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 Lion and the Mouse. You can find a transcript of the episode at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Lion. That’s EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Lion. This contains the full story, as well as my conversation before it.
So today we have another famous Aesop’s Fable, or “Aysop’s Fable”—I’m not actually sure which is correct. This one has a lion in it, and lions are my favourite animal. I am what you might call a “child at heart”. I have lots of stuffed animals.
“Stuffed animal” is the word we use in the United Kingdom for toys that children have. You know, when they’re animals that aren’t real, obviously, they’re like teddy bears. I think in America they call them “plushes”. So I have lots of stuffed lions.
Of course, because I love lions, I also love the Disney film The Lion King. I actually know a fun fact about it. Did you know that it’s the only Disney film that’s been dubbed into an African language?
When I say “dubbed”, I mean when people record the voices to go over a film.
So the African language that The Lion King was dubbed into was Zulu. And this is a bit of how that sounds:
I think it’s fantastic that they did this. I’m a big language nerd. I actually rewatched the whole film dubbed in Zulu even though I don’t understand Zulu.
Currently, they’re remaking The Lion King. They keep saying that they’re making a “live-action version of The Lion King”. So, live-action is where you use real, human actors, as opposed to animation. But that doesn’t make any sense, because all of the characters are animals. So I think what they mean is that they’re going to record real actors and use technology to put their faces on CGI animals. So, 3D animation. It sounds like it could be great, but it will probably be horrifying, very very scary looking.
But Beyoncé is going to play Nala the lion. So whatever we get, we will get fabulous singing from Beyoncé, that we know for sure.
We got the first comment on our blog the other day from Serdar Güngör. Serdar, I hope I pronounced that correctly. Serdar asked if we could put up more beginner stories. So, here they are! I’m trying to keep the majority of stories beginner stories. So Serdar, hopefully this will be good for you, but do let me know if you want even more beginner stories.
I would really love to hear what you think about the show and if you have any suggestions. So do go and leave a comment, like Serdar. Go to EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Lion and type in a comment. And also remember there you can read the whole transcript for the episode, so the entire episode in text format.
Before the story I will just explain one word. That word is “trap”. A trap is something that you lay on the ground to catch an animal. The most common type of trap is a mouse trap. So a mouse trap is a small, wooden device that you put on the floor. You put a piece of cheese on it. Then the mouse comes and sees the piece of cheese and when the mouse tries to eat the cheese they are caught in the trap, and they usually die.
Of course, people can also get caught in traps. Companies often lay traps for people. These traps are fast food, alcohol, cigarettes, and so on. So hopefully you haven’t been caught in any traps recently! Hopefully nobody’s laid a trap for you.
Listen and enjoy!
The Lion and the Mouse
In the Great Forest there was a small mouse called Gentle. Gentle was a very sad mouse. He lived alone in a tree. All the other animals in the forest hated him. They said that he was weak and silly. All he wanted was a friend.
One day, Gentle was walking through the forest and talking to himself.
‘Who will be friends with a mouse like me? I am not smart like the other mice. I am not funny like the foxes. I am not quick like the birds. And I am not strong like the lion.’
There was one lion who lived in the Great Forest. The lion was called Crush. Everyone was scared of Crush the lion.
Gentle looked up. Of all animals to meet, he saw Crush was in front of him. He was lying a few metres ahead. But the lion was sleeping.
Gentle should have run away. Crush the lion was very strong, and very dangerous. But Gentle wanted to stop being so weak. None of the other mice went near Crush. If he went near him, he could tell the other mice. They would think he was strong. They would want to be his friend!
Carefully, Gentle climbed onto Crush and looked at him. He had big, round ears. He had lots of hair, and a big tail. Gentle thought that the lion looked amazing. He climbed onto his back, and then his tail, because he wanted to look at the tail more.
But then Crush woke up!
‘Aha, there is a mouse on my back!’
He took Gentle in his hand. Crush had caught Gentle, and Gentle could not leave. Crush looked very hungry.
‘Please don’t eat me!’ said Gentle. ‘I am only a small, silly mouse.’
‘You are very silly indeed! You walked onto me, the great lion of the forest. Usually I have to catch my own lunch! But today, my lunch comes walking up to me. Yum yum!’
Gentle didn’t know what to do. The lion looked so hungry. If he was a smarter mouse, he would tell him jokes. If Crush thought he was funny, maybe he would let him live.
But Gentle wasn’t funny. He could not think of one single joke.
But maybe there was another way…
‘If you let me live, I will help you in the future.’
Crush laughed. ‘You are so small and weak!’ he said. ‘How could you help me?’
‘I will! Believe me. One day you will need my help.’
Crush laughed and laughed and laughed. He laughed so much that he had to hold his stomach. Gentle jumped out of his hand and ran away. He ran until he was far, far away from the lion.
Gentle was very lucky to escape Crush. He told the other mice what happened. He thought they might think he was strong now, or clever. But the other mice didn’t believe him. They said he made the story up. Gentle was still sad, and he still had no friends.
A few days later, two men came into the forest. They wanted to catch a lion. So they put up a trap. The trap was made of some ropes. When the lion walked into the rope trap, he would be caught.
And that is what happened. Crush walked into the ropes, and was caught. He couldn’t move.
The lion shouted and cried. ‘Help! Help!’ he shouted. But nobody came to help him.
Gentle was sleeping at the time. He woke up from his sleep and heard the lion shouting. He went and saw Crush caught in the ropes.
‘Oh no, it is you!’ said Crush. ‘I need help. You won’t be able to help me. You are just a weak mouse!’
Gentle thought for a while. He should run away. He knew that it was dangerous to go near Crush. And Crush was saying unkind things about him. But he had escaped last time, hadn’t he? He would show the lion that he was a clever mouse.
Gentle climbed onto the ropes. There was one big rope. He started to bite it.
‘What are you doing?’ said Crush.
Gentle continued biting the rope. Finally, the rope broke. Crush was able to move out of the trap. He was free!
‘I don’t believe it,’ said Crush. ‘You did help me. You are small, and you are certainly not strong. But you are smart.’
‘I am not!’ said Gentle. ‘All the other mice say I’m silly. The foxes laugh at me, and the birds fly away when I come near.’
‘You are smart. But you are smart in a different way to them. You saved my life. What can I give you?’
‘You don’t have to give me anything,’ said Gentle. Then he thought. ‘Well, maybe there is one thing…’
‘What is it?’ said Crush. ‘I can cut off some of my hair, because you like it so much. I can kill your enemies for you. I can tell the other mice that you are smart and strong and funny. If they laugh at you, I will eat them.’
‘No, no. I don’t want any of that.’
‘What do you want? What shall I do?’
‘Will you be my friend?’
I hope you enjoyed the story. You can support the podcast by leaving a review on iTunes. Search for Easy Stories in English, give us a star rating, and say what you like about the show. It would really help us grow. Thank you for listening, and until next week.