Pollyanna the Russian Reindeer


Interesting Facts in Easy English

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • submarine: a tube-shaped underwater vessel; used mainly in warfare
  • torpedo: an underwater missile
  • scraps: unwanted bits and pieces, especially uneaten food
  • galley: the place on a ship or vessel where the food is prepared and stored
  • hoist: to lift up something heavy; usually requires ropes or chains
  • hatch: an opening on a vessel that leads to a different level or exit

Pollyanna the Russian Reindeer

You’ve heard of the red-nosed reindeer that pulls a and delivers gifts, right? Have you heard of the Russian that lived in a naval submarine during World War II? In 1941, at a post in the Arctic Circle, two naval captains began chatting about Christmas. The British captain said it was difficult for his wife and baby to in the snow. The Russian captain told him he needed a reindeer, and he soon brought him one as a gift. Unable to refuse the gift, the British captain brought the reindeer onto the HMS Trident through the torpedo tube. Pollyanna the reindeer slept under the captain’s bed and ate from a barrel of moss. When her food ran out, Pollyanna enjoyed scraps and condensed milk from the galley. Six weeks later, when the submarine arrived in , Pollyanna was too big to exit the way she had entered. Crew members hoisted her out of the main hatch and placed her in a zoo.

Comprehension Questions

  1. When did the British naval captain receive this gift and who gave it to him?
  2. What did Pollyanna eat on the submarine?
  3. Why was it difficult to get Pollyanna out of the submarine in England?

Discussion Questions: What is the strangest (or most interesting) gift you’ve ever received?

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