Listen: Little Sister, Giant Octopus

Reach out and make a memory.

Welcome to Layer Cake!

I'm your host, Dr. Angela Brumett, and this is your English fluency podcast. Layer Cake is sponsored by Parlay Vacay English Immersion Weekends. Build your English fluency online and in person at beautiful and relaxing destinations.

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You can listen to Layer Cake on your favorite podcast app, or go to Parlay where you'll also find podcast notes, more about our guests, and learn all the new vocabulary and phrases in the content of our show.

And with that out of the way, let's get started!


Hello again. Welcome back!

This story is called "Little Sister, Giant Octopus."

An anecdote is a short story and an interesting account of something that happened in the past.

This particular anecdote is told from the first person point of view.

Layer Cake episodes are great opportunities to practice your English language comprehension and listening skills. However, we also have a great tip to help you increase your speaking fluency:

First, listen to this episode a couple of times.

Then, check your understanding of the story with the transcript and lesson vocabulary on our web site.

Finally, try retelling this anecdote yourself in a natural way. Retelling what you hear is always a great way to reinforce your understanding and to apply the new vocabulary and phrases that you learn.

For now, let us tell you the story. All you, have to do is relax and enjoy!


Little Sister, Giant Octopus

My little half-sister, was already a bit too big, but she begged me to carry her around. It was dark in the aquarium and that was spooky, so I didn’t mind. I hoisted her onto my hip then waddled around the best I could.

"That’s the Pacific Giant Octopus!" I declared.

At first, she didn’t see it, so I pointed it out, putting my finger tip against the glass. The octopus was swimming through a kelp forest.

When Deedee’s eyes adjusted and she finally saw it, she was immediately taken aback. “Monster!” she gasped.

“Nooooo! Don’t call her that. She’s beautiful!"

Then she hid her face in my shoulder.

“Well, I really like her," I added. "She’s so smart. Sometimes, she plays with puzzles--just like we do. She can shrink and go inside a jar. She can even open the jar from the inside and escape! She can change colors and textures to blend in with her surroundings--or just to express herself and show her feelings! I think she’s epic!"

“I want Daddy,” she sobbed.

“He’s around the corner,” I reassured her, “and he’ll be by for us. You’re worn out, so let’s just sit here for a spell."

I claimed the bench smack dab in front of the octopus habitat and let Dedee wail. I squeezed her tight and stroked her hair. It had been a long day, and, to tell you the truth, I was drained too. Dad’s meeting had lasted much longer than "just an hour." At this juncture, we were already at three with no word from him. We had stopped expecting him to join us and were just waiting for him to pick us up.