Wicked & Humorous Tales

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Page 1: Wicked & Humorous Tales


t M e r e u s

Page 2: Wicked & Humorous Tales



t a l e su M e r e u s

Text adaptation and activities by Kenneth Brodey

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C e r ) T e r ) 1 " s

The Life of Saki

'T P i e O p e r ) \N(nOc>w

Part I A Nervous Man

Part II Mental Excitement

T f i e (f<enartce

Part I The Beast

Part II Un-Beast






Part I The Adventuress

Part II Revenge

Writers and the First World War

Y a s M a r




Part I For his Good

Part II Toast


S r e ^ i o i

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'X e>\>& nA o r 1Part


A Great Discovery

Some Terrible Discoveries



TTie interlopers





A C T I V I T I E S 17, 25, 35, 42, 51, 58, 72, 82, 91, 102, 114, 122


E X I T T E S T 125

.FO E First Certificate in English Examination-style exercises

T: g r a d e 7 Trinity-style exercises (Grade 7)

This story is recorded in full.

These symbols indicate the beginning and end of the extracts linked to the listening activities.

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Hector Hugh Munro

The Life of Saki (18 70-1916)Saki is a very popular short-story writer. He wrote satirical stories about

aristocrats, strange adults, children, talking animals, wicked 1 jokes,

exploding eggs, and cruel destiny. And all these strange stories are told

with that particular dry English sense of humour. Most of Saki’s stories

describe the customs and manners of the English upper classes during

the reign of Edward VII (1901-1910) with precision and irony. Saki also

wrote two novels on social manners which inspired later writers such as

1. wicked : very bad.

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Evelyn Waugh, 1 the playwright Noel Coward 2 and, more recently,

Roald D ah l,3 who is most famous for his wickedly funny books for

children.But Saki himself? Saki was the pen-name of a shy man named Hector

Hugh Munro. Hector was born in Akyab, Burma (now known as

Myanmar) in 1870. His mother died soon after his birth. His father was

a senior official of the Burma police. When Hector was only two, he, his

sister Ethel and his brother Charlie were sent back to Devon in England

to live with their aunts. Hector’s aunts were named Tom and Augusta

(you have read correctly - one of Hector’s aunts was named Tom). They

hated each other very much and neither of them liked Hector. Hector

was an unhealthy child and he was educated at home, but he was able to

survive this horrible life with Tom and Augusta with the help of his

fantastic imagination. He often made up fables and short stories which

he illustrated himself. His sister tells of one particular illustration that

Hector made o f lions eating some m issionaries. These particular

missionaries looked suspiciously like his aunts.

After Hector finished his education his father got him a job with the

Colonial Burmese Military Police, but after less than a year he became

ill with malaria and had to return home to England. Back in England he

began to write political satires for the Westminster Gazette, which were

extremely popular. He also worked as a foreign correspondent for the

Morning Post in Russia, Poland and Paris. Then Hector returned to

London where he planned to live by writing books. The first book he

1. Evelyn Waugh : (1903-66) pen-name of Arthur St John, a British writer.

2. Noel Coward : (1899-1973) British writer of satirical plays.3. Roald Dahl : (1916-90) British writer. Famous works include Charlie and

the Chocolate Factory and The BFG.


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wrote was a history of Russia from its origins to the 17th century, The

Rise o f the Russian Empire (1899). This was certainly a strange choice

for a first book. But Hector was a great admirer of Edward Gibbon

(1737-94), the author of Decline and Fall o f the Roman Empire.

This book was not a success, so Hector returned to writing political

satire for newspapers. He also began writing short stories and novels.

According to Hector’s sister, he took his pen-name from a collection of

Persian poetry called The Rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam, which was very

popular in England at the time. In this poem there is a servant named


A better and more entertaining theory was proposed by the English

writer Tom Sharpe. He says that Hector wanted to honour his hero

Edward Gibbon in an ironic way. A ‘gibbon’ is also a kind of Asian

monkey, and a ‘saki’ is a kind of South American monkey with a long

tail that is very delicate and normally silent, except when it is provoked.

Hector too was a delicate, introverted creature who rarely spoke except

when provoked.

When World War I began, Hector immediately joined the army as a

private. 1 He had been offered an officer’s commission, 2 but he refused.

He went to fight in France where he was killed.

There is a strange and probably fictitious story about Hector’s death

which seems like a story written by Hector himself. One night in the

trenches,3 Hector, who was now a sergeant, saw that one of his men was

smoking. It was very dangerous to smoke at night because the enemy

1. private : an ordinary soldier.2. officer’s com m ission : document signed by the king which gave someone

the position of officer (lieutenant, captain, colonel, etc.) in the army.3. trenches : deep passages cut into the ground as a protection for soldiers.

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soldiers shot at the light of burning cigarettes. Hector turned to this

soldier and shouted, T u t that bloody 1 cigarette out!’ In that very

moment, an enemy soldier shot. But this enemy soldier had not directed

his rifle towards the light of the burning cigarette, but towards the sound

of Hector’s voice giving the command. Hector was killed. A terrible

irony - an irony that Saki would have appreciated.

O Answer the following questions.

a. What kind of stories did he write?

b. What social group is described in Saki’s stories?

c. What was Saki’s real name?

d. Why was his childhood difficult?

e. How did he survive it?

f. What was Saki’s job when he was a young man?

g. According to Saki’s sister what was the origin of his pen-name?

h. What is an alternative theory to the origins of this strange pen-name?

i. How did Saki die?

I1. bloody [’bUdi] (informal British English, not polite) : expression used to

show anger, annoyance.


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a c t i v i t i e s

Before you read

0 Discuss the following questions with a partner.

1. Do you believe in ghosts?2. What do you think of people who say that they have seen ghosts?

a. They really have seen ghosts - ghosts exist.b. They are liars.c. People sometimes think they see ghosts because they are

ill, emotionally upset, tired or nervous.d. Other.


0 Topic - Village and city lifeDiscuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of both village and city life. Use these questions to help you.

a. Do you live in a city, a town or a village?b. What are some of the characteristics of city and village life?

c. How are the personalities of people who live in the city different from those who live in villages?

d. If you had to move to either the city or the country, what one thing from your old lifestyle would you miss most? What one change would you like best?

Q Look at the picture on page 15.

a. Describe the people in the picture. What can you imagine about their personalities?

b. What do you think they are discussing?c. Do you think the people know each other well?


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f c e Q Listen to the beginning of Part One and choose the best answer A, B or C.

1 The doctor told Framton

A [ ] to leave the city.

B Q to relax.

C O to go and stay with his sister.

2 Framton Nuttel decided to go to the

A Q country.

B Q city.

C Q theatre.

3 Mrs Sappleton’s niece was called

A Q Sarah.

B Q Clara.

C □ Vera.

4 Mrs Sappleton’s tragedy happened exactly

A Q a week ago.

B Q three years ago.

C Q] four years ago.

5 Mrs Sappleton’s husband and brothers fell into

A □ a lake.

B □ a trap.

C □ a bog.

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P a r t i

4 \(<erveusm ramton Nuttel was very tired and nervous.

The doctors told him he needed a rest and

JJF said he should go somewhere peaceful. So hedecided to spend some time in the country.

T know what you are like, Fram ton,’ his sister said. ‘When you go to the country, you will stay all alone. That’s not

good for you. You should not stay all alone. You should meet

some nice people. I was in that part of the country four years ago.

I m et som e n ice p e o p le . I w ill w rite you som e le tte r s o f introduction, and you can meet them .’

‘I am not sure that is a good idea,’ objected Framton. ‘Maybe I shouldn ’t. After all, I don’t know any of those people.’

I Si

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4 /I(ar)

‘Take my advice,’ replied Framton’s sister. ‘It will be good for you.’

So Fram ton went to the country with his s is te r ’s letters of

introduction. The first person he visited was Mrs Sappleton. He

knocked at the door of Mrs Sappleton ’s house and a young girl

about fifteen years old opened the door. It was Mrs Sappleton ’s niece. Her name was Vera.

‘My aunt will be down in a moment, Mr Nuttel,’ said the girl,

who looked very mature and intelligent. ‘While you are waiting, I

will try to entertain you. I hope you don’t m ind.’

‘Oh, I will be happy to talk with you,’ replied Framton. He did

not want to offend the girl. But he wondered 1 if going to meet

new people was really good for his health. In fact, he felt quitebr : . '

nervous, and he hoped that Mrs Sappleton was nice.

‘Do you know m any of the people round h ere?’ asked Mrs

Sappleton ’s niece after a few minutes of silence.

‘N o,’ replied Framton, ‘I don’t know anybody around here. My

sister stayed here four years ago and she gave me some letters of

introduction to some of the people here.’

Framton felt more and more nervous, and he was more and

more convinced that it was a bad idea. He needed rest, not new friends.

‘Then you know practically nothing about my aunt?’ continued the confident 2 young lady.

‘I know only her name and a d d re ss,’ adm itted Framton. He

was wondering whether Mrs Sapp leton ’s husband was alive or

1. wondered : asked himself.2. confident : sure of herself.


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T K c O p e r ) \n( w c ) c)v\i

dead. Looking at the room, he thought that a man must live there.

‘My aunt’s great tragedy happened exactly three years ago ,’

said the girl. ‘That was after your sister was here.’

‘Your aunt’s tragedy?’ asked Framton. He thought the country

was very peaceful. He could not imagine a tragedy there.

‘You probably wonder why we keep that window open on a

cool October evening,’ said Vera. In fact, behind Fram ton’s chair

there was a large French window 1 that opened on to a law n .2

‘It is very warm for this time of the year.’ said Framton. ‘But is

that window connected with the tragedy?’

‘E xactly three years ago my a u n t ’s h u sb an d and her two

younger brothers went out through that window. They were going

hunting. They never came back. While they were going to their

favourite hunting spot, they fell into a bog. 3 That particu lar

summer it rained a lot. The bog was normally safe, but after the

rain it became very dangerous. Their bodies were never found.

That is the most horrible part of the story.’ e ^ °Until this moment, the young girl had seemed very calm. Now

she seem ed a little frightened and her voice trem bled as she

continued the story.‘My poor aunt thinks that her dead husband and brothers will

return some day, together with the dog that went with them. She

thinks that they w ill walk into the house through that French

window as they alw ays did before they died. That is why that

window behind you is kept open until dark. My poor aunt! She

1. French window : two large windows that are also used as doors.

2. lawn : area of short grass around a house or in a garden.

3. bog : very wet and soft earth.

i f

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''Tfie Open \N(Tn3c)v>/

has often told me every detail of that terrible day! Her husband carried a white raincoat over his arm. Her youngest brother was

singing the song “Bertie, why do you bound?” 1 He sang this song

to make fun of her. Som etim es, Mr Nuttel, I have the strange

feeling that they will return, that they will walk in through that

window. It’s horrible, really horrible!’

She stopped telling him her sad story. Fram ton was happy

when the aunt came back into the room.

‘ I h o pe my n iece is e n te r ta in in g you , Mr N u t te l , ’ M rs

Sappleton said.‘She is very interesting,’ said Framton nervously.

1. bound : (here) run.


I <9

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Go back to the text

^ Are the following statements true (T) or false (F)? Correct the false ones.

