English Reading Practice

Moral Story Number 13:
Do Not Steal

1. Watch the video at the top of the page.

2. Read the story "Do Not Steal" just below it.

3. Do the exercises at the bottom of the page.

Here is the Do Not Steal video. You can watch it in your own language at The Way to Happiness Foundation. (Simply click the word "language" at the top right corner of that page.) 

The Way to Happiness is a common sense guide to better living which has been distributed to more than 100 million people in over 100 languages. It describes 21 principles to a better quality of life.

Principle number 13 is "Do Not Steal."

Now read the short story about this important principle.

Do Not Steal

Ken is sitting by himself on a bench in the park. He is not very happy. He does not have a laptop, and he really needs one. He has an old, slow computer that does not work very well for all his university projects. He is frustrated because he does not have enough money to buy himself a laptop.

He stands up and starts to walk through the park, feeling unhappy. Soon he sees an old lady sitting on another bench. She has a beautiful new laptop next to her purse on the bench. Ken looks at her. "Now, why does she need a laptop?" he thinks to himself. "She is an old lady. She does not need it for anything important."

Ken thinks about all his important college work. He really needs that laptop. He knows he can just grab it and walk away. The old lady will probably not even notice. Suddenly, a dog starts barking loudly. The old lady looks to see what is happening. Ken takes this perfect chance – he grabs the laptop and quickly walks away.

The next day, Ken tries to use the laptop for a project, but he feels terrible. He cannot even open it because he feels so bad about stealing it. He uses his old computer, but there is the laptop on the desk next to him. He cannot even look at it because he feels so guilty.

When his friend comes over that afternoon, Ken tries to hide the laptop. He does not want anyone to know that he stole it. He feels guilty and embarrassed. As the days pass, Ken becomes grumpy. He is always in a bad mood, and he does not work hard on his university projects.

Ken finally decides he cannot take it anymore. He goes back to the park hoping to find the old lady and return her laptop. He waits and waits, but of course she does not arrive. On the way home, he donates the laptop to a community center for children. He even gives them some of his old books.

Ken realizes that stealing the laptop was not worth it. When you steal something, it loses its value. Only the rightful owner can use their things happily. A thief cannot. Ken knows he cannot steal and be happy. 

And now, practice:


Vocabulary Questions

1. What does "steal" mean?

a) to borrow

b) to ask someone for something

c) to take something that belongs to someone else

d) to use something and then give it back

2. What does "grumpy" mean?

a) in a bad mood

b) tired

c) bored

d) happy

3. What does "thief" mean?

a) a person who knows a lot

b) a person who steals things

c) a person who is rude to other people

d) a person who does not talk to other people

Grammar Questions

1. Ken tries ________ use the laptop.

a) about

b) to

c) for

d) of

2. Ken ________ very happy.

a) is not

b) does not

c) has not

d) were not

3. ________, a dog starts barking loudly.

a) Slowly

b) Gradually

c) Quietly

d) Suddenly

Comprehension Questions

1. Why does Ken feel upset at the beginning of the story?
2. How does he convince himself that he should steal the laptop?
3. In your opinion, why is it important not to steal?

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