AELP 3 – Legendary Creatures
Learn to understand native English speakers with a story about legendary creatures!
In the third video in this series, I talk about how I spent nearly 20 years looking for a book I really loved from my childhood. Thanks to the Internet, I was finally able to locate it through an image search online. Now, the Encyclopedia of Legendary Creatures by Tom McGowen is in my hands once again, and all of the times I enjoyed as a child reading it came flooding back to me. Are there any books from your childhood, or other items you have fond memories of, that you’ve been looking for since childhood? Listen carefully and you’ll get a good sense for how to understand native English speakers when they tell these kinds of stories.
Enjoy this advanced English listening practice lesson video featuring me speaking at faster-than-native speed that will help you understand native English speakers, and let us know what you think in the comments!
(Listen to and practice speaking along with this advanced English listening practice lesson with our customizable fluency-training video player! Select the speed of the video, the amount of spacing between speech sections, and the the number of times each speech section repeats. You can also click on a speech section in the transcript to jump to that part of the video to help you understand native English speakers.)
Well, hello out there in YouTube land.
This is Drew Badger, your English fluency guide, and I am really excited to be giving you another advanced listening practice lesson.
If you are new to the program, again, I always want to say this before we get started,
this will be a faster lesson.
Actually, this lesson in particular will be a little bit slower in some places,
but if you’re not ready, or if you’re, you’re new to the program, you’re new to the, uh, the channel, you’re just discovering me,
I recommend you go back and watch all of the previous lessons, or some of those first,
so that you can get used to my speaking voice at a slower speed.
So that way, when you’re watching this one,
uh, you will be able to, uh, understand it much more easily, you’ll be used to my voice, and you can understand the faster English that way.
So really practice your advanced listening and, and really understand some fast things so you can understand more spoken and conversational English.
If you’d like to learn more about how to learn everything you need to do, and have a,
uh, personal fluency guide, someone that can train you and show you exactly what to do,
so that you can stop thinking about what you say and worrying about grammar rules and all these other things that stop you from speaking fluently
you can click on the link in this video or in the description below to learn more about Master English Conversation.
Well, let’s get into this lesson.
The first thing I wanted to talk about, this is kind of a,
kind of a special thing in my heart, you know, something I’ve been thinking about for a really long time.
And this was, uh, maybe you probably had the same experience happen, and I’d actually like to hear about that in the comments.
So if you can mention something about that in the comments below,
what I’d like to hear about is maybe something that, you know, you really liked as a child, and you lost touch with that thing.
This is a great phrase, to lose touch with something.
You kind of loo, you, you’re connected with that thing but you lose touch,
you’re not connected with, connected with that thing anymore.
So in this example, uh, this was, uh, a particular book that I remember vividly, really,
uh, watching it and reading it, and looking at it over and over again.
So when I was a, a young boy in elementary school,
uh, I went to the local school library and I found this really great book that I enjoyed; it was about monsters.
And I checked this book out, so I rented the book, you know, we checked the book out.
Um, many, many times I would check it out and then give it back, and then immediately check it out again because I enjoyed it so much.
But then I lost, I lost touch with the book, and this was like
20 or almost maybe 30 years ago, or something like that.
Maybe not that long, but about maybe 25 years ago, something like that.
But the book is still, uh, very like vivid and deep in my mind,
and I always remember the images and trying to remember what, what book, what, what book it was, because I looked for it for years.
And then every now and then, you know, every now and then, sometimes,
every now and then I would go on line and try to, try to think about how could I find this book, because I really wanted to get that book again.
So I was thinking, uh, wow, you know, maybe I can try to search for images, but I couldn’t really find anything.
I remembered some of the characters from the book, uh, some of the images.
It’s a great, uh, it’s actually like a, like a dictionary, kind of,
or an encyclopedia where it’s got from A to Z a listing of lots of different monsters and mythical creatures from all over the world.
Cause when I was a kid, I loved that stuff, you know, books about dinosaurs,
books about monsters, and other things like that;
they were really interesting.
And this book, in particular, it had really cool art,
so it had really great kind of short stories and descriptions about what the different monsters and mythical creatures were,
but it also had really great art.
So I really wanted to find this book again, and for years I was really trying to look for this thing.
And maybe you probably have a similar story, a similar thing, like it could be a childhood book that you loved, or a childhood toy, or something like that.
Now, with the internet nowadays, it’s really easy to go back and find these things,
but, you know, many years ago, kind of before the internet, it was really difficult.
I mean, how do you search for things like that?
But now, with the internet, you can, and kind of as the years went by I would, maybe every two years so I would, you know, be thinking like, oh yeah, I kind of
you know, it would pop up in my mind.
I would be thinking about, oh yeah, what was that, what was that book I was reading?
I, I really, really enjoyed that book and I wanted to try and find it again, so I would spend maybe a few days online,
you know, just periodically looking for different things.
I would try to look by the images, or maybe if I could remember the name of the book, or something like that,
but then I would get frustrated because I couldn’t find it,
um, and then, you know, I just kind of gave up.
And then I’d think, well, you know, maybe in another few years it’ll come up in my mind again and I’ll look for it again.
So, recently, I had that same idea.
It was like I want to like find this book again.
I don’t know why it’s such a strong thing, but it was such a powerful book for me as a child,
you know, I wanted to get that and kind of reconnect with that and get back in touch with that thing from my childhood.
You know, it’s just one of those things, you know, you got a special bond, a special connection with something like that.
Again, if you’ve got a similar experience,
I want to hear, dah, hear about it down below in the comments.
So, anyway, I actually took the time,
I went online, and I found the librarian that I had back in the day when I was, you know, back at school, in elementary school, and I e, I emailed her.
I actually found her on Facebook.
That’s kind of like a separate issue, but I found this other teacher that I like, I had a big crush on.
This is like a really great thing.
I feel kind of embarrassed admitting to it now, but I think she knew about it at the time,
but, anyways, this is a different teacher that I found on Facebook.
Now, I feel actually bad.
This is kind of a separate, separate issue when I’m thinking about that now,
uh, but, you know, when you’re, you’re, like if you’re a teacher now you have to be careful about that, cause both like teachers and students are on Facebook together,
or other things, they could search each other online.
So you got to be careful about what you put on there.
But my Facebook account is great, actually.
I don’t really put much on there.
Anyway, but, uh, you know, that kind of thing.
But, anyway, I’m getting, you know, I’m getting, you know, I’m, I’m kind of getting off track here.
I’m thinking about different stuff.
But, so I, uh, actually found, uh, my school librarian on Facebook.
I had looked for her on the school’s website and was like, well, maybe she’s on Facebook, and I found her, and I contacted her.
And unfortunately she didn’t know,
you know, the, uh, the name of the book, either.
She could kind of remember it, but, yeah, like was kind of recommending some other things, or whatever, that weren’t really, you know, they, it wasn’t the book I was looking for.
So I found, I continued to look for images, and I went back, I was like, I was like screw it.
This time, I’m finding this book.
I was really passionate about, I’m finding this book.
So I was looking through Google Images,
and I found some images, you know, I was trying to figure out the name of the author, or the name of the, the illustrator,
uh, the guy that did the images, and I couldn’t, I didn’t know either of their names.
So I didn’t know the name of the book, or the author, or the illustrator, but I was just looking up images.
And I found one.
I was like, holy shit, like this is, like this is what I’ve been looking for.
And it was like that same image, and all these
memories just started coming, flooding back, and I found, you know, I used that image to find the name of the book, to find other things,
and I actually found the book.
And I have it with me today.
Isn’t that exciting?
Anyway, it’s such a cool book, and, you know, looking at it now it’s like, wow, I’m still like really surprised that I,
I was actually able to find the book.
But, uh, you know, usually on YouTube you’ll see people, like they buy something like a new
camera or something like that, and they have an unboxing.
So it’s like an unboxing video,
uh, where they, you know, show themselves actually opening the box and taking that out.
But I don’t really care about showing you the packaging that something came in,
it’s not really important to me, but I did want to show you the book.
It’s, uh, an important thing for me, and I thought you would probably enjoy it as well because it’s got some really great images.
Now, this book was actually hard to find,
but I’ll put it up for the camera here.
If I can see here, it’s called “The Encyclopedia of Legendary Creatures.”
And look at this, like, it’s like a, a cool dragon.
Now, maybe if you’re an adult this isn’t such an amazing thing, but when you’re like 10 years old this is awesome.
Anyway, look at the back cover here.
This is, uh, uh, Victor Ambrus is the name of the illustrator, and look at that, though, look at this art.
This is amazing.
Now, what was also interesting about this book, here I’ll flip through some of the pages so you can look at some of this as well.
But when I was going online, like other people were also, you know, in the same situation.
They were in the same boat.
They were trying to figure out,
yeah, what was the name of that book?
Because it actually has a, it has a different title, I think it’s called the, uh, “The Book of Legendary Creatures” in England.
