻轻地抱) the egg in his fin. “There, there. Daddy’s here. And I promise, I will never let anything happen to you …” He paused a moment, then called the egg by name.