Free English Lessons: Two Monks

English Listening Practice Lessons

Listening level: 3
Audio file: 1:53 min
Story length: 275 words


Here is the listening file for this lesson.


Two Monks

What happens if we can’t stop thinking about events that happened in the past? Sometimes those memories become a problem. That’s one possible message in this simple story.

One morning, two monks were walking along a mountain path. One man was old and wise. The other was young and didn’t have much experience.

Around lunch time, the two men came to a wide river. The water was moving at a great speed. They studied the current. They were looking for a safe place to cross.

Soon, a young woman approached them. She wanted to go to the other side of the river, but was afraid. She asked the monks if they would help her.

Without speaking, the old monk put the woman on his back. Then he crossed the river. He walked slowly and carefully.

On the other side of the river, he put her on the ground. She thanked the man and continued on her journey.

The young monk was shocked by what he had seen. He was taught that monks should never touch a woman.

On the other side of the river, the young monk wanted to ask a question. But he didn’t say a word.

Several hours passed, and the two men did not speak. Finally, after many hours of not talking, the young monk spoke. He asked the old man, “Monks are not allowed to touch women. Why did you carry her on your back?”

The old man turned around and looked at the young man. Then he said, “My dear brother, I put that woman on the ground many hours ago. Why do you still carry her in your mind?”

More Practice

Here’s a gap fill exercise. Download the Two Monks printable worksheet (pdf file). Listen to the story and fill in the blanks.

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