Easy Stories in English

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The Boy Who Cried Wolf

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There is a night where monsters come to life. There is a night where vampires and werewolves walk the street. There is a night where Ariel reads out stories on YouTube and maybe eats some sweets.

That night is Halloween! Mwahahahahaha!

And I’m doing a live stream! Yes, that’s right. I’m going to be on YouTube reading out some of my favourite Halloween stories from Easy Stories in English, some scary stories or some stories that have monsters in them. And I’m going to answer your questions as well. It’s just going to be like the old live streams!

So, come along on 31st of October at 3pm Greenwich Mean Time. That is British time. Right now, we have daylight savings, so the clocks are going to change. Time is confusing, I know. But, look up: 31st of October 3pm Greenwich Mean Time, and that is when the live stream will be.

Or, easier, go to EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Stream and it will take you to the YouTube stream and you can set a reminder. So it will tell you when the stream is happening.

Oh my God, we’re going to have so much fun! And I would love to see your costumes as well. So come to the stream, wear a costume. Maybe you’re a scary witch or a scary werewolf or a lovely, handsome vampire who wants to drink my blood… I don’t know! But come along in costume because I will be asking you for photos because, um, I just decided right now that I want to see pictures of your costumes, and I want to hear all of your lovely messages and chat to you all and read out loud.

I’m even going to read chapters 4 and 5 of Billy and Dim, which is a story that I released partly on the podcast and partly on Patreon. So you can get some exclusive content from this live stream.

Remember, 31st of October 3pm GMT, and you can go to EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Stream to find out exactly when that is.

Thank you and mwahahahahaha! See you there, my victims… Bleh!

[introduction music]

Welcome to Easy Stories in English, the podcast that will take your English from OK to Good, and from Good to Great.

I am Ariel Goodbody, your host for this show. Today’s story is for beginners. The name of the story is The Boy Who Cried Wolf. You can find a transcript of the episode at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Cried. That’s EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Cried. This contains the full story, as well as my conversation after it.

Just a warning: today’s story involves a wolf eating a boy.

OK, I’ll just explain some words that are in today’s story.

A wolf (Daniel Mott CC BY-SA 2.0)

A wolf is a big animal like a dog. But wolves are much more dangerous than dogs. They live in groups called packs. Wolves like to sit under the moon and howl. They go awoo. Ooh, that was a good wolf howl!

A shepherd is a person who looks after sheep. Shepherds often use dogs to help them move sheep. Shepherds carry big sticks and walk a lot with the sheep, moving from one place to another. They have to keep the sheep safe from wolves.

A hunter is a person who hunts, someone who chases and kills animals. In the past, hunters rode on horses and used bows and arrows to kill animals. Now hunters usually walk and use guns to shoot animals. But these days, people hunt for fun. In the past, people hunted for food.

Boxing is one type of fighting

When you want to hurt someone, you might fight them, and the past tense is fought. You might fight them with a weapon, like a sword or a gun, or you can just use your hands. You might even fight them with words—an argument. Children sometimes throw food at each other—a food fight. A war is basically a big fight.

Stupid means not intelligent, not clever. It is not nice to call someone stupid. Sometimes, we call ourselves stupid, because we can’t do something easy. But of course, nobody listening to this podcast is stupid! You are all very clever.

When you annoy someone, you say or do things to make them angry. You bother them. Children often like to annoy their parents. For example, they might say, ‘Mum, Mum, Mum! Talk to me! Play with me!’ Children often annoy each other as well. For example, they hit each other, or steal things from each other.

Shut up means to stop talking. It is usually used as an insult. If someone is being loud and annoying you, you might say, ‘Shut up!’ It is not very nice to do this, but children often tell each other to shut up.

When you are in a place that you don’t want to be, you might run away, run to another place. For example, if your mother is very angry at you, you could run away, but she might run after you. If you see a wolf or a bear, you should probably run away.

When you lie, you say something that isn’t true. For example, if I tell you, ‘Hi, I’m Queen Elizabeth,’ that’s a lie, because it’s not true. I am not Queen Elizabeth. Children often lie when they don’t want their parents to get angry at them. Sometimes people lie because it is very hard to say the truth.

When you are looking at one thing and you want to look behind you, you turn around. You turn your body to face the other way. In horror films like The Ring, you often see something behind the character in the film. You scream, ‘Turn around, turn around!’ but when the character turns around, it’s too late. The monster gets them!

