Category Archives: SHORT STORIES

Sir Patrick Spens Summary, Analysis and Questions 1

Sir Patrick Spens Summary, Analysis and Questions

Sir Patrick Spens by Anonymous

In Sir Patrick Spens are included several topics. The ballad treats more topics such as suffering, loss, loyalty, the conflict between conviction and obedience to authority, dangers at sea and death.

VOCABULARY
skipper – captain
faem – same
hame – home
fetch – return
alack – an exclamation denoting sorrow league – a distance of about 3.0 miles
lang – long

Introduction: Medieval ballads are generally anonymous; we don’t know who wrote them. They were probably originally an oral tradition and were eventually written down by various people in various places. Because they sprang from an oral tradition, there is a great deal of variation among them. The language is Middle English and often Scottish dialectic. While the modern reader can read them, there are many words that are not immediately easy to understand. They are invariably rhymed since rhyme makes it easier to remember something that is being recited from memory. Their subject matter is very diverse: comedy, tragedy, love, etc. They are generally down-to-earth in their subject matter and sentiments.

Sir Patrick Spens
There are three historical events which may have inspired this anonymous ballad and it generates a great deal of debate among scholars as to which of them is the real source. Scholars have not reached an agreement whether this poem was inspired by events of 1281, or 1290. What they agree upon is the fact that the original manuscript was transmitted from Scotland. The ballad was first printed in 1765 in Bishop Thomas Percy’s Reliques of Ancient English Poetry and it was reprinted many times.

Summary and Analysis of Sir Patrick Spens

The ballad depicts the King of Scotland, in residence at Dunfermline, who is wondering aloud where he can find a sailor worthy to voyage his ship. Sir Patrick Spens is suggested by an elderly knight, whose name we do not know. When Sir Patrick Spens receives the letter from the king, he is not only surprised, but he is frightened. It is wintertime and it is not very wise to sail at this time of year. The sailors are aware of the dangers, however, they are willing to do the King’s bidding. They are also superstitious and they believe it brings bad luck to set sail in this period of year. Against their instincts, Patrick Spens and his men set sail. Unfortunately, they fall prey to a storm and they all perish. They never return to their port again.

In the Child version, the poem has fourty-five lines, which are divided into simple four-line stanzas. The poem was intended to be sung or recited, therefore, the rhyming scheme ABCB reflects this attitude and oral nature of the work. The rhyming scheme is simple and only even-numbered lines are rhymed. The poem usually consists of one-syllable words, which deliver a dynamic and forceful reportage of events. The narrator employs a considerable amount of direct speech throughout the poem to enliven the story. Descriptions are clear and uncomplicated. The ballad is characteristic of rapid plot development. We find a lot of repetition and parallelism in the ballad. All the above-mentioned features generate a great deal of dramatical and emotional effect.

Sir Patrick Spens is a prime example of a narrative poem with a tragic ending. Sir Patrick Spens, a Scottish nobleman, is an excellent, skillful and brave sailor, who is loyal to his king and fulfills his duty even though he knows he will perish in the North Sea. The first stanza provides an introduction to the whole poem. The king sits on his throne and he is desperate for a skillful sailor, who would sail his ship. The king wants to find somebody (“O quhar will I get guid sailor“). At the same time he “sits“. This situation gives an impression that he is a static symbol of power. Other people, his subjects, are given orders to carry them out for him. The glass of red wine also puts emphasis on his power and, moreover, it represents an unfortunate and inevitable fate because the chalice of red wine may also function as a symbol of blood, doom, and death. Sir Patrick Spens does not have any options but to carry out the king’s wish.

The second stanza introduces an “elder“ knight, who claims that Sir Patrick Spens is “the best sailor/ That sails upon the sea.“ The knight is described as “elder“, which implies an idea that he is a respectable and powerful member of king’s court. Additionally, he sits at king’s right side and has the right to speak up (“Up and spak an eldern knicht“).

In the next stanza, the king writes and sends a letter to Spens. It is emphasized that it is “signed wi’ his hand“ and thus it is a letter of command with a royal signature. Spens has to accept the order, he cannot be disobedient because he is the king’s subject.

When Spens starts reading the first lines of the letter, he laughs. There can be many reasons for his laughter and it does not have to be necessarily an indication of joy. He may laugh because someone praises his skills at sea. It is possible he considers the letter as a joke because he knows it would be foolishness to sail in winter. His laughter may also be a bitter sign of irony or even sarcasm. He laughs because he knows how ridiculous it is to sail at winter sea. This idea is confirmed in the next two lines. When he realizes the letter is not a joke but a cruel reality, he starts to weep. “The teir blinded his ee“.He has to accept his fate, which means he is doomed to die. He is aware of the dangers and fury of the sea in winter. He can clearly see his fatal future and therefore, his eyes are not “blinded“ (irony). He knows that he cannot escape death.

The fifth stanza is introduced with an exclamation: “O quhar is this has don this deid,/ This ill deid don to me“. Spens would like to know who wants to harm him. We do not receive an answer, although we may suspect some people from the king’s court, e. g. the elderly knight or the king himself. Another interpretation would be to understand the exclamation as a sign of despair and hopelessness, as a moment when Spens fully realizes his irrevocable fate. This stanza is finished by two lines in which Spens realizes the dangers of winter sea and ridiculousness and futility of the king’s order.

