IELTS Cue Card # 158 - Describe a story that people in your country know well

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe a story that people in your country know well.

You should say:

  • what the story is or what it is about
  • who told you the story or how you learned about it
  • why you still remember that story

and explain why this is a well-known story in your country.


 

Model Answer 1:
If I remember it correctly, I heard many, many stories, which were/are well-known in my country for a long period of time, from my grandparents and the other elderly people around me.  Needless to say, I liked all those stories because virtually all of them had the elements of surprise, drama and suspense one way or another. Here is just one such story which was shared with me by my maternal grandmother, when I was a little child.

The story is entitled as “Mansamangal” (the virtue of Mansa, a Hindu Goddess) which was written to attribute glory and honour to Manasa, a Hindu goddess of snakes. However, it has become renowned for the love story between Behula (the wife) and Lakhindar (her husband).

The epic story goes on to tell how the father of Lakhindar upsets the goddess Manasa by refusing to worship her. She then becomes very angry and bites Lakhindar on his wedding night in order to exact her revenge. Because of the deadly bite, Lakhindar dies, but Behula (the wife) just refuses to give up on her husband and takes his lifeless body on a boat and sails off. After appeasing the goddess of snakes and asking for forgiveness from her, Lakhindar is eventually brought back to life again. Behula is often said to represent the essence of Bengali women from the Indian subcontinent, who never fail to demonstrate their extreme courage and love for their husbands.

By the way, I remember the story because every time, I used to behave like an unruly boy or didn’t want to go to bed, my grandmother used to remind me about the bad snakes to force me to go to bed.

Anyway, this story is well-known in my country, mainly because it carries some religious connotation. It is also well-known because a very significant number of people in our part of the world still believe in some kinds of superstitions. Finally, this has remained a very well-known story in my country because such stories tell us a lot about inhabitants of the past such as their principles, customs and reasoning on matters.


 

Model Answer 2: 
Many Aesop's Fables are surprisingly well-known in our country, and some people tell these stories without even knowing the origin - they've just heard those from other people. Some such stories have changed over time and convey a slightly different message than they originally did in the past. But others remained intact, and they bear great moral lessons.

One such well-known story from Aesop is "The Hare & the Tortoise" that people often say to others as a piece of advice. Children love it as it is entertaining and exciting. I heard this story from my grandfather for the first time almost 20 years ago. Later on, I read this story in my textbook in grade 3. It is an interesting story that has a great lesson. The storytelling ability of my grandfather was amazing, and he made this story much more appealing.

The story starts with a hare and a tortoise. The hare often makes fun of the tortoise for being ridiculously slow. The hare believes that the tortoise can never reach a destination at such an unbelievably slow speed, and it throughs a challenge to the tortoise mockingly. The tortoise accepts the challenge, and a racing competition is arranged in which all other animals of the jungle are present to witness the competition. The hare starts to run and soon goes out of sight while the tortoise starts walking at a slow pace. After a while, the hare feels somewhat ridiculous to compete with a tortoise and decides to take a nap until the tortoise could be seen nearby. He believes he will still have enough time to defeat the tortoise even after taking a good nap. The tortoise, meanwhile, keeps going at a slow but steady pace. And after a while, it passes the place where the hare is asleep. The hare oversleeps and when he wakes up, the tortoise almost reaches the finish line. The hare then runs very swiftly with his best effort but can't overtake the tortoise in time. Thus the tortoise wins the race with his steadiness and determination even after being slow.

This story is an excellent example to teach children the importance of hard work, steadiness and determination. It also teaches us not to mock someone for not having a skill that we have. Since it is read by kids at schools and is often used by adults to emphasize the importance of steadiness, determination and hard work, it is known by almost all.


 

Similar Cue Card Topics

Your ability to talk about this Cue Card Topic would enable you to talk about the following Cue Card Topics as well:

  1. Describe a story you know well.

  2. Describe a bedtime story you have heard.

  3. Describe a real story that inspired you.

  4. Describe a story you heard from one of your relatives.

  5. Describe a story you read in your childhood.

  6. Describe a popular story in your country.

 
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