You are on page 1of 13

Joyce Hannam - Christmas In Prague

Do you know everything about your family - your parents, your grandparents, your
brothers or sisters, your uncles and aunts? Does your family know everything about
you? All families have secrets - they can be big secrets, small secrets, things to
laugh about, things to cry about.
Jan lives in Oxford with his English wife Carol, and his father Josef, who is a
Czech. Jan was born in Prague, but he came to England with his father when he was a
baby. He never knew his mother - she died soon after he was born. And he knows
nothing about her because his father never talks about her. But Josef still carries
a photograph of his wife in his pocket - after all these years.
Carol plays the harp in a orchestra, and the orchestra is giving some concerts in
Prague at Christmas. Carol wants to go, and she wants Jan and Josef to go too.
'Prague is a wonderful place,' she says, 'for a family Christmas.'
But there are family secrets waiting for them in Prague - wonderful secrets, happy
secrets, and very sad secrets...

Chapter 1 - Christmas 1957

It is night, and the fields near the village are white with snow. The village is
quiet, but not everybody is sleeping. Eyes are watching the roads and the field
near the village, because this is Czechoslovakia and the year is 1957. Across the
fields, only half a kilometre away, is the Austrian border, but the people of
Czechoslovakia are not free to go to Austria. The border guards watch day and night
. and they carry guns.
In a house in the village a man and a woman are talking. The woman holds a six-
month-old baby boy in her arms.
She is excited but she is afraid, too.
'Tell me again,' she says. 'Did he get to Austria all right last night?'
'Yes,' he did,' the man says. 'Nobody saw him, nobody heard him. But last night
was easy because the sky was dark. Tonight it's more difficult look at that moon!'
'But it's Christmas night,' the woman says, 'and the guards are drinking in the
guardhouse, yes?'
'That's true,' says the man, 'but sometimes they come out and drive up and down
the road for a time. So you must be careful, and you must run fast - very fast.' He
looks at his watch. 'It's time to go.'
The woman puts on a white coat and a white hat. The baby wears a white coat too,
and the woman carries him on her back.
'Good,' the man says. 'White is best when there's snow. Nobody can see you. Now,
are you ready? Let's go.'
They leave the house and walk quickly out of the village. After a time they stop
and the man says very quietly:
'OK. Do you see those trees? Turn right there and go fifty metres. When you come
to the road, go across it quickly and run down the hill through the trees. Then you
come to the river. Turn left and go 500 metres. The trees finish there and you can
walk through the river easily. Across two more fields, and you're in Austria. Our
friends are waiting for you in the second field. Go now. Goodbye - and good luck!'
The woman begins to run. The baby on her back is sleeping, but now he opens his
eyes an begins to cry. The woman is afraid and runs more slowly, but the baby's
crying is loud in the night. At the trees the woman turns right and soon she is at
the road. She does not see the black car under the trees, but the man in the car
see her.
Suddenly there is a noise in the night - the noise of guns. Then it is quiet
The woman's body lies in the snow on the road. Now the only sound is the crying of
a baby.

Chapter 2 - England 1995
"Hey Jan, look at this!" Carol said. She had a letter in her hand and took it

