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Fables



Level A2 - B1

This week: Fables

 

The Mice & The Cat

Long ago, the mice held a conference to decide what they could do to protect themselves from the cat. They all agreed that the main problem concerned how quietly the cat approached them. One very clever mouse stood up and suggested that they tie a bell to the cat's tail, so that they could hear it approaching. Everybody was most impressed by this scheme and clapped loudly. Then an old mouse got up and said, "this is a fine solution, but which of us will tie the bell to the cat?" No one said a word.


Moral
: It's very easy to propose impossible solutions

 

Outsmarting Fish

A man decided to have fish for dinner and went to a sports shop to buy a fishing rod. The shop assistant explained that the rods ranged in price from $50 to $2000. To this the man replied, "I'm pretty confident I can outsmart a fish with a $50 rod."

When he reached the river, he found both banks lined with crowds of fishermen. He eventually found a space and saw that the river was full of fish.

By the time the sun began to set, he hadn't caught a single fish and in frustration he turned to the fisherman next to him and said, "Hell, I thought it would be pretty easy to outsmart a fish, even with a cheap rod."

The fisherman replied, "it's not the fish you need to outsmart, it's the other fishermen with their $2000 rods."


Moral
: It's your competitors you need to outsmart, not your customers

 

Language Note

 protect, verb               stop sth dangerous from happening to you

approach, verb          walk up to

tail, noun                      long section at the back of an animal used for balance

clap, verb                    hit your hands together to make a noise (e.g. at the end of a show)

outsmart, verb           be more clever than

fishing rod, noun       long stick used to catch fish


 

Level B1.5 -  B.2

This week: Fables

 

The Unicorn

One day, a man got up early and went out into his garden. He was surprised to find a unicorn in the rose bushes. He ran inside and told his wife, "there's a unicorn in the garden."

"Don't be ridiculous," she said and went back to sleep. The man returned to the garden to find the unicorn eating his roses. He ran back to his wife and insisted that she come and see for herself this wonderful beast with a golden horn in the middle of its forehead.

"Oh go away," she shouted. "Leave me in peace". So the man went out into the garden again to watch the unicorn.

As the wife was lying in bed she suddenly had a great idea. She ran to the telephoned and called for an ambulance.

"Quick," she said when the doctors arrived, "my husband has gone mad, take him away. He thinks there's a unicorn in the garden. He told me it ate the roses and has a golden horn in the middle of its forehead."

"Did you tell your wife you saw a unicorn in the garden," the doctor asked the husband.

"Of course not," answered the husband, "only a lunatic would think unicorns exist!"

"That's all I wanted to know," said the doctor as he and his assistants grabbed the wife and took her away in the ambulance and locked her in a padded cell.

The husband lived happily ever after.


Moral
: It's sometimes smarter to play the fool

 

A dog saw a rabbit and ran after him, but after a long chase, the dog gave up and lay down. The farmer saw this and said, "that little rabbit is a faster runner than you."

"You do not appreciate the difference between us," replied the dog, "I was only running for my dinner. The rabbit was running for his life."


Moral
: Don't judge other's by their actions. Seek their motivations

 

Language Note

unicorn, noun             a horse with one horn on its head

lunatic, noun               a crazy person

grab, verb                   suddenly hold sth

smart, adj                   clever

fool, noun                    stupid person

chase, verb                 run after

seek, verb                   look for

 

 

Level C1

This week: Fables

 

The Three Tradesmen

Threatened by an invading army, the inhabitants of a town held a meeting to decide how to protect themselves. The bricklayer spoke first recommending that they build a great wall around the town. In contrast, the blacksmith declared that they should be brave and fight. He offered to supply a thousand swords, of course, at a reasonable price. Next the baker announced that trickery was the better option. He said he was prepared to bake some bread laced with poison with which to welcome the blood-thirsty soldiers. Finally, when the undertaker suggested playing dead, the inhabitants of the town realised the time had come to grab their possessions and run.


