[Short Story with Audio] Hilda’s Roof

This is a short story for learners of English from I Talk You Talk Press. You can read and listen at the same time, or you can try shadowing. We hope you enjoy the story!

Hilda’s house is very old. She does not have much money. When it rains, water comes into her house.

I must stop the water coming into my house, thinks Hilda.

She calls a local man who repairs houses. His name is Rory.

“Rory,” says Hilda. “The roof of my house is very bad. When it rains, water comes into my house. Can you help me?”

“OK, Hilda,” says Rory. “I will come and look at your house. I will come tomorrow. My daughter is home because it is university holidays.  Maybe she will come and help me.”

Rory comes the next day. His daughter Wanda, comes with him.

Rory looks inside the house. Then he goes outside. Wanda holds the ladder for her father. Rory climbs onto the roof.

After a while, Rory comes into the house.

“Hilda,” he says. “You need a new roof.”

“Oh, no!” says Hilda. “I do not have enough money for a new roof!”

“I understand,” says Rory. “Maybe I can fix the holes in your roof. I will do my best, but more holes will come.”

Hilda is worried and unhappy. “Please do the best you can,” she says. “Maybe I will win a lottery or something. Maybe I can find enough money for a new roof before next winter.”

“OK,” says Rory. “I will go onto the roof and try to fix the holes.”

Hilda goes into her kitchen.  Rory is a very kind man, she thinks. When Rory and Wanda take a break, I will give them a snack.  I will make some cookies.

Hilda is taking her cookies out of the oven when she hears a loud noise. There is a crash and a bang. Then she hears loud voices.

Oh no! That’s Rory’s voice, thinks Hilda.

Hilda runs through the house. She gets a big shock. Rory is sitting on her living room floor. Hilda looks up. There is a big hole in the roof – Hilda can see the sky.

Wanda runs into the house.  “Dad! Dad! Are you OK?”

“I’m fine,” says Rory. “Hilda I am so sorry about your roof. It was so old and weak. I fell through it.”

“Don’t worry about my roof,” says Hilda. “I am happy you are not hurt. Sit down in that armchair and I will bring you a cup of tea.”

Hilda brings tea and cookies for Rory and Wanda. She sits down with Rory and Wanda. They drink tea and eat cookies. They look at the sky.

Suddenly they hear strange noises. “Get out!” shouts Rory. “The roof is falling!”

They run to the kitchen. There is a lot of noise and dust.

After a while, the noise stops. “Stay here,” says Rory. “I will go and look.”

Hilda and Wanda wait for a long time. Finally, Rory comes back to the kitchen. He is hiding something behind his back.

“Hilda,” says Rory. “Who lived in this house before you?”

“My parents,” says Hilda. “And before them, my grandparents lived here.”

Rory smiles. “Well someone who lived here didn’t like banks! Look what I found in all the rubbish on the floor.” He takes a box from behind his back and gives it to Hilda.

Hilda opens the box. It is filled with old gold coins.

“Someone hid this box in the roof of your house.”

“I can pay for a new roof!” shouts Hilda. “It is wonderful!”

Rory laughs. “Hilda you can pay for a new house!”