.across to her husband at the breakfast table. "I must ask him now." she said. Carol. and sat down at the table." Carol came back with some hot coffee. I must finish writing my new book then. "What are you talking about? Where does Carol want to go at Chrismas?" "To Prague." "Well. He says it's the most beautiful time of the year because of all the snow on the old buildings." said Jan.I want to ask you a question." said Jan." Jan stopped. "Are you free then?" "No. It's just. I don't know why.. "Perhaps now." Chapter 3 . "The first concert is on December 20th".. my dear. "but I can't come before December 24th.. "You are very good to me." said Jan quickly." Josef Vlach was sixty-eight years old." he answered. His father smiled.not to Jan. The hands on the clock slowly moved through two long minutes. Jan drank his cold coffee and waited. no. "We can't go away and leave him at Christmas time. but it's Christmas time and-" "Stop!" said Josef. but I. Jan looked at his father carefully. "What a long morning!" everyone said. "while Carol is out of the room. "Is something wrong?" "No." Carol went out for some coffee." "Ah!" said the old man. Carol answered." Jan said." he thought. He couldn't see very well. You know.." said Jan.I.." Carol said.. it doesn't matter." "What about my father?" said Jan. Carol wants to go very know that. "Good morning.before I die." said the conductor. "They're giving concerts in the Czech Republic this Christmas. We want you to come too.. He met Carol when she was one of his students at university. he remembers her. !And I would like to go with her. "Josef can some with us. Shall we go to Prague for Christmas? I can play with the orchestra.. sometimes he cries when he looks at his photo of her . The old man took something out of his pocket. They're doing three concerts in the Prague and they're asking me to go because they need a harpist. "He often talks about Prague at Christmas. "Shhh." said the old man. and his eyes were bed. Jan's mother. "but we have very little time.just once I can go back again. "But he only talks about Prague. She loves playing her harp. so very well.. It was a photograph of his dead wife. I understand now." "I know. He loves a family Christmas with us . "Nothing's's difficult.after all these years!" Just then the door opened and Jan's father came slowly into the room. Every time we ask him to come with us. he says no. I remember it so well. You can come for the second concert. It's on December 25th. When he thinks about Prague.. "I'm sorry. so he lived with Carol and Jan. He was born in Czechoslovakia..He's thinking about Prague. Carol put the coffee on the table and sat down. I'm sorry. "Difficult? Why is it difficult? Are you afraid of an old man?" "Of course not. "It's from the Oxford Orchestra . Jan. Then the old man put the photograph back in the pocket. "I always have a lot of work in the weeks before Chritmas." he said." The room was suddenly very quiet. You see. "To Prague.." he said." Jan said very quietly. but came to England when he was very young." Jan taught Czech at Oxford University and wrote books about languages. He never wants to go there. but to the photograph in his hands. "Is there any coffee?" "It's cold now.The accident The first rehearsal began at nine o'clock and finished at two o'clock. "But I'm afraid of your answer. It's beautiful there when it's snows. She looked at Josef... The first concert ." "When are the concerts?" asked Jan. then at Jan.. He spoke very quietly . but I think it's because of my mother." "You're very quiet. and you can come with us. "Let's all go to Prague for Christmas. "Shall I make you some more?" "Thank you." said Carol. "All right.

"We can't wait for her. but she knew one thing .she did not want to lose him. very loudly." Carol said." ." the bus driver said later. it was nearly dark. Carol did not understand it. They all looked at her. Please don't be late!" Carol left the rehearsal room with Alan. "I couldn't stop. One of the first violinist. "Perhaps he didn't see me very well. Carol!" A lot of people stopped this time. and the city looked beautiful. the old town. The man stopped too. Now please go and eat. "I'm going to get a quick sandwich. It was a very long minute for Carol. He turned and looked at Carol for a minute. "What are you going to do this afternoon. "Everybody's doing their Christmas shopping. Suddenly his hands stopping moving and the music stopped at once. This afternoon is free so you can go and look at this beautiful city. so we must play well. "We must have the rehearsal without her. "Then come back here at once . and then I'm going shopping. It's so dark now. come back. He walked on. and I haven't got any presents for them.He's going.with or without her." "Excuse me. then" said Alan. "My husband Jan and his father are arriving on Sounday." Carol thought." Alan left. Where is Alan? He can speak some Czech. but he didn't smile and he didn't speak.. Carol shouted again. In the end she got a book for Jan and a picture for his father. "Jan! Jan! I's me." he said. - there was no time. "The harpist is not here." Everyone turned and looked at the back of the orchestra. There was no answer. Two seconds later Carol lay in the snow.. where is she?" asked the conductor. and Carol began to feel afraid." said someone at the back of the room.. Carol?" Alan asked. "And good luck with the shopping!" "Thanks. cars. taxis." Carol said. Rinaldi. It was true. Tomorrow morning we begin again at nine o'clock. "She ran right in front of me. Whe she left the old town. and they said that Carol wasn't there at breakfast this morning. I must find something this afternoon. "Ther are some wonderful shops in the Stare Mesto. so she walked quickly through the streets back to her hotel." Carol went into a lot of shops that afternoon.. "What was the matter with you? Are you sleeping? You begin to play here..Where is he going? Jan." Carol's face was white and her eyes were closed. "I spoke to two or three people in the hotel. There was a lot of noise too . so I'm going down there. Suddenly she saw a man across the street. Was she dead or alive? * * * At nine o'clock the next morning the conductor was ready to begin the rehearsal. buses." Alan stood up. It was very cold. It was Jan! Why was he in Prague so soon? "Jan!" she shouted across the street. "Well. Soon an ambulance came and took her body away. But Jan didn't hear her. And they think that she didn't sleep in her room last night. Then he moved and began to walk away from Carol down a little street." "See you tomorrow. There were Christmas trees in all the shop windows. He opened his music and the orchestra started to play. "Harpist!" the conductor shouted angrily.people. Half an hour later he was tomorrow night and a lot of important people are coming. Monday is Christmas Day. Her husband's eyes were cold." he said.Are you ill?" She ran across the street. There was nobody in the harpist's chair. "Can you go to the hotel and look for her there?" the conductor asked. There were a sudden noise and somebody shouted. Mr. "She's not in the hotel.

