[Short Story with Audio] Grandparent’s Day

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!

After Walter Bergen’s wife died, he was very sad. He was lonely. He didn’t care about anything. He didn’t clean his house. He didn’t cook meals. He ate TV dinners and toast. He didn’t wash his clothes. He didn’t shave, or go to the hairdresser. His daughter, Melanie, was very worried about him. She drove to his house and said, “Dad! This is no good! You can’t stay here. Come and live in our house.”

“I don’t want to live in your house,” said Walter. “I am OK. Go away!”

Melanie was worried, but her father was very angry, so she went away.

One day, a few weeks later, Walter walked to the supermarket. He bought TV dinners and bread. He walked out of the supermarket. He walked across the road. He didn’t look to the left or the right. A car hit him. The ambulance came and took him to the hospital.  Melanie came to the hospital. “Dad!” she shouted. “You will not live alone. You will come to our house.”

Walter went to Melanie’s house. Melanie’s husband’s name was Roger. He was not happy. “Your father is dirty.  He is always angry. Why is he living in our house?”

“He is my father,” said Melanie. “He is old. He is unhappy. He must stay here.”

“I understand,” said Roger.

Melanie and Roger’s daughter was called Rosa. She was nine years old. One night while they were eating dinner, Melanie said, “Tomorrow, Rosa’s school has Grandparent’s Day.”

“What is Grandparent’s Day?” asked Walter.

“The children’s grandparents go to the school. They see what the children do at school. The children sing, and the grandparents play games with them. It is very nice,” said Melanie.

“I am Rosa’s grandfather,” said Walter. “I will go to Grandparent’s Day.

Rosa jumped up. She ran away from the table. She went to her bedroom.

Later, Walter was going to bed. He walked past Rosa’s bedroom. She was crying. Walter heard Roger’s voice. “Rosa,” he said. “Stop crying.”

“No!” shouted Rosa. “My grandfather is dirty. He smells bad. He doesn’t clean his clothes. He is always angry. I don’t want him to come to my school. The other children will laugh at me!”

“Rosa!” said Roger. “Many children have no grandparents. You are lucky. You have a grandfather. If Walter wants to come to your school, it is a good thing.”

Walter went to his bedroom.

The next morning, Rosa did not want to go to school. “My grandfather is not nice. I don’t want him to come to my school.”

“You will go to school,” said Melanie.

The grandparents came to Rosa’s school at 1:00 pm.

The students went to the school hall. All the children ran to find their grandparents. Rosa waited by the door. She looked all around the school hall, but she couldn’t see her grandfather. Where is he? she thought.  Maybe he didn’t come.

There was one man who was alone. He was wearing a suit and tie. His shoes were very shiny. He looked very smart. I wish that man was my grandfather, thought Rosa. He looks like a nice man.

The man turned towards Rosa. “Rosa!” he shouted.

Rosa could not believe it. It was her grandfather, but he looked like a new man. Rosa ran to Walter and hugged him.

I’m pleased I heard Rosa talking to her father last night, thought Walter. It made me feel bad when I heard what Rosa said. But I understand. I will be a better person in the future.

By I Talk You Talk Press – Easy English Reading

[Short Story with Audio] The New Neighbours

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!

THE NEW NEIGHBOURS

Molly lives in a small house in a quiet street.  She bought her house 20 years ago when it was new. Jim and Iris Waterson bought the house next to Molly’s at the same time. They were good friends and good neighbours for 20 years, but now the Waterson’s townhouse was empty. Jim and Iris have moved to Florida to live near their daughter and grandchildren.

I hope my new neighbours are as nice as Jim and Iris, thought Molly. I will be very upset if some young people buy the house. They will be noisy. They might have children. They might have pets.

A few days later a moving truck parked outside the house next door. Molly stood at the window of her living room and watched.

She saw sofas, armchairs, tables, chairs and beds go into the house. She saw the moving men carry many boxes into the house.  Then she saw a little bicycle. It was pink. A man carried it to the garden behind the house.

Oh no! she thought. A child!

Next the man carried a red bicycle into the garden. It was bigger than the pink bicycle, but it was too small for an adult. Another child! Shouting! Screaming! I don’t want to live next door to children.