T Fa. Framton Nuttel knows Mrs Sappleton very well.b. Framton Nuttel wants to meet new people.c. Framton’s sister was in that part of the country

two years ago.d. Mrs Sappleton’s husband went hunting three years ago, Q

and he never came back home.e. Mrs Sappleton’s two elder brothers also disappeared

with Mr Sappleton.f. Vera sometimes has the feeling that they will come back. Q

iQfe Which of the following adjectives describe Framton, and which describe Vera? Support your choices with examples from the story.

timid mature insecure aggressive intelligent audacious nervous

What is the function of these elements in the story? Write details as in the examples.

a. the song ‘Bertie why do was sung by Vera's uncle on the dayyou bound?’ he disappeared.

b. the open window ..................................................................

c. the white raincoat ..................................................................

d. the dog was with Vera's uncles on the daythey disappeared.

e. the bog ................................................................

f. hunting ................................................................


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You should meet some nice peopleWe can use should and ought to to give advice and to express our opinions about things. They are not as strong as must and have to.• You ought to drive more slowly. = It would be a good idea if you drove

more slowly.• They ought not to eat so much. = It would be a good idea if they did

not eat so much.• You shouldn't talk about other people's problems. = It's a good idea

not to talk about other people's problems.

Notice that ought is followed by to while should isn ’t.The contracted form of the negative of should is shouldn’t.The contracted form of the negative of ought, oughtn’t, is possible but not very common.

Complete the sentences below using should or ought to. You must decide whether the sentences are negative or affirmative.

Example: Framton drinks three cups of coffee a day. He is nervous and can't sleep at night. I think that Framton shouldn't drink so much coffee, (should/drink).

a. Framton, you work six days a week, 10 hours a day.You’re exhausted. Y o u ....................................hard, (should/work)

b. You are a bit overweight, Charles.Y o u .................................. junk food, (should/eat)

c. He will do poorly in the exam because he doesn’t study enough. H e .................................... (ought/study)

d. You always spend your time alone at home.Y o u ...................................... (ought/go out)

e. I think Phil’s girlfriend is a vegetarian. Maybe I ..................................and check. I don’t want to prepare something that she can’t eat. (ought/call)

f. My sister is terrible. Y o u ....................................never....................................her anything because she can’t keep secrets.(should/tell)

) S\

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g. If you come to my house, call before. I ....................................therebut I may have to go out. (should/be)

h. Y o u ..................................horror films if they frighten you so much.(ought/watch)

i. W e .if we don’t want to miss the train. Itleaves in ten minutes, (ought/hurry)

j. Charlotte and William are getting married next month. However,they are always fighting. In my opinion, th ey ....................................(ought/get married)

k. W e.a problem with this any more because wehave studied it well, (should/have)

Before you go on

F C E © Read this extract from Part Two and think of a word which best fits each space. Use only one word in each space. There is an example at the beginning (0).

T hope you don’t mind the open window,’ said Mrs Sappletonquickly. ‘My husband and my brothers will be (0) . fromhunting soon. They always come (1 ) ...................... the house throughthat window. Today they went to the bogs to hunt for snipe.(2 ) ........................they come home I am sure they (3 ) ...................make a mess of everything. You know what men are (4) ...................... !’Mrs Sappleton continued to talk about hunting. She told Framtonthat (5 ) ........................were not many snipes that year. She said thatshe hoped there (6) be a lot of ducks in November. ToFramton it was all completely horrible. (7) ........................he trieddesperately to change the topic of conversation, he (8 ) ......................


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conscious that Mrs Sappleton only gave him part of her attention.She continued to look past him out the window. ‘Obviously she’slooking (9) ........................her dead husband and brothers,’ Framtonthought. ‘(10) ........................a terrible time to visit her, today, theanniversary of their death.’

To change the topic of conversation he started talking(11 ) .......................his bad health.

‘The doctors,’ he said, ‘told me to rest. I should avoid mental excitement, and I should avoid all physical activity. They did not,(12) ....................... , tell me what I should eat.’

Now listen and check your answers.

0 Look at the picture on page 21 and answer the following questions.

1. What adjective would you use to describe the expression on Vera’s face?

happy sad interested scared worried

2. How do you think the story will end?a. Vera has made up the whole story about her uncles

disappearing in the bog.b. Framton will think he sees the ghosts of Vera’s uncles because

he is ill and nervous.c. Mrs Sappleton will see the ghosts of three men because she is

mentally ill and needs psychiatric help.d. Vera’s uncles will return. They were not lost in a bog, but had

run away to America with some friends.e. Other.


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hope you don’t mind the open window,’ said

Mrs Sappleton quickly. ‘My husband and my

brothers w ill be back from hunting soon. They

always come into the house through that window.

Today they went to the bogs to hunt for snipe. 1 When

they come home I am sure they will make a mess of everything. 2

You know what men are like!’

M rs Sap p le to n con tin u ed to talk about hunting. She to ld

Framton that there were not many snipes that year. She said that

she h o p ed there w o u ld be a lot o f d u ck s in N ovem ber. To

Framton it was all completely horrible. While he tried desperately

1. snipe [snaip] : 'V2. m ake a mess of everything : leave things in a disorganised way.

P a r t !i

/Ifcnfal Cx'cifeMeni-

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'TPic 0 ? dm

to change the topic of conversation, he was conscious that Mrs

Sappleton only gave him part of her attention. She continued to

look past him out the window.‘Obviously she’s looking for her dead husband and brothers,’

Framton thought. ‘What a terrible time to v isit her, today, the

anniversary of their death.’

To change the topic of conversation he started talking about

his bad health.‘The d o c to rs ,’ he sa id , ‘ to ld me to rest. I sh ou ld av o id 1

mental excitement, and I should avoid all physical activity. They

did not, however, tell me what I should eat.’

‘Oh? That is very interesting,’ said Mrs Sappleton, who was

obviously not really interested at all. In fact, she almost yawned. 2

Then she became very interested - but not in what Framton was

saying.‘Here they are!’ she cried. ‘They are just in time for tea. Look,

they are covered with mud 3 up to their eyes!’

Framton shivered 4 and looked at Vera. His look seemed to say,

‘Oh, I am really sorry for your poor aunt!’ But the girl was looking

out the w indow , and she looked h orrified . Fram ton becam e

terrified. He turned around and looked out the window too.

It was almost dark, but Framton could see three men walking across the lawn towards the window. They all carried guns. One

of the three men had a white raincoat over his arm. There was

1. avoid : stay away from.

2. yawned [joind] : opened her mouth and breathed deeply. You do this if you are bored or tired.

3. mud : soft, wet earth.

4. shivered : trembled from fear or coldness.

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"TEc Op er)

also a sm all dog. They did not say a word. When they were near

the w indow one of them began to sing, ‘Bertie , why do you

bound?’Framton jum ped up from his chair. He picked up his coat, and

ran out of the house, to the road and was never seen again.

‘Here we are, my dear,’ said the man who was carrying the

white raincoat over his arm. ‘I’m sorry we are a little muddy. Who

was that man who ran aw ay?’

‘A very strange man. His name is Framton N uttel,’ said Mrs

Sappleton. ‘He only wanted to talk about his bad health, and then

he ran away without saying goodbye and without apo logisin g ,1 as

if he had seen a ghost.’

‘ I th in k he ran aw ay b e c au se he saw the d o g ,’ s a id M rs

Sappleton ’s niece calmly. ‘He told me that he was very afraid of

dogs. When he was in India many years ago, he was attacked by a

pack of wild 2 dogs. He ran into a cemetery, and had to spend the

night in a newly dug grave. 3 The dogs grow led and snarled 4

above him for the entire night. So you can understand why he is

so afraid of dogs.’

Inventing fantastic stories was Vera’s speciality.

1. apologising : saying that he was sorry.

2. wild : animals that live in their natural environment.

3. dug grave : prepared hole in the ground for a dead body to be put (to dig =to make a hole in the ground).

4. growled and snarled [grauld] [snaild] : (for animals) made angry and menacing sounds.

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Go back to the text

Look again at the first activity on page 17. Now decide which of the sentences is/are REALLY false and which is/are REALLY true.

0 Answer the following questions.

a. What does Framton think when Mrs Sappleton insists on talking about hunting?

b. What does Mrs Sappleton think when Framton insists on talking about his health?

c. What does Framton think when Mrs Sappleton says, ‘Look they are covered with mud up to their eyes’?

O Complete the sentences with the words in the box, and then put the sentences in the correct order to make a summary of the story.

country advice yawned bog hunting niece upstairs French window peaceful feeling

wondered picked up came back shivered

a. Q] When Fram ton arrived at Mrs S a p p le to n ’s house, MrsSapp leton ’s ........................... Vera opened the door and letFramton in the house.

b. I Vera con clu d ed her story by say in g that she had the...................... that some day her uncles would return.

c. Framton followed the doctor’s ....................... and went to thecountry to visit Mrs Sappleton.

d. When Mrs Sappleton came down, she talked about hunting and ducks. Framton thought this was horrible so he tried to talk about his health. Mrs Sappleton tried to listen to Fram ton’s boring talk about his health, but she alm ost

e. Q Vera said that her aunt was ........................ and would comedown in a moment.


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f. □ She said that the open window was connected to her aunt’sgreat tragedy: exactly three years earlier her husband and hertwo brothers had gone ......... ............ . but unfortunately theyhad never returned; they fell into a ...................... and never

g. [ j When Framton saw that three men were really arriving, he...................... his coat and ran out of the house, and was neverseen again.

h. ;r ] Vera asked Framton if he ...................... why the........................was open on an October afternoon.

i. ! ~] Framton’s doctor told him that he needed rest and that heshould go to th e ...................... where it i s ..........................

j. ] Then Mrs Sappleton said , ‘Here they a re !’ and Framton ...................... and looked at Vera, who looked terrified.

Framton’s point of view

F C E © Pretend you are Framton and write a letter to a friend. Tell him or her about the following. Write the letter in 120-180 words.

• why you went to the Sappletons’

• Vera’s practical joke

• what you think of it

• what happened to you after you ran away

You can begin your letter like this:

I will never forget the day I went into the countryside to relax. I knocked at the door of Mrs Sappleton’s house and



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I think he ran away because he saw the dogLook at the following phrasal verbs with run and their definitions:

pursue, chase escape, flee

i. meet someone by chanceii. hit something when driving

have none left, consume totally hit or drive over something accidentally with a vehicle

Now complete the following sentences with one of the phrasal verbswith run in the correct tense.

Example: I think I will go to the supermarket because we have run out of sugar and coffee.

a. When the thief saw the policeman, h e ....................................

b. When the policeman saw the thief walking in the distance, he ....................................him.

c. We will have to go home early from our holiday. We....................................money.

d. I left my bicycle in the driveway, and my brother ..................................it by mistake with his motorbike.

e. H e ....................................as quickly as he could when he saw theghost.

f. I Bill Howard yesterday at the train station.What a surprise. I hadn’t seen him for years.

g. Every time my dog sees a car drive by, h e ....................................itand barks.

h. Yesterday as I was driving home I ....................................a cat.Fortunately I didn’t kill it.

run after run away run into

run out of run over


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Vera said that Framton had been attacked by a pack of wild dogs. There are other special names for groups of anim als. Match the name of the group on the left with the correct picture and then fill in the spaces. Below each picture there is a clue to help you.

1. Q] a flock o f ............

2. [a] a swarm of

3. [ | a school o f .........

