L1 – Beginner

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

Big Peter and Little Peter

As Little Peter rode his horse, he held the basket so that the priest could not get out.
‘Help! Help!’ shouted the priest.
‘Shh!’ said Little Peter. ‘Do you hear that?’
They were by a river, and the priest listened to the water.
‘Most baskets do not talk, so if you can talk, you must be a magic basket. And I don’t like magic. I think I’ll throw you in the river!’

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Why You Must Read (Introduction to my new book)

‘Why do I need to read in English?’
My students often ask me this. They think, ‘I go to classes, I do my homework, I watch films in English. Why should I read books?’
Actually, reading is the best way to improve your English. I will tell you why.

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The Tooth Fairy

‘Can you replace it this time?’ said Alex. ‘I know you did it last time, but I’m so tired.’
‘I didn’t do it last time,’ said Kayla.
‘Huh?’ said Alex. ‘You did! Last time, I went and looked under the pillow, but the tooth had already been replaced.’
‘I’m telling you, I didn’t do it!’ said Kayla.
‘I don’t understand,’ said Alex. ‘If I didn’t do it, and you didn’t do it, then who did? The Tooth Fairy?’

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Aldar Kose’s Magic Coat

One day, Aldar was riding through a field. He was wearing his cheap coat full of holes, and he was very cold. His hands and feet hurt, and his nose was blue. He shivered and shivered.
He wanted to find a yurt. In the yurt it would be warm and comfortable. But the wind was blowing loud and strong, and he only saw grass and ice. He saw no yurts and no fires. And the wind was trying to blow his ears off!

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New Year, New Me

Diana was surprised. ‘You don’t make resolutions? But you’re the most serious person I know! You go to the gym, and cook healthy food, and read books… How do you do all that without New Year’s resolutions?’
Minerva drank some wine. ‘Let me ask you something. How much are you planning on drinking tonight?’
Diana frowned. ‘You plan how much you’re going to drink?’

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Open Sesame

He gasped. The mountain was full of treasures! There was gold and silver and thousands of jewels. They sat in piles, like piles of seeds, but these treasures were so much better than seeds. The poor man did not know what to take. He did not want the thieves to kill him. So he took just a bit of gold, filling his pockets. He wanted to take the jewels, but he thought that the thieves would know, so he did not take any.

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The Land of Youth

Niamh’s father was afraid of many things. He thought that someone might try to kill him so that they could be king. He thought that someone would run faster than him in the next game. But he had a druid who could see the future, so he asked him to see the future.
‘Nobody will kill you, my king. And only one person would run faster than you: your son-in-law. So if your daughter never gets married, you will not have a son-in-law, and you can be king forever.’

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You Can’t Please Everyone

‘Why do you have a donkey, but you don’t ride it? Donkeys should be ridden.’
So the man said to his son, ‘Get on the donkey and ride it.’
They kept on going. A few hours later, a group of old women walked past.
‘Look at that lazy young boy,’ said one of the women. ‘Shame on him! He makes his father walk while he rides. His father should ride on the horse.’

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Why the Sea is Salty

Once there were two brothers. One brother was a poor farmer. He worked in the fields, and when the weather was bad, he had no food. But he was kind and worked a lot. The other brother was a rich man who worked on a ship. He was not kind, and he often cheated people. In this time, there was no salt in the sea, so he travelled to other countries to get salt. He brought the salt back, and the King paid him lots of money.

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The Crying Woman

Once, there was a woman called Inmaculada. Her friends called her Inma. She lived in a village in Mexico. Inmaculada was indigenous, and her mother and father died when she was very young. She was poor, and she washed clothes for other people in the village. She wanted to leave the village and travel the world, but she thought it would never happen.

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