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 Mouse, the Bird and the Sausage. You can find a transcript of the episode at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Bird. That’s EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Bird. This contains the full story, as well as my conversation before it.
So I started this podcast last year in January and the podcast has grown very quickly. I am so happy that so many people listen to it and I even hear from teachers who use the podcast with their students. So I am so happy. Thank you so much for listening.
I am thinking of doing more with the podcast. As I said last week, I have uploaded some videos to YouTube of me telling stories with my classes in the schools I work at. I am thinking of doing some more things specifically with the podcast.
So one of my ideas is to buy a big whiteboard and put it in my room, and then I would make YouTube videos. So I would record myself telling stories, like on the podcast, but I would draw pictures to help explain what is going on, and also it makes it much easier to explain words, because I can just show a picture or draw one.
So specifically, the YouTube videos would probably be for lower levels, so levels lower than the beginner stories, but really it could be about anything. I could also talk more about my life on YouTube. Some of you are already watching the YouTube videos from my classes and have subscribed, so thank you so much.
Another idea I had was to take maybe ten or twenty stories from the podcast and put them in a book and then sell the book. So that would be an ebook, an electronic book, but also a paper book because I know some people like to have a real book in their hands. I would like the books to be nice quality with illustrations, as well. But I don’t know if this is something people actually want.
Another idea I have is to make online courses. So this would be similar to the YouTube videos, but they would be in more detail, they would have activities, they would be a full package. And I would sell these on a website such as Udemy.
Basically, I love all of these ideas but I only have so much time and, of course, I want to do something that the listeners, all of you, actually want. Basically, for YouTube and for doing the online courses, I need to buy some equipment. I need to buy a whiteboard for my room, I might buy some lighting equipment for recording. So I need to know that people want it.
So, what I have done is made a poll. So a poll is when you ask people what they think and you give several options and then people can vote for the different options. So go to the transcript for this episode, EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Bird, and there you will find a link to the poll.
So in the poll you can tell me what things you think are interesting. Do you want the YouTube videos or the books or the online courses? Or maybe you want all three. Maybe you also have your own ideas. I really would love to hear them. What do you want to hear from Easy Stories in English and from me? If you do have an idea, go to the transcript at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Bird and leave a comment, or email me at Ariel@EasyStoriesInEnglish.com. I cannot wait to hear your wonderful ideas.
OK, so I’ll just explain some words that are in today’s story.
“Lay the table” is when you prepare the table for a meal. So maybe you’re about to have dinner and you put maybe a tablecloth on the table, you put the plates, the knives, the forks, the spoons and the glasses there, and if it is a really special meal, you might put a vase of flowers on it as well. Usually, at least in my family, the children lay the table and the adults cook.
A nest is a bird’s home. So nests are made of small pieces of wood called “sticks”, and birds build nests in trees and then they lay eggs and they keep the eggs in the nests.
A pot is a big thing that you cook food in. So pots are round and you cook sauces, stews, soups and so on in pots. A saucepan is a type of pot.
Stir is when you have something in a pot and you turn it around. So usually, you have a big wooden spoon and you turn the wooden spoon around the pot to stir the food inside. For example, if you are cooking soup or rice, you will stir the pot so that it does not burn onto the bottom of the pot.
Salty is when something tastes of salt. So salt is a white powder—the scientific name is sodium, or NaCl is the symbol—and salt makes food taste nicer. So you use salt usually with pepper and some people like lots of salt in their food. Some people don’t. However, you should not eat too much salt as it is bad for you.
Burn is when something is on fire. So something on fire is burning and if it stays on fire for too long, it will go black, it will burn. For example, if you leave a pizza for too long in the oven, it will burn and go black. If you put your hand on the cooker by accident and the cooker is on, you will get a nasty red burn on your hand.
Taste is whether food is good or bad. Basically, how it feels in your mouth. For example, I think McDonald’s tastes good, but some people don’t, and I don’t like the taste of mushrooms, and so on.
Slippery is when something is wet or smooth and it is hard to stand still on it or climb up it. You keep falling. For example, if it is a very cold day there will be ice on the roads, and so the roads will be slippery and dangerous. If you walk on them, you might fall over, and if you drive on them, and the roads are very slippery, you may even crash. When you have a bath, the bathtub is often slippery because of the water and it can be difficult to get out.
Catch fire, and the past tense is “caught fire”, is when something starts burning. So you might put wood near a fire and it might not burn, but when it starts burning it has caught fire and it will stay on fire on its own.
Finally, complain is when you talk about how things are bad. You only talk about the bad things. Usually, it is children who complain. For example, children say, ‘I don’t want to go to the supermarket! I don’t like that food! I want a horse like that girl!’ They complain and complain.
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OK, so listen and enjoy!
