Next morning, it was sunny. Mr White laughed at himself. ‘Why was I so afraid last night? he wondered. He sat at the kitchen table and ate his breakfast. The sun shone through the window and everything seemed well. He looked at the monkey’s paw and shook his head.
Mrs White came into the room. She looked at the monkey’s paw too. ‘All soldiers are the same,’ she said. ‘They have lots of stories, but none of them are true.’
‘Perhaps it is true,’ said Herbert to his father. ‘Perhaps the money is going to drop on your head from the sky.’ Herbert laughed but Mr White did not.
‘Sergeant Major Morris believed* the story. And the paw moved in my hand. I felt it,’ said Mr White.
Herbert stood up. ‘ Well, I have to go to work. But when the money comes, don’t spend it all. Please wait until I get back home,’ he said with a smile.
Mr White shook his head.
Mrs White laughed and followed her son to the front door. Herbert opened the door and said goodbye. Mrs White watched her only child walk down the path and go off to work.
She closed the door and sat back down at the table with her husband. `Herbert likes joking*,’ she said.
‘Yes,’ said her husband, ‘he does.’
Later that day, there was a knock at the door. It was the postman. Mrs White took the letters from him and looked at them. There was a bill. Mrs White sighed. She showed it to Mr White. ‘We don’t have any money to pay it,’ she said.
‘The paw moved in my hand last night. I felt it,’ said Mr White.
‘Perhaps you made a mistake…’ suggested Mrs White.
‘No!’ said Mr White. ‘It…’ Mr White stopped talking and looked at his wife. ‘What’s the matter?’
Mrs White did not reply. She looked out the kitchen window and Mr White looked too. They watched a man outside their house. The man walked past their house and stopped; then he came back. Then he walked away again. Then he stopped, shook his head and returned. Three times he did all of this and Mr and Mrs White watched him do it. Finally, he walked away, stopped suddenly, opened the garden gate*, and walked up the garden path.
A moment later, there was a knock at the door.
Mrs White stood up and went to the door.
Adaption by EFLShorts.com
*believed – thought something was true
*joking – saying something funny
*gate – entrance