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经典美文赏析:做鞋钉(Making the tacks)
  Making the tacks
  The hardworking blacksmith Jones used to work all day in his shop and so hard working was he that at times he would make the sparks fly from his hammer.
  The son of Mr. Smith, a rich neighbor, used to come to see the blacksmith everyday and for hours and hours he would enjoy himself watching how the tradesman worked.
  "Young man, why don't you try your hand to learn to make shoe tacks, even if it is only to pass the time?" said the blacksmith. "Who knows, one day, it may be of use to you."
  The lazy boy began to see what he could do. But after a little practice he found that he was becoming very skilled and soon he was making some of the finest tacks.
  Old Mr. Smith died and the son on account of the war lost all his goods. He had to leave home and was forced to take up residence in another country. It so happened that in this village there were numerous shoemakers who were spending a lot of money to buy tacks for their shoes and even at times when they paid high prices they were not always able to get what they wanted, because in that part of the country there was a high demand for soldiers' shoes.
  Our young Mr. Smith, who was finding it difficult to earn his daily bread, remembered that once upon a time he had learned the art of making tacks and had the sudden idea of making a bargain with the shoemakers. He told them that he would make the tacks if they would help to get him settled in his workshop. The shoemakers were only too glad of the offer. And after a while, Mr. Smith found that he was soon making the finest tacks in the village.
  "How funny it seems," he used to say, "even making tacks can bring a fortune. My trade is more useful to me than were all my former riches."
  【中文译文】:
  琼斯是个非常勤劳的铁匠,常常一整天都在店里工作。他工作非常努力,他的铁锤下常常是火花飞舞。
  邻居史密斯先生很有钱,他的儿子常常来看琼斯打铁。他喜欢看这位工匠工作,常常一看就是几个小时。
  “年轻人,为什么不亲自尝试一下如何制作鞋钉呢,哪怕只是为了消磨时间?”铁匠说,“没准,有一天它会对你有帮助。”
  懒懒的孩子开始想看看自己到底能做什么。然而,仅仅经过很短的练习,他便发现自己非常熟练起来,很快他就做出了最好的鞋钉。
  老史密斯先生去世了,而他的儿子则因为战争的缘故失去了所有的财产。他不得不离开家园,在另外一个国家住了下来。巧的是,这个国家的这个地区,急需大量军鞋,所以这个村子里有很多鞋匠,他们总是花费很多钱购买鞋钉。有时,即使付了很高的价钱,也买不到他们想要的鞋钉。
  在这食不果腹的困难时刻,年轻的史密斯记起自己曾学过制鞋钉这门手艺,便突发奇想,想和这些鞋匠们做一个交易。他对他们说,如果他们可以帮助他成立一个店铺,他就可以做鞋钉。鞋匠们对他的这一提议欣喜若狂。很快,史密斯发现他做的鞋钉是村里面最好的。
  “这真是有趣,”他常常会说,“即便是做鞋钉也会带来财富。与我以前所有的财富相比,我现在做的事情对于我来说更有用。”
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