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

The Bronze Ring (11): The Rival Returns


If you could get revenge on an enemy, how would you do it?

The gardener's son continues to take revenge on his rival, the minister's son.


[60] And, going out, he took the bronze ring and said:
[61] "Bronze ring, obey thy master. Prepare me a ship of which the half-rotten timbers shall be painted black, let the sails be in rags, and the sailors infirm and sickly. One shall have lost a leg, another an arm, the third shall be a hunchback, another lame or club-footed or blind, and most of them shall be ugly and covered with scars. Go, and let my orders be executed."
[62] The minister's son embarked in this old vessel, and thanks to favorable winds, at length reached his own country. In spite of the pitiable condition in which he returned they received him joyfully.
[63] "I am the first to come back," said he to the King; "now fulfill your promise, and give me the princess in marriage."
[64] So they at once began to prepare for the wedding festivities. As to the poor princess, she was sorrowful and angry about it.


Here is some vocabulary from the story:

a. thy: an old-fashioned way to say "your"
b. half-rotten: weak because of old age; ready to break
c. a timber: a large piece of wood used for building ships, houses, etc.
d. a hunchback: a person whose back is bent so much it looks like it has a bump on it
e. a club-foot: a foot that is turned inward at birth, making it difficult to walk
f. a scar: the mark that is left on the skin after it has been cut or otherwise injured
g. executed: carried out; completed
h. to embark: to set out, to go, to set sail on a ship
i. favorable: positive, helpful
j. in spite of: even though; done even when something made it difficult
k. pitiable: deserving pity; so bad that it people feel sorry for him
l. to fulfill: to follow through and carry out a promise
m. festivities: celebrations, activities to recognize something


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

1. The wet little cat gave a __________ cry.
2. Would you like to join the national holiday __________?
3. My boss gave me a __________ review, so I think I'm getting a promotion.
4. The presidents orders were __________ as soon as they were received.
5. I think I'll go for a walk __________ the rain.
6. After the terrible car accident he had several __________ on his face.
7. We will __________ your order as soon as the goods are in stock.


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

1. Why do you think the gardener's son chose to send the minister's son back home?
2. Do you think it's fair that he made the ship so terrible? Why or why not?
3. If you were the princess, what would you do in this situation?


1 k pitiable; 2 m festivities; 3 i favorable; 4 g executed; 5 j in spite of; 6 f scars; 7 l fulfill

This lesson is ©2012 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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