Category Archives: Short Stories

The Rocking-Horse Winner

rocking-horse winnerSome s have said that this story by D. H. Lawrence is an example of the perfect short story. It tells of a boy whose parents love money and their social position more than their children. The boy desperately wants his mother’s love and , and would seemingly go to any lengths to win it.

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(n: critic pl critics) Someone, usually an expert, whose job it is to give opinions about books, movies, or other forms of art. 2000

(n: approval pl approvals) The belief that something or someone is good or acceptable; a good opinion of someone or something 2000

Unto Dust

unto dustIn this story by Herman Bosman, a farmer and die together while fighting each other in a war. When the Boer’s friends come to his body, they find that the bones of the two are all mixed up. The men must try to sort them so their friend doesn’t have to lie forever among a black man’s bones. A yellow ‘kafir’ dog judges the result.

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(n: Boer pl Boers) A white South African who is associated with Boer culture and whose first language is Afrikaans. The Boers were originally farmers from a number of European countries who settled the Transvaal region of South Africa in the 17th century. In the mid-1800s, gold and diamonds were found in the Transvaal and the Boers found themselves under attack from Britain. This lead to a series of conflicts which came to be known as the Boer Wars. Britain won these, and South Africa became part of the British Empire.

(n: Xhosa, noncount) A Bantu ethnic group of Southern Africa which migrated south from the Great Lakes region. They farmed animals rather than hunted for a living, pushing out the traditional hunter-gatherers of the area. They are the second largest of the Bantu people (after the Zulus), the most notable Xhosa leader in modern times being Nelson Mandela.

warrior(n: warrior pl warriors) A soldier or skilled fighting man, especially in primitive societies. The Indian chief called his warriors together. (นักรบในสงคราม) 6000

(v: recover, recovers, recovered, recovering) 1. To become healthy after an illness or injury; to return to normal health. 2. To get back something stolen or lost. 2000


crab-frogAnton Chekhov wrote hundreds of short, humorous stories like this one to put himself through medical school. Interestingly, this is said to be the first story that he wrote after becoming a doctor. A young boy, who is so weak from hunger that he can barely stand up, sees a sign in a restaurant advertising oysters. He knows that oysters are some kind of seafood, but not what they look like. In his hunger-affected mind the boy imagines himself eating creatures half-way between a crab and a frog. He then pictures himself eating up everything around him, until he is suddenly brought back to earth when two rich “gentlemen” introduce him to real oysters.

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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 Tell-Tale Heart

the tell-tale heart“The Heart” is a short horror story by Edgar Allen Poe. In it, the describes how cleverly and carefully he or she has planned and carried out a murder. The narrator’s purpose in telling the story is to convince the audience that he or she is not . There are a number of aspects to the story, perhaps the greatest being that in trying to prove his or her sanity, the narrator clearly demonstrates the opposite.

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tell-tale(adj: tell-tale also telltale) Indicating that something exists or has occurred (often something a person would not wish to be known). She found lipstick on his shirts - the telltale sign that he had another girlfriend.
(n: tell-tale pl tell-tails) A device or object that automatically gives a visual indication of the state or presence of something.

dracula book cover(adj: gothic) Used to ​describe writing or ​films in which ​strange things ​happen in ​frightening ​places. Common characteristics are depressing settings (haunted houses and other dark or mysterious places), supernatural beings (ghosts, vampires, zombies, etc), and high emotions (isolated or fallen heroes, romance, tragedy, madness, etc). 8000

narrator(n: narrator pl narrators) Someone who tells a story; a storyteller. 7000

insane(adj: insane) 1. Not sane, mad; having or showing severe mental illness. The murderer was found to be insane. 2. (informal) Very foolish. It was insane to think he would give you the money. 4000
Note: Nowadays, some people consider this word to be offensive. The phrase mentally ill is preferred.

(adj: ironic) 1. Used to describe a result or situation which is the opposite of what was intended or expected. It is ironic that the robber's car crashed into a police station. 2. Using words that mean the opposite of what you really think, especially in order to be funny. “What a beautiful view,” he said, as he looked out the window at a brick wall. 3000