At one point, I say “birds” when I mean “wings”. This has been corrected in the transcript.
You can listen to an advanced-level version of this story at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/SleepingAdv.
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 Sleeping Beauty. You can find a transcript of the episode at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Sleeping. That’s EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Sleeping. This contains the full story, as well as my conversation before it.
Today I am very happy because I have an announcement. Today I am launching the Patreon for Easy Stories in English.
So, what is Patreon? Patreon is a website. On Patreon there are lots of creators. So there are people who create art, who create videos, who create materials, but basically they are people who love creating things. Patreon allows people to support people who create things.
So there might be someone you really like who does videos on YouTube that are really funny, and on Patreon you can support them with money. So maybe you give them two dollars a month, or five dollars a month, or ten dollars a month, and you get rewards. So maybe for two dollars you get extra videos, but for ten dollars they send you a letter, for example.
So I am launching a Patreon for Easy Stories in English. I really believe that stories are the best way to learn a language. You might agree with me if you like the podcast. But the problem is, there aren’t many stories for learners of English. The stories on the Internet are all too hard. They are too difficult to understand.
So I started this podcast because I wanted there to be more stories. But I can only make so much because I also have a job, OK? I do the podcast in my spare time. So Patreon is a way you can help me build the podcast. I really would like to make Easy Stories in English my job at some point in the future, because then I could do two stories a week, or three stories a week. Maybe I could hire people to work with. We could make it so much bigger. We could do a YouTube channel. There are so many options! But I need your support to do that.
So if you go to Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish you can support us. You can help the podcast.
So you support at different levels, and I’ll just explain what these levels are.
So if you support us with two dollars a month you get exercises to go with every story. So maybe you like the stories but you want more things to do with them. You really want to improve your English. Well these exercises will help you do that.
If you give five dollars a month, you get an extra episode every month. So if you love the stories but you need more, this is the level for you.
For fifteen dollars a month you get the exercises, you get the extra episode, and you also get to join in an online class. So once a month I will have a two-hour online class and everyone who donates fifteen dollars can join in the class. You can ask me questions, we can tell stories together, and I will record all of the classes so you can watch through them again later and revise everything.
Finally, the highest level is forty dollars a month. This is for people who really care about the podcast and want to see it grow. At this level you get all of the exercises, all of the extra episodes, you get to join in the classes, and you also get one hour coaching with me a month. So you’ll have a one-hour private meeting with me every month, where we can talk about your English learning. I can tell you how to improve quickly, you can ask me questions, and we can write some stories together. It will be really fun and it will really help you learn English more quickly.
Finally, at the forty dollar level you also get free copies of any books we publish. At the moment we just have the podcast but in future I will be publishing books and maybe some courses based on the podcast. So for forty dollars a month you can access all of the books when they come out.
And of course, for any level, so at any level you support, if you support us at all, you get a shoutout. So that means I will say your name on the podcast. I will thank you for supporting us. So there are lots of reasons to support us, and I really hope you will. So remember, if you want to do that, go to Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish. Thank you so much.
OK, I’ll just explain some words before we start the story.
Beauty. A beauty is a beautiful person. So sleeping beauty is a person who sleeps and she is beautiful.
Wings. Wings are a body part. Humans don’t have wings, but birds have wings. Birds move their wings to fly. So wings are very important for birds.
Another animal that has wings is fairies. Fairy is spelt F-A-I-R-Y. Now I say “an animal”… Fairies aren’t real. They are magical animals. They’re very small people with wings and fairies can usually do magic. So you find fairies in lots of stories. That’s why we say “fairytales”, because they are stories with magic and fairies in them. So fairies can do magic and they have little wings and they can fly using their wings.
Land. Land is an old word for “country”. It also generally means the earth. So if you live on a farm, you grow vegetables, you have animals; you live off the land.
A tear. When you cry, [cries], tears come out of your eyes. So tears are water that come out of your eyes when you cry.
A guard. A guard is someone who protects something. So a building usually has a guard. A prison will have lots of guards, and so on.
A cloak. A cloak is a piece of clothing, and you wear it in winter. A cloak covers your whole body and even covers your head. So cloaks are good for keeping warm. These days people usually don’t wear cloaks, but in the old days, when people travelled a lot on foot, they wore cloaks.
Shake your head means to move your head from one side to another. When you shake your head, it means “no”, at least in England and Europe. In some countries, though, shaking your head means “yes”. I think that’s the case in India.
Suffer. When you suffer, you feel pain, you hurt a lot. This is often emotional pain. So if a mother has a child and the child dies, the mother will suffer a lot.
Finally, fall asleep. When you fall asleep you start sleeping. Me personally, it takes me a long time to fall asleep.
Remember, 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. You can support us at Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish. That’s Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish.
OK, so listen and enjoy!
Far away from our world, there were the Blue Castle and the Red Castle. In the Blue Castle, everything was soft and blue, and Izod was the softest fairy of all. Izod loved her land, and the land loved her. It was a happy place, but at times it was very sad. When one of the High Fairies died, all the people cried for days. Izod cried more than everyone else. She had a big heart, and beautiful wings. They called them her “wings of water”.
Because of this, she was chosen to be queen. She was afraid at first, but she was also excited. She had to wait until she became sixteen. But on the day of her sixteenth birthday, the men from Red Castle came.
It was the first time that Izod had seen them. They wore red. Their eyes were red like fire. And when they attacked, the Blue Castle turned red with blood. They killed and killed, and Izod cried and cried. When they found her, she had cried every tear from her body.
But the Red Men did not kill her. They did something much worse. They hit her, pulled out her wings, and left her alone in the Blue Castle. All alone.
