Учебное пособие по домашнему чтению no speak English Часть I

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Christmas Snow

Donald Hall

(born 1928)
Since his undergraduate days at Harvard, Donald Hall, the Poet Laureate of the state of New Hampshire, has been a prolific writer, publishing poetry, prose, short stories, and children's stories at the rate of four books a year. Hall's inter­est in writing began at the age of seven, he has said, when he was home for several weeks with a childhood illness. Bored with fifteen-minute serials on the radio, he turned to a school storybook. "Thus I became fluent with reading for the first time," Hall recounts, "and discovered the bliss of abandonment to print, to word and story. From the love of reading [came] the desire to write, a lifelong commitment to making things that might (if I were diligent, talented, and lucky) resemble the books I loved reading." 1

Grace in expressing his ideas and a generous enthusi­asm for the work of others are two of Hall's distinguishing characteristics. In Remembering Poets (1977; revised and republished as Their Ancient Glittering Eyes, 1992), Hall combined mature literary criticism with anecdotes of his youthful meetings with four of the twentieth century's major poets: Dylan Thomas, Robert Frost, T. S. Eliot, and Ezra Pound. His collected short stories, published as The Ideal Bakery (1987), is dedicated to his fellow poets Ray­mond Carver (represented in volume 1 of this text) and Tess Gallagher. In Life Work (1993), Hall speaks of the impor­tance of work in his life and that of his forbearers, includ­ing the people who appear in "Christmas Snow." His earlier

In "Christmas Snow," a middle-aged narrator, Donnie, remembers "the snows of Christmas in New Hampshire" in 1938, the year of his tenth birthday. The story is framed, like a picture, by events from the evening of December 23 to the evening of December 24; other events, both recent and dis­tant, are presented within the frame. During the day, three generations of family members talk of their experience with heavy snow in other years. By the time Donnie has been sent to bed, long past his usual bedtime, his knowledge of the world has, in the words of the poet Yeats, been changed utterly.

When The Ideal Bakery appeared in 1987, novelist and short-story writer John Casey called the book "brilliant" and "a flare of beauty and pity." Singling out "Christmas Snow" for special praise, the reviewer confessed that rereading the story before writing his review, he "was startled to tears all over again the second time through." How could a story cause a man to cry both the first and second times he reads it? And how could it take him by surprise the second time? What will change Donnie's view of the world? To find out for yourself, read on.

Christmas Snow

The real snows I remember are the snows of Christmas in New Hampshire, I was ten years old, and there was a night when I woke up to the sound of grown-ups talking. Slowly I realized that it wasn't that at all; the mounds of my grandfather and grandmother lay still in their bed under many quilts in the cold room, it was rain falling and rubbing against the bushes outside my windows. I sat up in bed, pulling the covers around me, and held the green shade out from thr frosty pane. There were flakes of snow mixed into the rain - large, slow flakes fluttering down like wet leaves. I watched as long as I could, until the back of my neck hurt with the cold, while the flakes grew thicker and the snow took over the rain. When I looked up into the dark sky, just before lying back in my warm bed, the whole air was made of fine light shapes. I was happy in my own world of snow, as if I were living inside one of those glass paperweights that snow when you shake them, and I went back to sleep easily. In the morning, I looked out the window as soon as I woke. There were no more leaves, no more weeds turned brown by the frost, no sheds, no road, and no chicken coops. The sky was a dense mass of snowflakes, the ground covered in soft white curves.

It was the morning of Christmas Eve, 1938. The day before, we had driven north from Connecticut, and I had been disappointed to find that there was no snow on my grandfather's farm. On the trip up, I had not noticed the lack of snow because I was too busy looking for hurricane damage. (September 1938 was the time of the great New England hurricane.) Maples and oaks and elms were down everywhere. Huge roots stood up like dirt cliffs next to the road. On distant hillsides, whole stands of trees lay pointing in the same direction, like combed hair. Men were cutting the timber with double handsaws, their breaths blue-white in the cold. Ponds were already filling with logs - stored timber that would corduroy the surface of New Hampshire lakes for years. Here and there saw a roof gone from a barn, or a tree leaning into a house.