The Mouse, the Bird and the Sausage
Once there was a mouse, a bird and a sausage. They were friends. They lived together in a house. Each one had a job. The mouse’s job was to collect water from the river, make the fire and lay the table. The bird’s job was to go to the forest and collect wood for the fire. The sausage’s job was to cook. Every day, each did their job, and they ate dinner together. They were all good at their jobs, and they were very happy.
One day, the bird flew to the forest to collect wood. She was picking up wood when she heard another bird.
‘Hello! What are you doing there?’ said the other bird.
‘I’m collecting wood.’
‘You are collecting wood to make a nest? But that wood is so big! How big is your nest?’
‘No, I’m not making a nest. I don’t need a nest. I live in a house.’
The other bird was very surprised. ‘You live in a house? Birds don’t live in houses.’
‘Well I do. I live with a mouse and a sausage.’
‘A mouse and a sausage! How strange!’
The bird was a bit angry now. She wanted to finish collecting wood and go home. ‘It’s not strange at all,’ she said. ‘I collect wood from the forest. The mouse collects water from the river, makes the fire and lays the table.’
‘And what does she do after that? That doesn’t take very long.’
‘Well, she goes to bed and sleeps.’
‘I see. And what does the sausage do?’
‘The sausage cooks the food. He waits by the pot and stirs it. When it is ready, he jumps inside and swims around.’
‘How strange! Why does he do that?’
‘To make it salty! It tastes much better that way.’
‘And you collect wood for the fire? How long does it take?’
‘Well, I can’t take all the wood at once. It’s quite heavy, you know. So I go to the forest, collect some wood, and then fly home. I make about three trips a day.’
‘Three trips! You work very hard, you know. The mouse goes to bed and the sausage just stands by the pot and waits. You work harder than both of them.’
The bird felt strange. She had never thought about that. But it was true. She started collecting wood in the morning and finished in the evening. The mouse and the sausage didn’t work that long.
That night, the mouse, the bird and the sausage ate dinner. Then the bird said, ‘I’ve had enough! I can’t do my job anymore.’
‘What is wrong?’ said the mouse. ‘Are you sick?’
‘No!’ said the bird. ‘I’m tired. I work from morning until night. I work much harder than you two.’
The mouse and the sausage looked at each other. They were worried. The bird had never talked like this before.
‘You do your job so well,’ said the sausage. ‘You always bring lots of wood, and it always burns well.’
‘Yes, yes!’ said the mouse. ‘We need the wood to cook.’
‘Well I don’t want to collect it anymore. Tomorrow, we’re going to change jobs. I will collect the water, make the fire and lay the table. You, Mouse, will cook. And you, Sausage, will collect the wood.’
Now the mouse and the sausage were very worried. They had never done those jobs before. But the bird was very angry, so they said yes.
The next morning, the sausage went into the forest to collect wood, the bird went to the river to collect water, and the mouse stood by the pot and waited. And waited. And waited…
‘Where is that sausage?’ she said.
The bird came home. ‘Oh, this water is so heavy! Is Sausage back?’
‘No,’ said the mouse. ‘It has been a long time.’
The bird was tired. The water really was very heavy. But she was worried about the sausage.
‘I will go and find him.’
The bird flew to the forest. She looked for a long time, but she could not find the sausage. Finally, she saw a dog.
‘Oh, dog!’ she said. ‘I’m looking for a sausage. Have you seen one?’
‘No,’ said the dog, ‘but I just ate a sausage. It tasted very good.’
‘Oh no!’ cried the bird. ‘You ate my friend!’
‘Oh, well,’ said the dog. ‘You had a very tasty friend.’
The bird started crying, so the dog went away. After the bird finished crying, she picked up some wood and went home.
While the bird was in the forest, the mouse started cooking. There was a bit of wood from yesterday, so she could start. She made the fire, waited and stirred the pot. Thirty minutes later, it was very hot.
‘Now I have to make it nice and salty,’ she said.
The mouse jumped inside the pot. Oh, it was hot! She started swimming, but it hurt so much.
‘I can’t do this!’ she said.
She put her hand out, because she wanted to climb out. But the pot was wet and slippery, and she could not climb out.
‘Help, help!’ the mouse cried. But nobody came.
An hour later, the bird came back with the wood.
‘Mouse, it’s terrible! Sausage is dead!’
The bird went through the house, but she could not find the mouse.
‘Mouse, where are you?’
She put the wood on the floor, next to the pot, and looked for the mouse. The fire under the pot was still burning.
‘Mouse, mouse! Oh, this is the worst day ever.’
Suddenly, the wood next to the pot caught fire. The fire grew, and the table caught fire as well.
‘Oh no!’ said the bird.
She tried to run outside, but the house was on fire now, and she could not get out.
‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry!’ cried the bird. ‘I will collect wood from the forest! I will never complain again!’
But it was too late. The house burned down, and the bird burned with it. That was the end of the mouse, the bird and the sausage.
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