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 advanced learners. The name of the story is Doggo and Kitty Tear Their Trousers. You can find a transcript of the episode at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/TrousersL4. That’s EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/TrousersL4. There, you can also download the episode as a PDF.
This is a levelled-up version of a beginner story. You can listen to the beginner-level version of Doggo and Kitty Tear Their Trousers at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Trousers.
I’m going to start today by reading out some reviews from listeners.
Ebru Anil from Turkey says: Please go on! Thank you for everything. I’m learning… Glad to hear that you’re learning, Ebru, and remember to take breaks as well!
İgnorance from Turkey says: I really love your accent. Well selected topics and stories. Keep posting more advanced episodes. Thank you. In a previous episode we had ‘kaitheidiot’ and now ‘İgnorance’ – why are you all giving yourself these mean names? Remember, anyone who listens to this podcast HAS to be incredibly intelligent!
But anyway, inaccurate name or not, this is an advanced episode, so I hope you like it, İgnorance!
Finally, Dima from Saudi Arabia says: I like it❤️ Lovely! Short, sweet and to the point. Keep up the good work, Dima.
And if you’d like me to read out your message on the podcast, you can leave me a review on Apple Podcasts.
So, before today’s episode, I wanted to talk about something. I haven’t had many conversation segments recently on the podcast. I feel like I owe you an explanation, and I want to hear all your thoughts on the topic.
Previously, I used to talk a lot about my life on the show. I discussed what I’d done recently, my thoughts on current topics and so on. However, since returning from my hiatus, from my long break, last year, I’ve been recording a lot of the episodes in advance, and since I do one episode every two weeks now instead of one episode every week, this makes it hard to talk about what’s going on in my life. If I’m recording an episode that will come out in a month’s time, then I can’t talk about something current or recent.
I also feel like, before the break, I shared a lot of my life. Sometimes that made me uncomfortable because I felt like I was ‘giving too much of myself away’. It’s a very hard feeling to describe, and I think you can only really understand it if you have a following online, for example if you make YouTube videos or stream video games. It actually gave me a lot of empathy for celebrities. It helped me understand what it must feel like to be a celebrity and have so many people know all about you, or at least, think they know all about you. It’s very strange to have a conversation with someone and they know what your favourite ice cream is, where you’ve lived, what your hobbies are, but you know absolutely nothing about them!
So these conversational segments have become quite rare on the show, and I actually got one or two comments from newer listeners who didn’t understand why I sometimes talk about things completely unrelated to the stories. In that sense, maybe it doesn’t make sense to talk about my life on the main show, and I can do it as bonus episodes for Easy Stories in English Premium instead.
But also, I know a lot of you really like it when I talk about my life. I got quite a few comments from people saying that this was their favourite part of the show. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely needed a break from it, and I needed to set some boundaries about how much I shared. But now I feel ready to open up again, and I imagine you’d all appreciate it as well.
It’s kind of strange talking about all this so openly. I know a lot of creators very consciously stick to their ‘brand’ – they present themselves in one way and make it seem like that’s how they are in real life. And I guess I sort of did that as well, but it’s also obvious that my approach to the podcast has changed a lot since I came back from my hiatus, my break.
When I went on hiatus for my health, many of you left really lovely comments wishing me good health, telling me to take my time and look after myself. I guess it made me realise how powerful the connection between an artist and their audience can be. Because this is all through the internet, because I’ve met very few of you in real life, it’s easy to feel disconnected from the comments you leave. But when I got those comments last year, it really hit me how much this podcast means to a lot of you, and to me as well.
So I don’t want to present myself as some fake ‘brand’. I know, of course, that you’ll never get a complete picture of who I am through hearing my voice, but now I feel ready to paint that picture more consciously. With intention. Which is why I’m sharing all this with you. Because I really think a lot about this stuff, and the fact that I’m able to share my stories with you, the fact that they’ve helped you improve your English, but also brought you joy and laughter and tears, that means the world to me.
When I first wrote this, I didn’t anticipate it being so emotional! I thought I was just going to write about the little conversational segments, and here we are. Turns out, writing can help you work through your feelings. Who would’ve thought?
