This summer, I will read to you the next chapter from the book called The Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Over the last four years I have read a chapter each summer. Each chapter in this book has a different topic. This is a true story based on the life of the author, Laura.
Four summers ago I read you chapter one. The story is about a little girl, named Laura, and her family. She grew up in the American wilderness about a hundred and fifty years ago. At that time, America was an undeveloped country without modern factories, electricity, roads or cars. Her family lived in a little wooden log house in a big forest. They had to grow or hunt all their own food. In the first chapter we learned about life in the forest and the games they played.
After that I read you chapter two. Winter in the forest was a difficult time. However for Laura, and her sister Mary, they stayed indoors and helped their mother with the housework. They played games and sang songs. Her father also told the story of Grandfather and the Panther.
In the third chapter you learned about the gun her father used for hunting. His gun was not modern and was not easy to use. He needed to be very skilled to shoot animals and bring meat home to eat.
In the fourth chapter they had cousins visit for Christmas. However their family-Christmas was very different from our modern shopping holiday. Their conservative religious values and real poverty limited the way they celebrated Christmas.
To make reading easier I have added definitions, or notes in brackets, after the first time less common words are used. Look at the previous chapters for some words. Often I have altered the text so that the meaning is explained in context. I have kept the general content of the original text, but made changes to use UK or more common spellings or to simplify meanings. In this summer's chapter it is still winter and the girls must stay indoors. However it is Sunday and Laura's family were Christians. Her parents and grandparents were very strict about what must be done, and what must not be done, on Sunday.
(The original book is in the public domain under Hong Kong copyright law. This simplified copy is under my new copyright.)
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
Chapter 2 - Part 1: Winter Days and Winter Nights
Chapter 2 - Part 2: Jack Frost
Chapter 2 - Part 3: Laura and Mary Helped Mother with the Housework
Chapter 2 - Part 4: Churn on Thursday
Chapter 2 - Part 5: The Best Time of All
Chapter 2 - Part 6: Her Father Began to Play his Fiddle and Sing
Chapter 2 - Part 7: Father Told Stories
Chapter 2 - Part 8 - The Story of Grandfather and the Panther
Chapter 3 - Part 1: Introduction (The Long Rifle)
Chapter 3 - Part 2: Making Bullets
Chapter 3 - Part 3: Cleaning the Gun
Chapter 3 - Part 4: Loading the Gun
Chapter 3 - Part 5: Where and Why to Keep a Gun
Chapter 3 - Part 6: The Story of her Father and the Voice in the Forest Part 1
Chapter 3 - Part 7: The Story of her Father and the Voice in the Forest Part 2
Chapter 4 - Part 1: Christmas in the Forest
Chapter 4 - Part 2: Making a Gift for his Wife
Chapter 4 - Part 3: Christmas is Coming
Chapter 4 - Part 4: Children Make Pictures in the Snow
Chapter 4 - Part 5: Prince & the Blue Dress (part 1 of 3)
Chapter 4 - Part 6: Prince & the Blue Dress (part 2 of 3)
Chapter 4 - Part 7: Prince & the Blue Dress (part 3 of 3)
Chapter 4 - Part 8: Christmas Morning
Chapter 4 - Part 9: Santa Claus Only Gives Presents to Children
Chapter 4 - Part 10: Breakfast, Dinner and Goodbye
Chapter 5 - Part 2: The Weekly Bath
Chapter 5 - Part 3: Being Quiet
Chapter 5 - Part 4: The Story of Grandfather's Sledge and the Pig (part 1 of 4)
Chapter 5 - Part 5: The Story of Grandfather's Sledge and the Pig (part 2 of 4)
Chapter 5 - Part 6: The Story of Grandfather's Sledge and the Pig (part 3 of 4)
Chapter 5 - Part 7: The Story of Grandfather's Sledge and the Pig (part 4 of 4)
Chapter 5 - Part 8: Sunday Music
Chapter 5 - Part 9: Birthday Spanking
by John Larrysson
A native English speaker who has been teaching practical English in Hong Kong for over two decades.
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