Elmer's War

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Elmer's War
2-10-38.jpg Read the story "Elmer's War" on pages 170-175.

Elmer's War

1 Choose the right answers for the questions.

1.    What happened in 1066?
a) the battle of Hastings
b) the battle of Waterloo
c) the Vikings came to the British Isles

2.    Who fought in the battle?
a) the English against the Vikings
b) the English against the Germans
c) the English against the French (Normans)

3.    Who won the battle?
a) the English
b) the French (Normans)
c) the Vikings d) the Germans

2 Listen to the words and expressions and repeat them after the speaker.


3 Read the story and answer the questions of Ex. 4.

Elmer's War

Elmer's War

Happy birthday, Elmer!" These X JLkind words woke Elmer up, but he didn't open his eyes. For a few seconds he laid in his bed and panicked. It had been happening to him every morning since all his family were killed four years ago... in 1066.

Then he remembered: he was safe, in the castle of his uncle, Lord Thorkill of Arden. The only thing that reminded him of his past was a golden ring that he had found in the forest and that he never took off his finger. Elmer believed that the ring had saved him four years ago. The boy's face relaxed. He opened his eyes and smiled at the old man, who was sitting next to his bed.

"Get up, my boy!" Uncle Thorkill said, "We have a very busy day! I'm going  to  invitе  somе  important  people: Baron Мiles  Crispin  and his wifе,  and Dukе Robert..."

"What are you saying, uncle! These people are all Normans. How can you invite them to my birthday?"    

"You are fourteen today. It's time to think about your future. These peoole are very rich. One day they'll introduce you to our King William. By the way how's your French? Have you made any progress?"   

"Оh, plеase, don't ask mе abоut my Frenсh.  You know I hate the language Why don t you invite our good neighbours, Lord Saewold and ЫьЛмТп Lord Wolf and Lady Catherine?"   

"Stop it, Elmer. These people are nothing. They have lost their lands. And hose who still have some land are tenants of Baron Miles Crispin That's the end of the conversation! This evening you must be in the great hall And don t be late!"

Lord Thorkill left, and Elmer ran down through the great hall, and out of the house. He needed to talk to his best friend Sigurd. Sigurd helped Lord Thorkill s cook in the kitchen and Elmer could always find him in the back yard of the castle, but not today. When Elmer finally got to his friend Sigurd was crying.   

"What's happened?" Elmer whispered, "Why are you crying, friend?"

"I'll be tine. Don't worry about mе, Sir Еlmer.  You are the nephew of Lord I horkill of Arden, and I'm his slave. How can we be friends?"

"Yesterday I cooked dinner and Lord Thorkill didn't like it. The cow was сold,  thе swinе was hard and  I burnt  thе dеer. So when  thе соok heard about  it, he beat me. He often does that, so don't worry about me "

"But that's not true! Dinner yesterday was great. The beef was hot the pork was nice and soft, and the venison was very good... Don't look away Sigurd. Ialk to me."

"You speak like a Norman! Only the Normans call a cow - beef a swine - pork, and a deer - venison. We, English don't use these words What's happened to you, Elmer? Are you forgetting your own language?"
You're right Sigurd. It's time to do something and remember the day when the Normans killed our parents."   

Elmer's War

"We must run away. I heard about a won¬derful man called Hereward. In 1066 the Normans killed all the family and he started a war against them. All the noblest and bravest of the English who want to fight against King William join Hereward. He has made his camp at the Island of Ely near the old monastery, and the monks are helping him too."

"The Island of Ely. That's far away in the wild land of the fens."
"Are you scared of the fens? I'm not. It'll take us about a week to get there. We have done it once, we can do it again. I'm going today. Are you with me?"

"Of course, I'm with you, Elmer."

In the end William understood his mistake. He decided to build a big bridge which would carry his army over the fens (по которому его армия преодолеет болота). The Normans came with stones, wood, and animal skins, but they needed builders too. And there Hereward had a great plan. He and his men dressed up as peasants and helped the Normans build their bridge. The English built the bridge as badly and slowly as they could. In the end they built a tower on the end of the bridge. "Why did the Normans want a tower?" soldiers laughed.

