I love it when I find a longer story that’s suitable for beginning readers. This one, which is either a tale that reminds us what happens when you try to be something you’re not, or a tale that reminds us that men should never be allowed to give each other fashion advice, definitely fits the bill.
Welp, I swore I would never do this again but I found this (and several other short stories) in Hainan Airlines’ in-flight magazine (I’m in Prague!) and couldn’t resist typing it up (as opposed to copy-pasting from an online source). I’ve checked and checked for typos, but I’m not always the best at that, so if you run across one, please comment.
This is one of those reads where the sentence structure is basic and in parts very repetitive, but quite a few advanced words are used – “advanced” only because they’re not used often in casual conversation, like parts of an animal (hooves, horns, etc.) So beginners, you can give this a go if you’re feeling very patient but you’ll be looking up every other word in some paragraphs even though you will be able to predict generally what the next few sentences are about.
Eeps – bad medicine! In this story, the mischievous Monkey – always a trickster figure in Chinese stories – pulls the wool over Little Bear’s eyes. If Little Bear was American, he’d sue the hospital for negligence and rake in millions of baskets of peaches.
Though the conclusion of this essay might fall a bit flat for all of us who are very used to having a telephone, this is an interesting glimpse into what a monumental rite of passage it is for children in rural areas to have one or use one for the first time.
In this essay, a child desperately (and very angrily) pleads their father not to smoke. Though this is classified as “Intermediate”, beginners should definitely try this read, leaning heavily on the hover word-list. The difficult parts are the mid-level turns of phrase, which are all explained below.