Hey everyone! How are you all doing?
It’s my birthday on the 5th of May. Last year, I did a live stream and gave a link to an Amazon wishlist, in case any of you wanted to buy me presents.
Well, this year I’d like to give back. As many of you know, I am a transgender woman living in the United Kingdom.
The situation for transgender people in the UK is very bad right now. There are a lot of negative things said about us in newspapers and on TV, and the public healthcare system doesn’t give us the care we need. To give you an idea, I have been on the waiting list to get treatment on the National Health Service for almost four years, and I will probably be on that waiting list for at least another year.
I use private healthcare, but most transgender people cannot afford this. So for my birthday, I would love it if you could give money to FiveforFive, an organisation that gives money to different transgender organisations in the UK every month.
FiveforFive distributes money to a variety of transgender organisations, but it also gives to individual trans people who need money for housing, food, medicine and surgery. You can give money monthly, like I do, or go to the ‘Give’ page and give a one-time donation in the section that says ‘PayPal one-off giving’.
I would really appreciate anything you can give. Knowing that you’re helping my trans siblings in my country would really make me happy. So go to FiveforFive.co.uk and give whatever you can.
But if you think, ‘Hey, Ariel deserves a treat, too!’ then you can go to EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/HappyBirthday, where I’ve made a little birthday wishlist.
Of course, I completely understand if you don’t have any money to give, or if you don’t want to! That’s completely fine. Just listening to the podcast is enough of a present for me!
OK, let’s start the episode!
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 Aldar Kose’s Magic Coat. You can find a transcript of the episode at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Coat. That’s EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Coat. This contains the full story, as well as my conversation before it.
Today’s story comes from a listener. Rose Sharipova sent in the story to me. She emailed me the story.
So she is from Kazakhstan, and today’s story is a famous story from Kazakhstan. The character Aldar Kose is very famous in Kazakhstan. He is a very kind person, but also a very clever person, and he likes to trick people.
When you trick someone, you are cleverer than them, and you get something from them that they didn’t really want to give you. For example, if your friend has some sweets and you want them, you can say, ‘Look over there!’ While your friend looks away, you take their sweets and eat them. When they look at you, you tell them that a bird took the sweets. Well, that would be a very bad trick, but some people are very good at tricking others.
So Aldar Kose tricks the rich and helps the poor. You might remember another episode, Nasreddin, the Wise Man. This character, Nasreddin, is very similar to Aldar Kose. They are both characters that like to trick other people.
Before I start today’s episode, I just want to talk about a project that some of my listeners are doing.
So Lauren and Selina are two friends who come from France and Germany, and they emailed me to tell me about their project called Journey of the Toothbrush.
Journey of the Toothbrush is a travel project that Lauren and Selina have. They are travelling around the world and posting about it on Instagram.
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So Lauren and Selina’s goals are first, to travel low-budget. This means to travel cheaply. So they’re not staying in big hotels and going to expensive restaurants.
And they want to stay close to local communities. They don’t like big tourism, because big tourism causes a lot of problems in local communities and changes the culture.
They want to get to know their surroundings, find out what the place around them is like, and learn about all the cultures and communities that you find in different countries.
The project is “Journey of the Toothbrush” because, wherever you go, you always need a toothbrush. Everywhere in the world uses toothbrushes, so everyone understands it.
So Lauren and Selina told me that it is a great icebreaker. So an icebreaker is something you can use to start a conversation with someone the first time you meet them. So this idea of the toothbrush is an icebreaker and helps people connect.
Before COVID-19, Lauren and Selina were travelling around Thailand, but unfortunately, because of COVID, they had to come back to Europe last year.
However, that didn’t end their travels. They took their car and converted it into a campervan. So a campervan, also sometimes called an RV, is a big car that you can sleep in, and sometimes it even has a kitchen, or even a bathroom in it. And they are using their campervan to travel through Europe.
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They told me that they love listening to my podcast at night as they fall asleep in different countries around the world, and I think that’s super super lovely.
OK, I’ll just explain some words that are in today’s story.
A scoundrel is a person who tricks other people a lot. Scoundrel is quite an old word, but we sometimes use it now as a joke. Sometimes, it can be a good thing. Like, ‘Oh, you little scoundrel!’ Aldar Kose is definitely a scoundrel. Ron Weasley and Bart Simpson are also scoundrels.
A fox is a small, red animal. It’s a bit like a dog or a wolf, but it is red all over, and it has a big tail. Foxes can be quite dangerous, but you don’t see them very often. However, foxes are more common now in big cities. They go into bins in the night and steal food.
A fur coat is a coat made of fur. Fur is the hair that animals have. Animal fur is much longer than the hair that people have, so it is good for coats. Some people think that having fur coats is bad because animals have to die for them. You can get fake fur, fur made from plastic, but this is bad for the environment.
A hole is an empty space in something. If you have some very old clothes, they will probably have holes in them. You can put your finger in the hole. Some people get very angry and hit their wall, and then they have a hole in their wall. Not a good idea.
When you are very cold, you shiver, you move very quickly and go, ‘Brrr!’ You shiver because it helps your body become warmer. Sometimes when you shiver, your teeth make a noise like [teeth clattering].
