One of my listeners, Hüseyin, contacted me to tell me about his daughter, Zeynep. Zeynep suffers from cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects people throughout their lives. In particular, it makes movement difficult.
Hüseyin and his family are trying very hard to raise money for Zeynep so that she can have proper medical care. Where they live, in Turkey, they cannot get the physiotherapy Zeynep needs. They want to take her to the Anat Baniel Method Centre in California, where she can get the treatment she needs to live a happy life.
So Hüseyin’s cousin has started a GoFundMe. GoFundMe allows people to donate money to help a campaign, like Hüseyin’s. They are hoping to raise money to take Zeynep to the physiotherapy centre in California.
I have donated some money, and I would love it if you could help as well. If you can donate, please go to EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Help. This will take you to their campaign page, where you can learn more in German and English, as well as donate money.
So that’s EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Help. Thank you for helping.
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 Tooth Fairy. You can find a transcript of the episode at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Tooth. That’s EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Tooth. This contains the full story, as well as my conversation after it.
OK, I’ll just explain some words that are in today’s story.
A fairy is a small magic person. Fairies have wings and can fly around, and fairies can do magic. The Tooth Fairy is an idea in many countries. When children’s teeth fall out, they put them under their pillow. In the night, the Tooth Fairy comes and takes the child’s tooth, and she puts money there. Of course, the Tooth Fairy isn’t real. Actually, the parents come in the night and put the money there. In some countries, like Spain, the Tooth Fairy is a rat called Pérez. In Korea and Japan, people throw teeth on the roof.
When you fall over, you fall onto the ground. It can hurt a lot to fall over. Children fall over a lot, and then they cry. When children are about five years old, their teeth start to fall out.
A coin is a small, round metal piece of money. There is paper money, and there are coins. In some countries, like America, coins are not used very much. Coins are used a lot in the UK. Some people collect coins from around the world.
When someone is sleeping, they are asleep. When you are asleep, you often dream.
When you take something away and put something where it was, you replace it with something. For example, parents take their child’s tooth from under their pillow and replace it with a coin. Then they tell them that the Tooth Fairy did it. If your bicycle breaks, you will have to replace it with a new one.
When you don’t agree with someone, you don’t think the same as them, you disagree. Brothers and sisters often disagree on things. If you are friends with someone, you shouldn’t disagree about things, but it can happen.
Hide, and the past tense is hid, and the past participle is hidden, is when you make it so people can’t see something. For example, maybe you are eating chocolate, but you don’t want other people to see it, because then they will want to eat the chocolate. So you hide the chocolate in the cupboard so that they won’t see it. You can also hide yourself. Maybe you don’t want your teacher to see you, because you forgot to do the homework, so you hide behind a door.
An emergency is when things are very bad and you have to do something. For example, if someone breaks their leg, then it is an emergency. You need to call an ambulance so that they can go to hospital. If you lose your phone or your wallet, that is also an emergency.
When you lie, you say something that isn’t true. For example, if I tell you, ‘Hi, I’m Queen Elizabeth,’ that’s a lie, because it’s not true. I am not Queen Elizabeth. Children often lie when they don’t want their parents to get angry at them. Sometimes people lie because it is very hard to say the truth.
When something saves time, it means that you spend less time doing something. For example, maybe you take the train to work every day, and it takes an hour. But one day, they build a new train that is faster. Now it only takes 30 minutes to get to work. You have saved time. The new train saves you 30 minutes, and you can sleep 30 minutes longer in the morning.
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 modding video games, video vs. audio content, cold therapy and realising I don’t actually like my flat anymore. 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, as well as patrons who have increased their pledge: Ivan Saner, Andrea, Vera Kaufmann, Sadeq Rahimi, Petya Bratko and Zdrowy. Thank you so much. Your support really means a lot to me.
OK, so listen and enjoy!
The Tooth Fairy
Alex and Kayla lived on Gullible Street with their daughter, Penny. Penny was five years old, and she loved asking questions. When Alex or Kayla said something, Penny always said, ‘Why?’
But Penny also liked magic. So if Alex or Kayla didn’t know the answer to a question, they always said that it was magic. Sometimes, they were just tired, and they didn’t want to explain things, so they said that it was magic.
‘Why is the sky blue, Mummy?’
‘Because the fairies make it blue,’ said Kayla.
‘Why are trees green, Daddy?’
‘Because the fairies make them green,’ said Alex.
‘Why do I have to go to school?’
‘Because the bad fairies will eat you if you don’t go to school!’ said Alex and Kayla.
