I. Bài Đọc

IT WAS midnight on New Year’s Eve. The church bells were ringing; the fire siren was blowing. Doors were thrown open as people stepped out onto their porches to shout “Happy New Year!” to each other.

Old Father Time, leaning on his scythe and stroking his long white beard, sighed and shook his head as he listened to them. “Now why are they so happy about New Year? I don’t understand it; New Year’s only a baby, and babies are a lot of bother, aren’t they? Then why do people like them so much?”

Down the road behind him came the bouncing baby New Year. ‘”Hello, Father Time!” he called gaily as he passed. “I’m on my way into the world! Listen to everybody cheer! Isn’t it fun? Oh, I’m going to give them the merriest year they ever have had! Good-by, Father Time!”

Old Father Time shook his head again, but with a smile this time. “Maybe that’s why people like babies! What a package of fun,they are!” he said.

He watched the baby New Year trotting merrily down the road, singing, a rollicking song in time to the gay rhythm of the bells

“Happy New Year,” Father Time said with a smile. “Yes, that’s what he is—happy New Year. And look where he’s heading—I might have known it! He’s making straight for the most cheerful spot in thee world—he’s going to live on What-a-Jolly Street! Well, now there’s no doubt about it, no doubt at all he’s going to be a happy, happy New Year!”

II. Vocabulary

  • siren /ˈsaɪrən/: còi báo động
  • porch /pɔrtʃ/: hiên nhà
  • Father Time: Người đàn ông lớn tuổi có râu dài màu trắng tay cầm lưỡi hái đại diện cho thời gian đã trôi qua (năm cũ)
  • baby New Year: Em bé đại diện cho sự bắt đầu của một năm mới.
  • lean /lin/(n): dựa vào, tựa vào
  • scythe /saɪð/: lưỡi hái
  • stroke /stroʊk/: vuốt (râu)
  • sigh /saɪ/: thở ra (thở dài)
  • bouncing /ˈbaʊnsɪŋ/: tung tăng
  • gaily /ˈɡeɪli/: vui vẻ
  • merry /ˈmeri/: vui vẻ và hạnh phúc
  • trot /trɑt/: lon ton
  • rollicking /ˈrɑlɪkɪŋ/: sôi động
  • gay /ɡeɪ/: vui tươi, phấn khởi
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