In a big cemetery* two miles from their house, Mr and Mrs White buried* their son. Then they came back to their house, their hearts heavy with sadness*. Their son was dead. It all happened so quickly. Mr Mrs White could not think of life without Herbert. The days passed, long, lonely and silent. They did not speak to each other. There was nothing to talk about.
About two weeks after Herbert’s death, Mr White woke up in bed. It was the middle of the night. He put out his hand… his wife was not there. It was dark in the room, but he could hear the sound of his wife’s crying hear him. He lay and listened.
‘Come back to bed,’ he said after a while. ‘It’s cold.’
‘It is colder for Herbert,’ said his wife.
Mr White’s eyes were heavy with sleep, and he soon fell asleep again. But then a long cry from his wife awoke him again.
‘The paw,’ she cried, ‘the monkey’s paw!’
Mr White sat up in bed. ‘What? What is the matter?’
Mrs White came out of the darkness of the room. Her eyes were wild* and staring. `I want the paw,’ she said. `Where is it?’
`Downstairs in the cupboard,’ said Mr White. ‘Why?’
Mrs White laughed and cried at the same time. ‘We have two more!’
`Two more of what?’ Mr White asked.
‘Two wishes,’ said Mrs White. ‘We have two more wishes!’
`Was one not enough? ` Mr White said angrily.
‘You don’t understand,’ cried Mrs White. ‘We can use the paw. Go and get it and we can wish for our boy to be alive again.’
Mr White stared at his wife. ‘Are you mad*?’ he asked.
‘Get it,’ cried Mrs White, ‘get it quickly and wish…Herbert’s life depends on it.’
‘Get back into bed,’ said Mr White. ‘You don’t know what you are saying.’
But Mrs White continued. `The first wish came true,’ she said, her eyes full of tears. `Why not the second? Go and get it and make a wish!’
‘Herbert died more than ten days ago,’ said Mr White, his voice shaking. ‘We cannot wish for this…’
‘Bring him back,’ said Mrs White. ‘Bring my boy back.’
Slowly, Mr White got out of bed. He went downstairs and into the kitchen. Then, he opened the cupboard and looked in. The monkey’s paw was still there. The wind howled outside and in the dark Mr White became afraid. His body went cold and his legs shook. With the paw in his hand, he went back upstairs and into the bedroom.
His wife sat on the bed waiting. She watched him closely from mad eyes. Mr White was afraid of his own wife.
‘Make a wish,’ Mrs White cried in a strong voice. ‘Bring my boy back. Do it.’
‘I can’t,’ said Mr White. ‘I…’
‘Do it!’ cried Mrs White.
Slowly, Mr White held up his right hand and began to say the words…`I wish my son alive again.’
Adapted by EFLshorts.com
*cemetery – a place where dead bodies are put under the ground, a burial place
*buried – put under the ground
*sadness – unhappiness
*wild – unthinking, without reason, without restraint
*mad – crazy