Learn English and Improve Vocabulary through Story: Swan lake (level 1) – Part 2

{“en”:”Chapter six The Ball The ballroom in the palace was very big. There were hundreds of men and women dancing in the centre. Along the walls there were long white tables. They had candles and all kinds of food on them. At the top of the room, on a stage, were three large chairs. The Queen sat in the middle and Zigfried sat on her right. The chair on the left was empty. It was for the Princess who would be Zigfried’s wife. “Which Princess do you like the best?” “The one I will choose is not here yet.” “But you have met them all, surely?” “There is another one, mother, and she is a surprise. You will see.” Every time a new guest arrived, the ballroom doors were opened, and everyone fell silent.

A servant called out the guests’ names as they entered. Each time this happened, the Prince became very excited. But Odile never arrived. It was almost twelve o’clock. Zigfried had promised his mother that he would choose a bride by midnight. The two large doors opened. “Please, let it be her!” It was a giant cake with 18 candles on it. Everyone in the room began to sing. “Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Prince Zigfried, Happy Birthday to you!” Zigfried and his mother walked towards the enormous cake. “Now, make a wish and blow out all the candles.” No one heard him, but Zigfried said, “I wish Odile would come and be my wife.” He blew out the candles and everyone cheered.

The doors opened. “Princess Odile.” It was Odet dressed as Odile. She wore a long white dress and long white gloves. The gold crown was shining on her head. She held a bouquet of flowers in her arms. She smiled as she walked towards the Queen and Prince. She gave the Queen the flowers, then bowed. “Mother, this is Odile, the Princess I met in the forest.” “I knew your father. I’m sorry. I thought everyone had died in the fire. You must be the only one who lived.” Odet did not know what the wizard had done to Odile’s parents. She stopped smiling. “Oh Mother, her story is too sad to tell. Let us enjoy this evening together. We are her family now.” “Do you mean you wish to choose Princess Odile as your wife?” “Yes, Mother, I do.” The Queen raised her hand for the men to sound their horns.

Everyone was quiet. “Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to announce the engagement of my son, Prince Zigfried. After tonight, he will be the King of this land, and he has chosen Princess Odile to be his wife.” Zigfried and Odet danced together. Everyone around them clapped their hands. “Odile, I knew you would come. How did you escape from the evil wizard?” “I… I ran away.” “And he did not see you?” The Prince stepped back so he could look at Odet’s eyes. His heart sank when he saw those eyes. They looked like Odile’s, but there was something missing in them. He didn’t love her. Odet began to lie about her escape from Rocford. “I saw a falling star in the sky. I closed my eyes and made a wish. When I opened them, I was in a carriage pulled by horses. That’s how I got here. It must mean we were meant to be together. Oh Zigfried, tell me you will love me forever.” He held her close, because he did not want to look in her eyes. He knew he had loved Odile when he had first seen her. Now he didn’t know. He thought there must be something wrong with him.

“Odile, I promise always to love you and never leave you.” Chapter seven Odile Escapes Odile stood at her window, looking at the stars and the moon. There were bars at the window, but they were not necessary. Her window was high above a river. If she tried to escape, she would almost certainly fall into the water and die. Her bird, Patrice, chirped behind her. She turned to look at the bird. “Oh Patrice, I understand you. I am in a cage, too. But you must want to get out. I’m sorry I never thought of it. I have kept you locked up just like Rocford has kept me locked up. Because you are my only friend in this world, I wanted you to stay. But you must be free to fly.” Odile took the bird cage to the window. She opened its small door. “Fly away, Patrice, and be free! Find another bird to love. It is the only thing worth living for.” The bird flew from its cage, through the bars on the window, into the night. Odile closed her eyes. She imagined that she was Patrice flying over the forest and lake.

She flew into the garden of the palace, she landed on a palace wall and looked into a large window at the ball. Beautiful women in beautiful dresses were dancing with handsome men. She saw the prince with his mother and the cake with the eighteen candles. Then, Odet entered the room dressed as her. When she opened her eyes, she found to her amazement that she was outside the palace window. When she had set the bird free, she had also set herself free.