So as for the conversational sections of the podcast, I see there as being two options. Option one is that I continue as I have been doing, and mostly just talk about the stories themselves, and then maybe do some bonus episodes for Easy Stories in English Premium where I talk about my life and opinions. Option two is that I do separate episodes of the podcast where I talk about my life or give my opinions on a certain topic. By doing these as separate episodes, I can really go into detail about my thoughts, and I can record them more spontaneously which hopefully should avoid the problem of talking about something months after it actually happened.
But these are just ideas. What do you think? Of course, I’d love to know what my hardcore listeners think – the people who’ve been here since 2019! – but I’m also really interested to hear from those of you who found the podcast after my hiatus, or even this year. Come and leave a comment under this episode at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/TrousersL4, or send me an email at Ariel@EasyStoriesInEnglish.com. I look forward to reading your comments! And thank you all for allowing me to do what I do. It really does mean the world to me.
OK, I’ll just explain some words that are in today’s story.
A parasol is a type of umbrella. Umbrellas are used to protect you from the rain, but parasols are used to protect you from the sun. Parasols can be small, ones that you carry about, or they can be big parasols that cover entire tables.
Uneven means not even, not flat. If a building is very old, the floor might be uneven. This can be dangerous, as you might trip and fall on the uneven floor. In today’s society, the distribution of wealth – how much money some people have versus others – is very uneven, especially in the UK and America.
A thorn is a sharp bit of wood that grows on certain plants, such as roses. If a thorn gets stuck in your hand, it can hurt a lot! Often, thorns are removed from roses before they are sold.
Giggle means to laugh like a little girl. [Giggles]. If you are in a very silly mood with a friend, you might ‘get the giggles’, where you can’t stop giggling and laughing about very stupid things. I think we should all giggle more, because life should be fun!
A needle is a small, sharp metal thing that you use to make clothes. You put thread through a needle and put the needle through material, such as cotton, to join it together. Getting the thread into the needle can be quite difficult, and you have to be careful when using a needle because they are very sharp.
Curl up means to move into a ball shape. Some people curl up into a ball while they sleep, although this is bad for your back. You might also curl on the sofa with a good book, or curl up on the floor when you are sad. In autumn, the leaves on the trees curl up, turn red and fall to the ground.
When you tie a piece of string or rope, you make a knot. There are various types of knots. The most common knot is the bow, when you tie your shoelaces. You make two loops with the shoelaces and tie them together in a knot, so your shoes don’t fall off. Different knots are good for different things. Personally, I am terrible at tying knots.
When a knot comes undone by itself, it unravels. If you tie a knot very loosely, it will likely unravel as it moves around. Old fabric can also unravel, which means that it breaks apart into individual fibres.
When a bird hits something with its beak, its mouth, it pecks. Chickens eat food by pecking at the ground. If a bird pecks you, it can hurt a lot!
Wriggle means to move around a lot, but mostly stay in one place. For example, worms move by wriggling along the ground. If there’s an insect trapped inside your shirt, you might wriggle around trying to get it out.
A seamstress is a woman who makes clothes. Usually, seamstresses sew clothes by hand or use a sewing machine. These days, there aren’t many seamstresses around, because most people get their clothes from factories.
OK, so listen and enjoy!
Doggo and Kitty Tear Their Trousers
Once upon a time, there was a dog and cat, called Doggo and Kitty. Doggo was a very handsome dog, and Kitty was a charming and gorgeous cat. The pair of them lived together in a little cottage next to a forest, and unlike most dogs and cats, they got on very well.
We have seen how Doggo and Kitty did their laundry, so we now know that Doggo and Kitty are very good at doing the housework. And there were always so many things to do! In fact, there was so much to do that Doggo and Kitty often sat around thinking about where to start, and then got distracted by a piece of cheese or a mouse. At any rate, the day after they did their laundry was Sunday, and Sunday is a day of rest.
That morning, Doggo pushed his nose through the window, saw that the sun was shining bright and cheerful, and said, ‘Kitty! It is a gorgeous day. Let’s take advantage of the sunshine and go to the forest. What else could one do on a day like this?’
‘I completely agree,’ said Kitty. ‘And what luck! We have done our laundry, and now we can wear our nice clean clothes to go out.’
So they dressed up in their finest clothes and headed outside.
