In the podcast I say that Karel Čapek wrote this story, but it was actually written by his brother, Josef Čapek.
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 Doggo and Kitty Tear Their Trousers. You can find a transcript of the episode at easystoriesinenglish.com/trousers. That’s easystoriesinenglish.com/trousers. This contains the full story, as well as my conversation before it.
So, welcome to episode two of the podcast! Today’s episode is another story about Doggo and Kitty. It actually happens after the first story. So, if you haven’t listened to Doggo and Kitty Do Their Laundry, I recommend you go back and listen to that story first.
You may be listening to this episode in the future, but as I am recording this, it’s just before Christmas. And of course, after Christmas there will be New Year. Of course, Christmas isn’t celebrated all around the world, but where I live right now, in England, it is a very important holiday.
Most people think Christmas is about happiness and being friendly and seeing your family, and just generally spreading positive feelings. But, hmm, I don’t know if I have a very positive image of Christmas. The thing is, I come from a tourist town. My town has a very famous Christmas market. So, for about four weeks before Christmas, the centre of town is filled with big wooden stalls.
This wouldn’t be so bad, but the problem is, because the market is famous, people come from everywhere to come to the market. People even come from other countries to come to the market. So, when you are living in that town, for those four weeks it’s impossible to go anywhere! The centre of town is always full of people. And it’s now very common for shops to open late on Christmas. So even up to six or seven pm, people are still shopping at the market.
Now, this year I moved away from that town to a neighbouring town, or a city, rather. I moved to a big city next to it, and I thought, “Excellent. This year, I will be able to avoid the stress of the market!” But, no! The city I live in also has a market, and because these two places are so close to each other, lots of people go on the train or the bus to go shopping in one and then come back to the other. So actually, over the four weeks of the Christmas market, it was so busy. I still work in this town that I lived in before, so I have to travel between the two places every day. So you can probably imagine, I had to deal with lots of people and I found it very stressful.
So, this didn’t make me feel very positive about Christmas. In fact, I did all my Christmas shopping online this year. I bought all my presents on Amazon, just because I was too lazy to go out and do it in the shops. It’s too crowded! I hate it.
Now, New Year I like. Usually I spend it with my friends. I mentioned last episode that I’m a language nerd. One of the languages I speak is Esperanto. Most people don’t even know what Esperanto is. It was a language created by a Polish doctor in the 19th century, and it was created for international communication. Nowadays, English is the international language, at least most people think that English is the international language. But Esperanto is spoken in many countries and there is an active online and real-life community.
So usually for New Year’s, I go to an Esperanto event that happens over New Year. It usually takes place in Poland or Germany, and I see all of my friends who I haven’t seen all year, and it’s really fun. Unfortunately this year, well, I can’t go. I don’t have the money. So, that’s a real shame. So instead, I’m going to be spending New Year with my friends in the city where I live.
Anyway, today’s story has nothing to do with Christmas or New Year. But I thought I would just tell you about what’s been going on in my life.
Remember, you can get a full transcript of this episode, so, this episode in written form, which will have the story and my conversation, at easystoriesinenglish.com/trousers. That’s easystoriesinenglish.com/trousers.
So, listen and enjoy!
Doggo and Kitty Tear Their Trousers
Once, there was a dog and a cat. The dog was called Doggo, and the cat was called Kitty. Doggo and Kitty lived together in a small house. Their house was beside a forest, and they liked living there very much.
We have seen how Doggo and Kitty did their laundry, so we now know that Doggo and Kitty are very good at keeping their home. There were always lots of tasks to do in the house. However, the day after they did their laundry was Sunday, and on Sunday you shouldn’t do any work. So Doggo and Kitty decided to go out for the day instead. The sun was shining, and they thought they had very much earned a day of rest.
‘Let’s go to the forest,’ said Doggo. ‘When the sun is shining so bright, where else could we go?’
‘You’re quite right,’ said Kitty. ‘Since we’ve done our laundry, let’s wear our nice clothes to go out.’
So they got dressed in their nicest clothes to go out into the forest.
‘If only I had a parasol,’ said Kitty, ‘to protect myself from the bright sun. I’m sure nobody has ever seen a pretty kitty like me with a parasol before.’
‘I don’t think it will do you any harm to get a bit of sun,’ said Doggo. ‘After the long winter you’re a bit pale. It has been such a long time since you got some sun!’
Doggo’s words were true. Kitty did look very pale and white, because in the winter they sat inside by the fire and didn’t see the sun very often.
‘Well,’ said Kitty, ‘you should see how you look. Your ears are uneven. You have one ear sticking up, and the other ear down. Ears should be kept even.’
‘Oh dear! Thank you for telling me, Kitty.’
Doggo straightened his ears, and they went out of the house. On the way, they talked about what they were going to do in the forest. They were going to play all sorts of games, like hide-and-seek1. Doggo was very bad at hide-and-seek. His ears always stuck out and showed where he was hiding. So Kitty liked to play hide-and-seek a lot, because she always won.
As they walked, they passed a bush, and inside the bush there was a rabbit. The rabbit looked at Doggo and laughed.
‘Haha,’ said the rabbit, ‘that dog has one ear sticking up and the other down. Just like this.’ And the rabbit copied Doggo. It was true. Doggo hadn’t been paying attention to his ears, and they were uneven again.
‘Look, that rabbit is making fun of you!’ cried Kitty.
