In time, these lessons and "stubs" will be migrated to the Buzzwords site.
Until then, consider them historical.

The Bronze Ring (2): The Gardener is Found


If someone offered you a job, what sorts of things would you want him or her to do for you before you started the job?

A king needed a gardener, and sent messengers out to find one. When they found one, they asked him to come to the palace.


[7] "Come with us and be gardener to the King," they said to him.
[8] "How can I go to the King," said the gardener, "a poor wretch like me?"
[9] "That is of no consequence," they answered. "Here are new clothes for you and your family."
[10] "But I owe money to several people."
[11] "We will pay your debts," they said.
[12] So the gardener allowed himself to be persuaded, and went away with the messengers, taking his wife and his son with him; and the King, delighted to have found a real gardener, entrusted him with the care of his garden. The man found no difficulty in making the royal garden produce flowers and fruit, and at the end of a year the park was not like the same place, and the King showered gifts upon his new servant.


Here is some vocabulary from the story:

a. a wretch: a miserable person; one who is very unlucky and/or unhappy
b. a consequence: the result of something. "Getting fired is the consequence of being late three times."
c. a debt: something which one owes to another, especially money; pronounced "DETT" (with no "b" sound)
d. to persuade: to get someone to change his or her mind; sales people are often good at persuading people.
e. to be delighted: to be extremely happy or excited
f. to entrust: to give someone a responsibility or duty (to TRUST him or her to do it well)
g. a park: Although we usually think of this as a public place in a city, it has some other meanings. One is "the gardens of a large country house or palace"; another is "an open space in a forest" (like a meadow).
h. to shower: to give a lot of something; "The mother showered the baby with kisses."
i. a servant: someone who works for ("serves") another. In the old days, servants were considered of a lower class than the people they worked for. We still use the word for people like "public servants," police officers and fire fighters, for example, but they are respected.


Use one of the above terms in each of the following sentences. Be sure to use the correct form.

1. My boss __________ me with an important job: he asked me to buy his wife's birthday present.
2. One of the __________ of smoking might be lung cancer.
3. It's important to pay your __________ as soon as possible.
4. The bride and groom's friends __________ them with presents.
5. It's not easy to __________ someone to stop smoking.


If you can, try to talk about these questions in English with a friend. If not, try writing your answers.

1. Do you think the gardener was really a "poor wretch," or is he just using this an excuse to get clothes and money? Why do you think so?
2. Why do you think the gardener was able to make the garden grow so quickly and easily?
3. If you were the gardener, what gifts would you expect from the king? Why?


1 f entrusted; 2 b consequences; 3 c debts; 4 h showered; 5 d persuade

This lesson is ©2011 by James Baquet. You may share this work freely. Teachers may use it in the classroom, as long as students are told the source (URL). You may not publish this material or sell it. Please write to me if you have any questions about "fair use."

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