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Three Wishes

2006-08-11 15:18

  Lesson 36

  Text A

  Three Wishes

  Once upon a time , there lived a woodman and his wife. They were very poor, and they lived in a cottage on the edge of a forest. Every day, the woodman would set out early in the, morning to chop down trees. .

  As the woodman was travelling through the forest one day, he saw a fine old oak tree. "That will make plenty of planks," he thought, as he felt the blade of his axe to make sure it was sharp. He was about to strike the tree with the axe , when he heard someone crying out: "Please don't hurt this tree. "

  The woodman looked around him and saw a tiny fairy. "If you do not hurt this tree , " she said , "I will grant you and yotar wife three wishes. "

  "I won't hurt the tree," said the woodman kindly. Then the fairy vanished !

  That evening, the woodman walked slowly home. He was feeling very hungry and could not wait for his supper.

  "Is my supper ready?" the woodman asked his wife.

  "Not for at least two hours, replied his wife. So the woodman sat in a chair by the fire.

  "I wish I had a big black sausage to eat right now," he said

  out loud. And suddenly, a delicious sausage appeared on the table before himt "Why has that black sausage suddenly appeared?" the woodman's wife asked.

  So the woodman told his wife the story about the fairy. But his wife was very angry. "You have wasted the first of our wishes," she said crossly. "I wish that sausage were on your nose !"

  And with that, the sausage jumped up and stuck fast on the woodman's nose. His wife could not pull it off and nor could he, so the only thing to do was to w.ish it on the table again, which the woodman did.

  What a waste of three wishes! The only thing the woodman had was a good supper of black sausage.

  Text B

  They Threatened Me With a Knife POLICE INSPECTOR:   Good evening , sir. I understand that you have been robbed.

  MR LEE:   I certainly have.

  P. L:   When did this happen?

  MR LEE:   About two hours ago.

  P. L:   Why didn't you report it before?

  MR LEE:   I couldn't. I was bound and gagged.

  P. L:   Please tell me exactly what happened

  MR LEE:   I was sitting in this room watching television when someone knocked on the door. Without thinking, I opened it.

  P. L:   That wasn't very wise , sir.

  MR LEE:   I know. I was expecting my wife, you see, and thought it was her.

  P.L:   You should never open a door without looking to see who it is.

  MR LEE:   Yes , I know. I regret it very much.

  P.L:   What happened?

  MR LEE:   Two men pushed into the flat. One of them threatened me with a knife while the other bound and gagged me.

  P.L:   Did you get a good look at them?

  MR LEE:   I'm afraid not. They were both wearing stockings over their faces.

  P.L:   What did they take?

  MR LEE:   My wallet, with $200 in it, my wristwatch. some of my wife's jewellery from our bedroom, and a silver photoframe.

  P. L:   They don't seem to have done much damage to the flat.

  MR LEE:   No. They had just begun to search when the dogs next door began to bark. They ran off then leaving me bound and gagged. It was some time before my wife returned and released me. I phoned the police at once.

  P.L:   My men began searching the area as soon as we received your call. I can't promise you that we'll recover your property but we'll certainly do our best.

  Question on Text B

  7 . Read the following passage once. Underline the key words while reading and retell the story to your partner.

  Now I know why birds sit on telephone lines. They listen.

  I am either nine or ten years old. At the orphanage they call me Miguel.

  When I want to feel improtant, I say, "Call me Don Miguel. " I used to act important all the time because 1 felt I wasn't.

  Back then, no one liked me very much because I didn't like other peo

  But last year, I began to learn two important things: I was learning to see, not just look. And I was learning to listen, not just hear.

  I used to lie in the dark and make up relatives that I didn't have. My favorite relative was a nice old man who spoke Spanish, like me.

  One day a man came to see me. He said he was my uncle. "I don't have an uncle," I said.

  "Now you do , " he said.

  He was an old man who liked children. He had a boy once who went to Korea. His daughter moved to the City. He said the City can be a difficult place in which to live. He taught me how to see and listen. I don't know if he is my uncle or not; neither did he, but he came to see me often. I guess if you act like an uncle all the time, you are one.

  I was not a good student before my uncle came along. He took me walking in the fields. At one point he spread his arms and said. "It is all here. "

  "What?" I said.

  "Everything you need to know," he replied.

  At first it appeared to be nothing more than just a few trees. I thought I was nowhere. Then he had me close n-.y eyes. First I heard the breeze in the grass, then in the trees. I also heard a faraway train and a barking dog. For a while I heard nothing. I was almost scared. He said to listen harder.

  I heard my heart beat.

  beause I used to be so sad, I had almost forgotten that I had a heart.

  Once I asked him who he was.

  "An experiment , " he said.

  "What kind of an experiment?" I said.

  He grinned and said, "Nobody knows. Like you, there is no one in the world like me. So who is to say what I will be. "

  One day in the field he showed me the way the breeze made the trees move. The rustling of the leaves made a sound that frightened a nearby bird. It flew away.

  We watched the bird drop an acorn.

  "The bird , " he said , "cari make a seed move. From that seed the oak can grow fifty feet tall. It will be a friend to those who want one. "

  I always knew that trees were there, but I never knew they were real like me.

  One Sunday I was angry. When my uncle came , I said : "I don't have anything. I wish I had something. "

  "You have everything worth having," he said. "And I will give you even more. I will give some secrets of the Universe. Do you believe me?"

  "Yes," I said, wanting to believe him.

  He gave me three small seeds.

  "Put each seed into a small box filled with dirt. Then care for them. Talk to them if you wish. They will grow with you. "

  Now they are in larger boxes. One of t.he plants has grown up to my knee. I sometimes wonder what else it is up to.

  Another time we were walking in the field when we saw two birds on a telephone line. They seemed so peaceful. Then suddenly they flew away. My uncle just laughed.

  "See," he said."Someone said something they didn't like.& careful what you tell the birds."

  One night I passed by the office of the orphanage. A man I don't iike very much was on the phone. He was angry and loud.

  When he'left, I went into the office and picked up the phone. I heard the funniest sound.

  "Listen," I said. "Listen, liirds. Come on back, never mind what he says. We like you. "

  One day-Unele did not come: I waited and waited but he did not come. The man I don't like at the orphanage said Uncle was sick.

  "May I go and see him?" I asked.

  "No," he said. "He may be contagious. "

  "May I call him?"

  "No, " he said. "I'll call him for you. "

  "Don't do that," I said.

  "Why not?" .

  "You'll make the birds fly away. "

  I sneaked into the office one night and called Uncle.

  "Are you all right?" I asked.

  "Yes, but I must go away. "

  "Why?"

  "To make room for something else. "

  "Will you come back?"

  "I will help you remember me, if you want me to. "

  "I do. . . . Ido. . . ."

  When I went to bed at night, I would try to imagine that he was there. He was harder and harder to see. One night, he was not there at all. There was only a grcen ficld.

  I went back to our field. It was raining. T'he sky was dark, the way I was inside. I looked for Uricle everywhere. I called his name.

  I was angry for a while. I said some things out loud that I shouldn't have said. Two birds flew out of the trec.I made them get wet.

  On the way back, I saw something that was only an inch or two tall. It was where that hird dropped the acorn. I didn't tell anybody, but I knew.

  Someday Uncle will be fifty feet tall.

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