One day, Penny was playing a game with her friends. She fell over, and one of her teeth fell out. She cried and cried, because she thought it was a bad thing.
But when Kayla found her, she said, ‘Don’t worry, Penny. Your teeth will fall out, but you’ll grow new teeth. And if you put your tooth under your pillow tonight, the Tooth Fairy will come in the night. She’ll take your tooth and leave a coin for you.’
‘Wow, what a nice fairy!’ said Penny.
So that night, Penny put her tooth under her pillow. Of course, the Tooth Fairy didn’t come in the night, because the Tooth Fairy isn’t real. But when Penny was asleep, Alex came in and took the tooth from under her pillow. He replaced it with a coin and went back to bed.
In the morning, Penny was very happy.
‘Mummy, Daddy!’ she said. ‘The Tooth Fairy really did come! Look at my coin!’
‘That’s wonderful, Penny,’ said Alex and Kayla.
Now, Penny started trying to lose her teeth. When she played games, she tried to fall over. Sometimes, she pulled her teeth or hit her teeth. When her friends asked what she was doing, she told them about the Tooth Fairy. Then all her friends started trying to lose their teeth. They tried to fall over, they pulled their teeth and they hit their teeth.
One night, Alex and Kayla were talking in bed.
‘Maybe we shouldn’t lie to Penny anymore,’ said Alex. ‘If she believes the Tooth Fairy is real, and she believes Santa Claus is real, she might believe anything. I don’t think it’s good.’
‘But she’s just a child!’ said Kayla. ‘Children need to believe in magic.’
‘We shouldn’t lie to our child. When she finds out that we lied to her, she’ll be angry.’
‘I disagree. It’s normal for children to believe in magic,’ said Kayla. ‘Anyway, we can’t stop giving her coins. She’ll think she did something wrong.’
‘We can tell her that the Tooth Fairy is on holiday. Or that she’s angry because Penny ate too many sweets. I mean, she does eat a lot of sweets…’
‘No!’ said Kayla. ‘I won’t make her sad like that. Now let’s sleep.’
A few days later, Penny lost another tooth. She was very excited, and told Alex and Kayla what she would buy with her coin.
‘I want to buy lots of sweets!’ she said. ‘You always say that sweets will make my teeth fall out. It’s perfect!’
That night, Alex and Kayla talked about who was going to replace the tooth. Alex really didn’t want to do it, because he didn’t want to lie to Penny. But Kayla said she was too tired to do it, and she thought that she would wake up Penny.
They disagreed, but finally, Alex went to replace Penny’s tooth with a coin. He went into Penny’s room, where she was asleep. But when he looked under the pillow, the tooth was already gone, and there was a coin there.
‘Huh,’ he thought. ‘I suppose Kayla replaced the tooth when I was in the bathroom.’
Kayla was asleep when he came back, so he went to bed and didn’t think about it.
The next day, Penny was excited again, and she went and bought sweets with her coin. Alex and Kayla didn’t talk about the Tooth Fairy, because they disagreed about it.
But a few weeks later, Penny lost another tooth.
‘Tooth Fairy, Tooth Fairy, bring me a coin!’ she sang.
That night, Alex and Kayla lay in bed.
‘Can you replace it this time?’ said Alex. ‘I know you did it last time, but I’m so tired.’
‘I didn’t do it last time,’ said Kayla.
‘Huh?’ said Alex. ‘You did! Last time, I went and looked under the pillow, but the tooth had already been replaced.’
‘I’m telling you, I didn’t do it!’ said Kayla.
‘I don’t understand,’ said Alex. ‘If I didn’t do it, and you didn’t do it, then who did? The Tooth Fairy?’
Alex and Kayla had to find out who was replacing Penny’s teeth with coins. So they went and hid in Penny’s bedroom.
For many hours, nothing happened. Then Penny woke up.
She looked under her pillow, and when she saw that there was no coin there, she huffed.
Then she got up and went downstairs. Alex and Kayla followed her.
In the kitchen, there was a cupboard very high up. Alex and Kayla used it to hide things. They thought Penny couldn’t climb up there, but she used a chair and climbed up easily. In the cupboard, there was a bag of coins for emergencies.
Penny took a coin out of the bag and replaced it with a tooth. Then she put the chair back and went back to bed.
The next morning, Penny was very happy, but Alex and Kayla were not happy.
‘Penny,’ said Kayla, while Penny ate her breakfast. ‘Did the Tooth Fairy come last night?’
‘Oh yes!’ said Penny. ‘I got a lovely coin under my pillow.’