Molly looked at her watch. It was time to go to the community centre. Every Friday, there was a concert at the community centre. Gustav Baer played the piano. He played beautiful classical music. He was a very good pianist. When he was younger, he was very famous. He gave concerts all over the world. Now he was retired, but he still liked to play the piano. So he gave free concerts at hospitals and retirement homes and community centres.

Molly put on her coat. She took her bag and went out of her house. She locked the door and hurried down the street. The men were still taking boxes and furniture out of the truck.

I don’t know if I will enjoy the concert today, thought Molly. I am so unhappy. I love my house. I love my quiet street. But now there will be noisy children. Everything will change.

Molly was very surprised when she arrived at the community centre. Gustav Baer was not there. “Mr Baer cannot come today,” the manager of the community centre said to everyone. “He is too busy. He will come next week. Mr Baer’s friend has come. He plays the guitar and he sings. Please enjoy the concert.”

The concert was very nice but Molly thought Mr Baer’s piano playing was better. After the concert she went home. The trucks had gone and it was very quiet.

Before Molly went to bed, she went outside to put some garbage in the garbage bin. It was very dark. There were lights on in the house next door. Molly could hear a piano. The music sounded beautiful. She walked over the fence and looked at the house next door. The lights were on in the house and she could see inside. I guess they have not had time to hang curtains yet, she thought.

She could see many boxes on the floor of the living room. She could see a grand piano, but she could not see who was playing it.

The next day, someone rang the doorbell and Molly went to answer it. She was very surprised. Gustav Baer was there.

“Good morning,” he said. “I am your new neighbour.”

“You!” said Molly. “I thought it was a family with children! I saw the bicycles. A pink one and a red one!”

“Oh,” said Mr Baer. “They are my grandchildren’s bicycles. Sometimes they come to visit on Sundays. It is nice for them to have something to do at my house. If they have nothing to do, they get bored and very noisy. Most of the time, there will only be me living there. I’m sorry. It will be very quiet. I think maybe you like to have children and pets next door.”

“Oh, no. No,” said Molly. “Please come in and have a cup of tea! I saw you have no curtains yet. Maybe I can help you. I want you to be happy in your new home.”

By I Talk You Talk Press – Easy English Reading

[Short Story with Audio] Some Mistakes are Lucky

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!

SOME MISTAKES ARE LUCKY

Samuel ran towards the train station. He was hot and tired and felt very bad. I don’t want to miss my train. I want to go home and change my clothes and have a beer.

He looked at his watch. Two minutes before the train leaves. Can I make it in time?

He ran into the train station and looked at the departures board. Platform 7. He ran towards the stairs with the sign ‘Platforms 6 and 7’. At the top of the stairs he ran to the left. There was a train with open doors. He ran onto the train and found a seat.

He closed his eyes and thought about his day. Samuel had come into the city for a job interview. The interview had been very bad. He couldn’t answer the questions. He made mistakes. He knew he would not get the job.

I knew all the answers, but I was so nervous. It is six months since my uncle’s restaurant closed. I have almost no money. I must find a job soon.

Samuel was very worried, but he was also very tired. He fell asleep.

“Ticket please!” The train conductor was shaking him. Samuel found his ticket and gave it to the train conductor. “This is a ticket for Trenton. This train is going to Bywater.”

“Oh, I got on the wrong train. I must get off at the next station.”

“This is an express train. It doesn’t stop until it gets to Bywater. When we get to Bywater, you must go to the ticket office and pay for this train trip. Then you must buy another ticket back to the city.”

The train conductor went away. What can I do? thought Samuel. I don’t have enough money to pay for the extra tickets.

“Are you in trouble?” said a voice behind Samuel. Samuel turned around. A woman in the row behind him was talking to him.

“Are you in trouble?” the woman asked again.

Samuel was very shy and didn’t talk to people very much, but he was very tired and he felt very bad.

“I went to the city for a job interview today. When I got back to the station I caught the wrong train. Now I have no money to pay for the tickets. I don’t know what to do!”