After reading the king’s letter in solitude on the beach, Sir Patrick Spens promptly orders his sailors to prepare for a voyage: “Mak haste, mak haste, my mirry men all“. Ironically, the sailors are anything but “merry“. In the last two lines of the sixth stanza, one sailor of the crew addresses Spens and reminds him of “a deadlie storme“. He addresses him as a master. He also knows that they will all die, however, he does not defy his master. Comparatively, there is the same hierarchy as between the king and Sir Patrick Spens. The sailor obeys the orders of Sir Patrick Spens in the same way Sir Patrick Spens obeys orders of his king. The poem illustrates the stratification of medieval society.

In the following stanza, a sailor continues his speech and he expresses his fear of the storm: “Late late yestreen I saw the new moone/ Wi’ the auld moone in hir arme;/ And I feir, I feir, my deir master,/ That we will come to harme.“ The new moon in the old moon’s arms (the shape in the sky) is considered an ominous sign, a bad omen. The sailor expresses his worry about the situation.

The eighth stanza is a tragic climax of the ballad. There is a lot of prompt action condensed in this stanza. The Scottish nobles come aboard the ship to be transported back to Scotland. At the beginning of this stanza, we witness the Scottish noblemen come aboard the ship, at the end we can see their hats floating in the sea. The narrator emphasized the irony of the situation. The nobles “wer richt laith/ to weet their cork-heild schoone“ (they did not want to wet their shoes) when they went aboard. Unfortunately, they were all wet (and drowned) before long. The interests of the nobles (not to wet and spoil their expensive shoes, which are signs of wealth and abundance) are presented as petty in comparison with the actions of Sir Patrick Spens. They are noble due to their origin and wealth, however, Sir Patrick Spens is noble because of his brave deeds. The tragedy (the shipwreck) is described as a “play“ of nature, which has no mercy with anybody. At the end of the storm, nothing remained but the floating hats, which represent the dead bodies of the crew. Moreover, they represent the bodies of the dead passengers, whose wealth could not avert their tragic fate. The reader can feel a strong sense of vanity in this part of the ballad. The author attempts to express that there are limits of worldly wealth.

The ninth and tenth stanzas are both introduced by the same weepy line: “O lang, lang, may the ladies stand“. These lines confirm the tragedy and its irreversibility. The ladies will never see Sir Patrick Spens and their lords alive. There are detailed hints at material wealth and worldliness of the noble ladies (“their fans“, “their gold kerns in their hair“). Generally, the ladies are displayed with irony. Their fussy and gentle representation stands in contrast with hardships at sea, which their lords, sailors, and Sir Patrick Spens had to face. Moreover, their husbands do not belong to them, they belong to death and sea. The ladies want to see their husbands, however, they will never see them again.

Ironically, the last stanza ends with a picture of Sir Patrick Spens, his “good“ ship and the Scots lying “fifty fadom deip“ at the bottom of the sea. The irony of the noblemen’s social status is underlined with the position of their bodies: “And thair lies guid Sir Patrick Spens,/Wi’ the Scots lords at his feit.“ In the end, Sir Patrick Spens is at a higher rank in society than the nobles. The worldly wealth of the lords is no more significant and bravery and skills set Sir Patrick Spens above the lords. Thus, the author sets a moral about the limits of material wealth and worldly establishment.

Sir Patrick Spens together with his sailors is presented as a hero. He is presented as a humble man, who is forced to face his fate by external circumstances. He struggles against severe natural elements and he is also a victim of his king’s orders. His bravery and courage lie in his acceptance of his king’s biddings. Sir Patrick Spens accepts his fate from the very beginning of the ballad. Moreover, he commands his subordinate sailors to follow the same life story. I dare to assert that his life and deeds and the lives of his sailors are presented as a sacrifice. They sacrifice their lives to their king.

There are several levels of loyalty in the ballad, which are presented in the characters of the king, Sir Patrick Spens, his sailors, and other people. Moreover, loyalty is strongly perceived as obedience to someone with a higher social status. It is presented as a must; people with lower social status obey those with higher position in society. The ballad reflects feudal system and its hierarchy of the Medieval Times. Sir Patrick Spens, the king’s subject, does his king’s biddings and his sailors do the same to Sir Patrick Spens. All of them are loyal servants, who do not dare to disobey their master’s requests. The requests are presented as unreasonable and absurd. Nevertheless, none of the characters questions their legitimacy and none of them tries to avoid their fate.

The captain is a fatalistic character. He knows from the beginning that he is doomed to lay down his life and it is remarkable that he transfers his fate to his sailors and causes their perishing as well. The suffering is collective. All the characters encounter loss and death. The king loses his best sailor and his hope of bringing the queen back to his lands.

POETIC DEVICES

The ballad Sir Patrick Spens uses 4-3-4-3 metric. There are no other variants of Sir Patrick Spens and all lines have the same rhythm and rhyme scheme.

The first and third verse of each stanza, have four accents, while the second and fourth verse have three accents. Their accents form a rhythm that is iambic and ballads have musicality when reading, indicating that they were sung during the performance.

We can also say that in this ballad is used much alliteration, i.e. repeating the same consonant at the beginning of some consecutive words:

For I brought as much white money
As will gane my men and me.

In the ninth and tenth stanza is used repetition, repeating the same word:

1. They hadna been a week, a week,
In Noroway but twae,

2. “Ye lie, ye lie, ye liars loud!

Sae loud’s I hear ye lie.

QUESTIONS OF SIR PATRIC SPENS

1. In what point of view is the poem written? Who is the narrator?

Answer: The poem is written in the third-person, limited omniscient point of view. The narrator is an unnamed third person who is observing the events and dialogue presented.

2. In the fifth stanza, Sir Patrick Spens is moved to tears as he reads a letter requesting his help. What causes this display of emotion?

