The Three Oranges and the Kind Sultan


InterestEng. Illustrations

Students learning English love to read fun stories as it’s a perfect combination of learning and enjoyment. They often read them so well that we’ve wished you could hear them read too.  And now you can!  Last month our long time friend from Ukraine, Alona, read one of Kipling’s classic animal tales to us. Here she reads a wonderful, old and kind tale from Morocco.


ONCE in a far off land, all the fruit trees stopped giving fruit. The people asked their wise Sultan what to do.  He said, “Let everyone sing each day! The trees will be full of joy and give their fruit again.” So the people sang every day.  The next year, all the fruit trees were filled with sweet, ripe fruit.



     Now there lived one poor farmer who said to himself, “I should show my gratitude to our Sultan for his wisdom!” He went to his field and picked the three biggest oranges he could find. They were HUGE and bright orange.  The farmer put them in a basket filled with dark green, orange leaves. He called his young son to him and said, “Run to the house of our Sultan and give him this gift.”       

     It was a very hot day and after an hour of running, the boy wanted something to drink, but there was no water anywhere.  The boy looked at the oranges and said, “Our good Sultan would not want me to die of thirst! He would understand if I took just one orange and ate it.” So the boy took the smallest orange and ate it.

     After one more hour of running, the boy thought he would die of hunger! He looked at the basket of oranges and said, “Our good Sultan would not want me to die of hunger! He would understand if I took just one orange and ate it. I will give him the biggest orange and take the smaller one for myself.”  As fast as you can say “Abra-ka-dabra” the boy ate the second orange.

     When the boy finally arrived at the Sultan’s palace, he told the soldiers he had a special gift for the Sultan from his father.  But when the boy saw the kind face of the Sultan he began to cry and told the Sultan all the truth, how he ate 2 oranges.  The Sultan smiled and said he was forgiven.  Then the Sultan said, “But how did you eat two oranges without spilling a drop of juice on your kaftan?”

     “Oh, it was very easy!” replied the boy. “I did it like this!”  Then he picked up the third orange from the basket and ate it in one mouthful.  The Sultan laughed very hard and told his guards to fill the boy’s basket with pieces of gold to take back to his father in thanks for the three oranges.

                                      —Read by Alona.  Technical help, Andrei.

 ©InterestEng. July 2013  §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff or used with permission.  §  To contact us: