Главная страница «Первого сентября»Главная страница журнала «Английский язык»Содержание №3/2009

The Seven Wells

Crimean Legend

Long-long ago in the Crimean village there were problems with water. So, the men dug seven wells that started to give some water to the local people.
Once, a German man was chosen as the head of the village. He was a wise man and he offered the people to take water free. So everybody was happy to get as much water as they needed.
That man had seven sons. The youngest, whose name was Fritz was the healthiest and strongest in the family. In his childhood he noticed that when some water was taken from the wells, it splashed on the ground. So he didn’t like that and once said to his father, “When I grow up, I’ll ask the village dwellers to pay for the water from the wells. They splash too much water on the ground”. “On, no!” said his father, “water is the most precious thing in this land. It should be free.”
A few years passed. The old German died. Then his six sons died of some disease one by one, and Fritz was made head of the village. He immediately made his wish come true. He said to the villagers that from that day they should pay for the water from the wells. All the wells were locked and Fritz kept the keys to the wells.
One day the village dwellers decided to rebel against Fritz because he told them they wouldn’t have any water for one day.
An old soldier came to the village. He was tired and thirsty and asked for some pure water. Fritz didn’t let him drink because the soldier had no money to pay for it. The soldier begged Fritz to help him. But it was all in vain. When the soldier was dying, he cursed Fritz.
After his death one of the wells was open but the water disappeared from it. When Fritz’s servant opened the other six wells and found no water there, he told it to his master. Fritz was furious. Thus he was punished for his cruelty.


1. Find in the text the English equivalents:

выкопали семь колодезей, глава деревни, проливалась на землю, самая драгоценная вещь на земле, он тотчас же осуществил своё желание, не позволил ему попить, умолял, всё это было напрасно, вода исчезла из колодца

2. Answer the questions:

1) Why did the men dig seven wells?
2) Who was chosen the head of the village?
3) How many sons did the German have?
4) What did Fritz dislike in childhood?
5) When did Fritz make his wish come true?
6) What did Fritz do with the wells?
7) Why couldn’t the old soldier drink any water from the well?
8) What happened to the wells after the soldier’s death?

3. Describe the character of:

a) the German
b) Fritz

Use these adjectives: angry, wise, sly, arrogant, kind-hearted, selfish, cruel.

4. Look at the sentences:

1) He made his wish come true.
2) Fritz didn’t let him drink.

We use this grammar construction:

make } somebody } do something

Make sentences about your family and school.

What does your Mom/Dad/sister/brother/Granny make you do and let you do at home?
What does your English/Math/Russian teacher make you do and let you do at the lessons?

5. Retell the story as if you are one of the village dwellers. Speak about your attitude to Fritz.

6. Round Table Discussion

1) Where in the world are there great problems with water? Show these places on the map.
2) How can people solve these problems?

By Alexander Derbaremdiker ,
Polytechnic College No. 8, Moscow