The woman smiled. She was an older woman. Her clothes were very smart. Her face was kind. Samuel thought she looked like his grandmother. “It is easy to catch the wrong train. Was the job interview good?”

“No. It was very bad. I wanted the job very much. I was too nervous. I couldn’t talk well. I made mistakes.”

“You have to talk well for some jobs. It is very important if you want a job in a shop or at a TV station,” she said. “What kind of job do you want?”

“I am a chef. I trained for many years. My uncle had a restaurant. I worked in my uncle’s restaurant. My uncle said the restaurant would be mine when he retired. But he died and there was no money. The restaurant closed.”

“Where was the restaurant?” asked the woman.

“It was in Trenton. It was a fish restaurant.”

“Was it Seaways?”

“Yes.”

“I knew that restaurant. I knew your uncle. He was very good with food, but maybe he did not know about money.”

The woman asked Samuel many questions about fish and cooking. Samuel could answer all the questions because it was not a job interview, and the woman looked like his grandmother.

Then the woman said, “Do you want to live in the city?”

“No,” said Samuel. “I like small places better, but I must get a job.”

“I will pay for your train ticket,” said the woman.

“No!” said Samuel. “You cannot pay for my mistake!”

“Yes, I can. My husband opened two restaurants in Bywater. He was a very good chef, but a very bad talker. He died. Now I have no chef. I need a chef. I think you will be my new chef. Tonight you will stay at my house in Bywater. Tomorrow we will go to the restaurants. Your mistake is lucky for me.”

My mistake is lucky for me! thought Samuel.

By I Talk You Talk Press – Easy English Reading.

[Short Story with Audio] Why do you have blue hair?

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!

WHY DO YOU HAVE BLUE HAIR?

Rei met a nice guy on the train. He was sitting next to her. She thought he was handsome. There was a typhoon and the train was stopped for a long time. He started to talk to her. His name was Ichiro.

They were both university students. They both liked JPop. They both belonged to the kendo club in high school.

“Uh, would you give me your phone number?” asked Ichiro.  “Maybe we could meet again sometime. Go out on a date?”

Rei was very pleased. She didn’t have a boyfriend. She thought Ichiro was very nice. They exchanged phone numbers.

“Can I ask you something?” said Ichiro. “Why do you have blue hair?”

Rei didn’t want to tell him why her hair was blue. But Ichiro smiled at her, and she thought, He is talking to me. He asked for my phone number. Maybe he thinks my blue hair is OK.

“When I left my hometown and went to university, I felt very bad. I was very shy. I didn’t have any friends. I was too frightened to go out of my apartment. I was too frightened to go to classes. I wanted to do something to make me feel strong.

“I have a sister who is much older than me. She had many Sailor Moon manga. When I was young, I read them all the time. My favourite character was Sailor Mercury. She is a very friendly character. She’s smart. I wanted to be like her. She has blue hair. So I changed my hair colour to blue.”

Ichiro laughed. “What do your parents think?”

“They hate it. But I don’t care. But maybe you don’t want to go on a date with someone with blue hair.”

“Oh, I do!” said Ichiro. “I like friendly, smart girls very much. Maybe I should do something about my hair colour.”

By I Talk You Talk Press – Easy English Reading.

[Short Story with Audio] Andy’s Glasses

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!

Andy wears glasses. He doesn’t wear them all the time. He wears them when he drives his car. He wears them to read, and when he works on his computer.

Andy gets an email from the eye doctor’s office. The email says— We have not checked your eyes for one year. You should make an appointment. We will check your eyes.—-

Andy goes to the eye doctor’s office. He does an eye test.

The eye doctor says, “Your eyes are OK, but maybe you need new glasses. You need glasses that are a little stronger.”

Andy says, “OK.”

The eye doctor says she will order new glasses for Andy. She says, “Maybe your new glasses will feel a little bit strange. Maybe you will get a headache for a little a few days. Maybe you will feel little ill for a little while.”

After one week, the eye doctor’s office calls Andy. The receptionist says, “Your new glasses are ready. Please come and get your new glasses.”

Andy goes to get his new glasses. His eye doctor is not there. She is on vacation.

Andy pays for his new glasses and takes them away. He is very pleased. His new glasses do not feel strange. He does not have a headache. He does not feel ill.

