Once a rich Englishwoman called Mrs Johnson decided to have a birthday party. She invited a lot of guests and a singer. The singer was poor, but he had a very good voice.
The singer got to Mrs Johnson’s house at exactly six o’clock as he had been asked to do, but when he went in, he saw through a door that the dining-room was already full of guests, who were sitting round a big table in the middle of the room. The guests were eating, joking, laughing, and talking loudly. Mrs Johnson came out to him, and he thought she was going to ask him to join them, when she said, «We’re glad, sir, that you have come. You will be singing after dinner, I’ll call you as soon as we’re ready to listen to you. Now will you go into the kitchen and have dinner, too, please?»
The singer was very angry, but said nothing. At first he wanted to leave Mrs Johnson’s house at once, but then he changed his mind and decided to stay and teach her and her rich guests a good lesson. When the singer went into the kitchen, the servants were having dinner, too. He joined them. After dinner, the singer thanked everybody and said, «Well, now I’m going to sing to you, my good friends.» And he sang them some beautiful songs.
Soon Mrs Johnson called the singer.
«Well, sir, we’re ready.»
«Ready?» asked the singer. «What are you ready for?»
«To listen to you,» said Mrs Johnson in an angry voice.
«Listen to me? But I have already sung, and I’m afraid I shan’t be able to sing any more tonight.»
«Where did you sing?»
«In the kitchen. I always sing for those I have dinner with.»