Moral :
Every man for himself

 

The New Suit

A man went to his tailor in order to collect his new suit. When he tried it on, it was too short in one arm and too long in one leg. "Don't worry," said the tailor, "just tuck your arm under your armpit, and walk with your leg bent and the suit fits you perfectly." So the man left the shop walking with his leg bent and with one arm tucked under his armpit.

While walking down the street he passed two women selling apples. As he passed by, one woman turned to the other and said, "oh just look at that poor crippled man."

"It's a shame," said her companion, "but at least he has a good tailor."


Moral
: One size fits all

 

Language Note

trickery, noun                         the process of playing tricks

lace with poison, verb         mix poison into sth

play dead, verb                     pretend to be dead by lying still

tuck, verb                               put underneath sth

crippled, adj                           having serious deformities





Prepared by:
ACT Advanced Corporate Training
Szkolenia językowe i biznesowe
www.act.edu.pl


Other Lessons (show...):


Lesson 216: WAIT
Lesson 215: POLITICS
Lesson 214: MATHEMATICS IN ENGLISH
Lesson 213: HEADLINE ENGLISH
Lesson 212: NEW YEAR`S RESOLUTIONS
Lesson 211: WHO IS SANTA CLAUS?
Lesson 210: A SOCIAL EXPERIMENT
Lesson 209: THE RULES OF SARCASM
Lesson 208: DO YOU KNOW WHY?
Lesson 207: THE WAYS TO GET SMARTER
Lesson 206: TELEPHONING
Lesson 205: HUNTING FOR WORDS (2)
Lesson 204: HUNTING FOR WORDS
Lesson 203: BUSINESS WISDOM IN PHRASAL VERB
Lesson 202: TIME
Lesson 201: ALL ABOUT BEER.... TO PREPARE FOR OCTOBERFEST
Lesson 200: TIPS FOR A TRAVELLING BUSINESSMAN
Lesson 199: FANTASTIC ANIMAL FACTS
Lesson 198: CONTAINERS (FOOD)
Lesson 197: FAST FOOD BLUES
Lesson 196: MALE AND FEMALE LANGUAGE
Lesson 195: LOOKING LEFT, THINKING RIGHT ?
Lesson 194: ENGLISH SPELLING SIMPLIFIED
Lesson 193: FOOTBALL FRENZY!
Lesson 192: FACEBOOK STORY
Lesson 191: TOP TIPS FOR GIVING PRESENTATIONS
Lesson 190: SECRETS OF SLEEPERS
Lesson 189: YOUR USE OF PRONOUNS REVEALS YOUR PERSONALITY
Lesson 188: DON`T WORRY, BE HAPPY
Lesson 187: MANAGING STRESS
Lesson 186: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - THE CONFERENCE
Lesson 185: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - CONFLICT
Lesson 184: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - THE GENERATION GAP
Lesson 183: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - WHAT`S THE POINT OF HR?
Lesson 182: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - PHILOSOPHICALLY SPEAKING
Lesson 181: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - ACCRUED HOLIDAYS
Lesson 180: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - CALIBRATING POTENTIAL
Lesson 179: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL
Lesson 178: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - BUSINESS PARTNERING
Lesson 177: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - NEW YEAR`S RESOLUTIONS
Lesson 176: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - SPHERICAL OBJECTS
Lesson 175: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - THE COMMUNICATION PLAN
Lesson 174: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - TRAINING OR TRAININGS?
