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 The Lion in Love. This is chapter two of three. You can find a transcript of the episode at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/LionLove2. That’s EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/LionLove2. This contains the full story, as well as my conversation before it.
If you haven’t listened to chapter one of today’s story, do go back and listen to it first. It’s at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/LionLove1. This story does really require you to listen to each chapter in order.
So recently it’s been very interesting with the podcast because my real-life students have started listening. It’s really exciting to hear people in real life telling me that they listen and that they enjoy it, and it’s really good to be able to use my own stories in my classes. So if any of my students are listening to this: Hi! I hope you’re doing well, and make sure you go to bed on time so you’re not tired in class! Sorry, I’m being like a mother.
So I’m a really big fan of Carly Rae Jepsen. If you don’t know her, she made a very famous pop song called Call Me Maybe:
And since then she’s released a really great album called E•MO•TION. Recently she announced she’s going on tour, so the other day I tried to buy tickets when they went on sale in London for her show. So I went to the ticket site at ten a.m. when it started and I tried to buy one and it said they couldn’t find the tickets. It didn’t say that all the tickets had been sold. So I kept refreshing the page, kept restarting the page, trying to buy the tickets. And I did this for about half an hour before I finally gave up, because it was taking up so much time.
I don’t go to concerts very often, but if I do, I get so frustrated by how buying tickets works nowadays. It seems like the Internet was supposed to make this kind of thing easier, but it’s actually made it harder, because everyone knows that if they go online at this specific time they can be the first to buy tickets. And that means everyone goes online at the same time. That means the website gets really slow. And it means the tickets might sell out within five minutes, or even five seconds, if you’re really unlucky.
Not too far from where I live is Glastonbury, which is a small village, and it hosts the very famous Glastonbury Festival, which is the most famous music festival in the world. My sister loves Glastonbury Festival. She’s gone more years than she hasn’t gone. She tries to go pretty much every year, but it’s really dependent on if she can buy tickets or not. So all of her friends get together on the day they release tickets and they all log in to their laptops at the same time to try and buy tickets, and usually only some of them get them. And I think sometimes, only one or two of them will actually be able to buy tickets. It’s just really hard to get Glastonbury tickets.
I think, even if I did want to go, I would find this so frustrating, because once you think about going, you sort of expect that you will get the tickets, and you start thinking about how much fun it will be, and you start planning. And then you don’t get the tickets and it’s so annoying!
But anyway, I’m not too annoyed about the Carly Rae Jepsen show. Actually, another pop artist I really like called Marina and the Diamonds recently released a new album called Love, so that made me feel great, because I really love her music as well. If you couldn’t guess, I’m a big pop music fan, although I especially like Carly Rae Jepsen and Marina and the Diamonds.
OK, so I only have one word to describe before we start today. That word is “doe”. Last time, I taught you the word “stag”. So a stag is a male deer, and a doe is a female deer. When I think of this word, I think of a song from The Sound of Music: Do, a deer, a female deer/ Re, a drop of golden sun/ Mi, a name I call myself/ Fa, a long long way to run.
I apologise if you don’t like my singing, but I like my singing, so I’m going to sing on the show! I’ve never actually seen The Sound of Music, which is a bit ridiculous because it’s a very popular film over here, but I’ve heard my mum sing this song so many times that I at least know the beginning of it.
OK, so remember, you can find the full transcript of the episode, so the episode in text format with the conversation and story, at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/LionLove2. That’s EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/LionLove2.
OK, so listen and enjoy!
The Lion in Love Chapter 2
The news of Crush’s proposal spread quickly. The mice argued, the foxes made jokes, and the birds flew from one tree to another, telling each other of the news. By sunset the same day, there was not a creature in the Great Forest who had not heard about Crush and Charcoal.
Naturally, most were shocked. They could not believe that Crush, the great lion who spent just as much time shouting as he did hunting, had really fallen in love. Some thought it was some great trick of his, to eat up Webhorn’s family, but they quickly agreed that Crush was too stupid to think up a plan like that. Others said that the deer were playing a trick, that Charcoal had used some kind of magic on Crush, and that Webhorn wanted to get rid of Crush to make the forest safer.
Worst of all, the foxes started saying, ‘Well, that’s what he gets for hanging around with that ridiculous mouse.’ The other mice wanted to make it clear that they were different from Gentle, so they started saying, ‘That’s what he gets for hanging around with Gentle, the stupidest of all mice.’ This spread all throughout the Great Forest, until everyone was saying it.
Of course, nobody insulted Crush. They didn’t respect him, but they were so afraid of him that they pretended to respect him. If they laughed at him for his proposal, they knew he would slice them open. After all, he still had his teeth and claws. So they blamed Gentle instead, because nobody, apart from Crush the lion and Steady the tortoise, liked Gentle.
Crush had accepted Webhorn’s offer, but Gentle could see that he wasn’t feeling so confident about it. Crush went together with Gentle to visit Steady, the wisest animal in the forest, to ask for advice.
‘So the great lion has fallen in love,’ said Steady.
‘I have! But oh, can I really live without my teeth and claws?’
‘Has there ever been a day when you have not needed them?’ Steady asked.
