Amber is a hard, yellowish material that comes from trees.
→The necklace was made from pieces of amber.
charcoal [tfaxkoul] n.
Charcoal is a black material that is used as fuel for fire.
→There was burnt charcoal left on the ground from an old fire.
columnist [kdlemnist] n.
A columnist is a writer who creates articles about a particular subject.
→The columnist won praise for his articles about life on the farm.
courteous [kairtias] adj.
When someone is courteous, they are polite and respectful.
→The mother asked her family to be courteous to their guests.
Credentials [kridenfalz] n.
Credentials are the proof of someone’s experience or ability to do something.
→The mechanic hung his credentials on his office wall.
cricket tkrikit] n.
A cricket is an insect that makes loud noises, usually at night.
→In the country, we could see the stars and hear the crickets at night.
delta [delta] n.
A delta is flat area where a river splits into smaller rivers that flow into the sea.
→The archeologists found many ancient materials in the delta of the Nile River.
detergent [dita:rd3ent] n.
Detergent is soap that is used to clean clothes or dishes.
→My brother added too much detergent to the wash, and bubbles got all over the floor.
euphemism [ju :famizam] n.
A euphemism is a term that is used in place of a mean or unpleasant word.
→Window maintenance officer” is a euphemism for a window washer.
expire [ikspaiar] V.
To expire is to no longer be effective because its use has come to an end.
→The man’s driver’s license was going to expire in two days.
granite [graenit] n.
Granite is a very hard type of rock that is often black or pink.
→The kitchen counter was made of granite.
gravel [graeval] n.
Gravel is a combination of small stones mixed with sand.
→The ground around the swing set was covered with gravel.
haunt [ho:nt] v.
To haunt is to cause problems or negative thoughts over a long period of time.
→His thoughts about his scary dream haunted him for weeks.
liberal [liberal] adj.
When someone is liberal, they accept different ideas and people.
→My grandparents aren’t as liberal as my parents.
maze [meiz] n.
A maze is a system of paths that is complicated and easy to get lost in.
→We got lost in the maze in the garden.
moss [mo(:)s] n.
Moss is a small green or yellow plant that grows on wet dirt, rocks, or tree trunks.
→Be careful not to slip on the moss that’s covering those rocks.
pebble [pebal] n.
A pebble is a small, round stone.
→We threw pebbles into the lake to make the water splash.
peck [pek] V.
When a bird pecks, it bites or hits something with its beak.
→The birds pecked at the seeds on the ground.
reservoir [rezervwa:/-] n.
A reservoir is a place for storing water for a town to use.
→If it doesn’t rain soon, the reservoir is going to dry up completely.
streak [stitk] n.
A streak is a long, thin mark that is easy to see.
→Her hair was brown except for a streak which she dyed blonde.
The Mad Hatter
One morning, Lucas sat outside with his grandfather. They looked past the gravel road that
led to a natural reservoir on the delta. On the other side of the water, there was a cottage.
“ Does a ghost live there?” Lucas asked.
“ No, a mad hatter lives there,” said his grandfather. Lucas didn’t know what a mad hatter
was, but the image of a scary man haunted him.
Later, Lucas went for a walk in the forest. He collected pieces of amber and granite that
he found on the ground. He looked at the moss on the trees and watched a bird peck at the
ground. But the forest was like a maze. Soon, Lucas was lost.
Lucas heard somebody behind him. He wanted to run away, but he fell. He had a streak
of blood on his shirt and some pebbles stuck in his skin. Then a man appeared.
“ I will take you home. First, let’s get you cleaned up,” he said.
Lucas followed him. When they arrived at the cottage, he realized the man was the mad
He sat down inside. It smelled like charcoal, but it looked like a normal house. The man
brought Lucas back some medicine.
“ It’s a bit old, but it’s not expired,” the man said.
While Lucas cleaned his cut, the man washed the blood out of his shirt with detergent.
Lucas asked, “ Are you a mad hatter?”
The man laughed and replied, “That’s a euphemism for a crazy person. Actually, I’m
pretty normal. I’m a columnist fora newspaper,” said the man. He pointed to his credentials
which hung on the wall.
Lucas could hear the crickets outside. It was getting dark, so he asked, “ Could you take
me home now?”
The man said yes. Lucas was surprised that people thought the man was crazy. He was
actually very courteous. Maybe Lucas should have a more liberal attitude. Next time, Lucas
wouldn’t make judgments about people without getting to know them first.