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Once upon a time a very strong woodcutter asked for a job in a timber merchant, and he got it. The pay was really good and so were the work conditions. For that reason, the woodcutter was determined to do his best.
      
His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he was supposed to work.
      
The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees.
      
"Congratulations," the boss said. "Go on that way!"
      
Very motivated by the boss's words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he could only bring 15 trees. The third he tried even harder, but he could only bring 10 trees. Day after day he was bringing less and less trees.
      
"I must be losing my strength," the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.
      
"When was the last time you sharpened your axe?" the boss asked.
      
"Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees..."



从前,有一个健壮的伐木工人到木材商那里找工作。他得到了一份工作,报酬非常高,而且工作条件也非常好。因此,伐木工决心要尽最大努力工作。

老板给了他一把斧头,并带他看了他的工作地点。

第一天,伐木工带回了18棵树。

“祝贺你!”老板说:“就这么干,继续!”

老板的话给了伐木工极大的鼓舞。第二天,他更加努力地干活,但却只带回了15棵树。第三天,他干得更起劲儿了,但是只带回了10棵树。日复一日,他带回的树越来越少。

伐木工想:“我一定是力量不够了。”他找到老板,怀着歉意说自己也不知道是怎么了。

老板问道:“你上一次是在什么时候磨的斧子?”

“磨斧子?我没有时候磨斧子。我一直忙着砍树呢。。。”

1.woodcutter  n. 伐木工,樵夫

A man appeared at the castle gate in the guise of a woodcutter.  
一个男子打扮成樵夫的模样出现在城堡的门口。

2.timber  n. 木材,木料

The firm's tender for the supply of timber has been accepted.  
那家商号的供应木材投标已被接受。

3.apologize  vi. 道歉,谢罪

It's imperative that you apologize to him immediately.  
你必须立即向他道歉。

4.axe[æks]   n. 斧,乐器,突然去除  vt. 用斧砍,突然去除

The heavy axe was awkward to use.  
这把重斧头不好用。



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