Session 5

How do you capture sunlight stored in cucumbers? That's the kind of important question scientists at the Great Academy of Lagado are trying to answer. Gulliver is not impressed by their projects, but is rather more interested in his guide, the beautiful Lady Monodi.

ክፍለ-ስራሓት ናይዚ ምዕራፍ

ድምር ነጥቢ ናይዚ ክፍለ-ስራሓት 5

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

Drama

ነቲ ድምጺ ብምስማዕ ነቲ ስራሕ ፈጽምዎ

ነቲ ቅዳሕ ጽሑፍ ኣርእይዎ ነቲ ቅዳሕ ጽሑፍ ሕብእዎ

Language focus: So, such, enough, too

Scientist A
Yeeess?

Lady Monodi
We're here to look round the Academy… I'm Lady Monodi… and this is Dr Gulliver, from England.

Scientist A
England! Ahh! Land of great mathematicians and astronomers – Isaac Newton – now he is the talk of the Academy at the moment with his theory of gravity… Is it true that it was an apple falling on his head that gave him the idea? 

Gulliver
I believe so…

Lady Monodi
I'm sure Gulliver would like to see what goes on in our great Academy…

Gulliver narrator
I was indeed interested to see what went on in the Academy but equally, I was glad to spend more time in the company of Lady Monodi. She was a delightful companion, not ignorant as the King had described her.

Gulliver
Do you visit Lagado often?

Lady Monodi
My husband Lord Monodi spends all his time reading astronomy books and thinking… I get so bored on Laputa… You know, my husband won't even notice I'm gone.

Gulliver
Really?

Lady Monodi
Yes, I prefer it here in Lagado, even though life down here is hard and most people are very poor. It's infinitely preferable to a life of abstract thinking… Don't you think?

Gulliver narrator
I wondered if Lady Monodi was secretly making plans for me… I knew I would have to get away before I fell for her completely. But first, as a doctor, I was keen to see the famous Academy and meet the scientists working there.

Lady Monodi
I'm sure you won't have seen any inventions before like the ones here. They are quite at the cutting edge of science…

Gulliver narrator
Lady Monodi was right. I was totally unprepared for what I was to find.

Lady Monodi
Interesting experiment going on here…

Gulliver narrator
The room we entered had a huge pile of cucumbers in the middle. A woman covered in soot and with scorched hair was holding half a cucumber in her hand. The other blackened half, was on the floor.

Gulliver
And what is your project?

Scientist B
Ah… well, I am extracting sunbeams from cucumbers…

Gulliver
I'm sorry…? Did you say "extracting sunbeams … from… cucumbers"?

Scientist B
Yes… That's right… So people can use them to keep warm in winter. A cucumber takes in sunlight to grow, so we should be able to extract the sunlight…

Gulliver
And have you managed to extract any yet?

Scientist B
Well…not quite yet…I think I'm getting very close to it though…

[SFX: Explosion]

Scientist B
Oh dear!

Gulliver
And how long have you been working on this project? 

Scientist B
Oh, only eight years….

Gulliver
Right, I see… Well good luck!

[To himself] You'll need more than that…

Lady Monodi
Now, you will be very interested in the project in this next room. A very learned physician is conducting an important experiment. He is famous for curing the problem of wind.

Gulliver
Now that could be useful. It's something I suffer from… Perhaps he can help me?

Gulliver narrator
In the room we had just entered there was a dog in the middle of the floor and a man standing over it with some bellows pointing towards the dog's backside.

Gulliver
What are you doing?

Scientist C
Well, if the dog is suffering from a little bit of wind, then using the bellows gently, I draw the bad air out. If the condition is serious, like in the case of this dog… if I squeeze the bellows hard like this… air goes in and out of the dog…

Gulliver
I see…This dog looks pretty dead to me…

Scientist C
Is he? Oh dear! How unfortunate… He may recover if I just… gently squeeze the bellows so I that I can draw out air… like that… Now did I hear you say that you also suffer from wind? 'Cause if you like, I can…

Gulliver
No, I think you must have misheard me… We ought to move on!

Gulliver narrator
We hurried out, leaving the doctor trying to revive the poor dog. We visited several other laboratories all with quite bizarre experiments that frankly, seemed pointless and with little chance of success.

Gulliver
And do they get funding for their experiments?

Monodi
Yes, of course.

Gulliver
But how can so much money be spent on these pointless, degrading projects…when people are living in such misery?

Monodi
You're not impressed then?

Gulliver
No, I'm not. These aren't creative projects. They're unhealthy and impractical. What's more – they're immoral – people are starving in the city. Monodi, I've seen enough. I want to go home…

Monodi
You mean back to Laputa…?

Gulliver
No… to England. Is there a ship that can take me…?

Monodi
You need to take the ferry to Glubbdubdrib. From there you can get on board a boat for Japan, and then England. I'll be sorry to see you go, Gulliver.

Gulliver
You have been very kind and a great guide. But I have been away many months and I miss my country and my family.

Gulliver narrator
So, I left the beautiful Lady Monodi and sailed first to Glubbdubdrib, which she had forgotten to tell me, was a land of magicians. I had several adventures there, which are quite another tale… From Glubbdubdrib, I went to Japan and boarded a ship to England…

It was wonderful to be reunited with my wife and children. I knew, though, that it wouldn't be long before sea life would tempt me once again. Little did I know that even more dangerous adventures lay ahead of me.

Download

You can download the drama from our Unit 28 downloads page or from our BBC Learning English Drama podcast page.

Vocabulary

gravity
the force which attracts smaller things to bigger things

infinitely
very much

abstract
not real, only existing as an idea

fell for
fell in love with

at the cutting edge
at the most advanced point (of science or research)

soot
black powder left after burning

scorched
burned

extracting
taking out

physician
doctor

wind
the problem of having too much gas in your stomach and bowels

bellows
a tool used to blow air

frankly
honestly

degrading
making you feel you have no worth

reunited
together again

To do

See how much you understood from the story by answering these questions...

Gulliver quiz

3 Questions

Try our quiz about Episode 8. Did you follow the story?

ኣገናዕ፡ ፈተናኹም ዛዚምኩም
Excellent! Great job! ሕማቕ ዕድል! ዘመዝገብኩምዎ ነጥቢ ...:
x / y

Credits

Gulliver: Peter Kenny

Lady Monodi: Alexandra Maher

Original story: Jonathan Swift

Adaptation by: Sue Mushin

Illustrator: Adria Meserve

ELT consultant: Catherine Chapman

Producer: Finn Aberdein

More

You can find all the episodes of Gulliver's Travels and our other BBC Learning English dramas on our Drama page.

End of Unit 28 

So Gulliver leaves Lady Monodi and returns home once more. But we know he doesn't like to stay at home. What will happen on his final adventure? Join us in Unit 29 where we catch up with Gulliver as well as taking a look at sentence patterns and finding out how the work of William Shakespeare has influence the English we speak today. See you then!

 

Session Vocabulary

  • gravity
    the force which attracts smaller things to bigger things

    infinitely
    very much

    abstract
    not real, only existing as an idea

    fell for
    fell in love with

    at the cutting edge
    at the most advanced point (of science or research)

    soot
    black powder left after burning

    scorched
    burned

    extracting
    taking out

    physician
    doctor

    wind
    the problem of having too much gas in your stomach and bowels

    bellows
    a tool used to blow air

    frankly
    honestly

    degrading
    making you feel you have no worth

    reunited
    together again