Category Archives: Intermediate

The Drover’s Wife

the drover's wifeIn this story by Henry Lawson a woman remembers the many hardships and few good times in her life as she sits up all night with only a dog to help protect her and her children from a deadly snake. This is the second story we have presented which deals with the difficult and often lonely life faced by women in mid-nineteenth century Australia. In our earlier story, The Chosen Vessel, the dangers that the woman must face are of the two-legged kind.

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outback(n: outback, noncount) The country areas in Australia a long way away from the coast and cities. 13000

The 13-Carat Diamond

13-carat diamondThere must be hundreds of thousands of wonderful short stories like this that for one reason or another haven’t received the literary attention they deserve. Khin Mya, who wrote under the Khin Myo Chit, is one of a small number of great Burmese (now Myanmars) authors who wrote in English as well as their native tongue. The story is set during World War Two at the time Burma was under Japanese rule. It tells of the humorous experiences of a young couple who are finding it hard to . They come up with a grand plan to become rich overnight by finding someone who has a 13-carat diamond which they are willing sell.

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pen name(n: pen-name pl pen-names) A name used by a writer instead of his or her real name.

make ends meet(idiom: make (both) ends meet) To pay for the things that you need to live when you have little money; to earn enough money to meet your basic needs. We had a hard time making ends meet.

Yellow Moepels

moepels on a treeIn this story by Herman Bosman a young South African soldier riding off to fight the British promises the girl he is engaged to that he will be home when the fruit are ripe. The girl visits a native witch-doctor who also tells her that her lover will be home when the moepels are yellow… but there is something important that he did not tell her.

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moepel(n: moepel pl moepels) An Afrikaans word for the Transvaal Red-Milkwood Tree, or its yellow fruit which are sweet and high in vitamin C.

Three Elephant Power

three elephantsToday we have a story by A. B. “Banjo” Paterson, a famous Australian writer best known for his poems and stories about about life in Australia’s and in the late 1800’s. the title, this story has very little to do with elephants. It is about cars and their drivers, and is a wonderful example of Australian in the lead up to the country’s independence from Britain in 1900.

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countryside(n: countryside, noncount) Land that is outside big towns and cities. 2000

outback(n: outback, noncount) The country areas in Australia a long way away from the coast and cities. 13000

despite(prep: despite) Without being prevented by; in spite of something. Used to say that something happens or is true even though there is something that might have prevented it from happening or being true. 2000

(n: humor, noncount; British humour) 1. Jokes, funny stories, etc., of a particular kind. 2. The ability to be funny or to be amused by things that are funny; also called 'sense of humor'. 3000

A Good Man is Hard to Find

a good man is hard to findFlannery O’Connor is a master at coming up with stories in which almost every main character has some kind of flaw. In this story, it is hard to like any of the dysfunctional family of six (except maybe the baby!) as they cruise down Highway 441. When their car overturns into a ditch beside a deserted road, they attract the attention of a crazed killer who calls himself “The Misfit”. As the rest of the family are being murdered, the grandmother tries to convince the Misfit that deep inside he is one of those hard to find men.

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