Short Stories For English Learners (Flood)

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Short Stories For English Learners (Flood)

Short Stories For English Learners (Flood)


“Help!” out of a darkness perhaps ten feet away came the cry. A second later it sounded again, farther downstream, but I could do nothing.
A mad rush of icy water was flowing over me. I was clinging to the branches of a tree, my body straight out in the fast-moving current.
Then suddenly a form appeared. I recognized it as my son. He grapped one of the branches and gradually pulled himself to the tree. Inch by inch we fought against the powerful current and finally climbed to the top of the little apple tree.
Twenty minutes before, we had been in our motorboat, looking for people who were stranded by the flood. The water was almost to the roofs of the houses and still rising. The street lights were out; the houses were dark except for a kerosene lamp left burning in a window here and there.
The fire department whistle was warning everyone within hearing distance that the dam 20 miles up river had broken. The state police were helping who had been left homeless.
“it’ll be terrible here before morning!” came a voice from the darkness. “the water’s already rising a foot an hour.”
“Who lives beyond here?” we asked.
“McGrath’s the nearest,” someone replied. “You might reach him. There more live farther on. But you won’t be able to get to their houses.”
We looked at each other. Leave people out there when a wall of water from a broken dam is due to strike in two or three houses?
“let’s try to help them,” my son said.
Failure
Across West Street our boat hit the current-a mass of swift water that tried to push us against the telephone ples.
McGrath’s house came in sight, a single lamp shining from a window. Between it and our boat there was an empty lot 200 feet wide; over this lot the big river was pouring thousands of gallons of water each second.
Could we get there? The motor of the boat, racing against the stream, sounded above the roar of the water. Slowly we gained; at last we nosed against McGrath’s porch.
McGrath climbed into the boat. Again we went into the current, heading upstream but making no progress. Slowly the water pushed us back, and our boat struckthe branches of an apple tree.
For an istant we remained there, the motor running full speed; then the boat turned over as quickly and easily as one turns the page of a book.  A second later it disappeared in the blackness. My son and I managed to catch hold of an apple tree farther down the stream, bu McGrath was carried away by the current –never to return. 
A Lone Night
It was midnight now. How much more would the water rise? Would it go higher than our tree? A light shone in farmhouse  half amile away across a field, now deep under water. Twenty- five feet to the east we saw the dark form of a garage and, beyond that, a house.  We were close to safety, yet unable to reach it!
I dorpped one foot into the wate; the current pulled so hard it almost carried  away! Fifty feet upstream a row of telephone poles marked the highway. Only two days ago I had driven my car along that road and now it was the path of a mighty flood.
Ice water dripped from our clothes. We put our coats around us in an effort to warm ourselves a little. Great waves of trembling shook us from head to foot. My son spoke: “This doesn’t look very good, does it?”
“No,” I said, “but we’re still here and if the tree goes maybe we can take hold of something else.”
A prayer
I prayed silently. I don’t remember now what the prayer was about, but in it were my wife at home and the younger boy who was waiting for us on the shore, still expecting us to bring back another load of refuges.
Then we shouted for help. We didn’t really expect to be rescued, for we knew that no small boat could reach us. Our boat had been the largest in use that night. But the shouting made us feel better. Gradually the heat of our bodies warmed our clothing and we stopped trembling.
Hours passed. Debris shot past with ever-increasing speed as the water rose. Once a log hit our tree and stuck in the lower branches. The steady roar of the water hurt our ears and seemed to beat against our brains. We would have given anything for one moment of silence!
At about two o’clock we heared the sound of wood breaking upstream: McGrath’s barn was going. It broke away from the house and moved part way acroos the road. Rain fell in sheets. The cold settled in our bones.
We noticed in front of us that a garage divided the current; the water poured around both sides of the small building, with some slack in between. If we had to jump, perhaps it would give us an advantage. We studied the situation; it was something to talk about.
At about four o’clock in the morning a floating object hit our tree. Again the sound of breaking  wood fell on our ears. “Time to go,” I said, and leaned to one side in order to jump away from the tree.
At that moment the garage started to move downstream past our tree and into the night without a sound. In its place came a stream of rushing water.
The river was rising rapidly now. Our feet rouched the water. Suddenly our tree fell, hurling us into the current. Each of us manged to hold on the log that had stuck in the lower branches of the tree just before it began to rush downstream.
In the current
We kicked our feet in the hope of pushing the log to the shore. What a relief to be doning something after hours of inactivity! There was no sense of motion now. We were in a mad current, but every thing was drifting with us. Our legs slowly went through the motion of swimming. I knew we couldn’t last much longer.
Then out of the darkness there appeared a black object on the water. It was the side of a house. We got on it and tried to stand up, but our legs wouldn’t support us.
By the time it was daylight, and we could see land a quarter of a mile away. We yelled for help with new hope. Then we sighted a large rowboat.
There is little more to tell. When the boat landed us, I inquired about my younger son. I soon found him- a tired boy, just about to go home to tell his mother that his father and older brother had gone downstream and would never return.
Clinging, holding fast
Grabbed, seized suddenly; took hold of in a quick and strong way
Stranded, made helpless; left in a state of difficulty
Kerosene, a thin oil burned in lamps
Dam, a wall or bank to hold back the water of a stream or river
Swift, fast-moving
Gallon, a unit of measurement for liguids. A liquid is a substance that can be poured freely. Water is liquid.
Garage, a building where cars are kept
Highway, a main road
Dripped, fell in drops
Refugees, persons seeking shelter or protection from danger
Rescued, saved from danger
Debris, scattered, broken pieces of things
Barn, a building for cows, horses and other farm animals
Slack, water that is almost stillor barely moving
Hurling, throwing with great force
Drifting, being carried along by water
Yelled, made loud, sharp cries; shouted

Why Lincoln Grew a Beard?

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Why Lincoln Grew a Beard?

Best short stories for intermediate English learners

Why Lincoln Grew a Beard?


Though he wore his beard only four years, today we can hardly think of Abraham Lincoln without it. He often talked about the little girl in West field, New York, who suggested in a letter that he grow the famous the famous beard.
Few know the girl’s name, there is no mention of 11-years old Grace Bedell in some of the thickest books puplished about Lincoln. But he enjoyed telling the story and would add with a quiet chuckle, “sometime a small thing can change our lives!”
The girl’s advice
Grace Bedell sat in her attic room lookig at a picture which her father had given her. It was not a drawong and it was not a painting, yet you could see every hair on Lincoln’s head and all the details of his clothing. It was the first photograph Grace had ever seen. It gave her a strange feeling that the tall, lean man himself was looking at her.
Grace little lamp threw shadows on the black-and-white photograph. The features seemed to come alive. A series of small shadows lay around the thin face and covered the hollow cheeks. “whiskers!” she thought. “How becoming!” she said to herself. “somebody should tell him. If he really had whiskers, all the ladies would like him. They would ask their husbands to vote for him, and he would become president. I must tell him.” She reached for a pen and began to write a letter:
Westfield
Chautauqua County, N.Y.
Cotober 15, 1860
Mr. Abraham Linoln
Dear sir:
I am a little girl 11 years old, but I want you to be president of the United States very much. So I hope you won’t think me very bold to write to such a great man as you are.
Have you a little girl about as large as I am? If so, give her my love and tell her to write me if you cannot answer this letter. I have four brothers and some of them will vote for you. If you will let your whiskers grow, I will try to get the others to vote for you. You would look a good deal better, for your face is so thin. All the ladies like whiskers, and they would ask their husbands to vote for you. Then you would become President.
                                                                                        GRACE BEDELL
At that time about 50 letters a day arrived at the Lincoln campaign headquarters.
Lincoln saw only those from friends and from very important people. His two secretaries, John Nicolay and John Hay, considered all the other mail unimportant and usually did not give it to Lincoln.
Hay picked up a group of letters from his desk and began to read them. “Now,” he said, “a little girl tells the Chief how he can be elected.” “Put it in the wastebasket,” answered Nicolay. “she has an original idea,” Hay smiled. “she thinks he should grow whiskers,” “throw the letter away, Hay. We have plenty of other work to do,” “No, Nicolay. Maybe the Chief should – ‘
A large, blue-eyed, bearded man walked into the office without knocking. He said, “ Good moring, young fellows,” and Hay spoke to him. “Mr. Herndon, I think –“ Nicolay became impatient. “Hay let’s forget about the whisker, let’s forget about the little girl,” he said.
“little girl?” Herndon’s eyes suddenly turned gentle as he looked toward the door of Lincoln’s office.
It was not completely closed, so Herndon lowered his voice, “The Chief loves little girls. When he meets one on the street, he always stops to talk to her. What were you saying about a little girl?”
Nicolay was angry by this time. “Hay, I said drop that letter in the wastebasket! And after that, you’ll have to rush a reply to this letter from the Governor of Pennsylvania. This is really important.”
“Why?” said Lincoln’s calm voice as he walked through the door. “The Governor’s old enough to be patient.”
A few days later Grace Bedell received this letter:
                                                    Springfield, Illinois
                                                    October 19, 1860
Miss Grace Bedell
Westfield, New York
My dear little Miss,
Your very agreeable letter of October 15 has been received. I regret the necessity of saying that I have no daughters. I have three sons: one seventeen, one nine, and one seven years of age. They, with their mother, constitue my entire family. As to whiskers,I have never had any. Do you think people would consider it a silly thing to do if I began to grow some now?
                                                               Your very good friend,
A.    LINCOLN
On February 16 fo the following year a special train carried the newly elected President Lincoln to the White House. The people of west field learned that the train would stop briefly at a station near their town. The Bedell family arrived at the station and found a large sign with the words “Hail to the Chief” above the tracks and the Star-Spangled Baner flying from the roof of the station.
