The Two Captains

Once there were two ships. Both ships carried cotton. The captains were very different. Thomas was strict. He made his crew engage in difficult tasks. “Make sure the ship’s deck is firm and that nothing falls! Put more fuel in the tank!” he said. His ship was very plain, but he never had a problem with it.

The second captain, William, was not serious. He had a grand ship, and he loved having fun. His crew amused him by singing and dancing. But his crew never fixed anything on the ship. They just wanted to surf.

One day, Thomas saw a hurricane ahead. He knew that his ship needed to turn around. But he was sure William did not see the storm. He adjusted the dials on the radio and called his friend. Thomas said, “You’ll hit the reef. It’s made completely of coral. Turn around to ensure that you do not crash.”

William said, “We will go under the deck and shut the door. We will dance and sing until we are past the danger zone.”

When William’s ship got to the hurricane, the wind blew it into the reef. The ship crashed, and water flowed below the deck. William’s crew accused him of being a bad captain. The loss of the ship taught William a lesson. There are times to have fun, but there are also times to be serious.

To accuse someone of something is to blame them for doing it.
She accused her brother of breaking her computer.

To adjust something means to change it so it is better.
He adjusted the old guitar to make it sound better.

To amuse someone means to do something that is funny or entertaining.
The singer was very good. She amused the crowd.

Coral is the hard, colorful material formed by the shells of animals.
The diver admired the beautiful coral under the water.

Cotton is a cloth made from the fibers of the cotton plant.
I like to wear clothes made from cotton in the summer.

To crash means to hit and break something.
There was a loud noise when the car crashed into the tree.

A deck is a wooden floor built outside of a house or the floor of a ship.
A ship will store many supplies below its deck.

To engage in something means to do it.
Dad was engaged in sawing a piece of wood in half.

When something is firm, it is solid but not too hard.
He sleeps better on a firm bed.

Fuel is something that creates heat or energy.
Heat is the fuel that comes from fire.

When something is grand, it is big and liked by people.
The grand mountain rose high into the sky.

A hurricane is a bad storm that happens over the ocean.
The wind from the hurricane bent the palm tree.

A loss means the act or an instance of losing something.
I suffered a big loss while I was gambling.

If something is simple, it is plain and not decorated.
He bought a pair of plain white shoes over the weekend.

A reef is a group of rocks or coral that rise to or near the ocean.
He walked along the reef and looked at the water below.

To shut something means to close it tightly.
Please shut the door; the air outside is cold.

When someone is strict, they make sure others follow rules.
The teacher is strict. She does not let students talk in class.

To surf means to use a special board to ride on waves in the ocean.
The students went to the beach to surf during their vacation.

A task is a piece of work to be done that is usually difficult.
My task for the weekend was to clean the entire back yard.

A zone is an area that has different qualities from the ones around it.
Firefighters often work in danger zones.


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Reference: 4000 Essential English Words


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