Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Devil and Tom Walker

The Devil and Tom Walker

Our story today is, "The Devil and Tom Walker. " It was written by Washington Irving. Here is Shep ONeal with our story.
Storyteller:  Before we begin our story, let us go back three hundred years to the late sixteen hundreds. In those years, one of the most famous men in the world was Captain William Kidd. Captain Kidd was a pirate. He sailed the seas, capturing any ships he found. He and his men took money from these ships. Captain Kidd hid this money in different places.

Captain Kidd was captured by the English in Boston, Massachusetts and executed in the year seventeen-oh-one.
From that time on, people all over the world searched in many places for Captain Kidds stolen money.
The people who lived in Massachusetts in the seventeen hundreds believed Captain Kidd buried some of his treasure near Boston. Not far from Boston was a small river which ran into the Atlantic Ocean. An old story said that Captain Kidd had come up this river from the ocean. Then he buried his gold and silver and jewels under a big tree.
The story said that this treasure was protected by the devil himself, who was a good friend of Captain Kidd.
In the year seventeen twenty-seven, a man named Tom Walker lived near this place. Tom Walker was not a pleasant man. He loved only one thing -- money. There was only one person worse than Tom. That was his wife. She also loved money. These two were so hungry for money that they even stole things from each other.
One day, Tom Walker was returning home through a dark forest. He walked slowly and carefully, so that he would not fall into a pool of mud.
At last, he reached a piece of dry ground. Tom sat down on a tree that had fallen. As he rested, he dug into the earth with a stick. He knew the story that Indians had killed prisoners here as sacrifices to the Devil. But this did not trouble him. The only devil Tom was afraid of was his wife.
Toms stick hit something hard. He dug it out of the earth. It was a human skull. In the skull was an Indian ax.
Suddenly, Tom Walker heard an angry voice: "Dont touch that skull!"
Tom looked up. He saw a giant sitting on a broken tree. Tom had never seen such a man. He wore the clothes of an Indian. His skin was almost black and covered with ashes. His eyes were big and red. His black hair stood up from his head. He carried a large ax.
The giant asked, "What are you doing on my land?" But Tom Walker was not afraid. He answered, "What do you mean? This land belongs to Mr. Peabody."
The strange man laughed and pointed to the tall trees. Tom saw that one of the trees had been cut by an ax. He looked more closely and saw that the name Peabody had been cut into the tree. Mr. Peabody was a man who got rich by stealing from Indians.
Tom looked at the other trees. Every one had the name of some rich, important man from Massachusetts. Tom looked at the tree on which he was sitting. It also had a name cut into it -- the name of Absalom Crowninshield. Tom remembered that Mr. Crowninshield was a very rich man. People said he got his money as Captain Kidd did -- by stealing ships.
Suddenly, the giant shouted: "Crowninshield is ready to be burned! Im going to burn many trees this winter!"
Tom told the man that he had no right to cut Mr. Peabodys trees. The stranger laughed and said, "I have every right to cut these trees. This land belonged to me a long time before Englishmen came to Massachusetts. The Indians were here. Then you Englishmen killed the Indians. Now I show Englishmen how to buy and sell slaves. And I teach their women how to be witches."

Tom Walker now knew that the giant was the Devil himself. But Tom Walker was still not afraid.
The giant said Captain Kidd had buried great treasures under the trees, but nobody could have them unless the giant permitted it. He said Tom could have these treasures. But Tom had to agree to give the giant what he demanded.
Tom Walker loved money as much as he loved life. But he asked for time to think.
Tom went home. He told his wife what had happened. She wanted Captain Kidds treasure. She urged him to give the Devil what he wanted. Tom said no.
At last, Misses Walker decided to do what Tom refused to do. She put all her silver in a large piece of cloth and went to see the dark giant. Two days passed. She did not return home. She was never seen again.
People said later that Tom went to the place where he had met the giant. He saw his wifes cloth hanging in a tree. He was happy, because he wanted to get her silver. But when he opened the cloth, there was no silver in it -- only a human heart.
Tom was sorry he lost the silver, but not sorry he lost his wife. He wanted to thank the giant for this. And so, every day he looked for the giant. Tom finally decided that he would give the giant what he wanted in exchange for Captain Kidds treasure.
One night, Tom Walker met the giant and offered his soul in exchange for Captain Kidds treasure. The Devil now wanted more than that. He said that Tom would have to use the treasure to do the Devils work. He wanted Tom to buy a ship and bring slaves to America.
As we have said, Tom Walker was a hard man who loved nothing but money. But even he could not agree to buy and sell human beings as slaves. He refused to do this.
The Devil then said that his second most important work was lending money. The men who did this work for the Devil forced poor people who borrowed money to pay back much more than they had received.
Tom said he would like this kind of work. So the Devil gave him Captain Kidds treasure.
A few days later, Tom Walker was a lender of money in Boston. Everyone who needed help -- and there were many who did -- came to him. Tom Walker became the richest man in Boston. When people were not able to pay him, he took away their farms, their horses, and their houses.
As he got older and richer, Tom began to worry. What would happen when he died?  He had promised his soul to the Devil. Maybe. . .maybe. . . he could break that promise.
Tom then became very religious. He went to church every week. He thought that if he prayed enough, he could escape from the Devil.
One day, Tom took the land of a man who had borrowed money. The poor man asked for more time to pay. "Please do not destroy me!" he said. "You have already taken all my money!"
Tom got angry and started to shout, "Let the Devil take me if I have taken any money from you!"

That was the end of Tom Walker. For just then, he heard a noise. He opened the door. There was the black giant, holding a black horse. The giant said, "Tom, I have come for you." He picked up Tom and put him on the horse. Then he hit the horse, which ran off, carrying Tom.
Nobody ever saw Tom Walker again. A farmer said that he saw the black horse, with a man on it, running wildly into the forest.

After Tom Walker disappeared, the government decided to take Toms property. But there was nothing to take. All the papers which showed that Tom owned land and houses were burned to ashes. His boxes of gold and silver had nothing in them but small pieces of wood. The wood came from newly cut trees. Toms horses died, and his house suddenly burned to ashes.
Announcer: You have heard the story, "The Devil and Tom Walker." It was written by Washington Irving. Our storyteller was Shep ONeal. Listen again next week at this same time for another AMERICAN STORY told in Special English on the Voice of America. This is Shirley Griffith.

References:

Washington Irving (1824). Tales of a Traveler: The Devil and Tom Walker. Retrieved from American Stories in VOA Special English www.manythings.org/voa/stories


58 comments:

  1. Well, little ladies. I think this is the time for you to post here your comments on the fascinating story of The Devil & Tommy.
    Leave your opinion on what the story means to you and what the teaching moral is.

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  2. Hey buddy, This story of The Devil and Tommy is just great! I have just read it and also, I listened to the mp3 file. it helped me out very much to improve my pronunciation. besides that, I think the story has a great moral teaching. I learned Tom was a uncorrectable greedy man. he wanteed to be released from the power of hell but he did not changed his attitude toward poor people, towars his greed, towards money-making, and more important, towards God's opportunity for him to change and go to heaven.

    Felo, buddy. Congrats for this work.
    Regards,

    Arnold.

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  3. Poor Tom. he needed to change from the inside out! Being religious is not use!! Only in Jesus can the man find salvation.

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  5. our ambition, are the worst enemy because can made us to do things,wich later we can repent

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  6. I like this story. We can't be greedy like tom, because greed makes us ungrateful and envious, make us bad people who only think in themselves and dont care about other people like tom with the poor people. If we want to change isn´t enough ask for forgiveness to god, we have to show with our actions, that we became really.

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  7. sometimes money attracts more problems than it can solve!
    tom ambition made a mistake of which could not be regret...

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    1. Good, I liked that of "sometimes money attracts more problems than it can solve!"

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  8. I really like this story because it teaches us not to be greedy and that help people and be with God are the best things that we can do on earth.

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  9. i liked so much the story,but i think Tom is too much ambitious and ithink people like Tom is the kind of people who can do anything.. and i mean ANYTHING to get more and more..And secondly..well... first i download the story to lisen to it.. and i imagined the giant like more "gently" but now that i see it :S well.. like the story says the giant is the devil himself!!! and scares me a bit.

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  10. I really liked this story, here we see the serious problems that allow us to be so greedy and make pacts with the devil

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  11. Sometimes, people go to extremes to achieve things that only produce bad things.And just do it being selfish, and thinking only in themselves, without realize of all the bad things that it produce to other people. and soon, to themselves.Be ambitious does not produce nothing good

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    1. I liked the story, because this one enables us to recognize that the ambition to the end makes us forget the true value of human beings and each one of the consequences that bring our bad acts.