A few weeks later, Andy gets a call from his eye doctor. “Please come and see me,” she says.

Andy goes to see his eye doctor, she is very unhappy. She says, “I ordered your new glasses, but I made a big mistake. I asked the company to make your new glasses but the order was the same as your old glasses. So , there was no change. I am very sorry. I have ordered new glasses for you and of course, you will not pay anything.”

Andy is a very calm person. He says, “It’s OK. Don’t worry.”

The eye doctor says, “Didn’t you think it was strange when your ‘new’ glasses were the same as the old ones?”

Andy laughs. “I didn’t feel sick! I didn’t feel strange! I didn’t have a headache!. I thought ‘my eye doctor did a very good job!’”

By I Talk You Talk Press – Easy English Reading.

[Short Story with Audio] A Bad Mistake

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!

A Bad Mistake

A BAD MISTAKE

Lonnie steals bags. It is very easy.

He travels on trains when people are going to work, or going home.  The trains are very crowded. He always wears a big coat so he can hide the bags inside his coat. He always wears a hat and sunglasses.

He looks for someone who has put their bag on the floor, or on a seat. He waits until the train stops at a station and many people are trying to get on the train or off the train. He quickly takes a bag and disappears in the crowds of people.

One Friday evening, Lonnie is on the train. He sees a woman in a red coat. She has many shopping bags. She doesn’t have a seat and it is hard for her to hold her shopping bags and her handbag. She is standing near the door of the train.

She looks rich, thinks Lonnie. He looks at the shopping bags. She went to some very expensive stores. I will take her handbag and maybe I can get some shopping bags as well.

He stands next to the woman. The train stops. There are many people trying to get off the train. Everyone is pushing. Lonnie pushes the woman in the red coat very hard. She almost falls over. Lonnie quickly pulls her handbag and two shopping bags from the woman’s hand.

He hurries off the train and puts the handbag and shopping bags under his coat.

He hears the woman shouting. “Stop! Stop! Stop that man! He has taken my bag and my shopping!”

Lonnie laughs. They won’t catch me!

Outside the railway station Lonnie hides behind a tall building. He looks in the handbag. He takes a mobile phone and a wallet from the bag – the wallet has a little money. Lonnie counts it. $90. He puts the money in his pocket and puts the handbag and wallet in a garbage can.

He looks in the shopping bags. One bag has some towels. He puts it in the garbage can. But in the other bag he finds a beautiful necklace. It is pink and green and gold. Wow, thinks Lonnie. My girlfriend’s birthday is tomorrow. I will give her this necklace. She will like it very much.

On Saturday night, Lonnie takes his girlfriend to a pub. She is wearing the necklace. She is very happy. She likes her birthday present very much.

Lonnie and his girlfriend are sitting at a table in the bar. They are drinking beer. A woman comes to their table. She is wearing a red coat. She says, “Where did you get that necklace?”

“My boyfriend bought it for me,” says Lonnie’s girlfriend. “It is a birthday present.”

“Oh no!” says the woman.  “He didn’t buy that necklace for you! It is unique. My husband ordered it for me. Your boyfriend took my bags on the train last night!”

Oh no! thinks Lonnie. I must run away.

He tries to run out of the bar. A very big man runs after him. He throws Lonnie on the ground. “I am a policeman,” says the man. “You took my wife’s necklace and now I am taking you to the police station.”

[Short Story] The Mirror

woman holding mirror against her head in the middle of forest

Photo by Tasha Kamrowski on Pexels.com

Sally wants to buy a house.  She saves very hard and after 3 years, she has enough money to buy a very small house.  She is very excited.

But now Sally has a big problem. She has a house but it is empty. She needs furniture but she has very little money.

Her mother gives her a bed, a table and a chair.  Her grandmother gives her some plates and pots and glasses.

Sally can live in her house but she wants many more things. On weekends she drives around all the towns near her house. She looks in secondhand shops.  One Saturday afternoon, she finds a secondhand shop in a small village. She looks in the window.

