There was a little bird on the fence. It was sitting and singing its beautiful morning songs. The sun was already up, but it was still very early and it was a little cold.

There were ten people on the dusty road. They were coming out of the forest. They were carrying a lot of wood, which they stole in the forest. They went to the forest very early, before the sun went up. Now they were returning home.

They all lived in a very small village. There were only 35 houses in their village. They were walking slowly. Some of them were carrying some wood on their backs. Others had a trunk of a tree on their shoulders.

When they got close to the village, a stranger came to them and said: ‘Good morning gentlemen. I can see that you are working very hard. I hope that you had strong breakfast, before you went to work.’

They did not know this man and they did not like him. But one of the men, the eldest one, replied: ‘We did not have our breakfast. We did not have any wood to make fire; and we need fire to cook our breakfast. We can cook it now.’

I see,’ said the stranger. ‘Now, you have wood. Now you have enough wood to cook hundreds of breakfasts,’ he said and pointed with his finger at the wood, which they were holding on their shoulders. Then he continued: ‘But I would like to know whether you paid for this wood or not’

The men with the wood on their shoulders looked at each other. They did not like this stranger’s questions. Again, the oldest of the men looked at the stranger and asked him, ‘Why do you want to know whether or not we paid for the wood?’

‘Well, I am just a little bit curious. There are many policemen around. They are visiting all the villages these days. They’re going from one village to another one and they are going into the forest, too. They are trying to catch some thieves who steal wood from the forest,’ said the stranger and he smiled at the men. ‘So, I am just a little bit curious. How did you get the wood which you are carrying on your shoulders?’

‘How did we get the wood?’ the oldest of the men asked and smiled back at the stranger. ‘As usual!’ he said and all his men laughed. ‘We found it on the ground. And because it was on the ground, we don’t have to pay for it.’ All the men were smiling at the curious stranger.

‘I see, I see,’ said the stranger. ‘But the wood, which you are carrying on your shoulders, it is a trunk of a tree, isn’t it?’ said the stranger and pointed with his finger at the wood on their shoulders. ‘I think that you cut down this tree, didn’t you?’

‘No, no, we didn’t!’ said the oldest man and all his friends started to shake their heads. ‘We didn’t cut down this tree. We found it. It was on the ground.’

‘On the ground?’ repeated the stranger. He did not trust this man.

‘Yes, yes. We found it on the ground,’ said the man. ‘Look at us. We are not strong enough to cut down a tree like this one. This tree is too thick for us to cut down,’ said the man and smiled.

In my opinion, you are strong enough to cut a tree like this one,’ replied the stranger.

‘No, no, we aren’t. We are weak. We are very weak men,’ said the man and all his friends laughed again.

‘So, why are you carrying those axes?’ asked the curious stranger and smiled. ‘People use axes to cut down trees, don’t they?’

‘Yes, some people use axes to cut down trees, that’s true,’ answered the man. ‘But we don’t. We take only the wood, which is on the ground. We don’t need axes to cut down any trees.’

‘So, why did you take your axes with you this morning?’ asked the stranger curiously. ‘You went to the forest early in the morning and you took your axes with you, although you didn’t want to use them to cut down the trees?! And you found a tree. Someone cut it down before you came there? And they left it on the ground. And now, you are coming back with a piece of a trunk, which you found on the ground, and with the axes, which you did not use. Correct?’

‘Exactly!’ said the oldest of the men. He was smiling, when he continued:

to be continued…

fence /fens/ – plot

forest /ˈfɒrɪst/ – les

carry /ˈkæri/ – niesť

I see – chápem

point /pɔɪnt/ – (tu) ukazovať prstom

curious /ˈkjʊəriəs/ – (tu) zvedavý

thief /θiːf/ pl. thieves /θiːvz/ – zlodej

trunk /trʌŋk/ – kmeň

shake /ʃeɪk/ – (tu) krútiť (hlavou)

In my opinion /əˈpɪnjən/- podľa mňa; podľa môjho názoru

although /ɔːlˈðəʊ/ – hoci

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