. "Let's leave her now. "Plese Mrs Vlach." "Yes.I must." "But . Mr Rinaldi? It's difficult time for you. A man said something." She put her hands in her head. "Listen.. "Jan's coming soon. I understand that. Have a sleep. and I know you're feeling very tired." said a woman quietly." said Mr Rinaldi. There's nothing wrong with her." Carol said. The doctor looked at Mr Rinaldi and spoke very quietly. He's on a plane from London." she heard. I'm afraid she's ill . "Where is he? I must find him. "It's a hospital in Prague. your husband is coming. But he was not happy. I think we must tell the police.Nobody understands Carol Carol slowly opened her eyes.Oh..all this talk about Jan her husband.. dear.. He tooks Carol's hands.. She was very tired.. the conductor of the orchestra.Jan. They closed the door quietly. and they looked at Carol through the window in the door. ." said the doctor." "Shall I do it now?" Alan asked." said the conductor." "On a plane? Why? He's here in Prague." "Mr. She closed her eyes again. Rinaldi. But plase go away now. "Please don't get excited. All this is very good.. beacause of your concerts. please. Near the door of the room she saw a woman in a white coat . "What's happening?" "This isn't your bedroom..." she said. It hurt again." Mr Rinaldi and the doctor left the room.. Her head didn't hurt so much this time. "She's going to be all right. Her head hurt. "She just needs to sleep for a time. and she knows that these concerts are important for us.. but he didn't stop. "Yes.. But why didn't they understand? Jan was in Prague.please..very ill." Carol can you hear me? "I can hear you. "But I didn't want open my eyes. near the old town. She's going to be OK after a good sleep.. "She thinks her husband is in Prague. "She had a bad hit on the head in the accident. and he saw me.... The doctor was right.." The doctor moved nearer to the bed. Can you remember anything about it?" Suddenly Carol remembered everything. Rinaldi. she knows you. What was it? "Carol. We told him about the accident.. Mrs Vlach.the Christmas trees in the shop windows. Eat something. Please find him. but she didn't break anything and her head is all right. "Don't get excited." Chapter 4 . and she understands she's in hospital." Carol turned her head." said the conductor.I can't. I called out to him." "Listen. "I didn't like this.He just walked away from me. Who are you?" "It's me. The old town.." Carol said. You had an accident yesterday.a doctor.. Now." said the doctor. "What are you doing in my bedroom?" she asked angrily. I saw him in the street. We looked at it carefully.. Lie down again." said Mr Rinaldi.Jan! She sat up. she's confused about that. But she remembers her name. Then come back later this afternoon. and she must find him. "Carol is never late for rehearsals. what about you. It's not good for you.. "Jan! Where's Jan?" she asked Mr. She needs to sleep. "What about that?" "Yes. Giorgio Rinaldi. "Who's Jan?" the doctor asked Mr Rinaldi quietly." said Mr. Christmas presents. "But I must see Jan. You can't do anything now. Now lie down again and close your eyes.I must talk to him. to him. it's true. Carol lay down and closed her eyes. Rinaldi? Carol opened her eyes again.." "All right.. My head hurts. "Her husband." he answered. ther is!" said Mr Rinaldi. You must sleep. But I spoke to him on the telephone three hours ago and he was in Oxford. "Please go now. You can come back later.