As Grace looked around at the many strange faces, there was a sudden silence. A thousand ears strained to listen. “Here comes the train!” someone in the crowd shouted. Grace raised her eyes as high as she could and saw the top of a black railway engine pass slowly beyond the heads of the the people in fornt of her. Then came the flat roof of a railway car, and another, and a third with the Stars and Stripes waving from the back of it.
A very tall, black hat stood a little higher than a lot of other black hats – that was all Grace could see. Some of the people were shouting  “ speech! Speech!” and Grace held her breath. All around her everyone became quiet. “Ladies and gentlemen,” someone said, “I have no speech to make and no times to make it. I appear before you so that I may see you and you may see me.”
Grace felt ice-cold. It was he-his voice. He was up there on the platform. She tried hard to see him, but all she could see was the black hat.
Lincoln was speaking again. “I have but one question, standing here beside the falg: will you give me the support a man needs to be president of out country?”
Hands and hats rose into the air along with loud voices: “Yes- yes- we certainly will, Abe!”
Once more Graces heard Linclon. “I have a little correspondent in this place,” he said. “This little lady told me how to improve my appearance, and I want to thank her. If she present, I would like to speak to her.”
“My little Friend”
“Tell us her name,” someone shouted. “The name!” And Lincoln replied: “Her name is Grace Bedell.”
Her father took Grace’s hand and led her forward. She went without noticing that a path was opened for them and that they were trailed by pointing fingers and whispers. She went to the one who had asked for her by name.
There were steps ahead, so her father lifted her up to the platform in sight fo a thousand people, up to a pair fo big feet.
Some wherd above her she heard s slow chuckle. “she wrote me that thought I would look better if I wore whiskers”
He stooped. Grace felt stong hands under her arms. Then, as if she had no weight at all, she was raised high in the air, kissed on both cheeks and gently set down again. The beard was good to look a, but it did not feel good against her checks.
The thousand people were forgotten. Grace looked and laughed happily, for up there on the rugged face were the whiskers.
“You see, I let them gorw for you, Grace,” said Linclon. Grace could do nothing but look at the tall, plain, great man. She would have been happy to stand and look forever and ever.
He took her hand. She heard him say that he hoped to see his little friend again sometime, she understood that this moment had to end. He helped her down the steps of the railway car, and she went obediently, like a good girl, back to her proud father.
Grace heard the train whistle and the loud noise of the engine starting again on it journey. People cheered and waved  after the train untill it was far down the tracks. But in her mind Grace heard only three words repeated over and over: “My little friend…”
If you visit Springfield, Illinois, today you will see where Abraham Lincoln used to live. It is a plain, white, twostory house with a fence around it. People say it looks just as it did then, oustided and inside. On the wall of a room hangs a piece of paper covered with a child’s handwiriting: “Dear Sir – I am an lillle girl 11 years old…”
Vocabulary
Beard, long hair growing on sides and lower parts of a man’s face
Chuckle, a low, quiet laugh
Attic, a room at the top fo a house, just under the roof
Photograph, a picture made with a camera
Whiskers, pleasingly suitable to on’s appearance
Bold, daring
Campaign headquarters, a place where a man seeking to be elected to public office plans his activities and directs his helpers. The effort to win the elecion is called a campaign.
Wastebasket, a basket or box in which to throw wastpaper or other useless material
Regret, be sorry about
Constitue, make up, form
Silly, foolish
White House, a large white house in Washington, D.C., where the president of the united states lives.
Hail, greetings, welcome. “Hail to the Chief’ means “welcome to the chief”
Star-Spangled Banner, a name for the united states flag
Stars and Stripes, another name for the united states flag
Platform, a raised floor, usually made of wood. In this story, the platform is a kind of porch on the end of a railway car.
Abe, a short form of the name Abraham
Correspondent, a person with whom one exchanges letters
Stooped, bent his body forward and down
Rugged, deeply lined

