Timothy's Good News

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In this English folktale, a poor peasant has a strange dream. Read the story to find out what he dreams. Timothy’s Good News 1 There once was a poor peasant named Timothy. Timothy’s home was Swaffham, a tiny town tucked into a peaceful valley in England. There Timothy lived in a rundown hut on the edge of town, where he spent his days tending his little garden and sitting under the enormous oak tree that grew beside his hut. 2 One night as Timothy lay dreaming, he heard a voice. “Go to the London Bridge and you will hear some good news,” it said. So clear and loud was the voice that Timothy awoke, wondering if someone was in the room with him. He lit his candle and looked about him, but there was nobody. He stepped outside, but all he saw was the ancient oak tree. “I must have been dreaming,” he thought, and returned to his bed. 3 The following night, he had the same dream and heard the same voice calling, “Go to the London Bridge and you will hear some good news.” 4 The next morning, Timothy leaned against the oak tree and thought about the voice. “Strange to have the same dream two nights in a row,” he said. “I wonder what it could mean…” Then he busied himself in the garden, weeding, watering, and planting, and he soon forgot all about the dream. 5 That night, Timothy heard the voice again. “GO TO THE LONDON BRIDGE,” it thundered, “AND YOU WILL HEAR SOME GOOD NEWS!” Timothy awoke with a start. “Okay, okay, I’ll do it! Now go away and let me get some sleep.” He pulled the covers up to his chin and fell asleep again. 6 When the morning came, Timothy awoke instantly. “I’ve got to get moving,” he said. “London is many miles from here.” As he dressed, he examined his worn out shoes. “This journey will be the end of these shoes, but alas! I have no money to buy new ones.” Closing the door behind him, he set off. 7 After two days of steady walking, Timothy finally arrived in London. There in the middle of the busy city he found the London Bridge. The bridge ™ © Advanced Assessment Systems/LinkIt! Duplication is restricted to licensees only. was made of stone, and shops and stores lined both sides of it. Timothy walked to the middle of the bridge and stood there waiting for the good news. Shoppers rushed past him, busy buying all kinds of things, such as vegetables, fabric, and animals. Merchants shouted at each other and called to customers. Through it all, Timothy waited patiently, listening for the voice. 8 Three days later, he was still standing there waiting. A butcher approached him. “Sir, I’ve seen you standing in this spot for three days now. Tell me, what are doing here?” 9 Timothy told the man about the voice he heard in his dream. “It told me to come to the London Bridge and I would hear some good news. So here I am!” 10 The butcher stared at Timothy for a moment, and then gave a laugh. He called to the people nearby, “Hey, did you hear that? This fool is standing here because his dream told him to!” Everyone chuckled. The butcher cried, “He’s been here for three days! Only a fool would waste time over a dream.” The crowd laughed louder. 11 The butcher went on, “Why, just last night I had a silly dream about a town I’d never even heard of! What was the name . . .” He tapped his chin as he tried to remember. “It was Swiffy, or Swoofem, something like that. Anyway, in the dream, I dug a hole under an oak tree and found a chest full of gold.” The butcher imitated Timothy. “Ooh, I think I’ll go to Swaffty and dig up a chest of gold!” Everyone roared with laughter. 12 Timothy’s face lit up. He pushed his way through the crowd and hurried back to Swaffham. He grabbed his shovel and started digging under his oak tree. Sure enough, there was a little chest filled with gleaming gold pieces and jewels! There was enough gold for Timothy to build a school and a hospital for Swaffham, as well as a mansion to replace his tiny hut. And everyone in Swaffham lived happily ever after. ™ © Advanced Assessment Systems/LinkIt! Duplication is restricted to licensees only.

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