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The Oxen and the Axletrees by Aesop for ESL Students

Published on July 4th, 2024 | Last updated on July 4th, 2024 by | Category: English Short Stories | No Comments on The Oxen and the Axletrees by Aesop for ESL Students | 78 Views | Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Oxen and the Axletrees by Aesop for ESL students with a video, vocabulary practice in real context and questions for discussion

The Oxen and the Axletrees is now in the public domain available on Gutenberg Project.

Video of the Oxen and the Axletrees

The Oxen and the Axletrees

The Mouse and the Bull - short story from Aesop for ESL students to learn vocabulary in real context

A pair of oxen were drawing a heavily loaded wagon along the highway, and, as they tugged and strained at the yoke, the axletrees creaked and groaned terribly.

Yoke GRE Vocabulary Flashcard at LELB Society

This was too much for the oxen, who turned round indignantly and said, “Hullo, you there! Why do you make such a noise when we do all the work?”

English proverbs from the short story

These proverbs are thematically relevant to this Aesop’s fable:

They complain most who suffer least.

Both the proverb and the fable highlight those who complain excessively. In the fable, the axles, which arguably have a much easier job than the oxen, are the ones making the most noise. The proverb suggests that those who complain the most might actually be suffering the least. Similarly, the axles, which aren’t pulling the heavy load or burden, are the ones complaining the most compared with the silent, laboring oxen.

Pride comes before a fall.

This proverb means that being arrogant or prideful can lead to failure or misfortune. In the fable, the axles boast about their importance, forgetting that they rely on the oxen to do the actual work. Their pride ultimately leads to trouble when they become stuck.

Vocabulary in real context

  1. oxen: (plural of ox) bovine draft animals used for pulling heavy loads and plows
  2. axletree: a shaft that runs underneath the body of a vehicle such as a cart or carriage and connects a pair of wheels
  3. tug: to pull at or drag something
  4. strain: to make extreme effort, labor
  5. yoke: a wooden frame for harnessing two draft animals to whatever they had to pull
  6. creak: to make a prolonged squeaking noise
  7. groan: to make a loud creaking sound that shows dissatisfaction
  8. indignant: angry and annoyed at unfairness
  9. hullo: another spelling of hello

Questions for discussion

آموزش زبان فارسی با قصه موش و گاو به همراه ویدیو و نسخه انگلیسی مناسب برای تمرین خواندن و نوشتن فارسی

  1. Who were pulling the wagon in the story, the oxen or the axles?
  2. Why do you think the axles were making noise in the fable?
  3. What lesson do you think the story of the oxen and the axles is trying to teach?

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