Two-minute tales from history, myth and fiction, accompanied by word games, grammar games and writing practice, all based on traditional school textbooks.

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The Wolf, the Bear and Cat Ivanovitch
two-part story
Music: Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky
A faithful but unprepossessing pet is turned out of hearth and home.

ONCE upon a time, a peasant decided that his ginger cat, a battle-scarred mouser with one ear, was not the sort of pet to be seen with. So he popped old Tom in a sack, and dumped him in the forest.

Tom clawed his way out of his sack, and set off to explore his new world.

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Six Posts
Two Gentlemen of Verona
two-part story
Music: Charles Avison
Parted from his beloved Julia, Proteus follows his friend Valentine to Milan, where he meets the bewitching Silvia.
Based on the play by William Shakespeare
(1564-1616)

ONE day, Valentine came to bid farewell to his fast friend Proteus. Proteus had fallen in love, and Valentine, weary of listening to Proteus’s raptures about his Julia, thought he might try his luck in Milan. Luck was unusually kind, bringing him Silvia, the pretty, teasing daughter of the Duke of Milan.

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The Birds
two-part story
Music: Richard Jones
Two men fed up with Athenian politics decide to build a city in the sky.
Based on the play by Aristophanes
(c. 445-386 BC)

TWO men from Athens, that cradle of democracy, were fed up with the childish politicking and squabbles about laws.

Imagine, said Pisthetaerus to his friend Euelpides, that we were birds! We could build ourselves a city in the sky, and get away from it all.

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3
The Selfish Cat
two-part story
A tortoiseshell laments his hard life among heartless humans.
Based on a story by Edith Nesbit
(1858-1924)

“IT’S not every trade that deserves to have a cat about the place” said the tortoiseshell cat to the grey one.

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The Hound of the Baskervilles
two-part story
Music: Sir Hubert Parry
Is an old family legend being used as a cover for a very modern murder?
Based on the novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
(1859-1930)

THE sudden death of Sir Charles Baskerville brought his nephew Henry from Canada to Baskerville Hall, on the edge of Dartmoor.

Rumours that Sir Charles had died of fright on seeing the Baskerville hound, the terror of a family ghost-story going back to the 17th century, Sir Henry brushed aside as legend.

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The Man Who Would Be King
two-part story
Music: Charles Villiers Stanford
Two rascally former British soldiers in India set off to become kings of Kafiristan.
Based on the short story by Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)

TWO rascally former soldiers in the British Army, Danny Dravot and Peachey Carnehan, arrived one day in the cramped offices of a newspaper in Lahore. The sole correspondent remembered them as two fellow-freemasons, for whom he had recently done a small favour.

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The Story of ‘Oliver Twist’
two-part story
Music: Muzio Clementi
Fate and a vicious professional thief named Fagin conspire to trap orphan Oliver Twist into a life of crime.
Based on the novel by Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

OLIVER TWIST was an orphan from birth, and left in the unsympathetic care of a government Workhouse.

As soon as he was old enough, he was sent to work for an undertaker, a miserable existence from which he escaped by running away to London.

