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One-Eyed, Two-Eyed, Three-Eyed (Pre-Intermediate)

New Vocabulary: , , , , ,
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You can listen to the beginner-level version of this story here.


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 pre-intermediate learners. The name of the story is One-Eyed, Two-Eyed, Three-Eyed. You can find a transcript of the episode at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Eye. That’s EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Eye. This contains the full story, as well as my conversation before it.

So on Saturday there was the first live stream from Easy Stories in English! So I went onto YouTube and talked to some of you live, and I think we had a lot of fun. I answered some questions and talked a bit about my life, and we even wrote a little story together. So if you want to watch the video from the live stream, you can go to my YouTube channel, Easy Stories in English, and I’ll put the link in transcript at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Eye.

Since the live stream went well and people liked it, I think I’m going to continue it. So for now, I will keep it at the same time, which means the next live stream will be on Saturday 4th April at 13:00 British Summer Time, which is GMT, Greenwich Mean Time, +1, because on Sunday the clocks changed. The clocks went forward an hour for summertime. So be careful because maybe the time has not changed in your country, but it has changed in the UK and in most of Europe.

So once again, the next live stream will be on Saturday 4th April at 13:00 British Summer Time, GMT+1.

If you want to get an email before the live stream starts, like an hour before, you can sign up to the email newsletter. Just to go EasyStoriesInEnglish.com and fill in the box. If you sign up to the newsletter, you will also get my weekly email with language-learning tips. I’m going to send out the first email this Friday, so make sure you sign up now so you can hear about my top five websites for learning English.

So, I look forward to seeing more of you at the next live stream! It’s going to be a lot of fun.

OK, I’ll just explain some words that are in today’s story.

An academic is someone who works in a university. Lecturers and professors are academics. Actually, my father is an academic. He specialises in German ecocriticism, which means analysing German novels and films from the viewpoint of nature and climate change. It is very specific!

A fringe, by Keffyju under CC SA 1.0

A fringe is a piece of hair that goes over your forehead. In America, they say “bangs”. You have to cut the front part of your hair short so that it goes into a fringe. If your fringe grows too long, it gets into your eyes and is annoying. Personally, I have very long hair, and I don’t want a fringe, because if one day you don’t want a fringe anymore, it’s very hard to grow out.

Your lap is the area of your leg above your knees. When you sit down, you might put a book in your lap. Parents often let their children sit in their laps.

Move aside means to move to one side, move out of the way. So maybe you want to go down a small road but there is a rock in the way, so you would move it aside and keep walking.

A witch is an evil woman, a very bad woman, who does magic. Witches go [cackle]. They have black cats as pets, they have big black hats and they fly on broomsticks. In Harry Potter, Hermione is a very successful witch. The musical Wicked, which is one of my favourite musicals, is about witches.

A horse hoof, by JoRe under CC BY-SA 3.0

A hoof, and the plural is hooves, is the foot of a cow, a pig, a goat, and so on. Basically, these animals don’t have feet like us. Their feet are very hard, and when they walk it sounds like clop clop. To protect horse’s hooves, people put horseshoes on them.

A horn is a sharp bone that some animals have on their heads. For example, bulls, goats and rhinoceroses all have horns. Usually, horns are used to fight. For example, male deer, or stags, have very complicated horns that they use to fight each other.

A miracle is when something absolutely amazing happens, but there is no explanation for how it happened. In the Bible, Jesus Christ performs, does, many miracles. For example, he turns water into wine. These days, people usually don’t believe in miracles, and think that there is always a scientific explanation.

Bend, and the past tense is “bent”, is when you take something straight and make it not straight. For example, when you walk you bend your legs. If you bend a small piece of wood, a stick, it might break. Psychics, people with psychic powers, can bend spoons using their minds.

Roll is when you move something by turning it around. So balls roll around, because they are round. You can also roll up a piece of paper and hit someone with it. When cars move, their wheels roll along the ground.

If you enjoy the podcast and want more, you can support us on Patreon. For just $2 a month you can get exercises with each episode, and for $5 you get an extra story every month. You can support us at Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish. That’s Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish.

A big thank-you to our new patrons, Yvonne Bachmann, Frauke Lenz and Oscar Garcia. Thank you so much. Your support really means a lot to us.

OK, so listen and enjoy!

