Our adaptation of Maupassant’s The Blind Man (Ch1)

Why does the sunlight make us feel so happy? The whole sky is blue, the fields are green, and the houses are white. Our eyes enjoy those bright colours, and they bring us happiness. When we see the sun, we want to dance, run, sing, and think happy thoughts.

But the blind, as they sit at their doorways, unmoving in their darkness, always stay calm*. Life is lived all around them, but they never know.

Once, there lived a blind boy. He was the son of a poor French farmer. He lived with his mother and father all his life, and they looked after him. But his mother and father died, and he was left alone. This was a hard start to life, and it made him unhappy. He went to live with an older sister and her husband. They did not want him, and his brother-in-law treated* him badly. At dinner time they gave him little or no food, and he went hungry. They called him names and fed him like a dog with scraps* off the table. He never said anything or showed anger. People called him bad names. Did he ever hear the names? No one knew. His face never showed any emotion*. He did not know love of any kind. When he finished his dinner in summer, he would sit outside. When he finished his dinner in winter, he would sit by the fire and not move.

For years it went on this way. He could not work, and his family began to resent* him more and more. They called him more names and played jokes on him. They brought cats and dogs in to eat with him, and all the neighbours came to watch and laugh.

But still the blind boy did not say anything.

Copyright: EFLshorts.com

GLOSSARY

calm* – not upset, relaxed

treated* – acted towards, deal with

scraps* – a small amount of uneaten food

emotion* – strong feeling

resent* – feel bitter about, have a grudge about

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