4. Q ] a pack o f ............

5. I a crowd o f ..._ a. If you take off the

6. |_ J a herd o f ............... ^ rst letter, the word7. Q a pride o f ............... is almost hot

b. If ‘Come ride ourwonderful dinosaurs!’ were like the F.B.I. and the C.I.A.

c. If you substitute the second letter with an ‘a’, you have the opposite of soft

d. If you think that lions are arrogant and superior animals, you will understand

g. Normally we don’t think that these animals know many things, so this word may seem strange

e. This is the same f. This word rhymesword that we use with ‘rock’for a set of 52 playing cards

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' T o e ( P e r x x n c e

1. Penance : penitence, something you do to show that you are sorry

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a c t i v i t i e s

Before you read

Listen to Part One and choose the best answer A, B or C.

1 Octavian Ruttle was

A □ ugly and nasty.B Q slow and friendly.

C Q active and friendly.

2 Octavian was a

A Q doctor.

B Q] farmer.C Q] businessman.

3 One day Octavian discovered that some animal was killing his

A □ pigs.

B □ horses.C Q chickens.

4 Octavian thought that the killer was a

A □ dog.B Q child.

C cat.

5 To make peace with the children, Octavian bought them

A □ some toys.B Q a box of chocolates.

C □ some flowers.

f c e ©


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P a r t I

TRe S e a s l-

ctavian Ruttle was an active, friendly person.

He liked people and it was important to him

that peo p le liked him . For exam ple, there

were three children who lived in the house next

his. Octavian thought that he should know their

names, their birthdays and their favourite toys. But he only knew

that their parents lived in India, and that they lived with their

aunt and u n cle . O cc a s io n a lly , O ctav ian saw that the three children were looking down from the wall that divided the two properties. They never said anything; they just watched carefully everything he did.


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'TK e (Penance

O ctavian w as a farm er. He had p ig s, ch ick en s, and other

an im als. One day O ctavian looked in the chicken coop 1 and

found some blood and feathers. 2 Some animal had killed one of

his ch ickens. More and more ch ickens were k illed . O ctavian

looked carefully for the animal that was killing his chickens.

One day he saw a cat walking around the coop. He was sure

that the cat was the killer. Unfortunately, the cat belonged to the

three ch ild ren . O ctav ian w ent to the c h ild re n ’s h o u se , and

explained his problem to their uncle. The uncle agreed that the

cat had to be killed. ‘The children w ill be upset but you don ’t

have to tell them ,’ was the uncle’s last word on the matter.

The next day, Octavian waited for the cat. When it arrived he

shot at it with his hunting rifle 3 - and m issed it. The cat tried

desperately to escape. Octavian shot again and m issed it again.

Then the cat ran out into a field where there was a large oak tree.

It climbed up the tree and now it was trapped. Octavian walked

up to the tree, pointed his rifle at the cat, and shot. This time he

did not m iss and the dead cat fell to the ground. Octavian told the

gardener to bury it near the oak tree.

Octavian felt very bad about killing the cat but he had to do it:

it was killing his chickens. He walked slowly back to his house.

And as he walked near the wall he looked up and saw that the

three children were staring 4 at him. They had seen everything!

Now they were looking at Octavian. Their expressions showed how much they hated him.

1. coop : place where chickens are kept. 3. rifle : long gun.

2. feathers : 4. staring : looking intensely.


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/XV)d penance

‘I am sorry, but I had to do it,’ said Octavian sincerely.‘B e a st !’ was the answ er the three children gave with great

intensity.He saw that it was im possible to explain the situation to the

children at that moment. He decided to wait a few days before he

tried to make peace with them.

Two days later he went to the sweet-shop and asked for a large

box of chocolates. He d id n ’t want the first two boxes that the

shopkeeper showed him; one had a picture of a cat on the cover,

and the other had a p ic tu re o f som e ch ick en s . F in a lly the

shopkeeper brought him a box decorated with flowers. Octavian

sent the box to the children and later received a note saying that

they had received the present.

The next day he felt much better when he went to look at his

chicken coops and pigsties. 1 He saw that the three children were

looking down from the wall, but they were not looking at him.

Then O ctavian noticed that here and there in the grass were

pieces of chocolate and their shiny wrappers. 2 It looked like a

greedy 3 ch ild ’s paradise.

The children had thrown his presents back at him.

1. pigsties ['pigstaiz] : place where pigs are kept.

2. shiny w rappers : bright coverings of the pieces of chocolate.

3. greedy : if you desire something excessively (food, money, power, etc.) you are greedy.


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Go back to the text

O Match the first half of the sentence (1-6) with the correct half (a-f) given below.

1. The only thing that Octavian knew about the children was that

2. Octavian felt that he had to kill the cat because

3. The children’s uncle agreed that the cat had to be killed and his final word was that

4. Octavian felt bad about killing the cat because

5. When Octavian told the children he was sorry, they told him that

6. Octavian bought the children a box of chocolates because

a. Q he wanted to make peace with them.

b. Q] it belonged to the children.

c. Q he was a beast.

d. [^] their parents were in India and they lived with their auntand uncle.

e. [~] the children would be upset, but they didn’t have to know.

f. Q it was killing his chickens.

© Look at the picture on page 33.

a. What adjectives would you use to describe the expressions on the children’s faces?

shocked surprised angry bored sad

b. What adjectives would you use to describe the expression on Octavian’s face?

shocked surprised afraid confused worried

c. What do you think the children are thinking?

d. What do you think Octavian is thinking?

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0 Complete the sentences with don’t have to or mustn’t according to the context.

[You don’t have to go home. = It is not necessary that you go home. You mustn’t go home. = Don’t go home!

Examples:- You don’t have to make lunch for the children. They aren’t hungry.- The children are sleeping. You mustn’t make any noise.

a. Y o u ........................ shoot the cat again. It’s already dead.b. Y o u ....................... talk to that man. He killed our cat.c. You eat those chocolates. They are a present from

the Beast.d. I love those children very much, and I would not want them to suffer.

Y o u ........................tell them that their cat was killed.e. Y o u tell the children that their cat was killed, if you

don’t want to. After all they are only stupid children, and theywill forget about their cat in a week.

Before you go on

F C E © Listen to the beginning of Part Two and complete the sentences with a word or a phrase.(A1 Octavian decided that the cat was innocent because he found

m ore....................................in the coop.2 The cat had probably been around the coop because it was

3 Octavian hoped that h i s ..................................would help him tomake peace with the children.

4 Octavian asked the children if they lik e d ....................................5 Octavian saw that the children were pushing Olivia on a go-cart

towards th e ....................................6 When Octavian asked the children what they were going to do

with Olivia, one of the boys said that they were going to


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P a r t II

I f n - ^ c a . s l -7

ctavian felt even worse when he found more

blood and feathers in the coop. Apparently, the

cat was innocent; some other animal was the

real killer. The cat had probably come near the

coop looking for rats. The children learned from the

servants that the real killer was not their cat, and one day Octavian

found a piece of paper on which was written: ‘Beast. Rats eated 2

your chickens.’ Now more than ever he wished to find some way to

make peace with the children.One day he had an in sp iration . His tw o-year-old daughter

O liv ia u su a lly spen t a cou p le of h ours w ith him w h ile her

1. Un-Beast : invention of the children meaning ‘You are not a beast’.

2. eated : ate (a mistake made by the child who wrote the note).


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'TTi <l (fenance

nursem aid 1 ate lunch. About the same time the children appeared

on the wall. Octavian walked with Olivia near the wall and he

saw that the children seemed very interested.

‘My O livia,’ thought Octavian, ‘will be able to succeed where I

have failed .’

He brought Olivia a large yellow d ah lia .2 Then he looked up at

the children on the wall and asked, ‘Do you like flow ers?’ They

nodded 3 their heads solemnly.

‘Which do you like best?’ he asked.

‘Those with all the colours, over there,’ answered the children,

pointing to a group of sweet peas 4 at the other end of the garden.

Octavian ran happily to get the flowers for the children. He pulled up

lots and lots of flowers of all different colours, and then he returned

to the wall to give them to the children. But there was no one on the

wall. The children had gone, and, what is more, Olivia had gone too.

Down in the meadow, the three children were pushing a go-cart5

very fast towards the pigsties; it was Olivia’s go-cart and she was

on it. Octavian stared for a moment at the rapidly moving group,

and then started to run after them. When he arrived at the pigsties

he saw the children climbing on the roof with Olivia. They were

old buildings and could not support Octavian’s weight.

‘W hat are you go ing to do w ith h e r? ’ he sh ou ted . It w as obvious from the expression on their faces that they were going to do something bad.

1. nursem aid : servant who looks after very young children.

2. dahlia ['deilia]

3. nodded : moved their heads up and down to say yes.

4. sweet peas :

5. go-cart : light vehicle with wheels used in the garden.

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‘We are going to cook her over a fire,’ said one of the boys who

‘Throw her down and the pigs w ill eat all of her except the

palm s of her hands,’ said the other boy, who had obviously read Biblical history.

The last proposal alarmed Octavian the most. He had heard of

cases where pigs had eaten sm all children.

‘You w ouldn’t do such a horrible thing to my little O livia?’ he


‘You killed our little cat,’ replied the children.

‘I’m very sorry that I d id ,’ said Octavian.

‘We will be very sorry when we kill O livia,’ said the girl, ‘but

we can ’t be sorry until we have killed her.’

Before Octavian could think of an answer to this child-logic,

he saw Olivia fall from the roof into the muck 1 below. He went

quickly over the w all of the pigsty to rescue his daughter but

found h im self trapped in the muck. He could hardly move. At

first Olivia was almost happy to be in the slippery 2 muck. But

when she began to sink 3 she rea lised that she was not at all

happy, and she began to cry. Octavian battled with the muck, but

he could not move.

‘I can ’t reach her in tim e,’ he shouted. ‘She’ll die in the muck.

Won’t you help her?’

‘No one helped our cat,’ the children reminded him.‘I’ll do anything to show you that I am really and truly sorry,’

cried Octavian.

1. m uck [mAk] : animal excrement.2. slippery : difficult to stand without falling (e.g. ice and snow are slippery).

3. sink : go down (in water, or some other liquid).

had obviously read English history.


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'TT]d (Perxxnce

‘Will you stand wearing only your white shirt by the cat’s grave?’

‘Y es,’ screamed Octavian.‘Holding a candle?’ asked one of the boys.

‘And saying, “I’m a miserable Beast”? ’ asked the girl.

‘Yes, y e s !’ answ ered Octavian.

‘For a long, long tim e?’ asked the girl.

‘For half an hour,’ said Octavian anxiously. He had read that a

German king had done penance by standing outside in only his

shirt for five days and five nights at Christmas-time. Fortunately,

the children had not read any German history and half an hour

seem ed like enough time to them. They threw down a ladder 1

and Octavian was able to save Olivia.

That evening he went to the oak tree where the cat was buried.

He was wearing only a shirt. In one hand he had a candle, and in

the other hand he had a watch. He stood there for half an hour

saying, ‘I’m a miserable Beast. I’m a miserable Beast. I’m a miserable

Beast.’ He was sure that the three children were watching him.

