Once upon a time, in the garden of the Chinese Emperor there lived a nightingale. She sang beautifully. And one day the emperor was so moved when he heard the bird sing that tears came into his eyes. He then had the bird kept in a beautiful cage in his palace and listened to her every day.
Before long the Emperor received a gift of a toy nightingale from Japan. It could sing some of the songs the real bird sang. Now the toy bird gave the Emperor much pleasure. And it was able to sing three and thirty times without being tired.
Without being noticed, the living nightingale had flown out of the cage, back to her green woods.
But one evening, when the toy bird was singing its best, something inside the bird went out of order . No one could repair it. No singing of any nightingale was heard.
Many years passed, and the Emperor felt so sorry that he lay ill and, it was said, was going to die. He wanted very much to hear the nightingale's song again.
All at once there came the beautiful song of a nightingale through the window. The living nightingale came to sing to the Emperor again. And life began to return to the Emperor.
"Thank you，little bird，"said the Emperor. "I didn't treat you well before，and yet you have given me life again. How can I reward you?"
"You have done that already，"said the nightingale." I brought tears to your eyes the first time I sang; I shall never forget that."
The Emperor felt strong and well again. The nightingale often came to sit in a tree of the palace garden and sing something to make the Emperor happy.
l·had the bird kept in a beautiful cage 叫人把鸟关在漂亮的笼子里 ;have sth done意为"叫人做某事"。
2·before long 不久
3·toy nightingale 玩具夜莺
4·out of order 出故障
5·all at once = suddenly 突然
6·reward v. 报答 ，奖赏