L1 – Beginner

Stories for beginner-level students, equivalent to CEFR A1-A2.

Whose Child Is It?

Two women come to the king with a baby. Both say that the baby is theirs. Who is the real mother? The king must decide.

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The Boy Who Knew No Fear (Beginner)

One day, a young man called Anders hears his brother say, ‘Oh, those scary stories make me shudder!’

‘I wonder what it means to shudder?’ Anders thinks, and he goes out on a journey to find out.

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Hector the Snail

Hector is a snail, so of course he’s very slow. But he dreams of becoming fast. He decides to find a wizard and ask the wizard to swap his body with an ostrich’s. What could go wrong? Well, a lot, actually…

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The Turnip Princess

A young man called Arran hates eating his vegetables. One day, his mother locks him out. Arran finds a house with a strange old woman inside, and a dog that talks. Will he find his way home, and will he discover the secret of the house?

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The Very Hungry Dragon (Beginner)

She flew down and took the roof off the cart. The people with the cart saw her and ran away. Grella laughed, and picked up the cart in her hand. She emptied it into her mouth, eating all of the jewels in one go.
Grella understood now. Her mother had been right. Jewels were amazing. They made her feel wonderful inside, like there was a party inside her stomach.
Grella flew off to find more food.

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The Tattoo

‘I know you think you don’t want it,’ said Gary’s girlfriend, Claire, ‘but just think. When you turn 18, most of your friends will have their tattoos already. People will want to see yours. Look, you can tell them that you’re getting it later, that you couldn’t book an appointment, but how long can you lie? One day, you’ll look around and think, “God, why don’t I have a tattoo? Everyone else does.” ’

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One-Eyed, Two-Eyed, Three-Eyed (Beginner)

Suddenly, the goat started changing. It grew long and square, and became a big white table. And on the table were all kinds of food: bread, cheeses, jams, pickles, tomatoes, olives, and so on. The girl was hungry from the work, so she ate lots and lots of food, and when she was done, she said, ‘Little goat, little goat, it’s time to go.’

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Have You Seen This Woman?

She was singing. She was drunk, I think, the way she sang. Maybe she had drunk a big glass of vodka. But her singing was good. She sounded sad, but the music was good. We were all so surprised to see her there.

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The Tightrope Walker

The people began to shout and cheer: ‘You can do it!’ ‘He’s three quarters of the way across!’ ‘Just a bit more!’ Everyone’s hearts were open to the tightrope walker. They did not imagine him dying now. They imagined him making it to the end. They imagined the feeling, when he would make the last step, and everything would be OK.

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Misty the Snake

Why could nobody understand it? I loved Marmite, and so did my pet snake, Misty. Well, she wasn’t my pet. She was my ex-boyfriend’s. But I loved her more than him.
And she loved me, too. As soon as that letter had come through the door, I knew it. I was her real owner. Not my ex.

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