Learn English – a story about The House that Ran Away

Here’s a fun story about a neglected house and how she felt and what the family did about it. Whimsical and with a lesson for care and upkeep of our material blessings.


Once upon a time……… when you hear those words, you know a story is coming, a tale. That’s right. Today, I’m going to tell you a story. It’s not a fairy tale, but it could be, about a house that ran away.

(Intro: English without Fear where you can learn to speak English naturally, through listening to stories.)

Once upon a time, there was a family, the Thomas family, and they lived in a house with their noisy children. With their active, noisy children. With their active, noisy children who loved running up the stairs and down the stairs and all through the house, yelling and screaming and making a lot of noise.

These children also loved to slam the doors. These noisy children, these active noisy children, would slam the doors in the house and out of the house. When they went outside to play, having slammed the door, they would pick up balls, like basketballs, and throw them against the walls of the house. This poor house hated all the noise. This poor house hated having her doors slammed: “Ouch, that hurt!”  And, this house hated when the kids would throw balls against her walls. That hurt, too.

So, one day the house decided to run away. And so she did. Did she run away just because of the children, the noisy children, the active noisy children? No, she also ran away because she was being neglected. The parents, Mr and Mrs Thomas, did not take good care of the house. When something broke, they did not fix it. They also had not painted her in years and years. And she was feeling very sad because her paint was peeling, was coming off. She was feeling neglected and broken down and worn out and unappreciated, like no one cared. So, she ran away.

Well, when the Thomas family came home one evening, where was the house? “Where’s our house? Why isn’t our house here? Where, where….. could our house have gone?” they asked. They had never heard of a disappearing house. So, they asked around and Mr Thomas found out where the house had run away to. 

He decided to go visit the house, to talk to the house, to try to convince the house to come back. When he sat down to talk to the house, he asked her “House, why did you run away from us?” He could tell that she was sad.

“I can’t stand the noise. I can’t stand my doors being slammed. I can’t stand balls being thrown against my walls. The noise hurts my head and the doors and the balls, they hurt my whole frame. I could not stand the noise or the pain. Furthermore, I feel really bad because I’m broken down. I haven’t been painted. I don’t feel pretty, anymore. I feel like nobody loves me. Nobody cares for me. That’s why I ran away. I didn’t think you all cared!”

Well, when Mr. Thomas heard that, he was startled, but he understood. So, he said to the house, “Wait here. I am going to go back and talk to the family.”

So, we went back to the family and explained the whole situation. The family was shocked. They had not realized how their house felt. Right then and there, they decided they would do a better job and take care of their house. Mr. Thomas went back to the house and told her everything that the children and they, Mr and Mrs Thomas, would do if she would give them one more chance.

And the house said, “Yes, I will give you one more chance. I really like you, if you take care of me and are not noisy and don’t hurt me.”

Well, the Thomas family was true to its word. The house came back and the children set to fixing what they could under the direction of their dad. Mr and Mrs Thomas painted the house. They repaired the house. The children cleaned up the house. But most of all, the children decided they would not run in the house. They would not slam doors anymore. And that they would not throw their balls against the house. 

And Mr and Mrs Thomas and the children followed their vows. They were true to their word and treated their house well. They kept up the repairs. They refreshed the paint from time to time and they learned to love and appreciate their house.

And how did the house feel? She felt so much better. Never again, did she want to run away.  She was very happy with her family since they had changed. 

Well, how did you like the story about the house that ran away? I did not make it up. It’s actually a book, a children’s book written by Stuart Watkins. What about you? Do you have a favorite book from when you were a child?  Or do you have a favorite book that you are reading to your kids or reading to little kids when you babysit? Tell me about it. Leave me a comment below this video. 

And if you would like the transcript, the words to today’s episode, just go to my website, www.englishwithoutfear.com and there you can find other episodes and transcripts to many of them. This is Maria, talk to you next time. 

(outro: Thanks for watching. For questions or comments, here’s my email.)

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