One day they met
an old and poor man who said to them
that they could find Death under an oak.
(Pilgrims from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales )
Some years ago, there was a group
of young men who lived very badly. One Sunday they were sitting
in a tavern instead of going to church. A man was killed by a
thief called Death. The young men weren¡¯t afraid and made a
promise: if one of them was killed the other two will kill the
One day they met an old and poor
man who said to them that they could find Death under an oak.
The three men ran down the crooked path towards the tree. When
they found the oak he saw a huge pile of new gold coins. They
immediately forgot all about Death.
The leader said that he must made
a plan: they must take the gold away to his house as soon as
possible. But they must take it away secretly at night.
Therefore, one of the young men, went to the town to get bread
and wine for them. When it was dark they carried the gold to one
of their houses.
When the youngest had gone, the
leader said to the other that he would kill him. The other
agree. But the youngest was also thinking about the gold as he
ran to the town. He would poison his two companions. He puts the
poison in two bottles of wine, but not in the third and went
back to the tree.
The story finishes with the
youngest stabbed and the other two poisoned.
1. Why was the bell
ringing in the street?
2. What did the man decide
3. Where did the old man
say they could find Death?
4. How did they treat the
5. What did they find
under the tree?
6. Why did the youngest
man go to the town?
7. How did the three men
8. Who do you think the
old man was?