Easy Stories in English

The podcast that will take your English from OK to Good and from Good to Great!

The Emu and the Kangaroo

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The Emu and the Kangaroo – Transcript

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 Emu and the Kangaroo. You can find a transcript of the episode at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Emu. That’s EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Emu. There, you can also download the episode as a PDF.

Today’s story is adapted from a book called Storyworld. The original story comes from Australian Aboriginal culture. Aborigines are the people who first lived in Australia, before Europeans came to Australia. The story was collected by Prue Clarke, and the book was edited by Saviour Pirotta. But, as usual, when I wrote my version, I changed things a bit.

Also, I’m excited to announce that I have started teaching again! If you really want to take your English from Good to Great, or from Great to AMAZING, then this is for you! My personalised online classes will help you improve your confidence, study more effectively and make English learning fun! To book a class, go to EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Classes. I’ll talk a bit more about this at the end of the episode.

I’m also doing a live stream this Friday at 6pm UK time. It’s been a few years since I did a stream for you all, so I’m very excited. We’ll hang out, I’ll discuss some of your questions if you have them, and I’ll tell a story or two. So again, that’s Friday 12th April at 6pm UK time, which is 7pm in most of Europe, 8pm in Turkey, midnight in Vietnam and 1am in China. Sorry, I can’t pick a time that’s perfect for everyone! To watch the stream, go to the Easy Stories in English YouTube channel, or follow me on Instagram @arielgoodbody.

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

An emu (Photo by Jon Hunter on Unsplash)

Emus are a kind of bird that does not fly. Emus live in Australia. Emus can run very fast, about 50km or 30 miles per hour.

Kangaroos are a kind of marsupial from Australia. Kangaroos can jump very far, and they have a bag or ‘pouch’ on their stomach. When kangaroos have babies, the babies live in the pouch, and it’s very cute. After about 235 days, the baby kangaroo leaves its mother’s pouch.

A feather is a part of a bird. Birds have hundreds of feathers on their body, which keep them warm. When we want to eat a bird, we have to take all the feathers out first. Otherwise, it wouldn’t taste very nice! We can use feathers to write—this is what people did before we had pens. You can also put feathers inside pillows or coats to make them warmer.

A spirit is like a ghost. In some cultures, they believe that spirits live inside us. With magic, our spirits can leave our bodies and fly around. In some cultures people believe that when you die, your spirit leaves your body.

A desert is a place where it is very dry and there is only sand. Some examples of deserts are the Sahara Desert and the Gobi Desert. Deserts usually have very few plants in them, but they do have small bushes and cacti.

Shelter is a building that keeps you safe and warm. If you have a house, then you have shelter. Shelter means you can be dry when it rains and warm when it is cold outside. If you go camping, then you use a tent for shelter. If you’re outside and it starts raining, you could find shelter under a tree or a bus stop.

Scratch is when you do this: [makes scratching sound]. Basically, you move your nails against something. You might scratch yourself because you are itchy. If a mosquito bites you, then you will probably scratch the place where it bit you. Or maybe you don’t like someone and so you scratch them. Cats like to scratch things a lot.

A hole is an empty space in something. If you have some very old clothes, they will probably have holes in them. Although most of my clothes have holes in them because I am cheap! You can put your finger in the hole. Some people get very angry and hit their wall, and then they have a hole in their wall. Not a good idea.

Thorns (Photo by Dustin Humes on Unsplash)

A thorn is a sharp bit of wood that grows on some plants, for example roses. If a thorn goes into your hand, it can hurt a lot! People usually take thorns out of roses before selling them.

When you move your hand backwards and forwards on something, you rub it. For example, when you make a mistake when writing, you use a rubber, or an eraser, to rub out the mistake. When you shower, you rub soap on your body. Dogs love to have their stomachs rubbed. And so do I!

Twigs (Photo by Lucas van Oort on Unsplash)

A twig is a small piece of wood. Trees have long branches, and when the end of a branch breaks, it becomes a twig. You can find twigs on the ground in the forest.

OK, so listen and enjoy!

The Emu and the Kangaroo

Once, there was an emu called Dinewan. Dinewan had very beautiful feathers on her legs, and her feet were beautiful, too.

One day, Bohra the kangaroo asked Dinewan the emu to marry him. Dinewan was very happy and said yes. Bohra was a clever and strong kangaroo. People said that Bohra had magic – his spirit could leave his body and walk around. Who wouldn’t want a husband like that?

The day after Bohra and Dinewan got married, they went for a walk in the desert. Dinewan walked and Bohra jumped, because kangaroos jump. Emus don’t jump, but they can run very fast, so Dinewan thought they were going very slowly. They had to walk slowly all day, and at the end of the day, Dinewan was bored.

‘We should make a shelter for the night,’ said Bohra. ‘It will be cold.’

‘Alright,’ said Dinewan.

But Dinewan did not help Bohra make the shelter. The emu ran and played while the kangaroo worked.

When the shelter was ready, they lay down to go to sleep. Bohra quickly slept, but Dinewan was bored and couldn’t sleep. The shelter was small, and she could put her feet on the ceiling. She put her feet up on the ceiling and started scratching.

Scratch scratch. Dinewan scratched a hole in the ceiling. This was fun!

Scratch scratch. She scratched another hole. Now she could see the moon!

Scratch scratch. She scratched more holes – now she could see all the stars!

‘Dinewan,’ said Bohra.

‘Oh!’ said Dinewan. ‘You woke up.’

‘I woke up because you scratched so many holes in the ceiling,’ said Bohra. ‘Go and fill the holes with grass. I can’t sleep with all this light.’

‘But we’re in the desert!’ said Dinewan. ‘There’s so little grass here.’

‘Fine, I’ll go with you,’ said Bohra.

