Story: The Dancers' Statue

Language English – A story for learners of English
Level B1 (3 of 6) – Intermediate (Functional) What's this?

The taxi arrived and Jennifer got inside. She opened her Tourist’s Guide book.

“I want to see The Dancers’ Statue,” she said, reading the page.

The taxi driver turned around. He was a young man with bright eyes and messy hair. “Whose statue?”

Jennifer showed him her book.

“When was this published? It doesn’t even have pictures,” he laughed. He looked on the back. “Nineteen eighty-six!”

“It’s a classic guide for tourists!” Jennifer explained. “It’s much more authentic.”

“You should take it to the Museum, they’ll love it.”

“If you don’t know where the statue is, just tell me.”

“I know every inch of this city,” said the driver. “I’ve lived here all my life.”

“Which began after nineteen eighty-six,” said Jennifer.

“Listen, we’re proud of our history. The statue is still there, but the name must have changed. Can you describe it for me?”

“Why? There are hundreds of statues in this city!”

“I said I know every inch of it. You don’t believe me?”

“Well… I saw a photo in the library. But what can I say? It’s made of stone. The dancers are dancing. They are wearing robes.”

The driver thought about it. “There are eight statues it could be,” he said at last.

Jennifer looked impressed, but sceptical.

“You still don’t trust me? Alright, listen. I’ll take you to each of the eight statues, one by one. If we don’t find the right one, you won’t pay anything. Deal?”

The driver offered his hand. Jennifer laughed, and shook it.

“Hugh,” said the driver.

“Jennifer.”

It was a beautiful day, and Jennifer enjoyed seeing the city through the window. Hugh talked about the city as they drove. Because of him, she noticed amazing details and appreciated the city like a native. Soon, Jennifer put her book away.

The first statue wasn’t the right one, but Hugh was still smiling. “You’re in luck,” he said. “Now you’ll see the river, on the way to statue number two.”

“Not this one either,” said Jennifer when they arrived at the second statue, and again when they arrived at the third.

“Even better,” said Hugh. “Next, we can take a shortcut through some beautiful streets, and we’ll pass the old church.”

Jennifer’s tour of the city continued. By the time they arrived at statue number eight, it was sunset.

“That’s not it either!” said Jennifer with a laugh.

Hugh didn’t charge Jennifer for the journey. He apologised for failing to find the statue.

“Please, don’t apologise,” said Jennifer. “Listen, I’ve made you drive all over the city, and I didn’t even pay. Can I buy you dinner?”

There was a little restaurant just across the road. They were given a table quickly, and Hugh helped Jennifer to understand the menu. Soon, they were both enjoying some delicious local food, and talking happily.

“I have to tell you something, Jennifer,” said Hugh, as they drank coffee that evening. “I should have stopped working at midday. I just… didn’t want to say goodbye.”

“I have to tell you something as well,” said Jennifer, looking at him over her cup. “The Dancers’ Statue… it was the second one.”