The dinner guests (2)


     A true story from Russia.



This story has been especially prepared for classroom use with questions provided at the end to help students develop interpretive reading skills.

Pyoter Grigorovich gave us a bottle of goat’s milk. His face, like his gift, was simple and kind.  He was tall, thin and very pleasant to be with. He also gave us some fish he caught that morning, as if something told him he was not being generous [giving] enough. He opened his refrigerator to get the bottle of milk and saw the fish. The fish were on the top shelf. The rest of the shelves held large, heavy bottles of milk.  

     Pyoter said he was happy to share the fish. Even his cat was happy, simply because Pyoter was happy. Pyoter Grigorovich lived alone with his cat and his goats. When he went to visit his neighbors that night, he didn’t know his neighbors had guests. Pyoter blushed [his face turned red] feeling he arrived at a bad time. He apologized. But his neighbors quickly invited him to join us. “Well,” said Pyoter, gratefully, “please give me five minutes and I will be back.”

     When he returned, he removed his hat and straightened his hair with his big strong hand. He now was wearing a greenish-brown suit and a fresh white shirt buttoned up to the top. He shook hands with everyone and said how pleasant it was to be with us. After dinner, Pyoter invited us to get a bottle of goat’s milk to take home with us. That was when he gave us the fresh fish. He apologized that he could not introduce us to his five goats. They were asleep he said. He didn’t want to disturb them. 

     Sadly, no one took a photograph of Pyoter Grigorovich in the suit he put on to be with guests he would never see again. Even without the photograph, it is pleasant to picture someone who lived his whole life with such respect.   —Silk Road Story Teller.  Used with permission. Translated by the InterestEng. staff.  



1. Where does the story begin?
    A.) With the title “The dinner guest”. 
    B.) With the words, “A true story”. 
    C.) With the sentence, “Pyoter Grigorovich gave us a bottle of goat’s milk.”
    D.) All of the above.

2. Why are the words “a true story” written before the story begins?
    A.) Because the words change how you view the story.
    B.) Because not all stories are true.
    C.) Because no one would see the words if they were put at the end of the story.
    D.) All of the above.

3. “Pyoter’s face, like his gift, was simple and kind.” What do these words mean?
    A.) Pyoter thought it was like a gift to let people look at his face.
    B.) Pyoter likes simple gifts.
    C.) The author was not saying his face was like a gift, but that both Pyoter and his gift were kind.
    D.) All of the above.

4. Why did Pyoter give the guests fish as well as milk?
    A.) The guests were poor and needed food.
    B.) The guests asked if they could have some fish.
    C.) Pyoter was trying to be generous.
    D.) All of the above.

5. What does the word “that” refer to in the sentence: “When he went to visit his neighbors that night, he didn’t know they had guests.” 
A night when Pyoter went to see his neighbors.
    B.) The night about which the author is writing.
    C.) One night when Pyoter had guests.  
    D.) All of the above.

6. Why did Pyoter apologize when he arrived at his neighbors’ house?
    A.) Because he did not remember the names of his neighbors’ guests.
    B.) Because he felt he was visiting his neighbors at a bad time.
    C.) Because he forgot to bring the fish with him.
    D.) All of the above.

7. What does the word “picture” mean in the following sentence? “It is pleasant to picture someone who has lived his whole life with such respect.”
    A.) A photograph of someone.
    B.) A painting of someone.
    C.) To imagine what someone is like.
    D.) All of the above.

8. Why do you think the author wrote this story?
    A.) The author learned something from Pyoter and wanted to share it.
    B.) The author wanted others to know more about people in Russia.
The author wished there were more stories about respect.
    D.) All of the above.


Answers to questions HERE. 

 ©InterestEng. July 2013 - July 2021 §  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: