L1 – Beginner

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

Put the Lid Back On!

Once, a poor man was coming home at night. All he had was a gun and a single silver coin. He was riding a horse, but both he and the horse were very tired. They saw a graveyard, and the grass there was very long. So they stopped, the horse ate the grass, and the man lay down on one of the graves. He tried to sleep, but he could not sleep at all.

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The Three Feathers

Once there was an old king. He knew that he would die soon, and he had to decide who to give his kingdom to. He had three sons. The older two sons were tall, clever and strong, and the youngest son, Stu, was short and stupid. They all called him Stupid Stu.
The King knew he wanted to give the kingdom to one of his older sons, but he didn’t know which he wanted to give it to. He decided to have a competition. He would let Stupid Stu play, because he knew that he would not win.

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Puss in Boots

Once there was a young man called Jack. He lived on a farm with his two older brothers and his father. His father made all the decisions on the farm, and as he got older, the farm got smaller. The boys did not like to work, and so many of the animals died or left. Finally, the father died, and he gave his things to his sons.
To the oldest son he gave the house, to the middle son he gave his horse, and to Jack, the youngest son, he gave his cat.

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The Musicians of Bremen

Once there was a donkey who lived with a farmer. The donkey was very old. Before, he had worked every day in the fields and carried many heavy things. Now he was old, and he found it hard to carry heavy things. One day, the donkey was carrying a very heavy bag of food and fell down.
‘Now this is bad,’ said the farmer. ‘I need a strong animal who can work for me. If the donkey can’t carry things, I don’t need him. I will have to kill him tonight.’

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The Red Mountain

Once, there was a horrible king. He loved killing people. If someone bothered him, he said, ‘Fight me!’ and made the person fight him. He always won the fight, and the floors of the castle always had blood on them. Everyone was afraid of him. His family was afraid of him, his friends were afraid of him, and the people of his country were afraid of him. When the King was not there, they called him King Heartless, but if someone said that name when the King was there, he fought them and killed them.

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The Curse of the Clock

Today in Prague there is the astronomical clock, a great and mysterious clock. It brings in tourists from around the world. But many do not know that the clock has a dark history. It happened over 500 years ago…

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The Paper Man

Once there was a man made of paper. He was called the Paper Man. He lived in a town called Dull. In Dull, the people hated anyone strange. They hated clowns, they hated magic people and they hated anyone who didn’t do what they did. Of course, they hated the Paper Man as well, because humans are not made of paper!

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The Elephant and the Hare

Once there was a group of elephants. They were going to visit their family, and they wanted to bring them honey. So they went and collected honey, and started walking.
On the road, they came across a hare. The hare wanted to go across a river, but the water was too deep.

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Towards the City

Once upon a time, in Ancient Greece, there was a man called Byzas. Byzas was the son of Nisos, the King of Megara, a city in Greece.
‘My son,’ said King Nisos one day. ‘It is time for you to go out and make your way in the world. Find your own land and build a city there.’
‘I will make you happy, father,’ said Byzas.

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Little Red Riding Hood

There was an illness in the world. It went everywhere. It went into cities, towns and villages. It went inside houses, inside factories, inside people’s thoughts. The people could not see it, but they felt it. At first, it felt like a light wind. But days passed, and then weeks, and the illness started working. It hit men and women, and made them sick for weeks. It took the old and the weak. Everywhere, people were afraid, and cold.

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