Pond Water (I)by Teresa Bateman
作者 : 未知

  On Princess Lilly's sixteenth birthday the palace was crowded with aunts, uncles, cousins, and, unfortunately, a lot of princes. They were there to vie① for her hand, and each wished to be the lucky prince who got to lead her into the ball that evening.
  Lilly did not want to be vied for. Nor did she want to be fawned② over, or fondly told not to bother her pretty little head about things every time she brought up an interesting topic of conversation.
  It was a relief to escape to her bedroom with an armful of birthday presents, shaking off the princes who'd offered to carry her parcels③ as if they were so many persistent puppies hanging on to the hem of her petticoat. She momentarily thought of escaping through the window, then sighed. Skipping out on her own birthday party was clearly a breach of protocol. Speaking of which, she had to decide which of those annoying creatures would lead her into the ball that evening.
  Lilly plopped down on the bed and eyed her parcels. One was from Aunt Matilda.
  Aunt Matilda could usually be depended upon for amazing and magical gifts. Lilly still enjoyed the “cape-o-maid” that allowed her to pass as a serving girl whenever she wished (it was nearly as good as being invisible), and the spitting hair ribbon that was always a good conversation starter.
  She had great hopes for her present this year. Maybe this would be something like a long-range prince detector④, or perhaps a quart of “prince-be-gone”. She tore the wrapping paper, then sighed in disappointment. The package contained a crystal bottle labeled “Pond Water”.
  “Strange,” Lilly thought. “I've heard of Lavender Water, and Rose Water, but Pond Water?”
  She didn't care for perfume. The smell attracted mosquitoes and fat furry flies, not to mention handsome princes that were often harder to get rid of than the insects. Still, everyone kept giving her the stuff. An entire shelf over her bed was lined with bottles of every shape and size, each filled with some odoriferous⑤ potion guaranteed to send strong men to their knees, with a ring in one hand and a crown in the other.
  Lilly longed to throw all the bottles down the sink, but it would probably damage the pipes. Besides, if the plumbing backed up, the castle would reek for weeks.
  She started to put the bottle with the others, then paused to take one whiff⑥ so she could thank her aunt properly, even if the gift wasn't at all what she wanted. It smelled strange. Nothing at all like the other perfumes she owned.   Lilly shook her head and reinserted the cork⑦. Then, suddenly, the entire roomexpanded―the walls shooting up like trees.
  Lilly recognized that magic was at work. Still, it seemed odd that it should make her room grow, or... Slowly Lilly looked down at herself. Then she jumped.
  Actually she jumped rather high. Higher than most princesses could jump. Of course, her jump was just average for a frog, which was what she had turned into.
  “Aunt Matilda,” Lilly croaked with a smile. “She's always loved the classics.”
  A maid entered the room and screamed at the sight of a frog sitting in the princess's clothing. Immediately several dozen guardsmen charged in. One bravely picked up the frog and, holding it with two fingers, threw it out of the window. This might have been the end of Lilly. Fortunately the castle was surrounded by a moat⑧.
  Plop! Lilly sank into the green-skinned water. With a shove from her now-powerful rear legs, she popped to the surface, blinked⑨ her eyes, and looked around.
  The party from the palace had spilled out over the draw-bridge and into the park. All the princes had gathered together to compare notes, since Lilly was no longer available⑩. The group wandered near the moat, and Lilly, knowing an opportunity when she saw one, casually paddled over to eavesdrop.
  “Too tall,” said one prince.
  “Too short,” said another.
  “Too fat,” said one.
  “Too skinny,” said a fourth.
  “Too smart!” they all agreed.
  “But rich, very rich!” the first said, and they all nodded together.
  (To be continued)
  Answer the following questions according to the passage.
  1. Why did so many people go to the palace?
  A. They gathered there to celebrate Princess Lilly's birthday.
  B. They went there to give Princess Lilly some bottles of perfume.
  C. They wanted to get some Pond Water from Princess Lilly.
  2. When Lilly smelled the Pond Water, she turned into a ________.
  A. mosquito B. fly C. frog
  3. What did most of the princes think of Lilly?

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