新概念英语第三册第1课:A Puma at large
Lesson 1 A puma at large逃遁的美洲狮Listen to the tape then answer the question below.
Where must the puma have come from?
Pumas are large, cat-like animals which are found in America. When reports came into London Zoo that a wild puma had been spotted forty-five miles south of London, they were not taken seriously. However, as the evidence began to accumulate, experts from the Zoo felt obliged to investigate, for the descriptions given by people who claimed to have seen the puma were extraordinarily similar.
The hunt for the puma began in a small village where a woman picking blackberries saw 'a large cat' only five yards away from her. It immediately ran away when she saw it, and experts confirmed that a puma will not attack a human being unless it is cornered. The search proved difficult, for the puma was often observed at one place in the morning and at another place twenty miles away in the evening. Wherever it went, it left behind it a trail of dead deer and small animals like rabbits. Paw prints were seen in a number of places and puma fur was found clinging to bushes. Several people complained of "cat-like noises' at night and a businessman on a fishing trip saw the puma up a tree. The experts were now fully convinced that the animal was a puma, but where had it come from? As no pumas had been reported missing from any zoo in the country, this one must have been in the possession of a private collector and somehow managed to escape. The hunt went on for several weeks, but the puma was not caught. It is disturbing to think that a dangerous wild animal is still at large in the quiet countryside.
搜寻美洲狮的工作是从一座小村庄开始的。那里的一位妇女在采摘黑莓时的看见“一只大猫”，离她仅5码远，她刚看见它，它就立刻逃走了。专家证实，美洲狮非 被逼得走投无路，是决不会伤人的。事实上搜寻工作很困难，因为常常是早晨在甲地发现那只美洲狮，晚上却在20英里外的乙地发现它的踪迹。无论它走哪儿，一 路上总会留下一串死鹿及死兔子之类的小动物，在许多地方看见爪印，灌木丛中发现了粘在上面的美洲狮毛。有人抱怨说夜里听见“像猫一样的叫声”；一位商人去 钓鱼，看见那只美洲狮在树上。专家们如今已经完全肯定那只动物就是美洲狮，但它是从哪儿来的呢？由于全国动物园没有一家报告丢了美洲狮，因此那只美洲狮一 定是某位私人收藏豢养的，不知怎么设法逃出来了。搜寻工作进行了好几个星期，但始终未能逮住那只美洲狮。想到在宁静的乡村里有一头危险的野兽继续逍遥流 窜，真令人担心。
New words and expressions 生词和短语
Notes on the text课文注释
1 at large是介词短语，此处表示“逍遥自在”、“行动自由”的意思。
2 When reports came into London Zoo that a wild puma had been spotted forty-five miles south of London, 当伦敦动物园接到报告说，在伦敦以南45英里的地方发现一头野生美洲狮时。这个从句中以that引导的从句是reports的同位语，用于进一步说明报告 的内容。
3 feel obliged to do sth. 是“感到不得不做某事”的意思。
4 it left behind it a trail of, 它身后留下一串……。
a trail of作left的宾语，behind it是状语，提到宾语之前是为了使句子结构更紧凑。
5 puma fur was found clinging to bushes中，clinging是现在分词，此处作主语puma fur的主语补足语。下文中As no pumas had been reported missing…一句中，missing也是现在分词作主语补足语。
6 in the possession of, 为……所有。