Exercises for The Merchant and the King

Back to the story


A. How much did you understand?


These sentences retell the story. Fill in the gaps using the verbs from the list below.

  1. Every year, a merchant left home and …… through the whole land of Ethiopia.
  2. The merchant saw a man in a field, who was …… a plough.
  3. The farmer was …… the man with a stick.
  4. When the merchant returned to Sidama, he …… the man tied to the plough.
  5. The merchant stood inside the gate of the palace and ……
  6. The merchant and the king ate and drank together, and …… for a long time.
  7. The merchant went to the old king's grave, and he …… the words on the gravestone.
  8. The merchant met a boy, who said to him, "This town is …… bigger."
  9. There were words over the door of the building. They said, "Everything ……"


remembered, waited, travelled, growing, talked, changes, pulling, read, beating


B. Who is talking?


Who said these sentences? Choose the right answer from the list below

  1. "You lazy man! Pull my plough!"
  2. "Don't cry for me, my friend.”
  3. "You are a man, not an animal."
  4. "God looked down from Heaven and was sorry for him."
  5. "Who is that man? Bring him to me."
  6. "Now I am here again. I asked for news of you."
  7. "Come and sit beside me, my friend."
  8. "This is our new king."
  9. "Where is the old king's grave?"
  10. "We have new town plan now."


a boy, the merchant, a farmer, the poor man, a woman, the king, a man


C. What do you think?


Do you think that life brings many changes?

If you are happy now, do you fear that one day you will be unhappy?

If you are unhappy now, do you hope that one day you will be happy?

What can you do to change your life and make it happier?


D. Make a play


This story can make a very good play. Choose two good actors to be the merchant and the king. There are also parts for crowds, and for the woman, the man, and the boy who talks to the merchant.

 Check the answers