" "Shall I go?" asked Pavel. Pavel stopped too. "My name is Pavel Brychta." "Of course I'm Jan! What are you talking about?" "The doctor came up to the bed. "Yesterday she looked so white! I was afraid for her. But an older man came slowly out of the lift next. "I don't know!" The doctor looked back at Jan's face. tell me." Just then Carol opened her eyes and saw a man through the window in her door. "She's sleeping. I was afraid she was dead. Please take me to him. or not?" Just then Carol looked behind Jan. but he said nothing. He didn't see Pavel." he thought. I know.yes. are you all right?" he said." "Yes.. please." said Pavel. "Who-is-that?" she said. I saw the accident and I called the ambulance.You see. Jan and the doctor turned and saw Pavel.. Then the lift door opened and a man ran out. "Jan!" she shouted.." "He's not my friend . .. * * * In Carol's room Jan put the red flowers on the bed and took his wife's hands.. He didn't know her name." said the old man. "Who is this man?" he asked. "But she looks well. "Then come with me." she asked quietly." said the doctor. Jan stood up. dear!" the doctor said. "I'm sorry. "Oh. "And my poor orchestra. He saw Pavel. "Not again. you look-" "Yes.. "You don't look very well." The doctor smiled. At the door they stopped and looked in through the window. my love. She went into the Carol's room and closed the door. but only one face. "My son is in that room. Is the woman all right? I just wanted to know that.Some visitors for Carol Two hours later a tall man arrived at the hospital." said the old man. "Would you like to see her? She's much better now." The old man looked very afraid. Pavel walked slowly back to the lift. what is your name?" "Pavel Brychta. "You told me that your name was Pavel Brytcha. She thinks that you are her husband from England.I thought. "I saw your friend. "Jan!" "Oh. Why did you run in front of a bus? How did it happen?" Carol didn't answer his questions.he's my son. "Perhaps it's better . She hit her head in the accident and she's confused about some things.. Then Jan's father opened the door of Carol's room and the two men came in. He looked at his father." she said." Now Pavel was afraid. "My god!" said Jan. "Wait a minute. "You are Jan? Tell me that you are Jan. and his mouth opened and closed. "I can't understand it." They went upstairs in the lift and walked along in Carol's room.. "Poor Carol. "Who are you?" She asked the man. He looked at the numbers of the rooms and then went quickly into Carol's room. Are you Mrs Vlach's husband." answerd Pavel. with some beautiful red flowers in his arms. She sat up. How can I find another harpist before tonight's concert?" Chapter 5 ." "Please. He asked to see the woman in yesterday's street accident." answered the doctor. His face went white. Her eyes got bigger and bigger. "Would you like to sat down? And shall I call a doctor? There's a doctor in this room here. She saw Pavel with Jan's father through the window of her door. The doctor came downstairs." said Pavel. "My eyes aren't very good." Pavel took the old man's arm. and stopped suddenly. "Two men. "Jan?" She looked up into his face. Please." he said.

