simple words story for English learners

reading with understanding

  • Learning any second language

is through a mixture of word acquisition, pronunciation of new sounds, rythm of speaking, hearing sounds, recognising patterns or groups of sounds - and it is mostly about hard work and repetition.

This story is a re-writing of The Three Little Pigs without any (or very few) long words, in the sense of short words being less far along the learning trail.

The intention is to give a long text that can be understood by not so advanced learners as a way of excercising reading without the constant interruption of looking up 'long' (unlearned yet) words. The interest of any story pulls us along, helping to overcome the little stumbling blocks, and the meaning context gives the meaning of any unknown or unfamiliar word - and the story is not so 'tight' that a missing word or two matters much. If the story can be read without significant pause then the rythm of English becomes more apparent, this can be reinforced in the classroom by the teacher reading it aloud, perhaps accentuating the rythm, and by students reading secions of it out loud.

The author teaches English as a second language in China and is responsible for a Chinese language 'summer camp' that is an exploration of China, the language, the culture and the people - with many activities that take advantage of the beautiful location. We also run English courses alongside for Chinese and for visitors.

At learning CHINA holidays we run summer camp Chinese language courses accompanied by loads of activities and trips -

we also run English language courses accompanied by the same loads of activities and trips, alongside, for English as a second language. It is possible to do both at the same time !

These courses are remarkably economical, and relatively close for many English as second language learners !

Coming - for students of Chinese

  • I expect to have this story translated into Mandarin Chinese soon and will publish it alongside this one.

The Three Little Pigs - a story with no long words

  1. Once upon a time in the spring three little pigs left their home and their Mama and Baba to make new homes in the next valley. They waved bye bye and their Mama cried and their Baba waved quickly as he was busy putting up a sign outside the house that said “three little rooms to rent”.
  2. The three little pigs walked for three days and four nights over the mountains until they found a good place to stay in a valley with long green grass, tall wide trees, a winding river and mud, lots and lots of mud!
  3. There was a wolf, but he lived high up in the mountains which were full of rabbits and wild animals and he was always really busy chasing them around.
  4. The three pigs were thin pig, middle pig and fat pig.
  5. Fat pig was always happy and playing games and everybody loved him. He went to the south end of the valley where the melons were sweet and easy to find. He looked for an easy place to build his house in the middle of the melon fields with a big muddy pond just by the front door.
  6. Thin pig was very sporty and active, he liked to go for long walks, running and swimming. He went to the North end of the valley where he could walk in the hills and run through the woods and swim in the river. He looked for a beautiful place to build his house on a hill near the river where he could see the mountain views and swim whenever he liked.
  7. Middle pig was very very in the middle, he wasn’t fat or thin, he wasn’t sporty but he was very active and busy all the time. He went to the middle of the valley where it was flat and many vegetables grew, there were plenty of melons but not so delicious, and the trees were either very very big or very very small with a lot of bamboo and lots and lots of mud.
  8. Very soon there was a track from the North where thin pig lived to the South where fat pig lived, and it went past Middle pig on the way. Thin pig had plenty of tea and seeds and he would run all the way down the valley to trade them for fruit with Fat pig in the South and on the way he would trade seeds and fruit for vegetables with Middle pig. Sometimes they would discuss Wolf, but they only heard him now and then and always far far away among the mountains.




  1. One day a warm wind started to blow and then it rained really hard all night and turned a little bit cold; the three pigs knew that winter was coming.
  2. Each lttle pig built his new house.
  3. Fat pig had collected many things to build his house. First he made a big pile of soft straw for his bed and sofa next to a big flat rock for a table. After a morning of hard work the smell of ripe melons was too much and he rushed off to eat melons and roll in his mud bath. The next day he pulled all the rocks and stones together around in a circle and on his way to collect bamboo for the walls he just had to stop and eat some more of the melons that were bursting open they were so ripe. When he woke up next morning it was quite chilly and the little bit of cold helped him to remember that winter was on its way. He quickly put up the bamboo walls and tied them together with strings made from straw. He was just gathering up a big pile of dry banana leaves for the roof when the smell of the melons started hungry feelings and that sent him running to eat more melons. He quickly finished his house the next day by tying the banana leaves on top for a roof then, tired out, he slept until the next day. He finished his work quickly by putting all the dried food he had made in the summer inside his new house with the seeds and tea he had traded with Thin pig and the vegetables he had traded with Middle pig.
  4. He only heard Wolf howling once or twice a long long way away as he chased rabbits and other small animals around the mountains.
  5. Thin pig had started to build his house a little bit earlier because it got colder more quickly up in the northern hills. All summer, as he was rushing around from place to place, he had been collecting bamboo and wood. All around a big strong tree he dug out a deep circle in the ground and put in the thick ends of the bamboo poles. He put the earth back in and jumped up and down on it to make it firm. When the poles made a thick wall all around he made a door and windows out of wood and fixed them into the bamboo wall. For a roof he tied bamboo poles in between the thin tops of the bamboo wall and then he tied them to the tree in the middle with rope made from straw strings. Then he covered the poles with dried banana leaves and tied them down with straw string. When the first cold wind blew around the hills he pulled all the food that he had collected in the summer into his house and piled it all up around the walls.
  6. Thin pig often heard Wolf howling in the night but always a long long way away and high in the mountains.
  7. All summer Middle pig had been busy. Every morning he got up as soon as it was light and made some bricks from mud and straw and the white from his breakfast eggs. All summer long they had been drying in the sun until they were as hard as mountain stones. Every day his pile of bricks had got higher and higher and Middle pig got stronger and stronger from eating all the yellow yoke of the eggs, one day with tomatoes, one day with onion and the next day just on their own! Every day in the evening he had spent some time building his house and now, as autumn blew the leaves around his house it was nearly finished. It was square with thick brick walls stuck together with mud mixed with the white of eggs that he had traded with Fat pig for vegetables, it had small square windows (made from wood that he had traded with Thin pig) and he had bars across the windows to keep thieves out and to stop his children falling out. He often thought of finding a wife and starting his family one day, He made a thick, heavy wooden door from logs that he found by the river. The roof was made of strong wood covered with thin square bricks (called tiles) and at one end was a fireplace with a big chimney to suck the smoke out of his house when he was cooking.
  8. In the middle of the valley Middle pig never heard any howling in the moonlight up in the mountains, but he had heard Thin pig and Fat pig talking about it whenever they met.
  9. The wind blew more and more often and the rain got wetter and weter and it got colder. Up in the mountains snow was aleady falling and blowing up in piles around the big rocks, then it started to cover all the plants and the grass. All the small creatures, especially the rabbits snuggled down in their holes under the ground and Wolf could hear them snoring safe under the ground as he got more and more hungry. Down in the valley the three little pigs snuggled down in their beds most of the day and only went out in the middle of the day when it was warm. At night they shut their doors tightly when they heard the unhappy Wolf howling at the cloudy moon.
  10. When the second snow came even the tops of the thin grass disapeared. Wolf was already hungry and so, tucking his tail under his legs, he ran down the mountains to the hills above the valley where the snow was still thin and he could still catch a few rabbits that popped out of their holes for a snack now and again.
  11. When the third snow came it got so cold that everywhere was ice and as quiet as the middle of the night.
  12. Down in the valley the Little Pigs wrapped themselves tighter and tighter and snuggled down deeper and deeper in their beds but they couldn’t sleep as the howling of the Wolf was so close, just up in the hills above.




  1. Then, one cold night when the moon was hidden in the clouds and snow blew all around the Wolf found Fat Pig’s house! He ran round and round the house sniffing and snuffling and making yum yum yum noises and Fat pig hid deep in his bed shaking and shivering and trying to keep quiet.
  2. Wolf came up to the door and said “Fat pig, Fat pig, come out, come out!”
  3. Fat pig was shaking and shivering and crying!
  4. “Fat pig, Fat pig, come out, COME OUT!” shouted Wolf!
  5. Fat pig squeaked “NO!”.
  6. Wolf laughed a sneering sneaky really bad laugh, “Fat pig, Fat pig come out, come out or I will knock your house down!”
  7. Fat pig buried himself in his bed and squeaked “Oohh!” as he got hotter and hotter and sweaty and smelly.
  8. The Wolf jumped up on the roof of Fat pig’s house and got the top of the wall in his teeth and he shook and tore and growled and snarled and threw himself all about until suddenly the whole house fell down with a crash! In the big pile of bamboo and banana leaves and straw and food and melons Wolf dug and dug looking for Fat little pig. The smell of pig was so strong and the Wolf so excited and hungry that it was a long time before he found out that Fat little pig was gone!
  9. Fat little pig was running up the valley as fast as his little legs could go! His mouth was wide open as he gasped for air and his little heart was beating mad and fast! Too frightened to run all around the lake Fat little pig threw himself in and swam to the other side and ran and ran as fast as he could but Wolf was big and strong and was already after him! The track that Fat little pig left in the grass and the thin snow was easy to follow and the smell of frightened pig so easy to smell and the thought of juicy pig too yummy to miss! Wolf nearly caught up to Fat little pig at the lake, but then there was no more trail to follow and no more smell of juicy pig. Just then the clouds blew away and Wolf could just see Fat little pig on the other side of the lake and he started off to race around to catch him. Fat little pig was almost flying on his little fat legs as he ran as fast as he could. When he saw Middle pig’s house in the moonlight he screamed out,
  10. “Middle pig, Middle pig, help, help, let me in, let me in!”
  11. Middle pig dragged open his door just in time to see Fat little pig racing up the path and not far behind him the big black shape of wolf and his big white sharp teeth and.his gleaming red eyes in the moonllight. Fat little pig got to the hosue and threw himself in through the door just as wolf reached him and his big whtite teeth opened to grab his leg when Middle pig banged the door shut in his face!
  12. Wolf was so angry! He howled and howled and jumped up and down and ran round and round and rubbed at the big bump on his head where he had banged into the door.
  13. Thin little pig could hear all the howling and banging and cradhing and shouting far away down the valley and he pulled some straw over his head and trembled in his bed.
  14. Wolf was very angry but he calmed down after a little time. He walked round and round the Middle pig’s house, he jumped up on the roof and inside Middle pig and Fat pig could hear him sniffing and snuffling. Then they could hear nothing at all!. Wolf had found the path to Thin pig’s house and was running up the valley!
  15. Thin pig had got up and was peeking through the bars on his windows when suddenly he saw Wolf appear running up the path, big and black with big white teeth gleaming in the moonlight and little red eyes that looked angry and hungry!
  16. “Thin pig, Thin pig, come out, come out!” growled wolf at the door.
  17. “No, I am not coming out because you will eat me!” shouted back Thin pig in a shaky voice.
  18. Wolf snarled and growled and scratched at the ground,”Thin pig, Thin pig, come out, come out!”
  19. “No, I am not coming out because you will eat me!” shouted back Thin pig in a shaky voice.
  20. “Come out, come out or I will tear your house down!” growled Wolf in a loud voice.
  21. “Eek!” said Thin pig with his back to the wall and shaking and shivering
  22. Then there was a huge crash as Wolf threw himself at the door! Crash! As Wolf threw himself at the wall! Snarling and scratching as Wolf tried to get in through the windows! Thin pig was shaking and shivering and crying and squealing as he moved round and round inside to keep as far from Wolf as he could. Then crash, crash, crash! As Wolf jumped up and down on the roof. Suddenly the sounds changed to snarling tearing and scratching as Wolf started to rip and pull at the straw strings that held the roof together until crash! The whole roof collapsed into the house and Wolf was inside tearing up the bed and digging through all the piled up food. But Thin pig had slipped out through the door and was already running as fast as he could down the valley to Middle pig’s house!
  23. Wolf soon realised that another little pig had got away and stood quiet for a moment and he could hear Thin pig racing away in the thin light from the winter moon, he could hear him squealing as he ran and he could smell the strong smell of frightened pig and his mouth started to dribble as he thought of juicy squishy pig meat for dinner!
  24. Wolf ran after Thin pig but Thin pig was very fast and Wolf was very tired already from chaasing Fat pig and all the hosue tearing down and he could only catch up slowly even though he was big and strong and black with shiny white teeth and red hungry eyes. He nearly caught him but Thin pig ran and wriggled and squirmed through a thick forest of bamboo and when Wolf nearly caught up and was just about to reach out with his big white teeth and bite Thin pig’s back leg a bamboo flicked out from under Thin pig and whacked Wolf on the nose. That stopped Wolf for moment as he sat sown hard and rubbed his nose and wiped the tears from his eyes, then he jumped up and ran after Thin pig again getting closer and closer. Just when Wolf was getting close again Middle pig’s house appeared down the path.
  25. “Middle pig, Middle pig, help, help, let me in, let me in!”
  26. Middle pig dragged open his door just in time to see Thin little pig racing up the path and not far behind him the big black shape of wolf and his big white sharp teeth and.his glittery red eyes in the moonllight. Thin little pig got to the house and threw himself in through the door just as wolf reached him and his big white teeth opened to grab his leg when Middle pig banged the door shut in his face!




  1. Wolf was so angry! He jumped up and down and roared and snarled and spit and rolled on the floor.
  2. After a little time when Wolf had got his breath baack and calmed down a little he sat by the door.
  3. “Middle pig, Middle pig, come out, come out!”
  4. Middle pig said “NO!”
  5. “Middle pig, Middle pig, come out, come out!”
  6. Middle pig said “NO!”
  7. “Middle pig, Middle pig, give me Fat pig and I will go away”
  8. Middle pig said “NO!”
  9. “Middle pig, Middle pig, give me Thin pig and I will go away”
  10. Middle pig said “NO!”
  11. “Middle pig, Middle pig, come out, come out or I will tear your house down!”
  12. Middle pig shouted back “My house is strong and my walls are thick. We will not come out!”
  13. Wolf was so angry! Whack! He threw himself at the walls but only hurt his shoulder. Crash! He threw himself at the door but only hurt his other shoulder. He scratched and snarled at the roof but he could not move the tiles that were tied down really tightly to the thick wooden roof, he scratched and snarled at the windows but the bars were too thick, then he jumped up onto the roof again. The smell of delicious hot sweaty pig was coming out of the chimney! Wolf climbed up the chimney and dived head-first down! But Middle pig had done a really good job and the chimney was wide at the top but thin at the bottom and Wolf got stuck halfway down with his tail sticking up out of the top and one leg and his head sticking out of the bottom where he could see the threee little pigs standing there looking at him.
  14. Middle pig carefully piled up the firewood in the fire, all the time keeping a safe distance from Wolf’s snapping, snarling, big white teeth. Then he lit the fire and that was the end of Wolf.



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Comments 8 comments

smackins1974 profile image

smackins1974 5 years ago from UK

well not the version I was tucked into bed with as a child but entertaining just the same.

Keep writing AP you are falling behind, I have caught up to you now ;)


Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

Pamela Kinnaird W 5 years ago from Maui and Arizona

Enjoyed your variation on this. I don't know where the original story came from. Do you? It's one of those stories that has to be toned down considerably until the child is at least five years old.

alternate poet profile image

alternate poet 5 years ago Author

Hi Sarah. Of course not the version you were tucked up with, you want me hit with duplicate content !! :D

Pamela - No, I don't know whre the original came from, it was everywhere when I was a kid so must be over a hundred years old I would think :D

I don't agree on the toning things down for kids, in fact I think this is a big mistake. Kids can separate story gore and violence from real life and it may even be an essential skill for them to learn in today's misinformation age. Roald Dahl is my favourite and my kids loved his stuff, but they don't believe in giants taller than the house that can put you in their pocket - they never did ! Neighbours kids grew up afraid of the dark and not able to distinguish between fact and fiction.

jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

Nice take on a classic.

gulnazahmad profile image

gulnazahmad 5 years ago from Pakistan

This is really an in depth knowledge which can be very helpful for learning English. Thanks for sharing it.

loveofnight profile image

loveofnight 4 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

I actually like your version better than the one I heard as a kid. It was a good read.....thx 4 share

pratap 2 years ago

very nice.

khizar khan 13 months ago

Nice story for new child whenever u want read simple english so u learn simple story and articles also

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