Doggo got very angry and chased after the rabbit. He jumped into the bush, but the rabbit was much faster than him and escaped.
‘Oh, there are so many thorns in this bush!’ cried Doggo. ‘I wish I hadn’t chased after that stupid rabbit.’
‘Those thorns didn’t really hurt you, did they?’ said Kitty.
‘No, not really,’ said Doggo.
Doggo straightened his ears again, and they continued on their way. A few minutes later they met some of the children, who lived on the other side of the forest.
‘Hello, Doggo and Kitty!’ said the children. ‘Since it’s so sunny today, we decided to go out for the day and visit the forest.’
‘So did we,’ said Kitty.
‘You are dressed up in very pretty clothes,’ the children said.
Then they looked again and started to laugh. Doggo thought it was because of his ears, but he checked and they were even, not uneven.
‘Look, boys! Look, girls! Doggo has torn his trousers! And look at his shirt! It’s torn as well!’
‘Apparently I have a tear in my trousers,’ said Doggo. ‘Please look and see, Kitty.’
So Kitty looked at Doggo from all angles. ‘I’m afraid it’s true. Your trousers are torn completely.’
‘That must have happened when I ran into that bush, which had so many thorns in it,’ said Doggo. ‘I can’t believe I’ve torn my nicest trousers. What a shame! Kitty, do you have a needle and thread on you?’
‘I’m afraid I don’t. But maybe we’ll find something on the way, a piece of string or something like that.’
So they said goodbye to the children, who were still laughing a lot, and continued on their way.
‘Hey, look!’ said Doggo. ‘I see something.’
On the ground there was a long worm. The worm was lying stretched out, sleeping in the afternoon sun, thinking that nobody could see him.
‘It’s long, thin, and straight,’ said Doggo. ‘It must be a pencil.’
The worm woke up, and was afraid of Doggo. It curled up into a circle.
‘No, that’s no pencil!’ said Kitty. ‘It’s curled up into a circle. So it must be a piece of string. What luck! I’ll take it and use it to mend your trousers.’
So Kitty picked up the worm and used it to mend the tear in Doggo’s trousers.
‘There, now nobody can laugh at me,’ said Doggo.
They continued on their way, and talked about all the places that they would hide in later, when they played hide-and-seek. The worm was surprised and afraid when Kitty used him to mend the trousers, so it did nothing. But now it was no longer surprised, and said to itself, ‘I’m no piece of string, I’m a worm.’ And it slowly began to wriggle, so that it could get out of Doggo’s trousers.
As the worm wriggled, Doggo and Kitty met a friend. It was Clucky the chicken.
‘Hello, Clucky!’ said Doggo and Kitty.
‘Hello, Doggo and Kitty. Wait a minute! Doggo, something’s wriggling along your leg. It’s a worm!’
As Clucky was a chicken, she loved to eat worms, so she tried to eat it. The worm fell off Doggo’s trousers, and ran away into the forest.
‘How strange,’ said Clucky. ‘It was coming out of a hole in your trousers. I didn’t know worms ate trousers. If I had caught that worm, it would’ve taught him to not eat people’s trousers!’
‘Yes, what a shame!’ said Doggo. But secretly, he was glad that Clucky didn’t catch the worm, because he hated violence.
‘Oh, Doggo!’ said Kitty, who was looking at his trousers again. ‘Your trousers are all torn up. That was the string, not a worm!’
‘No way,’ said Clucky. ‘That was definitely a worm. String doesn’t wriggle and curl up like that! Yes, it was definitely a worm, and I would like to have eaten it. But you don’t need to worry, Doggo. I don’t have a needle and thread, but if you continue along the way, you’ll come to a house where a seamstress works. The seamstress can mend your trousers for you.’
So they said goodbye to Clucky and continued on to the seamstress’ house.
‘Wow, that’s a big tear,’ said the seamstress. ‘But it’s a Sunday, and you shouldn’t work on Sundays. Maybe if you did some work for me, then I could mend it for you in return. I have lots of mice in my kitchen. If you get rid of all the mice, I will mend your trousers. But you are not allowed to drink the milk and eat the biscuits that are on the table!’
Doggo and Kitty promised that they would catch the mice and leave the milk and biscuits. The seamstress showed them to the kitchen. The mice were afraid of Doggo and Kitty, and hid in their holes.
‘I will go outside,’ whispered Kitty. ‘Go stand in front of their holes, Doggo.’
So Doggo went and stood in front of the mice’s holes. Kitty went outside, and said, ‘Yay! There is a dog inside with one ear sticking up and the other down. And he has torn a hole in his trousers. How stupid he looks!’
The mice, who loved to laugh, ran out of their holes to laugh at the dog. Doggo jumped on them, and caught them under his paw.
‘Oh no!’ cried the mice. ‘Are you going to eat us?’
‘No, I hate violence. But you must promise that you will leave the seamstress’ house and never come back.’
The mice promised and ran away, laughing about Doggo’s trousers on the way.
‘Well done!’ said the seamstress, when she came back into the kitchen.
She mended the tear in Doggo’s trousers, as well as the tear in his shirt. Then Doggo and Kitty sat down and drank a glass of milk and ate some biscuits, which were very tasty.
Afterwards, they walked home through the forest. They were too tired to play hide-and-seek. That evening, they slept very well, although Doggo’s ears were uneven throughout the night.
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.