Answer: Sir Patrick Spens realizes he must help the King of Norway rescue his daughter, as he is a man of honor and duty. However, he regrets he must leave at that time, as the sea is at its most difficult, and he knows he may not survive.

3. What modern-day saying does the line “Be it wind, be it weet, be it hail, be it sleet, Our ship must sail the faem” sound like?

Answers may vary. Example: The United States Postal Service unofficially adopted a similar slogan, “Be it wind, rain, sleet or snow, the mail will be delivered.”

4. What happens to the ship in section II?

Answer: The ship encounters a fierce storm and is sunk.

5. At the end of the poem, Sir Patrick Spens is said to be laying fifty-fathoms deep. What is he doing there?

Answer: On his way home, Sir Patrick Spens and his sailors are overtaken by a powerful storm and drown. Many will wait for the sailors’ return for a long time, never knowing that they rest at the bottom of the ocean. Sir Patrick Spens has died in the shipwreck, and so his body is at the bottom of the ocean.

6. A ballad generally consists of quatrains with the following metrical scheme: the first and third lines have four accented syllables, while the second and fourth have three accented syllables. What is the metrical scheme of this poem? Does it fit the standard form of the ballad?

Answers may vary, but students should be able to effectively analyze a quatrain of the poem in order to show how it successfully adheres to the ballad structure.


How Dreams Come True

How Dreams Come True ( a true story)

How dreams come true

Saji Thomas was from Kerala, India. He was born deaf and dumb. He can’t hear. He can’t speak. He pursued schooling till 7th standard. Because of financial constraints in the family, he couldn’t pursue further education. But he had a great interest in making toys of buses, cars and airplanes using cardboards.

When he was a teenager, he saw a helicopter which was spraying pesticides in agricultural fields. When the helicopter landed, he ran to the pilot and requested him to get in. The pilot liked his enthusiasm and offered him a ride. Saji Thomas felt a great deal of happiness with the helicopter ride.

That day he decided to make his own aeroplane.

He took the address of that pilot. After a few days, he went to Mumbai to meet the pilot. He was introduced to some more pilots. They gave him some books about aeroplanes and a list of aviation companies.

But Saji Thomas was almost uneducated. He was not able to understand those English books. But slowly he learned English on his own by reading English grammar books and dictionaries. Gradually he read and understood the books of aeronautical engineering.

His aim was to make an aeroplane. But it was not easy. It was a highly laborious task. It needed a huge amount of money. But Saji was very poor.

So he decided to use recycled items. He used cheap and good quality material.

Usually, expensive fibreglass is used for propellers. But Saji used locally available wood. He used shock absorbers which are used in scooters. (He worked as a scooter & motorbike mechanic). He used aluminium pipes and metal sheets to build the body of the aeroplane.

when he got doubts, he used to go to Mumbai and other places, met pilots and engineers and cleared his doubts.

On the other hand, he used to work as a photographer and a TV mechanic to maintain his family. His wife was never happy. Because Saji was spending money to build an aeroplane in poverty.

Finally, he built an aeroplane. But there was no runway in the village for take-off and landing of the aeroplane. Again he worked hard and made a runway. In November 2014, his flight started running on the runway. It took off. It started flying in the sky. All the villagers were shocked. They could not believe their eyes. Before that time, nobody cared about Saji Thomas. But after people saw his flying aeroplane, all the people understood that Saji was not a normal person. People understood he was extraordinary. All newspapers published his grand success in front pages.

His name was registered in the Indian book of records.

His success was displayed on Discovery Channel in a program called HRX Superheroes, anchored by Hrithik Roshan.

In 2016, a German-based Aviation company recruited him as a technician at their Research and development department in Kolkata. They offered him 40,000 rupees of salary per month. The company offered a house without rent in Kolkata for Saji and his family. Now his wife and his son are very happy.

Saji Thomas is deaf and dumb. He never went to any college and any university. He does not have any degrees. He was poor. But now he is an Aeronautical Engineer in a multinational company.

Your dreams will become true if you keep on trying every day..

How dreams come true

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Pursue (verb) = do something over a period of time
Schooling (noun) = the education you receive at school
Constraint (noun) = a thing that limits/restricts something, or your freedom to do something
Further (adjective) = more; additional
Pesticide (noun) = a chemical used for killing pests/ insects in agricultural fields
Enthusiasm (noun) = a strong interest in something
A great deal of (Idiom) = a large amount of
Aeronautical (adjective) = connected with the science of building and flying aircraft
Laborious (adjective) = taking a lot of time and effort
On the other hand (Idiom) = in a way that is different from the first thing you mentioned
Take-off (noun) = The action of leaving the ground and flying (of an aeroplane etc)
Take off (phrasal verb) = leave the ground and begin to fly (of an aeroplane etc)
Landing (noun) = an act of bringing down to the ground after a journey (of an aeroplane etc)
Aviation (noun) = the designing, building and flying of aircraft
Recruit (verb) = take a person into a company as an employee


Sir Patrick Spens Summary, Analysis and Questions 2

Satisfaction Leads To Peace

Category : SHORT STORIES

A story that changes your thinking !!
It was a breezy Monday morning. Everyone was enjoying University except Ali. As always, he was sitting on a bench in a depressed mood, thinking about stupid things.
Suddenly his classmate Amir came and asked for help with a project. Ali refused because he thinks Amir is a selfish person. He didn’t even ask about today’s presentation preparation.

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As always, he becomes sadder!!
His classmates start staying away from him because he is always complaining.
One night, while sitting outside the cafeteria eating a burger, he was thinking about pizza. He starts complaining to God that he can’t even fulfil his little wishes. Like always, this causes him to become even more depressed and unthankful,

Satisfaction leads to peace,

One day, he saw a beggar sitting on the sidewalk. Somebody came and gave him some money. The beggar went to the cafeteria and purchased a loaf of bread. He shared with two other people. This made the beggar happy and he gave thanks to God, again and again.