They didn't have to wait long for the answer. When the bridge was ready, all the peasants had to leave. So Hereward and his people knew: the Normans are going to attack and were ready. But nothing in the world could prepare them for what was going to happen. Just before sunset everybody heard an ugly loud voice. "I curse you, Englishmen. I have spoken with the spirits. You'll be dead by the end of this night. All of you!" Elmer looked up. There was a horrible ugly witch on top of the tower. Elmer was afraid of the witches, but suddenly he felt something warm on his finger. It was the ring. And at that moment Elmer was not afraid any more. He looked around and saw the Normans. They were coming, but nobody saw them. All his friends were looking up at the witch and didn't move. "Don't listen to her," Elmer shouted, "It's a trap!

Elmer's War
Burn the bridge!" Sigurd, who was waiting under the bridge, heard his words and set the bridge on fire. Soon everybody joined him. The Norman army and their witch fell into the cold water of the fens.

After this victory Hereward and his friends celebrated for days. Only the monks didn't look happy. They were tired of the war, and they didn't like simple food and wine. They wanted to return to their nice, easy life without Hereward and his army. Elmer saw this and tried to warn Hereward, but he just laughed.

And then it happened. One cold winter night the monks led the Norman soldiers through the woods. They moved quickly and silently, and their attack was deadly. When the sun had set, the sky was red with the flames from burning English homes. Many people were dead, many became prisoners, but Hereward. Elmer and Sigurd escaped. "This is where I must say goodbye to you, Elmer," Hereward said. "Go back to your uncle, he loves you." "I won't take anything from him. He is friends with the Normans. He's forgotten his English blood," Elmer replied. "That's not true, my friend, your uncle has been secretly helping me all this time. He has been sending me food and money. He told me about the Norman's plans. And he knew that you, Elmer, were with me. He's old; he has no children so everything he has will be yours. That's a lot of land and money. Take it and be a good master."

Elmer's War

One of the richest people in England and the only English landowner a forty-year old Lord Elmer Thorkill of Arden never forgot those last words of Hereward. "Where did Hereward go after that?" he used to ask his friend, Sigurd. "We never heard about his death." "I think he went straight into legend, my lord," Sigurd used to answer.

4 Answer the questions.

1.    Where did Elmer live?
2.    Did he remember the events of 1066?
3.    What did his uncle think about the Normans?
4.    What did Elmer think about the Normans?
5.    Where did the boys decide to go?
6.    Who was Hereward the Wake?
7.    Where was the English camp?
8.    Why couldn't the Normans get to the English camp?
9.    What did the Normans build?
10.    Who helped the Normans build it?
11.    Why did the Normans decide to use a witch?
12.    How did Elmer help his friends?
13.    Why did Hereward, Elmer and Sigurd have to run away?
14.    What happened to Elmer in the end?
15.    What has the ring brought to its owner in this story?

5 How did life in England change after 1 066? Mark these statements true or talse. oupport your answers with some facts from the story.

1.    French words came to the English language.
2.    The English kept their lands.
3.    The Norman barons had most of the land in the country.
4.    There was a Norman king in England.
5.    The English and the Normans were friends.
6.    There were not many English who fought against the Normans but thev all hated the invaders.
7.    Thirty years after the battle of Hastings nearly all rich landowners were Normans.

6 Complete the crossword and find the fourth key to the treasure.

1.    What was the name of the English leader?
2.    What was the French word for meat from a cow?
3.    On which Island did the English build their camp?
4.    What was the name of the King of England in 1071?
5.    What was the name of Elmer's best friend?
6.    Who scared the English soldiers?
7.    What was the French word for meat from a pig?
8.    Who helped the Normans get into the English camp?


К. И. Кауфман, М. Ю. Кауфман Английский язык: Счастливый английский.ру / Happy Учебник англ. яз. для 8 кл. общеобраз. учрежд.— Обнинск: Титул, 2008.— 288 с: ил.

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