We knew from letters that my grandfather's farmhouse was all right. I was excited to be going there, sitting in the front seat between my mother and father, with the heater blasting at my knees. Every summer we drove the same route and I spent my time listening to his talk. The familiar road took shape again: Sunapee, Georges Mills, New London; then there was the shortcut along the bumpy Cilleyville Road. We drove past the West Andover depot, past Henry's store and the big rock, and climbed the little hill by the Blasington's, and there, down the slope to the right, we saw the lights of the farmhouse. In a porch window I could see my small Christmas tree, with its own string of lights. It stood in the window next to the large one, where I could see it when we drove over the hill.

We stopped in the driveway and the kitchen door loosened showing a wedge of yellow light. My grandfather stood in his milking clothes, tall and bald and smiling broadly. He lifted me up, grunting at how big I was getting. Over his shoulder, which smelled happily of barn and tie-up, I saw my grandmother in her best dress, waiting her turn and looking pleased.

As we stood outside in the cold, I looked around for the signs of the hurricane. In the light from the kitchen window I could see a stake with a rope tied to it that angled up into the tall maple by the shed. Then I remembered that my grandmother had written about that tree. It had blown over, roots out of the ground, and Washington Woodward, a cousin of ours who lived on Ragged Mountains, was fixing it. The great tree was upright now. My grandfather saw me looking at it. " Looks like it's going to work, don't it?" Of course you can't tell until spring. A lot of the root must have gone." He shook his head, "Wash is a wonder," he said. "He winched that tree back upright in two days with a pulley on that oak." He pointed to a tree on the hill in back of the house. "I thought he was going to pull that oak clear out of the ground. Then he took that rock-moving machine of his" (I remembered that Was has constructed a wooden tripod about fifteen feet high for moving rocks. I never understood how it worked, though I heard him explain it a hundred times. He moved rocks for fun mostly; it was his hobby.) "and moved that boulder down from the pasture and set it there to keep the roots flat. It only took him five days in all, and I think he saved the tree."

It was when we moved back to the group around the car that I realized, with sudden disappointment, that there was no snow on the ground. I walked into the house and saw my grandmother sitting inside, the place beside her was empty. The clock on the bureau, among snapshots and perfume bottles, said six o'clock. I heard my grandfather carrying wood into the living room. Logs crashed into the big, square stove. In a moment I heard another sound I had been listening for—a massive animal roar from the same stove. He had poured a tin can of kerosene on the old embers and the new logs. Then I heard him fix the kitchen stove and pause by the door to put on coats and scarves and a cap—his boots were in the shed,—and then the door shut between the kitchen and the shed, and he had gone to milk the cows.

It was warm inside my bed. My grandmother stood up beside her bed, her gray hair down to her waist. "Good morning," she said. "You awake? We've had some snow. You go back to sleep while I make the doughnuts." That brought me out of bed quickly. I dressed next to the stove in the dark living room. The sides of the stove glowed red, and I kept my distance. The cold of the room almost visibly receded into the farther corners, there to dwindle into something the size of a pea.

My grandmother was fixing her hair in the warm kitchen, braiding it and winding it up on her head. She looked like my grandmother again. "Doughnuts won't be ready for a long time. Fat's got to heat. Why don't you have a slice of bread and go see Gramp in the tie-up?"

I put peanut butter on the bread and bundled up with galoshes and a wool cap that I could pull over my ears. I stepped outside into the swirl of flakes, white against the gray of the early morning. It was my first snow of the year, and it set my heart pounding with pleasure. But even if it had snowed in Connecticut earlier, this would have been my first real snow. When it snowed in Connecticut, the snowplows heaped most of it in the gutters and the cars chewed the rest with chains and blackened it with oil. Here the snow turned the farm into a planet of its own, an undiscovered moon.

I walked past our Studebaker, which was humped already with two inches of snow. I reached down for a handful, to see if it would pack, but it was dry as cotton. The flakes, when I looked up into the endless flaking barrel of the sky, were fine and constant. It was going to snow all day. I climbed the hill to the barn without lifting my galoshes quite clear of the snow and Jeff two long trenches behind me. I raised the iron latch and went into the tie-up, shaking my head and shoulders like a dog, making a little snowstorm inside.

My grandfather laughed. "It's really coming down," he said.

"It'll be a white Christmas, you can be sure of that."

"I love it," I said.

"Can you make a snowman today?" "It's dry snow," I said. "It won't pack."

