Hi! This is Al from the Okamoto School (スミス英会話岡本校）
Do you know the legend of the Jack-O-Lantern? I ran across this story on the Internet. I thought it was fun so I made it into a lesson. It seemed opportune for use this week. There seem to be many versions of the story as it was passed down by word-of-mouth for centuries. This version was written by Christine Wilson – © 2002 Pagewise.
The orgininal story is actually quite difficult. So I made two versions: one from the original for higher level students and one for students who might not be able to catch the vocabulary or difficult grammar structures of the original.
Take a look at the two versions:
Jack, an Irish blacksmith, had the misfortune of running into the Devil in a pub on Halloween. Jack had imbibed a bit too much that evening and was about to fall prey to the Devil, but the quick thinking trickster made a bargain with the Devil, nonetheless. In exchange for one last drink, Jack offered up his soul. The Devil changed his form into a sixpence in which to make payment to the bartender, but Jack pocketed the coin in a bag with a silver cross with the knowledge that the Devil couldn’t revert form. Once under Jack’s thumb, and in his purse, the Devil agreed not to come for Jack’s soul for another ten years.
Ten years later, the Devil came across Jack walking on a country road and explained to him that he was there to collect Jack’s soul. Not ready to go, Jack, pretending to comply, asked the Devil if he would climb an apple tree first and give him an apple. The Devil, thinking he had nothing to lose, climbed the tree, but as he was plucking the requested apple, Jack pulled out his knife and carved the sign of the cross in the tree’s trunk. The Devil was unable to come back down and Jack procured an agreement from him. The Devil would never take his soul.
Years later, Jack finally died. He went to Heaven, but was dismissed from the gates due to his drinking, tricking, and miserly ways. He then went to Hell, but was denied entrance because the Devil remembered his promise. Jack asked, “But where am I to go?” And the Devil replied, “Back to where you came from”.
The way back was dark and windy, so Jack pleaded with the Devil to at least grant him light in which to find his way. The Devil, in a magnanimous un-Devil like manner, tossed Jack an ember from the fires of Hell. Jack shielded the ember in a turnip he’d been eating and left Hell to wander back.
Ever since, Jack has been doomed to wander in the darkness alone, and his name and lantern are synonymous with a damned soul.
An Irish blacksmith named Jack was drinking in a pub on Halloween night. He was unlucky that evening. He met the Devil in that pub. Jack had drunk a little too much and the Devil was going to steal his soul. But Jack was a very tricky man so he made a bargain with the Devil. The Devil agreed to let Jack have one more drink. As payment Jack agreed to give the Devil his soul. The Devil changed his form into a sixpence coin. Jack was supposed to pay for the drink with this coin. But instead of buying a drink, Jack put the coin into a bag with a silver cross. This way Jack controlled the Devil. The Devil agreed not to take Jack’s soul for ten years.
Ten years later, Jack was walking on a country road and the Devil found him. The Devil told Jack that he had come to collect his soul. Jack pretended to agree, but he asked the Devil to climb an apple tree to pick an apple for him before he gave the Devil his soul. The Devil thought there was nothing to fear so he agreed and climbed the tree. Jack then took out his pocket knife and carved a cross into the tree’s trunk. The Devil was unable to come back down. Jack negotiated with the Devil to agree to never take his soul.
Jack died many years later. He went to Heaven. However, he was told to leave because of his drinking, tricking and being a miser. Then he went to Hell, but was not allowed to enter because the Devil remembered Jack and his promise to never take his soul. Jack asked the Devil “Where should I go?” The Devil told Jack to go back to where he came from.
Because it was dark and windy, Jack asked the Devil to give him a light to help him find his way back. The Devil felt sorry for Jack. He threw Jack a burning coal from the fires of Hell. Jack put the hot coal in a turnip that he had been eating and used it as a lantern. Jack then left Hell to go back.
Since then, Jack has been doomed to wander in the darkness alone. The name, ‘Jack-O-Lantern’ has taken his name. When Irish came to America, turnips were rare so they started using pumpkins instead. That is the legend of the ‘Jack-O-Lantern’.
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