Jerome K. Jerome. We declined to drink the river (in English, intermediate)

Jerome K Jerome stories intermediateIf you understand English humour, this short story by Jerome K. Jerome gives you real pleasure. It is from the collection of stories «Three men in a boat to say nothing of the dog». The gist of the story is rendered by the proverb: «What the eye does not see,  the stomach does not grieve over. »

So, read the short story «We decline to drink the river» (adapted for the intermediate level) and improve your English as well. For Russian people there is a list of words to understand. Come on!

Jerome K. Jerome. A Short Story in English ( for intermediate)

Jerome K. Jerome stories in English intermediate

We Declined to Drink the River

Words to understand:

  • lock — шлюз
  • lock-keeper — смотритель
  • spokesman — представитель
  • the rest — остальное
  • appearance — внешность
  • advertisement for the brand — рекламой этого марки
  • pump — колонка
  • stomach — желудок, живот
  • grieve over — горевать из-за
Hold on! You can read this story in the original if your English is good enough. Jerome K. Jerome » We declined to drink the river (in the original)

We found that we didn’t have water and stopped at Hambledon lock. We took our jar and went up to the lock-keeper‘s house to ask for some. George was our spokesman. He put on a smile and said: “Oh, please, could you give us a little water?”

«Certainly,» answered the old gentleman, — «take as much as you want, and leave the rest

«Thank you so much,” murmured George, looking about him, —  «Where — where do you keep it?»

‘It’s always in the same place, my boy,»was the answer, — «just behind you.»

«I don’t see it,» said George, turning round.

“Why, where are your eyes?” was the man’s comment as he pointed up and down the river, — «There’s enough water to see, isn’t there?»

«Oh,» exclaimed George, because he understood at last”, —  «but we can’t drink the river, you know!”

«No, but you can drink some of it,» answered the old fellow, — «It is what I have drunk for the last 15 years.”

George looked at him and said that his appearance did not seem a good advertisement for the brand; and he would prefer water out of a pump.

We left and got water from a cottage a little higher up. To tell the truth, it was water from the river, too. But at that moment we hadn’t known it. So, we drank it and it was all right.   What the eye does not see,  the stomach does not grieve over.

What the eye does not see,  the stomach does not grieve over. — Что глаза не видят, о том живот не беспокоится (английская пословица).

Не поняли английский юмор?  Читайте перевод с английского «We declined to drink the river»

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