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Monday, July 30, 2012

FLAYING HOME

Felix is a blue and yellow bird from Brazil. He lives with the Baxter family in New York. His home is a big cage. It is on the fortieth floor of a tall building.
Felix likes the Baxters, and the Baxters like him. They give him food. They talk to him and show him to all their friends. But Felix is not happy. He wants to go home to Brazil.
Every night Felix looks up at the sky. He can see the whole city. It is big and exciting. It is home for the Baxters, but not for Felix. He remembers the big, yellow moon in Brazil. Then he remembers his last day in the jungle. The two men with white hats. The big box. The long plane journey. The shop - "Beautiful Birds" - in New York.
Felix closes his eyes. Now he cannot see the city and the snow. He can see other things; he can see the life he loves.
 "I want to be with my family again," he thinks. "I want to fly home to the jungle. It's warm there and the trees are always green." He puts his head under one wing.
"One day," he says. "One day."
"One day" comes two weeks later. Mr Baxter opens Felix's cage to give him some food. Then he hears the telephone. "Can you answer that, George?" asks Mrs Baxter." I'm in the bath."
"OK," says Mr Baxter. He goes to the phone, but forgets to shut Felix's cage. Felix can see an open window. "This is it!" he thinks.
He flies out of his cage and out of the window. The air under his wings is very cold. Behind him he hears, "Hey! Felix!" but he does not go back. He looks down at the streets and buildings and flies through the city.
A girl in a cafe with her mother sees him.
"Look!" she says. Her mother does not hear. She is reading her newspaper.
After an hour Felix stops. He stands on the head of the Statue of Liberty.
"Where are you from?" asks a small, grey and white bird beside him. "I'm from Brazil," answers Felix. "And where are you going?" asks the bird. Felix flies up into the cold, blue sky again. "I'm going home," he says.
"Goodbye."
Felix flies south. Soon he cannot see New York. All he can see is the Atlantic Ocean.
In the evening the sun starts to go down. Then the sky is red, yellow and blue. It is very beautiful.
Felix is hungry, but he is happy, too.
For the first time in two years he is free. He wants to fly all night.
Two hours later it starts to rain. Now the sky is black.
Soon, Felix cannot see the moon or the stars.
"Where am I?" he thinks. He remembers his warm cage."Am I doing the right thing?"
He looks down at the cold sea. Then he sees something.
Is it a star in the black water? No, it cannot be a star. He looks again. It is a ship!
Two days later Felix flies across Peru. He looks down and sees the Inca city of Machu Picchu. Those old stone  buildings look interesting," he thinks. "I know - I can stop there tonight."
Felix starts to fly down to the buildings. Then he sees a big bird with beautiful black and white feathers. It is sitting on a stone.
"Hello, you're not from Peru, are you?" says the bird.
Felix tells his story.
"Two years in a cage in New York?!" says the bird.
"Yes," answers Felix, "but now I'm going home. Can you tell me how to get there?"
"I have a friend - Aca - in Rio," says the bird. "He knows the jungle. Go there and ask him."
Felix flies from Peru to Rio. There he sees a lot of people in the street. H ecan hear music and see some birds in a tree. Is one of them Aca?
"Aca! Aca!" he says. "Yes, that's me," answers one of the birds. Felix cannot see him.
Then a boy sees Felix. "Look at the bird," he says to his father. "Can I have him? Can I? Please?"
At first Felix does not see the boy or his father. He is looking at all the birds in the trees.
"Aca! Aca!" says Felix. Felix. Then there is a warm hand on his neck. He fights with his wings and his feet. "Help! Help!" Aca helps him.
"Aiiieee!!!" says the man. The two birds fly into the sky.
"Thank you," says Felix. Then he tells Aca story.
Felix and Aca fly from Rio to the jungle. In the evening Felix says, "Yes, I remember that village. My home's very near here. It's only..." Then he stops. In front of them there are a lot of men and machines.
"Oh no, they're making a new road!" says Aca.
"But... where's my home?" asks Felix. "And where's my family?"
The two birds fly over the new road. Then they stop in a tree near the village. Felix is tired and sad. "I'm sorry," says Aca. Then Felix sees a small blue and yellow feather in the air. He looks up. There, above the trees, are four birds, "It's them, Aca!" he says. "It's my family!"
Then he flies into the sky. The birds see him. "Felix, is it you?" they ask. "Yes," answers Felix. I'm home!!!"






Wednesday, July 18, 2012

BROWN EYES


We arrived at our hotel in Lea-on-Sea early on Saturday morning. The Hotel Vista. Susan and I always stay there. It is very quiet, very friendly and the food is good. I opened the door, and we walked in.
'Good morning, Mrs Brown,' I said.
'Mr and Mrs Reed,' she said. It's good to see you again.'
It's good to be here again,' I said.
'Cup of coffee?' she said. 'Before you go up to your room.'
'Thank you,' I said.
'Where's little Mary?' asked Susan. Mary was Mrs Brown's daughter.
'She's in the garden,' said Mrs Brown and laughed.
'But she's not little! Mary's a tall young woman now.'
'How old is he?" Susan asked.
'Fifteen!' said Mrs Brown.
'Fifteen!' I said. Time goes quickly!'
'I know,' said Mrs Brown. 'Now, coffee! Before I forget again.' She walked to the kitchen.
Susan looked at me. 'I love it here, Peter,' she said.
'I know,' I said.
'When did we first meet?' she asked. 'Eleven years ago? Twelve?'
'Wrong,' I said. 'It'll be thirteen years on Tuesday,' I said. In cafe.'
'Ah, yes,' said Susan, and shut her eyes.
WE WERE YOUNG THEN. WHERE DOES THE TIME GO? THIRTEEN YEARS!
LUCKY THIRTEEN.
The door opened, and Mary Brown looked in. She was tall.
'Hello,' she said to Susan. 'And hello again,' she said to me.
'Again?' I said.
'Yes. Don't you remember? Yesterday. You said "hello" in the bank.'
'Oh, y...yes!' I said, and pretended to remember.
'That was you!'
Mary smiled. I'll see you later,' she said. Goodbye!'
'Goodbye,' we said. She shut the door. Susan turned to me.
'Why did you pretend?' she asked me.
'I don't know,' I said.
The sun was hot in the afternoon. After lunch, Susan and I walked down to the sea. We swam. The water was cold.
After that, we walked across to Connor's Coffee House. It was a small, quiet cafe near the sea. The cafe! The place Susan and I first met. We went back there every year.
I opened the door and looked in. John Connor smiled.
'Hello again!' he said to me.
AND THIS TIME WITH MRS REED...WHAT CAN I GET YOU? COFFEE? OR A COLD DRINK?
NOT AGAIN!
TWO COFFEE, PLEASE. ONE BLACK, ONE WHITE.
FIRST MARY. NOW JOHN CONNOR. I DON'T UNDERSTAND.
PERHAPS THERE ARE TWO MEN IN LEA-ON-SEA WITH BIG NOSES AND BLACK HAIR.
ERM...JOHN? WHAT DID WE TALK ABOUT YESTERDAY - WE DRANK A LOT LAST NIHHT!
THANK YOU.
THAT'S OK. YOU'RE ON HOLIDAY!
WHAT DID WE...? UMM. YOUR WORK. MY CAFE. OH, AND MRS REED'S NEW CAR.
NO. IT WAS A...A...VOLKSWAGEN. I DON'T ALWAYS REMEMBER PEOPLE, BUT I NEVER FORGET A CAR!
THE...CITRO√čN.
I DON'T LIKE THIS!
It was our fourth night at the Hotel Vista. We were at a table in the restaurant, but I did not want to eat. I was afraid. Very afraid. Things were not right in Lea-on-Sea.
On Sunday, it was the old man in the newspaper shop.
On Monday, the man in the bank...
...and the woman in the cinema. Yesterday, the girl in the shoe shop.
And this afternoon, the woman in the Italian restaurant. All of them smiled at me and said, 'Hello again!'
'A man is pretending to be me,' I said. 'Why?' 'I don't know,' said Susan. 'But it's not important.
We're...'
'Not important?' I shouted. 'I think it is. I ... I'm going to the police!'
'No,' said Susan. 'They'll laugh at you. We'll find the man. Lea-on-Sea isn't very big. It'll be easy.'
I looked down. I didn't want to meet the man!
Susan looked into my eyes. She took my hand. 'I'm afraid, too,' she said.
Later that evening, we walked down to sea. The sun was red and yellow. The water was light blue.
'Today is an important day,' said Susan.
'Important?' I said.
'Thirteen years,' she said. 'You and me! Did you forget?'
'I?...Yes, I forgot,' I said quietly.
'Do you love me?' Susan asked.
'Oh, yes,' I said, and turned to her.
'Good,' she said. I love you, too.'
We kissed. And for the first time on our holiday, I was happy!
Suddenly, Susan moved back.
'Look!' she said. It's him! At the cafe!'
She was right. There was a man with a big nose and black hair. He shut the cafe door and turned right. At the cinema, he turned right again, and walked quickly away.
'Run!' said Susan. 'We don't want to lose him.'
we arrived at the cinema and looked down the road.
'Where is he?' I said.
'There!' said Susan.
I saw him turn left at the bank.
'Quickly!' I shouted.
We ran across the road after the man.
'Don't go!' I shouted.
But he didn't hear me. We ran to back. There, we stopped. I looked up and down the road.
The man was not there.
'Where is he?' I said.
'I know,' said Susan. But we'll see him again.
I know we will. Come on,' she said. 'We'll have a drink at the hotel.
We walked back to the Hotel Vista slowly. Susan looked in the cafe and restaurants but she didn't see the man again. Luckily!
'Perhaps we'll never see him again,' I said.
'Perhaps,' said Susan quietly.
We arrived at the door of the hotel at ten o'clock.
We heard the television. We walked in. We saw Mrs
Brown, but she didn't see us.
I smiled. 'Sleeping,' I said.
SHE'S TIRED
I AM TOO.
CAN WE FORGET THAT DRINK?
AND GO TO BED EARLY? OK. WHY NOT?
WE ARE LUCKY!
I LOVE HER AND SHE LOVES ME!
WE ARE HAPPY! AND AFTER THIRTEEN YEARS!
WHAT IS IT?
LOOK!
OH, PETER! I'M AFRAID.
IT'S OK.
IT'S NOT OK!
PERHAPS YOU FORGOT TO...
NO, I NEVER FORGET! AND I LOOKED UP FROM THE STREET. THE ROOM WAS DARK THEN. I KNOW IT WAS
I THINK IT'S OK.
WHAT'S THIS ON THE BED?

I walked over to the bed. On it, face down, was a photograph. Who was the picture of? I was afraid to look. I took the photograph in my hand and slowly turned it over.
 'What the...?' I shouted.
 'What is it?' said Susan. Can I see?'
 'You can,' I said. 'But it isn't good!'
I have her the photo. Susan looked at it, and jumped back. But it's you and me!' she said.
 'I know,' I said, and looked again.
It was Susan and me. Down at the sea.
 'That man!' said Susan, excitedly. 'He was there. It's his photo!'
 Suddenly, we heard a noise. The door opened. And there he was, the man with my face. And he had a gun in his hand.
 'Very clever!' he said quietly. 'It was me.'
He shut the door.
 'Don't move,' he said. 'Or I'll shoot.'
I looked at the man in horror. I wasn't afraid of his gun - I was afraid of his face! He had my nose, my mouth, my ears, my hair...
IT'S ME!
WHAT DO YOU WANT?
BE QUIET! I'll TALK, NOT YOU. I'VE WAITED A LONG TIME FOR THIS.
ONE THING IS WRONG.
GET BACK! NOW!
SUSAN! COME BACK HERE. HE'S DANGEROUS.
IT'S THE EYES. PETER'S ARE BLUE. HIS ARE BROWN.
GET BACK!
SUSAN! LISTEN TO HIM. PLEASE!
HE WON'T SHOOT.
WILL YOU, STEPHEN?
 'You know him!' I said.
 'Yes,' Susan answered. 'His name is Stephen Griggs.
I worked with him fifteen years ago.' 
 'I loved you,' said the man. 'We were happy.'
YOU WERE, I WASN'T! I NEVER LOVED YOU!
 'You're a bad woman, Susan Barker,' he said. 'You pretended to love me.'
 'I did not! And my mane is Reed now,'
Stay back!' he shouted.
 Susan stopped.
 'Those cold brown eyes,' she said. Ugh!
 'Did he always have my face?' I asked.
 'No,' said Susan. 'I don't know the game he's playing.'
 'You will,' said the man. 'You will.'
 He looked at the photograph in my hand.
 'That's for you,' he said. 'You can look at it, and remember.
 'Remember what? I said.
He smiled. 'Your last walk with Susan,' said. 'Before you go to prison.
'Prison?' I said. 'Why?'
'Because you shot Susan,' he said.
'I didn't ...'
'You will,' he said. Watch!' And he turned and put the gun to Susan's head.
'NOOOOOO!' I shouted, and jumped at him.
The man shot. I shut my eyes. When I looked again, Susan was on the floor. Dead.
Then, suddenly, the man turned and hit me on the head. It all went black - and I fell down, down, down.
After some time, I opened my eyes again. I remembered.
'You shot her!' I said.
'No,' the man smiled - with my smile! 'you shot her. My plan is going very well.'
I tired to get up, but it was difficult.
'I love her,' I said, quietly.
'I, too,' he said. 'But she was with you. All those years. Now ...' He smiled again and looked at the gun.
 'Do you plan to shoot me, too?' I said.
'Oh, no,' he said. 'I said, you're going to prison.
Perhaps there, you'll understand. For me, Susan was dead before I shot her. Noe she's dead for you, too.'
 He came over to me, and put his hand over my mouth. Then I heard Mrs Brown at the door. 
 'What are you doing in there?' she shouted.
 'Mfff ... mmwff!' I said.
'I shot Susan!' the man answered for me. 'And now she's dead. Dead! DEAD! OH, Susan, I'm sorry!'
OPEN THE DOOR!
'There,' he said. 'Now she'll phone the police. And They'll come  - for you!'
 He walked over to the window and looked out.
 'Remember,' I said 'You've got my face, too.'
 'Not for long,' he said. In horror, I watched him slowly take the mask from his face.
'Now there's only one Peter Reed again. You!'
 'But ...'
 'Oh, and one more thing. Here you are...'
 Before I knew it, the gun was in my hand!
 'You can give it to the police,' he laughed.
I watched the door. It opened and four policemen walked in. They looked at the dead woman. They looked at the gun in my hand.
 The first policeman walked over to me. 'You come with us,' he said.
 'I didn't ... It isn't ... I cant't ...' I said. I didn't want to go to prison.
 'Come with us,' he said again. 'You can talk later.
We've got all night. 