You can see that it's true. People were not happy and they were not free. Then she left the room quietly. You took one grandson away from me.Who is Pavel? The old man drank some water and looked up.. "Please bring me a chair and some water. "Stanislava loved her daughter very much.. You went away in England and began a new life. Look at your faces. He was there for seven yers. "And my father . Your "friends" came and told me yesterday. Look. "My grandmother never told me that. Your wife. I didn't tell you many things about your mother. that your wife is dead. Lenka was dead. "Pavel. I did. "Stanislava is . "She loved you. and a lot of our friends. "His mame is Pavel Britcha. Chapter 6 . Then Pavel put his hands his father's arm. I see that now.our father . and they got married in 1956. " I understand now.never told me about a twin brother!" He turned to Josef.. Pavel opened in and began to read. And what do I have? Nothing. You weren't interested in me .on her back. too." "Did you live with your grandmother when you were young?" "Yes. That's a photo of my mother. "Lenka was my wife. I must show you something. "Your wife died.your son!" Josef's face was very said.because of you." Jan got a chair for his father and the doctor gave him some water." said the old man." From behind the photo of his wife he took out a letter. you didn't telephone. "So I have a brother. The letter was in Czech. and don't come back to Prague. The room was very quiet. wanted to change things. the young man fell in love with her. Josef looked at him. Joseph. You have Jan. "She was so beautiful! Of course. and gave it to Pavel. The Russians knew about us and they watched all the time." Jan smiled." He put his face in his hands. "What a terrible letter! How could she do that to you. But I wanted to forget. "My boy. Pavel put the letter down.." answered his father. and we often looked at them." he said." Pavel said angrily. I never want to see you again. You didn't write. what are you saying?" said Jan." "Dad." said Josef. and my grandson . Perhaps I was wrong. She died when I was very young.." Pavel looked at Jan." He eyes turned to the photo. and didn't want to lose you. Dad. "Pavel. are dead.your baby son. and your son. But my grandmother had many photos of her." he said. and you left the country. and it was his grandmother's writing I write to tell you. how could I go back in Prague?" You were dead. But it was dangerous work. don't be angry with me." he said. Stanislava Slowly. "I thought you were dead. and the guards shot him too. Lenka and I. The letter was old and yellow. But she never liked me. why didn't you tell me?" It's a long story.not forget your mother.and to me. Jan this man Pavel is your twin brother. "I must ask you to look at this photograph of a young woman. and a new life in England. But how do you know all this?" "Because. only to forget that terrible night in 1957. and in his last year he met a beautiful young woman. "It begins many yers ago when a young man went to Prague University. On Christmas night the guards shot her on the road at the border." said Pavel. I need to sit down before I can answer your question." he said quietly.. and now my daughter and little Pavel are dead . She carried Pavel . Don't write to me. But things were difficult in Prague then. Then you two boys were born on a wonderful day in June 1957!" "But you went away." Josef said sadly. And after that letter. Lenka. Do you know this woman?" "Yes.