Ali became angry. He asked the beggar “you don’t have good food, nice clothes or home, why are you so happy and thankful?”

The beggar replied, “I didn’t have this bread before, but God scares me. He gave me food, good friends and I can sleep on a bench. I have a healthy mind and body. Some people don’t even have this!”

It was the turning point of Ali’s life.

After one year!! Tan tan tanaaaa
Ali stood first in his class, and he is known as a good student at the university. He has many friends.
He learned that Whatever knowledge he shares, he never forgets!
No complaints. No stress!
Satisfaction leads to peace!
Building others up, encouraging and motivating others, all benefit him!
He understands the meaning of THANKS!!.

Moral: A man was crying because he has no shoes until he finds a man who has no feet.


Hard Working Beats Poverty

Category : SHORT STORIES

Gul Khan’s eyes were filled with tears. He was controlling his tears for his hunger, polishing the boots of Seth Usman’s son, who was of his own age. Seth Uthman’s son made Gul Khan to polished his boot. When he finished polishing his shoes Uthman’s son searched a ten rupee note in the pocket to give him but he pretended he could not find one and started away.

“I worked hard to shine your shoes and you did not even give me my wages, which was my right.” Gul Khan caught the hand Seth Usman’s sin but he angrily pushed him and Gul Khan fell down. Seth Usman stood away watching this scene.

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He came and slapped his son on the face. The son got disturbed and Gul Khan was afraid. When he cleaned his tear and walked, Seth Usman called him loudly and he stopped. Seth stood in the lawn outside his house- he pointed to the chairs on the lawn and asked his son and Gul Khan to sit on the chairs.

Ward Working Beats Poverty

This was a strange surprise scenario for both boys. They did not understand anything. Gul Khan was shocked and sat on the chair with moisture in his eyes. He was annoyed that he was insulted. At least Seth Osman started saying: “Son! Forty years ago my parents met a road accident when I was ten years old. I came to this city with one of my relatives. I was alone in the world and had no means to earn for food and shelter. I reached here and started boot polishing. In this city, I had to spend a lot of horrible and very difficult time.

We had to sleep on the footpath for many days hungry and parched. I saw the children of my age begging on the streets but my conscience stopped me every time from begging. It supported me. I preferred to work hard. To please the people I would shine their shoes. When I lay down to sleep, my arms would feel severe pain, but I worked hard and adopted it as a job.

Many other homeless boys would sleep with me under a shed of the factory. The owner of the shed often came to see us and advised us to never beg but work hard for food because Allah likes the hard worker and rewards him.

He also told us the famous saying of Ali Mohammad Jina, “Work, work and work”. The good-hearted person would also feed us two or three times a week, and we would also be able to save money earned by hard work.
One morning the owner of this factory called me and said: “Today our one worker has not come. If you work in his place then you will get more money. I’ll guide you in the work.” I got ready. Subsequently, that worker left his job as he did not return. In this way, I became the permanent employee of the factory and then I also started getting an education. I would work during the day time and study late in the night.

Ward Working

Study

When I passed matric, the owner gave me a clerk job in his office. I had developed the habit of working hard. In my heart and mind, it was clear that one who works hard and bleed, God surely blesses him with wealth and satisfaction.
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Meanwhile, I learned driving too. I would get the master from home, take him to office etc. I started working hard early in my childhood and went straight to my life, which bestowed its fruits to my life. The owner also gave me a quarter in his bungalow. I worked hard for many years and saved a lot of money.

Driving one day, I realized that the owner is upset. Due to the account deficit, he had borrowed money from the bank, now he had to pay back an instalment to the bank which he could not afford that time. If the due amount was not collected to the bank, he would have to bear a high penalty.

Due to lack of money, the factory could have ended. I dared to request the boss that I had so much money that could solve this problem. My lord was very pleased with this offer and I was also happy that I came to work for my servant.

This was the turning point in my life when God raised me from the earth and reached to the sky. Time passed quickly. Now the master started to treat me as his son. One day my lord was seriously ill and there was no hope to escape his death. He made this factory and his entire property on my name because he had no close relative, nor he had any child. His wife had already died. ”
Seth Usman told his son:” Son! I take you along with the grave that I pray of my master, Qamaruddin Khan. In this way, Gul Khan and I share the same profession. I used to polish shoes in childhood and Gul Khan too.”

When Gul Khan heard the praising words of Seth Usman, he raised his head proudly and tears of happiness began to be reflected in his eyes. Seth then said to the son: “You have to beg to apologize from Gul Khan because the time is unpredictable. One does not know of coming times that Gul Khan becomes one day a great man in the city and time should force you to live in poverty.” Gul Khan was seeing Seth Usman with astonishment and his son was watching Gul Khan with the feeling of shame and guilt.Sir Patrick Spens Summary, Analysis and Questions 3


Sir Patrick Spens Summary, Analysis and Questions 4

The Power of Self-confidence  (A Small story)

Category : SHORT STORIES

The Power of Self-confidence (A Small story)

There was a business manager who was heavily indebted. He could not solve his problems. Creditors forced him to pay debts. Suppliers also demanded payment. He was sitting on a park bench. He kept his head in his hands. He deeply wondered if anything could protect his company from bankruptcy.