If you enjoy the podcast and want more, you can support us on Patreon. For just $2 a month you can get exercises with each episode, and for $5, you get an extra story every month, as well as Elevenses with Ariel, a daily conversational podcast for intermediate learners. Last week I talked about starving students, all kinds of games, and the difficulties of writing. You can support the show and get all the extra content at Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish. That’s Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish.

A big thank-you to our new patrons, Nathalie J.A., Jan Ullman, Bitkids and Emma Sofia. Thank you so much. Your support really means a lot to me.

OK, so listen and enjoy!

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Once there was a young boy called Lyman. He worked in the field and looked after the sheep. He was a shepherd. His father was a shepherd, and his grandfather was a shepherd and his grandfather’s father was a shepherd. Everyone told Lyman, ‘One day, you will be a great shepherd.’ But Lyman didn’t want to be a shepherd. He wanted to be a hunter. Hunters fought wolves, and they were big and strong. Shepherds weren’t big and strong.

Every day, Lyman stood in the field and looked after the sheep. It was very boring, and he had nobody to talk to. But then, George started coming to the field.

Lyman hated George. He thought he was stupid. George’s family had a lot of money, and he didn’t have to work. And he loved to annoy Lyman.

‘Oh look, it’s Lyman,’ said George. ‘Stupid Lyman with his stupid sheep. Are you going to get married to a sheep, Lyman? Then all your children will be sheep, and you can look after them, too!’

‘Shut up, George.’

But George did not shut up. George called Lyman stupid every day, and ran after the sheep so that the sheep were afraid of him.

So one day, when George came to the field, Lyman said, ‘Look, there’s a wolf! Wolf, wolf!’

George screamed and ran to the town. He told everyone that there was a wolf in the field. All the hunters in the town came to the field.

‘Where is the wolf, Lyman?!’ they cried.

‘Ah, he ran away,’ said Lyman. ‘But there was a wolf here, oh yes!’

The next day, George came to the field again to annoy Lyman. So again, Lyman shouted, ‘Wolf, wolf! There’s another wolf!’

George ran to the town and told the hunters, and again they came.

‘Another wolf?!’ they said. ‘Where is it?’

‘Oh, it just ran away!’ said Lyman. ‘But it was horrible. It was a really big one, bigger than the one yesterday.’

‘Hmm,’ said the hunters. ‘Lyman, are you lying? You know, very bad things happen to boys who lie.’

‘Me, lying? No way! There really was a wolf.’

George didn’t come to the field for a week after that. But then he came again, saying, ‘There you are, Lyman! You need me here. The wolf will come and eat you if I’m not here.’

‘Shut up, I don’t need you!’ said Lyman. But actually, he was happy to see George. When he didn’t come to the field, he had nobody to talk to. George was stupid, but he was Lyman’s… friend?

But George soon started annoying Lyman again. He said that he was stupid like a sheep, and that he had a face like a sheep, and that the sheep knew more than him.

So again, Lyman cried, ‘Oh no, George, there’s a wolf! Wolf, wolf!’

‘I don’t believe you!’ said George. Then he screamed and ran away.

‘Funny,’ said Lyman. ‘If he didn’t believe me, why did he run away?’

Then Lyman saw why. He heard a pant pant and he turned around. There, in the field, was a big strong wolf!

Lyman screamed. ‘A wolf, a wolf! It’s a real wolf this time! Please come and help!’

The wolf started eating sheep. Lyman ran away into the forest.

George ran into town and cried, ‘There’s a wolf! A real wolf!’

But the hunters didn’t believe him. ‘George!’ they said. ‘Lyman lied to you again. There are no wolves. He just wanted you to leave.’

‘No, this time it wasn’t a lie! There really is a wolf! I saw it with my own eyes.’

But still, the hunters didn’t believe him.

‘Please come! The wolf is going to eat Lyman!’

‘Fine, fine,’ said one of the hunters. ‘I’ll go with him.’

This hunter was called Tristan. George didn’t like him. He drank a lot and called Lyman a bad boy. George wanted to run to the field, but Tristan walked very slowly.

‘I think you’re lying, George,’ he said. ‘I think Lyman told you to lie. He’s a bad boy, and he wants you to be bad as well.’

‘I’m not lying!’

When they got there, there was no wolf and no Lyman. But there were lots of dead sheep.

‘See!’ said George. ‘I told you, there was a wolf!’

‘He went into the forest,’ said the hunter.

So they ran into the forest to find the wolf and Lyman.

But they only found the wolf. He was very fat and happy, and he was sleeping by a tree.

‘Turn around,’ said the hunter quietly. ‘You don’t want to see this.’