The next morning Octavian was very happy when he found a

piece of paper next to the wall, on which was written the m essage


1. ladder :


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Go back to the text

^ j| Complete the sentences with the words in the box, and then put the sentences in the correct order to make a summary of the story.

coop (x 2) muck (x 2) belonged sinking chocolates presents riflev ladder (x 2) staring penance fell

die pigsty pigsties upset go-cart

a. Q One day Octavian was out with his little daughter Olivia,and he thought that the children would like to play with her.But they ran away with Olivia on a .................and went tothe\(a.\.£\....... ....S.. .

b. Q] Octavian tried to make peace with the children and boughtthem some , but the children threw back his.CX^C.r.)........

c. Q The children gave him the X ...............after Octavianpromised to do a particular .;.v....w He had to stand bythe cat’s grave for thirty minutes and repeat, T’m a miserable beast. I’m a miserable beast.’

d. Q] So Octavian went and shot the cat with his Xr.i.V,...............

e. Q One day Octavian discovered some blood and feathers in hischicken .£?...... Some animal had been killing hischickens.

f. Q After Octavian had killed the cat, he saw the children................ at him from the top of a wall. They had seen


g. Q Octavian came and told the children not to hurt his daughter,but Olivia S ? X .............. into the X.......k.............

h. Q Olivia w a s .....,..... in th e ..........................and was going to

i. Q] Octavian tried to save her, but he couldn’t. He told the children to hand him a .........................

*3 l

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The children climbed up onto to the roof of a ......................with Olivia.

Octavian looked for the animal that was the killer, and oneday he saw a cat walking around the chicken.........................Unfortunately, the c a t ...................... to the children who werehis neighbours.

Octavian asked the children’s uncle if he could kill the cat, and the uncle said that he could but the children would jDe .....Vy^Xr........

Saki refers to the children’s schooling in an ironic manner.Discuss the following questions.

a. What do you think the adults wanted the children to learn from English and Biblical history?

morality the greatness of Britain love vendictiveness patriotism courage

b. What did the children actually learn from English and Biblical history?

Un-BeastThe word un-beast was an invention of the children meaning ‘You are not a beast’.The prefix un is generally used with adjectives, adverbs and verbs.

In English there are several prefixes along with un that can be used to turn adjectives and adverbs into their opposites.

holy - unholy agreeable - disagreeable sensitive - insensitive patient - impatient

j. □

k. □

i- □

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Read this adaptation of Saki’s description of bird life during the First World War. Use the word given in capitals at the end of each line to form a word that fits in the space in the same line. You will need, among other possible changes, to add a prefix. You may not understand all the names of the birds. This is not essential to do the exercise. Try to understand the general meaning of the text.

Despite the effects of the war, bird life has been quite (0) undisturbed. DISTURBRats and mice have mobilised and barn owls have followed them, butit is (1) r . w. i . . . r * f t o say if the barn owls will be successful or not POSSIBLEin controlling the mice. (2) there are always enough FORTUNA1mice to populate the trenches and run over your face while you sleep.Barn owls generally stay in (3) .........................buildings, and because INHABITthousands of people have moved away, there are now entire streets full of empty houses available for barn owls. But, apart from the increase in mice and places for barn owls, bird life in the northernFrench countryside, has been quite (4 )......................... AFFECTYou would expect large flocks of crows and rooks near the fightingline, but these flocks are practically (5) ........................... The obvious EXISTexplanation is that the crows are frightened by the sound of theexplosions, but this explanation is (6 )........................... Normally rooks CORRECTare very afraid of the sound of guns, but I have seen rooks peacefully looking for food in the ruins of a village with explosions all around them.According to Russian naturalists, the war has had a greater effect on birds on the Eastern Front. They say that during the first year of thewar rooks (7 )........................ and skylarks stopped singing in the fields. APPEARHere on the Western Front though, skylarks have not left these dangerous fields. One early morning, when nothing seemed to be alive, a skylark flew high up in the sky to sing its song of joy. To methough, its song seemed forced and (8) .......................... I thought that SINCEREit was (9) ....................... that the skylarks had nests in these desolate CONCEIVEbattlefield. However, I discovered a nest with young larks in it. Two of them had been hit by something and were in bad condition, but the survivors were as peaceful and comfortable as the average nestling.

from ‘B irds on the W estern Fron t’

* *

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/ i ( c > r ( v e r a

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Before you readLook at the picture on page 47. What kind of person is she? Describe her and say:

• what kind of person you think she is• how she gets the money to buy her clothes• how she treats her family• whether she is married and has any children

Listen to Part One and choose the best answer A, B or C.

Why was the doll different from a model in a fashion magazine? A Q Because she wore leopard-skin accessories.B Q Because she had a friendly expression on her face.C Q Because she had a terrible expression on her face.

How old were Bert and Emmeline?A Q four and ten B □ six and seven C Q seven and ten

According to Emmeline, the doll’s husband doesn’t hit her becauseA he’s dead.B Q she’s too terrible and frightening.C Q he has a good nature.

The doll’s mother hates her because she A |T |̂ sent her son away to live with poor people.B □ is so sarcastic.C Q poisons everybody.

The rich lord is not going to pay for the doll’s clothes because A Q he has already given her jewels.B Q he is dead.C Q he doesn’t really love her.


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P a r t I

he Olympic Toy Emporium had a large

shop window in an important West End street.

No one called it the more familiar and exciting

name of toyshop. Its toys were incredible but not

toys that ch ildren really liked . For exam ple, the

an im al toys lo ok ed like sc ie n tif ic m o d els and not fr ien d ly companions to take to bed.

One of the d o lls in the w indow looked like a m odel in a fashion magazine. She wore a skirt and leopard-skin accessories.


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Unlike a model in a fashion magazine, this doll had a terrible expression on her face. She seem ed to have a really horrible

character and you could imagine hundreds of stories about her in

which she had unworthy 1 ambitions and a great desire for money.

As a matter of fact, two poor children, Emmeline, aged ten and

Bert, aged seven, had stopped on their way to St Jam es’s Park.

They did not like her much because she was rich and they were

poor, and because she had such a terrible expression on her face.

Emmeline gave the doll a terrible reputation; she got her ideas

from the conversations of her m other’s friends about rom antic


‘She is a bad one,’ declared Emmeline, ‘and her husband hates


‘He hits her a lot,’ said Bert with enthusiasm.

‘No, he doesn’t, because he’s dead. She poisoned 2 him slowly

so that no one would know. Now she wants to marry a lord with

lots and lots of money. He’s already got a wife, but she’s going to poison her too.’

‘She’s a bad one,’ said Bert with growing hostility.

‘Her mother hates her,’ continued Emmeline, ‘because she’s so

sarcastic. She’s greedy too. If there is fish for dinner, she eats her

own share 3 and her little g irl’s share too, and her little girl is delicate.’

‘She had a little boy once,’ said Bert, ‘but she pushed him into the water when nobody was looking.’

1. unworthy : undeserving, bad.

2. poisoned : gave him poison (a substance that can kill you if you eat or drink it).

3. share : portion.


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‘No, she d id n ’t ,’ said Em m eline, ‘she sent him away to live with some poor people, and they treat him very badly.’

‘W h at’ s her n a m e ? ’ a sk e d B ert, th in k in g th at su ch an

interesting personality should have a name.

‘Her n am e?’ sa id E m m eline, th in k ing hard . ‘Her nam e is

M o r lv e r a . ’ Sh e th o u g h t th is se e m e d lik e the n am e o f an

adventuress in a film.

‘She hasn ’t paid for the clothes she is wearing, and she will

never pay for them; she thinks that the rich lord w ill pay for

them, but he won’t. He has already given her lots of jew els.’

‘He won’t pay for the clothes,’ said Bert with conviction.

It seems that there is a limit to the weak good nature of a rich


h 0

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Go back to the text

Q Answer the following questions.

a. Why didn’t anyone call the Olympic Toy Emporium a toyshop?

b. Why could someone looking at Morlvera imagine that she had unworthy ambitions and a great desire for money?

c. Why did Emmeline and Bert dislike Morlvera?

d. Why, according to Emmeline, wasn’t Morlvera accused of killing her husband?

e. Why did Emmeline call the doll Morlvera?

f. What kind of man was the rich lord?

a. Talk with a partner about some overly sentim ental film you have seen. Say which parts of the film you thought were not very realistic.

b. Write down all the different elements of M orlvera’s life that Bert and Emmeline im agine, and say which ones you think come from their own personal experiences and which ones come from what Emmeline has heard from others.

Interesting or interestedSome adjectives can be formed with either the -ing or -ed ending. But they have different meanings. You use the -ing ending to describe a person, object or a situation. The -ed ending is used to talk about the effect something has on a person, object or situation.

Look at these examples:The film was so frightening, I couldn't watch it.I was so frightened by the film I couldn't sleep at night.

S ’)

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O Complete the sentences with the correct adjective.

Example: We are all tired because we did not sleep much last night. (tired/tiring)

a. The children were very .....................................about going to thetoyshop, (excited/exciting)

b. I think Harold i s .......................................He only talks abouthimself, (bored/boring)

c. Emmeline and Bert think that Morlvera is rather ....................................... (interested/interesting)

d. I always fe e l when it rains and I can’t gooutside, (depressed/depressing)

e. We a r e .....................................by his experiences in India.(fascinated/fascinating)

f. My little brother i s He can’t think ofanything to do. (bored/boring)

g. It i s ................................... that so many people do not try to keepour city clean, (shocked/shocking)

h. I w a s ................................... to learn that you are not coming to theparty, (surprised/surprising)

i. That science fiction film about life on Mars was really ....................................... (excited/exciting)

j. I a m ................................... because I haven’t heard from my brotherin weeks, (worried/worrying)

Before you go onF C E f i Listen to the beginning of Part Two and complete the sentences with

a word or a phrase.

1 Emmeline and Bert believe Victor when he says that his cousin is a .....................................fool.

2 Victor has to give Bertha a present for h e r .....................................3 Bertha i s .................................. years old.4 If Victor continues to say bad things, when he gets home he will

5 Bert thinks that Morlvera is going away t o ....................................6 Victor doesn’t want to write a note that says, ‘For dear Bertha,

h oi

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P a r t II

f?ever>R.em l t that m om ent, a m otor car w ith serv an ts

drove up to the emporium. A large lady and a

sulky 1 little boy stepped out. He was wearing a

very white sailor suit.

‘Now Victor,’ said the lady, ‘come and buy a

nice doll for your cousin Bertha. She gave you a beautiful box of

soldiers on your birthday, and you must give her a present on hers.’

‘Bertha is a fat little fool,’ said the little boy loudly.

‘V ic to r ,’ sa id h is m other, ‘you sh o u ld n ’t say such th ings.

Bertha is not a fool, and she is not fat. You m ust come in and

choose a doll for her.’

1. sulky : angry. Children often sulk when they want to show others that they are angry of in a bad mood.


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They then walked into the shop.‘He is in a bad temper,’ exclaimed Emmeline. However, she and

Bert believed him when he said that his cousin was fat and foolish.

‘ I w ant to see som e d o l l s , ’ sa id the m oth er to the sh op

assistant. ‘It’s for a girl of eleven.’

‘A fat little girl of eleven,’ added Victor.

‘Victor, if you say such rude things about your cousin , you

will go to bed the moment we get home, without tea.’

‘This is one of the new est d o lls , ’ said the assistan t, taking

M orlvera out of the shop w indow . ‘You w on ’t find anything

newer anywhere. It’s an exclusive design .’

