“Parson’s Pleasure” – Classroom Activities

These exercises were sent in by Jocelyn Allen, an Australian teaching English in Germany. They have been specially designed for non native English speakers. Thanks Jocelyn!


Vocabulary Work

1. List 10 words from the story which are connected with furniture.

2. Find one word in the story which means the same as:

a. a woman whose husband has died
b. a member or supporter of the conservative party
c. a talk on a religious or moral subject
d. a person who makes things from wood


1. Why did Mr Boggis disguise himself in the uniform of a clergyman?

2. What methods did Mr Boggis use to get into people’s homes?

3. How did Rummins, Claud and Bert behave when they saw Mr Boggis? Why?

4. Why did Mr Boggis say that he was only interested in the legs?

5. Why did Rummins, Claud and Bert saw off the legs of the chest of drawers?

Discussion Points

1. Do you think that most antique dealers are honest? Do they make too much money?

2. You could say that Mr Boggis got what he deserved. Or are you sorry for him?

3. What is this story about? Greed? Stupid people? Is it about something else? What?


1. Write a dialogue between Boggis and Rummins when he returns to find that the legs have been sawn off.

2. Write a detailed description of a piece of furniture in your home.


1. Do you think this story is funny or tragic? Why?

2. Should the story have given us Mr Boggis’ reaction when he returned to collect the chest of drawers?