"When it melts a little, you can roll away the top of it—I mean, tomorrow or the next day. 1 remember making a big one with my brother Fred when I was nine—no, eight. Fred wasn't much bigger than a hop toad then. I called him Hop toad when I wanted to make him mad, and my, you never saw such a red face. Well, we spent the whole day Saturday making this great creature. Borrowed a scarf and an old hat—it was a woman's hat, but we didn't mind—and a carrot from the cellar for the nose, and two little potatoes for the eyes. It was a fine thing, no doubt about it, and we showed your Aunt Lottie, who said it was the best one she ever saw. Then my father came out of the forge—putting things away for the Sabbath, you know, shutting things away—and he saw what we'd been up to and came over and stood in front of it. I can see him now, so tall, with his big brown beard. We were proud of that snowman, and I guess we were waiting for praise. 'Very good, boys,' he said." Here my grandfather's voice turned deep and impres­sive. "'That's a fine snowman. It's too bad you put him in front of the shed. You can take him down now.'" My grandfather laughed. "Of course, we felt bad, but we felt silly, too. The back of that snowman was almost touching the carriage we drove to church in. We were tired with making it, and I guess we were tired when we came in for supper! I suppose that was the last snowman I ever made."

I loved him to tell his stories. His voice filled the white-washed, cobwebby tie-up. I loved his imitations, and the glimpses of an old time. In this story I thought my great-grand­father sounded cruel; there must have some other way to get to church. But I didn't really care. I never really got upset by my grandfather's stories, no matter what happened in them. All the characters were fabulous, and none more so than his strong blacksmith father, who had fought at Vicksburg.

Inside the cup of light, the snow floated like feathers. It piled high on the little round stones on each side of the path from the driveway. Farther on in the darkness I could see the dark toadstool of the birdbath weighted down under an enormous puff of whiteness. I went to the kitchen window to look at our car, but there was only a car-shaped drift of snow, with indentations for the windows.

It was time for milking again. My grandfather bundled up with extra socks and sweaters and scarves, and long boots over his suit trousers, and my grandmother pinned his coat around his neck with a huge safety pin. She always fretted about his health. She had also been fretting for an hour over Washington Woodward. (Wash had been sort of an older brother to her when she was a little girl; his family had been poor and had farmed him out to the Keneston cousins.) My grandfather stepped out the shed door and sank into the snow. He started to take big steps toward the barn when suddenly he stopped and we heard him shout, "Katie, Donnie, look!" Peering out the shed window, we could just see my grandfather in the reflected light from the kitchen. He was pointing past that light, and while we watched, a figure moved into it, pacing slowly with a shuffling sort of gait. Then the figure said, "Wes­ley!" and started talking, and we knew it was Wash.

It would have been hard to tell what it was if it hadn't talked. Wash looked as if he was wearing six coats, and the outermost was the pelt of a deer. He shot one every winter and dried its pelt on the side of his hut; I think the pelts served to keep out the wind, for one thing. His face was almost covered with horizontal strips of brown cloth, covered with snow now, leaving just a slit for the eyes. The same sort of strips, arranged vertically, fastened his cap to his head and tied under his chin.

When he shuffled up to the shed door, my grandmother opened it. "Snowshoes," she said. "I knew that's how you'd do it, maybe." She laughed—with relief I suppose, and also at Wash's appearance. Wash was talking—he was always talking— but I didn't notice what he said. I was too busy watching him take off his snowshoeing clothes. First, standing in the doorway but still outside, he stripped three gloves from each hand and 280 tossed them ahead of him into the shed. It was even cold for us to stand watching him in the open door, but Wash had to take off his snowshoes before he could come inside. His thick cold fingers fumbled among leather thongs. Finally, he stood out of them, and stepped inside. As we closed the shed door, I saw my grandfather trudge up the blue hill toward the barn.

A single naked light bulb burned at the roof of the shed. Wash stamped his feet and found his gloves and put them on a table. All the time, his voice went on and on. "About there, McKenzie's old place, my left shoe got loose. I had to stop there by the big rock and fix it. It took me a while, because I didn't have a good place to put my foot. Well, I was standing there pretty quiet, getting my breath, when a red fox came sniffing along...."

