At night, when Laura lay awake in the trundle bed (a bed in a box), she listened and could not hear anything at all, but the sound of the trees whispering (talking quietly) together. (Note: The trees only sound like they are talking...) Sometimes, far away in the night, a wolf howled. Then he came nearer, and howled again.
It was a scary sound. Laura knew that wolves would eat little girls. But she was safe inside the solid log walls. Her father's gun hung over the door and good old Jack, the brindle bulldog (brindle is a striped grey or brown pattern) (a bull dog is a small strong ugly fighting dog that protects children), lay on guard before it. Her father would say,
"Go to sleep, Laura. Jack won't let the wolves in." So Laura snuggled under the covers of the trundle bed, close beside Mary, and went to sleep.
audio 1 (Wolf sound credit: NCTC Image Library/ USFWS)
One night her father picked her up out of bed and carried her to the window so that she might see the wolves. There were two of them sitting in front of the house. They looked like shaggy (very hairy) dogs. They pointed their noses at the big, bright moon, and howled.
Jack paced (walked) up and down before the door, growling. The hair stood up along his back and he showed his sharp, fierce teeth to the wolves. They howled, but they could not get in.
The house was a comfortable house. Upstairs there was a large attic (a space under the roof), a pleasant place to play in when the rain drummed (made a sound like a drum) on the roof. Downstairs was the small bedroom, and the big room. The bedroom had a window without glass that was closed with a wooden shutter (window cover). The big room had two windows with glass, and it had two doors, a front door and a back door. All around the house was a crooked (not straight) wooden fence, to keep the bears and the deer away.
Read by John Larrysson, from a book called The Little House in the Big Woods.
The Little House in the Big Woods
Chapter 1 - Part 1: Introduction
Chapter 1 - Part 2: Wolves in the Night
Chapter 1 - Part 4: Smoked Meat
Chapter 1 - Part 5: Food for Winter
Chapter 1 - Part 6: Butchering Time
Chapter 1 - Part 7: After Butchering Time
Chapter 1 - Part 9: Winter Night
Chapter 1 - Part 10: About the Author & Where to Find the Book
A native English speaker who has been teaching practical English in Hong Kong for more than a decade.