Lesson 173: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - A MATTER OF POLICY
Lesson 172: A LONG COLD WINTER
Lesson 171: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - TOILET TALK
Lesson 170: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - THE NEW BOSS
Lesson 169: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - ANGER MANAGEMENT
Lesson 168: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - MOBBING AND BULLYING
Lesson 167: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - WORD TRANSFORMATIONS
Lesson 166: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF
Lesson 165: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - TOP DOG
Lesson 164: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - A SOURCE OF CONFUSION
Lesson 163: HORACE AND ROGER`S HR CHATS - TO BE OR NOT TO BE (AT WORK)
Lesson 162: MEET PETE - E27 - HOW TO TELL THEM APART
Lesson 161: GONE TO THE DOGS
Lesson 160: MEET PETE - E26 - SAVE THE DAY
Lesson 159: COUNTING SHEEP
Lesson 158: HOLIDAY TIME
Lesson 157: Meet Pete – E25 – A Question of Taste
Lesson 156: Meet Pete – E24 – Don’t be a jerk
Lesson 155: THE WALLS HAVE EARS
Lesson 154: FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Lesson 153: Meet Pete – E22 – The New Game Plan
Lesson 152: HERE COMES THE SUMMER
Lesson 151: Meet Pete – E23 – Succession Meeting
Lesson 150: I TAKE IT ALL BACK
Lesson 149: MEET PETE - E21 - ABOUT ONE VERY SERIOUS THING
Lesson 148: CHARACTER
Lesson 147: MEET PETE - E20 - IN THE RED
Lesson 146: A WINTER OF DISCONTENT
Lesson 145: MEET PETE - E19 - JUDGE A MAN BY HIS QUESTIONS
Lesson 144: SPRING IS IN THE AIR
Lesson 143: LANGUAGE REFRESHER – IDIOMS
Lesson 142: DO YOU GET IT?
Lesson 141: MEET PETE - E16 - EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
Lesson 140: A ONE HORSE RACE
Lesson 139: MEET PETE - AN INTERVIEW WITH THE CEO
Lesson 138: BAD DEBTS
Lesson 137: EUPHEMISMS
Lesson 136: Meet Pete - E014 - Delegating
Lesson 135: AND? - EXPRESSIONS WITH AND
Lesson 134: Meet Pete – 5 Whys
Lesson 133: The Morning After The Night Before
Lesson 132: Meet Pete – E13 – Salary Ping-Pong
Lesson 131: A LETTER TO SANTA
Lesson 130: Meet Pete - E12 - It never rains but it pours
Lesson 129: Body idioms
Lesson 128: Meet Pete – Don’t put your fingers in too many pies.
Lesson 127: USING NEGATIVE QUESTIONS TO PERSUADE
Lesson 126: MEET PETE - E10 - THE POLYMATH
Lesson 125: PARTIAL AGREEMENT
Lesson 124: MEET PETE - E09 - ROLE AMBIGUITY
Lesson 123: EVERYTHING IS SUBJECTIVE
Lesson 122: MEET PETE – E08 – GALLUP 12 QUESTIONS
Lesson 121: THE OFFICE - WORK RELATED IDIOMS
Lesson 120: THE BLUES AND OTHER COLOURS
Lesson 119: LANGUAGE REFRESHER – PERSUADING – Part two
Lesson 118: LANGUAGE REFRESHER – PERSUADING – Part one
Lesson 117: HR - but what brand?
Lesson 116: Love your job, hate your boss?
Lesson 115: LANGUAGE REFRESHER - FEEDBACK AND APPRAISALS – Part two
Lesson 114: IDIOM REFRESHER - SPORTS IDIOMS - Part four
Lesson 113: IDIOM REFRESHER - SPORTS IDIOMS - Part three
Lesson 112: LANGUAGE REFRESHER - FEEDBACK AND APPRAISALS – Part one
Lesson 111: A LOAD OF BALLS
Lesson 110: IDIOM REFRESHER - Sports idioms - Part two
Lesson 109: IDIOM REFRESHER - Sports idioms
Lesson 108: Meet Pete – Episode 07 – WHAT’S YOUR GAFFER LIKE?
Lesson 107: SPORTS IDIOMS
