Learn English Online
Audio file: 1:47 min
Story length: 257 words
Here is the listening file for this lesson.
The Empty Pot
Long ago, there was an old king. He didn’t have a son or daughter. There was nobody to take his place after he died.
So, he made a plan to find a young person to be the future king or queen.
One day in April, he invited children from the village to his garden. He gave each child one seed. He told them to grow a flower. The person with the best flower would be the future leader.
One boy was happy. Ping loved to grow things. He thought he could grow the best flower.
He went home and planted the seed. Every week, he gave it the right amount of water and sunshine.
For weeks, nothing happened.
He showed his father the empty pot. Ping said he didn’t want to meet the king. His father said, “No my son, go to the king and tell him you worked hard.”
The next day, the king’s garden was filled with kids. Ping looked around. Everyone had a beautiful flower, except him.
The king studied the plants, but didn’t smile. Then he saw Ping. He walked over and asked him, “Why is there nothing inside your pot?”
Ping said, “The seed wouldn’t grow.”
The king smiled. He raised his arm and spoke with a kind voice, “Thank you all, but I do not know how you were able to grow these things. I gave you a bad seed. It wasn’t possible to grow anything. This boy has an empty pot. He is honest. He will be the next king.”
Here’s a gap fill exercise. Download The Empty Pot printable worksheet (pdf file). Listen to the story and fill in the blanks.
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