George turned around. He didn’t see what the hunter did, but he heard it. It sounded horrible. George started crying.

‘George,’ said the hunter. ‘You did very well. Thank you for telling us about the wolf. You’re a good boy. But now, I have to ask you something.’

‘What?’ said George. ‘I want to go home.’

‘We will go home. Soon. When we get back, we’ll tell them that we heard Lyman. We ran as fast as we could. I fought the wolf, but he was too strong, and he ate Lyman.’

‘But… that’s a lie.’

‘It’s not a lie,’ said Tristan. ‘If we tell Lyman’s mother what happened, she’ll be so sad. She’ll cry and cry. Do you want her to cry?’

‘No!’ said George.

‘So we’ll tell her that I fought the wolf and he was too strong. OK?’


So George and the hunter went back into town. They told Tristan’s story. They lied. Lyman’s mother cried, but she said, ‘Oh, Tristan. You did everything you could. Thank you.’

After that day, George never went back to the field again, but he did lie many times in his life.


I hope you enjoyed today’s story. You probably know this story already. The Boy Who Cried Wolf is a very famous story. But, of course, my version is a bit different!

It’s more sad! The problem is, often I want to extend these stories, I want to make them a bit longer, but it’s hard to make them longer and have a really happy ending. It’s often easier to just make a sad ending. Or at least, I find it easier!

Anyway, we have a phrase in English, “cry wolf”, and it comes from the story. So if someone cries wolf, it means that they act like Lyman in the story. They pretend that there is something there that there isn’t and other people don’t want to believe them.

For example, maybe you like to tease your friend by saying, ‘Look, there’s a bear outside!’ and then your friend turns and looks, but there is no bear. So if you keep doing that, your friend will say, ‘Ugh, you’re just crying wolf! There’s no bear.’ But maybe one day, there will be a bear and the bear will eat your friend, and then you will be very sad. So, don’t cry wolf! Tell the truth. Eh, sometimes. You don’t always have to tell the truth.

Anyway, I want to remind you about the Halloween live stream that I mentioned at the beginning of the episode.

Today, I bought my costume online. It’s nothing special, just a mask and some fangs, some teeth, but I think it will be fun.

I honestly don’t have a great history with Halloween. I’ve always had bad experiences on Halloween and I’ve never really enjoyed it very much. So hopefully this year will be different because I’m celebrating with my favourite people, all of you! Aww!

But really, it’s just going to be a fun party and it won’t involve going to any stressful parties where the costume gets really uncomfortable and sweaty and I have to drink alcohol and I get really tired.

I do like parties but they’re so tiring, you know? So let’s just do a fun internet party, yay!

Anyway, I would love to know if you like Halloween and what are your experiences with Halloween. Of course, many of you are in different parts of the world. Halloween is very popular in Europe and America, but I know that it’s not so popular all around the world. Or Halloween traditions are different in different parts of the world.

So do leave a comment at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Cried and tell me, what do you think of Halloween? And do you have any fun Halloween stories? I would love to hear them.

If you enjoyed the story, please consider supporting me on Patreon. Go to Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish. That’s Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish. For just a few dollars a month you can get extra episodes, conversational podcasts, exercises, and much more. Thank you for listening, and until next week.


8 responses to “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”

  1. Vitor avatar

    Cry wolf is an expression that means people will not trust you if you lie too many times. Although, I think in this storie the poor boy just wanted attention. I think if you write a TV show I will not see, because you will kill all of the characters hahahahaha
    Thanks for another great storie =)

    1. Ariel Goodbody avatar
      Ariel Goodbody

      Yeah, that’s a much better explanation than mine! If I write a TV show, it will be a romance probably 😛

  2. Guilherme Tavares avatar
    Guilherme Tavares

    That’s was sad. But nice story, thank you.

    1. Ariel Goodbody avatar
      Ariel Goodbody

      Thanks, Guilherme! 🙂

  3. Deborah avatar

    Thank you sooo much for mentioning Emma Sofia in the podcast, she is looking forward to the Halloween stream and wants all the family to watch it 🙂

    1. Ariel Goodbody avatar
      Ariel Goodbody

      Fantastic! See you there tomorrow 🙂

  4. Ramiro avatar

    Ariel, i really enjoyed the story, as well the other ones. This podcast helps me a lot to improve my english. I already knowed the story, in Argentina is named “Juancito y el Lobo”. Thanks!

    1. Ariel Goodbody avatar
      Ariel Goodbody

      I’m glad it’s helped you, Ramiro! 🙂

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