In this Romanian a man who becomes very rich thinks how terrible it would be to die and have to leave all of his money behind. He sets out to find a land where people do not die, and finally comes across a country where the word death is unknown. He moves there with his wife and family, only to learn the truth of the English : Nothing is certain in life but death and taxes.
English Learner Vocabulary Help
General Comments on the Story
Our source for the story was The Red Fairy Book, one of a series of twelve collections of folk and fairy tales for children edited by Andrew Lang. This is the second book in the series, and was first published in 1890. It can be downloaded as an e-book from Project Gutenberg here. An audiobook is available from Librivox here.
(n: folktale pl folktales) A story that is part of the traditions of a group of people and was handed down in spoken form before books and printing. 9000
(n: proverb pl proverbs) An old but well-known saying that either gives advice about how people should live, or expresses an idea that is generally thought to be true. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. A rolling stone gathers no moss. 6000
(n: barber pl barbers) A person whose job it is to cut men's hair, shave their beards etc. 6000
(v: beg, begs, begged, begging) To ask (someone) in a very serious and emotional way to give you something such as food, money, etc., or to do something that you need or want very much.
(n: beggar pl beggars) A person who begs, often for a way of making a living. 2000
(n: death pl deaths) The end of life; the time when someone or something dies. 2000
(adj: flat, flatter, flattest) 1. Having a smooth, level, or even surface; without rise or fall. A table has a flat surface. (ราบ) 2. Spread out on or along a surface. The soldiers were lying flat on the ground. 3. [of a drink] No longer having bubbles. 4. [of a tire/tyre] Not having enough air. 1000
(adv: forever) For all time; for an endless time. 3000
(adj: forward) 1. Moving or directed ahead or toward the front. A forward movement. 2. Near or belonging to the front part of something. The forward part of a ship is the 'bow'.
(adv: forward or forwards) 1. Moving ahead or towards the front. He moved forwards. 2. To a later time. From this time forward. 1000
(n: future pl futures) 1. The period of time that will come after the present time. He promises to do better in future. 2. What is going to happen in the time to come. It's impossible to predict the future.
(adj: future) Coming after the present time; used to say what someone or something will be. We cannot predict future events. The future king. 1000
(n: lock pl locks) 1. A device that keeps something [such as a door, window, or box] from being opened and that is usually opened by using a key. 2. A length or curl of hair; a tress. She cut off a lock of his hair.
(v: lock, locks, locked, locking) To fasten something with a lock or in some other way so that it cannot be opened. 1000
(n: razor pl razors) A tool or device with a sharp edge that is used to shave or cut hair from the face, body, or head. 5000
(v: rush rushes, rushed, rushing) To move or do something very quickly or in a way that shows you are in a hurry. 2000
(v: shave, shaves, shaves, shaving) To cut off [hair, wool, a beard, etc.] very close to the skin. He shaved off his beard. 3000
(v: worry, worries, worried, worrying) To think about problems or fears; to feel or show fear and concern because you think that something bad has happened or could happen. If am not home on time, my parents start to worry. His poor health worries me. (วิตกกังวล) 1000