Don Quixote

English’s Docs Intermediate Don Quixote

Don Quixote

Adapted from a novel by Miguel Cervantes

Sancho, a poor villager, walks down the street. Suddenly, he sees a man on the ground. He is very old. His clothes are old. His horse is old. Most of all, his mind is aging.

Sancho takes pity on the old man. He says, “May I help you, sir?”

The old man says, “Do not call me “sir.’ I am a Don. My name is Don Quixote. I am an important knight.”  The old man puffs up proudly. Don Quixote thinks he is a knight on a mission to protect a beautiful princess. In reality, the “princess” is a poor village woman. She was beautiful in the past, but now she is 80. Don Quixote is 80 too, and he adores his “princess.” 

Poor Sancho is surprised!  “You are a knight?” he asks. This is clearly impossible. The “knight” looks so pathetic and old.  “Yes, and you can be my servant,” says Don Quixote. It’s clear that Don Quixote has lost touch with reality.

Generous Sancho helps the old man. Sancho helps Don Quixote get on his horse. They talk together and he escorts Don Quixote home. “You are my servant!” declares Don Quixote. Sancho is too sad and embarrassed for Don Quixote. He says nothing.

A few hours pass. Finally, the two men arrive at Don Quixote’s house, his family is happy!

His niece says, “Uncle! Here you are! I was nervous.” His niece insists he must not go on any missions. She cries, “It’s dangerous for an old man to pretend to be a knight!”

Don Quixote is forced to stay at home. He is miserable at home. He desires action and adventure! So, he reads.  He has hundreds of books, mostly fiction. 

Don Quixote reads the books of the knights: their noble missions and their devotion. His imagination goes wild and Don Quixote imagines he is in old times: the time of knights, princesses, and epic missions. Poor Don Quixote spends so much time reading, his niece is angry.

The niece takes his books. It is clear that the poems influence Don Quixote. Don Quixote reads too much! The niece asks the priest for help. “Help, my uncle is crazy. He thinks he is a knight! It’s the books. They are influencing his mind and making him crazy,” says the niece.

The priest quickly makes a decision. He says, “It is necessary to burn the books.”  Don Quixote is asleep in bed. Then, the priest collects all the books. They go to an abandoned field and make a big fire. The niece is sad, but it is necessary. Together, the niece and the priest burn the books. A pillar of smoke appears. 

The next day, Don Quixote searches for the books. He is shocked! His books are gone! Then he sees smoke. Don Quixote has a strange explanation. I know! It’s my enemy, the dragon,” he says. He is convinced a dragon burned his books.

Don Quixote gets on his horse. He takes his lance and his armor and prepares to attack. Don Quixote is so excited to be on a mission! Quickly, he goes in the direction of the smoke.

He sees movement in the distance. “It is the enemy: the dragon!” says Don Quixote. Don Quixote takes out his long lance. He imagines it a grand, elegant lance of gold. In reality, it is old wood and it is not very strong.  Don Quixote thrusts the lance towards the dragon. 

But in reality, it’s a windmill.

The windmill is made of very solid wood. Going very fast, Don Quixote hits the windmill and falls off the horse.  

Poor old Don Quixote is injured. He realizes he must go home. Embarrased, he returns home.  At home, his niece is furious. She says, “Uncle, do not leave! It’s dangerous.”  She is so angry, she locks Don Quixote in his bedroom. 

Don Quixote stays home… until his next mission.

The End