Now he began taking off the layers of his clothing. He unknotted the brown bands around his face, and they turned into long socks. "How do you like these, Katie?" he interrupted himself. "You gave them to me last Christmas, and I hain't worn them yet." He went on with his story. When all the socks were peeled off, they revealed his beard. Beards were rare in 1938. I saw a few in New Hampshire, usually on old men. Washington shaved his beard every spring and grew it again in the fall, so I knew two Washington Woodwards—the summer one and the winter one. The beard was brown-gray, and it served him most of the winter instead of a scarf. It was quite full already and wagged as he talked. His eyes crinkled in the space left between the two masses of his beard and his hair. Wash never cut his hair in winter, either—also for the sake of warmth. He thought we should use the hair God gave us before we went to adding other things.

He unwound himself now, taking off the pelt of the deer, which was frozen and stiff, and then a series of coats and jackets. Then there was a pair of overalls, then I saw that he had wrapped burlap bags around his shins and thighs, underneath the legs of the overalls, and tied them in place with bits of string. It took him a long time to undo the knots, but he refused to cut them away with a knife; that would have been a waste. Then he was down to his boots, his underneath overalls, his old much-mended shirt, and a frail brown cardigan over it. He took off his boots, and we walked through the kitchen and into the living room. Everyone welcomed Wash, and we heard him tell about his four-hour walk down Ragged on snowshoes, about the red fox and the car he saw abandoned. "Come to think of it," my father said, "I haven't heard any traffic going past."

Wash interrupted his own monologue. "Nothing can get through justnow. It's a bad storm. I suppose Benjamin's plow broke down again. Leastways we're all here for the night."

"Snowbound," said Uncle Luther

"Got the wood in?" Washington asked my grandfather.

`Aunt Nan recited:

Shut in from all the world without,

We sat the clean-winged hearth about,

Content to let the north-wind roar

In baffled rage at pane and door,

While the red logs before us beat

The frost-iine back with tropic heat...

She giggled when she was through.

Aunt Caroline said, "I remember when we had to learn that." "Miss Headley," my mother said. She turned to me. "Do you have that in school? It's John Greenleaf Whittier, 'Snow- bound.1"

"Are we really snowbound?" I said. I liked the idea of it. I felt cozy and protected, walled in by the snow. I wanted it to keep on snowing all winter, so that I wouldn't have to back to Connecticut and school.

"If we have to get out, we'll get out," my father said quickly.

In a moment, my grandfather came in from milking, his cheeks red from the cold. My grandmother and her daughters went out to the kitchen, and the men added leaves to the din­ing-room table. We sat down to eat, and Uncle Luther said grace. On the table, the dishes were piled high with boiled potatoes and carrots and string beans, boiled beef, and white bread. Everyone passed plates to and fro and talked all at once. My two aunts vied over me, teasing and praising.

"How was the hurricane up your way?" I heard my father say to Wash. He had to interrupt Wash to say it, but it was the only way you could ever ask Wash a question.

As I'm sure my father expected, it got Wash started. "I was coming back from chasing some bees—I found a hive, all right, but 1 needed a ladder—and I saw the sky looking mighty peculiar down South Pasture way, and .,." He told every motion he made and named every tree that fell on his land and the land of his neighbors. When he spoke about it, the hurricane took on a sort of malevolent personality, like someone cruel without reason.

The rest of the table talked hurricane, too. My grandfather told about a rowboat that somehow moved half a mile from its pond. My aunts talked about their towns, my father of how the tidal wave had wrecked his brother's island off the Connecticut coast. I told about walking home from school with a model airplane in my hand and how a gust of wind took it out of my hand and whirled it away and I never found it. (I didn't say that my father bought me another one the next day.) I had the sudden vision of all of us—the whole family, from Connecticut to New Hampshire—caught in the same storm. Suppose a huge wind had picked us up in its fists? ... We might have met over Massachusetts,

After supper, we moved to the living room. In our family, the grown-ups had their presents on Christmas Eve and the children had Christmas morning all to themselves. (In 1938 I was the only child there was.) I was excited. The fire in the open stove burned hot, the draft ajar at the bottom and the flue open in the chimney. We heard the wind blowing outside in the darkness and saw white flakes of snow hurtle against the black windowpanes. We were warm.

I distributed the presents, reading the names on the tags and trying to keep them flowing evenly. Drifts of wrapping paper rose beside each chair, and on laps there were new Zane Grey books, toilet water, brown socks and work shirts, bars of soap, and bracelets and neckties. Sentences of package open­ing ("Now what could this be?") gave way to sentences of appreciation ("I certainly can use some handkerchiefs, Caro­line!"). The bright packages were combed from the branches of the big tree, and the floor was bare underneath. My eyes kept moving toward a pile under and around the small tree.

"Do you remember the oranges, Katie?" said Uncle Luther.
My grandmother nodded. "Didn't they taste good!" she said. She giggled. "I can't think they taste like that anymore."

My grandfather said, "Christmas and town meeting, that's when we had them. The man came to town meeting and sold them there, too." He was talking to me. "They didn't have oranges much in those days," he said. "They were a great, treat for the children at Christmas."

"Oranges and popcorn balls," said my grandmother.

"And clothes," said Uncle Luther. "Mittens and warm clothes."

My grandfather went out into the kitchen, and we heard him open the door. When we came back, he said, "It's snowing and blowing still. I reckon it's a blizzard !

"It won't be like '88," Uncle Luther. "It's too early in the year."

"What month was the blizzard of '88?" said my father.

Uncle Luther, my grandfather, and my grandmother all started to talk at once. Then my grandparents laughed and
deferred to Uncle Luther. "March 11 to 14," he said. "I guess Nannie, would have remembered, all right." My great-aunt Nannie, who had died earlier that year, was a sister of Uncle Luther and my grandmother.

"Why?" said my father.

"She was teaching school, a little school back of Grafton, in the hills. She used to tell this story every time it started to snow, and we teased her for saying it so much. It snowed so hard and drifted so deep Nannie wouldn't let her scholars go home. All of them, and Nannie, too, had to spend the night. They ran out of wood for the stove, and she wouldn't let anyone go outside to get some more wood - she was afraid he'd get lost in the snow and the dark - so they broke up three desks, the old-fashioned kind they used to have in those old schoolhouses. She said those boys really loved to break up those desks and see them burn. In the morning, some of the farmers came and got them out."

For a moment, everyone was quiet - I suppose, thinking of Nannie. Then my father - my young father, who is dead now - spoke up: "My father likes to tell about the blizzard of '88, too. They have a club down in Connecticut that meets once a year and swaps stories about it. He was a boy on the farm out in Hamden, and they drove the sleigh all the way into New Haven the next day. The whole country was nothing but snow. They never knew whether they were on a road or not. They went right across Lake Whitney, on top of fences and all. It took them eight hours to go four miles."

"We just used to call it the big snow,' said my grandmother. "Papa was down in Danbury for town meeting. Everybody was gone away from home overnight, because it was town meeting everyplace. Then in the morning he came back on a wild engine."

I looked at my grandfather.

"An engine that's loose - that's not pulling anything," he explained.

"It stopped to let him off right down there," my grandmother continued. She pointed through the parlor, toward the front door and across the road and past the chickens and sheep, to the railroad track a hundred yards away. "In back of the sheep barn. Just for him. We were excited about him riding the wild engine."

"My father had been to town meeting, too," said my grandfather." He tried to walk home along the flats and the meadow, but he had to turn back. When it was done, my brothers and I walked to town on the tops of stone walls. You couldn't see the stones, but you could tell from how the snow lay." Suddenly I could see the three young men, my grandfather in the lead, single-filing through the snow, bundled up and their arms out-stretched, balancing like tightrope walkers.

Washington spoke, and made it obvious that he had been listening. He had broken his monologue to hear. "I remember that snow," he said.

I settled down for the interminable story. It was late and I was sleepy. I knew that soon the grown-ups would notice me and pack me off to bed.

"I remember it because it was the worst day of my life," said Wash.

"What?" said my father. He only spoke in surprise. No one expected anything from Wash but harangues of process—how I moved the rock, how I shot the bear, how I snowshoed down Ragged.

"It was my father," said Wash. "He hated me." (Then I remembered, dimly, hearing that Wash's father was a cruel man. The world of cruel fathers was as far from me as the world of stepmothers who fed poisoned apples to stepdaughters.) "He hated me from the day I was born."

"He wasn't a good man, Wash," said my grandmother. She always understated everything, but this time I saw her eyes flick over at me, and I realized she was afraid for me. Then I looked around the room and saw all eyes except Washington's were glancing at me.

"That Christmas, '87," Washington said, "the Kenestons' folks" (he meant my grandmother's family) "gave me skates. I'd never had any before. And they were the good, new, steel kind, not the old iron ones where you had to have an iron plate fixed to your shoe. There were screws on these, and you just clamped them to your shoes. I was fifteen years old."

"I remember," said Uncle Luther. "They were my skates, and then I broke my kneecap and I couldn't skate anymore. I can almost remember the name."

"Peck & Snider," said Wash. "They were Perk A R skates. I skated whenever I didn't have chores. That March tenth I skated for maybe I thought the last time that year, and I hung them on a nail over my bed in the loft when I got home. I was skating late, by the moon, after chores. My legs were good then. In the morning, 1 slept late—I was tired—and my father took my skates away because I was late for chores. That was the day it started to snow."

"What a terrible thing to do," said my grandfather.

"He took them out to the pond where I skated," said Wash, "and he made me watch. He cut a hole in the ice with his hatchet. It was snowing already. I begged him not to, but he dropped those Peck & Snider skates into the water, right down out of sight into Eagle Pond."

Uncle Luther shook his head. No one said anything. My father looked at the floor.

Washington was staring straight ahead, fifteen years old again and full of hatred. I could see his mouth moving inside the gray-brown beard. "We stayed inside for four days. Couldn't open a door for the snow. I always hated the snow. I had to keep looking at him."

After a minute when no one spoke, Aunt Caroline turned to me and made silly guesses about the presents under my tree. I recognized diversionary tactics. Other voices took up several conversations around the room. Then my mother leapt upon me, saying it was two hours past my bedtime, and in five min­utes I was warming my feather bed, hearing the grown-up voices dim and far away like wind, like the wind and snow out­side my window.

Christmas Snow
Donald Hall

(born 1928)


1.Write the questions to the following answers :

1.-------------------------------------------------------------? 4 books a year

2.--------------------------------------------------------------? 7


A childhood illness


15 minute serials


the desire to write.

6.-------------------------------------------------------------------? 1972


Dylan Tomas, Robert Frost


December 23

9-----------------------------------------------------------------------? 1987

10----------------------------------------------------------------------? 1993
2. Fill in the chart of events in D.Hall’s biography.




(Date, age)

Life event

(with some details)

3. Retell the biography of D. Hall

4.Match the words with their definitions. Translate into Russian.

1. Poetry

a. written outline of a play, a film

2. Prose

b. the art of a poet

3. Short story

c. piece of writing usually short and in prose

4. School storybook

d. language not in verse form

5 Scenario

e. remembered experiences, spoken

or written

6. Essay

f. piece of writing

7. Reminiscences

g. accounts of events written by school children.

8. Autobiographical

h. accounts of events written by


5. Complete the blanks with the word above.
1) His collected -------- ------------ were a success.
2) Critics pronounced the--------------“a brilliant literary find”.
3) I will treasure my----------------- ----------------------.Its the kind of

memory that sticks like a persons first kiss.
4) Evelyn’s admission ------------was the best.
5) Have you ever read any Hollywood-style ---------------?
6) Bored with 15 –minute serials on the radio, he turned to a -------------

7) Donald was a prolific writer, publishing ----------------,-----------,-----------------------.
8) In the -------------------,the dog, the cat and the bird coexisted

6. How could this story cause John Casey, a short story writer to

cry both the first and second times he read it?
7. Have you ever been snowbound? When and where was it?

Vocabulary and Grammar
1. Find Russian equivalents for:

grown-ups talking, glass paperweights, hurricane damage,

farmhouse, porch window. wooden-tripod, doughnuts, swirl of

flakes, gutters, making a tinny sound, slapping our hands, to crane

onto the wheelbarrow, stamping our feet, to unlatch the door,

to tease, kneecap, to pace up and down, safety pin, snowshoes,

pelt of the deer, to wag, diversionary tactics, to recon, interminable

story, single-filing through the snow, tightrope walkers.
2. Who says these words? Fill in the chart and Report these sentences.
-Looks like its going to work, don’t it? Of course you can’t tell until

spring.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------You awake? We’ve had some snow. You go back to sleep while I make the doughnuts.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Can you make a snowman today?-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Of course, we felt bad, but we felt silly too.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------They have chains, I suppose.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Snowshoes, I knew that’s how you’d do it, maybe.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Come to think of it.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Miss Headley, do you have that in school?------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------That Christmas,87 the Kenestons folks gave me skates. I'd never had any before. And they were the good, new, steel kind, not the old iron ones.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3. Unjumble the underlined words:
a) Men were cutting the ribtem with wahsads.
b) We stopped in the yidrwaev.
c) The iron wheel of the belehrwwoar.
d) I saw my grandfather edrgut pu the blue hill.
e) Rsaebd were rare in 1938.
f) The rest of the table dlakte earrniuhc, too.
4. Translate into English:
1) 25-го декабря почти в каждой американской семье подается

к столу –рождественская индейка.

2) Зима 2003 была вначале мягкая, снега не было, морозы еще

не начались.

3) Через полчаса дверь отворилась, и на пороге появился дедушка с фантастической елкой и еще каким-то большим свертком.

4) Для птиц в Сочельник на длинном шесте вывешивался

рождественский сноп.

5) Хозяйки выпекают к Рождеству пряничные домики, фигурки

животных и растений.

6) Бабушка и тетя принялись мыть и скоблить дом, стирать белье, топить баню.

7) Все рождественские письма и пожелания мы складывали в

ящик для дров, что стоял у стены - а отдельные просьбы

прятали на чердаке в старинном сундуке.
5. Read, translate, put 3-4 questions to each part.


1) I was happy in my own world of snow, as if I were living inside one of those glass paperweights that snow when you shake them, and I went back to sleep easily. In the morning, I looked out of the window as soon as I woke. There were no more leaves, no more weeds turned brown by the frost, no sheds, no road.


2) I loved him to tell stories. His voice filled the whitewashed,

cobwebby tie-up. I loved his imitations, and the glimpses of an old

time. In this story I thought my grandfather sounded cruel; there

must have some other way to get to church. But I didn’t really care.


3) I distributed the presents, reading the names on the tags and

trying to keep them flowing evenly. Drifts of wrapping paper

rose beside each chair, and on laps there were new Zane Grey

books, toilet water, brown socks and work shirts, bars of soap,

and bracelets and neckties. The bright packages were combed

from the branches of the big tree, and the floor was bare underneath.

6. Complete the blanks:(use articles, prepositions,…)

When it snowed ---Connecticut, ----snowplows heaped most----

it in ------gutters and ------cars chewed ----rest----chains and

blackened it ----------oil. Here ------------snow turned ----farm

--------- -------- planet of its own,--------undiscovered moon.

I walked ------our Studebaker, which was humped already

-------two inches -------snow. I reached -------for -----handful

to see if it would pack, but it was dry------cotton.------flakes

when I looked --- into -----endless flaking barrel of ----sky, were

fine and constant. It was going -----snow all day. I climbed---hill

to -----barn without lifting my galoshes quite clear of ----snow

and left two long trenches -----------me. I raised-----iron latch and

went ------- ----- tie-up, shaking my head and shoulders like

--------- dog, making ----little snowstorm inside.

My grandfather laughed.” Its really coming-------“,he said. “It will

be -----white Christmas, you can be sure------that”.

“ I love----“, I said.
7. Put these sentences into the future, into the negative and the question.
a) I smelled the doughnuts when we opened the door from the shed to the kitchen.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------?

b) Then he fitted tops on the milk cans.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------?

c) My grandmother pinned his coat around his neck with a large safety pin.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------?

d) My two aunts vied over me, teasing and praising.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------?

e) They have a club down in Connecticut that meets once a year and

swaps stories about it.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------?

f) Aunt Caroline turned to me and made silly guesses about the presents

under my tree.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------?

1. Retell the story on the part of
A. Donnie B. Grandfather C. Grandmother D. Father
E. Aunt Caroline F. Wash G. Uncle Luther
2. Give a sketch-portrait of

A. Grandfather

B. Donnie

C. Grandmother
3. Which of the characters of this story appeals to you more? Why?
4. Which character in the story you like least? Why?
5. What events were presented within the frame-from the evening

of December 23 to the evening of December 24?
6. Act the conversation between:
A. Donnie and his Father
B. Grandfather and Donnie
C. Grandmother and Donnie
D. Wash and Father
E. Aunt Caroline and Donnie’s Mother
7. Tell about your last CHRISTMAS.

Where and when was it? Who were you with?

What did you do? Was it Christmas to remember?
8. Render into English

Никакое Рождество не обходится без елки: однако в Англии

эта традиция существует сравнительно недавно, не более 140

лет, будучи заимствована из Германии. Честь познакомить Англию с рождественской елкой принадлежит Королеве Виктории и ее супругу. В 1841 году Королева Виктория описывала рождественские празднования в Виндзоре:

“Теперь у меня двое своих детей, которых можно задаривать

подарками; малыши с радостным изумлением смотрят на

немецкую рождественскую елочку и лучезарные свечи.”