A yurt is a special tent that is used in Mongolia, Siberia and Turkey. A tent is a little house that you can carry around and build anywhere. People usually build tents in fields, or use them when they go camping. Afterwards, you go home to your house. However, yurts are used by nomads, people who don’t have a house in any one place. They travel around on horses and build their yurts for periods of time. Yurts are much bigger than normal tents, and have beds in them.
When the wind blows, and the past tense is blew, it goes whoosh whoosh. If the wind is blowing very strongly, it can be hard to walk around.
When you ride a horse, you sometimes have a thing on your boots called spurs. Spurs are sharp metal things on the back of your boot. You put the spurs into the horse to tell it to move. Of course, this hurts the horse, so it makes it move. If you ‘spur on’ a horse, you tell it to move from one place to another.
Swift means fast. If you have a swift horse, you can travel much quicker than with a slow horse.
A fan is a thing you use to make yourself less hot. You move a fan backwards and forwards to push cold air at your face. However, if you don’t have a fan, you can fan yourself. Instead of waving a fan, you wave your hand backwards and forwards. Fanning yourself doesn’t work so well, but it can help a bit if it is very hot.
If you enjoy the podcast and want more, you can support me on Patreon. For just $2 a month you can get exercises with each episode, and for $5, you get an extra story every month, as well as Elevenses with Ariel, a daily conversational podcast for intermediate learners. Last week I talked about financial literacy, new routines, message encryption and child protection, learning to cook and getting ahead of myself. You can support the show and get all the extra content at Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish. That’s Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish.
A big thank-you to my new patrons: Yu Allen and Orathai Thanprasan. Thank you so much. Your support really means a lot to me.
OK, so listen and enjoy!
Aldar Kose’s Magic Coat
You may have heard of the scoundrel, Aldar Kose. Well, let me tell you a story about him, and how he tricked a man.
Once, there was a very cold winter. It was colder than any winter before. If you had a fox fur coat, you would be OK, but they were expensive. Aldar Kose did not have a fox fur coat. He only had an old, cheap coat, and it was full of holes.
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!
‘Come on, little horse,’ he said, and spurred his horse on.
But the horse did not go any faster. It was old and thin, and it was also shivering.
‘When the horse is bad, the road is long,’ he said to himself.
He would have to ride for a long time, and there would be no yurts or fires. What would happen to him? Would he die?
Then, Aldar Kose saw someone far away. It was another man riding a horse. His horse was strong and swift, and Aldar knew it was a rich man.
The scoundrel had an idea. Rich men were often easy to trick. So Aldar Kose opened his coat and stopped shivering, and he sang to himself.
When the rich man rode to him, they stopped and said hello to each other. The rich man was wearing a fox fur coat, but he was still shivering. Aldar Kose, however, had taken off his hat and was fanning himself. He looked like he was sitting under the summer sun, not in a cold field with a cheap coat.
‘How are you not cold?’ asked the rich man. ‘You sit there fanning yourself like it is summer.’
‘You may be cold under your fox fur coat,’ said Aldar, ‘but I am very warm under my coat.’
‘What? How can you be warm in such a coat?’
Aldar opened his mouth wide. ‘You really can’t see it?’
‘What I can see is that your coat is full of holes!’ said the rich man. ‘There is no fur left! How is that warm?’
‘Ah, but that is what makes it so good!’ said the scoundrel. ‘The wind blows in through one hole, and—whoosh!—it blows out through another. And I stay very warm!’
The rich man could not believe it. ‘I must have that magic coat for myself,’ he thought.
But Aldar Kose thought, ‘I must have that rich man’s fox fur coat for myself!’
The rich man said loudly, ‘Sell your coat to me!’
‘No!’ said Aldar Kose. ‘Without my coat, I’ll be so cold!’
‘No you won’t!’ said the rich man. ‘Take my coat. It is warm enough.’
‘Pah!’ said the scoundrel. ‘Your coat for my coat? My coat is much better.’
He turned away with his horse, but the rich man stopped him.
‘Wait! I’ll give you money as well.’
‘I don’t need money,’ said Aldar Kose. ‘But if you give me your horse, I might think about it.’
‘Yes, yes, of course!’
The rich man was very happy. He took off his fox fur coat and jumped off his horse. Aldar Kose put on the fur coat, jumped on the swift horse, spurred it on and rode away.
Now the scoundrel had a good horse and a warm fur coat. He spurred his horse from town to town with his new prizes. In every town, the people came out of their yurts and said, ‘Look, it’s Aldar Kose! Where did you get that wonderful fur coat and swift horse?’
‘I got them by giving a rich man my magic fur coat. It had 70 holes in it!’
And so Aldar Kose told them the story about the rich man and his coat full of holes. He showed them how he had fanned himself and tricked the man. The people laughed and laughed, and they thanked Aldar Kose by giving him yoghurt to drink and fresh bread to eat.
When the laughing finished, Aldar Kose said, ‘You only know if the road is long or short after you have finished it. And you only know if food is good or bad after you have eaten it.’
If you enjoyed the story and want to say thank you, you can buy me a coffee on Ko-Fi. Just go to EasyStoriesInEnglish.com and click the orange button that says Buy me a coffee! Then you’ll be able to send me $3 so that I can buy a coffee, but really, I’ll probably get a bubble tea. And I’ll think of you while I drink it! Thank you for listening, and until next week.