Всем известно, смех — лучшее лекарство от стресса. Совместите приятное с полезным: читайте эти короткие забавные истории и практикуйте свой английский с удовольствием.
I prefer to play the part of a great man on the stage
Once David Garrick, a famous actor, was told by a Member of Parliament that as he was so popular he could easily become an MP too. “No thank you,” the actor replied. “I prefer to play the part of a great man on the stage than the part of a fool in Parliament.”
Can my dog have a seat in the bus?
One wet day a woman with a dog got on a bus. It was a very big dog and its feet were dirty.
The woman said, “Oh, conductor, if I pay for my dog, can he have a seat like the other passengers?”
The conductor looked at the dog and then said, “Certainly, madam, he can have a seat, but like the other passengers, he mustn’t put his feet on it.”
Why do men in this country wear black when they marry?
Mrs. Robinson was a teacher in a big school in an American city. She had boys and girls in her class, and she always enjoyed teaching them, because they were quick and because they thought about everything carefully.
One day she said to the children: “People in a lot of countries in Asia wear white clothes at funerals, but people in America and in Europe wear white clothes when they’re happy, what color does a woman in this country wear when she marries, Mary?”
Mary said, “White, Miss because she’s happy.”
“That’s good, Mary,” Mrs. Robinson said. “You’re quite right. She wears white because she’s happy.”
But then one of the boys in the class put his hand up.
“Yes, Dick,” Mrs. Robinson said. “Do you want to ask a question?”
“Yes, Miss,” Dick said. “Why do men in this country wear black when they marry?”
Fortune and the man
One day a man was walking along the street. He carried an old bag in his hands. He was wondering why people who had so much money were never satisfied and always wanted more. “As to me,” he said, “if I had enough to eat, I should not ask for anything else.”
Just at this moment Fortune came down the street. She heard the man and stopped.
“Listen,” she said, “I want to help you. Hold your bag, and I shall pour diamonds into it. But every diamond which falls on the ground will become dust. Do you understand?”
“Oh, yes, I understand,” said the man. He quickly opened his bag and stream of diamonds was poured into it. The bag began to grow heavy. “Is that enough?” asked Fortune. “Not yet.” The man’s hand’s began to tremble.
“You are the richest man in the world now.” Said Fortune.
“Just a few more, and a few more,” said the man. Another diamond was added and the bag slipped. All the diamonds fell on the ground and became dust.
Fortune disappeared, leaving the man in the street.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Everyone has heard of Sherlock Holmes. Everyone has read stories about Sherlock Holmes at one time or another. Sherlock Holmes was a famous detective. Actually, he was the most famous detective of all times.
The author of the Sherlock Holmes stories was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Once Sir Arthur arrived in Paris. He took a cab and asked the cabman to take him to the Ritz, the hotel where he was going to spend the night.
The cabman brought him to the hotel. When he received the fare he said:
“Thank you very much, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.”
“How do you know who I am?” asked Sir Arthur. He was very much surprised.
“Well, sir, I read in the newspaper yesterday that you were coming to Paris from the South of France. I also noticed that your hair was cut by a barber in the South of France. Your clothes and especialy your hat told me that you were English. I put all the information together and quessed that you were Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.”
“That is wonderful,” said Sir Arthur.
“You could recognize me though you knew very few facts.”
“Besides,” added the cabman. Your name is on both of your travelling bags. That also helped.”
So, the cabman played a good joke on Conan Doyle.
Honesty is the best policy
A woodman was once working on the bank of a deep river. Suddenly his axe slipped from his hand and dropped into the water.
“Oh! I have lost my axe,” he cried. “What shall I do? Who can help me?”
Mercury heard the poor man’s cries and appeared before him.
‘What is the matter, poor woodman?” he asked. “What has happened? Why are you so sad and unhappy?”
Mercury listened to the man’s story and then said, “Perhaps I can help you.” He dived into the river and brought up a golden axe. “Is this yours?” he asked. “No, that is not mine,” was the answer.
Mercury dived a second time and this time brought up a silver axe. “Is this yours?” he asked. Again the answer was “No.” So Mercury dived a third time and brought up the very axe that the woodman had lost. “That’s my axe,” cried the man. “Yes, that is my axe. Now I can work again.”
Mercury was so pleased with the follow’s honesty that at once he made him a present of the other two axes and disappeared before the man could say, “Thank you”.
The woodman went home very pleased with his good luck. He told his friends all about it and one of them decided to try his luck. So he went to the same place, dropped his axe into the river, and cried out: “Oh! I have lost my axe. What shall I do? Who can help me?”
Mercury appeared as before, and when he learnt that man had lost his axe, he dived into the river. Again he brought up a golden axe. “Is this yours”? he asked.
“Yes, it is,” answered the woodman. “You are not telling me the truth,” said Mercury.
You will neither have this axe nor the one that you so foolishly dropped into the water.”
A present from the son
Long ago there lived an old woman in England. She had a son who was a sailor. He went to different countries and always brought presents for his old mother.
Once he went to China and brought some tea from that country.
At that time tea was very expensive and only rich people could buy and drink it. So the old woman was very happy to have such a nice present. But she didn’t know what to do with it as she had never bought tea before. She thought it was a vegetable. She told her friends about her son’s present and invited them to taste it with her. At last the day of the tea-party came. The woman called her guests to the dining-room and put a big dish of tea leaves on the table. The guests began to eat the leaves with salt just as they ate vegetables. Nobody liked it but didn’t tell the woman about it and continued to eat the leaves.
Some tome later the sailor came into the room. When he saw that all the guests were eating leaves, he smiled.
“What are you doing? Why are eating these leaves? Where is the tea?”
“Here it is, my son,” the old woman said.
“And where is the water in which you have boiled the leaves?” asked the man laughing.
“I threw it away, of course,” answered the woman.
I’m four years old at home, and two and a half in buses and trains
A mother and her young son got into a bus and sat down. The bus conductor came up to them and asked them to pay the fare. The mother said, ‘I want one ticket to Oxford,’ and gave him a shilling.
The conductor was looking at the small boy for a few seconds and then said, ‘How old are you, young man?’
The mother began speaking, but the conductor stopped her, and the boy said, ‘I’m four years old at home, and two and a half in buses and trains.’
The mother took sixpence more out of her bag and gave it to the bus conductor.
He gave her one ticket and a half.