‘But you didn’t open your window last night, did you?’ said Alex. ‘How did the Tooth Fairy get in if you didn’t open your window?’
Penny laughed. ‘The Tooth Fairy is magic, Daddy! You told me that. She can fly through windows.’
‘Ah,’ said Alex. ‘And do you know where the Tooth Fairy takes the teeth afterwards?’
‘No,’ said Penny. ‘You didn’t tell me that. I suppose you don’t know, do you, Daddy?’
Alex laughed. ‘Actually, I do.’
He went up to the high cupboard and took out the hidden bag. He opened it and pulled out two teeth.
‘Well, well, well,’ he said. ‘How did these teeth get here?’
‘Wow!’ said Penny. ‘Does that mean the Tooth Fairy lives in our house?!’
‘Penny!’ said Kayla. ‘Stop lying. We know what you did. You went and replaced the teeth yourself.’
Penny looked very sad, but then she said, ‘Hmph! Well, what did you think I would do? I know you lied to me about the Tooth Fairy. You lied to me about Santa Claus, too. And the Easter Bunny! Why do adults always think they’re so clever? You can’t tell me that I get coins for teeth, and then stop giving me coins when you decide you don’t like lying to me! You wanted to stop giving me coins, didn’t you? And then you would lie again, and tell me that the Tooth Fairy was angry or something.’
Alex and Kayla had very red faces now. They didn’t know that their daughter knew so much.
‘Alright, Penny,’ said Alex. ‘We’ll stop lying to you. But this money is for emergencies, OK?’
‘The only emergency here is that you’re lying to me!’ said Penny.
‘I have an idea,’ said Kayla. ‘When your teeth fall out, you can take them to us, and we’ll pay you for it. If it’s a nice, clean tooth, then we’ll pay you more. Is that OK?’
Penny sighed. ‘Finally, you understand. Yes, that would be perfect. But you know, Mummy. If you and Daddy like the idea of the Tooth Fairy, you can still replace the teeth at night. I’ll lie and say that I believe in the Tooth Fairy. Will you be more happy that way? I know adults love to lie.’
‘No, thank you, Penny,’ said Alex and Kayla.
So when Penny’s teeth fell out, she took them to her parents, and they gave her a coin. They saved a lot of time that way.
So recently, I went swimming in very cold water. Near where my girlfriend lives, there is a town by the sea, and this town has a sea pool.
So a sea pool is like a swimming pool, but instead of using normal water, it uses water from the sea. When the tide is high—that means, when the sea water is high—the pool fills up with sea water, and then, when the tide is low, when the sea water is low, you can swim in the sea pool.
There are some advantages to swimming in the sea pool.
One, it’s a bit warmer than the sea because it’s a smaller area. Two, it’s much safer than swimming in the sea. You don’t have any currents.
Currents are movements in the water. If you swim in the sea, there are currents that pull you backwards or forwards, and if you are not careful, the currents can pull you very far.
Three, it’s much easier to swim in the sea pool than the sea, and it’s easier to keep track of your progress. It’s easier to see your progress. You can say, ‘I have swum across the pool three times today!’ But with the sea, it’s harder to know how much you have swum.
Actually, I hadn’t swum for about ten years, and I decided I really wanted to go swimming again, so I decided to swim in the sea pool. However, the water was very cold. It was ten degrees! And I swam in it for 36 minutes.
You’re probably thinking, ‘Ariel, why did you swim in such cold water?’
Well, recently I have been interested in an idea called cold therapy. Cold therapy is when you expose your body to lots of cold, you put your body in lots of cold places, to help with your health. So it improves your health in some ways.
The main way I do this is by taking a cold shower every day. And actually, I know it sounds crazy, but it does have a lot of benefits. It gives you more energy, it helps you lose weight and it helps you feel happier and makes you stronger.
Cold therapy was invented by a man called Wim Hof. So a Dutch man called Wim Hof created this therapy. He is a really interesting man. He has run a marathon in the snow in Finland wearing nothing but shorts. So he was only wearing shorts and running in the snow! And he swims in icy water very often, and he is incredibly healthy.
Anyway, if you want to hear more about my cold swimming experience, and if you want to hear more about cold therapy, you can go to Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish.
On Elevenses with Ariel, the other podcast I do, you can hear all about these things. And maybe I will convince you to try cold therapy yourself!
Anyway, I will leave a link to those episodes of Elevenses with Ariel at the transcript for today’s episode at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Tooth. There, I will also leave some pictures of me swimming in the sea pool, so you can all see how crazy I am!
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.