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An old man suddenly appeared before him. “I see you’re disturbed by something,” he said.
The manager told the old man his problems. After hearing the problems of the manager, the old man said, “I think I can help you.”
The old man wrote a check and put it in the hand of the manager. “Take this money,” said the old man. Meet me here exactly one year after today, and at that time you can pay me back my money. ” Then the old man turned and quickly disappeared. The company manager saw a $ 500,000 check signed by John D Rockefeller, one of the world’s richest men!

The manager was very surprised. He was not able to believe what happened. “In an instant, I can erase my money problems!” he realized. He decided to place the check in his safe. He decided that his check should only be used in the most terrible situation.
Now he’s got a lot of happiness. He had a lot of faith. He negotiated better deals and extended the payment period with new optimism. He made a couple of big sales. He was out of debt in a few months. Again he began to earn money.

The Power of Self-confidence  (A Small story)

Positive Thinking

Exactly one year later he returned with an uncashed check to the park. The old man appeared at the same time. The manager declared his success and thanked him. But instantly a nurse rushed to the old man and gripped his hand.

The nurse said to the manager, “I am so happy that I caught him. I hope he doesn’t disturb you. He always fled the mental hospital. He tells people that he is John D. Rockefeller.”
The nurse then took away the old man from the place by a vehicle. The amazed manager stood there. He was astonished. Throughout the year he was very confident. He thought he had a check worth half a million dollars. Then the man realized that his life did not change due to this check rather it was because of his self- confidence that his life changed. His newly established “self- confidence” gave him the power to do anything.

The Power of Self-confidence

The Power of Self-confidence

Moral: Self-confidence can move mountains.
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Safe (noun) = a strong metal box with a strong lock.
bankruptcy (noun) = The state of not having enough money to pay the debts.
woes (noun) = the troubles and problems.
Instant (noun) = moment.
Abundant (adjective) = existing in large quantities; more than enough.
Grip (verb) = take/hold something firmly with your hand suddenly.
Astonished (adjective) = very surprised
Stunned (adjective) = very surprised
Optimism (noun) = positive thinking.


Sir Patrick Spens Summary, Analysis and Questions 5

A Peaceful Night-A short story

A Peaceful Night-A short story

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It was 9 p.m. A 24 year old handsome young man, Robert, entered a multi specialty hospital. He went to the reception and met a nurse.

He asked “Excuse me. I want to meet my father. Can you show me his room please?”

The nurse asked his details and he answered.

The nurse said “Your father is in a critical condition. His body is not responding to the medicines. He is suffering from loneliness too. Nobody came to see him these days. He requested me many times to call you. Finally, you came now. Follow me.”

The nurse took him to a room. She opened the door of that room and said: “There is your father.” Then she left.

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Robert entered the room. An old man was on the bed in a sad condition with an oxygen mask. Robert put his hand on the old man’s hand and squeezed it with affection. The old man opened his eyes and saw Robert. Both talked sometimes peacefully. Then the old man closed his eyes and slept. Sometimes he opened his eyes and looked at Robert. Then both talked a few minutes again and again.

The old man said to Robert “I’m happy to see you. I’m lucky to have you here. Tonight I’m very peaceful and relaxed because of you”

Robert said “I too am happy to be with you. Be happy. Sleep peacefully.”

Robert sat on the chair beside the old man’s bed, the whole night. The next morning the nurse came, took the old man’s hand and checked his pulse. She understood he was dead.

The nurse turned to Robert and said “I’m sorry. He is no more.”

She felt pity for Robert. She tried to comfort Robert using soothing words.

Robert asked her “Who is this man?”

The nurse was startled. She said loudly “He is your father.”

Robert said “No, he is not my father. I never saw him before in my life.”

The nurse asked, “Then why didn’t you say this thing when I took you to this room last night?”

Robert said “Last night I met you and requested you to show me, my father. By mistake, you took me to this room and showed me this old man. You told me his condition was critical and he was suffering from loneliness and nobody came to see him. I understood he was in his last moments with nobody beside him. I understood he was in need of someone to give and get love. So I stayed with him until now.”

The nurse was surprised by the sky-high character of Robert.

Sir Patrick Spens Summary, Analysis and Questions 6

Words You May Not Know

Critical (adjective) = serious and dangerous
Squeeze (verb) = press with fingers
Affection (noun) = love
Comfort (verb) = make a worrying person feel better by being kind and using kind words.
Soothing (adjective) = Reducing worry/pain; that makes someone feel better.
Startle (verb) = shock someone suddenly
Pity (noun) = a feeling of sympathy and sadness for someone
Sky-high (adjective) = very high; too high


Sir Patrick Spens Summary, Analysis and Questions 7

How Belief’s Work  (A True story)

How Belief’s Work (A True story)

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It was the time of second world war. An american soldier was severely wounded and taken to a military hospital. The doctor had to remove a bullet from his stomach by doing an operation. The soldier was on the bed. The doctor ordered the nurse to give the soldier some required amount of anaesthetic.

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But the nurse worried. The nurse called the doctor into another room and said something to the doctor secretly. Then the doctor murmured in the nurse’s ear. They returned to the soldier’s bed. The doctor was going to start the operation.

The doctor said “Nurse, give anaesthetic to our beloved soldier”.

The nurse said “Yes doctor. I’m giving anaesthetic”.

The doctor said loudly “Give more anaesthetic. Our beloved soldier should not feel any pain. He should feel a complete relaxation”.

The nurse said “Yes doctor. I am giving more anaesthetic to our soldier. So he will not get any pain. He will get a great relaxation. “.

Then the nurse gave an injection to the soldier. Then the soldier felt a complete relaxation. Within 10 minutes, the doctor removed the bullet from the soldier.

The doctor asked the soldier “Did you feel any pain?”