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  12. I liked it so much because it teaches us not to be ambicious!
    If you want something like money you have to work for it...Don't be
    Lazy!..work and effort yourself! and things would go so much better ;)
    and by the way..The giant is kind of scary :)

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    1. manu but imagine yourself having a giant like that to protect you!!
      that would be so cool :)

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    3. Saris, I wouldn't like to have a demon like this to be my fierce protector- better to stay "forever alone!"

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  13. I Like the story but Tom is very greedy and ambitious,people like him, never can have a friend becuse no one trut in that people; the good part is it teaches us to be good people and always be with God.

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  14. I like this story because now I know that we need have responsability for our acts

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  16. material things are not everything we also enjoy many moments that are free and are more innolbidables things that may exist, I liked the story is much like everyday life more than anything in the party seek God only when we need it and not always as it should be

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  17. I really like this story I learning that the money is not as important, because want a lot of money makes us disturbing to the others and we are the only ones responsible for our actions!!

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  18. can´t be greedy, we must be content with what we have

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  19. Is not bad to be ambitious but if we are greedy and harm other people getting what we want that´s horrible.
    When we are in a bad time and regret of everything that we’ve done we have to believe in God and beg him to change us, remember that its really effortless to get back to bad habits, and the world seduce you with no difficult; is easier for a good person to become a bad person that to a bad one to become a good one.
    The story was cool and I liked it, and is better to don’t play with the devil.
    Be responsible of your deeds!.

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    1. i love your coment bu i'm disagree about our way of change
      i think the only thing that can change us is our willpower, 'cause even we pray and beg to god if we don't have the intention of change i'm pretty sure that wouldn't work.
      :)

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  20. I really liked this story...for me it means we can not be greedy because this would lead to chaos...and that to change our way of thinking and being must prove it with facts and not just words

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  21. I really loved this story.
    but i really think that tommy could had saved himself if he had really changed, because even he became very "religious", that was not gonna work 'cause he didn't change inwardly.
    this story teach us how blind can we become when we know we have power and influence over people, 'cause we become ambicious and do foolish things to get more things and power.

    i just ask myself why does everybody search for being the best, the richest, the most powerful or famous? if we have love in our lifes why do we need power and material things?. i think that what tommy needed was love. He needed a lovely wife, maybe kids or just friends, not someone worse than him.He had a whole inside and he thougt he could fill it with money. that was the reason he was such a bastard and everybody hated him.

    the story teach us a wonderful moral teaching that we should apply in our lifes.

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  22. i really like this story because is very intresting and teach me be responsable with my acts

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    1. Sofia6: I don't know who you are. If you had unless posted a picture of you or written your last name.......

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  23. I liked this story a lot because it tought me an important lesson that not every thing is worth money and you cant be greedy like tom.we should be simple peolpe and notcare that much about the material

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  24. I think the story is very cool and leaves us a great moral teaching: money can give us power and comfort but never can buy love, happiness or friends. We are really happy when we help the others, praying and staying in touch with God and always being honest without owing anything to anybody.

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  25. the persons who only think that the money is the most important , are wrong , they don't know the true value of the life .
    if everyone we understood that material things do not last forever maybe our life would change .
    be happy , take care of your family , and love your neighbor.

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  26. Ambitious people always ends badly, always wanting more money and forgeting the essentials things of life, losing the sense of live,some people are so poor and the only thing that have is money.

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  27. People only can get whatever they want if they fight and work for it, not throug deals.

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  28. We have to look the people the positive way , be more sensitive and support the persons that need us. we forget the essential things for look the superficial appearance , remember the good fellings that we have and use them because we can change the way to think of all the people. Change you mind, be more generose

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  29. is a very interesting story , we have to know that the money is not really the most important thing

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  30. Want to progress is not bad, bad is stepping over people to do it. The life isn't about who has more money, there are more important things than that. Be ambitious and greedy always brings bad things, the only things you really enjoy are those that you achieve with your work and effort

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  31. I think that is a interesting story that show us how bad is the money in excess and we got to learn that the money not is the most most important thing in life

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  33. It was an interesting and fun history but I think that the money is not the most important thing in life because it´s just something material and if we live only for money we are going to have very bad consequences

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