Oranges! I was fond of them. I used to eat them all day and every day. But one day a police man found seventeen oranges hidden away in my pockets. He locked me up and I have never eaten an orange again.
I want to tell you the story.
I was driving a little pony-and-cart for the Swift Delivery Company, and I often went in and out of the docks.
I was not really a thief. But I usually left the docks with something under my apron. I had made the apron myself and it was a big one.
When there was a banana boat in the docks, I drove my little cart beside it. Sometimes bunches of bananas fell to the ground. Often my friends kicked a bunch to me from the boat. I always picked up the bananas quickly and hid them under my apron.
Then I spent the rest of the day eating bananas. I liked bananas, but I like oranges best of all.
I only took things when I found them. But some people planned a theft very carefully. Clem Jones was a careful planner. Let me tell you about Clem.
One day Clem was coming out of the docks. He was carrying a box. ‘What have you got in here?’ asked Pongo the policeman.
‘A cat,’ replied Clem. ‘Please don’t make me open the box. The cat will run away.’
‘A cat?’ Pongo said. I don’t believe you. Open the box.’
‘But the cat will run away,’ Clem said again.
‘There isn’t a cat in the box,’ replied Pongo. ‘Open it up.’
Clem got very angry, but finally opened his box. Out jumped a ship’s cat. The cat ran back into the docks. Clem ran after the cat. He was shouting angrily.
Two minutes later, Clem came back with the same box. He was holding the lid down tightly. Pongo laughed at him and Clem looked at him furiously. Clem looked angry all the way home. Then he smiled. He opened the box in the kitchen and took out a large Dutch cheese.
That was Clem’s story. But I was not so lucky. Pongo, the policeman, caught me red-handed because my apron string broke. He noticed that my trouser pockets were somewhat bulging.
Here "I" is the narrator of the story, who is a boy or a young man. He was so fond of Oranges and used to eat them day and night. One day, a policeman found seventeen oranges in his pockets. The policeman arrested him, and from that time, he has never eaten an orange.
Now the boy wants to say his story about seventeen oranges.
He was working for Swift Delivery Company as the driver for a cart with a little pony, and he used to go in and out of dockyard. He was not a thief, but he would take something and hide it in the apron whenever he goes inside the docks. He had made the apron himself, and it was too big. When in the dockyard, a boat with bananas would come, he would drive his cart beside it, and when the bunches of bananas fell to the ground, his friends would push aside the cluster towards him slightly from the boat. He would pick those bananas to hide it in his apron and eat then for the rest of the day. He liked bananas, but he was more fond of oranges than bananas.
Cart with a little pony
He would take things from the boat when he finds them, but some of them used to plan to steal. One of the planners was Clem Jones.
Clem had once carried a box with him while coming out of the docks. Pongo, the policeman asked Clem what he had in the box. Clem said that it was the cat and said that if Clem opened the box, the cat would run away. Pongo did not believe him, and he asked Clem to open the box and show him. Again Clem said that the cat would run away. Finally, Clem got irritated and opened the box, the cat which belonged to the ship jumped out of the box and ran towards the docks and Clem follows it shouting in anger. After two minutes, Clem came back with the box holding the lid down tightly. Pongo started laughing at the happenings, but Clem was enraged and looked at Pongo angrily. Clem continued to be angry until he reached home. After arriving at home, he smiled as he took out a big Dutch cheese from the box. It was the story of Clem, but the boy was not so lucky. Pongo caught him and checked him thoroughly as the boy's apron string had broken and the pockets were bulging. It had something in it which he could not hold.
Pongo - the policeman
Meanings of difficult words:
|Apron||A protective garment worn over the front of one's clothes and tied at the back.|
|Pony-and-cart||A cart with a pony.|
|Furiously||In an extremely angry manner.|
|String||A set of things tied or threaded together on a thin cord.|
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2019). Term-2 English Standard-9. Seventeen Oranges - Bill Naughtan(pp. 93-97). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.