They walked through the desert and looked for grass. Bohra hoped that Dinewan would get tired and go to sleep.

But it was dark, and Dinewan walked through many plants that had thorns in them. The thorns went into Dinewan’s legs, and they hurt a lot. So Dinewan rubbed her legs together. She rubbed her legs to get the thorns out. But she couldn’t see in the dark, and she rubbed very hard.

‘Dinewan!’ said Bohra. ‘You rubbed too hard, and now your feathers are gone.’

And it was true. All of the beautiful feathers on Dinewan’s legs had fallen off!

‘Oh no!’ said Dinewan. ‘Those thorns took my feathers!’

Dinewan was sad, so she walked faster. But it was dark, and she walked on lots of twigs.

‘Ow!’ said Dinewan.

The twigs hurt a lot. The twigs stayed in Dinewan’s feet. So Dinewan rubbed her feet together. But she couldn’t see in the dark, and she rubbed very hard.

‘Dinewan!’ said Bohra. ‘You rubbed too hard, and now your feet have grown bigger.’

And it was true. Dinewan had rubbed too hard, and now her feet were very big!

‘Oh no!’ said Dinewan. ‘My beautiful feet!

Now Dinewan was angry, so she said, ‘Bohra, if you are so clever and strong, why don’t you use your magic? Your spirit could walk through the stars and see where the grass is.’

‘That is true,’ said Bohra. ‘Let us sleep here, and my spirit will come out and walk through the stars. But you must not look. If you see my spirit, it could be dangerous.’

But of course, Dinewan wanted to see her husband’s spirit. Bohra slept, and his spirit came out, but Dinewan didn’t sleep. She had one eye open and the other eye closed, and she watched Bohra’s spirit.

The spirit walked through the stars and then came back to Bohra’s body. Dinewan closed her eyes, but Bohra said, ‘Dinewan, I saw you. You watched my spirit. You had one eye open and the other eye closed.’

‘Oh, I’m sorry!’ said Dinewan. She was very afraid.

‘You must learn your lesson. So this will happen: now, at night, you will always have one eye open and one eye closed.’

And it was true. From that day, emus could only open one eye in the dark. That is why emus cannot see well in the dark. And from that day, emus did not have beautiful feathers on their legs, and their feet were too big.

Still, Dinewan and Bohra had a long, happy life together. And Dinewan never watched Bohra’s spirit again.


So, why take online classes with me? Well, I’ve written over 200 stories for Easy Stories in English, and as a teacher, I’ve worked with over 300 learners of all ages from around the world. For me, the most important thing is to make learning English fun, and through my storytelling and performance, I’m confident that I can help you reach your goals with a smile on your face!

Of course, it’s hard to have fun when you’re stressed, and I know many of you have had bad learning experiences in the past. I also know how hard it is to learn a language – I speak eight languages myself! So I try to make my classes as relaxed and welcoming as possible, and together we will work through the problems that are preventing you from improving.

Don’t believe me? Here’s what some past students have to say about my teaching:

June from Thailand says: Spending an hour with Ariel can feel like 10 mins! Personally, It doesn’t take long to warm up to our discussion — it’s so fun, organic and easygoing. Ariel is a good storyteller and have a lot to share about British culture.

Naoko from Japan says: Ariel’s lesson is really great. He is always kind and has a lot of topics, so I don’t need to worry about what should I speak.

And Annette from the United States says: Ariel is the most fun that anyone could have while learning a language! Whether it’s writing a story together, figuring out what’s happening in a series of still-shots or just chatting this is the instructor for you! I have learned so much on a contextual basis by USING the language. Try a lesson with Ariel! OH, the fun you’ll have…

To find out more information, go to EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Classes and if you want to book a class straight away, go to Calendly.com/ArielGoodbody.

Hopefully, I’ll see you at the live stream on Friday. Remember, that’s at 6pm UK time, and you can watch it on the Easy Stories in English YouTube channel, or over on my Instagram @arielgoodbody.

Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode. If you’re wondering what this accent this, this is an Australian accent. So I did an Australian accent for the two animals in the story because it’s an Australian Aboriginal story! Anyway, thank you for listening. And if any Australians are listening, to this: I’m sorry if I didn’t do a good job, but I think my Australian accent is actually wonderful. Bye!


4 responses to “The Emu and the Kangaroo”

  1. Alison avatar

    Hi Ariel!It’s been a long time since the last time I read your podcast Because I am a boarding school student in China which means I have no access to mobile phones from Monday to Friday and this week we will have our mid-term exam…So I cannot listen to your podcast or leave my comment immediately.I feel so pity that I missed your live streaming bcuz it will be inconvenient to log into applications such as instagram.So the only way conneting with you is to leave comments here.After hearing that you speak 8 languages It was just a word in Chinese that called’牛逼’ that can describe my feelings…!btw I have a question…Is there a meaning of being alert in the phrase’keep one eye open at night’?

    1. Ariel Goodbody avatar
      Ariel Goodbody

      Thanks for the comment, Alison! Best of luck with your exams. It’s a shame you couldn’t come to the stream this time, but hopefully you’ll be able to make it to a future one 🙂

      Haha, I had to look that word up, but I’ve heard it before! Actually, my mum gave me a book of Chinese slang called “Niubi!: The Real Chinese You Were Never Taught in School”.

      So that expression does not have any set meaning. In this story it’s used literally. But we do have an expression ‘to sleep with one eye open’, which means when you’re paranoid that someone is going to attack you so you’re constantly on alert.

  2. Emily avatar

    I can’t hear this podcast from ApplePodcast and castbox!

    1. Ariel Goodbody avatar
      Ariel Goodbody

      What country are you in, Emily? I can listen with no problem on both those platforms. It may be that the hosting service I use, Megaphone, is blocked in your country.

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