‘Look!’ whispered Emmeline outside. They have taken Morlvera.’

She was both excited and a little sad. She really wanted to

look at Morlvera a little longer.

‘She is probably going away in a carriage to marry the rich lord,’ said Bert.

‘She’s up to no good,’ 1 said Emmeline seriously.

Inside the shop, Victor and his mother bought the doll.

‘It’s a beautiful doll, and Bertha will be very happy with it ,’

said Victor’s mother.

‘Oh, very w ell,’ said Victor sulkily, ‘but we don’t have to wait

for him to wrap it. 2 We can take it directly to Bertha’s house so

that I don’t have to write, “For dear Bertha, with Victor’s love” on a piece of paper.’

‘Very w ell,’ said the mother, ‘we can go to Bertha’s house on the way home. You must wish her happy birthday and give her the doll.’

1. up to no good : planning to do something bad.

2. w rap it : cover it with paper so that it can be given as a present.

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‘But I won’t let the little beast kiss m e,’ said Victor.

His mother said nothing because, in the end, Victor had not

acted so badly. When he wanted, he could be terribly naughty.1

Emmeline and Bert were just walking away from the window,

when Victor came out holding Morlvera. She seem ed to have a

look of triumph on her face. As for Victor, he had a peaceful look

on his face now. He seemed to have accepted his defeat.

His mother got into the motor car and gave directions to the

driver, and Victor got in beside her, holding the elegantly dressed

doll.The driver started moving the car back a little bit in order to

turn around. Very secretly, very gently, very mercilessly, 2 Victor

threw the doll over his shoulder and it fell just behind one of the

wheels.The car went over the doll and made a crunching sound as it

broke. Then the car m oved forward m aking another crunching

sound. The motor car drove away, and Bert and Emmeline looked

with scared delight at the m ess of dirty clothes, saw dust 3 and

le o p a rd sk in , w h ich w as a ll th at re m a in e d o f the h a te fu l

Morlvera. They cheered happily and ran away from the scene of

the tragedy.

L ater that aftern oo n in St Ja m e s ’ s Park , E m m elin e sa id

seriously to Bert, ‘I’ve been thinking. Do you know who he was?

He was the little boy that she had sent away to live with poor

people. He came back and did that to her.’

1. naughty [’noiti] : bad (this word is often used when speaking about children).

2. m ercilessly ['morsslosli] : cruelly, heartlessly.3. saw dust : tiny particles of wood (here, the filling of M orlvera’s body).

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Go back to the text

Are the following statements true (T) or false (F)? Correct the falseones.

a. Emmeline was happy that somebody was going to buy Morlvera.

b. Victor didn’t want the shop assistant to wrap the doll because he did not want to write a birthday note to his cousin.

c. Victor’s mother said nothing to Victor when he called his cousin a beast because she too thought Bertha was a beast.

d. Victor had a peaceful look on his face when he came out of the shop because he had accepted the fact that he had to give his cousin the present.

e. The motor car destroyed Morlvera under its wheels.

f. Emmeline and Victor were happy at Morlvera’s end.

g. Emmeline thought that Victor was really Morlvera’s son.

I can be terribly naughty!

F C E @ Pretend that you are Victor, and tell the story of Morlvera from hispoint of view. Write your answer in 120-180 words.

Include the following information:

• what you thought of the toy emporium

• why you had to get a present for your cousin

• what you think of your cousin• how you tricked your mother

• what you did with the doll

s *

□ □

□ □

□ □

□ □ □ □ □ □ □ □

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You can begin and end your story like this:

I will never forget the day I tricked my mother. We went to the Olympic Toy Emporium because .....................................................

So, even if I went to bed without any dinner that day, I was very happy. Yes, I can be terribly naughty!

Mercilessly, Victor threw the doll over his shoulderIn English we can often change the class of a word by adding a suffix. Look at some examples below:

Forming adjectives

Verb + -able

Noun + -less

Noun + -ful

drinkable, laughable

homeless, penniless

thankful, hopeful

Forming nouns

Verb + -er

Verb + -or Verb + -ion

runner, teacher

actor, sailor

collection, discussion

guidance, patience

membership, friendship

happiness, goodness

Verb + -ance/-ence

Noun + -ship

Adjective + -ness

Adjective + -ly

Forming adverbs


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F C E ® Read this adaptation of another of Saki’s short stories, ‘Dusk’. * Use the word in capitals at the end of each line to form a word that fits in the space in the same line. You will need, among other possible changes, to add a suffix.

Norman Gortsby sat in the park. It was dusk, and Norman liked observing the people. He thought that people without (0) friendship or love walked around at this time. An old man came and sat byGortsby. With his (1) .......................... Gortsby invented a hopeful(2 )........................for this man.Then the old man got up and left. Soon, a young man who was better dressed replaced him.‘I’ve done the stupidest thing,’ said the young man.‘Yes?’ said Gortsby (3 )........................‘Well, I came to town this afternoon,’ continued the young man, ‘I went to a hotel I knew, but I d iscovered that it had beendemolished. A taxi (4) ......................... took me to another one. Then Ileft the hotel to buy some soap. I find hotel soap disgusting. Then I had a drink. Now though I can’t remember where the hotel is, and I have spent all my money on the soap and the drink.Now I will have to spend the night outside because I am so(5) Unless, of course, someone believes my storyand helps me.’Gortsby told him that his story was (6) ......................... and that itwould be even more (7) ....................... if the young man could showhim the soap.The young man felt (8 ) in his pocket.‘I must have lost it,’ he said (9 )........................‘Well, to lose both a hotel and soap in one day is really too(10) .......................,’ said Gortsby, but the young man did not waitand left in a hurry.A moment later Gortsby saw something on the ground. He picked it up. It was some soap. So, he ran after the young man, and gave him money for a hotel. He also apologised for not believing him. Then he went back to the bench and saw the old gentleman who had sat with him earlier. He was looking for something around the bench. ‘Have you lost anything, sir?’ Gortsby asked.‘Yes, sir, some soap.’

* Dusk is the time in the evening when the sun goes down.









6 0

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Writers and the First World WarAt 44 years of age, H. H. Munro went to fight in the Great War. He

had refused several commissions because he did not think men should

follow him before he himself had experience in battle. He was killed

by a German sniper 1 on November 14, 1916. Despite the hardships of

battle, he wrote during his whole time in the trenches. His usual cool

irony appears in his wartime writing, as when he describes the

advantages that children have in areas affected by the war:

Soldiers in the trenches in the First World War.

1. sniper : someone who shoots from a hidden position.


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‘There must, by the way, be one considerable advantage in

being a child in a war-zone village; no one can attempt to

teach it tidiness. 1 The wearisome 2 maxim, 3 “A place for

everything and everything in its proper place,” can never be

insisted on when a considerable part of the roof is lying in the

backyard.... ’

But Saki was but one of the many writers, most of them younger

than him, who took part in the Great War. At the start of the war,

Britain was the only major European power that did not have

universal conscription; 4 it had only 160,000 men under arms while

Germany had five million and France four. This, though, changed

and soon all of Britain’s young men were called common labourers

and upper-class Oxbridge 5 graduates alike, and among them, many

young writers.

At first, most of them were enthusiastic about going to war. Many

saw it as a break from the boring monotony of their everyday lives,

as an escape from a ‘world grown old and cold and weary,’ as the

poet Rupert Brooke wrote.

This all soon changed as the true nature of this war emerged. A

battle line was drawn from Switzerland to the North Sea, the

Western Front. Neither side could make any progress. The battles

were almost all totally ineffective and incredibly bloody. The Battle

of Verdun in 1916 cost 500,000 lives, and the Somme Offensive of

1916 resulted in the gain of only 11 km and the deaths of one

1. tidiness : orderliness.

2. w earisom e : (from weary) tiring, annoying, boring.

3. m axim : a saying, a general rule.

4. conscription : obligatory service in the army.

5. Oxbridge : a way of referring to either Oxford or Cambridge University.

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million soldiers, or to put it differently, about one death for every

four square metres of contested ground.

The horrors of this new kind of war were recorded in the writings of

some of England’s best poets, who are now known as the war poets. They

described the brutalities of this first mechanised war 1 and revealed the

absurdities of the propaganda that had inspired them to fight.

1. m echanised w ar : a war conducted with machines.

The Menin Road (1919) by Paul Nash. Nash, after serving as a lieutenant on the Western Front, became an official war artist, depicting emotional

scenes showing the effects of the war.

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On November 11, 1985 a plaque 1 was placed in Poets’ Corner in

Westminster Abbey dedicated to 16 Great War poets, six of whom had

died during the war. Perhaps their varied writings can best be summed

up by what one of them, Edmund Blunden, wrote after the first day of

the Battle of the Somme (in that one day of fighting British forces lost

60 percent of its officers and 40 percent of its common soldiers, the

highest amount in history):

by the end of the day both sides had seen, ... the answer to

the question... Neither race had won, nor could win, the War.

The War had won, and would go on winning.’

Are the following statements true (T) or false (F)? Correct the false ones.


a. Munro fought in the First World War as an officer. □ □b. Munro used his usual ironic style when he wrote

about the First World War. □ □c. When the First World War began, Britain had the

largest army in Europe. □ □d. Most upper-class British men did not take part

in the First World War. □ □e. Many young men were excited and happy about

going off to war. □ □f. Few soldiers were killed during the First World War. □ □g- The war poets wrote romantic and idealised

descriptions of the war. □ □h. Edmond Blunden thought that the Germans had

won the first day of the Battle of the Somme. □ □

1. plaque : piece of stone or metal with names on it that serves as a memorial.

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Sre^ioi Yasbtar

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Before you read

O Small children often believe in magic, ghosts and other supernatural things. When you were a child what did you believe?

a. Strange creatures were under your bed.

b. Animals could come flying into your room.

c. Animals could talk.

d. Other.

© Now look at the picture on page 71.

1. Do you know what kind of animal is in the cage?

2. Do you think it eats meat or plants?

3. What is the boy offering the animal?

4. What can you see in front of the animal’s cage?5. Why are they there?

a. Because the animal is hungry.

b. Because the boy wants to decorate the animal’s cage.

c. Because the animal is part of some mysterious religious ritual.

F C E © Listen to Part One and choose the best answer A, B or C.

1 How old was Conradin?

A □ tenB □ eleven

C □ nine

The doctor said that Conradin would live for another

A Q] ten years.

B Q two years.C Q five years.


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3 How often did Conradin play in the garden?

A Q all the time

B □ never C Q sometimes

4 What animals were in the shed?

A Q a rabbit and a goat

® EH a ^ en an( ̂ a polecat-ferret C Q] a hen and a rat

5 When did Conradin worship his god?

A □ on Sunday

B □ on Tuesday

C □ on Thursday

6 What did Conradin bring his god?

A Q red flowers and red fruit

B Q sweets and biscuits

C chickens

7 How did Conradin get the nutmeg?

A Q he stole it

B Q he bought it

C Q he asked his cousin for it

8 When did Conradin have his special festivals?

A □ every weekB □ only when Mrs De Ropp was away C Q only when something very special had happened

6 7

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P a r t I

'9 'o x b i s Q o o c )

onradin was ten years old. He lived with Mrs

De Ropp, who was his cousin and guardian.