The American Accent Course

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The American Accent Course 







Where do I go to take this class?

The American Accent Course is completely online so you can take it from anywhere in the world.  You don’t have to travel anywhere, you don’t have to take time away from work or school.  You can even come to the class in your pajamas if you like.

Is the course for certain groups, or people who speak certain languages?


  • The American Accent Course was designed for people who learned English as teenagers or adults.  It doesn’t matter what your native language is.  Many people who take it are professionals in all kinds of careers- or university students.
  • Is my English good enough to take this course?

    • The entire course is taught in English, so you will need at least a high intermediate level of English to take the program.  If you use English for everyday life, you should be just fine.
    • What happens if I decide to take some time off or go on vacation?

      • No need to worry about that.  Everything can be done at your own pace.  If you need to take more time to go over everything, you can.  In fact, the American Accent Course will be yours to keep, so even if you want to come back for a review in 5 years, you can do it!
      • How long does it take to finish this class?

        • The American Accent Course has 24 lessons.  Each lesson takes around one and a half to two hours to complete.  Ideally you would complete one lesson each week so you have time to practice and incorporate what you have learned into your speech.  Some people like to work a lot faster.  For this, we recommend purchasing the entire course at once.  Others need or want to take their time with everything.  That is fine, too.  Everyone learns and works at a different speed.
      • Can I see a sample of the classes?

      • Yes, you can! Let me send you a sample from a pronunciation class and you can download an audio on using stress and pitch to “Americanize” your accent.
        Just click on the button below to take a tour and get the samples.
        • know more about the course and how to buy clicking on this picture 
        •  


      • What You'll Be Receiving in the American Accent Course:

        (You'll be Shocked at the Depth of this Program)






  • Over 50 Hours of Training!
  • New Training Materials Every Week for 24 Weeks
  • Training on Intonation, Rhythm and Timing
  • Pronunciation of American English Vowels
  • Learn What a Schwa is and Why It is So Important for Learning the American Accent
  • Pronunciation of American English Consonants
  • How to Blend Consonants Together
  • How to Properly Link Words Together
  • Training on Word and Sentence Stress Patterns
  • Downloadable Audios to Listen ‘On the Go’
  • Downloadable Workbook
  • Downloadable Awareness Journal
  • Exercises and Quizzes
  • Access to Small Group and Private Classes*
  • LIFETIME ACCESS to All Materials

10 Most Exciting Face Optical Illusion

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10 Most Exciting Face Optical Illusion



face optical illusions 1

face optical illusions 2

face optical illusions 3

face optical illusions 4

face optical illusions 5

face optical illusions 6

face optical illusions 7

face optical illusions 8

face optical illusions 9

face optical illusions

Collection Of 20 Very Amazing Knives

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Collection Of 20 Very Amazing Knives 





















Group Of 30 Abbreviations Which Are Commonly Used In English

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Group Of 30 Abbreviations Which Are Commonly Used In English



HAND (have a nice day)

3> love

SAR sent as received

BRB/BBS/BBL

TYAL thank you a lot

WTH what the hell

ASAP as soon as possible

W8 wait

J4F just for fun

MYOB mind your own business

wrongly sent

FYI@

FWIW

PLz

OTW

ROFL

PBB

CUL see you later

^ 5  high five

ASL

IMHO

K

why?

zzzzzzzzzz

TTYL

Urs

RUP

Sre.PB

BTW

HBD

BF


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