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

The Bronze Ring (9): A Ship


If you could have anything you wished for, what would it be?

A gardener's son has cured a king's illness. The king gave him a bronze ring that will grant any wish.


[48] The gardener's son went back to say good-by to the old beggar-woman; then he said to the bronze ring:
[49] "Prepare a splendid ship in which I may continue my journey. Let the hull be of fine gold, the masts of silver, the sails of brocade; let the crew consist of twelve young men of noble appearance, dressed like kings. St. Nicholas will be at the helm. As to the cargo, let it be diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and carbuncles."
[50a] And immediately a ship appeared upon the sea which resembled in every particular the description given by the gardener's son, and, stepping on board, he continued his journey. Presently he arrived at a great town and established himself in a wonderful palace.


Here is some vocabulary from the story:

a. splendid: excellent; beautiful; wonderful to look at
b. hull: the outside of a ship; the part that floats on the water
c. mast: the tall pole(s) on a ship that holds the sail
d. sail: the wide piece of cloth that catches the wind and makes a ship go forward
e. brocade: a beautiful, expensive kind of cloth
f. to consist of: to be made of
g. St. Nicholas: most famous as "Santa Claus," he was also famous for protecting sailors, people who worked on ships and boats
h. helm: a wheel used for steering a ship, making it go in the right direction
i. cargo: the goods that are carried in a ship, truck, train, etc.
j. diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and carbuncles: types of expensive stones (jewels, gems).
k. to resemble: to look like, to seem the same as
l. particular: as a noun, it means "detail." It is more often an adjective meaning "exact" or "specific" in sentences like "Tell me which particular camera you want, and I'll buy it for you."
m. to be on board: to be on a ship, bus, train, airplane, etc.


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

1. The wind was so strong, it opened my jacket like a __________ and nearly lifted me off the ground!
2. When the statue arrived, it was wrapped in a beautiful piece of __________.
3. You should look carefully at the __________ before you buy a new TV.
4. Whom do you __________ the most, your mother or your father?
5. I don't usually like the movies shown __________ a plane.
6. Some of the __________ in the truck was destroyed in the accident.
7. It's cool but sunny, a __________ day for a hike.
8. White light actually __________ light of several colors.


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 wanted to "continue his journey" instead of going home as a winner?
2. What do you think of the description of the ship? Does it seem a natural desire for the gardener's son to have?
3. What sort of adventure do you think the gardener's son may have next? Perhaps you could write your own version of the story.


1 d sail; 2 e brocade; 3 l particulars; 4 k resemble; 5 m on board; 6 i cargo; 7 a splendid; 8 f consists of

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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