Monday, July 16, 2012

BRAZIL 500 YEARS


                                 THE KING AND THE NAVIGATORS
In 1498 Vasco da Gama, a famous navigator from Portugal, went to Asia by ship. He and his men were the first people from the west in India. They came home with many interesting things from that country.
The king of Portugal, Manuel I, was very happy with the things from India. He said, "I am going to send  a lot of Portuguese ships to this new land." He looked for a navigator for a new voyage. The navigator's name was Pedr'Alvares Cabral.
"Pedr'Alvares," said the king, "I am sending you to India with thirteen ships and 1,400 men. It is a long and dangerous voyage. Bring me interesting things from India. And find new land for Portugal, too."
Captain Cabral and his men worked on the ships for months. They wanted to start their voyage early in March, 1500. In his office, the navigator looked at an old map. There was a land to the west of Africa. across the Atlantic Ocean. The name of the land was "Terra Papagalis," the land of the parrots. Pedr'Alvares wanted this land for Portugal.
        A Drink, a Fight, and a New Life
"Silva, I am going to the bar. Vicente and Marcos are going to be there," Afonso Ribeiro said.
"OK, Afonso. Don't be late, my love," Silva said.
Afonso walked to the bar near his house and had a drink with his friends. They were happy young men.
They liked their town, their friends, and their families.
Afonso loved Silva and their three children. He worked for then every day.
'It's late. Good night, my friends," Afonso said to Vicente and Marcos.
Suddenly there was a lot of noise. There were five men with bottles and knives at the back of the room.
They started to fight with the men near them.
'Let's go-now" Vicente said.
The three friends went quickly to the door, but a man hit Afonso.It was not Afonso's fight, but he did not think.. There was a bottle on a table, and he hit the man on the head with it. The man was on the floor-he was dead.
The people in the bar said, "Afonso Ribeiro did this. 
He hit this man." 
The police said, "Afonso Ribeiro, you cannot live in this town now. You are going  to live there."
March 8 was a beautiful Sunday in Lisbon. The sun was hot, and the river was green and quiet. There were many people near the river. They wanted to see the big ships and the king. Manuel I was there because this was an important day for Portugal. There was music and dancing. little children played with their friends.
But some people were very unhappy on this beautiful Sunday morning. Afonso and Silva Ribeiro went to Lisbon with their three small children. The voyage to India was important for their country, but it was an unhappy voyage  for the Ribeiro Family.
"Father, when are you going to come home?"
Afonso's daughter asked.
'May child, I do not know," Afonso said.
"But father, the ocean is big. Can you find us again?" one of the little boys asked.
"Yes, my son. I can find. And, remember, I love you. Be good for your mother and think about me every night," Afonso said. Silva looked at Afonso and cried.
Afonso went on ship. He called goodbye to Silva and to his children. Slowly, the ship went down the town were behind him now. A new life waited for Afonso Ribeiro. He said quietly, "I am going to see my family again one day."
                                            Life on the Caravel
Afonso Ribeiro walked onto one of the king's ships on March 8, 1500. He was twenty-five years old. It was his first voyage on the ocean. He said, "Every day I am going to write about my new life."
March 8: I am on a caravel in the Atlantic Ocean. Where are we going? Why is this an important voyage for Portugal? I am very unhappy. I look at the ocean and think about my home. I want to be with Silvca and my children.
March 15: Today an interesting old man talked to me.
He writes about the caravel and the voyage in a big book. This morning he said, "You are a writer, too.
what is your name? Why are you here? What is in your book?
We talked about my story. Then he talked about famous navigators and their ocean voyages. His name is Pero Vaz. He is a  good teacher and an interesting man.
Now I understand about our voyage to India.
March 20: The thirteen caravels went south from Lisbon, near Madeira and the Canaries. The wind is usully good, and we are moving quickly.
One day our captain, Pedr'Alvares Cabral, said, "We are not going to go south. We are going to go west across the ocean. We are going to make a voyage to a new land."
"Where are we going?" the men asked.
"I do not want to see India. That is Vasco da Gama's land. I want to find Terra Papagalis. I am going to find this land for our king," Cabral said.
Across the Atlantic Ocean? A new land? Does my family remember me? Am I going to see Portugal again one day?
March 23: In the night there were strong winds and heavy rain. It was a dangerous time. One ship, with 140 men, went down under the water. The rain stopped in the morning, and we looked for the men. We did not find them. They are all dead now. They are not going to see their families in Portugal again. This is a difficult life for for us.
April 3: There are a lot of men and boys on the thirteen caravels. There are a lot of  men 100 people on our ship, but no women. Our life is very difficult. We get up early and work all day. Every man and boy has a job.
The boys are strong. They do the heavy work.
The food is not very good, and we only have a little water. We can drink the water, but we cannot wash. A lot of the men get sick because they cannot wash. 