.. I din't understand why.. I can't find another harpist. this is a wonderful day. "She was so near Austria." He turned to his father.. and Mr Rinaldi came in. Then Pavel turned to near us. But the next night. because of me. and again. She didn't understand. "Poor Stanislava! She lost her daughter... "I knew that. but now. so I fell much better. My grandmother died many yers ago.. and Jan and I got across the border on the day before Christmas. So I didn't want my father's name. Get away to Austria. Chapter 7 ." he said. She told me that my mother died in hospital." he said.. After a minute or two Jan said. and not Pavel Vlach?" The old man moved in his chair. Our friends helped us. My mother died in a hospital bed in Prague. December the 24th." "No. my love? I'm sorry. "And are you all right. Oh. and shouted. "You and I can begin again. and smiled.. of course. and they all thought about a snowy night in 1957. It was night." "I'm feeling very well. But we couldn't stay. "Her name was Lenka Brytcha.." said Josef. "My grandmother told me the day. And you are Lenka's son. But can you tell us about that Christmas in 1957? How did it all happen? I'd like to know." He looked at Carol in her bed." he said quietly. but I wanted to know that you were all right. Is it true? You look wonderful. You called to me. and without a harp the music-" He saw everyone for the first time and stopped. "You see. you see. It's a very good name." said Jan. "Why is your name Pavel Brychta. but he could not speak. it was our home. "the doctor says that you are better... I have no family in Prague. I changed it and took my mother's name. "For me. Pavel." She looked at her new brother. My husband is my husband again . and Pavel. Can you play in the concert tonight? You see." Jan looked at Carol too. "I was an angry young man then. a father. Our friends told us: "Leave. and then to England. And you went away to England. "But what did Stanislava tell you?" "Very little.." "December the 25th.." "Yes. but there is one thing. That was all.." said Pavel." said Josef. "Don't change it." said his father.dead now. and then ran to me across the street." he said quietly." "Yes.and we have a new brother. must know.The music must come first For some minutes nobody in the room said anything. "before she married me. He put his hand over Pavel's hand and smiled back at him." The old man's voice stopped. I thought.. "Yes. And she never liked our work for freedom.with you. ." "Christmas 1957. There was no moon. "You. "And learn to be father and son." said Josef. I forgot about you." Pavel said. Now there were tears in everybody's eyes.." He smiled. on the road at the border." "I can understand that. She just wanted a quiet family life. "And a sister." Pavel said." Josef's face was wet with tears. "Let's forget 1957 for now. on her back. she said. right in front of a bus." Carol said happily.." Josef said. "Now I understand everything. and when I was older. "You had an accident because of me. "In October and November of that yer things got more and more dangerous for Lenka and me." He turned to Pavel. "She never wanted to talk about it." Suddenly the door opened. "Dad. He looked at Carol. But now I have a brother... before the Russians get you." Pavel said. I know it's difficult for you. and we got to Austria all right through the fields and the snow." "Why did you come to the hospital to see me?" Carol asked. he put his head in his hands. "Carol. They looked at the old man in his chair." "Lenka died in the snow. my father didn't want me.." We didn't want to leave Czechoslovakia.

But I want all my family to come to the concert . "Christmas music in Prague again. "Carol turned to Jan "I feel very well now and I like to play tonight. "How can we say no?" he asked.. the city of music. The music must come first!" "Carol. for all Carol's family. etc. Wonderful wonderful." said Mr Rinaldi quickly. Can you all come? Please say yes!" Jan looked at his father. or buildings. slowly. and their father. "Oh. my new brother. confused(adj) -when you can not understand something. "you are the right man for Prague. it's important. you feel confused dangerous -something dangerous can hurt or kill you difficult -not easy fall in love with -to begin to love somebody field -a piece of ground where animals eat grass. "Why are you all laughing at me?" Jan stopped laughing husband. But.. quietly. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------- GLOSSARY border -the line between two countries bus -a kind of big 'car' which many people can travel in city -a big town concert -a time when an orchestra plays music to many people conductor -a conductors stands in front of an orchestra and shows them when to play the music quickly.. "And with my two sons." Mr Rinaldi began. It's an important concert for my orchestra and-" He stopped again. dad? Or are you feeling tired now? Shall we all go to Mr Rinaldi's goncert?" "Free tickets. etc. to stop people coming in or going out gun -a thing that shoots bullets to kill people harp -a musical instrument with many strings. played with the fingers harpist -a person who plays the harp . "I see you have friends here." Josef said slowly. of course. you see. or people grow food freedom -being free get married -to take someone as a husband or wife guard(n) -someone who watches a border. "Mr Rinaldi.. "Are you all right." he said quietly." He smiled happily at Jan and Pavel. I'm sorry." he said.