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All Posts
Tagged Stories in Short (24 posts)
page 1
1 The Wolf, the Bear and Cat Ivanovitch
A faithful but unprepossessing pet is turned out of hearth and home.
2 Much Ado About Nothing
Based on the play by William Shakespeare
(1564-1616)
Don Pedro’s brother John tries to ensure that the course of true love does not run smooth.
3 The Tempest
Based on the play by William Shakespeare
(1564-1616)
A duke with a passion for the art of enchantment is stranded by his enemies on a deserted island.
4 Persian Treasures
By Edith Nesbit
(1858-1924)
‘Be careful what you wish for’, they say, and there could be no more endearing example.
5 King Solomon’s Mines
Based on the novel by Sir Henry Rider Haggard
(1865-1936)
Allan Quartermain goes in search of a lost tourist and a legendary hoard of diamonds.
6 The Knight’s Tale
Based on the story by Geoffrey Chaucer
(?1343-1400)
Two noble youths of ancient Thebes fall for the same princess.
page 2
7 The Peasant, the Penny and Marko the Rich
Marko adopts drastic measures to get out of repaying the loan of a penny.
8 No Thoroughfare
Based on the novel by Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)
and Wilkie Collins
(1824-1889)
At twenty-five and owner of his own business, Walter Wilding thought his world was secure, but it was about to be rocked to its foundations.
9 A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Based on the play by William Shakespeare
(1564-1616)
Hermia and her lover Lysander elope from Athens, only to become tangled with squabbling fairies in the woods.
10 Two Gentlemen of Verona
Based on the play by William Shakespeare
(1564-1616)
Parted from his beloved Julia, Proteus follows his friend Valentine to Milan, where he meets the bewitching Silvia.
11 The Cat Who Walks by Himself
Based on a short story by Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)
Part One. The sly cat hatches a plan to get all the benefits of domestic life without any of the responsibilities.
12 Jane Eyre
Her enemies made Jane stronger, but her lover struck a blow from which she might never recover.
page 3
13 The Tragedy of Macbeth
Based on the play by William Shakespeare
(1564-1616)
Macbeth becomes wound in spells, and finds that one murder leads to another.
14 The Tragedy of Hamlet
Based on the play by William Shakespeare
(1564-1616)
The Prince of Denmark is bound to avenge his father’s murder.
15 The Hound of the Baskervilles
Based on the novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
(1859-1930)
Is an old family legend being used as a cover for a very modern murder?
16 The Selfish Giant
Based on the short story by
Oscar Wilde
A giant gets angry when he finds children playing in his garden.
17 Treasure Island
Based on the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson
(1850-1894)
An excited English gentleman hires a ship for a treasure-hunt, but doesn’t check his crew’s credentials.
18 The Hobbit
Based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien
(1892-1973)
Tolkien’s tale of dragons, magic rings and enchanted gold is one of the masterpieces of English literature.
page 4
19 Too Clever By Half
Based on a short story by Edith Nesbit
(1858-1924)
Mrs Tabby White thought she’d try some of the clever things her humans did.
20 The Story of ‘Oliver Twist’
Based on the novel by Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)
Fate and a vicious professional thief named Fagin conspire to trap orphan Oliver Twist into a life of crime.
21 The Birds
Based on the play by Aristophanes
(c. 445-386 BC)
Two men fed up with Athenian politics decide to build a city in the sky.
22 The Man Who Would Be King
Based on the short story by Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)
Two rascally former British soldiers in India set off to become kings of Kafiristan.
23 The Kitchen Cat
Based on a short story by Amy Walton
(1845-1925)
Part One. Ruth Lorimer’s strangely comfortless life changes when she finds a scruffy little cat on the stairs, but not everyone is pleased.
24 The Selfish Cat
Based on a story by Edith Nesbit
(1858-1924)
A tortoiseshell laments his hard life among heartless humans.
which is ‘English Style’ ?

Word Play: Subject and Object

Use each of the words below as either the subject or the object of a verb.

Flower. Death. Night.

JB Cramer was one of the finest pianists of his day, though his reverence for Mozart made his own music more popular in the drawing room than the concert hall.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792-1822)
Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley says that the pinnacle of political achievement is the government not of others, but of ourselves.
By John Keats
(1795-1821)
Poet John Keats speaks of the beauties of Autumn, her colours, her sounds and her rich harvest.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792-1822)
Poet Percy Shelley calls on November’s sister months to watch by the graveside of the dead Year.
Cut
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Polyword ‘Bleat’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or Newcastle (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

Note: You can find more Polywords and other games on our Nine Lives puzzle page, and most of our stories are accompanied by games with words, grammar and numbers.

More Puzzles
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.
Find the longest word that can be made from nine randomly chosen letters.
Do you know ‘cunning’ (3 letters), and ‘Phobos’s primary’ (4 letters)?
Take one number from another number. See how quickly you can solve the sums.
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with FLAG and finish with POLE.
See if you can guess these words letter-by-letter.
A word-making and word-searching game with a dash of strategy to it.
top topics
History (379)
Fiction (82)

letters game

Make words from two or more of the tiles below. What is the highest-scoring word you can make?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: High Tiles (Letters Game) Games with Words

numbers game

Make the total shown using two or more of the numbers underneath it. You can add, subtract, divide and multiply. Use any number once only.

More like this: Target Number (Mental Arithmetic Game) Mental Arithmetic