beggar, food, Danes, dream
Story, Tale, Legend, Folktale, Myth,
Fable, Learning, Teaching
Then the king gave thanks to God,
and said, ¡°Give half of the loaf and
half of the wine to this poor man.¡±
and the beggar
Alfred(849-99), king of Wessex (871-99)
At one time Danes drove King Alfred form his kingdom, and he had
to lie hidden for a ling time on a little island in a river. One
day, all who were on the island, except the king and queen and
one servant, went out to fish. It was a very lonely place, and
no one could get to it except by a boat.
About noon, a ragged beggar came
to the king¡¯s door, and asked for food. The king called the
servant, and asked, ¡°How much food do we have in the house?¡¯¡¯
¡°My lord,¡± said the servant, ¡°we have only one loaf and a little
wine.¡± Then the king gave thanks to God, and said, ¡°Give half of
the loaf and half of the wine to this poor man.¡± The servant did
as he was bidden. The beggar thanked the king for his kindness,
and went on his way.
In the afternoon the men who had
gone out to fish came back. They had three boats full of fish,
and they said, ¡°We have caught more fish today than in all the
other days that we have been on this island.¡± The king was glad,
and he and his people were more hopeful than they had ever been
When night came, the king lay
awake for a long time, and thought about the things that had
happened that day. At last he fancied that he saw a great light
like the sun; and in the midst of the
light there stood an old man with black hair, holding an open
book in his hand. It may all have been a dream, and yet to the
king it seemed very real indeed. He looked and wondered, but was
not afraid. ¡°Who are you?¡¯¡¯ he asked the old man.
¡°Alfred, my son, be brave,¡± said
the man, ¡°for I am the one to whom you gave this day the half of
all the food that you had. Be strong and joyful of heart, and
listen to what I say. Rise up early in the morning and blow your
horn three times so loudly that the Danes may hear it. By nine
o¡¯clock, five hundred men will be around you, ready be led into
battle. Go forth bravely, and within seven days your enemies
shall be beaten, and you shall go back to your kingdom to reign
in peace.¡± Then the light went out, and the man was seen no
In the morning
the king arose early, and crossed over to the mainland. Then he
blew his horn three times very loudly; and when his friends
heard it they were glad, but the Danes were filled with fear. At
nine o¡¯clock, five hundred of his bravest soldiers stood around
him ready for battle. He spoken, and told them what he had seen
and heard in his dream; and when he had finished, they all
cheered loudly, and said that they would follow him and fight
for him as long as they had strength. So they went out bravely
to battle; and they beat the Danes, and drove them back into
their own place. And King Alfred ruled wisely and well over all
his people for the rest of his days.
1. Why did King Alfred
live on a little island?
2. How did King Alfred
treat the beggar?
3. Why did Alfred's men
catch more fish that day than before?
4. What did King Alfred
see in his dream?
5. What can we learn from
ESL, English, Story,
Tale, Legend, Folktale, Myth, Fable, Learning, Teaching