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BAZA ZNANJA


Kurs: - Upper-Intermediate

Modul: Past Modals

Autor: prof. Gordana Matorkić

Naziv jedinice: The Dead Wife


Materijali vezani uz ovu lekciju:

- Test the dead wife



 

THE DEAD WIFE



Once upon a time there were a man and his wife who lived in the forest, very far from the rest of the tribe. Very often they were hunting together, but after a while the wife had so many things to do that she was obliged to stay at home; so he went alone, though he realised that when his wife was not with him he never had any luck. One day, when he was aways hunting, the woman fell ill, and in a few days she died.

Her husband grieved bitterly, and buried her in the house where she had spent her life; but as the time went on he felt so lonely without her that he made a wooden doll about her height and size for company, and dressed it in her clothes. He seated it in front of the fire, and tried to think he had his wife back again. The next day he went out to hunt, and when he came home the first thing he did was to go up to the doll and brush off some of the ashes from the fire which had fallen on its face. But he was very busy now, for he had to cook and mend, besides getting food, for there was no one to help him. And so a whole year passed away. 

One night he came back from hunting and found some wood by the door and a fire within. The next night there was not only wood and fire, but a piece of meat on the plate and tea in the kettle, nearly ready for eating. He was searching all day yesterday to see who could have done this, but could find no one. The next time he went to hunt he took care not to go too far away, and came in quite early. And while he was still a long way off, he saw a woman who was going into the house with wood on her shoulders. So he made haste, and opened the door quickly, and instead of the wooden doll, his wife was sitting in front of the fire.  

Then she spoke to him and said, `The Great Spirit felt sorry for you, because you would not be comforted, so he let me come back to you, but you must not stretch out your hand to touch me till we have seen the rest of our people. If you do, I shall die.`  

So the man listened to her words, and the woman lived there, and she was bringing the wood and kindling the fire, till one day her husband said to her, `It is now two years since you died. Let us now go back to our tribe. Then you will be well, and I can touch you.`  

He prepared food for the journey and they started. Now the camp of the tribe was distant six days` journey, and when they were yet one day`s journey off it began to snow, and they felt weary and longed for rest. Therefore they made a fire, cooked some food, and spread out their skins to sleep. 

Then the heart of the man was greatly stirred, and he stretched out his arms to his wife, but she waved her hands and said, `We have seen no one yet; it is too soon.` 

But he would not listen to her, and caught her to him! He was clasping the wooden doll. And when he saw it was the doll, he pushed it from him in all his misery and rushed away to the camp, and told them his story. Some doubted so they went back with him to the place where he and his wife had stopped to rest, and there was the doll lying. However, beside the doll in the snow, they could see the steps of two people. The man was said to have spent all the days of his life grieving.
 

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