Lesson 106: FEEDBACK AND APPRAISALS
Lesson 105: Meet Pete - Episode Six – Fight or flight
Lesson 104: DON’T YOU THINK...?
Lesson 103: Meet Pete - Episode Five - Meet Pete – First Blood
Lesson 102: SMALL TALK - Part 3
Lesson 101: Meet Pete - Episode Four - Meeting deadlines
Lesson 100: SMALL TALK - Part 2
Lesson 99: SMALL TALK - Part 1
Lesson 98: Meet Pete - Episode Three - On The Grapevine
Lesson 97: Advertising slogans
Lesson 96: Emphasis!
Lesson 95: Meet Pete – Episode Two – The Secret of Small Talk
Lesson 94: Job or Work?
Lesson 93: Meet Pete - Episiode two - Names
Lesson 92: Meet Pete - Episode one
Lesson 91: Weasel Words
Lesson 90: BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
Lesson 89: Vague Language
Lesson 88: Making Predictions
Lesson 87: Tact
Lesson 86: Christmas
Lesson 85: The Christmas Party
Lesson 84: Are you being taken for a ride?
Lesson 83: A dead-end job
Lesson 82: Oblivion
Lesson 81: Trust your senses!
Lesson 80: Stress is tricky!
Lesson 79: What is stress?
Lesson 78: How not to make a fuss in autumn
Lesson 77: Holiday leave
Lesson 76: Belbin team roles
Lesson 75: These are my personal attributes - honestly!
Lesson 74: Managing time
Lesson 73: Engaging with customers by accessing emotions
Lesson 72: Meetings, meetings and more meetings!
Lesson 71: Giving performance feedback
Lesson 70: Performance review guide
Lesson 69: Conflict at work
Lesson 68: Caught napping
Lesson 67: Love is in the air
Lesson 66: The power of persuasion
Lesson 65: Winning negotiations
Lesson 64: Happy Easter
Lesson 63: Brain Teasers
Lesson 62: Sam Goldwyn
Lesson 61: Funny signs
Lesson 60: Oscars
Lesson 59: Language Generation Gap
Lesson 58: The Pareto Principle
Lesson 57: Tact
Lesson 56: Rhyming Slang
Lesson 55: St Valentine’s Day - origin and customs
Lesson 54: Etymology
Lesson 53: Stupidity
Lesson 52: Money jokes
Lesson 51: New Year in Madeira
Lesson 50: Christmas pantomime
Lesson 49: It’s party time!
Lesson 48: Bad Translations
Lesson 47: Proverbs
Lesson 46: Financial Puzzles
Lesson 45: Children
Lesson 44: Halloween
Lesson 43: Food crossword
Lesson 42: Tongue twisters
Lesson 41: Business inspiration quotes
Lesson 40: Political metaphors
Lesson 39: Colours
Lesson 38: Business Wisdom
Lesson 37: A poem
Lesson 36: Making and Spending money
Lesson 35: The Taste of Italy
Lesson 34: The SLOW Movement
Lesson 33: Construction
Lesson 32: Safe Internet Shopping
Lesson 31: SUDOKU
Lesson 30: SPEAK YOUR MIND Say what you really think!
Lesson 29: Harrods
Lesson 28: Full English Breakfast
Lesson 27: London Underground
Lesson 26: Loan Words
Lesson 25: Elements
Lesson 24: Business Etiquette
Lesson 23: PUNS
Lesson 22: Fables
Lesson 21: Work Proverbs
Lesson 20: Riddles
Lesson 19: Whodunit?
Lesson 18: Language of chatrooms
Lesson 17: English is everywhere
Lesson 16: Winter Sports
Lesson 15: This Week - New Year in Madeira
Lesson 14: Christmas Crackers
Lesson 13: Insurance Humour
Lesson 12: This Week: Tips for presentations
Lesson 11: Stress at work
Lesson 10: Sherlock Holmes
Lesson 9: What makes a great salesman?
Lesson 8: TRIVIA
Lesson 7: Holidays
Lesson 6: Crazy Headlines
Lesson 5: Economists
Lesson 4: The Pareto Principle
Lesson 3: How to heat up cold calls
Lesson 2: Business & Psychology
Lesson 1: Advertising slogans