AT HOME IN THE SAVANNA
My name is Dopal. I'm eleven years old and I live in 1)Tanzania, in the heart of the African 2)savanna. I'm a Masai. Masais are 3)nomads who travel all over with their animals, looking for 4)pasture. Our most wonderful and valuable possession is our herd.
I've never been in school. My father teaches me everything I have to know. He explains to me how to lead our herd. My own animals are in the middle of the herd. Every Masai gets a cow, a lamb, and a goat the day he's born. Our most beautiful goat belongs to my father. Her name is Olliye. I love her, even though she's not always easy to handle. Olliye is going to have a baby very soon. My father knows Olliye is my favorite, but he always reminds me that we must love all our animals as if they were our children. My father knows all about nature. He shows me some cheetah tracks. Our herds have lots of predators like 5)hyenas, lions, and 6)leopards. A Masai has to be ready to risk his life for his herd. A shepherd must always listen for different sounds and watch to make sure the animals walking behind don't get lost.
All Masais have their own animals, even the girls. They become their 7)dowry when they get married. The animalsare also used in trade for food in the market. My people have always been shepherds. We're not farmers. For us, the earth is 8)sacred, and we mustn't hurt it by planting things.
Like all boys, I dream of becoming a 9)warrior. A warrior has to be strong and intelligent. He's the one who defends the herd against wild beasts. He sometimes travels long distances to bring back lost animals, and he also watches over our safety. Masais go through three stages: childhood, warrior, and elder. I'll be a warrior from thirteen to twenty-five years old, before I become an elder like my father. Then I can get married and have children.
1) Tanzania n. 坦桑尼亚联合共和国(The United Republic of Tanzania)，位于非洲东部。1962年独立，由坦噶尼喀和温古贾岛、奔巴岛组成，面积945087平方千米，人口3034万。有苏库马、马康迪、查加和哈亚等130多个部族。英语为官方语言，斯瓦希里语为国语。居民多信原始宗教和伊斯兰教。
2) savanna n.（热带或亚热带丛林或平原边缘地带的）大草原
3) nomad n. 游牧部落的人，流浪者
4) pasture n. 草原，牧场
5) hyena n. 土狼，鬣狗
6) leopard n. 美洲虎，美洲豹
7) dowry n. 嫁妆，天资
8) sacred a. 庄严的，神圣的
9) warrior n. 勇士，武士