Learn English Listening: The Stone Cutter

Free Online English Listening Lessons

Listening level: 4
Audio file: 2:11 min
Story length: 303 words


The Stone Cutter

Long ago, an old man worked as a stone cutter. He cut large rocks into small pieces and sold them in the market.

Life was difficult and the old man wasn’t happy. He wanted something different. He sought power. The spirit in the mountain heard his wish and decided to help him.
One early morning, the old man went to the forest in search of the most powerful thing in the land.

He looked up at the sun. “Nothing could be stronger than the sun! All life depends on its energy. I wish I were the sun” he said to himself.

The mountain spirit heard the old man and changed him into the sun. For several days, he was happy. His light traveled around the world.

Then a cloud appeared in the sky. It blocked the sun’s light and made the land dark. The sun, he learned, wasn’t so powerful.

“Nothing is stronger than a cloud! I wish I were a cloud” he shouted.

The mountain spirit listened to his cry and changed him into a cloud. He was the largest cloud in the sky. He made storms and he was content.

Then he saw a rock. He tried to move it with heavy rain and strong winds, but failed.

“Nothing is stronger than a rock! I wish I were a rock” he said.

The mountain spirit heard the old man’s voice and turned him into a huge rock. The old man was pleased. He rested on the mountain side thinking his great size made him powerful.

Some months later, a young stone cutter climbed the mountain. He approached the rock, opened his bag and took out some tools.

Suddenly, the old man heard a noise. He felt his body changing.

He soon realized the stone cutter was more powerful than a rock.

More Practice

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

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