Thursday, November 15, 2012

The paper crane is a symbol for peace. What does peace mean to you?

Sadako Sasaki and the Thousand Paper Cranes

Sadako Sasaki was born on the 7th of January, 1943,in Hiroshima. She liked to go on outings with her family. They would go to the Peace Park on the 6th of August every year. They went there to remember those who died when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on that day in 1945.

          Sadako was a school runner. She practiced running every day. One cold winter day on the 10th of February, 1955, she fell down while running. Her father took her to the hospital. The doctors said she had leukaemia. She was another victim of the atomic bomb. Sadako was very sad.

          The net day, her best friend, Chizuko visited her. She folded a paper crane and gave it to Sadako.
          “This can help you get well,” she said.
          “How can a paper crane help me get well?” asked Sadako.
          “According to a story, the crane is supposed to live a thousand years. Some people believe that if you fold one thousand cranes, you can make a wish,” said Chizuko.

          Although it was not easy, Sadako hoped to fold the thousand cranes as quickly as she could. She wanted to go home. By June 1955, she had folded more than five hundred paper cranes.  Although she grew weaker, she never lost the will to live. She kept on folding the paper cranes. She passed away on the 25th of October, 1955.

          Sadako’s friends collected the letters she wrote and turned them into a book. Soon, many people around Japan read about Sadako and the thousand cranes. Many people were touched by the courage she had although she was so ill. In 1958, a statue of Sadako holding a golden crane was unveiled in the Hiroshima Peace Park. Sadako became a symbol for the peace movement.
The story tell us that “Hope is the last thing that we lose”.

Honesty is the best policy.

The Boy and His Axe
Long ago, there was a very poor boy. He lived alone with his father who was very sick. The boy chopped wood to earn a living.
          One day, he saw a big tree beside a lake. He climbed up the tree to chop some branches. Suddenly, his axe slipped and fell into the lake and he started crying.

          To his surprise, an old man appeared from the lake.
          “Why are you crying?” he asked.
          “My axe dropped into the water. I need it to chop wood,” replied the boy.
          “Let me help you search for it,” said the old man. Then, he disappeared into the water. After awhile, he came back with a shiny golden axe.

          “Is this your axe?” he asked.
          “This axe is beautiful but it is not mine,” said the boy.
          “Well, let me look once more,” said the old man before he disappeared into the water again.

          A few minutes later, he came back with a silver axe.
“Is this your axe?” he asked.
          “No, mine is just an ordinary axe. It is not made of silver or gold,” replied the boy.
          The old man disappeared into the water for the third time. Later, he came back with the boy’s axe.
          “Yes, yes, that is mine!” shouted the boy excitedly.
          “I am glad that you are such an honest boy. Take these golden and silver axes too,” said the old man before he disappeared.

          The moral value of this story is “Honesty is the best policy”.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Goose That Laid Golden Eggs

         There was a poor man who lived with his wife. They lived in an old house at the end of a village. Both the man and his wife were farmers. They reared some geese on their farm. The geese would lay eggs every day.

         Then, the farmers would collect the eggs and sell them. They would get some money after selling the eggs.

         One day, the farmer was surprised. One of the geese had laid a golden egg. "Come! Come and see this!" he called out to his wife. She came running to the coop. She was surprised to see the golden egg.

         " Our goose has laid a golden egg!" she shouted happily. " We will be rich when we sell this golden egg!"

         The farmer later went to town. He sold the golden egg to a goldsmith. He was happy to get a lot of money for it.  "If the goose lays a golden egg each day, we will be very rich soon!" the farmer said to his wife. The farmer's wish came true. The next day, he went to see the goose again. It had laid another golden egg.

          The farmer had a lot of money now. The goose laid a golden egg every day. The farmer and his wife became very rich and lived in a new house.
          Soon, the farmer became greedy. One day, he had an idea. He believed that the goose had many golden eggs in its stomach.

          "If I cut the goose's stomach, I will get more golden eggs," he thought. So, he took a knife and walked towards the coop. He cut open the goose's stomach. However, he could not find any golden eggs in the goose's stomach. The farmer was very disappointed.

           The farmer realised his mistake. The goose was dead and there was no more golden eggs.

           This story tells us we should not be greedy or we will lose everything.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Clever Katya

Clever Katya
A story from Russia
 Retold by Julia Donaldson
Illustrated by Jane Kochnewitz

          The Czar of Russia was out in his coach when he saw a farmer eating some bread.
          ‘I’m hungry,’ said the Czar. ‘Stop the coach!’
          He got out and asked the farmer for some bread. The farmer bowed low and gave him some.

          ‘This is the best bread I have ever tasted,’ said the Czar.  ‘Who made it? ’
          ‘My daughter, Katya, your Majesty,’ replied the farmer.
          ‘Tell me about Katya,’ said the Czar.

          ‘ Oh, she’s a wonderful girl,’ said the farmer.
‘ So pretty, so good, so strong, such a good worker, such a good singer …’
          ‘ And such a good baker,’ said the Czar with his mouth full of bread. ‘Is she clever too?’

          ‘Oh yes,’ boasted the farmer. ‘She’s the cleverest person in Russia.’
          ‘What? Cleverer than me?’  asked the Czar.
          ‘Oh no, your Majesty. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that,’ began the farmer.
          But the Czar had jumped back into his coach.
          ‘I’ll be back!’ he called out.

The Wolf in the Sheep's Skin

The Wolf in the
Sheep’s Skin

            A hungry wolf saw a flock of sheep in a farm. They were eating grass. The wolf wanted to catch the sheep.

        The wolf was unlucky. There was a shepherd looking after the sheep. He had a rifle with him.

       “How am I going to catch those sheep?” the wolf asked itself.  “The shepherd will shoot me if I go into his farm.”
        The wolf tried to think of a plan. It looked around and saw a sheep’s skin. It had an idea. It quickly stole the skin.

       The wolf covered itself with the skin. It disguised itself as one of the sheep.
       "Nobody will know that I am a wolf," the wolf said to itself.
       “Now, I can catch those sheep,” it said happily.
       Then it walked slowly towards the other sheep.

        The shepherd did not know that the wolf had disguised itself as a sheep. The wolf quietly caught one of the sheep. It ate the sheep.

       The wolf continued to catch the other sheep and ate them one by one. The shepherd did not know what had happened to his sheep.

       Soon, the shepherd began to realize that his sheep were getting lesser. He wanted to find out what had happened to them.

       The next day, the disguised wolf went to the farm again. It did not see the shepherd. The wolf jumped at one of the sheep.


      The shepherd was hiding behind a tree. He saw the disguised wolf. It was attacking one of his sheep.
       Before the disguised wolf could eat the sheep, the shepherd came out. He pulled the sheep’s skin from the wolf.
       “So, it is you! You have been eating my sheep!” the shepherd shouted angrily.
       The wolf could not run away anymore.
       The shepherd caught the wolf and brought it home. He wanted to punish the bad wolf for eating his sheep.
1.  flock              -      a group
2.  shepherd       -      a man who looks after sheep
3.  rifle               -      a long gun
4.  shoot            -      fire the gun
5.  skin               -      the cover of an animal
6.  idea              -      think of something
7.  stole             -      took without permission
8.  disguised      -      to be what you are not

Answer the questions below.
1.  What did the wolf see on the farm?
2.  Who was looking after the sheep?
3.  What did the wolf do with the sheep’s skin?
4.  What did the shepherd see?
5.  What did the shepherd do when he saw the disguised wolf?

Moral Value: 
Do not cheat others to get what you want.