e. etc. it comes down slowly and lies on the ground tears -water which comes from the eyes terrible -very bad turn -to move your body round twin -one or two children who are born of the same mother at the same time university -a place where people go to study after they leave school violin -a small musical instrument with four strings violinist -a person who plays the violin wet -not dry. you are feeling sorry for somebody present -something which you give to somebody at Christmas. a bed. with a lot of noise moon -the big round thing that shines in the sky at night music -when you sing or play an instrument. rehearsal -when you practise music. etc.hurt -to feel pain lie(past tense of lay) -to put your body flat on something. before you do it in front of other people sad -not happy shoot(past tense of shot) -to send a bullet from a gun and kill or hurt someone shout(v) -to speak or call very loudly snow -rain which is very cold and white. on birthdays. you make music orchestra a group of people who play musical instruments together police -people who look for bad people and send them to prison. g. and who help when dangerous things like accidents happen poor -when you say 'poor'. full of water ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------- . the ground lift(n) -a kind of large 'box' that takes people up and down in a high building loud -not quietly.

Use some of the words from this list. The man says goodbye and the woman begins to run. a man and a woman are talking. This is Czechoslovakia and the year is 1967. presents. They leave the house and walk slowly out the village. 1 Where is Prague? 2 Was life in Prague in 1957 very different from life there in 1995? How? ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------- 2 What people do at Christmas i Britain and many other countries? Make three sentences. 3 Josef is English. Across the fields in the German border. In a house. 6 Carol wants to go to Prague for Christmas. dinner. 3 Someone in the family is in prison. It is midday. The woman holds a baby girl in his arms. 4 Someone in the family has got a lot of money. 5 Josef is afraid to go back in Prague. 2 Carol's father is called Josef. music. family. How much do you know now about the story? Tick one box for each sentence. . 5 Carol plays the guitar. Find the answers in these questions. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------- 4 Read the story introduction on the first page of the book. holiday ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------- 3 Read the back cover of the book. Underline the mistakes in this paragraph and then correct them. 4 Josef has a photograph of Jan's mother in his pocket.ACTIVITIES Before reading ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------- 1 The title of the story is Christmas in Prague. children. 2 Someone in the family is alive. She puts on a black coat and a black hat. YES NO 1 Someone in the family is died. 4 Josef lived in Prague a long time ago. 1 Jan was born in London 2 Jan's father lives in Oxford with his son 3 Josef often talks about his wife. Are these sentences true(T) or false (F)? Change the false sentences into true ones. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------- 5 What are the family secrets in the story? Can you guess? Tick one box for each sentence. 5 You guess?___________________________________ ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------- ACTIVITIES While Reading ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------- Read Chapter 1. YES NO 1 Carol and Jan are married.

brother. Fill in the names in this family tree.. the woman turns left and soon she she is at the river..couldn't stop because there was no time? 7.was angry because Carol was not at the rehearsal? ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------- Before you read Chapter 4. mother..looked at Carol in the street... She sees a black car but the man in the car do not see her.did the doctor say about Jan and Pavel? ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------- Read Chapters 6 and 7. Stanislava said Pavel was dead because___________ 5. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------- Read Chapters 4 and 5. Pavel found that he had a father.. YES NO 1 Carol is dead.talked about Prague but never wanted to go there? 4.. father... Put these sentences in the correct order. At the trees..was it a difficult time for Mr Rinaldi? 4. but she can't remember anything. Stanislava told Pavel that his mother died_______ ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------- ACTIVITIES After Reading ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------- 1. grandmother.. wife..was writing a new book? 3... can you guess what happens? Tick one box for each sentence. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------- Read Chapter 2 and 3. and complete them. (Use as many words as you like) 1.. Use these words.... husband __________ . Carol played in the concert and her family________ 2. Why / What / How 1. but didn't smile? 6.did Carol shout 'Jan' when she saw Pavel through the window in her door? 5..did Jan bring for Carol? 6. a brother______ 4.did Mr Rinaldi think that Carol was very ill? 3. son. then answer these questions. Choose the best question-word for these questions. Pavel changed his name because___________________ 3...wanted to go to Prague to play in some concerts? 2. and then answer them.did Carol feel when she woke up in Hospital? 2.The baby opens her eyes and is very quiet. 2 Carol is in hospital.went shopping in Prague? 5. and then write ten sentences about the people.... Who 1.. 3 Carol is in hospital and she is going to be OK..