One day Mrs De Ropp called a doctor because

C onradin was a lw ays sick . The do-ctor came and

examined him.‘This boy will only live another five years,’ said the doctor.

‘I agree,’ said Mrs De Ropp; ‘he is such an ill little boy.’

The doctor’s opinion wasn ’t important to Conradin, but Mrs De

R opp ’s was very important. She represented that large part of

Conradin’s world that was unpleasant, necessary and real. The

o ther , s m a l le r part of h is w o r ld w as r e p r e se n te d by h is

imagination - his only defence against Mrs De Ropp.

( s i

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‘One day,’ thought Conradin, ‘I’m certain that I’ll lose this war against her. Tomorrow will be like today: I’ll take my medicine at

nine o ’clock, I won’t play in the garden, I’ll go to bed at seven

o ’clock. Every day I’ll do these things, and, in the end, I’ll die.’

For the moment, however, Conradin continued to fight his battle, with imagination as his only weapon. 1

Mrs De Ropp d id not adm it to h e rs e l f that she d i s l ik e d Conradin; but she was probably aware that she took pleasure in

stopping him from playing - ‘for his good’. Conradin hated her

but he was able to hide this hate. He enjoyed his few pleasures

very much because he knew that Mrs De Ropp did not approve.

There was a garden behind the house, but Conradin never

p layed there. He knew that one of the windows of the house

would open and he would hear Mrs De Ropp shout, ‘Conradin,

come and take your m edicine!’ or ‘Conradin, come inside now.

It’s too cold. Do you want to get i l l ? ’ So Conradin went to a

shed 2 in a far corner of the garden. This shed was his place of

re fuge ; it w as in part a ca th e d ra l and in part a p layroo m .

Conradin ’s imagination had filled the shed with hundreds of

in te re s t in g p h a n to m s , but there were a lso two rea l l iv in g

creatures. One of these was a hen, to which Conradin gave all of

his affection - he had no one else. And in the back of the shed

there w as a la rg e h u tch . 3 T h is w as the h om e of a la rge

polecat-ferret. 4 Conradin was terribly afraid of this beast with sharp teeth, but it was his most treasured possession. It was also

1. weapon ['wepan] : instrument used for fighting.

2. shed : a sm all building in the garden where things are kept.

3. hutch [hAtJ] : a box in which sm all anim als are kept.4. polecat-ferret: a long, thin predatory mammal, used for hunting rats and rabbits.

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Sre^ni YasM ar

his secret from the Woman, which was his own private name for

Mrs De Ropp. And one day he invented a fantastic name for the beast - Sredni Vashtar, and it became his god and religion. The

Woman also had her relig ion, and she took Conradin to her

church once a week. But the Woman’s religion was not his. Every

Thursday Conradin w orsh ipp ed 1 his god. He brought it red

flowers and red fruit because Sredni Vashtar was an impatient

god that would not like the slow, boring rituals of the Woman’s

religion. And on special festivals he brought nutmeg 2 to his god,

and it was essential that the nutmeg was stolen from the kitchen

of the Woman. These festivals were not regular; they were held

to celebrate something special that happened. For example, once

Mrs De R opp had a ho rr ib le too th ach e for three days and

Conradin celebrated for three days. He alm ost be lieved that

Sredni Vashtar had caused the Woman’s terrible pain.

Unfortunately, the Woman noticed that he spent a lot of time

in the shed. ‘It is not good for him to be there all the time. I am

going to tell the gardener to take away his hen. Then there will be

no reason for him to go to the shed,’ she thought.

1. w orshipped : adored, venerated.

2. nutmeg : a spice often used in sweet dishes.


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Go back to the text

Answer the following questions.

a. How was Conradin’s world divided?

b. What was Mrs De Ropp’s relationship to Conradin?

c. What name did Conradin use for Mrs De Ropp?

d. What was Conradin’s war and how did he fight it?

e. What did the shed represent for Conradin?

f. What was Mrs De Ropp’s religion like?

g. What was Conradin’s religion like?

h. What did Conradin do when Mrs De Ropp had toothache?

i. What did the hen represent for Conradin?

j. Why did Mrs De Ropp decide to take away Conradin’s hen?


Theme - Giving advice‘Mrs De Ropp did not admit to herself that she disliked Conradin; but she was probably aware that she took pleasure in stopping him playing - for his good.’Discuss the following questions with the class.

a. Do you feel that Conradin is justified in his hate towards Mrs De Ropp?

b. If you were Conradin, what would you do to solve the problem with Mrs De Ropp?

c. Why do you think Mrs De Ropp wants to stop Conradin playing?

d. What would you advise Mrs De Ropp to do?

7 2

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Mrs De Ropp called a doctor because Conradin was always sickLook at these sentences:I went to the supermarket because I needed some milk and bread.

The conjunction because presents the reason for an action.

I needed some milk and bread so I went to the supermarket.

The conjunction so presents the consequence.

O Join the two sentences using either so or because.

Example: Conradin was very sick. Mrs De Ropp called the doctor.Conradin was very sick so Mrs De Ropp called the doctor.

a. Conradin went to live with Mrs De Ropp. His parents were dead.

b. Conradin did not play in the garden. He knew that Mrs De Ropp would tell him to come inside.

c. Conradin could not play in the garden. He spent time in the shed with his animals.

d. Conradin had nobody to give his love and affection to. He gave them to his hen.

e. Conradin didn’t like going to church. He thought the services were boring.

f. Mrs De Ropp had toothache. Conradin performed a special ritual to celebrate the event.

g. Mrs De Ropp told the gardener to take away Conradin’s hen. She noticed that he spent a lot of time in the shed.

h. Conradin began to hate Mrs De Ropp even more. She had taken away his hen.


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a c t i v i t i e s

I’d love a piece of...

Q Discover Conradin’s favourite food! Use the clues below to complete this crossword. All the words are in Part One.

«• □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □

«• □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □

»■ □ □ □ □ □ □□ □ □ □ □

i—i*• □ □ □ □ □ □□ □ □ □ □ □

1. Sredni Vashtar was Conradin’s m o st ..................possession.

2. Imagination was Conradin’s on ly .................. against the Woman.

3. If something is not near, it i s ...................

4. Conradin’s special place was a ...................5. On very special occasions Conradin offered his g o d ...................

6. The Woman’s religion was ve ry ...................

7. Conradin’s god was kept in a ...................

8. The spice that Conradin offered to his god w a s from theWoman’s kitchen.

9. Sredni Vashtar was a ...................10. The Woman thought that Conradin.................. too much time in

the shed.11. Sredni Vashtar would not have liked the Woman’s religious


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f c e © Read the text on ferrets below and think of the word which best fits each space. Use only one word in each space. There are two examples at the start

Ferocious Ferrets?The ferret is a member of the weasel family, which also includes animals (0) such as the otter, the skunk, the m ink and the badger. H ow ever, the ferret is not a wild animal.

(00) It was probably domesticated ^ ̂ ^(1) ........................ than 2500 yearsago, even before the cat. Scientistsbelieve (2) ....................... domestic ferrets are descendants of theEuropean polecat, (3) ....................... still lives in some wild areasof Europe. Ferrets were mentioned (4) ......................... the Greekphilosopher Aristotle, and the ancient Romans used (5) .....................to hunt rabbits.Recently, though, ferrets have become very popular as pets.(6) dogs and cats, they are very playful animals anddo not require much care. Since they are small, you can easily carry them around with you in your bag or in the basket of your bicycle! The only major problem is that, like other members of theweasel family, they can emit a terrible odour (7) ...................... theyare frightened. This problem is easy (8) ......................... solve: aveterinarian can surgically remove the scent glands that produce the smelly substance.But (9) ...................... did Saki choose a ferret as the fierce hero ofhis story, ‘Sredni Vashtar’? Maybe because the wild members of the weasel family, including the polecat, are indeed incrediblyferocious anim als, (10) ......................... though most of them arerather small (the polecat is only 50 centimetres long). Also ferrets are often used to hunt rabbits and rats in some parts of the world. However, the ferrets sold in pet shops are generally gentle animals and their popularity as pets continues to grow.

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Before you go on

Look at the picture on pages 80-81.

a. What is Conradin doing?

b. Which adjectives would you use to describe the expression on Conradin’s face?

worried happy grateful upset angry amused sad

c. What do you think has happened to make Conradin feel this way?

F C E i Listen to the beginning of Part Two and complete the sentences with a word or a phrase.

The next day at (1) ....................... Mrs De Ropp turned to Conradinand said, ‘Yesterday the gardener took (2 ) and sold it.’

She waited for Conradin to say (3) ........................ to become angry;then she could (4) ...................... why the chicken was taken away ‘forhis good’. But Conradin said (5 ) ........................

Perhaps Mrs De Ropp felt a little guilty (6) .......................... that(7) ........................ there was toast on the table. Normally Conradinwas not perm itted to eat toast, even though it was his(8 ) .........................This time, however, Conradin did not eat the toast.

‘I thought you liked toast,’ she said.

‘(9) .......................,’ said Conradin.


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P a r t II

T e a s l -

he next day at breakfast Mrs De Ropp

turned to Conradin and said, ‘Yesterday the

gardener took your hen away and sold it.’

She waited for him to say something, to become

angry; then she could explain why the chicken was taken away ‘for his good’. But Conradin said nothing.

Perhaps Mrs De Ropp felt a little guilty 1 because at tea that

afternoon there was toast on the table. Normally Conradin was not

permitted to eat toast, even though it was his favourite food. This time, however, he did not eat the toast.

‘I thought you liked toast,’ she said.

1. guilty : bad because she had done something wrong.

7 7

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Sre3r)i YasM ar

‘Sometimes,’ said Conradin.In the sh e d that e v en in g he c h an g ed h is m an n er of

worshipping the ferret. Before this, he had only praised 1 his god;

now he asked it for a favour.

‘Do one thing for me, Sredni Vashtar.’

The thing was not specified. But Sredni Vashtar was a god,

and so he knew. Conradin looked at the place where the chicken

had lived and almost cried. Then he went back to the world he


And every night in the darkness of his bedroom and every

evening in the shed Conradin said the same thing: ‘Do one thing

for me, Sredni Vashtar.’

Mrs De Ropp saw that Conradin continued to go to the shed;

one day she decided to see why.

‘What do you keep in that hutch?’ she asked. ‘I think you have

some guinea p ig s .2 I will tell the gardener to take them away.’

The woman then went to Conradin’s bedroom to find the key

to the hutch. When she found it she went directly to the hutch to

com plete her d iscovery . From a w indow of the dining room

Conradin could see the door of the shed. He saw that the Woman

entered. He imagined that she was opening the door of the sacred

hutch and trying to see what was hidden inside. Perhaps she

would put her hand inside. Conradin said his prayer 3 for the last

time. But he knew as he prayed that he did not really believe that

the polecat-ferret was a god.

1. praised : complimented, expressed admiration for.

2. guinea pigs : sm all mammals, often used in scientific experiments.

3. prayer : request made to his god.

7 S'

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'T oast-

‘ I ’m sure that she w ill com e out in a m in u te , ’ C onrad in

thought, ‘with the hutch in her hand. She will have a smile on her

face. I hate her smile! Then she will call the gardener and tell him

to take away my wonderful god, who is not even a real god. She

will win because she always wins, and I will grow sicker and

sicker. And she will be right and the doctor will be right. And I will die.’

