Stories for Children

lower-intermediate level

Best Job in the World

Episode 191111 / 11 Nov 2019

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‘But what is it?’ said Elli. ‘What does it do?’

She put the headset on again. ‘I can’t see anything.’

‘I haven’t turned it on yet!’ laughed her father. ‘Wait!’

Elli’s father was an inventor. He worked for a big company and was always making new gadgets. Sometimes he brought them home so Elli could try them.

‘Can you see anything now?’

‘Yes!’ said Elli. ‘A screen with words. A list.’

‘Exactly,’ said her father, sounding pleased. ‘It is a Life List. This is a LifeList Viewer. The list shows different jobs, see? Doctor, teacher, builder... So you choose one - like doctor - then you can see what it is like to be a doctor for a day.’

‘Cool!’ said Elli. ‘How does it work?’

‘Easy,’ said her father. ‘A doctor wore a head camera for 24 hours. It filmed everything they did, so you can see and hear it too. It’s fun! And it will help people to choose jobs.’

‘I like that idea,’ said Elli. ‘I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.’

‘This will really help,’ said her father. ‘OK. It works like this...’

Elli learned how to choose and change jobs. Then she went to her bedroom and lay on the bed. She put on the headset. It was enormous! Like a crash helmet. She went down the list. Who did she want to be?

Actress

Dentist

Taxi driver

No, no, no...

Airline pilot

Factory worker

Nurse

No, no, no...

Model

Firefighter?

Firefighter. That sounded exciting! She would ride in a fast fire engine. Wear a helmet and boots and thick, thick clothes. Hold a hose. Shoot water at a burning building. Climb a ladder. Save someone. She would be a hero!

She moved her eyes and chose ‘firefighter’. The movie began.

It was quite dark, but Elli saw a big garage with equipment. She turned her head - a fire engine! Right there! She started to walk forward - what?!! She wasn’t walking - she was still lying on her bed. It was the firefighter who was walking forward. Of course! The camera was on top of his head.

‘This is weird!’ giggled Elli. ‘It’s like being inside his body!’

The firefighter walked past the fire engine and went into a room. It was full of equipment. The firefighter sat down and picked up something made of metal. Elli didn’t know what it was. Then he took up a rag and a tin of polish, and began to clean the metal object.

Elli watched. Time went by. Ten minutes. Twenty minutes. The firefighter finished polishing the metal object, then picked up another one and began to polish that. More time went by. The firefighter started whistling. He was happy.

But Elli was bored. ‘Where is the fire?’ she said. ‘The excitement? The race through the streets on a fire engine?’

She blinked her eyes to get rid of the movie. The LifeList screen came back on.

Footballer

Painter

Baker

No…

TV presenter

Archaeologist

Trawler worker

Trawler worker! Now that sounded exciting. Going out to sea every day... yes! Elli liked boats.

She chose ‘trawler worker’. The movie began.

Instantly she was on a trawler: a huge fishing boat with an enormous crane at one end to haul in the fishing net. She was not alone. Other people were there, wrapped up in waterproof coats, hats and boots. It looked very cold. She could hear the wind, roaring and racing. The sky was dark and stormy. Everyone was busy, doing things.

Elli turned her head. The sea was deep blue, almost black. The waves were rolling, fast and high. It was just a movie, but she could almost feel the wind, biting hard and cold.

She turned her gaze back. The trawler worker was walking forward, but the boat was moving under her feet. Elli started to feel sick. The rolling never stopped.

The trawler worker began to work. She was fixing some piece of machinery. But soon it began to rain. Hard, grey rain that blew everywhere. The trawler worker pulled her hood up - part of the screen was cut off. But she kept working.

‘Go inside!’ said Elli. ‘It’s raining!’

But the trawler worker stayed where she was. The rain grew harder. Elli heard it drumming on the deck. The waves grew bigger and the boat was rocking from side to side.

‘Just stop!’ she said. But she didn’t. Elli began to feel sicker and sicker.

She stopped the movie.

‘That was not nice,’ she said. ‘I’m not going to be a trawler worker!’

She looked at the LifeList again.

Architect

Jeweller

‘Ah! Now this looks interesting!’

The new movie began. Elli saw a room in a house. It looked warm and cosy. A real fire was burning in the fireplace. A cat was asleep on the sofa. The room was full of books on the floor and on bookshelves. There was a desk with a computer, lots of sheets of paper with writing on, a mug of hot chocolate and a plate of biscuits.

The person bit into a biscuit then began to type. Elli saw the words come up on the computer screen.

Once there was a land where every wish came true...

Elli pulled up the bed blanket and snuggled down. ‘This is the best job in the world,’ she said, happily. ‘I am going to be an author.’

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