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Two-minute tales from history, myth and fiction, accompanied by word games, grammar games and writing practice, all based on traditional school textbooks.

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Marooned!
Music: Charles Villiers Stanford
Jim Hawkins, on a remote desert island, has escaped pirates only to be caught by a shadowy figure among the trees.
By Robert Louis Stevenson
(1850-1894)

“WHO are you?” I asked.

“Ben Gunn,” he answered, and his voice sounded hoarse and awkward, like a rusty lock. “I’m poor Ben Gunn, I am; and I haven’t spoke with a Christian these three years.”

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Three Posts
By the Toss of a Coin
Music: Thomas Erskine, 6th Earl of Kellie
The Master and his brother Henry must decide which of them goes to fight for Bonnie Prince Charlie.
By Robert Louis Stevenson
(1850-1894)

“WHEN very obstinate folk are met, there are only two ways out: Blows — and I think none of us could care to go so far; or the arbitrament of chance — and here is a guinea piece. Will you stand by the toss of the coin?”

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‘My Shadow’
Music: John Field
An enduringly popular, bitter-sweet poem by the author of ‘Treasure Island’.
By Robert Louis Stevenson
(1850-1894)

I HAVE a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

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Treasure Island
two-part story
Music: Sir Hubert Parry
An excited English gentleman hires a ship for a treasure-hunt, but doesn’t check his crew’s credentials.
Based on the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson
(1850-1894)

AFTER the landlord of the Admiral Benbow inn died, times were hard for his widow and his son Jim.

Otherwise, they would not have put up with their solitary resident, a rough, foul-mouthed seaman calling himself ‘Captain Billy Bones’.

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AZ Index

See a complete A-Z List of all the stories on this website.

Featured Topic
Tagged ‘Tales from the Bible’ (22 posts)
page 1
1 Joseph and the Coat of Many Colours
Joseph’s brothers decide they have had enough of their rival in their father’s affections.
2 Perilous Waters
King Saul’s jealousies drove those who loved him away, but David was a very different kind of leader.
3 The First Easter
In a translation from the Authorised Version of the Bible, published in 1611, St Mark recounts the discovery of Christ’s empty tomb.
4 The History of Susannah
A young Jewish woman in ancient Babylon falls victim to a heartless conspiracy.
5 The Judgment of Solomon
The tenth-century King of Israel demonstrated his legendary wisdom in a delicate custody battle.
6 The Story of Esther
A young Jewish girl is chosen as the Queen of Persia, but quickly finds she has enemies.
page 2
7 Daniel and the Priests of Bel
An apparent miracle is revealed as sleight-of-hand.
8 The Good Samaritan
Our responsibilities are not defined by laws or borne by governments. They are defined by mercy, and borne by love.
9 The Story of Pentecost
Jesus’s apostles receive the gift of God’s Holy Spirit, and the startling effects quickly draw a crowd.
10 The Parable of the Ten Virgins
Five young women cared enough about a man’s wedding-day to make the smallest of sacrifices, and received the best of rewards.
11 The Sunday of Palms and Willows
For centuries, northern countries from Russia to England have laid the catkins of the willow tree before Jesus as he enters Jerusalem.
12 Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve are set in a Garden of carefree delight, but the Snake swears they are victims of a cruel deception.
page 3
13 Elisha and the Fiery Horsemen
The King of Syria goes on a mole-hunt, but Elisha does not seem to mind being his prime suspect.
14 The Man Born Blind
A man born blind is healed by Jesus, but finds himself a social outcast as a result.
15 Elisha and Naaman the Syrian
Naaman had very fixed ideas about what it takes to get a miracle.
16 Noah’s Flood
God’s love proved to be bigger and stronger than all man’s wickedness.
17 The Adoration of the Magi
Persian star-gazers hasten to Israel for the birth of a royal heir, but find that King Herod has had his fill of them.
18 David and Bathsheba
David’s scheme to steal another man’s wife succeeded, but he could not keep his secret from everyone.
page 4
19 Daniel in the Lions’ Den
The King who condemned him to the den of lions felt far worse about it than Daniel did.
20 The Parable of the Prodigal Son
Love doesn’t make people pay for past mistakes.
21 Cain and Abel
Smarting for his outraged ‘rights’, Cain lost his reason — but not God’s pity and love.
22 Belshazzar’s Feast
Prince Belshazzar’s disrespectful behaviour left him facing the original ‘writing on the wall’.
which is ‘English Style’ ?

Word Play: Confusables

Compose your own sentences to show the difference between these words:

Warn. Threaten.

JB Cramer was one of the finest pianists of his day, though his reverence for Mozart made his own music more popular in the drawing room than the concert hall.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792-1822)
Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley says that the pinnacle of political achievement is the government not of others, but of ourselves.
By John Keats
(1795-1821)
Poet John Keats speaks of the beauties of Autumn, her colours, her sounds and her rich harvest.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792-1822)
Poet Percy Shelley calls on November’s sister months to watch by the graveside of the dead Year.
Cut
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Polyword ‘Giant’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or Newcastle (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

Note: You can find more Polywords and other games on our Nine Lives puzzle page, and most of our stories are accompanied by games with words, grammar and numbers.

More Puzzles
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.
Change HIDE into AWAY, one letter at a time.
Do you know ‘entertainer’ (7 letters), and ‘distant’ (3 letters)?
Do you know ‘pull along behind one’ (3 letters), and ‘self-evident or accepted proposition’ (5 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with MILE and finish with POST.
See if you can guess these words letter-by-letter.
A word-making and word-searching game with a dash of strategy to it.
top topics
History (379)
Fiction (82)

letters game

Make words from two or more of the tiles below. What is the highest-scoring word you can make?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: High Tiles (Letters Game) Games with Words

numbers game

Work across from the number on the left, applying each arithmetical operation to the previous answer. What’s the final total?

Tip: Click any of the four inner squares to check your running total.

More like this: Maths Steps (Mental Arithmetic Game) Mental Arithmetic