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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 The Very Hungry Dragon. You can find a transcript of the episode at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/DragonL1. That’s EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/DragonL1. This is a levelled-down version of an intermediate story. You can listen to the intermediate-level version of The Very Hungry Dragon at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Dragon.
OK, I’ll just explain some words that are in today’s story.
A jewel is a type of treasure. Jewels are special stones that are very pretty and cost a lot of money. Diamonds are the most expensive jewels, but there are also rubies, which are red, emeralds, which are green, amethysts, which are purple, and so on. These days, people put jewels in earrings and on dresses to make them look nice.
A dragon is a magical animal, an animal that is not real. However, we find stories of dragons in all cultures around the world. Dragons can breathe fire and fly, and they like to eat people. Dragons like to collect treasure, gold and jewels, and hide it in their home. In Game of Thrones, Daenerys had several dragons.
Taste is how food feels in your mouth. Basically, it is whether it is good food or not. For example, I think McDonald’s tastes good, but some people think it tastes bad. I think dark chocolate tastes better than milk chocolate, but you might think the opposite. If something tastes of nothing, then it does not have a strong taste.
When you spit, and the past tense is spat, you throw water or food out of your mouth. In the UK, people don’t spit outside, but in the past, people used to eat tobacco and spit it out. If you eat some very bad food, you might spit it out.
Smell is when you go [sniff sniff]. The past tense is smelled or smelt. You smell with your nose. Usually, you smell without thinking. If food smells very bad, you shouldn’t eat it. If a person smells very bad, you shouldn’t kiss them!
Ignore is when you don’t look at something or don’t listen to something. For example, you might see someone you know outside, but you don’t like them. You ignore them. You think, ‘I don’t see you!’ but you really do see them. It is very bad to ignore someone when they are talking to you!
A cart is a small vehicle, like a car, but it doesn’t use petrol or electricity to move. Usually an animal like a horse pulls a cart, and it is used to move food and goods for sale. These days, carts are not very common. People use lorries instead.
When you eat or drink something all in one go, you eat it very fast. For example, maybe you have a bar of chocolate, and you put it all in your mouth and eat it as one piece. Usually, you would break up the chocolate, but this time you’re eating it all in one go. Of course, if you eat lots of things all in one go, you might hurt yourself!
Your reputation is what people think about you. If you have a good reputation, then people think you are good, and if you have a bad reputation, then people think you are bad. If you want to change your reputation, then you have to change how you look, how you talk and what you do.
A freezer is a piece of furniture in the kitchen. Freezers make things very cold, colder than a fridge. If you put water in a freezer, it turns into ice. You also put ice cream in a freezer. Many fridges have freezers in them.
When you see a friend or someone from your family, you might hug them. You put your arms around them and hold them very close. In some countries, people hug more than in others. In Spain, people hug a lot, and kiss each others’ cheeks. In Japan, people don’t hug very often.
From now on means ‘starting from now’. Let’s say that in the past, you never had chocolate in the house. But your boyfriend loves chocolate, and when he doesn’t have chocolate, he gets very sad. So you decide that you will start buying one bar of chocolate for him a week, and he can eat it all. From now on, you will buy one bar of chocolate a week. God, I’m really talking a lot about chocolate today, aren’t I?
I’m recording the rest of this year’s episodes in advance, so I don’t have any new Patreon supporters to announce today. So I’ll just say thank you to everyone who’s supporting me now, or has supported me in the past! I’ve been doing the Patreon for over a year now, and it’s been really wonderful to see it grow and interact with you all on there.
OK, so listen and enjoy!
The Very Hungry Dragon
Once, there was a very hungry dragon. She was called Grella. Every day, Grella ate five meals. For breakfast she had ten bananas, five eggs and three slices of toast. For her eleven o’clock snack she had twenty chocolate biscuits and three cups of tea. For lunch she had twenty bowls of soup and thirty loaves of bread. After lunch, she was very tired, so she slept for an hour, and when she woke up she had some pickles. Finally, for supper she had a roast pig with honey.
This was all good. Grella was a dragon, and dragons are always hungry. But it was strange, because Grella never ate jewels.
‘I don’t understand!’ said Grella’s mother. ‘Soup and pickles and pig are all good, but you need jewels! Jewels are very important.’
But Grella hated jewels. They were hard, and they tasted of nothing. At every meal, her mother gave her a plate of jewels, but she never ate them. Sometimes, her mother made her eat them, but she spat them out later. So her mother tried changing how the jewels looked. She made them look like vegetables. But Grella smelled them and knew they were not the right food, and threw them on the floor.
One day, Grella’s mother got angry.
‘Grella, if you don’t eat your jewels, then you can’t eat anything else.’
She took away the bananas, and the eggs, and the bread and the biscuits and the pickles. She filled every cupboard with fresh jewels, and for every meal the family only had jewels.
‘Now, eat your dinner, Grella.’
Grella looked at the plate of green jewels in front of her.
‘I won’t.’ She flew to her room and shut the door.
For a few days, she stayed in her room. Her mother left plates of jewels outside her door but she ignored them. She thought that her mother would get very worried and bring her toast, but this did not happen. For several days, Grella stayed in her room and got more and more hungry.
Finally, she could not stop herself. One night, she went into the kitchen.
She picked up a jewel and looked at it. It just looked so strange. But all the other dragons in the world ate them…
Grella ate the jewel. It tasted horrible!
‘Eugh!’ she said.
But she felt less hungry, so she ate another, and then another.
By the next morning, Grella had eaten all the jewels in the house. Her mother was very happy.
‘Wonderful, just wonderful! Wait here, Grella. I will go and get some more jewels for breakfast.’
