Log in

The Boy and the Filberts by Aesop for ESL Students

Published on July 7th, 2024 | Last updated on July 9th, 2024 by | Category: English Short Stories | No Comments on The Boy and the Filberts by Aesop for ESL Students | 63 Views | Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Boy and the Filberts by Aesop for ESL students with a video, vocabulary in real context and questions for discussion based on the English Immersion Program

The Boy and the Filberts is now in the public domain available on Gutenberg Project.

Video of the Boy and the Filberts

The Boy and the Filberts

A boy put his hand into a jar of filberts, and grasped as many as his fist could possibly hold. But when he tried to pull it out again, he found he couldn’t do so, for the neck of the jar was too small to allow of the passage of so large a handful.

The Boy Bathing by Aesop for ESL students with a podcast and vocabulary practice in real context

Unwilling to lose his nuts but unable to withdraw his hand, he burst into tears. A bystander, who saw where the trouble lay, said to him:

eat meaning in farsi

“Come, my boy, don’t be so greedy: be content with half the amount, and you’ll be able to get your hand out without difficulty.”

English proverbs from the short story

Do not attempt too much at once.

In the fable “The Boy and the Filberts,” the proverb “do not attempt too much at once” relates to the boy’s struggle. His greed for filberts leads him to grab more than he can fit through the jar’s opening, leaving him stuck and frustrated. The proverb teaches moderation – by taking fewer filberts at a time, he could have achieved his goal easily, avoiding the setback caused by his overambition.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Both the fable and the proverb warn against greed and overreaching. They teach us to be moderate in our desires and take things one step at a time.

Vocabulary in real context

  1. filbert: hazelnut
  2. grasp: take hold of something
  3. handful: an amount of something that could be held in the hand
  4. unwilling: not willing, reluctant
  5. withdraw: take out, pull out
  6. burst into tears: start crying
  7. bystander: witness, eyewitness, passer-by
  8. content (adj): satisfied

Questions for discussion

  1. In the fable “The Boy and the Filberts,” what was the boy trying to do when he got stuck?
  2. Why do you think the boy couldn’t pull his hand out of the jar after grabbing too many filberts?
  3. What lesson do you think the bystander was trying to teach the boy when he suggested he take fewer filberts?

Leave a Comment