Six inches to England (2)


         A true story


ONE day a visitor came to school. Miss True, the third grade teacher, told the children to act their best. The visitor was an author. She came to read them a story from England.


     The author began, “In far away England there is a forest. This forest is nothing like the woods that grow in New Hampshire or Vermont. . .” 

     A boy named Tyler raised his hand. Miss True looked at him with an angry glance. “Why are you interrupting* the author?” her eyes said. The author stopped reading and looked up. Miss True smiled at her. [*interrupt: to stop someone doing something.]

     The author was not upset [angry]. “Do you want to ask a question?” she said.

     “Yes, please. How far is it from New Hampshire to England?” asked Tyler.

     “Does anyone know,” the author asked, “how far it is from New Hampshire* to England?”  [*New Hampshire is a state in North America. A small part of it is on the Atlantic Ocean.] Nathan, wanting to do his best, jumped up from his desk and ran to the large map on the wall in the front of the class.  In his hand was a ruler [a tool to measure short things].  He climbed on a chair and put the ruler on the edge of America. Then he looked carefully at the map and put the other end of the ruler under England. 

     “It’s exactly six inches from New Hampshire to England!” answered Nathan happily.

     All the children were pleased [happy] to know the answer.

     “Thank you,” said the author. “How nice of you to tell us the anwer.” Some day I will write this story in a book, the author thought. It would remind adults of the days when distance, foreigners*, and strangers* had no meaning.  [*foreigner: someone from another country.  *stranger: someone you don’t know.]

—Adapted from the children’s anthology, Six Inches to England


Q1: What does it mean to act your best?

1) To love to act. 
2) To be polite and respectful. 
3) To wear your best clothes.

Q2: How far is it from America to England?

1) Six inches. 
2) About 3300 miles [53oo kilometers]. 
3) About five hours.

Q3: What does “adult” mean?

1) Someone who works. 
2) Someone who is no longer a child. A grown person.
3) Someone who is a teacher.

Q4: Why did the author want to write this story?

1) Because the author likes England. 
2) Because Nathan helped the author see that the idea of being foreigners and strangers is taught to us. When we are little we just think of people as people. 
3) Because the author likes geography and studying maps.

flower basket

   ANSWERS: 2, 2, 2, 2  

 ©InterestEng. July 2013 - April 2022 §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff photos or used with permission.  §  To contact us: