In the podcast I say that Karel Čapek wrote this story, but it was actually written by his brother, Josef Čapek.
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 Doggo and Kitty Bake a Cake. You can find a transcript of the episode at easystoriesinenglish.com/cake. That’s easystoriesinenglish.com/cake. This contains the full story, as well as my conversation before it.
So, here we are with our third story with Doggo and Kitty. But don’t worry, if you love Doggo and Kitty as much as I do, there will be stories with them in the future. I don’t know when, but, well, if people really like these stories then I will continue to translate them. Personally, I think they’re really funny. I was very surprised. You know, Karel Čapek was quite an old writer. He is not a modern author by any means. So I was really surprised that his stories were still so funny today.
This is also the third episode that I will eb releasing today, on the first of January. I read that it is better to release three episodes at the same time when you start a new podcast. So that’s why I decided to go with three stories with Doggo and Kitty. However, next week there will be a different story. In fact, next week it will be a piece of original fiction. So, next week’s story will be one that I wrote myself, which is very exciting. I’m looking forward to sharing my work with you all.
Anyway, recording today’s story is going to be difficult, because it makes me very hungry. As you can see in the title, it’s about a cake, and I love sweet food. There’s a phrase we use in English. We say, ‘I have a sweet tooth.’ And I definitely have a sweet tooth. In fact, I think I have several sweet teeth. All of my teeth might be sweet teeth. And that would be a problem, wouldn’t it!
This story is just full of delicious food, and it does make me very hungry after reading it. So hopefully I will be able to read through it without my mouth filling up with water. We will see!
Recently I’ve been trying to really avoid sugar. As I said, I have a sweet tooth, and this has caused problems in the past. I had two cavities. So cavities are when you get a hole in your tooth. I had two cavities because I ate too many sweets. And these days, sugar is actually in lots and lots of products. We don’t think about it, but if you read the ingredients, there’s often some kind of sugar.
Now it’s not always called sugar. Sometimes it comes from a plant or a fruit, so it has a different name. For example, sugar that comes from fruit is usually called “fructose”. But there are other kinds, like maltose, dextrose, and so on. One type of food that contains a lot of sugar is “low-fat” food. Because when you take all of the fat out of something, it doesn’t taste very nice, so they have to add sugar to make it taste actually nice.
So, really you should avoid low-fat yoghurt, low-fat cakes, all of those things, because they often have loads of sugar added to them! So, instead of eating low-fat yoghurt, now I try to eat full-fat Greek yoghurt.
So, one of my strategies for avoiding sugar, and you might like this as well, is, well… One of the times I am most likely to buy sugar is when I’m on the way home from work. Because I have to travel quite a long way to get to work, I spend a lot of time waiting at the busstop. And the busstop is usually next to some kind of supermarket, usually a small Sainsbury’s or a small Tesco’s. Those are two British supermarkets.
It’s very tempting, if I have ten minutes to wait, to say to myself, ‘Oh, I’m just going to go into the shop and see what they have.’ And then I go into the shop and I’m tempted by the food that’s on sale. And often the food that’s on sale contains some chocolate or a pastry. So I end up buying a bag of M&M’s. And then I go on my bus and I eat the whole bag of M&M’s at once and I feel terrible afterwards!
So, my new strategy for avoiding this is, every time I feel tempted, every time I’m standing at the busstop and I think, ‘Ooh, I could just go into the shop,’ I go in, but I tell myself I can only buy fruit. So I’m allowed something sweet but it has to be fruit, and usually that’s a banana or an apple. And I find the apple, it has sugar in it, so it stops me from wanting sugar. And because every time I feel tempted now, I get fruit instead of chocolate, I feel much better. And it’s something healthy.
So that’s just a little strategy you might like to try out if you also have difficulties with sugar. I hope you don’t, because I know how stressful it can be! Especially around Christmas and New Year.
OK, so remember, you can find the transcript for this episode at easystoriesinenglish.com/cake. That’s easystoriesinenglish.com/cake. This contains the whole story and my whole conversation before it in text format, so you can read while you listen.