Her beauty was dead, and her magic was gone.
Della loved her land, and the land loved her. Her father and mother, the King and Queen, smiled whenever they saw her. She had beautiful red hair. People called it her “hair of fire”. The people of the Red Castle brought her presents every day. In the Red Castle, everything was bright, and everyone was strong, and Della was also bright and strong. When a gladiator killed another man, she cheered. She would be queen one day, and she would be a strong queen.
But on Della’s sixteenth birthday, everything changed.
The day started with beautiful sunshine, but quickly turned dark and wet. Many people had come to celebrate Della’s birthday, and now they all stood inside the castle. They were wet and cold, but still, they were happy for Della.
Della sat and received each present one by one. There were many things: cakes, jewellery, paintings and dresses. Finally, Sir Galen came up. He was the head of the guards. He wore bright red armour, and he was very strong and handsome. He gave Della a very interesting present.
‘These are wings, your majesty. They are from a fairy, and they have strong magic. I wanted to give them to you before, but you were too young. Be careful with them. They are dangerous.’
And then, the doors to the Red Castle opened by themselves. A strong wind blew in, and the rain came inside.
‘Shut those doors!’ shouted the King.
The guards did so, but with the wind, something had come inside. Not something, but someone. It was a tall person, wearing a black cloak. Their face was hidden. The people looked afraid, and moved so that the cloaked person could move forward.
‘Who are you?’ asked the Queen.
The person took off the cloak. It was a woman, but she looked very bad. Her face was dark blue, and her eyes were as white as milk. She looked soft and sad. She looked like the rain turned into a person.
Della had heard of the Blue Castle, and the strange blue people who lived there. But they had all died, years ago. That was what her parents had told her.
The woman looked at Della. ‘Give me back my wings. I need them to fly.’
She was quiet, but nobody in the castle spoke a word. Della was afraid, but she did not show it.
‘These are not your wings,’ she said. ‘Sir Galen gave them to me.’
The blue woman just shook her head. ‘The wings are mine. Give me back my wings. I need them to fly.’
‘Guards!’ said the King. ‘Take this woman!’
But the guards did not move. In fact, nobody in the room moved. It seemed like nobody could move.
The blue woman said again, ‘Give me back my wings. I need them to fly.’ She sounded like she was going to cry.
Della stood up. She picked up the wings and looked at them. They were hers, because they were a present from Sir Galen. But this woman, this strange woman, wanted them so much. Della knew that if she didn’t give her the wings, her birthday would be bad. So she walked towards her.
‘No!’ shouted Sir Galen. ‘It is Izod, the bad fairy of the Blue Castle!’
Della stopped. There was a moment of quiet, and then the blue woman’s face changed. Her face turned to anger. She tried to move towards the wings, but the guards ran forward. They held her back.
‘Then she will suffer like me!’ shouted the blue woman. ‘If I cannot fly, then she must sleep. Tonight, she will fall asleep, and she will never wake up again.’
Then, Izod was gone. The cloak fell to the floor. The Red Castle was quiet. Outside, the sun shone again.
That night, Della did not sleep. She did not sleep the next night, either. Every night for a week, she did not sleep. The King and Queen found entertainers—musicians, clowns, and dancers—to keep her awake. But each day, Della grew more tired, and one night, she fell asleep at the dinner table.
The King and Queen tried to wake her. They shook her. They brought delicious food and drinks. Musicians played music. But nothing worked, so they carried her to her bed. The King and Queen sat by her every night and told stories. But finally, they were suffering too much, and even they left her.
Della lay alone in her room. She was a Sleeping Beauty, and nothing more.
Izod slept as well. Without her wings, her magic was not strong. To keep Della asleep, she had to sleep as well.
In their dreams, they met. At first, Della ran away. But as the years passed, she could not keep doing this. Finally, they talked.
‘Why did you do this?’ Della asked. She did not sound like a child anymore. She was a suffering woman, now. Just like Izod.
‘I had nothing left.’
Della shook her head. ‘But you got nothing from this. Now we are both asleep. You do not have your wings. Does it make you happy, to see me suffer?’
‘Of course it doesn’t. I know how you are suffering. I feel your pain.’
Della started to cry. She could not stop the tears any longer. ‘Then why did you do this?’
‘You know the history of our lands.’
Della could not look in Izod’s eyes. It was true. Her people had gone to the Blue Castle and killed them. They had killed families, and killed the land. And they had taken Izod’s wings. ‘I know it was wrong. But being King is not easy. My father has to do many things he doesn’t want to do. And your people were dangerous. You have magic.’
‘One time, we all had magic.’ Izod smiled. ‘But they did not tell you that story, did they? One time, we were all one. Blue and Red were together. And then we broke ourselves up, and killed one side of ourselves.’
Della shook her head again. ‘I don’t understand.’
‘There is a way to wake up, but you will not like it. Still, it is my only hope. It is the reason I did this.’
Della woke up, but she was not Della now. She was Izodella. She had her wings of water, and she had her hair of fire.
Her mother and father were dead now, and Sir Galen was king. The land was Red, red with fire and blood. There was no happiness, only suffering.
Izodella did not wait. She killed the king. Then she flew above the land. She held out her right hand, and fire rained down. It ate the Red Castle, and the remains of the Blue Castle. It killed everything and all. Then she held out her left hand, and water rained down. It cleaned the land, and ended the suffering.
The fires died, and the rain stopped. The land slept. Izodella cried, and her tears fell on the earth. And where they fell, something new woke up.
If you enjoyed the story, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Go to Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish. That’s Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish. For just a few dollars a month you can get extra episodes, exercises, and much more. Thank you for listening, and until next week.