Practice English Speaking&Listening with: The Great Race - Chinese Zodiac | Folk Tale Time | A Cool School Folk Tale

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Hi there boys and girls! It's Folk Tale Time at Cool School.

This one is called The Great Race.

You ready?


On your mark, get set, let's go!

Legend has it that once upon a time,

many, many, many, many, many, maaany years ago,

in Ancient China, there was a rat.

That's me!

Not just any rat.

This rat was the WORST swimmer in the world!

Hey, the cat's a bad swimmer too!

That's true...

There was also a cat that couldn't swim.

Gimme a break!

Everybody knows cats don't like water.

Also true.

Nevertheless, there was to be a great race across the river,

and so the cat and the rat were just gonna have to get wet.

See, the Jade Emperor,

the guy who pretty much ruled everything,

had called a meeting of the animals

The Emperor was going to honor the first 12 animals to get across the river

with their very own year!

Picture that: the Year of the Rat!

Got a nice ring to it...

I prefer Year of the Cat!

Okay, let's skip ahead to the day of the big race.

So many animals were there!

There was a rabbit,

a goat,

a pig,

a rooster,

a snake,

a horse,

a dog,

a monkey,

a tiger,

an ox,

and a flying dragon.

The cat and the rat knew they didn't stand a chance.

So they hatched a clever plan to hitch a ride on another animal!

The dog was the fastest swimmer,

but the cat and the dog fought like, well, cats and dogs.

So that wouldn't work...

The flying dragon COULD get them there,

but the rat was afraid of heights!

Finally, they settled on the ox.

The ox was fast, strong, and the cat and the rat knew they would trick him!

Hey ox! You wanna hear us sing a song?

Yeah! I love moosic!

Did you like it?

Gee guys, I couldn't hear it.

Well, let us hop onto your back and we'll sing it into your ear!


The cat and the rat hopped onto the ox's back

just as the race began!

Their plan was working!

On your mark... Get set... Go!

Can you hear us now?




What about now?

Nope... but I do hear a thumping sound.

It was a rabbit! The rabbit was hopping across the river from stone to stone!

Ah! Hurry ox!

But then the rabbit missed a stone

and instead landed on a floating log.

Haha! Bye bye rabbit!

Then they saw the tiger, coming up behind them

then the dragon,

then the horse!

Giddy-up ox! Hya!


Weird that I can hear THAT and not your song, right?

Yeah yeah, life's a mystery.

Keep swimming!

MS. BOOKSY: Poor, sweet ox.

The cat and the rat were not being very nice!

Meanwhile, three totally very nice animals

the goat, the rooster, and the monkey,

were still on shore trying to figure out how they could get across the river.

Not one of them could swim!

Just as they were about to give up,

the rooster spotted a raft!

The three of them pulled it to the river,

hopped in, and worked together to make it across.

They even offered a ride to the dog, but she said

No thank you!

But you're WAY behind!

You'll lose!

Puh-lease, I'm like the fastest swimmer ever!

I'll be fine.

MS. BOOKSY: Then they saw the pig on a raft, having a snack!

What? I got hungry...

I guess they never read The Tortoise and the Hare!

MS. BOOKSY: On the other side of the river,

the ox was JUST about to cross the finish line,

when that rascally-rat pushed the cat into the water!


And then jumped on the shore right past the ox to win the race!

And so, the Year of the Rat officially became a thing.

The ox crossed next,

then the tiger,

and the rabbit,

followed by the flying dragon.

Ha ha! I beat the dragon??

I'm the best! Nobody beats me!

MS. BOOKSY: The dragon explained

that she had seen the little rabbit floating in the wrong direction

and had stopped to help him.

Well done, dragon!

I am honored to name the 6th year after you!

Yeah, but I got first place!

Did you know THAT, dragon?

Next, the horse and snake made it across the river,

followed by the rooster, monkey, and goat in their little raft.


I love teamwork!

Teamwork, shmeamwork.

I'm the real champion.

MS. BOOKSY: After the pig and dog finally crossed the finish line,

the Jade Emperor invited all the animals to his palace for a party.

The rat stayed behind a moment

because he wanted to make a grand entrance, like this:

MS. BOOKSY: But, before he could,

he heard a familiar meow.


Remember me?


Hm, is this their song?

I don't think I like it!

MS BOOKSY: The cat and the rat fought all night,

while the rest of the animals had an awesome time,

celebrating with the Jade Emperor.

To this day, people still celebrate the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac.

Oh yeah, and cats and rats still don't get along!

The End.

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The Description of The Great Race - Chinese Zodiac | Folk Tale Time | A Cool School Folk Tale