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Michael Berman

THE MAN WHO BECAME RICH THROUGH A DREAM

Level: Upper Intermediate

Target Audience: Adults

Language / Skills Focus: Listening & Speaking

Materials: Photocopies of the worksheets to hand out after the storytelling.

IN CLASS

Pre-listening: Ask the class if anyone has ever had a dream about something that then turned out to be true, and what we call dreams of this kind (premonitions).

While-listening: Ask the learners to find out what the wealthy businessmans dream was.

Post-listening: Hand out the worksheets with the ordering activity and the points for groupwork discussion.

Reconstruct the story by putting the following parts in the correct order: 1-g / 2-d / 3-i / 4-j / 5-f / 6-c / 7-a / 8-e / 9-k / 10-l / 11-h / 12-b

COMMENTS

The riches that we long for and travel far and wide in search of, can often be found where we least expect them to be - on our own doorstep - as the man in the following tale finds out. It has been adapted from a story in The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, translated by Richard F. Burton (London: The Burton Club, 1885) Since its first translation into a European language between 1704 and 1717, The Thousand and One Nights, also known as The Arabian Nights, has been recognized as a universal classic of fantasy narrative. It is, in fact, a much older work. Based on Indian, Persian, and Arab folklore, it dates back at least 1000 years as a unified collection, with many of its individual stories undoubtedly being even older. If this particular story seems familiar to you, it might be because it provided the basis for the modern classic - Paolo Coelhos The Alchemist:

THE STORY

Once there lived in Baghdad a wealthy businessman who lost all his means and was then forced to earn his living by hard labour. One night a man came to him in a dream, saying, "Your fortune is in Cairo; go there and seek it." So he set out for Cairo. He arrived there after dark and took shelter for the night in a mosque. As Allah would have it, a band of thieves entered the mosque in order to break into an adjoining house. The noise awakened the owners, who called for help. The Chief of Police and his men came to their aid. The robbers escaped, but when the police entered the mosque they found the man from Baghdad asleep there. They laid hold of him and beat him with palm rods until he was nearly dead, then threw him into jail.

Three days later the Chief of Police sent for him and asked, "Where do you come from?"

"From Baghdad," he answered.

"And what brought you to Cairo?"

"A man came to me in a dream and told me to come to Cairo to find my fortune," answered the man from Baghdad "But when I came here, the promised fortune proved to be the palm rods you so generously gave to me."

"You fool," said the Chief of Police, laughing until his wisdom teeth showed. "A man has come to me three times in a dream and has described a house in Baghdad where a great sum of money is supposedly buried beneath a fountain in the garden. He told me to go there and take it, but I stayed here. You, however, have foolishly journeyed from place to place, putting all your faith in a dream which was nothing more than a meaningless hallucination." He then gave him some money saying, "This will help you return to your own country."

The man took the money. He realized that the Chief of Police had just described his own house in Baghdad, so he returned home immediately, where he discovered a great treasure beneath the fountain in his garden. And this is how Allah brought the dream's prediction to fulfilment.

THE MAN WHO BECAME RICH THROUGH A DREAM: WORKSHEET

Reconstruct the story by putting the following parts in the correct order:

a. "A man came to me in a dream and told me to come to Cairo to find my fortune," answered the man from Baghdad.

b. And this is how Allah brought the dream's prediction to fulfilment.

c. "And what brought you to Cairo?"

d. As Allah would have it, a band of thieves entered the mosque in order to break into an adjoining house. The noise awakened the owners, who called for help. The Chief of Police and his men came to their aid.

e. "But when I came here, the promised fortune proved to be the palm rods you so generously gave to me."

f. "From Baghdad," he answered.

g. Once there lived in Baghdad a wealthy businessman who lost all his means and was then forced to earn his living by hard labour. One night a man came to him in a dream, saying, "Your fortune is in Cairo; go there and seek it." So he set out for Cairo. He arrived there after dark and took shelter for the night in a mosque.

h. The man took the money. He realized that the Chief of Police had just described his own house in Baghdad, so he returned home immediately, where he discovered a great treasure beneath the fountain in his garden.

i. The robbers escaped, but when the police entered the mosque they found the man from Baghdad asleep there. They laid hold of him and beat him with palm rods until he was nearly dead, then threw him into jail.

j. Three days later the Chief of Police sent for him and asked, "Where do you come from?"

k. "You fool," said the Chief of Police, laughing until his wisdom teeth showed. "A man has come to me three times in a dream and has described a house in Baghdad where a great sum of money is supposedly buried beneath a fountain in the garden. He told me to go there and take it, but I stayed here.

l. You, however, have foolishly journeyed from place to place, putting all your faith in a dream which was nothing more than a meaningless hallucination." He then gave him some money saying, "This will help you return to your own country."

1 ___ 2 ___ 3 ___ 4 ___ 5 ___ 6 ___ 7 ___ 8 ___ 9 ___ 10 ___ 11 ___ 12 ___

Working in small groups, discuss the following questions and then report back to the rest of the class:

a.      If you had been the wealthy business man from Baghdad, what would you have done? Would you have followed your dream and gone to Cairo, or would you have ignored it and stayed at home instead?

b.      Have you ever searched far and wide for a solution to a problem that was actually under your very nose all the time? Tell me about it.

c.      If you found a chest of treasure, what would you do with it and why?

Michael Berman BA, MPhil, PhD (Alternative Medicines) works as a teacher, a writer, and Core Shamanic Counsellor. Publications include A Multiple Intelligences Road to an ELT Classroom and The Power of Metaphor for Crown House, and The Nature of Shamanism for Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Books due to be published in 2008 include Soul Loss and the Shamanic Story and Divination and the Shamanic Story by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, and Tell Us A Story (a resource book for teachers on storytelling) by Brain Friendly Publications . Michael has been involved in teaching and teacher training for over thirty years and has given presentations at Conferences in more than twenty countries.  

Contact: Michaelberman@blueyonder.co.uk Website: www.Thestoryteller.org.uk

A resource book for teachers on storytelling

Available in downloadable format from www.brainfriendly.co.uk

 

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