Because she believed with all her heart in love and freedom, everything that she imagined came true. The wizard knew that Odile hated him, and it made him angry. He wanted to make her love him, so he decided to have a ball for her. Using his magic, he made a large room full of people dancing. He changed himself into a young man again, the same young man he was when he had taken Odile from her parents.

He went to her room with flowers. He knocked on her door. “Odile, I have a surprise for you.” There was no answer. He couldn’t even hear the bird. “Odile, it’s me, Rocford. I’ve decided to take you to a ball.” When there was no answer and he heard nothing, he became angry. He made the door disappear. His anger turned him back into the old, evil man that he was. He saw the bird cage on the floor. The room was empty. Roaring with anger, he turned himself into an owl and flew from the castle towards the palace. Chapter eight The Prince Chases the Princess When Odile saw Odet dancing with Zigfried, she ran to the palace entrance. The guards stopped her. “Who are you?” “My name is Princess Odile. The Prince is expecting me.” “No. Princess Odile has already entered. You must be lying.” “Please, you must believe me. That is not Princess Odile. She is lying.” But the guards wouldn’t believe her. She ran back to the window and knocked hard on it. Everyone turned to look at her. The Prince could not believe what he saw – two Odiles.

He looked at Odet. “What is going on?” “I don’t know. The evil wizard must have changed someone to look like me.” Odile kept knocking on the window. She was crying. Zigfried could now see that she had the same eyes as the swan. Rocford flew down next to Odile as the owl. He held her in both arms. “Did you think you could escape from me?” The Prince ran from the ballroom.

He saw Odile fighting with the wizard. “Take your hands off her, Rocford.” Rocford let go of Odile’s arms. “I should have killed you that day at the lake. But I will be happy to do it now.” The wizard lifted up his hand. Odile stopped him. “Wait! Don’t do it. I’ll go with you. I’ll do what you want. Just don’t hurt him.” “Odile, what are you saying? Don’t leave me again!” She could not look at him, because if she did, she would not want to leave. “I’m doing this for us. If you die, I will die with you. It is better for us to live and hope to be together one day.” Odet ran out of the palace.

She still looked like Odile. “Who is this, then?” “It is Odet, the wizard’s evil daughter. She only looks like me. Look into her eyes and you will know.” “I knew it.” Odet also had magical powers. She changed herself back to her real body. “It is too late Zigfried. You promised to marry me and love me forever. If you do not keep this promise, you will never be able to keep another.” Odet changed herself into a bird.

The wizard was an owl and Odile was a swan. They flew together away from the palace, back to Rocford’s castle. The Queen and many others came out of the palace to see what had happened. Zigfried went after Odile. “Guards, bring me my horse.” “Zigfried, where are you going? Where is the Princess?” “She has gone away, Mother, and I must find her.” The guards brought the prince a beautiful white horse, and gave him his sword. “Do you want us to call the men, Your Highness?” “No, this is something I must do alone.” “Zigfried, do not leave the palace alone. If something happens to you, we will be without a king. It is your duty to stay with me!” “Mother, being a King means nothing if you are not with the woman you love. I would rather die than leave Odile with that evil wizard.” The Prince spurred his horse on and rode quickly towards the dark forest.

Chapter nine The Fir Rocford, Odet and Odile flew onto the tower of the castle. They changed back into people. Odile was weeping loudly. The wizard just laughed his evil laugh and said: “Odile, now I know how to get you to marry me. If you don’t, I will kill the Prince, and you will watch him die.” “Father, you do not have to kill Zigfried. He has already promised to marry me. He cannot break such a promise.” “Neither of you has a heart. How can you ever expect to be happy if you know that someone does not love you? But you will see. Love is stronger than spells. You will never succeed in getting what you want.” At this, they saw Zigfried coming towards the castle on his horse. “We shall see which is stronger, love or hate!” The wizard made a wall of fire appear in front of Zigfried. Zigfried could only think of Odile. He rode right through the fire without getting hurt.