Conradin began to sing loudly to his god:

Sredni Vashtar went forth , 1

His thoughts were red thoughts and his teeth were white.

His enemies called for peace, but he brought them death.

Sredni Vashtar the Beautiful.

And then he stopped singing and went near the window. He

could see that the door of the shed was still open. Time went very

slowly, one minute, two minutes, three minutes ..., but it went.

He watched the birds in the garden. They flew in little groups

from tree to tree. He counted them, one, two, three, four, five ...,

and then he counted them again. A maid came in with the table

for tea, and still Conradin watched. Minutes were moving and

there was hope for the first time. Perhaps victory was near. He started singing again, ‘Sredni Vashtar went forth, His thoughts

were red thoughts and ...’ And then he saw what he wanted to see: the long yellow-and-brown beast came out from the shed into

the bright sunlight. Its fur 2 was dark with blood. Conradin fell on

1. forth : out (to go forth = to go out to fight a war, to begin a voyage etc.)

2. fur : the soft hair that covers mammals.

7 1

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Sre d n i Y a skta r

his knees. The great polecat-ferret went to a small stream in the garden. It drank, crossed a little bridge, and then vanished.

‘Tea is ready,’ said the maid. ‘Where is Mrs De Ropp?’

‘She went down to the shed a half an hour ago,’ said Conradin.

The maid left the room to call Mrs De Ropp. When she had

gone Conradin opened a drawer, 1 pulled out a toasting fork, and

1. draw er [dro:] : container like a box with a handle, that can be pulled in and out of a piece of furniture.


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'T e asl- -----

started to toast a piece of bread. While he was toasting the bread

and putting enormous quantities of delic ious butter on it, he

listened to the noises that came from downstairs. He heard the

maid screaming, people running in and out, and, finally, he heard men carrying some heavy object into the house.

Then he heard the maid say, ‘Who will tell the boy the terrible

news. I can ’t. Oh it ’s just too horrible.’ And while the servants

debated the matter, Conradin made himself another piece of toast.


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Go back to the text

F C E 0 Choose the correct answer A, B, C or D.

1 Why did Mrs De Ropp give Conradin toast for breakfast?A □ Because she felt guilty about taking away

Conradin’s hen.B □ Because toast was recommended by the doctor.C □ Because Conradin hated toast, and Mrs De Ropp liked

seeing Conradin suffer.D □ Because there was nothing else to give him.

How did Conradin change his way of worshipping Sredni Vashtar?A □ He starting praising him.B □ He asked him do to do him a favour.C □ He started to bring him things to eat.D □ He brought him some guinea pigs.

Why didn’t Conradin tell Sredni Vashtar what favour he wanted?A □ Because he was embarrassed.B □ Because he had already told Sredni Vashtar about the

favour before.C □ Because he did not really believe that Sredni Vashtar

was a god.D □ Because Sredni Vashtar was a god and would know what

the favour was.

4 What did Mrs De Ropp think Conradin had in the shed?A □ ferretsB □ guinea pigsC □ hensD □ a dog

Who killed Mrs De RopA □ Sredni VashtarB □ the doctorC □ ConradinD □ the servants

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6 What did Conradin do when he discovered that Mrs De Ropp was dead?A Q He fell down on his knees in a sign of thanks, and then

went to play in the garden.B Q] He told the maid to bring him some tea.C Q He sang his hymn.d □ He fell down on his knees in a sign of thanks, and then he

made himself some toast and butter.

What do these things and people represent to Conradin?


Mrs De Ropp represented the large part of his world whichwas unpleasant, necessary and real.

a. the shed ........................................................................................

b. the ferret

c. the hen

d. toast and butter

e. the death of .......................................................................................Mrs De Ropp ........................................................................................

O A Matter of life or deathConradin sees his relationship with his cousin as a battle. He thinks that if Mrs De Ropp ‘defeats’ his god Sredni Vashtar, then he will grow sicker and will die.

a. How was Mrs De Ropp ‘killing’ Conradin?b. Do you think Conradin was right to see his relationship with his

cousin as a life-and-death struggle?

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F C E 0 Read the summary of ‘Sredni Vashtar’ and look carefully at each line. Some of the lines are correct, and some have a word which should not be there. If a line is correct, put a tick ( /) . If line has a word which should not be there, write the word in the space below.

0 Conradin was ten years old and he have lived with his cousin

00 Mrs De Ropp. One day Mrs De Ropp called the doctor because

1 Conradin was always being sick. After examining Conradin, the

2 doctor said to that Conradin would only live for another five years.

3 Mrs De Ropp has agreed with him. So, from then on, she would

4 always stop Conradin from doing anything amusing ‘for his good’.

5 Conradin’s only moment of freedom came on when he went to the

6 shed in the back of the garden. There he had two animals, a hen

7 and a polecat-ferret. He gave the hen all the his love and affection,

8 since he had had nobody else. The polecat-ferret was a god for him,

9 and his name was been Sredni Vashtar.

10 One day when Mrs De Ropp told the gardener to take away the hen.

11 When she did this, Conradin, who until then had only praised Sredni

12 Vashtar, started asking to him for a favour. So, when Mrs De Ropp

13 went to the shed to look into the hutch, Conradin began to sing

14 his a song of praise for Sredni Vashtar. He imagined Mrs De Ropp

15 opening the hutch and putting her hand in. Conradin waited and

16 time passed, but she did not come out of the shed. His hope grew.

17 Finally, Conradin saw his little god come out, and it was covered

18 with the blood. Sredni Vashtar was a real god after all, and, to

19 celebrate, Conradin made himself up some delicious buttered toast.

0 ..tUWfi. 00 . / 1 .... .... 2 .... .... 3 ..... 4

5 .......... 6 . 7 .... .... 8 ..... .... 9 ..... 10

11 .......... 12 ., 13 .... 14 ..... .... 15 ...... 16

17 .......... 18 . 19

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^ f e b e r M e r

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Before you read

O a Which of the adjectives below best describe cats and which best d escrib e dogs? W rite them in the a p p ro p r ia te colum n. Can you think of any others?

servile independent wild tame loyal selfish elegant intelligent faithful

Cats Dogs

b. Discuss your results with the class. Do you all agree? If not, explain why.

Look at the picture on page 88.

a. How would you describe the expression on the cat’s face?

bored surprised angry happy sad shocked annoyed astonished

b. The title of Part One is ‘A Great Discovery’. What role do you think this cat has in the ‘great discovery’?

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f c e © Listen to the beginning of Part One and choose the best answer A, B

a o r C1 Lady Blemley always invited people to her parties who had

A Q certain talents.

B Q important friends.

C lots of money.

2 People said that Cornelius Appin wasA □ rich.B □ stupid.

C □ clever.

Cornelius said that TobermoryA □ very stupid.B □ very dangerous.C □ very intelligent.

Cornelius began experimentingA □ many years ago.B □ 17 months ago.

C □ seven months ago.

The other guests thought Cornelius was

A Q crazy or a liar.

B Q joking.

C Q making fun of them.


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P a r t I

4 d r a a L D i s c o v e r1

J f F ady Blemley knew that her house-party was going

to be d if f ic u lt to o rg a n ise b e c a u se it w o u ld

continue for several days and the guests would have

to sleep in her large house. She alw ays tried to

invite guests who were talented and entertaining.

Some people were invited because they were good at playing cards, others because they were good at acting, and others

because they were good at playing the piano. After all, it was

d if f ic u lt to en terta in g u e sts for three or four day s. To th is particular house-party Lady Blem ley invited Cornelius A ppin.

People said that he was clever; and, in fact, Cornelius seemed like the name of a clever man. But when he was at the party Lady

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4 (|re<x1“~©i soever

Blemley could not understand why people thought he was clever. He said very little.

One afternoon it was raining and all the guests were in the living room.

C o rn e liu s A p p in sa id , ‘ I have m ade the m ost im p o rtan t

scientific discovery in the history of the world. I have worked on this particular problem for many years.’

‘What is this fantastic discovery?’ asked Sir Wilfrid, another one of Lady Blem ley’s guests.

‘I have taught anim als how to speak our language,’ explained


‘Do you have an exam p le of your w ork h e re ? ’ a sk ed S ir

Wilfrid, who obviously did not believe Cornelius.

‘Yes, I do. Lady Blem ley’s cat, Tobermory. Tobermory is my

best student,’ answered Cornelius.

‘How can we possibly believe,’ continued Sir Wilfrid, ‘that you

have discovered how to teach anim als to talk?’

‘W ell,’ explained Cornelius, ‘I have worked on this problem for

many years. I have experimented with thousands and thousands

of animals. Seven months ago I began to work with cats. Cats are

the perfect anim als for my work: they live with us but they are

s t i l l lik e w ild a n im a ls . A nd th ere are c a ts w ho are m ore

intelligent than other cats. Tobermory is one of these intelligent

cats: in fact, he is a Super-cat. He is the first animal that I have taught to speak perfectly.’

All the guests looked at Cornelius. Nobody said a word. They thought he was crazy, or a l ia r .1

1. liar : someone who does not tell the truth deliberately (the verb is ‘to lie, lied, lied ’).


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^ T S t ) e r M c ) r

Finally, after a minute or two, Miss Resker said, ‘I understand.

You have taught Tobermory to say and understand very sim ple

sentences like “G o!” or “Com e!” That’s very interesting.’

‘No, no,’ said Cornelius patiently, ‘little children learn short

sen tences first. But Toberm ory is a very in telligen t anim al. I

taught him to speak English perfectly and completely. His English

is as good as your English.’Now everybody was sure that Cornelius was a liar.‘I think we sh ou ld see the cat and then we can judge for

ourselves,’ suggested Lady Blemley.Sir Wilfrid left the room and went to look for the cat. Everyone

began to think that C ornelius w as a good ventriloquist. They

waited for this interesting show of ventriloquism to begin.

A minute later, Sir W ilfrid came back in the room. His face

was white. He was obviously very excited.

‘It’s true! It’s true!’ he shouted.The other guests could see that Sir W ilfrid was telling the

truth and they asked him what had happened.‘Well, I found Tobermory sleeping on a chair in the smoking-

room. I told him to come to the living room im m ediately . He

opened his eyes slowly and looked at me.‘Then he said, “ I’ll come when I want to. Now, go aw ay!” I

almost fainted!’ 1

1. fainted : lost consciousness.


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Go back to the text

Are the following statements true (T) or false (F)? Correct the false ones.

T Fa. The house-party was going to continue for several hours. Qb. Mrs Blemley never tried to invite people to

her parties who were entertaining. □ □c. Mrs Blemley thought that Cornelius was a very

clever man. □ □d. Cornelius told the other guests that he had made a

fantastic scientific discovery. □ □e. Cornelius had taught Americans how to speak English. □ □f. Cornelius said that Tobermory was an exceptionally

intelligent animal. □ □g- Tobermory was Mrs Blemley’s dog. □ □h. At first nobody believed that Cornelius had taught

Tobermory how to speak. □ □i. The guests thought that Cornelius was a good

ventriloquist. □ □j* Sir Wilfrid was very calm after he heard Tobermory

speak. □ □

It would be great if cats could speak!

x :e © What do you think of the above statement?Write a short composition in 120-180 words. Include the following:

• some of the advantages• some of the disadvantages

• why, in the end, the advantages (or disadvantages) are more important

1 )

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They asked him what had happenedCompare these examples of direct and reported speech:

Direct Reported

‘Does Tobermory speak well?’ he asked me.‘When is he coming?’ she asked them.

