Tom Sawyer Paints the Fence

From Akita Wiki

Everyday English New Course 2 (Heisei 2) pg. 94-98

Tom Sawyer Paints the Fence
Word count409
BookEveryday English

Tom certainly caused a lot of trouble. Sometimes he took jam or sugar or an apple from the kitchen and then lied about it. He hated school. But more than anything he hated to work.
Aunt Polly didn't like to scold Tom. But sometimes she had to.
One Friday, Tom didn't go to school. He went swimming in the river, and Aunt Polly found out. That night she said, "Tom, you have to work tomorrow."

Tom appeared with a brush and a can of paint. He looked at the long, long, long fence and sighed. "Why do I have to work on such a beautiful day? What will the other boys say when they see me?"
Ben came along. He was eating an apple.
"Hi, Tom! Let's go swimming."
Tom made no answer.
"What's the matter, Tom? Do you have to work? Ha, ha, ha! That's too bad."

Then Tom had a great idea. He said, "Work? What do you mean?"
"You have to paint the fence. That's work, isn't it?"
"Well, I don't know, Ben. It's interesting."
"You must be joking. You don't really enjoy it, do you?"
"Of course I do. How often do you get a chance to paint a fence?"
This was a new idea, and Ben began to see things differently.

"Say, Tom. Can I paint a little? It looks like fun."
"Well... no, Ben. You're a good friend, and I want to say yes. But Aunt Polly! This fence is very important to her, and it has to look just right when it's finished."
"I'll be careful!"
"No, Ben. I can do it better than you."
"No, you can't! Please, Tom. I'll give you half my apple!"
"But if you make a mistake ―"
"I'll be careful. You can have all my apple, Tom!"
Ben took the brush, and Tom took the apple.

Tom began to eat the apple with a smile in his heart ― but not, of course, on his face.
Many other boys came by that morning. Each one paid Tom something for a chance to paint. One boy gave him a kite. Another paid with a dead mouse. Tom also got an old knife and many other wonderful objects. By noon there was no more paint. The fence looked beautiful, and Tom was rich.
When she saw the fence, Aunt Polly was very surprised. She gave Tom the best apple in the kitchen.
"Life isn't so bad after all," he thought.


The following is an unofficial translation.






See also