" 5. Here is a new illustration for the story. I promise you. I'm afraid I have some bad news for you.___"Yes. Why is she shouting? 3. Josef and Lenka get married 2. Jan and Pavel." 4. Please tell her I'm coming." 8. Why is the man there? Now write a caption for the illustration. 11. I'm going to catch the next plane to Prague. from the orchestra. _____had two sons. 10. She's in hospital. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------- 3. _____people were not free or happy." 7. 8.___"Oh no! I must come at once. Stanislava didn't want to lose Pavel 7. Josef and Lenka couldn't stay in Czechoslovakia 4. (Use each word once) ." 10. 1. Lenka tried to cross the border with Pavel on 25th December 6. but she's going to be all right. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------- 5. 12.___"Yes. CAROL _____ ___ _____ ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------- 2. _____the guards shot her.___"She had a little accident in the street yesterday.___"In hospital? But why? Is she ill?" 6. Mr Rinaldi telephoned Jan to tell him about Carol's accident. The picture goes on page____.___"Yes. Who is the woman in the bed and why is she in hospital? 2. Use these words to complete the letter. What is it? Is something wrong?" ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------- 4. m. and / because / but / so 1. 9.___"An accident? What happened?" 2. 1. Josef and Lenka wanted to change things in Czechoslovakia 3. it's Carol. isn't it? Tell me. and answer these questions. quickly!" 3. What happened in 1956 and 1957? Match these halves of sentences and join them with these words. Write out the conversation in the correct order and put in the speakers' names. LENKA _____ _____ m.___"She ran in front of a bus and the bus hit her.___"Carol! It's Carol. Imagine that Stanislava wrote a different letter and told Josef the true story. Josef carried Jan across the border on 24th December 5. _____after that they went in England. Rinaldi speaks first. _____she told Josef that his wife and son were dead.___"Hello? Mr Vlach? This is Mr Rinaldi. Mr Vlach. _____it was dangerous. Find the best place in the story to put the picture." 9.

guards. and the Czech Republic. and my grandson . ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------- BACK COVER NOTES Christmas in Prague. She carried Pavel . Josef and Lenka were right to work for freedom. But my daughter is dead.your baby son. Joyce Hannam is married to a musician and has one young daughter. but he left his home city when he was a young man. her. that was more important than their children.Carol. Her story 'Chritmas in Prague' was inspired by a visit in that city. 4.a Christmas that changed his life for ever. You have Jan and a new life in England.. and don't come back to Prague. but. Do you agree (A) or disagree (D) with these sentences? Explain why. in the True Stories series. not bad. Josef. have. Turkey. In a house in Oxford three people are having breakfast . On Christmas night the guards shot her on the road at the border. dangerous. and he would like to see Prague again before he dies. Josef and Lenka were wrong to do dangerous things when they had two babies. Pavel is all right with me. back. Her stories for the Oxford Bookworms Library also include 'The death of Karen Silkwood (at stage 2). daughter. Your wife is dead but your son is alive. I want Pavel to stay with me. dead. Spain. baby.on her back. Josef was born in Prague. He still remembers another Chritmas in Prague. 1. She has taught English in several European countries. border. . She now lives in York. and works mostly with Japanese university students and business people from Germay. because Carol wants them all to go there for Christmas. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------- ABOUT THE AUTHOR Joyce Hannam is an experienced teacher and lecturer. write I write to tell you. He is an old man now. didn't. but the guards didn't shoot him. Your friends brought him to me yesterday. many long years ago .. and his father Josef. Don't write to me. her husband Jan. Stanislava ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------- 6. him. 3. that your wife id dead.alive. Stanislava was a bad person because she told Josef a lie. new. It is dangerous. in the north of England. 2. Stanislava was very unhappy. All three of them enjoy singing at all times and in all places. including Greece. stay. And I have baby Pavel. But he is afraid. tell. with. They are talking about Prague. Italy France and Spain.