So, listen and enjoy!
Doggo and Kitty Bake a Cake
Once, there was a dog and a cat. The dog was called Doggo, and the cat was called Kitty. Doggo and Kitty lived together in a small house. Their house was beside a forest, and they liked living there very much.
One day, Kitty looked at their calendar.
‘Doggo!’ said Kitty. ‘According to the calendar, today is my birthday.’
‘Hurray!’ said Doggo. ‘We will have to celebrate. But how? I’ve never celebrated a birthday before.’
Kitty thought that they had celebrated a birthday before. She thought that birthdays happened every year. But she wasn’t sure, and she didn’t want to sound stupid. So she didn’t say anything.
‘Yes, a celebration is just what we need. But what should we do?’
While Doggo and Kitty were thinking of how to celebrate Kitty’s birthday, some other people were, too. The children, who lived on the other side of the forest, liked Doggo and Kitty very much. They wanted to surprise Kitty on her birthday, so they decided to bake her a big cake.
The problem was, they didn’t have the ingredients for a cake. Usually for a cake you need milk, and butter, and eggs, and sugar, and all sorts of things. These are things that children don’t know about. So they used what they could find.
First, they took the cake tin. It was a big, round metal thing that they would cook the cake inside of. Then, they poured in sand, because cake was crumbly and sand was also crumbly. Then, they put in water, because the sand was too soft on its own. They mixed the water with the sand. This was difficult, because they kept throwing sand out of the cake tin and onto the floor. Finally, they took some small, white stones and placed them on top of the cake, because nice cakes always had almonds on top, and the stones looked like almonds. Then they put the cake tin in the oven and waited for an hour. They didn’t turn the oven on, because only their parents were allowed to do that.
Out of the oven came a beautiful cake of sand and stones. The children thought it looked amazing. They wanted to taste it themselves, but they knew that they couldn’t, because it was for Kitty. So they carried it between them and ran through the forest to the small, wooden house, where Doggo and Kitty lived.
‘Hello, Doggo and Kitty!’ the children said. ‘We made you a cake and brought it here to celebrate Kitty’s birthday.’
‘What a nice surprise!’ Kitty said. ‘We were just thinking about how to celebrate.’
‘The cake is really, really nice,’ the children said. ‘You’re going to love it.’
So they all went and sat down in the kitchen. Doggo and Kitty soon saw that the cake was actually quite horrible. Nobody would be able to eat such a cake, not even a worm. But they liked the children very much, so they cut up the cake and put slices on plates. They held the cake slices under their noses, and sniffed, and said ‘Yum yum’, and pretended to eat them. The children laughed, and pretended to eat their slices as well.
‘Thank you so much, children,’ said Kitty. ‘We’ve never had such a delicious cake before.’
The children laughed and went home. Doggo and Kitty then took the plates of cake to the river outside, and threw the sand and stones into the water.
‘It was nice of the children to do that for us,’ said Doggo. ‘But now I really am hungry. I would like to eat some cake, I think. But it has to be real!’
‘Me too. I would also like to eat a real cake,’ said Kitty. ‘Well, since it’s my birthday, why don’t we bake one? The only problem is, I don’t know how to make a cake.’
‘I know, I know! It’s very easy, Kitty. All you do is add your favourite food to the cake. When you add five delicious things, then the cake will be five times as good. When you add ten delicious things, then the cake will be ten times as good. So if we add a hundred delicious things, then the cake will be a hundred times as good!’
‘That’s true!’ said Kitty. ‘We’re going to make the most delicious cake ever.’
So Doggo and Kitty took out their cake tin, put on some aprons, and got ready to cook.
First, they took flour, milk, and eggs, and mixed them in a large bowl. Unlike the children, they knew that you had to have these ingredients for a good cake.
‘The cake must be sweet,’ said Kitty, and she poured a kilogram of sugar into the bowl.
‘And a bit salty as well,’ said Doggo, and he poured a spoonful of salt into the bowl.
‘And let’s add some butter and jam,’ said Kitty.
‘Not jam,’ said Doggo. ‘I don’t like jam. Let’s add some cheddar cheese. I love cheddar cheese.’