One-Eyed, Two-Eyed, Three-Eyed

There was once an old woman, who had three daughters. The eldest daughter had three eyes, so she was called Three-Eyed. The youngest daughter had one eye, so she was called One-Eyed. The middle daughter had two eyes, so she was called Two-Eyed. Three-Eyed was beautiful, and One-Eyed was very clever, but Two-Eyed was ugly, and not very clever at all. She was, however, very hard-working. Her sisters hated her, because she had two eyes, like normal people, and her mother hated her because she was not special like her sisters.

One day, the mother decided it was time for her daughters to get married.

‘Three-Eyed will marry a rich businessman, since she is so beautiful. One-Eyed will marry an academic, since she is so clever.’

‘And who will I marry, Mother?’ asked Two-Eyed.

‘Stupid girl!’ she cried. ‘You will not marry anyone. You will stay at home and look after your dear mother.’

So the old woman prepared her eldest and youngest daughters for marriage. She painted a second eye onto One-Eyed’s face, so that it looked like she had two eyes. Then she took some horse hair, and made a fringe to put on Three-Eyed’s head, so that her third eye could not be seen.

‘There!’ she said. ‘Now who wouldn’t want to marry you?’

A few days later, a man came round looking for a wife.

‘Come in, come in!’ said the old woman. ‘Perhaps you would like to marry my eldest daughter, who is very pretty.’

The man looked at Three-Eyed and said, ‘Hmm, I think not.’

‘Well, perhaps you would prefer my youngest daughter? She is very clever.’

The man saw One-Eyed and said, ‘She is not my type. Where is the middle daughter?’

‘Oh no, she is ugly and stupid. You do not want to marry her.’

Two-Eyed was hiding in the next room. She had seen the man through the window, and he was very handsome. So she walked into the room and smiled at him.

‘Ah! This is the daughter I want to marry.’

‘No, no!’ said the mother. ‘She does not want to get married.’

‘But Mother, I—’


And the old woman pushed the man out of the door and shut it. Suddenly, the old woman, Three-Eyed and One-Eyed all turned on Two-Eyed.

‘You think you’re so clever, don’t you?’ said the mother. ‘You cannot get married. I already told you.’

‘Ugly girl!’ said Three-Eyed.

‘Stupid girl!’ said One-Eyed.

Two-Eyed started crying, and ran upstairs to her bed.

The mother and the two favourite daughters thought about what to do. They needed to make sure no man wanted to marry Two-Eyed.

‘I have an idea!’ said the mother. ‘We will give her less food, and make her work hard in the fields. She will be hungry, and sad. She will get thin and her skin will go hard. Nobody will want to marry her!’

So early the next day, Three-Eyed and One-Eyed pulled Two-Eyed out of bed and told her she had to work in the fields.

‘What about breakfast?’ she asked.

‘No breakfast for you, lazy!’ said Three-Eyed.

So the girl went to the field and started working. She watched the sun rise as she did so. It was a beautiful day, and she did not mind working hard, because her lunch would taste much better afterwards.

A few hours later, a goat came up to her.

‘Meeeh! Good day, Two-Eyed.’

‘How do you know my name?’ the girl asked. ‘And, oh! How can you talk?’

‘I am no ordinary goat, just as you are no ordinary girl.’

‘Oh, but I am ordinary. I am not beautiful like my older sister, and I am not clever like my younger sister. And I only have two eyes, just like you and everyone else.’

‘Oh, you are special. You just do not know it yet. But that is not important. You must be hungry.’

‘Yes, I am quite hungry. But when I finish working we will have lunch, I am sure.’

The goat shook his head. ‘They will only give you a third of the food they eat. They made a plan last night. They will give you less and less food, so that you get thinner and thinner.’

‘Oh!’ said the girl.

‘But do not worry. As I said, I am no ordinary goat. Say these magic words, and I will help you: “Little goat, little goat, it’s time to eat.” When you are done, say, “Little goat, little goat, it’s time to go.” ’

So the girl said, ‘Little goat, little goat, it’s time to eat.’

Suddenly, the goat started changing. It grew long and square, and turned into a big white table. And on the table were all kinds of food: bread, cheeses, jams, pickles, tomatoes, olives, and so on and so on. The girl was really quite 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.’

The table turned back into a goat and smiled at her.

‘See you tomorrow, Two-Eyed!’ he said, and ran off into the distance.

When Two-Eyed finished her work and came home, lunch was already made. There was bread and cheese and olives, but the food did not look nearly as nice as the food the goat had given her.

‘I suppose you want to eat?’ said the mother.