Everything in the shop is very dusty and dirty. But Sally thinks she will go inside.  There is no one in the shop. She looks around. She sees a mirror in a corner of the shop. It is big and old. I need a mirror, thinks Sally.  I will look at it.

She walks over to the mirror.  It is so dirty she can’t see the glass.  Sally takes some tissues from her bag. She starts to clean the glass.

“I’ll clean it for you.” Sally jumps. She turns around. There is a man standing behind her. He is very small. He is very old. He is wearing a black suit.

“Thank you,” says Sally. “Are you the owner of this shop? ”

The man doesn’t answer. He goes away and comes back with a cloth and some water. He cleans the glass.

“Now you can look at yourself in the mirror,” says the old man.

Sally stands next to the old man. She looks at the mirror. She looks at the old man standing next to her.

Sally is very shocked. She can see herself in the mirror, but she can’t see the old man.

“But! But!” says Sally.

The old man smiles. “It is a very special mirror,” he says. “And it is cheap.”

“It is very nice, but I have changed my mind. I don’t want to buy it.”

Sally runs from the shop. She runs to her car and gets in. She drives away very fast.

It is a very nice mirror, thinks Sally. But either the old man is very strange or the mirror is very strange.  Maybe I will save some more money and go to a department store and buy a nice new mirror!

[Short Story]A Bad Mistake

background bags carry casual

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com

Lonnie steals bags. It is very easy.

He travels on trains when people are going to work, or going home.  The trains are very crowded. He always wears a big coat so he can hide the bags inside his coat. He always wears a hat and sunglasses.

He looks for someone who has put their bag on the floor, or on a seat. He waits until the train stops at a station and many people are trying to get on the train or off the train. He quickly takes a bag and disappears in the crowds of people.

One Friday evening, Lonnie is on the train. He sees a woman in a red coat. She has many shopping bags. She doesn’t have a seat and it is hard for her to hold her shopping bags and her handbag. She is standing near the door of the train.

She looks rich, thinks Lonnie. He looks at the shopping bags. She went to some very expensive stores. I will take her handbag and maybe I can get some shopping bags as well.

 He stands next to the woman. The train stops. There are many people trying to get off the train. Everyone is pushing. Lonnie pushes the woman in the red coat very hard. She almost falls over. Lonnie quickly pulls her handbag and two shopping bags from the woman’s hand.

He hurries off the train and puts the handbag and shopping bags under his coat.

He hears the woman shouting. “Stop! Stop! Stop that man! He has taken my bag and my shopping!”

Lonnie laughs. They won’t catch me!

 Outside the railway station Lonnie hides behind a tall building. He looks in the handbag. He takes a mobile phone and a wallet from the bag – the wallet has a little money. Lonnie counts it. $90. He puts the money in his pocket and puts the handbag and wallet in a garbage can.

He looks in the shopping bags. One bag has some towels. He puts it in the garbage can. But in the other bag he finds a beautiful necklace. It is pink and green and gold. Wow, thinks Lonnie. My girlfriend’s birthday is tomorrow. I will give her this necklace. She will like it very much.

 On Saturday night, Lonnie takes his girlfriend to a pub. She is wearing the necklace. She is very happy. She likes her birthday present very much.

Lonnie and his girlfriend are sitting at a table in the bar. They are drinking beer. A woman comes to their table. She is wearing a red coat. She says, “Where did you get that necklace?”

“My boyfriend bought it for me,” says Lonnie’s girlfriend. “It is a birthday present.”

“Oh no!” says the woman.  “He didn’t buy that necklace for you! It is unique. My husband ordered it for me. Your boyfriend took my bags on the train last night!”

Oh no! thinks Lonnie. I must run away.

He tries to run out of the bar. A very big man runs after him. He throws Lonnie on the ground. “I am a policeman,” says the man. “You took my wife’s necklace and now I am taking you to the police station.”

[Short Story] Andy’s glasses

adult beard boy casual

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Andy wears glasses. He doesn’t wear them all the time. He wears them when he drives his car. He wears them to read, and when he works on his computer.

Andy gets an email from the eye doctor’s office. The email says— We have not checked your eyes for one year. You should make an appointment. We will check your eyes.—-

Andy goes to the eye doctor’s office. He does an eye test.

