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Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Bronze Ring (15): The Hero Leaves Again


GET READY:

When is a hero's journey "over"? Or does a real hero go on adventures again and again?

The gardener's son has beaten the minister's son, and has married the princess.

READ THIS:

[88] Several months passed. The young couple were as happy as the day was long, and the King was more and more pleased with himself for having secured such a son-in-law.
[89] But, presently, the captain of the golden ship found it necessary to take a long voyage, and after embracing his wife tenderly he embarked.
[90] Now in the outskirts of the capital there lived an old man, who had spent his life in studying black arts--alchemy, astrology, magic, and enchantment. This man found out that the gardener's son had only succeeded in marrying the Princess by the help of the genii who obeyed the bronze ring.
[91a] "I will have that ring," said he to himself. So he went down to the sea-shore and caught some little red fishes. Really, they were quite wonderfully pretty.

NOTES:

Here is some vocabulary from the story:

a. as happy as the day was long: a cliche; you can change "happy" to any adjective, and it means "very" something; so this one means "very happy."
b. to secure: usually means "to make safe," but here it means "to get."
c. voyage: trip, journey, especially by sea
d. to embrace: to hug
e. tenderly: softly, gently, with much emotion
f. outskirts: used to describe the edge of a city or town; in the old days, a please for people who didn't "fit in" with the community
g. black arts: a type of magic that involved the devil; also called "black magic"
h. alchemy: the changing of cheap metals (like lead or tin) into expensive ones (like gold or silver)
i. astrology: reading the stars to tell the future
j. magic: using special techniques to create unnatural changes, like making something disappear, or moving something without touching it.
k. enchantment: a type of magic used to influence people, like making them believe they can fly, etc. (Note that the word can also be used to mean "charming" or "attractive," as in Part 12, Paragraph 67 of this story.)
l. genii: a spirit that lives inside something, like a bottle or, as here, a ring. There is a famous genii in a bottle in the story of "Aladdin."

PRACTICE:

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

1. I'm trying to __________ a visa so I can go to Cambodia.
2. It's nice to walk by the __________ and get your feet in the water.
3. It's common for men to __________ each other in some cultures.
4. The only way I could get there in time is if I could suddenly do __________.
5. Once you get past the __________ of a city, there is usually less traffic.
6. He picked up the baby bird __________ and put it back in its nest.
7. How stupid was he? He was __________.
8. If you believe in __________, you might look up your horoscope in the daily newspaper.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION OR WRITING:

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 left on another voyage?
2. Why do you think the storyteller adds: "Really, they were quite wonderfully pretty"?
3. When you finally achieve success, what could cause you to change your life and risk it all?

ANSWERS TO THE PRACTICE:

1 b secure; 2 m sea-shore; 3 d embrace; 4 j magic; 5 f outskirts; 6 e tenderly; 7 a as stupid as the day was long; 8 i astrology

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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