‘No, thank you!’ said Two-Eyed. ‘I ate plenty of food yesterday.’

For several days, the mother and her two favourite daughters sent Two-Eyed into the fields to work, and she ate food from the goat’s table, and none at home. This made the three mean women think and think, and finally, the mother said, ‘Enough! Tomorrow, One-Eyed, you will go with your sister into the field and find out what is happening. I am sure she is stealing that food from somewhere.’

So the next day, One-Eyed went with Two-Eyed to the fields. But the older sister did not want to work with Two-Eyed, so they sat down together and watched the sky.

‘Sister, put your head in my lap,’ said Two-Eyed. ‘I will sing you a song.’

So One-Eyed put her head in her lap, and Two-Eyed started to sing.

‘Sister, sister, are you asleep?

Or are you awake? Tell me, tell me.’

‘I am awake,’ said One-Eyed.

‘Sister, sister, are you asleep?

Or are you awake? Tell me, tell me.’

‘I am awake,’ said One-Eyed.

Two-Eyed continued to sing, and her voice went quieter and quieter, until finally One-Eyed’s eye closed and she fell asleep, and she did not answer the song. Then, Two-Eyed carefully got up and went and found the goat.

‘Little goat, little goat, it’s time to eat!’

The goat turned into a table, and the girl ate and ate, while her sister slept and slept. Then she said, ‘Little goat, little goat, it’s time to go!’

The goat went away, and Two-Eyed went and woke up her sister.

‘Come on, sister! It is time to go home.’

‘Oh!’ said One-Eyed. ‘Did I sleep for that long?’

That evening, their mother and Three-Eyed asked One-Eyed what she saw, but the girl told them she had fallen asleep.

‘You stupid girl!’ cried her mother.

‘But I did see one thing,’ One-Eyed said. ‘When she woke me up, she had some cheese on her mouth.’

‘Hmm,’ said the mother. ‘Tomorrow, Three-Eyed, you will go with her to the fields. And you must be more careful than your sister!’

So the next day, Two-Eyed and Three-Eyed went to the fields.

‘Sister, let me put my head in your lap,’ said Three-Eyed.

So they sat down, and Three-Eyed put her head in Two-Eyed’s lap.

‘Sister, sing me a song.’

So Two-Eyed sang her song.

‘Sister, sister, are you asleep?

Or are you awake? Tell me, tell me.’

‘I am awake,’ said Three-Eyed.

‘Sister, sister, are you asleep?

Or are you awake? Tell me, tell me.’

‘I am awake,’ said Three-Eyed.

Two-Eyed continued to sing, and her voice went quieter and quieter, until finally Three-Eyed’s eyes closed, and she did not answer the song. Then, Two-Eyed carefully got up and went and found the goat.

But Three-Eyed was not asleep. Her two lower eyes were closed, but under her fringe, her third eye was open. Carefully, she moved aside the fringe and watched what Two-Eyed was doing.

‘Little goat, little goat, it’s time to eat!’

Three-Eyed saw the goat turn into a table, and she saw Two-Eyed eat her meal. Then the girl said, ‘Little goat, little goat, it’s time to go!’

That evening, Three-Eyed told her mother and sister everything that had happened. Her mother had never looked so happy before.

‘She is a witch!’ said One-Eyed. ‘We must tell the town, and burn her.’

‘No!’ said the mother. ‘I need someone to do the work here. I have a better idea. I think we will have goat for supper.’

‘Yes,’ said Three-Eyed, ‘but what about the magic goat?’

‘You stupid girl!’ said the mother. ‘We are going to eat the magic goat.’


When Two-Eyed heard about this, she started crying, and she cried and cried all day. Then she fell asleep in her room, and had a strange dream.

In the dream, she was working in the fields, but the goat did not come to her. Instead, an old man visited.

‘They are going to eat the goat,’ he said.

‘What can I do?’ said Two-Eyed.

‘After the meal is finished, take the goat’s hooves and horns. Plant them behind the door. But make sure that nobody sees.’

So that evening, the mother and her two favourite daughters ate goat curry for supper. They made Two-Eyed sit outside and watch them through the window, but the girl did not cry.

After the meal was finished, One-Eyed came and threw all the bones outside.

‘Clean these up!’ she said, and went inside. Two-Eyed waited until they were in bed, then she dug a hole in the ground and planted the hooves and horns inside. Exhausted, she went upstairs to bed.

The next day, a beautiful apple tree had grown by the door. And it was no ordinary apple tree; the apples were made of gold!

