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English Audio Request

668 Words / 3 Recordings / 0 Comments
Note to recorder:

Please, take it easy and have fun.

I'm posting in it on a whim, sort of :). (I.e., I don't really need it, and I won't mind it if everyone ignores the request. :)) It's one of my old ESL-course compositions; I simply thought it could be fun to have it read by a native speaker. The only Polish word appearing in the text is "Bieszczady", which is pronounced pretty much like this: Bhyesh-'chah-di (with the accent on the second syllable, "chah".

Natural speed and dramatic interpretation is welcome :)

An Amazing Story

Years ago, when I was still a little boy, I used to spend most of my summer holidays in a beautiful, picturesque part of Poland which is the Bieszczady mountains. It was a most wonderful place to spend one's holiday. The area was sparsely populated and quite backward in civilization advances. In the times when I used to visit there, the villages didn't even have electricity. Would you believe that?

I used to spend my days going on long walks or fishing. To learn something about the more remote places I would make trips on a bike or on horseback. During one of the bike tours, my bicycle split in two. I had no choice but to come back home on foot. As to what remained of the bike, I thought it would be an enormous toil to drag it with me, so I left it.

It was getting late so I thought it would save me time and sweat if, instead of going back the same way along the road, I took a shortcut through the forest. After a time, I came across a river that looked familiar, so I decided to go alongside the current. I was convinced that this way I must get back to my village. When night began to draw in, I started to worry, as I still could not see any human settlements. Then I thought that I must have got myself further on the bike than I had thought, and that this must be the reason why the way back was taking so long. I realized I should get prepared to spend the night on the way. It was summer in its full, good weather, so I was not at all worried by the prospect.

I was very tired, so I fell asleep quickly. In the night, however, I was soon woken up; partly by the chill of the ground and partly by the creepy feeling of being aware of someone's presence when you cannot see them. Now I was full awake. A thick, strong stick in my hand, I leant my back against a big tree, and waited in the darkness listening, waiting for an attack. In this manner I held on until dawn.

With the first light, I could see that the mysterious creature which gave me such a fright was just a horse. I was mad with myself for being such a coward at dark, but the next moment my mood improved, as I realized I should be able to make my way back on the horse. Unfortunately, when I tried to come up to the animal, it ran off.

Willy-nilly, I had to trudge back on foot. It took me the whole day. I was exhausted with the heat, angry for having got lost, but first and foremost I was very hungry. I was lucky, though. In a place where the river I was keeping to was broad and shallow I managed to catch a fish with my bare hands. I had a knife but no matches, so I had to eat the fish raw. It was delicious.

With the end of the day I got to a town which was, as it turned out, about forty miles from my village. The first train to the village was in early morning the next day, so I had to wait for it the whole night. Still, even then, my trouble was not yet over: I didn't have a penny to my name, so I couldn't buy a ticket. To avoid problems with ticket control, I spent the journey on the roof of the train. I was back home just in time: the people who looked after me were getting anxious with my three-day absence and were just about to go to police and report me missing. Everything ended well, but my summer adventure of that year made me develop a lasting dislike of:
- riding a bike
- horses
- travelling on a train's roof.




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