The soldier said “No doctor. The nurse gave me more anaesthetic. So I had no pain.”

In fact, the nurse did not give any anaesthetic to the soldier. The whole anaesthetic in the hospital was already used for other soldiers and there was no anaesthetic left for this soldier.

Following the suggestion of the doctor, the nurse injected salt water to the soldier. But the doctor and the nurse pretended as they were giving anaesthetic to the soldier.

The soldier strongly believed that he was given more anaesthetic by listening to the discussion of the doctor and the nurse. That strong belief worked as a medicine. That strong belief avoided the pain during the operation. That strong belief gave him relaxation.

Belief works wonderfully. Belief makes an impossible thing into a possible thing. Belief makes a poor student into a brilliant student. Belief makes a poor man into a rich man.

Believe in yourself. Have a deep unshakable belief in your abilities. Believe you can win. Then you will change everything and win everything.

Sir Patrick Spens Summary, Analysis and Questions 8

Words You May Not Know

Anaesthetic (noun) = a medicine that makes a person unable to feel pain.
Murmur (verb) = say something in a very low voice.
Wound (noun) = physical damage to your body.
Wound (verb) = have physical damage to your body.


A Phone Call to a Daughter

A phone call to a daughter (A short story)

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It was a cold January evening. The environment in the hospital was like the silence before a cyclone. As a nurse, I stood in the nurses’ station on the 7th floor and looked at the clock. It was 9:00 P.M.

I went to room 712, the last room of the hall. Room 712 had a new patient, Mr Williams. I entered the room. Mr Williams looked up eagerly but dropped his eyes.
I pressed the stethoscope on his chest and listened. I understand that a few hours earlier he had suffered a slight heart attack.

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From his bed, he looked up. ” Nurse, please can you… ” he hesitated, his eyes filled with tears. He began asking me a question again, but he changed his mind. I touched his hand.

He wiped a tear. “Can you please call my daughter? Tell her I have had a heart attack. I am living alone and she is the only family I have.”

His breathing suddenly increased. I increased his nasal oxygen up to eight litres a minute. Studying his face, I said “sure. I will call her,”.

He pulled himself forward and requested me “Will you call her right now — as soon as you can?”. He was breathing fast — too fast.

I said “I will call her immediately. Now you can take rest.”

I switched off the light. He closed his eyes. Room 712 was dark.

I sat beside the window. I was enjoying the foggy silent night. I shivered. He called me “Nurse. Can you get me a pencil and paper?” I took a yellow paper and a pen from my pocket and gave him.

“Thank you,” he said. I smiled at him and left.

I walked back to the nurses’ station and sat in a chair by the phone. The name of Mr Williams’ daughter was written on his chart as the next relative. I got her number from the information centre and dialled. I told her “Dear Janie, I’m a nurse at the hospital. Your father was admitted today with a slight heart attack and… “

“No!” Janie screamed into the phone “He is not dying. Is he?” It was a painful question.

I said, “His condition is good at the moment”.

She requested with a cry “You must not let him die”.

Her voice made my hand shivered on the phone. “Dear Janie, don’t worry. He is getting the very best treatment.”

Janie requested “But you do not understand. My daddy and I have not talked for a year. We had a terrible argument on my birthday about my boyfriend. I left the house. I ran away with my boyfriend. I . . . I have not been back. All these months I have wanted to go to him for forgiveness. The last thing important I told him was, “You are bad. I hate you.'”

I heard a great sad cry. A father and daughter so missed each other. At that time I was thinking of my own father, many miles away. It had been so long since I had said I love you.

Janie said “I am coming, now! I will be there in 30 minutes.” She cut off the call.

I became busy with my work. But I knew I had to go back to room 712. I went there and opened the door. Mr Williams was silent. I reached for his pulse. There was none.

Mr Williams got a heart attack. I put my hands on his chest and started pressing. One, two, three. I tried to count. At 15, I moved back to his mouth and breathed as deeply as I could.

“Oh no,” I pleaded. “Breathe, breathe.” The door opened. Doctors and nurses poured into the room, pushing emergency equipment. Anxiously I said “Please, don’t let him die. His daughter is coming. Let her find peace.”

Everyone tried a lot. Mr Williams died. A nurse unplugged the oxygen. One by one left the room silently. I thought “How can I face his daughter?”

When I left the room, I saw Janie in the waiting room. I took her hand and led her to the nurses’ lounge.

I said, “Janie, I’m so sorry.”

She said “I never hated him, you know. I loved him”. Suddenly she told me. “I want to see him.”

I got up and wrapped my hand around her, opened the door and reached her father’s bed. Janie reached her father and understood he is dead. She kept her head on her father’s chest and started crying. Then I saw a yellow paper on the bed.

I picked it up. It read: “My dearest Janie, I know we were not so close near at the end. We both may have said some things we regret. But I forgive you. I pray you will also forgive me. I know that you love me. I love you, too. Your Daddy.”

The note was shaking in my hands. I pushed it toward Janie. She read it once. Then twice. She hugged the paper to her breast. I could not wait even a second. I went to my room and hurried to the phone. I called my own father. I said “Dad, I love you. You are important to me”.

