Tarzan of the Apes: Timed Reading

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Part 2: Tarzan of the Apes

Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote a very famous story called Tarzan of the Apes.

This story involves a shipwreck on the West coast of Africa. The passengers on the ship include a certain Lord and Lady Greystoke from England. Lord and Lady Greystoke are the only survivors of the shipwreck.

Lord Greystoke builds a kind of shelter high up in the trees - a treehouse - for his pregnant wife and does his best to make them comfortable in their new jungle home. Lady Greystoke gives birth to a boy. They call the boy John. Unfortunately, she dies and leaves Lord Greystoke to take care of the baby on his own. Lord Greystoke is killed by an enormous ape that comes to investigate the strange house in the trees. The baby is left all alone. Fortunately, a female ape, whose baby has recently died, finds the human baby alone in the treehouse. Even though the baby is white and hairless, she feels a mother's love for it and begins to feed and take care of it. She becomes John's mother. John - who later takes the name Tarzan, never having known his real identity - grows strong and powerful living among the apes. He has the advantage of human intelligence and eventually grows up to be leader of the apes and, eventually, lord of the jungle.

The books tell many stories of Tarzan's adventures in the jungles, his fights with savage animals, his encounters with other human beings (many of whom are as dangerous as the animals) and his re-discovery of his true identity.

Tarzan eventually teaches himself to read by returning to the treehouse where he was born and finding some children's books that his parents brought from England. He later finds out who he really is (an English Lord!) and travels to England to visit his home, where he falls in love with a young woman called Jane.