attic n.
An attic is a room just below a house’s roof.
→There were two windows in their attic.

chunk n.
A chunk is a thick, solid piece of something.
→When they broke open the rock, they saw it was filled with chunks of gold.

civic adj.
If something is civic, then it is related to a town or city, especially its government.
→Most of the important civic buildings are located downtown.

descent  n.
A descent is a movement downwards.
→During the space shuttle’s descent, the Earth became larger and larger.

din n.
A din is loud, unpleasant, and extended noise.
→The din of the rusty machinery made the factory a horrible place to work.

dissatisfy  v.
To dissatisfy someone means to fail to please them.
→He was dissatisfied with his meal.

fuss n.
A fuss is excited or annoyed behavior that is not useful in any way.
→The child made an awful fuss because she didn’t want to go to bed.

gourmet adj.
If food is gourmet, then it is nicer and more expensive than regular food.
→In order to get a gourmet meal, you have to eat at an expensive restaurant.

hence adv.
If something happens hence, then it happens as a result of something.
→John forgot the key. Hence, we couldn’t open the door.

intrinsic adj.
If something is intrinsic, then it is related to the basic nature of that thing.
→Paper money has no intrinsic value. It is useful simply because society says it is.

kettle n.
A kettle is a large metal pot used for boiling liquids or cooking food.
→The soup was being cooked in a large kettle.

ministry n.
A ministry is a government department.
→The Ministry of Trade is responsible for taxing imports and exports.

ordeal n.
An ordeal is a bad experience.
→Driving in the snowstorm was an ordeal she’d never forget.

outspoken adj.
If someone is outspoken, then they are not afraid to say what they think.
→She was an outspoken critic about the new banking laws.

overwork v.
To overwork someone means to make them tired with too much work.
→After working for three weeks with only one day of rest, Judy was overworked.

particular adj.
If something is particular, then it is a single, important part of a group of things.
→The dress shop didn’t have the particular dress she was looking for.

pungent adj.
If something is pungent, then it tastes or smells strong and sharp.
→The garlic made the soup taste so pungent that the chef wouldn’t serve it.

snore v.
To snore means to make a loud noise each time a sleeping person breathes.
→It was impossible to get to sleep because my husband snored.

soundly adv.
If something is done soundly, then it is done in the best or most complete way.
→The nearest opponent was ten meters behind. She won the race soundly.

superintendent n.
A superintendent is a person who runs a certain department or building.
→The superintendent decided to close the schools because of the weather.

 


The Butler’s Bad Day

The Superintendent of Civic Projects was a busy man. He worked every day of the week and had fancy parties at his house every night.

However, if there was someone busier than him, it was his butler. He worked all day organizing the superintendent’s parties and then cleaned up after them late at night. Hence, while the superintendent slept soundly, snoring loudly in his bed, the butler was still awake.

Sadly, though the butler was always overworked, his profession’s intrinsic nature demanded he never be outspoken. Therefore, his employer never knew the butler hadn’t slept for several days. On any day the butler might make a mistake.

One day, the superintendent said, “This particular party is important. People from the ministry are coming. Everything must be perfect.”

The butler began preparing at once. First he went to the attic to get more chairs and tables. But on his descent, he realized he needed to make the food. A gourmet dinner was necessary for such a party. He boiled water in a kettle for soup and chopped some beef into chunks. Just as he was starting the soup, he remembered that he had to sweep the veranda. As he was sweeping the veranda, he realized that he had to clean the sauna.

By this time, the first guests had arrived. The veranda was still dirty. There were not enough chairs for the guests to sit on, and the soup tasted too pungent. Some guests were dissatisfied. They started to make a fuss, and the party was filled with a din of complaints.

The superintendent’s party was a disaster. He wondered why his butler had made so many mistakes. At last, the butler admitted to being exhausted. His boss felt pity for the butler. He had no idea the butler was so tired. He said, “You should have told me earlier, then we could have avoided this whole ordeal.