bones and teeth – for English language learners

“Why do you drink cows’ milk?”

Bertie Baggins says to Sally Shaw.

“I can’t understand it.

What on Earth would you do that for?”

“Don’t you know anything?” Sally Shaw says

“You’re beyond belief!

We need calcium from cows’ milk

For our bones and teeth!”

“Milk from a different animal,” Bertie laughs,

“Is not what anyone needs.

There’s calcium in nuts and greens,

Molasses and sesame seeds.”

Sally Shaw blushes and looks at the floor

And Bertie is sorry for her.

“I’m sorry I laughed, it’s not your fault,”

Then he tries to explain it to her.

“Sometimes we’re told untrue facts

By people who think they are true.

The best way to be, is to question, you see

To find out for yourself what is true.”

“It does seem odd, now you mention it,”

Sally Shaw says when she is less red.

“It can’t be natural to drink the milk

On which an animal should be fed.”

“That’s right,” says Bertie, smiling,

“Cows are just like all mammals, Sally Shaw.

They only make milk when they have babies,

And their babies are who the milk’s for.”


The original rhyming story ‘bones and teef‘ was written and illustrated by Violet Plum © 2013

This version was adapted for English language learners by Madeleine Lifsey © 2019

It is part of the compilation Why are you a vegan? and other rhyming stories for English language learners which is available in paperback from Amazon or by contacting us to mail order.

Click the pic to see on Amazon


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