Sir Patrick Spens Summary, Analysis and Questions 9

A Phone Call to a Daughter

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Word Bank

Slight (adjective) = very small
Nasal (adjective) = connected with the nose
Foggy (adjective) = not clear because of fog
Scream (verb) = shout loudly
Plead (verb) = request someone seriously
Lounge (noun) = waiting room
Hurry (verb) = move quickly in a particular direction

Hesitate (verb) = slow to speak or act because you feel uncertain or nervous
Wipe (verb) = remove dirt, liquid, etc. by using cloth, your hand etc
Shiver (verb) = shake because you are cold, afraid, excited, etc
Wrap (verb) = cover something completely in paper or other material


Sir Patrick Spens Summary, Analysis and Questions 10

The Secret to Survive

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The Secret to Survive (A True story)

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There was a Jew in Crown Brooklyn, New York. His name was Yankel. He had a bakery there. Once upon a time, he was a victim of cruel Nazi camps of Hitler. He frequently tells his story to other people :

“I was just a teenager at that time. We were on a train. More than 100 Jews were on the train. We were being taken to Auschwitz, Poland. Night came and it was deadly cold in the compartment. The Germans used to leave the compartments on the tracks overnight. For many days, We had no food and no blanket.

An old man sat beside me. I recognized he was from my hometown. He was shivering from head to toe. We talked for a few minutes in a friendly manner.

The weather became more horrible. The temperature dropped below minus 5 degrees. All we people faced a terrible situation. Our blood started becoming ice. The old man was unable to bear the cold. I wrapped my arms around him and began rubbing him to create heat in his body. I rubbed his arms, his legs, his face, and his neck. I begged him to tolerate the terrible cold.

I kept the man warm this way all night. I’ve been tired. I’ve been freezing. My fingers got numb. But I didn’t stop rubbing the body of this man. I continued this way hours and hours.

The night finally went by, the morning came and the sun began to shine. In the cabin, there was some warmth. Then I looked over the chamber to see other Jews. I’ve been shocked. All I could see were dead bodies frozen.

Nobody else could win the horrible cold night. All people died from the cold. Only two people survived: the old man and me. The old man survived because I kept him warm; I survived because I was warming him. While I was generating heat in his body, automatically heat was generated in my body. So I could survive.

The Secret to Survive

The Secret to Survive

May I tell you the secret to survive in this world? If you give support, help, encouragement, inspiration, love, mercy to other people, you will get them back automatically and magically. That is the secret of life.”

Word Bank

Jew (noun) = a person who belongs to the religion “Judaism”
Deadly (adjective) = causing death
Overnight (adjective) = during the night
Wrap (verb) = cover something with something to protect it
Freeze (verb) = become ice because of extreme cold
Warm (verb) = become warm; make something warm
Warmth (noun) = the state of being warm
Frozen (adjective) = extremely cold; with a layer of ice on the surface
Numb (adjective) = unable to feel in the normal way
Survive (verb) = continue to live in a dangerous time
Generate (verb) = produce or create something


Sir Patrick Spens Summary, Analysis and Questions 11

How to Poison Your Mother-in-law?

Category : SHORT STORIES

Poisoning Mother-in-law (A Chinese story)
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This is a beautiful story of a girl and her mother-in-law.The girl named Li-Li lived in China a long time ago. She got married and went to live with her husband and mother-in-law.

Li-Li found in a very short time that she couldn’t live with her mother-in-law. Their characters were very different. Li-Li hated many of the habits of her mother-in-law. In addition, the mother-in-law constantly criticized Li-Li.

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Days and weeks went by. Li-Li and her mother-in-law never ceased to argue and fight. According to ancient Chinese tradition, Li-Li had to obey every wish of the mother – in – law. It exacerbated the situation. All the anger and unhappiness in the house caused great distress to the poor husband.



Finally, Li-Li could not tolerate her mother-in-law’s anger and dictatorship any longer, and she decided to do something about it.

Li-Li went to see one of the good friends of her father, Mr Huang, who sold herbs. She told him about the situation and asked if he was going to give her some poison to solve the problem once and for all. Mr Huang thought for a while and finally said, ” Li-Li, I’m going to help you solve your problem, but you have to listen to me and obey my words. “

Li-Li said, “Yes, Mr Huang, I will do whatever you tell me to do.”

Mr Huang went into his workroom and came back in a few minutes with a package of herbs.

He said to Li-Li, ” If you use rapid poison to kill your mother – in – law, you may be in doubt in the eyes of people. I will, therefore, give you a number of herbs that will gradually increase poison in her body. Prepare a delicious meal every day and put some of these herbs in her meal. You need to be very careful with your behaviour to make sure that nobody suspects you when she dies. You must act very friendly with her. Don’t argue with her. Obey her every wish, and treat her like a queen.”

Li-Li was very happy. She thanked Mr Huang and happily went home to start her plan of murdering her mother-in-law.

Weeks passed. Months passed. Li-Li served her mother – in – law with the specially cooked food every day. She remembered what Mr Huang said about preventing doubts in the minds of people. She controlled her anger, obeyed her mother-in-law and therefore treated her own mother. After six months, the whole situation in her house changed.

Li-Li had done so much to control her anger that she nearly never got mad or upset. She had no argument with her mother – in – law in six months. Now her mother-in-law seemed very kind, friendly, loving and peaceful.

Further the attitude of the mother – in – law towards Li-Li changed completely. She started to love Li-Li her like her own daughter. She continued to tell friends and relatives that Li-Li was the best daughter-in-law ever to be found. Li-Li and her mother-in-law now treated each other like a true mother and daughter.

Poisoning Mother-in-law

Poisoning Mother-in-law

Li-Li’s husband was very happy to see what was happening.

One day Li-Li came to see Mr Huang and again asked for his help. She said, ” Mr Huang, help me stop my mother – in – law from killing poison. She has become such a nice woman and I love her like my own mother. I don’t want her to die because of the poison. “

Mr Huang smiled and said. “Li-Li, there’s nothing to worry about. I never gave you any poison. The herbs, I gave you, were vitamins to improve her health. The only poison was hatred which existed in your mind and your mother-in-law’s mind. In the beginning, you shared hatred with her. Then she shared hatred with you. Now you shared the love with her. Then she shared the love with you.