‘Daughters, daughters!’ cried the mother. ‘It is a miracle!’

But when she tried to pick the apples, the branches of the tree moved away, and she could not reach them. As Three-Eyed was the tallest, she told her to pick them, but the branches moved away from her hands as well. So she got One-Eyed to stand on Three-Eyed’s shoulders, but the same thing happened, and they both fell down onto the ground.

‘It’s not fair!’ cried One-Eyed. ‘Those are our golden apples!’

The mother looked at Two-Eyed and said, ‘Don’t even think about picking any of these apples, or I will tell the town that you are a witch.’

But when they were not looking, Two-Eyed reached for the tree. The branches bent down to her, and she easily picked one of the beautiful golden apples. She hid it in her dress and went back to work.

A few days later, the man from before came round again.

‘I am still interested in your middle daughter,’ he said. ‘Are you sure she does not want to get married?’

‘Yes, yes!’ said the mother. ‘But it does not matter. The horrible little girl ran away.’

Actually, Two-Eyed was under the bed, because her mother had told her to hide there.

‘Oh, what a beautiful tree you have! These apples look like they are made of gold.’

The man thought for a moment, and decided that Three-Eyed and One-Eyed might not be bad wives, but they had to be hard-working. So he decided to test them.

‘Would your lovely daughters be able to pick me some apples?’

So the mother sent Three-Eyed and One-Eyed to the tree, but as much as they tried, they could not pick a single apple.

‘How funny,’ the man said. He did not sound happy.

Two-Eyed knew she had to do something. So she waited until the man was inside again, and rolled the golden apple from under the bed. The man looked down and saw it.

‘Oh! Here is one of the apples.’ He picked it up. ‘But where did it come from…?’

‘I don’t know!’ said the mother, but she grabbed the apple out of his hand. ‘Three-Eyed must have picked it earlier.’

The man looked around, and saw some eyes looking out from under the bed. He went down and pulled out Two-Eyed.

‘Ah, your daughter has not run away at all!’ he said, smiling. ‘Your mother says that you do not want to get married. Is this true?’

‘No, no, not at all!’ said Two-Eyed. ‘I would love to marry you.’

‘Wonderful!’ said the man. ‘Let us go and get married right now.’

‘No, you stupid girl!’ shrieked the mother. ‘That wasn’t the plan!’

But Two-Eyed and her new husband did not hear her, and walked out of the house. They stopped in the garden.

‘I suppose you want me to pick you some apples?’ said Two-Eyed. She wanted to show him that she was hard-working.

‘Oh no, not at all,’ he said. ‘You are the perfect wife. I just know it.’

So they went and got married, and lived happily ever after. And the mother and her two favourite daughters never, in their whole lives, could pick an apple from the tree.


If you enjoyed the story, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Go to Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish. That’s Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish. For just a few dollars a month you can get extra episodes, exercises, and much more. Thank you for listening, and until next week.


14 responses to “One-Eyed, Two-Eyed, Three-Eyed (Pre-Intermediate)”

  1. kawthar avatar

    that’s great i love this story

    1. Ariel Goodbody avatar
      Ariel Goodbody

      Glad you enjoyed it, kawthar!

  2. that’s great ! I really lovethis story

  3. kawthar avatar

    that’s great!
    I really love this story

  4. Danou Dessens avatar
    Danou Dessens

    Thank you a lot for this beautiful story.

    1. Ariel Goodbody avatar
      Ariel Goodbody

      You’re very welcome, Danou 🙂

      1. Yusuf avatar

        My first podcast started with the story to learn english and i enjoyed it,thanks a lot and keep continue please.

        1. Ariel Goodbody avatar
          Ariel Goodbody

          You’re very welcome, Yusuf! I’m glad you’re enjoying the podcast 🙂

  5. Jassi avatar

    I enjoyed this story.,👌👌👌I love your way to tell story

    1. Ariel Goodbody avatar
      Ariel Goodbody

      Thanks a bunch, Jassi! 🙂

  6. harvey avatar

    this is a really goooooood story. I love it so much!!! thank you for your reading, also your voice and tone are so beautiful!

    1. Ariel Goodbody avatar
      Ariel Goodbody

      Aww, thank you so much, Harvey! 🙂

  7. fatoş avatar

    it is very nice story. i love it very much.thank you 🙂

    1. Ariel Goodbody avatar
      Ariel Goodbody

      You’re very welcome, fatoş 🙂

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