Arthur and Clementine
An adaptation for beginner level
2. A nice spring day, Arthur and Clementine, two young
and beautiful tortoises, meet by a pond. That very same
afternoon they realise they are in love and get married.
3. Clementine, cheerful and unconcerned, makes many
plans for their future life, while they walk along the
pond banks and fish something for dinner.
4. Clementine says: ‘we’ll be very happy together. We’ll travel
and know new places and different turtles, we’ll discover new
fish, and other plants and flowers in the banks it’ll be a wonderful
life! We can even travel abroad. You know what?… I’ve always
wanted to go to Venice… and Arthur just smiles and nods.
5. But every day is the same by the pond bank. At lunch time, he asks
Clementine: ‘how are you, darling? ’and Clementine says: I’ve been very
bored!’ Waiting for you all day long!’ bored! Arthur protests. ‘You say
you are bored? Only the stupid ones get bored! Clementine feels
6. One day, when Arthur comes back, Clementine tells him: ‘I want
to have a flute and learn how to play; But Arthur does not like the
idea: you! Playing the flute? You don’t even know the scales! You
just can’t learn!. You are not gifted!. Clementine is worried about
7. And that very same night, Arthur comes with a lovely
gramophone, and …..
……he ties it to Clementine’s shell, and he says: ‘this
way you won’t lose it… you are so absent- minded!
8. That night before she goes to sleep, she asks herself:
why do I have to carry this heavy gramophone?
9. For a few days Clementine listens to the gramophone. Then, she gets tired. She feels bored
again. She tells Arthur “I want to be a painter” but Arthur answers: ‘Don’t be ridiculous! Do you
think you are an artist?’ ‘That’s stupid! He laughs! Clementine is still very worried but she says
10. Some days later, Arthur buys a picture for Clementine because she is very interested in art.
“. Here you are. Tie it up firmly, or you’ll lose it. You are so absent-minded!’”
11. Arthur buys more and more. One day, he adds a Murano crystal
vase to her shell: “Here you are. Tie it up firmly, or you’ll lose it.
You are so absent-minded!”
12. Another day he comes home with a collection of Austrian
smoking pipes in a glass cabinet.
13. Then, an encyclopedia that makes Clementine want to learn to
14. Now it is the time to add another floor to Clementine’s house.
15 Clementine thinks: “it is difficult to move with a two storey
house on my back.”
16. Arthur adds more floors to Clementine’s house!
17. Clementine’s house is now a skyscraper, and one spring
morning she decides…
18. …to go out for a walk without her shell: it is wonderful
but very short.
19. Little by little, the walk becomes a habit and Clementine feels
happier with her new life. But Arthur doesn’t know anything, and
says: ‘what the hell are you laughing about? You look stupid!’
22. He is very angry, and doesn’t understand. Years after, he still tells
his friends: ‘she is really ungrateful that Clementine, she had
everything she could wish. A twenty-five floor house she had! All full
23. Tortoises live many years and it is possible that Clementine is still
travelling happily the world. It is possible that she plays the flute and
paints beautiful flowers and plants with watercolours. If you happen to
meet a houseless tortoise, try to call her ‘Clementine, Clementine!’ and
if she answers, that’s her!