So they added a block of cheddar cheese to the bowl.
‘It seems to me,’ said Kitty, ‘that we need something greasy in it. Let’s add some bacon.’
So they added a slice of bacon to the bowl.
‘And we can’t forget nuts!’ said Doggo.
So he crushed a bag of nuts and poured them into the bowl.
‘Nuts are good,’ said Kitty, ‘but if we’re adding nuts then we should also add some cucumber.’
So she cut up a cucumber into slices and put them in the bowl, too.
‘And bones!’ said Doggo. ‘We must add some bones, as well! They are the tastiest food in the world.’
So they added some bones to the mix.
‘And we must add some mice!’ said Kitty. ‘Mice are my favourite food.’
So they added five mice into the bowl.
‘Oh,’ said Doggo, ‘and let’s add some sausages for me.’
So they added some sausages to the mix.
‘And we can’t forget cream!’ said Kitty. ‘We must add some cream.’
So they poured a litre of cream into the bowl.
‘And a bit of garlic,’ said Doggo.
So they put a few pieces of garlic in the mix.
‘And chocolate,’ said Kitty.
So they added a bar of chocolate to the bowl.
They added everything they liked to the bowl, which was all the food they had in the house, except for bread, because neither of them liked bread. They mixed and mixed, and it took a long time because there was so much food.
‘This is going to be an excellent cake!’ said Doggo, licking his lips. ‘And now we just have to bake it.’
They put the cake in the oven for an hour. Unlike the children, they were allowed to turn the oven on, because they had no parents to stop them. When the cake was baked, they put it by the window. They opened the window, so that the wind would blow on the cake and cool it.
‘You know what,’ said Kitty. ‘Since the children were nice enough to bring us a cake, I think we should offer our cake to them as well.’
‘Good idea,’ said Doggo. ‘Let’s go find them.’
So they headed through the forest to find the children.
Meanwhile, a very naughty dog was walking near their house. As the cake was cooling, the wind blew its smell through the trees. The dog sniffed, and thought he had never smelled such a delicious thing.
‘That smells like the tastiest thing in the world!’ the dog said to himself. ‘I have to find it.’
The dog followed the smell, until he found a small, wooden house, with a cake cooling by the window. The cake smelled so good that the dog’s eyes were watering. His mouth was watering, too.
The dog jumped up and ate the cake. It was so tasty that he ate it all within seconds. Then the dog went and drank some water from the river, and sat down by a big tree.
The cake had tasted so good, but the dog’s stomach felt so bad. It hurt more than it had ever hurt before.
‘What was in that cake?’ the dog asked himself.
When Doggo and Kitty returned with the children, the cake was gone. They were very sad, and very surprised. What had happened to the cake?
‘Look!’ said one of the children. ‘There’s a big dog over there, with a stomach as big as me. He must have eaten the cake.’
The naughty dog didn’t get up and run away, because he was in too much pain.
‘I’m sorry,’ he said. ‘It smelt so good. I couldn’t stop myself from eating it.’
‘Don’t worry,’ said Kitty. ‘It looks like that cake wasn’t good at all. If we had eaten it, we would have felt really bad, and my birthday would have been ruined. I’m glad you ate it instead.’
‘I’m not!’ said the dog, and they all laughed.
‘There’s just one problem,’ said Doggo. ‘We put all the food in our house into that cake, and now we have nothing to eat, and we’re very hungry.’
‘Not to worry, Doggo and Kitty,’ said the children. ‘Come and eat dinner at our house. We will make mud pie for dessert.’
So Doggo and Kitty went to eat at the children’s house. They had soup, meat, dumplings, and bones. They enjoyed it very much. They didn’t eat the mud pie, but they pretended to eat it. And the naughty dog sat and cried in pain all night from the horrible cake which Doggo and Kitty had baked.
I hope you enjoyed the story. You can support the podcast by leaving a review on iTunes. Search for Easy Stories in English, give us a star rating, and say what you like about the show. It would really help us grow. Thank you for listening, and until next week.