‘Oh, how I wish I had a parasol!’ said Kitty. ‘The bright sun hurts my eyes so, and I would be such a pretty little kitty with a parasol. I am quite sure nobody has seen such a pretty kitty before!’
‘It won’t do you any harm to get a bit of sun,’ said Doggo. ‘We’ve been trapped inside all winter, and you’re looking quite pale. Yes, some sun will do you good!’
And Doggo was right, for once. During the winter they sat by the fire and played games, and some days they didn’t see the sun at all.
Still, Kitty did not like being criticised on her appearance, so she bit back.
‘Well,’ said Kitty, ‘you should see how you look. Your ears are completely uneven, one sticking up and one hanging down! It’s quite unacceptable to walk around with uneven ears.’
‘Oh dear!’ said Doggo, not realising that Kitty was trying to hurt his feelings. ‘Thank you for letting me know, Kitty.’
Doggo adjusted his ears to make them presentable and they continued on their way. While they walked, they spoke about what they would do in the forest. Oh, what fun they would have! They were going to play all sorts of games, like hide-and-seek, which was Kitty’s favourite – Doggo always lost. He would hide in a bush or a tree, but his ears always stuck out, making him quite easy to find.
As they walked, they came past a bush with a rabbit inside. When the rabbit turned and saw Doggo, he burst out laughing.
‘Haha,’ said the rabbit, ‘look at that ridiculous dog! He has one ear sticking up and the other hanging down. Just like this.’ And the rabbit moved his ears to imitate Doggo’s. Doggo’s mouth fell open in surprise. He checked his ears and, sure enough, they were uneven again.
‘That nasty little rabbit is laughing at you!’ cried Kitty.
Doggo got angry and chased after the rabbit. He jumped into the bush, but the clever little creature was far faster than him, and easily ran away.
‘Oh, there are so many thorns in this bush!’ cried Doggo, picking some out of his paws. ‘I should never have chased after that stupid rabbit.’
‘Did those thorns really hurt you, Doggo?’ said Kitty. ‘Or are you just looking for sympathy?’
‘Yes, you’re right. It didn’t really hurt.’
Doggo sorted out his ears and they continued on their way. A few minutes later, they bumped into some of the children, who lived on the other side of the forest.
‘Hello, Doggo and Kitty!’ said the children. ‘Since it’s such a lovely sunny day, we all decided to go for a stroll in the forest.’
‘Great minds think alike!’ said Kitty, proud of herself for using one of the phrases that the adults used.
‘You’re both dressed up nicely!’ said the children. ‘But, oh no!’
They started giggling. Doggo quickly checked his ears, but they were even, so whatever was the matter?
‘Look, boys! Look, girls! Doggo has torn his trousers!’
‘What?!’ said Doggo. ‘Kitty, the dear children say that I have a tear in my trousers. Could you look and see?’ Doggo didn’t want to bend down and look himself, in case he tore them even more.
So Kitty took a good long look at Doggo’s trousers, and then said, ‘I’m afraid it’s true, Doggo. Your trousers have a big tear in them.’
‘That must’ve happened when I ran into that bush with all the thorns!’ said Doggo. ‘Oh, I can’t believe I’ve torn my nicest trousers. It’s a crying shame! But Kitty, perhaps you have a needle and thread?’
‘I’m afraid I don’t. But don’t worry, Doggo. I’m sure we’ll find something on the way, a piece of string or something like that.’
So they said goodbye to the children, who were still laughing and pointing at Doggo, and continued on their way.
‘Hey, take a look over there!’ said Doggo. ‘I see something.’
There, lying on the ground, was a little worm, taking a nap in the afternoon sun. It was quite content, lying in the sun’s rays, and it was confident that it was so small that nobody could see it. But it hadn’t taken into account that there might be a dog searching for a piece of string.
‘It’s something long, thin and straight,’ said Doggo. ‘Why, I think it’s a pencil!’
Hearing Doggo’s deep voice, the worm woke up. When it saw the huge dog leaning over it, it had a fright, and curled up into a circle.
‘No, Doggo, that’s no pencil!’ said Kitty. ‘Pencils can’t curl up into a circle. It must be a piece of string. What luck! I can use it to mend your trousers.’