The eye doctor says, “Your eyes are OK, but maybe you need new glasses. You need glasses that are a little stronger.”

Andy says, “OK.”

The eye doctor says she will order new glasses for Andy. She says, “Maybe your new glasses will feel a little bit strange. Maybe you will get a headache for a little a few days. Maybe you will feel little ill for a little while.”

After one week, the eye doctor’s office calls Andy. The receptionist says, “Your new glasses are ready. Please come and get your new glasses.”

Andy goes to get his new glasses. His eye doctor is not there. She is on vacation.

Andy pays for his new glasses and takes them away. He is very pleased. His new glasses do not feel strange. He does not have a headache. He does not feel ill.

A few weeks later, Andy gets a call from his eye doctor. “Please come and see me,” she says.

Andy goes to see his eye doctor, she is very unhappy. She says, “I ordered your new glasses, but I made a big mistake. I asked the company to make your new glasses but the order was the same as your old glasses. So , there was no change. I am very sorry. I have ordered new glasses for you and of course, you will not pay anything.”

Andy is a very calm person. He says, “It’s OK. Don’t worry.”

The eye doctor says, “Didn’t you think it was strange when your ‘new’ glasses were the same as the old ones?”

Andy laughs. “I didn’t feel sick! I didn’t feel strange! I didn’t have a headache!. I thought ‘my eye doctor did a very good job!'”

[Short Story] Where is my suitcase?

bird s eye view of ocean during daytime

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Terry lives alone. His parents are dead. He does not have many friends. He does not have a girlfriend.

Terry is going on holiday. He saved money all year. He wants to have a wonderful vacation in Bali. He dreams of sun, adventure and romance.

He goes to a big discount store. He buys a suitcase with wheels and a handle. The suitcase is cheap, so the only choice of colour is black.

On Friday, Terry comes home from work. He packs his bag and suitcase. On Saturday, a taxi will come at 5am to take Terry to the airport.

Terry is very excited. He enjoys the flight very much, but when he arrives in Denpasar it is very late, and he is tired.

It is almost midnight, but it is still so hot! he thinks. He goes to the baggage claim area. Where is my bag?

He sees a black suitcase with wheels and a handle. That’s my bag. I can’t wait to get to my hotel. I can have a shower, and a long sleep.

Terry goes through customs and immigration, and finds the bus for his hotel. He checks into his hotel and goes to his room. It is very nice.

He puts his bag on the bed and opens it. Oh no! Terry is looking at a bag full of bikinis and sundresses and sandals! It’s not my bag! He looks at the luggage label. —M. Stanford I took the wrong bag! What can I do?

He closes the bag and hurries to the elevator. I must go downstairs. I must ask the man on the front desk what to do!

The elevator arrives. Terry hurries into the elevator carrying the black bag. There is a woman in the elevator. She looks very worried.

When the elevator stops on the ground floor, Terry and the woman walk to the front desk. Terry sees that the woman has a black suitcase. There are many bags that look like mine, he thinks. I was not careful at the airport. I didn’t check the luggage label.

At the front desk, Terry and the woman from the elevator start talking at the same time.

“I have the wrong bag,” they say.

“I took the wrong bag from the airport,” says Terry. “I am very sorry. What can I do?”

“I must go back to the airport to find my bag!” says the woman. “This is a man’s bag!”

The man on the front desk laughs.

“Two people with the same problem! What is your name, madam?”

“Mandy Stanford,” answers the woman.

Terry is excited. “I can solve your problem,” he says. “Here is your bag.”

“And your name, Sir?” asks the man at the front desk.

“Terry Wiggin.”

The woman starts to laugh. “I don’t believe it! You have my bag, and I have yours!”

Terry looks at the woman. She is about the same age as Terry. She is very attractive.

Suddenly Terry doesn’t feel tired or hot any more.

“It is a strange way to meet. But would you like to have a drink with me to celebrate,” he says to Mandy.

“I think you should!” says the man on the front desk. “I have to work. Otherwise I would join you.”

“OK,” says Mandy. “It seems that we were meant to meet.”

Terry’s holiday of adventure and romance has just begun!