abbey [sebi] n.
An abbey is a house or group of houses where monks or nuns live.
—»When the monk returned to the abbey, he went immediately to his bedroom.
abundant [abAndant] adj.
If something is abundant, then it is available in large quantities.
—►Cakes, cookies, and candy were so abundant that the child was very happy.
adjoin [ad3 oin] v.
To adjoin something means to be next to or attached to something else.
—►She can listen to her brother’s conversations because her room adjoins his.
a m p le [aempt] adj.
If something is ample, then it is enough or more than enough.
-» There was an ample supply of oats to feed the horses.
arid [aerid] adj.
If a place is arid, then it is hot and dry and gets very little or no rain.
—*Not many plants grow in the arid desert.
cathedral [kaaf:dral] n.
A cathedral is an important and often large and beautifully built church.
-» The large cathedral is full of people on Sunday mornings.
deprive [dipraiv] v.
To deprive someone of something means to not let them have it.
-» Because the child was bad, she was deprived of her dessert after dinner.
drought [draut] n.
A drought is a long period of time in which little or no rain falls.
—»After three months of drought, the vegetation and trees started dying.
eligible [elid3 abal] adj.
If someone is eligible, then they are permitted to do or have something.
-* Only people who bought tickets were eligible to win a prize.
fast [faest] v.
To fast means to go without food or drink for a period of time.
—»In her religion, they fast for five days and then have a big feast.
grumble [grAmbal] v.
To grumble means to complain.
—*He grumbled about having to work late on Friday.
inland [inland] adv.
If someone goes inland, they travel into the center of a country or land.
—►The river curved inland near the campground.
moisture [moistfsr] n.
Moisture is small drops of water in the air or on a surface.
—>If you breathe on a window, moisture from your breath collects on the glass.
nonetheless [nAnSsles] adv.
If something happens nonetheless, then it occurs despite some other thing.
—»She tried to keep the dog out of the mud, but it got dirty nonetheless.
Oath [oue] n.
An oath is a formal, often public, promise.
—►Judges must take an oath to be fair to everyone in court.
prairie [preari] n.
A prairie is a large flat area of grassland.
—»The prairie was perfect for a farm because there were hills and trees.
ragged [raegid] adj.
If something is ragged, then it is old, torn, and falling apart.
—►They could see his toes through the holes in his ragged shoes.
rugged [rAgid] adj.
If an area of land is rugged, then it is rocky and difficult to travel through.
—►Their car couldn’t make it far along the rugged roads.
s c a r c e [skears] adj.
If something is scarce, then it is in a very small amount.
—►When gasoline was scarce, we rode our bikes, instead of driving, to school.
speculate [spekjaleit] V.
To speculate means to guess about something.
—►My sister looked at the sky and speculated that it would rain tomorrow.
The Helpful Abbey
It had not rained on the prairie for several months. Because of the drought, the climate
had become very arid. There was no moisture left in the soil. No crops could grow in the dry
ground. By wintertime, the people had nothing to eat.
The hungry families heard about an abbey near the mountains where food and water was
still abundant. So they traveled inland, across the prairie, to the abbey.
At first only a few families arrived, seeking food and shelter. Then there was ample food.
The monks fed them and let them sleep in the small cathedral.
Soon, however, more families were arriving every day. These people had to travel farther,
so they were in worse condition. The rugged journey had made their clothes ragged. They
were cold and tired. The tiny cathedral was soon full.
Food became scarce. The monks began to grumble. They began to speculate that there
would be no food. “If more families come, we won’t make it through the winter,” said a young
monk. “We must ask some of them to leave.”
The abbot heard this. “We cannot do that,” he said. “It would be wrong to deprive them
of food and shelter. We took an oath to help those that need help. All here are in need, so
all are eligible to receive our food and shelter.”
“But we won’t have enough,” the monk said.
“That might be true, but we must help them nonetheless. We will fast,” the abbot replied.
“Also, we will give our rooms in the abbey to those sleeping outside, and we will sleep in the
churchyard that adjoins the cathedral.”
The monks were reluctant at first, but they
did what the oldest monk said. By the end of
winter, there was still enough food and shelter
for everyone. They learned that sometimes
helping others means you must give more
help than you first expected.