And with that, Kitty picked up the worm and tied it in a knot to close the tear in Doggo’s trousers. The poor little worm could do nothing to stop her.
‘Fantastic,’ said Doggo. ‘Now nobody can laugh at me.’
They continued on their way and spoke about all the places they would hide in later when they played hide-and-seek. The worm listened and waited, and once it had recovered from its initial shock, it said to itself, ‘I’m no piece of string! I’m a lovely little worm.’ And, moving slowly so as not to bring attention to itself, it unravelled itself.
Meanwhile, Doggo and Kitty came across one of their friends, Clucky the chicken.
‘Hello, Clucky!’ said Doggo and Kitty.
‘Hello, Doggo and Kitty. Doggo, look out! There is something on your leg. Ooh, it’s a worm!’
Being a chicken, Clucky loved to eat worms, so she pecked at Doggo’s leg and tried to eat it. Luckily for the worm, it had just finished unravelling itself, and it fell off and ran away before Clucky could catch it.
‘How unusual,’ said Clucky. ‘It was climbing out of a hole in your trousers, as if it had been snacking on it. I didn’t know worms ate trousers, but that’s just one more reason for me to eat them. Shame I couldn’t catch it. Then he really would have learned his lesson!’
‘Yes, what a shame!’ said Doggo. But secretly, he was relieved that Clucky hadn’t caught the worm, as he hated violence.
‘Oh, Doggo!’ said Kitty, looking at his trousers again. ‘Once again your lovely trousers are torn. That thing that ran away was not a worm, but the string I used to mend them!’
‘No way,’ said Clucky. ‘That was a worm, no doubt about it. String doesn’t wriggle and curl up like that! But there’s no need to worry, Doggo. I can’t mend your trousers myself, but if you follow this path along, you’ll come to a house where a seamstress works, and she can mend your trousers for you.’
So they said goodbye to Clucky and continued on their way to the seamstress’ house.
When she saw Doggo’s trousers, she was shocked.
‘Wow, that’s a big tear!’ said the seamstress. ‘But Sunday is a day of rest, so I don’t really feel like working. I’ll tell you what, if you help me out with a little problem, I’ll mend your trousers for you. See, a family of mice has moved into my kitchen, and they’re quite annoying, always stealing food and squeaking in the night. If you get rid of them, I’ll mend your trousers. But, you mustn’t drink the milk or eat the biscuits laid out on the table! Those are for me. It’s my Sunday treat.’
Doggo and Kitty agreed to catch the mice and promised to leave the milk and biscuits. The seamstress showed them to the kitchen, and all the mice ran away and hid in their holes.
‘Here’s the plan,’ said Kitty. ‘I’ll go outside, and you stand in front of their holes, Doggo.’
So Doggo stood guard outside the mice’s holes. Kitty went outside and loudly said, ‘Yay! There’s a dog inside with one ear sticking up and the other hanging down, and not only that, he also has a big tear in his trousers! How funny he looks! You can’t help but laugh at him!’
The mice, who loved nothing more than a good laugh, ran out of their holes to see this funny-looking dog. And then, of course, Doggo jumped on them and caught them under his paw.
‘Oh no!’ cried the mice. ‘Are you going to eat us? Oh, you do look so silly, but it’s not worth dying for!’
‘You’re very lucky,’ said Doggo, ‘that I hate violence. But you must leave the seamstress’ house and never come back!’
The mice promised to never return and ran away, giggling to themselves about Doggo’s trousers.
‘Fantastic work!’ said the seamstress, walking back into the kitchen. ‘A bit unusual, but it got the job done. Now, let me have a look at those trousers.’
So the seamstress mended the tear in Doggo’s trousers, and then she invited them to stay for milk and biscuits, and Doggo and Kitty couldn’t say no to that, could they? The biscuits were quite delicious.
Afterwards, they walked home through the forest. In the end, they were too tired to play hide-and-seek, but they slept very well, although Doggo’s ears were uneven throughout the night.
If you enjoyed the story and want to say thank you, you can buy me a coffee. Just go to EasyStoriesInEnglish.com and click the orange button that says Buy me a coffee! Or you can write me a nice review on Apple Podcasts, or follow me on Instagram @arielgoodbody. Thank you for listening, and see you in two weeks!