The Duke and the Minister

A mean duke grew tobacco, and his cardinal rule was to always keep the plants healthy. The duke’s top minister was his twin brother. They closely resembled each other. One day, the tobacco plants started to die. He hired men to watch the fields. Soon, the men brought a woman to him and said, “We captured a witch!”

The Duke asked, “ How do you know?”

“She sang magic words. I can’t pronounce them. She has cursed us. The death of the plants is a symptom of her curse,” the men said.

“I am just an ordinary woman. I was singing a song in a different language,” the woman protested.

The duke didn’t listen. “You are guilty. You will go to jail.”

The minister thoughfrthat she was innocent. He needed to expose the truth. He asked the duke to loan him one of his plants. He looked at it closely. He saw hundreds of small bugs eating it! Then the ministerwent to the jail and did something bold.

“Let this woman go,” he said.

The guards thought he was the duke. They let her go. The minister said, “I owe you an apology.”

“Thank you. I thought my stay in jail was permanent,” the woman answered.

The minister thought the duke punish him. But he didn’t. The duke was too busy trying to preserve his plants.

apology An apology is something someone says to show that they are sorry. After arguing with her teacher, the girl wrote the teacher an apology.

bold If someone is bold, they are not afraid of doing something. The bold man climbed the high mountain.

capture To capture someone or something is to catch them. James tried to capture the bubbles in his hands.

cardinal If a rule or quality is cardinal, then it is the most important one.Raising your hand in the classroom before you speak is a cardinal rule.

duke A duke is a man of high social rank but below a king or queen. The duke ruled over the land.

expose To expose is to make known something that is hidden. He took off his shirt exposing his costume.

guilty If people feel guilty, they feel bad for what they did. I felt guilty for taking my sister’s cookies.

hire To hire someone is to pay them money to work for you. We hired a man to paint our house.

innocent If someone is innocent, they are not guilty of a crime. The judge said that the woman was innocent of the crime.

jail Jail is a place where criminals go to be punished. The thief was caught and sent to jail for ten years.

minister A minister is an important person in government with many duties. The minister of education controls the country’s schools.

ordinary If someone or something is ordinary, they are not special in any way.Today was just an ordinary day. Nothing unusual happened.

permanent If something is permanent, it lasts for a long time or forever. We don’t know if Aunt Mildred’s visit will be a permanent one.

preserve To preserve is to protect something from harm. Dad sprayed a chemical on the house to help preserve its looks.

pronounce To pronounce is to say the sounds of letters or words. Young children often have trouble pronouncing words right.

pronunciation how words are pronounced:
English pronunciation is notoriously difficult.
There are two different pronunciations of this word.

resemble To resemble someone is to look like them. The baby resembles his father a great deal.

symptom A symptom of a bad condition or illness is a sign that it is happening.Sneezing and a high fever are symptoms of the common cold.

tobacco Tobacco is a plant whose leaves are smoked, such as in cigarettes. The tobacco in cigarettes is bad for your health.

twin Twins are two children born at the same time. My sister and I are twins. We look exactly the same.

witch A witch is a woman with magical powers. People think that witches fly around on broomsticks.

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Reference: 4000 Essential English Words 

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