1.Write a summary of Grandfather’s working day.
2.Write 9-14 sentences of advice with (Should, shouldn’t, must, have to)

(Imagine you are snowbound )

It’s essential /important/vital/necessary that you should---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It’s odd/funny/natural/surprising/strange/typical that you should---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------You shouldn’t panic/worry/listen to-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------We have to------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We must---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------We don’t have to---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3. A TV company is planning to turn this story into a TV serial.

Write a script. What changes would be necessary to the plot?

Read your scenario-Vote the best. (about 150-200words)
4. Translate into English:
Америка готовилась к Рождеству. В маленьких городках уже

сияли перед магазинами разноцветные электрические лампочки

картонных елок, надетых на уличные фонари. Традиционный

Санта Клаус, добрый рождественский дед с большой белой

бородой, разъезжал по улицам в раззолоченной колеснице.

Электрические вентиляторы выбрасывали изнутри колесницы

искусственный снег. Хоры радиоангелов исполняли старые

английские песни. Санта Клаус держал в руках плакат универсального магазина: “Рождественские подарки в кредит”.

Газеты писали, что предпраздничная торговля идет лучше, чем в прошлом году.

Чем дальше мы подвигались по направлению к Калифорнии, чем жарче становилось солнце, а небо чище и голубе, тем больше было искусственного снега, картонных елей, седых бород, тем шире становился кредит на покупку рождественских подарков.
И.Ильф Е.Петров Одноэтажная Америка
5. Give a literary translation of “Snowbound” by J.G.Whittier
Shut in from all the world without,

We sat the clean-winged hearth about,

Content to let the north-wind roar

In baffled rage at pane and door,

While the red logs before us beat

The frost-line back with tropic heat…….

6. Write down a summary of the story(140-130words)
7. Re-write the end of the story, make it more funny.
8. Complete the chart – tell about yourself, about your friend.



9. Christmas Celebrations - write what do you know about traditions in Russia, in Great Britain, in the USA.
10. Comment on Bernard Shaw ---“Christmas is forced on a reluctant nation by the shopkeepers and the Press.” Write (40-50)words
11.Why are these words so important for CHRISMAS?
a) robin------------------------------------------------------------------------

b) carol-------------------------------------------------------------------------

c) Christmas tree-------------------------------------------------------------

d) decoration------------------------------------------------------------------

e) Christmas cards------------------------------------------------------------

f) coloured lights-------------------------------------------------------------

g) mantelpieces---------------------------------------------------------------

h) stockings-------------------------------------------------------------------

i) chimney---------------------------------------------------------------------

j) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------


add some more------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Uncommon Words or Meaning
Read, translate, comment and make 4-5 sentences with these words.
-to corduroy - create a surface with parallel ridges, like those in the cotton fabric called corduroy.

-a hoptoad - a small amphibious animal, similar to a frog

-Vicksburg - a city in Mississippi, the site of a decisive Northern victory in April 1863 in the American Civil War.

-Kathleen Norris - a popular American writer of the day, the author of more than eighty romantic novels and many short stories.

-the Hardy Boys - a popular series of adventure books for boys.

-a toadstool - a poisonous mushroom

-to farm out(in the story) - send a child to live with relatives because

his own family couldn’t afford to feed and clothe him.

-a plow - a snowplow, a machine for moving large quantities of snow to clear a road

-leastways(informal) - anyway, in any case.

-John Greenland Whittier - a 19thcentury American poet whose poem “ Snowbound “, first published in 1866, was a standard of elementary school English classes for close to one hundred years.

-grace - a short prayer of thanks said before eating.

-Zane Grey - the author of many popular Westerns, including “Riders of the Purple Sage”.

-a town meeting - in New England, a meeting of the qualified voters of a town to discuss and act on public business.

-a stown wall - a low wall(perhaps three feet high and a foot wide)

made by laying stones one on the top of another, common in New England.

Massachusetts - A. What is its nickname? B. When did it became

a state of the Union?
How can you translate Massachusetts?-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Find the same information about Wyoming, Vermont, New York.
Why is Virginia “ THE MOTHER OF PRESIDENTS? “---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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