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The golden boys

Mr and Mrs Hamilton had two sons, Richard and Philip, who were both taller and friendlier than me. My parents liked them a lot. ‘Why can’t you be more like Richard and Philip?’ I hated them.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the story and do the exercise.

Every August. Every August for twelve years. Every August for twelve years we went to the same small town on holiday. Every August for twelve years we went to the same beach. Every August for twelve years my parents rented the same small house in the same small town near the same beach, so every morning of every August for twelve years I woke up and walked down to the same beach and sat under the same umbrella or on the same towel in front of the same sea.

There was a small café on the beach where we sat every day, and every day Mr Morelli in the café said ‘Good morning!’ to my parents, and then always patted me on the head like a dog. Every day we walked down to our red and white umbrella. Every day my father sat on his deckchair and read the newspaper then went to sleep. Every day my mother went for a swim in the sea and then went to sleep. Every lunchtime we ate the same cheese sandwiches which my mother made, and then every afternoon we went up to the café and ate an ice cream while my parents talked to Mr Morelli about the weather. Every summer for twelve years I sat there and read books and sometimes played volleyball with some of the other boys and girls who were there, but I never made any friends.

It was so boring.

Every August for twelve years the same family sat next to us. They were called the Hamiltons. We had a red and white umbrella, they had a green one. Every morning my parents said ‘Good morning!’ to Mr and Mrs Hamilton, and Mr and Mrs Hamilton said ‘Good morning!’ to my parents. Sometimes they talked about the weather.

Mr and Mrs Hamilton had two sons. Richard was the same age as me, and his brother Philip was two years older than me. Richard and Philip were both taller than me. Richard and Philip were very friendly and both very handsome. They were much friendlier and more handsome than me. They made friends with everyone and organised the games of volleyball on the beach or swimming races in the sea with the other children. They always won the games of volleyball and the swimming races. My parents liked Richard and Philip a lot. ‘Why can’t you be more like Richard and Philip?’ they said to me. ‘Look at them! They make friends with everyone! They are polite, good boys! You just sit here reading books and doing nothing!’

I, of course, hated them.

Richard and Philip, Richard and Philip, Richard and Philip – it was all I ever heard from my parents every August for twelve years. Richard and Philip were perfect. Everything about them was better than anything about me. Even their green beach umbrella was better than our red and white one.

I was sixteen years old the last summer we went there. Perfect Richard and perfect Philip came to the beach one day and said that they were going to have a barbecue at lunchtime. They were going to cook for everyone! ‘Forget your cheese sandwiches,’ they laughed. ‘Come and have some hamburgers or barbecue chicken with us! We’re going to cook!’

My parents, of course, thought this was wonderful. ‘Look at how good Richard and Philip are! They’re going to do a barbecue and they’ve invited everybody! You couldn’t organise a barbecue!’

Every summer for twelve years, on the other side of my family, sat Mrs Moffat. Mrs Moffat was a very large woman who came to the same beach every summer for twelve years on her own. Nobody knew if she had a husband or a family, but my parents said that she was very rich. Mrs Moffat always came to the beach wearing a large hat, a pair of sunglasses and a gold necklace. She always carried a big bag with her. She never went swimming, but sat under her umbrella reading magazines until lunchtime when she went home.

Richard and Philip, of course, also invited Mrs Moffat to their barbecue.

Richard and Philip’s barbecue was, of course, a great success. About twenty people came, and Richard and Philip cooked lots of hamburgers and chicken and made a big salad and brought big pieces of watermelon and everyone laughed and joked and told Mr and Mrs Hamilton how wonderful their sons were. I ate one hamburger and didn’t talk to anybody. After a while, I left, and made sure that nobody saw me leave.

Mrs Moffat ate three plates of chicken and two hamburgers. After that she said she was very tired and was going to go and have a sleep. She walked over to her umbrella and sat down on her deckchair and went to sleep. When she woke up later, everybody on the beach was surprised to hear her screaming and shouting.

‘My bag!!!! My bag!!!’ she shouted. ‘It’s gone!!! It’s GONE!!!’ Everybody on the beach ran over to Mrs Moffat to see what the problem was. ‘Someone has taken my bag!!!’ she screamed. ‘Someone has stolen my bag!!!’

‘Impossible!’ said everybody else. ‘This is a very safe, friendly beach! There are no thieves here!’ But it was true. Mrs Moffat’s big bag wasn’t there any more.

Nobody had seen any strangers on the beach during the barbecue, so they thought that Mrs Moffat had perhaps taken her bag somewhere and forgotten it. Mr Morelli from the café organised a search of the beach. Everybody looked everywhere for Mrs Moffat’s big bag.

Eventually, they found it. My father saw it hidden in the sand under a deckchair. A green deckchair. Richard and Philip’s deckchair. My father took it and gave it back to Mrs Moffat. Everybody looked at Richard and Philip. Richard and Philip, the golden boys, stood there looking surprised. Of course, they didn’t know what to say.

Mrs Moffat looked in her bag. She started screaming again. Her purse with her money in it wasn’t in the big bag. ‘My purse!’ she shouted, ‘My purse has gone! Those boys have stolen it! They organised a barbecue so they could steal my purse!’

Everybody tried to explain to Mrs Moffat that this couldn’t possibly be true, but Mrs Moffat called the police. The police arrived and asked golden Richard and golden Philip lots of questions. Richard and Philip couldn’t answer the questions. Eventually, they all got into a police car and drove away to the police station.

I sat there, pretending to read my book and trying to hide a big, fat purse under the sand on the beach.

That was the last summer we went to the beach. My parents never talked about Richard and Philip again.

Chris Rose



Language level

Intermediate: B1


According to the rule of nature, everyone born with a unique set of qualities and abilities. Making the comparison of your abilities and qualities with other is totally waste of time. You should spend that time the search out your uniqueness rather then comparing yourself with other. And do not do any to humiliate or bring someone low being jealous from anyone.

Don't comparison to anyone, everyone has different styles. What's your children doing good or bad Parents should be glad and approach them, because it hurts to your children so before you comparison think about your children.

"Comparison is the thief of joy"! ;)

I think he was jealousy to Richard and Philip because his parents always compare with him.

I literally didn't expect the story to end like that. I guess he would feel guilty to treat golden boys who are good to him and everybody. It was such a shame behavior. And I know that kind of feeling, being compared with others. His parents might do it for good reasons but the thing went wrong. I hope he know that he had made the mistake which could affect his future. And I assume if he realises it, he could be a good man in the rest of his life. If not, it's unimagine how awful he could be.

It was a funny story I was waiting any other end, less this. How this guy would feel ten years later for stole the purse and guilt those innocents guys, it depends, if nothing huge happened later, I mean if they were took to the commissary and later went free and the narrator return later the purse. So, there is no nothing wrong it was a cruel joke. But if was different and Richard and Philip received a punish being innocents and the narrator did not nothing, he must feel guilty and he have to say sorry and try to fix their mistakes.

The final of this story was unexpected, I consider narrator´s personality
low self-esteem

I read the comments and almost everyone, like me, think in the same way, the narrator could not stand the sameness of the vacations, associated with comparisons made by his parents, comparisons of such bad taste that they humiliated his son, the narrator. Carried away by the hate and jalousie he harbored for the "golden boys" he make up the evil plan: stolen Mrs. Moffat's purse and waited for the result. The golden boys carried the blame.
The rest of the story everyone knows. The narrator and his parents didn't come back at that beach anymore.
As for the wrong done, I think the narrator did not feel guilty and after ten years he still doesn't have this kind of feeling. His narrative don't show regrets.
This story didn't have a good end.

In my opinion it wasn't ok to hide the bag just because she is jealous of them. It isn't the fault from the Boys and they were always nice to her so i don't really understand why she is ding this. It's a good story, but this isn't a good Ending.. haha.. and when she is oder she will hate herself for that what she had done that day.

sorry, but how did you know that she is a girl!