There is a doctor on the caravel, but he does not understand every problem on the ship.
                                   Land
The twelve caravels moved across the Atlantic Ocean for forty-four days. Early in the morning of April 22, a man called, "Look! Birds! We are near land!"
"Is it India?" Afonso asked Pero Vaz.
"No," the old man answered. "It is a new land for us.
It is on Cabral's map. Remember, we went west from Europe."
The caravels stopped in water, and the men looked at the land. They saw white beaches and tall green trees.
In the morning, a small boat went to the land.
'Afonso," the captain said, "you go with these men in the boat."
Afonso and six men arrived on the beach. They were in a beautiful green place. Suddenly, there was a lot of noise.
"What is that?" Afonso asked.
"Look in the trees. Big parrots live in this land. This is Terra Papagalis went with Afonso  and the six men to the ship. their names were Uira and Raoni. They had gifts for the captain. He wanted to talk to them, but they did not understand him. He had gifts for them, too.
After two weeks in the new land, a caravel went back to Portugal with a letter to Manuel I.
[To Manuel I, King of Portugal From Pedr'Alvares Cabral, His Navigator This letter brings a happy story to my king and my country. Your caravels did not go to India. We went west because we wanted to find new lands for Portugal. We arrived in Terra Papagalis. It is a big country and the Tupiniquim people are friendly.
These people are strong and have long back hair. Terra Papagalis is a hot country, and the people do not have shoes or shirts or dresses, but they have a lot of good things. I am sending you gifts from Uira and Raoni. They are important Tupiniquim men. They visited one of our caravels. We cannot talk to them in Portuguese, but we talk with our hands and faces. They are good men and do not want to fight with us.
I am not coming back to Portugal now. I am going to India with eleven of your caravels. I want to find there, too, for you, my king.
Life with the Tupiniquins
May 6: The caravels went away from Terra Papagalis today, but I am studying here. I watched the ships and I cried. Uira and Raoni looked at me and cried, too. 
They are my friends, but I want to be with the men on the caravels. I want to go home. This is an unhappy day for me.
July 30: I can talk to the Tupiniquins now. I know many things about their lives. They are a people of the Tupi-Guarani family. They often move to a new place because they look. In one family there are sometimes many children and mothers, but there is only one father.
August 7: My life with the Tupiniquins is very good. We are one big family. I am teaching the children the names of animals and fruit in Portuguese. They can say "hello" and "goodbye," too.
I work with the men every day. It is hot in the afternoon, and then we swim in the river. At night we play music and dance.
I have a house, food, and many friends. I live in a beautiful place with good people. But I am not happy. The Tupiniquins are not my people. This place is not my town. I think about Silvia and my children every day. Do   they remember me? When can I go home?
Home Again
Early one morning, after two years in Terra Papagalis, Afonso walked on the beach with Raoni and Uira. They talked and looked for animals. Suddenly, Afonso stopped and looked at the ocean.
"What is that?" he said to Raoni and Uira. "Look!" "It is big ship," Raoni answered. Is it a ship from your country?"
The ship came near the beach. "It is a caravels! Maybe it is from Portugal. Maybe I can go home with them," Afonso said.
After some time, a small boat came to the beach with four men. "Hello," Afonso said. "My name is Afonso Ribeiro. I am from a small town in Portugal." The men talked to Afonso in Portuguese men and talked to the ship's navigator. His name was Amerigo Vespucci. He was from Florence, in Italy. But he worked for Manuel I of Portugal, and his men were Portuguese. Amerigo had a lot of questions for Afonso:
"How is the land?" "Who lives here?" Do the people have boats?" "Are they friendly?"
Afonso answered Captain Vespucci's questions and talked about his life with the Tupiniquins. But he had one important question for the navigator.
Please can I go with you back to Portugal?" Afonso asked. "I want to go home."
"Yes, Afonso," Vespucci said. "Your king is going to be happy with you now. The story of your life here is very important."
In the morning, Amerigo Vespucci went to Terra Papagalis with Afonso. The navigator visited the Tupiniquins and went into their houses. He had gifts for them from the king of Portugal. In the evening, the people played music and danced for the navigator.
Later, Afonso said goodbye. He looked at Uira and Raoni and smiled. " Thank you. You are good friends." Then Afonso and the Tupiniquins cried.
Afonso finished his story at home in Portugal.
June 10, 1502: Today I visited Manuel I. The king said, to know about Terra Papagalis." I talked to the king for a long time about the land, the people, the trees, the fruit...
The king said, "Afonso, you know a lot of things about this place! Thank you for your story. Now you have a new job. Teach my navigator about this new land!
December 15, 1502:  Now I have a big house and a lot of money. I do an important job for the king, and I am happy with my family. Silvia is going to have a child in the new year. I see my children every morning and every night. But sometimes I think about the Tupiniquins, too. Where are Raoni and Uira now?
Am I going to go back to Terra Papagalis one day?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

APRIL IN MOSCOW

April Fox is a dancer. She works for the British Dance Company in Leeds. Her boss there is Maria Grant.
One Monday morning. April arrives early. She sees Maria at the coffee machine. "I've got some good news," says Maria.
There is an envelope in her hand. "Really? What is ti?"
April asks. Maria smiles. "Wait and see," she says.
At ten o'clock the dancers are finishing their first class.
Suddenly, Maria walks into the room. "Can I have a word with you all, please? she says.
"What's this about?" asks April's friend, LAURA.
"I don't know," April answers. The music stops.
"I have a letter here from Moscow," says Maria.
"The Russians want us to dance there next month."
Six weeks later, April is at Heathrow airport in London.
"You're going to have a very good time," says her father. "Of course she is, George," says Mrs Fox. "Now, April, have you got everything? Ticket, passport, money...?" April smiles. "Yes, Mum."
She says goodbye to her presents. Then she sees Laura and Maria. "Come on," says Laura. "It's time to go."
On the plane April and Laura talk about Moscow. They are both very happy. "I want to see everything," says Laura. "The Kremlin - Red Square - the Bolshoi..."
"Me too," says April, "and I want to meet lots of people." "Don't forget we're going there to work," says Maria with a smile.
In Moscow a bus takes the dancers to their hotel.
April and Laura's hotel room is on the second floor.
Laura walks in and puts her bags down. "Great! - there's a TV,' she says and turns it on. A man is reading the news. She pushes another button. Now there's a pop video. "Look, April," she says. 'Russian rock and roll."
But April is not listening. She is looking out of the window. "Moscow," she thinks. "I'm in Moscow."
Next day the dancers work very hard. Their dance for the festival, Green Oceans, is new and very difficult.
They start at eight o'clock and finish at six.
Then, after dinner, they go to the Bolshoi Theatre.
"This is beautiful," says April. Laura sits down next to her. "It really is, she says. Then they watch the Russian dancers. They are all tall, strong, and very, very good.
The day after, April and Laura finish at three o'clock.
They go to a cafe and drink Russian tea. Then Laura looks at her map of Moscow. "Where do you want to go? The Pushkin Museum's near here," she says.
"OK-let's go there," says April. Then she looks at the people in the cafe. "I want to talk to them," she thinks.
"But how? I can't speak Russian."
In a street near the museum there is a small market. "Oh Laura, look," says April. She can see some red and yellow boxes on a table. "Those are pretty."
"They're music boxes," says a young man with glasses.
"You speak English!" says April. The boy smiles. "I'm studying it at university. My friend Nikolai and I only work here at weekends."
April and Laura talk to the boys for a long time. Sasha - the one with glasses - speaks Enblish very well. Nikolai only speak a little.
After twenty minutes, Sasha has an idea. "Listen," he says. "We're going to the country tomorrow for a week's holiday. Some friends are going with us. Do you want to come for the day? It's not very far."
Next morning, Sasha and Nikolai arrive at the girl's hotel in their father's cars. There are three other people with them - Lara, Igor and Sonya.
They all drive to a lake near Moscow. Everyone is laughing and talking.At the lake they have lunch. After that Nikolai plays his guitar and sings Russian songs.
April listens to him.
There is a boat beside the lake. Late in the afternoon, April and Nikolai go out in it. Nikolai looks at April and smiles. April smiles, too. "It's very beautiful here," she says. Nikolai looks into her eyes.
 'Yes," he says. 'beautiful. And you are...beautiful...too. I think I..."
"April!" Laura shouts. "Come on. It's time to go!"
Back in Moscow there is a lot to do. All the dancers work very hard and have no free time.
April tired. Sad, too. She wants to see Nikolai again.
"But how?" she thinks."Where? When? He's in the country and I'm here in Moscow."
Then, the British Dance Company's big night arrives.
"Good luck, everyone," says Maria.
The evening goes very fast. April only thinks about one thing - Green Oceans.
But then, two hours later, the music stops. She stands under a white light. Laura and all the other dancers are beside her. Everyone in the theatre is throwing flowers.
"I think they like us,' "Yes," she says. "I think they do."
Twenty-four hours later, all the British dancers are at Moscow airport. "Now I'm never going to see Nikolai again," thinks April. "And I can't write to him. I don't know his add.."
Then someone says her name. She turns. It's Nikolai!
"The plane's leaving," says Maria Grant. April looks at Nikolai. He gives her a parcel and walks away.
On the plane, April sits next to Laura. Her eyes are wet.
She opens the parcel. "Oh, look," says Laura. It's one of those music boxes - the ones in the market. And there's a latter, too! What does it say?"
But April is too happy to speak. She looks at the letter.
"Can I come and see you in England?'
"Oh, Nikolai, yes,' she thinks. "Yes, you can!"


Friday, July 6, 2012

TINKERS FARM



New York, June 1800 It is 7 o'clock on a warm summer morning. A ship is arriving in New York. Its name is the Red Rose. Two of the people on it are Sam Tinker and his daughter Jenny. Sam and Jenny are English; but now they are starting a new life in America. "Look, Dad!" says Jenny. "We're here. We're really here!"

The Tinkers say goodbye to all their friends. Then they leave the Red Rose. There are lots of people, horses and carts beside the ship. Sam looks at them. "Yes, we're here," he thinks. "But now what? We haven't got any money." He stops a young man with a green coat."Excuse me," he says. I'm looking for a job." The man turns to his right. "Talk to Jack Crane," he answers.

Jack Crane is a farmer. He has a long, thin face and only three fingers on his right hand. He listens to Sam's story. Then he takes off his hat. "OK" He says, "you can both have jobs. I need a new man to work in the fields. And we want someone to help in the kitchen, too - isn't that right, Blue Sky?" There is an Indian girl on top of the cart. "Yes", she says and smiles at Jenny.

Two hours later the Tinkers leave New York with Jack Crane and Blue Sky. They are both very happy. "How far is it to your farm, Mr Crane?" asks Sam. "Eighty kilometres," Jack Crane answers.They drive all afternoon. Jenny is sitting next to Sam. She is tired, but she does not want to sleep. "This is America," she thinks," ...and now I'm American."

After six hours Jack Crane stops cart."Well... there it is," he says. Jenny stands up.It is evening now and the sun is going down. In front of them there are lots of beautiful yellow fields and a big farmhouse. Jenny looks to her left. Where's that smoke coming from?" she asks. That's the Indian village", answers Blue Sky. "My family lives there."

The next day the Tinkers start work. Jenny helps Blue Sky in the farmhouse. First the two girls cook everyone's breakfast. Then they make all the beds. After that they clean the kitchen floor. At the same time Sam is working in the fields. After four or five hours he stops for a minute. "What are you stopping for?" asks Jack Crane. "Come on - get back to work!"

Sam and Jenny have only one free day every week - Sunday. It's Blue Sky's free day, too. That is when she visits her family. One Sunday Jenny goes with her. She makes a lot of new friends. She meets the village Chief, too - Silver Cloud. He has a beautiful wife and a young son. After that first visit, Jenny often goes to the village. She starts to learn some Indian words, too.

Jenny is always happy with her new Indian friends. But she is not happy on the farm. Sam is unhappy, too. "I don't want to work here on Jack Crane's farm any more," he says one evening. "I want to work on my farm, Tinkers Farm." I know, Dad," Jenny answers.then she thinks, "But how? We can't buy any land.Jack Crane pays us only two dollars a week".

Four days later Jenny and Blue Sky are making the beds. Suddenly they hear somethings. two men are shouting. Jenny looks out of the window. She can see Jack Crane and her father in front of the farmhouse.Jack Crane's face is very red. "Do it!" he shouts. "No, I'm not going to," Sam shouts back. "It's Sunday and I don't work on Sundays. You do it!"

Jenny runs downstairs and out of the house. There is a strong wind and it is raining."What's happening?" she ask her father. "We're leaving in the morning." Sam answers. He is walking very fast. Jenny looks at him. "But ... how are we going to eat? We haven't got any money." Sam does not answer. His eyes cold and hard.

That evening Jenny and Blue Sky go to the Indian village. 'This is going to be my last visit." Jenny thinks. Blue Sky is sad, too. She does not want to lose her friend.The two girls say nothing for twenty minutes. Then Blue Sky stops her horse. She can see something in the river to their right. It is a small boy. "I'm coming, " she shouts. Then she jumps into the cold river. "Help!" he is shouting. I can't swim. Help me! Please!"

It's the Chief's son!" says Blue Sky. 'What are we going to ... "But before she can say another word Jenny gets off her horse.

"I'm coming," she shouts. Then she jump into the cold river. "Help!" shouts. the boy. Jenny swims to him. His head is going under the water. She puts one arm around him. "It's OK," she says. You're safe now."

Half an hour later Jenny and Blue Sky arrive at the Indian village. The Chief comes to meet them. "But ... I don't understand," he says to Blue Sky. "Why is my son with you? And why are he and the English girl wet?!"

Blue Sky tells him the story. After that the Chief is very happy. He smiles at Jenny. "How can I thank you?" he says. "Please ... let me give you something. Anything."

At 9 o'clock Sam is putting some boots into a bag. "What's going to happen tomorrow?' he thinks. Suddenly the door opens. It is Jenny. "Come with me, Dad," she says. "I want to show you something." Sam looks at his daughter. Her eyes are bright and she is smiling. "What are you talking about?" he asks. "There isn't time for any questions." says Jenny. "Come on."

She takes her father to a hill. At the top she says,

"Look! Can you see that land over there?" "Yes," Sam answers. Then Jenny tells him about Silver Cloud's son.

After she finishes, Sam says, "You mean ... ?" "Yes," Jenny smiles at her father. "The Indians are giving us our own farm ... 'TINKERS FARM' Oh Dad, isn't it wonderful? Now we can really start a new life."

Thursday, July 5, 2012

WHO WANTS TO BE A STAR

Tina Daniels is thirteen years old and she is a star. She can sing and dance. Everyone knows her. Everyone loves her. They call her "Curls" because she has beautiful curly hair. They all want her photo. She have anythings she wants.
 But is she happy?
 Does she want to be a star?
"Tina, why are you eating chocolates?" her mother asks. "I like them. They're nice!" Tina says. You're getting fat, and a fat girl doesn't get lots of money in Hollywood. "Mrs Daniels says. You want the money-I don't!" Tina says.
 Tina is angry with her mother and Mrs Daniels is angry with Tina. Tina leaves the room and cries.
Tina is very sad. She does not want to be a star. She wants a quit life. One day she an idea. Her schoolfriend, Mary, has a grandmother called Mrs White. Old Mrs White lives in the country, in Stonechurch. Tina has a  photo of Mary in front of Mrs White's house. It looks very pretty-not like the city!
 Tina decide to go there.
Tina is at the city station. She is wearing jeans and an old jumper. People do not know who she is.
 "Where do you want to go, young girl?" the man at the ticket office asks her. Stonechurch, please. When's the next train?" Tina asks. "The train leaves at two o'clock from platform three. the man say. Tina buys her ticket.
Tina arrives at Stonechurch. She sees an old house near the river. It is the house in the photo! There are flowers and trees in the garden.
 'Mrs White must live here." Tina thinks. She goes to the front door and rings the bell. An old lady with white hair and a kind face opens the door. A black cat comes out too.
" Good afternoon, who are you?" the old lady asks.
 "Oh, hello, Mrs White. My name is Tina. I'm a schoolfriend of your granddaughter, Mary." 'Mary's schoolfriend-how nice to meet you! What are you doing in Stonechurch. Tina?" Mrs White asks. Tina says she hates the city life. "Well," says Mrs White, come in and have a cup of tea, my dear."
 Tina and Mrs White drink tea and talk. Mrs White does not know Tina is a star. She does not have a television or a radio. Tina, is very happy! Mrs White says, " Tina, you can say with me for a week, but first you must telephone your mother." Tina is angry with her mother and doesn't telephone her. "Mother says yes"! she says to Mrs White later. Her face is little red.
 Two days later Mrs White is talking for a walk.
 "Look at the lambs!" Mrs White says.
"Yes. I love them. I want to be a lamb. They cam jump and run and be happy."
 "You can run and jump and be happy too. Tina."
"No. I can't I -
"Tina, you're young. Run!"
Tina is living a very different life in the country. She sees new things all the time.
 Now it is night, and Tina and Mrs White are waiting. it is very quiet. Every night some hedgehogs come to the garden. Mrs White puts out food for them.
"I love their long brown noses." Mrs White says. "So do I." says Tina.
"Oh, look!" says Tina.
A big brown fox is running across the garden. At first Tina is very happy to see the fox. There aren't any foxes in gardens in the city! Then she sees the fox has something in its mouth. The "something" is Mrs White's chicken! Mrs White is very angry and wants to kill the fox!
Mrs White and Tina look at the fox's work. The chickens are making a terrible noise. "We can't have eggs for breakfast in the morning, Tina, say Mrs White. "Why not?" asks Tina. "The chickens aren't very happy they can't give us eggs," Mrs White explains.
 For breakfast Tina has toast and fresh orange juice.
 Three days later Tina is with Bella, the horse. She loves Bella and gives her some sugar.
 Today the postman has a latter for. Mrs White. When he sees Tina, he says. " I don't believe it-it's Curls!" Them he says to her, "Everyone's looking for you. you're in all the newspapers!" He runs to his red van to find his newspaper.
 Mrs White reads the postman's newspaper.
"Tina", says Mrs White, "you're the LOST TV STAR: aren't you! I don't understand...Your mother..."
"Yes, I'm Curls, but please don't send me home. I'm happy here with you."
  "I'm coming with you to see your mother. I've got a good idea." Mrs White says.
 Tina's mother is very happy to see Tina again. Mrs White explains her idea: Tina can go her friend's school on the island of Guernsey, between England and France. Tina can have friends there who do not know she is Curls.
 "What? I want Tina to be a star!" Mrs Daniels says.
 "She wants to be happy," Mrs White says quietly.
 Tina is at school in Guernsey. She has new friends and new interests. One day, Tina's friend is reading a magazine. It is about film and television stars. There are lots of beautiful photos of beautiful people. Everyone looks very happy. "What a wonderful life!" the friend says. Tina smiles to herself. "Who wants to be a star? she says. "I don't".

BY LONGMAN PENGUIN