He smiled and said, Mr Huang. ” Li-Li, there is nothing you can worry about. I’ve never given you poison. I gave you the herbs that were vitamins to improve her health. The only poison was hatred in your mind and in the mind of your mother – in – law. You shared hatred with her in the beginning. Then she shared her hatred with you. Now you shared the love with her. And she shared your love. This is natural. If we give love to others, they will give love to us. If we give hatred to others, they will give hatred to us. We get back, what we give.”

Li-Li understood a great secret of human relations. She went her home happily.
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Herb (noun) = a plant whose leaves, flowers or seeds are used in medicines
Exacerbated ( verb)= made (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worse.
Obey (verb) = to follow someone’s orders/ instructions
Distress (noun) = a feeling of great worry or unhappiness
While (noun) = a period of time
once and for all (Idiom) = now and for the last time; finally or completely


Sir Patrick Spens Summary, Analysis and Questions 12

A Secret of Happiness  (A small story)

A Secret of Happiness (A small story)
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Sharon was a lovely, rich and expensively dressed lady. She felt she was empty and worthless throughout her life. After her husband died, it had no meaning. In the big house, she became alone. All her cars, her house, her expensive furniture, her French perfume, her Persian carpet, her imported piano were useless items. She decided to do something about it after a long reflection. So the lady went to visit a psychiatrist to cure her depression and to get long-lasting happiness.

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The psychiatrist listened to Sharon for 30 minutes, and then called an old lady who was cleaning the floor. The psychiatrist said to Sharon, ” She’s my maid, Mary. I’ll ask her how she found happiness.

A Secret of Happiness

A Secret of Happiness

So the maid, Mary, put down her broom and sat on a chair and told her story “Well, my husband died of malaria and three months later my only son was killed in a car accident. I had nobody. I had nothing left. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, I never smiled at anyone, I even thought of committing suicide.

Then one evening, a little kitten followed me home from work. Somehow I felt pity for that kitten. It was cold outside, so I decided to allow the kitten inside. I gave it some milk, and the kitten licked the plate clean. Then it purred and rubbed against my leg. For the first time, in months, I smiled and felt happy.

Then I thought that if helping a little kitten could make me smile, doing something for people could make me happier. So the next day, I baked some biscuits and took them to a neighbour who was sick in bed. Every day I tried to do something nice for someone. It made me so happy when I saw them happy. Today, I believe I’m the happiest person. I did not see a person who is as happy as I am. I have found this great happiness in helping others.”

After listening to Mary, the rich lady, Sharon, got relaxation. Sharon understood the secret of happiness. She understood that happiness in life is existed in helping others, giving others, caring others and making them happy. If you help others, you get happiness. Your bliss depends on how happy others can be, because of you.

Then and there, she decided to be happy. She expressed her gratitude to the psychiatrist and Mary. She went her home to start a new life.
……………………………………………………………………………
Expensive (adjective) = costly .
Expensively (adverb) = in a way that costs a lot of money.
Worthless (adjective) = valueless.
Pass away (phrasal verb) = die.
Long lasting (adjective) = permanent.
Depression (noun) = a medical condition in which a person feels very sad.
Purr (verb) = make a low continuous sound.
Then and there (Idiom) = immediately.
Bliss (noun) = great happiness .
Gratitude (noun) = The feeling of being thankful.
Lick (verb) = to move your tongue over the surface of something to eat it, make it wet or clean it.


Answer

Positive Thinking (A short story)

Category : SHORT STORIES

Positive Thinking (A short story)
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A famous writer was in his study room. He picked up his pen and started writing :

1) Last year, I had a surgery and my gall bladder was removed. I had to stay on the bed due to this surgery for a long time.

2) The same year I reached the age of 60 years and had to give up my favourite job. I had spent 30 years of my life in this publishing company.

3) The same year I experienced the sorrow of the death of my father.

4) And in the same year my son failed in his medical exam because he had a car accident. He had to stay in bed at the hospital for several days. The destruction of the car was another loss.

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In the end, he wrote: Alas! It was such a bad year!!

When the writer’s wife entered the room, she found her husband looking sad and lost in his thoughts. Standing behind his back, she read what was written on the paper. She left the room silently and came back with another paper and placed it on side of her husband’s writing.

When the writer saw this paper, he found this written on it :

1) Last year I finally got rid of my gallbladder due to which I had spent years in pain.

2) I turned 60 with sound health and got retired from my job. Now I can utilize my time to write something better with more focus and peace.

3) The same year my father, at the age of 95 met his creator, without depending on anyone or without any critical condition.

4) The same year, God blessed my son with a new life. My car was destroyed but my son stayed alive without getting any disability.

At the end she wrote:

This year was an immense blessing of God and it passed well.



Positive Thinking (A short story)

Positive Thinking

Dear friends, In our daily lives we can see happiness, satisfaction and peace of mind in everything. Our main aim is to search for happiness, satisfaction and peace of mind in everything we get and we face. And we can do it.
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Destruction (noun) = the act of destroying something; the process of being destroyed
Give up (phrasal verb) = stop trying to do something
Alas (exclamation) = a word which is used to show you are sad
Get rid of (idiom) = avoid something that you don’t want
Utilize (verb) = use something in a good way
Critical (adjective) = serious ; dangerous
Sound (adjective) = in good condition; not damaged, injured, or diseased.
Immense (adjective) = extremely large or great


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