‘Well, no… But I might change my diet! I mean, I have been trying, with the help of Gentle.’
‘Hmm.’ Steady did not sound convinced. ‘But Crush, how well do you know the doe? Charcoal is beautiful, yes, but she is very different from you.’
‘But I looked into her eyes, and I knew it was right! It has to be!’
‘And what does she think of you?’
Crush opened his mouth to speak, but he had nothing to say. Finally, he said, ‘She must think I am strong and handsome, because I am the strongest animal in the forest, after all! But maybe she thinks I am ugly… No, that couldn’t be true.’
‘And what do you know about her?’
‘She is, uh, very pretty… Oh, alright. I know almost nothing about her. But true love is more important than that!’
‘I have an idea,’ said Gentle. ‘I know that Webhorn does not want you to be alone with her, because you are dangerous. But perhaps I could bring her a message from you? Nobody will care if Gentle, the stupidest mouse in the forest, talks to her.’
‘I think that is a wonderful idea,’ said Steady. ‘Though I am not sure who this “Gentle, the stupidest mouse in all the forest” is, because I can only see “Gentle, the kindest animal who ever lived”. Perhaps my eyes are getting worse than I thought.’
Gentle went red.
‘That’s a brilliant idea!’ cried Crush. ‘Oh, but now I must think of what I want to say to her!’
Gentle and Crush sat inside his cave while Crush thought of what to say to Charcoal. Gentle thought it was best to start simple, with just “Hello, how are you?” But Crush was writing poems, comparing her eyes to the moonlight, and all kinds of other ridiculous things.
Finally, he said to Gentle, ‘Oh, just ask her how she is!’
So Gentle went out of the cave to find Charcoal. Because she lived on the other side of the forest, it would take him hours to get there. Luckily, Speedy the rabbit was passing by.
‘Jump on my back!’ said Speedy. ‘I’ll take you to Charcoal in no time.’
As Speedy ran across the forest, Gentle told him about everything. Speedy had heard the stories, of course, but he wanted to know the truth. However, by the time Gentle had finished speaking, Speedy didn’t seem to care about Crush and Charcoal.
‘You’re taking a message for Crush, eh? That’s an interesting idea… Lots of animals need to send messages to each other, you know.’
‘Yes, but that doesn’t matter right now! I’m worried about Crush’s wellbeing. Oh, I’m sorry for shouting. I just don’t want him to make the wrong decision.’
They saw Charcoal in the distance, and Speedy dropped Gentle suddenly.
‘Alright, Gentle, see you later! I’m off to try something out.’
And he was gone before Gentle could say goodbye.
Gentle felt very nervous, going up to Charcoal. She was incredibly beautiful, although he was not interested in deer. She was eating an apple, laying against a tree, when Gentle came up to her.
‘G-good afternoon, Charcoal.’
Charcoal looked up. She hadn’t seen Gentle. She said nothing, so Gentle continued.
‘I am Gentle, a friend of Crush the lion. Well, his only friend, to be honest…’
‘Oh. Well, uh, I actually have a message for you from him.’
‘Oh?’ She blinked with her big, round eyes.
‘He asks… how are you doing.’ Gentle realised how stupid the “message” was now that he was saying it.
‘I am fine,’ Charcoal said. Then she turned her head to the side. ‘Is that all?’
‘Yes, I suppose… Oh, now that I’m here, I might as well ask you. Do you like Crush? I mean, do you actually want to marry him?’
There had been so much talk about Crush’s love for Charcoal, but nobody seemed to care how she felt.
Charcoal’s eyes shone. ‘Oh yes! I would very much like to marry him. Yes, that would be the best result of all.’
‘ “Result”? What do you mean?’
Charcoal licked her nose. Her eyes were so bright, and they looked right into Gentle’s. He had to look away.
‘Father wants me to marry a stag called Brown Nose. He is loved by all the other deer, and he is very strong.’ Her voice made it clear she did not love him. ‘But I’d much rather marry Crush. He was such a gentleman, to let me live like that. And everyone respects him.’
‘Are you sure?’ said Gentle. ‘I mean, you don’t really know him.’
‘Of course I do! All the animals in the Great Forest talk about him. They say he is strong and powerful and scary.’
‘Is that what you want?’ said Gentle.
‘Yes, I told you! I want to marry Crush, not Brown Nose.’
Gentle wasn’t sure if she would be the right wife for Crush, but he didn’t want to ask her any more questions.
‘Thank you. I will head back now.’
‘Little mouse, wait. Give Crush a message for me.’
‘What do you want me to tell him?’
‘Tell him… he is very handsome.’
Gentle nodded, and started to walk back. It was evening by the time he reached Crush’s cave, and he was very tired.
‘Well?’ Crush said. ‘I’ve been waiting all day for you! What took you so long?’
Gentle sighed. Sometimes his friend was the stupidest lion in the whole world.
‘She said “I’m fine”. And she has a message for you: she thinks you’re very handsome.’
Crush jumped in the air. ‘Oh, how wonderful! She really thinks I’m handsome! That decides it, then. Tomorrow morning, I will go to the wood-cutter and get my teeth and claws removed!’
Gentle’s heart sank. He had a very bad feeling about all this.
END OF CHAPTER TWO
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