Reading stories is an interesting and effective way to expand your vocabulary, learn grammar and improve your reading skill. The sequence of events in the stories help learners predict the meaning of new words and understand sentences more easily.
In this part there are some short stories from easy to difficult for English learners. First, some of the words of each text are explained by using photos, giving synonyms and definitions. You can answer a few questions to test your understanding after reading the story.
jungle with a pond
Definition of words:
To Spot: to discover, to see
Beast: an animal
To chew: To bite with teeth
Stuck (past form and present participle of stick)/ to stick: To fix or fasten in a place
To plead: To beg
Beak: the bill of a bird
To crush: To press and break
Ungrateful: not feeling thanks or appreciation
The bone in throat
Once upon a time, there was a lazy wolf living in a jungle. Near his house was a pond. Many animals came to the pond to drink water. The wolf was always in search of food. One day, he was sitting near the pond hoping to get something to eat. When suddenly he spotted a dead bull. “Aha! What luck! Now I can eat all I want,” he thought and his mouth started watering. He began to eat the bull. A thought struck him, “if another beast comes this way he will ask for a share. I had better eat fast.” ‘Grub! Grub! Grub! Grub1’ he chewed, faster and faster. In his haste, a piece of bone got stuck in his throat. “Ohh! Errk!” cried the wolf. He tried to bring it out of his mouth. He tried to cough it out but in vain. Next, he tried to swallow it down but he failed. “Ooh, the bone in throat hurts. What shall I do now?” thought the wolf. Suddenly he remembered that a crane lived on the nearby riverbank. The wolf went to the crane and pleaded, “My dear Crane! I have got a bone stuck in my throat. I will give you a present, if you pull it out of my throat with your long beak.” The crane took pity on the wolf. He asked the wolf to look up with his mouth open. The crane then put its head into the wolf’s mouth and pulled out the bone. “Oh! What a relief!” the wolf sighed. “Now where is my present?” asked the crane. “What present?” the wolf replied, pretending not aware of its promise. “You said that you would give me a present if I remove the bone from your throat,” said the crane humbly. “Hah! Is it not a present that you put your head into my mouth and got out alive? I could have easily crushed your head while your beak was inside my mouth,” said the ungrateful wolf and went away. The crane felt helpless and decided not to help any ungrateful creature in the future.
Answer these questions to check your understanding:
۱- Why was the wolf in hurry when it was eating the dead bull?
۲- What did the wolf do when it couldn’t bring the bone out of its throat?
۳- What was the present of wolf for the crane?
Answer to the questions:
۱- Because it didn’t want to share its food with anyone.
۲- The wolf went to the Crane to get some help
۳- The wolf didn’t give the Crane any present.
From the site: English-for-students.com
Definition of some Words:
Settled: (adjective) Calm and less noisy.
Value: (noun) principles about what is right or wrong or important.
Pursue: (verb) to follow.
Pretense: (noun) a false show, something imagined or pretended.
Concoct: (verb) to prepare. to devise.
Rage: (noun) very strong anger.
Dent: (verb) to make a dent in something.
Corroborate: (verb) to support with other evidence. Make more certain.
Fallacy: (noun) a false notion. The quality of being deceptive.
Divulge: (verb) to make known.
Recap: (verb) to state again as a summary.
Fabricated: (adjective) invented in order to deceive.
Proclaimed: (Verb) to announce publicly; Proclaimed is and adjective.
Fragile: (adjective) something that breaks easily.
Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.
Watch out for that tree!
Missy was absolutely my best friend in the whole world. We had known each other since first grade, and we literally did everything together. We frequently visited eachother’s homes, we knew each other’s families like they were our own, we shopped, we went to the parties together, and on and on. The interesting thing about our relationship, however, was the fact that the older we got, the more our values seemed to differ. We still enjoyed a lot of the same things, but I was a bit more settled while Missy seemed to enjoy pursuing the world of pretense. She loved being associated with popular people and things, and although she was basically a good person, she had no problem with forcing things to go her way. Perhaps this is why it seemed that her family actually trusted me more than they trusted her. So On the day that Missy showed up at my house with a huge dent in her father’s car, I knew that we were in for an interesting time.
She had banged the car while out that day, and she knew her father was going to have a literal fit. So she stopped by my house in order to concoct a story that would lessen her father’s rage. Missy decided to tell him that while in a parking garage, someone must have backed into the car and dented it. My role was to corroborate. Now keep in mind that I had strong objections to lying, and I wanted absolutely nothing to do with the situation. I loved her parents just like my own, and I did not want to be a party to this fallacy that Missy was creating. Nevertheless, after much prodding and a general questioning of my loyalty, I decided that the least I could do was to act as a silent witness. That way, I wasn’t actually lying; I just wasn’t divulging the full truth.
So an hour or so later, we presented Missy’s father with the car and the inquisition began. He wanted to know exactly what had happened, when and how. Missy recapped her concocted story, and I stood there in silent agreement. Then Missy’s father decided to do a closer inspection. He walked over to the dented area and started to pull and pound the dent until it gave away. It was at that point that pieces of bark from the tree that Missy had hit fell out. We were both stunned. That was so not part of the plan.
Needless to say, Missy was caught in her fabricated story, and I was proclaimed as the “guilty” bystander. I actually think that her parents were more disappointed with me that they were with her. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure if they ever fully trusted me again. It was at that time that I realized how incredibly fragile trust actually is.
This short story is from the book” chicken soup” for the teenage soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Hansen, Kimberly Kirberger and Mitch Claspy.
Publisher: Health Communications, Inc.
About the book “Chicken soup for the teenage soul”:
This book contains real stories of life, love and learning. It was written by the bestselling authors. The stories are about friendship, making a difference, lessons and learning, family, tough stuff, overcoming obstacles, growing up. The story above is chosen from the part “lessons and learning”.