Lesson 54 Instinct or cleverness?是本能还是机智?
Listen to the tape then answer the question below.
Was the writer successful in protecting his peach tree? Why not?
We have been brought up to fear insects. We regard them as unnecessary creatures that do more harm than good. We continually wage war on them, for they contaminate our food, carry diseases, or devour our crops. They sting or bite without provocation; they fly uninvited into our rooms on summer nights, or beat ageist our lighted windows. We live in dread not only of unpleasant insects like spiders or wasps, but of quite harmless one like moths. Reading about them increases our understanding without dispelling our fears. Knowing that the industrious ant lives in a highly organized society does nothing to prevent us from being filled with revulsion when we find hordes of them crawling over a carefully prepared picnic lunch. No matter how much we like honey, or how much we have read about the uncanny sense of direction which bees possess, we have a horror of being stung. Most of our fears are unreasonable, but they are impossible to erase. At the same time, however, insects are strangely fascinating. We enjoy reading about them, especially when we find that, like the praying mantis, they lead perfectly horrible lives. We enjoy staring at them, entranced as they go about their business, unaware (we hope) of our presence. Who has not stood in awe at the sight of a spider pouncing on a fly, or a column of ants triumphantly bearing home an enormous dead beetle?
Last summer I spent days in the garden watching thousands of ants crawling up the trunk of my prize peach tree. The tree has grown against a warm wall on a sheltered side of the house. I am especially proud of it, not only because it has survived several severe winters, but because it occasionally produces luscious peaches. During the summer, I noticed tat the leaves of the tree were beginning to wither. Clusters of tin insects called aphids were to be found on the underside of the leaves. They were visited by a large colony of ants which obtained a sort of honey from them. I immediately embarked on an experiment which, even though if failed to get rid of the ants, kept me fascinated for twenty-four hours. I bound the base of the tree with sticky tape, making it impossible for the ants to reach the aphids. The tape was so stick that they did not dare to cross it. For a long time. I watched them scurrying around the base of the tree in bewilderment. I even went out at midnight with a torch and noted with satisfaction (and surprise) that the ants were still swarming around the sticky tape without being able to do anything about it. I got up early next morning hoping to find that the ants had given up in despair. Instead, I saw that they had discovered a new route. They were climbing up the wall of the house and then on to the leaves of the tree. I realized sadly that I had been completely defeated by their ingenuity. The ants had been quick to find an answer to my thoroughly unscientific methods!
我们自幼就在对昆虫的惧怕中长大。我们把昆虫当作害多益少的无用东西。人类不断同昆虫斗争，因为昆虫弄脏我们的食物，传播疾病，吞噬庄稼。它们无缘无故地 又叮又咬；夏天的晚上，它们未经邀请便飞到我们房间里，或者对着露出亮光的窗户乱扑乱撞。我们在日常生活中，不但憎恶如蜘蛛、黄蜂之类令人讨厌的昆虫，而 且憎恶并无大害的飞蛾等。阅读有关昆虫的书能增加我们对它们的了解，却不能消除我们的恐惧的心理。即使知道勤奋的蚂蚁生活具有高度组织性的社会里，当看到 大群蚂蚁在我们精心准备的午间野餐上爬行时，我们也无法抑制对它们的反感。不管我们多么爱吃蜂蜜，或读过多少关于蜜蜂具有神秘的识别方向的灵感的书，我们 仍然十分害怕被蜂蜇。我们的恐惧大部分是没有道理的，但去无法消除。同时，不知为什么昆虫又是迷人的。我们喜欢看有关昆虫的书，尤其是当我们了解螳螂等过 着一种令人生畏的生活时，就更加爱读有关昆虫的书了。我们喜欢入迷地看它们做事，它们不知道（但愿如此）我们就在它们身边。当看到蜘蛛扑向一只苍蝇时，一 队蚂蚁抬着一只巨大的死甲虫凯旋归时，谁能不感到敬畏呢？
去年夏天，我花了好几天时间站在花园里观察成千只蚂蚁爬上我那棵心爱的桃树的树干。那棵树是靠着房子有遮挡的一面暖墙生长的。我为这棵树感到特别自豪，不 仅因为它度过了几个寒冬终于活了下来，而且还因为它有时结出些甘甜的桃子来。到了夏天，我发现树叶开始枯萎，结果在树叶背面找到成串的叫作蚜虫小虫子。蚜 虫遭到一窝蚂蚁的攻击，蚂蚁从它们身上可以获得一种蜜。我当即动手作了一项试验，这项试验尽管没有使我摆脱这些蚂蚁，却使我着迷了24小时。我用一条胶带 把桃树底部包上，不让蚂蚁接近蚜虫。胶带极粘，蚂蚁不敢从上面爬过。在很长一段时间里，我看见蚂蚁围着大树底部来回转悠，不知所措。半夜，我还拿着电筒来 到花园里，满意地（同时惊奇地）发现那些蚂蚁还围着胶带团团转。无能为力。第二天早上，我起床后希望看见蚂蚁已因无望而放弃了尝试，结果却发现它们又找到 一条新的路径。它们正在顺着房子的外墙往上爬，然后爬上树叶。我懊丧地感到败在了足智多谋的蚂蚁的手下。蚂蚁已很快找到了相应的对策，来对付我那套完全不 科学的办法！
New words and expressions 生词和短语
Notes on the text课文注释
1 do more harm than food,害多益少。
2 wage war on，对...开战。
3 does nothing to prevent，不能阻止…。
4 go ahout…，做...
5 stand in awe,肃然起敬。
Lesson 54 课后练习和答案Exercises and Answer