Her mother brought three bowls of jewels back with her. She said she stole them from a king’s castle. It was enough for a whole family for a week. But when Grella’s mother wasn’t there, Grella ate all of the jewels herself.
‘Grella!’ said her mother. ‘You didn’t eat all those jewels, did you?’
‘I did,’ said Grella. ‘And I want more. Where’s dessert?’
‘Those were all the jewels I got!’ said her mother. ‘Look, I can go and make some toast if you want.’
But Grella could only think about eating jewels. She needed more, and she needed them now.
Grella ran to the window and jumped out, flying away.
‘Grella, where are you going?!’ shouted her mother. ‘It’s a school day!’
But Grella didn’t hear her. She flew through the air, and far away, she smelled jewels. She followed the smell, flying over the mountains where they lived. Finally, she found a road. On the road, there was a cart with some people.
And the cart was full of jewels.
Grella’s family had taught her to be a good dragon. She knew that it was bad to kill people, because then they would come and kill dragons. But she just wanted to have some fun.
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.
Grella flew around for a whole week, stealing all kinds of jewels. People soon found out about her. Young dragons thought she was amazing, so they started stealing jewels like her. Of course, the adult dragons thought she was very bad. Grella was giving them a bad reputation, and doing very dangerous things. Anyway, she should really be in school!
Finally, after eating so many jewels, Grella grew fat and heavy, so she flew home to sleep.
But her mother wanted to speak with her.
‘Grella, I can’t believe you did that!’
‘I thought you wanted me to eat jewels?’
‘I— I— Not like this! I was so worried about you, and now everyone is talking about our family and saying bad things. It was very bad of you!’
Grella’s mother shouted at her, but Grella ignored her. She felt very tired, and she could not stop herself from closing her eyes…
When she woke up, it was night. She had no idea how long she had slept, but she was sure it had been a very long time. She knew this because she was very hungry, so it was time to go and eat some jewels.
Grella went to the kitchen and opened the fridge.
No jewels there.
So she went and opened the cupboards.
No jewels there.
She looked in the freezer.
No jewels there!
She looked in the whole house, but she could not find a jewel anywhere!
But she did find something in her brother’s room. Under his bed he had lots of food: pickles and biscuits and chocolate and bread and all sorts of soup. Grella pulled the food out, took it to the kitchen and looked at it.
They were not beautiful like jewels. They smelled strange. Some were hard, but some were really soft. They had all sorts of different colours. Slowly, she picked up a chocolate biscuit and ate it.
Oh, it tasted so good!
Grella started to eat. Several hours later, her parents woke up and came into the kitchen. Almost all the food was gone! Grella lay down on the floor and looked very happy.
‘Oh, my daughter!’ said her mother. ‘My daughter is back!’
She went and hugged Grella, and the young dragon felt a bit sick.
‘I don’t understand you!’ she said. ‘First you want me to eat jewels, then you shout at me for it, and now you’re happy that I’m eating other food!’
‘I know, I know. I’m sorry. I was wrong.’
She started crying, and hugged Grella again. Mothers were so strange!
‘My food!’ said Grella’s brother. ‘Grella, that was my food!’
‘Don’t worry,’ said their mother, drying her eyes. ‘From now on, we will have all kinds of food in this house. There will be jewels for dragons who want them, and other food for dragons who want that.’
And so everything was normal again. Every day, Grella ate five meals. For breakfast she had ten bananas, five eggs, and three slices of toast. For her eleven o’clock snack she had twenty chocolate biscuits and three cups of tea. For lunch she had twenty bowls of soup and thirty loaves of bread. After lunch, she was very tired, so she slept for an hour, and when she woke up she had some pickles. Finally, for supper she had a roast pig with honey.
Oh, and sometimes she even ate a jewel.
I hope you enjoyed today’s story. It’s one that I originally wrote quite a long time ago, but I really like it. You could probably hear in my voice, I really enjoy telling this story.
Anyway, recently I’ve been having ‘winter brain’. So winter is the coldest season of the year, and your brain is the big pink thing that sits in your head and helps you think. I talked more about it on Patreon, on Elevenses with Ariel, my other podcast.
But basically, it’s winter and I’m sleeping more, eating more and socialising a lot less, I’m talking to people a lot less.
Mainly, I’m playing lots of video games. I don’t know about you, but I love video games. However, I don’t play them all the time. I usually only play two or three games a year, and I’ll play them really intensely for a few months, and then for the rest of the time I don’t play them so much.
So I was playing a video game called Hades for a while, and I was really obsessed with Hades. I think I played Hades for over 120 hours, so, oops!
At the moment, however, I am playing Fire Emblem: Three Houses. It is a strategy RPG. So basically, you have an army and you choose where they go and how they attack enemies and you have to think a lot and plan out your moves. It’s a bit like chess, but in my opinion, it’s a lot more fun than chess.
Although, to be honest, I’m not actually playing Fire Emblem so much now? In the past week, I’ve gotten really into baking. I’ve started baking loads. So I’ve been watching a great TV show called The Great British Bake Off, which is a baking competition show. It’s actually really popular here and there are different versions in lots of different countries. So, yeah! But I’ll get back to the gaming, I’m sure.
What about you? Are you a gamer? Come and let me know! Leave a comment on the transcript at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/DragonL1.
And, if you’re feeling generous, there’s an orange button under the episode, or on EasyStoriesInEnglish.com, that says Buy me a coffee! If you click that button, you can send me $3 so that I can buy a coffee… or a cupcake, or a hot chocolate, or… I don’t know! Lots of things. I guess there are lots of things you can get with that much money, huh?
Anyway, thank you for listening, I hope you enjoyed the episode, and I’ll see you next week. Bye!