In this folktale from Serbia, a young girl stops her rich but mean father from turning his dogs on three men who come begging to his door. The next day he learns that the men were not beggars at all, but . They were heard saying that to the rich man, a new born baby boy will one day own all of his money and land. He tries several times to kill the boy, starting by throwing him off a cliff. In the end the boy does get the rich man’s money and land, and the rich man is forced into a life that is even worse than being a beggar.
English Learner Vocabulary Help
General Comments on the Story
Our source for the story was The Violet Fairy Book, one of a series of twelve collections of folk and fairy tales for children edited by Andrew Lang. This is the seventh book in the series, and was first published in 1901. It can be downloaded as an e-book from Project Gutenberg here. An audiobook is available from Librivox here.
(n: fairy pl fairies) An imaginary creature having magical powers. 4000
In early literature, fairies could change themselves into any form. Thanks to Walt Disney, most people today think that they all look like the picture on the left.
(v: punish, punishes, punished, punishing) To make someone suffer for a crime or for something done that is wrong.
(n: punishment pl punishments) The act or way of making someone suffer for a crime or for something done that is wrong. 3000
(adv: barely) By a very little; only just; almost not. Used to say that something was almost not possible or almost did not happen. 3000
(n: barrel pl barrels) 1. A large, usually wooden container with round sides and flat ends. 2. A tube in a gun through which a bullet goes when it is fired. 3000
(n: beggar pl beggars) A person (often homeless or disabled) who lives by asking others to give them money, food, etc. 2000
(n: cliff pl cliffs) A high, steep surface (or 'face') of rock, earth, or ice. 3000
(n: ferry pl ferries) 1. A boat that is used to carry people, cars, etc for a short distance between two places; a ferryboat. 2. A place where a ferryboat operates. We'll meet you at the ferry. 4000
(v: float, floats, floated, floating) To [make something] stay on the surface of a liquid. 2000
(adj: gentle) 1. [of people] Behaving, talking etc in a soft, kind, pleasant way. The doctor was very gentle. 2. Not strong or rough. A gentle wind. 3. [of hills] Rising gradually. A gentle slope
(adv: gently) In a gentle way. 3000
(n: goods, plural) Products that are made or grown in order to be sold; things for sale. 2000
(v: lean, leans, leaned or leant, leaning) To rest on or against something or someone for support. 3000
(n: merchant pl merchants) A trader, especially one who buys goods from producers in large amounts and sells them to other sellers in smaller amounts. 3000
(n: monastery pl monasteries) A place where monks live and work together. 6000
(n: oak pl oaks) A type of large tree that grows in northern parts of the world that has hard wood and produces acorns. 3000
(n: priest pl priests) A man who leads people in the worship of a god or group of gods; a man who leads or performs religious ceremonies. 4000
(n: rainbow pl rainbows) A curved line of different colors that sometimes appears in the sky when the sun shines through rain. 5000
(n: row pl rows) A straight line of people or things that are next to each other.
(v: row, rows, rowed, rowing) To move a boat through water using poles that are flat and wide at one end [oars]. 2000
(v: shake, shakes, shook, shaken, shaking) To move back and forth or up and down with short, quick movements. 2000
(v: snores, snored, snoring) To breathe noisily while sleeping. (กรน) 6000
(v: stroke, strokes, stroked, stroking) To rub gently and repeatedly in one direction along or over something, especially as a sign of affection. (ลูบ)
(n: pl strokes) One of a series of repeated movements of your arms in swimming or rowing that you make to move you or the boat through the water. (พายจังหวะ) 3000
(v: swallow, swallows, swallowed, swallowing) To take (something) into your stomach through your mouth and throat. (กลืน) 3000
(n: whale pl whales) A very large mammal that lives in the ocean. (ปลาวาฬ) 4000