Odile said triumphantly: “You see. I am right.” As she ran from the wizard, he tried to block her way by making the doors close in front of her. But Odile just ran faster and escaped through each one. The Prince saw Odile on the steps going up to the tower. He took her in his arms. “Odile, I will never let you leave me again. Say that you will stay with me forever.” “I will, I will! I love you Zigfried!” The wizard appeared at the top of the steps. Odet was behind him. “You will not escape death this time, Zigfried.” The Prince took out his sword. Odile tried to stop him. “Do not fight him, Zigfried. If he kills you, I will lose everyone I’ve ever loved.” “You are right Odile. Zigfried is only a boy. He is no match for me. Now, come back to your room, and let this little boy go home to his mother.” “Rocford, your words will not discourage me.

I would kill you now, but I will give you one last chance to live. Let us leave in peace and never come near Odile again.” “You really are a little boy if you think that you can harm me.” Rocford raised his hand, and Odile flew through the air to where Odet stood. Zigfried ran at Rocford and tried to stab him with his sword. Rocford put his hand up. The sword touched it and turned into water. Without a sword, Zigfried attacked the wizard. Rocford threw Zigfried down the steps. He picked up a stick and turned it into a sword. He pointed it at Zigfried’s heart as he lay on the ground. “Rocford! Don’t!” “Say you will marry me Odile, and I will let him live.” ”Don’t do it Odile! Don’t make yourself more unhappy just for me!” The wizard prodded Zigfried with the sword. “And you have promised to marry me, Zigfried. You said you would always love me.” “I said that because I thought you were Odile.

I would never marry you. I would rather die.” Zigfried took the wizard’s sword and pushed it deep into his own heart. “Zigfried, no!” Something strange began to happen. The castle began to shake. Large stones fell from the ceiling, and Rocford and Odet were killed. Odile ran to Zigfried. She took the sword out of his heart and pulled his body out of the castle, before it fell to the ground. Chapter ten The Wedding Dawn broke in the forest, but no birds sang. The castle was nothing but a pile of stones. The only sound was Odile crying over Zigfried’s body. “Oh Zigfried, my one true love! Why did you have to die?” At this, the Prince opened first one eye, then the other. “You’re alive! Oh, Zigfried!” She hugged the Prince and cried tears of happiness.

“I love you, Odile. I knew that my love was stronger than that sword. Nothing is more powerful than a person’s heart. Tell me you will marry me, and I will love you forever.” “Of course I will Zigfried. You have made my dreams come true. We were right to believe in love!” They left the old castle together on Zigfried’s horse. When they came to the lake near the palace, they saw Ozlowe. He was not a statue anymore. He stood scratching his head. All of the wizard’s spells had been broken when he died.

The Prince was full of joy. “Ozlowe!” “Master Zigfried, I don’t know what happened. I was standing here about to shoot a swan.” “That will teach you never to kill anything. This is Princess Odile. She was the swan you tried to kill.” Ozlowe was very confused. “Prince Zigfried, I think I’d better go to bed. I don’t feel very well.” When the servants and the Queen heard about Zigfried and Odile’s marriage, there was a big celebration. All the people in the land and the surrounding kindoms were invited to the wedding. It took place at the edge of the lake, where Zigfried had first seen Odile. Odile wore a beautiful long wedding dress. Zigfried’s mother walked towards them. “Zigfried, I want you to know that what you did was right.

Though I asked you to stay at the palace, you left for a better reason. You should always follow your heart, especially when it is full of love. You father would be very proud of you.” Zigfried’s mother was so happy she had tears in her eyes. The Prince took Odile’s hands. They stood together in front of the lake. The Queen put the King’s crown on Zigfried’s head. The priest spoke to the new King and Queen. “Marriage is a wonderful thing. And what makes this marriage special is that the love you have for each other will affect everyone in this land. Through your happiness, we will become happy. Through your love for each other, we will love each other. Is this what you want? Is your love strong enough to lead a land of people who need joy in their lives?” Odile spoke first. “It is.” “Of course, it is!” “Then by the power that is given to me by God, I pronounce you husband and wife.” At that moment a joyful chirp was heard and a little bird flew from a rose bush and sat on Odile’s hand.

“Patrice, my little friend! You’re back!” Then Odile turned to Zigfried and said: “You see my beloved King, love is stronger than anything in this world. When you love somebody or something you never lose them.” Zigfried looked lovingly into his bride’s eyes, they kissed and everybody cheered.. “}

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