Edward and Charles – Beginner English Version
Edward and Charles were brothers. They lived happily with their mother and father on a large farm. The farm was a long way from the nearest school. It was so far that the boys did their studies at home.
One day their father called the two boys. He told them that he was going away for a month. He said that they must be very good when he was away. They must help their mother by doing as she asked. And they must not do anything to make her unhappy.
He also said that they must be kind to Ben. Ben was a boy who worked on the farm. His family were very poor and he had to work to help them.
Edward and Charles both said they would do as their father asked. Charles was a good boy. He was sad that his father was going away. Edward, who was bad boy, was happy. He was not going to help his mother by doing as she asked. He was going to do what he wanted. And he was not going to be kind to Ben. He was going to do bad things to Ben every time he saw him.
The boys’ mother was not well. She stayed in her room most of the time. She knew very little of what the boys did all day. Every morning, Edward would take his hat and go outside. He did not say where he was going. He did not tell anyone when he would come home.
One day, Charles took his dog for a walk. He had not walked very far when he heard Ben crying. He ran to where the sound came from. There he found Ben carrying some large pieces of firewood. Edward was hitting Ben and telling him to carry more. Ben was crying that he could not carry more.
Charles began to take some of the wood away. Edward said that he would hit him if he did not stop. But Charles was not to be stopped. He told Edward that he would have to fight to make him stop. Edward did not want to fight Charles. He did not like being hurt, so he never hit anybody but Ben. The boys’ father would make Ben go away if he hit Edward back.
So Edward walked away. He sat by the river and thought of ways to hurt Charles. There was a small boat under a tree near where he was sitting. This gave Edward an idea.
The next morning, Edward asked Charles to walk with him. They went down to the river and came upon the boat. Edward said that he had played on the boat the day before. He said that he may have dropped some money on the boat. Then he asked Charles to help him look for it.
Charles was happy to help his brother. He jumped into the boat. When he did this, Edward cut the rope that held it to the tree. The boat went out into the river. Then the water began to carry it away.
Edward’s idea was a bad one. He did not know where the boat would go. Also, Charles did not swim very well. He could die if a big wind came up and turned the boat over.
Ben, who was working nearby, saw the danger. Ben could swim like a fish. He took off his clothes and swam out to help Charles. He took hold of the rope. Then he pulled the boat to the side of the river. Charles happily jumped off onto the ground.
Edward’s mother did not know about the bad things he did. And Edward knew that Charles would not tell his father about them. But an old man who worked on the next farm saw everything. He told the father how bad Edward had been.
The father saw that studying at home was not good for the boys. It was time for them to go away to school.
And he could see that Edward needed to learn to be kind to others. He put Edward in a school that was far from their farm. It was so far that he could only come home at Christmas.
Charles was put in the nearest school to their farm. He came home many times in the year. His father bought him a small horse that he could ride around. He often let Ben ride with him, for they were now good friends.