This is the American version of the book;
it’s basically the same book.
But, anyway, um, so other people were also like, you know, they’re in the same kind of, ah, looking for this book specifically.
And there are whole websites for people that are like trying to find, you know, their book from their childhood, or they remember this and it’s really interesting to read the descriptions of some books.
So they say, yeah, it was a story about this, and this other thing.
But, anyway, for anybody that’s, you know, like looking for this book, it’s awesome, and I highly recommend this book.
I’ll open up a few pages.
So just the, the art itself is really interesting.
It’s kind of like a, an interesting like water color with interesting details on it.
Uh, let me see here.
Like, look at that.
Look at that guy.
Yeah, these aren’t really the best, uh, way to display it here with video, but
I’m trying to think of some, uh, some cool pictures.
Like, look at this guy.
This is called an Al.
Isn’t that awesome?
Just look at the image on that thing.
That thing is amazing.
All right, I’m going to read you one of these, and I’m going to read it like a little bit slower than I’m reading now,
um, just because I read a little bit more slowly when I’m reading.
You know, I’m reading out loud, this kind of thing,
but anyway, so look at this thing.
Now, this is from, uh, well we’ll get into the, uh, the story of it, but these descriptions are all, you know, actually quite…
Let me show you this guy again.
Look at that thing.
I mean, I wouldn’t want to wake up and find that in my bedroom, you know.
So this is an Al, and this is, uh, these are actually, you know, different mythical creatures, as I mentioned, from all over the world.
So I’ll read you uh, and this is my, my like reading style.
You probably know this, like reading for little kids, like the teacher holds up the book, you got the hands like looking at it this way, so the little kids can also read the story as well.
Uh, so I’ll just read it to you, uh, kind of showing you the picture.
It’s a little bit difficult to do that, but I’ll do my best.
Here we go.
So, Als, and hopefully I’m pronouncing it right, Al,
Als were half human, half animal creatures, feared by the people of Armenia.
A mountainous land that is now part of the Soviet Union.
Als lived in damp, watery places, or sometimes lurked in the corners of stables.
They were shaggy, with fiery eyes and snaky hair.
Their teeth were iron, and their fingernails were brass.
So these are kind of metals, you know.
Als were most dangerous to women who were about to have babies.
For Als delighted in causing a baby to be born blind or deformed.
To be deformed means to have kind of like a crazy, you know, like you got three eyes or three arms, or something like that,
so not formed properly.
To keep the dreadful creatures away, a woman had to carry an iron weapon or tool,
and had to sleep, whoa, even more cool pictures over here.
But even if a baby, a baby was born safely, an Al might wait until the baby was seven months old,
then it would steal the child from its cradle and carry it off to the Al king to be eaten.
How fucked up is that?
Man, this is like, it’s just amazing to look at the, uh, the different
you know, the different creatures from mythology that people think of, and
you know, I can show you these a little bit more here.
This is a, a basilisk.
It’s like a, like a chicken, snake, crazy thing.
I don’t want to get in, get into like all these, but
there’s some really, there’s like, I’ll just, uh, flip through some of the pages here.
The various creatures, yeah, I know, I’m, I’m really doing like a bad job of this.
My, my, I don’t do the, uh, the show, the show and tell things with books like that on, uh, YouTube so much.
Uh, I just wanted to share the book with you.
Again, it’s called “The Encyclopedia of Legendary Creatures,”
the author is Tom McGowen,
and Victor Ambrus is the, uh, the illustrator of this.
So he’s written some other, uh, books, or Tom McGowen has, but also the illustrator, uh, has done some, a lot of other interesting books as well.
But, it was something I thought, uh, it was such an amazing thing, after all these years, kind of searching for this book, I finally found it,
so I wanted to show you that, share that with you.
And I hope you enjoyed it for this, uh, advanced listening practice lesson with a little bit of slow English mixed in there as well.
So, what I’d like you to do is keep the conversation going.
Please comment down below.
If you enjoyed this, like it, so I can make more.
As soon as this gets to 10,000 views, I’ll release the next one in the series, so do share this.
Tell everyone you know about it, well, at least these people that are trying to learn English,
and you just want to get the video faster.
Let them know about it so we can get the view count up and I can release the next one in the series.
But also, tell me about some experiences from your own childhood.
Maybe you’re looking for a book also,
or something else that you found, uh, that was an interesting story, and when you finally found that thing.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this, and I look forward to seeing you in the next listening practice episode.