‘Did you lose this book yesterday?’ she asked him.

‘Have you ever been to France?’ they asked me.

‘Will you come to my party tomorrow?’ she asked John.

‘What can we do to help your father?’ Sam asked Jill.

He asked me if Tobermory spoke well.

She asked them when he was coming.

She asked him whether he had lost the book the day before.

They asked me if I had ever been to France.

She asked John if he would come to her party the next day.

Sam asked Jill what they could do to help her father.

Q Change the following direct questions into reported speech.

a. ‘What did they do yesterday?’ we asked our teacher.

b. ‘Will you help us with our homework?’ we asked our father.

c. ‘Can you really teach cats to speak English?’ I asked Cornelius.

d. ‘How many times have I told you not to use my computer?’ she asked her brother.

e. ‘Is it going to rain?’ she asked her friend.

Now change the following into direct questions.

a. I asked her if she had gone to the circus yesterday.

b. They asked me why I never wore a suit and tie to work.

c. Sylvia asked Harry if he liked his school.d. Robert asked Emily what she was doing in his bedroom.

e. Ahmed asked Sandra if she would ever love him.


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Before you go on

Q Look at the picture on pages 96-97.

a. Do you think the people in this picture are happy with what Tobermory is saying?

b. What do you think he is saying?

0 How do you think the story will end?

Tobermory will become rich and famous.

The guests will kill Tobermory because he knows too much about their private lives.

Tobermory will teach other cats to talk, and there will be panic all over the world.


H H E ^ Listen to the beginning of Part Two and complete the sentences.

JUFF Now (1)...................... believed Cornelius. They began to ask him lotsof questions. Cornelius smiled. He was very (2)....................... with his(3 ) ........................success.

At that moment, when everybody was (4) ........................ Corneliusquestions, Tobermory walked into the room. (5) ....................... of theguests said a (6) They felt embarrassed in front of atalking cat.

Finally, the hostess - Lady Blemley - said nervously, ‘Would you like (7 ) ...................... milk, Tobermory?’

‘Yes, I’m a (8 ) ........................thirsty,’ said the cat indifferently.Everyone in the (9) ....................... was shocked. And Lady Blemley’shand shook as she poured Tobermory some (10)

1 *

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P a r t II

Sc)M£ Terrible. ©isceveriesow everybody b e lieved C orn eliu s. They

began to ask him lots of questions. Cornelius

smiled. He was very happy with his first success.

At that m om ent, when everybody w as asking

Cornelius questions, Tobermory walked into the room.

None of the guests said a word. They felt embarrassed in front of a talking cat.

Finally, the hostess - Lady Blemley - said nervously, ‘Would you like some milk, Tobermory?’

‘Yes, I’m a little thirsty,’ said the cat indifferently.Everyone in the room was shocked. And Lady Blem ley’s hand

shook as she poured 1 Tobermory some milk.

1. poured [po:d] : served (to pour = to fill cups, glasses etc. with liquid).


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‘I ’m sorry, but I ’ve sp ilt 1 m ost of the m ilk on the carp e t,’ apologised Lady Blemley.

‘I don’t care,’ responded Tobermory, ‘it ’s not my carpet.’

The room was silent for another m inute. Then M iss Resker asked Tobermory if it was difficult to learn to speak. The cat looked

at Miss Resker for a minute. Then he looked out the window. It was

obvious that he considered M iss Resker’s question ridiculous.

‘What do you think of hum an in te llig e n c e ? ’ ask ed M avis Pellington stupidly.

‘Human intelligence in general, or do you want to know about some particular person?’ asked Tobermory.

‘Uh ... w ell ... my in te lligen ce . What do you think of my

intelligence?’ asked M avis with a nervous laugh.

‘ W ell, you pu t me in an e m b a rra ss in g p o s i t io n , ’ s a id

Toberm ory. But he d id not look em b arrassed . ‘A nyw ay, I ’ ll

answer you. When Lady Blemley told Sir Wilfrid that she wanted

to invite you to th is party he sa id , “ M avis P ellin gton is the

stupidest woman in the world. Why are you inviting her?” Lady

Blem ley replied, “ Sir W ilfrid, I am inviting her because she is

stupid. I have this old car that I want to sell and M avis Pellington

is the only person stupid enough to buy it ’”

Lady Blemley, of course, said that Tobermory was a liar. But M avis P ellin gton d id not b e lieve her: that m orning she had bought Lady Blem ley’s old car.

Major Barfield tried to change the subject.

He sa id , ‘T oberm ory , do you w ant to te ll us abou t your girlfriend, the striped cat that lives near the stable?’ 2

1. spilt : accidentally poured the liquid outside the container.2. stable : building where horses are kept.

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' T e b c r M e r

Everyone immediately understood that he had made a terrible

mistake.‘It is not polite to ask people about their love affairs.’ replied

Tobermory coldly. ‘Do you want me to talk about what I have seen

during this party? I’m sure that you wouldn’t like that, would you?’

There was a moment of general panic. Alm ost all the guests

had some private love affair. They all thought, ‘If Tobermory says

what he has seen, I’ll be in trouble.’

Tobermory’s dinner was in two hours, but Lady Blemley said,

‘Tobermory, why don’t you ask the cook if your dinner is ready?’

‘T h an ks,’ responded Toberm ory, ‘but I have ju st had tea. I

don’t want to die of indigestion.’

‘Cats have nine lives, Tobermory,’ said Sir Wilfrid, trying to be funny.

‘Possibly,’ was the answer, ‘but only one liver.’ 1

‘Lady Blemley, are you going to permit this cat to talk about us

with the servants?’ said Mrs Cornett, another guest.

The panic was general. Everyone remembered that Tobermory

often walked outside their windows. It was obvious that he had

seen and heard everything that happened in their bedrooms. Some

guests became white with fear. Others, like Odo Finsberry, who

was studying to be a minister of the Church, ran out of the room.

A ll the gu ests thought, ‘ If Toberm ory te lls everyth ing he

knows, there will be terrible scan dals.’

Finally, Agnes Resker said dram atically, ‘Why did I come to

this house-party?’Tobermory had the answer:

‘I know why you came. Yesterday you said to Mrs Cornett that L ady B le m le y ’s p a r t ie s w ere very b orin g but the food w as

1. liver : large internal organ that helps digestion and produces blood.

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Somc ̂ Terrible ©isceveries

delicious. You told her that you came for the good food. In fact,

you said that everyone came for the food.’

T h at is not true. You are a liar! Mrs Cornett, tell the truth. Did

I say that? Tell the ...’

T h e n Mrs Cornett told Bertie van Tahnn w hat you s a id , ’

con tin u ed Toberm ory, ‘and he sa id that A gnes R esker went

anywhere she could get free food, and then ...’

Fortunately for the guests, at that moment Tobermory stopped

his story. He had seen h is enem y, a big yellow tom cat. 1 He

jum ped out the window, and ran after it.

1. tomcat : male cat.

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All the guests looked at Cornelius angrily. He had caused all

this trouble.‘Do you think Tobermory will teach other cats to talk?’ they

asked Cornelius.

‘It’s p o ss ib le ,’ rep lied C ornelius. ‘M aybe he has taught his

girlfriend, the cat that lives in the stables. But I don’t think he has

taught any other cats. At least, not yet.’

‘Lady Blem ley,’ said Mrs Cornett, ‘I know that you and your

husband like Tobermory very much, but he and his friend the

stable cat must be k illed .’

‘I have not en joyed th is la st h a lf hour e ith e r ,’ sa id Lady

Blemley. ‘Yes, it is true that my husband and I like Tobermory very much. Well, we liked him before he learned to talk, and tell our

secrets. Anyway, I agree that he must be killed as soon as possible.’ ‘We can put poison in his food,’ said Sir Wilfrid, ‘and I will go

and drown 1 the stable cat.’

‘What about my great d iscovery?’ Cornelius said with great emotion. ‘I have worked for many years!’

‘Why don’t you go to the zoo,’ said Mrs Cornett, ‘and teach the

elephants to talk. Elephants are very intelligent anim als, but they do not hide under your chair and they do not sit outside your bedroom w indow !’

Cornelius tried to persuade them not to kill Tobermory and destroy all his scientific work. No one listened to him. In fact, m an y o f the g u e s ts th o u gh t th at p o iso n sh o u ld be pu t in Cornelius’s food.

(.8 That night at dinner all the guests were quiet. Lady Blemley tried to create conversation. But no one talked. They were all

1. drown : kill in water.


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watching Tobermory’s bowl. 1 Inside the bowl was some delicious meat and poison. But Tobermory still did not come back.

A fter d in n er, s t ill no T oberm ory. The serv an ts cam e and announced that the window of the kitchen was open as usual for

T ob erm ory . N in e o ’c lo ck , no T ob erm ory . Ten o ’ c lo ck , no Tobermory. At eleven o ’clock one of the guests got up to go to bed. Before leaving the room he said, Toberm ory probably went

to the local newspaper to tell everything he has seen and heard during this house-party. Good night!’

It was not a good night.

The next morning all the guests asked the servants the same

question, and the servants gave the guests the same answer: ‘No,

Tobermory has not returned.’

Breakfast w as even more dep ressin g than dinner the night

before. But, before it was over, the gardener walked into the room

with Tobermory’s dead body.

‘H is en em y, the b ig to m cat, k il le d h im ,’ e x p la in e d the gardener.

Tobermory was Cornelius A p p in ’s first and only su ccessfu l

student. A few weeks later Lady Blemley read in the newspaper

that an elephant in the Dresden Zoological Garden had killed an

Englishman. The new spaper said that the elephant was usually

gen tle and ca lm , but th at the E n g lish m a n h ad a p p a re n tly

provoked it. The name of the Englishman was C. A ppin .’

As one of Lady Blem ley’s guests said, ‘If he was trying to teach that elephant German irregular verbs, he deserved to d ie .’ 2

1. bowl : deep round container used for holding liquids or food.2. he deserved to die : his death was justified.

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Go back to the text

c e O Part Two has been divided into eight sections. Choose the mostsuitable heading from the list (A-I) for each section. There is one extra heading which you do not need to use.

A He has seen and heard all!

B Boring but at least you eat well

C A grave mistake

D The long, long wait

E I knew he was right!

F Better dead than talking

G And humans think they’re more intelligent than us!

H What do you say to a talking cat?

I Even cats are worried about their health

C E I © For questions 1-8, complete the second sentence so that it has a similar meaning to the first sentence, using the word given. Do notchange the word given. You must use between two and five words.

1 Seven months ago I began to work with cats.


I with cats for seven months.

2 Cats are the perfect animals for my work.


There are ............................................

3 T il come when I want to,’ he said.cats for my work.


He said that he wanted to.4 Miss Resker asked Tobermory if it was difficult to learn to speak.

ISTobermory, ..........asked Miss Resker.

to speak?’


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5 ‘I’m sorry, but I’ve spilt most of the milk on the carpet,’ apologised Lady Blemley.FOR

Lady Blemley ................................................................most of the milkon the carpet.

6 Maybe he has taught his girlfriend.HAVE

He ........................................................................................ his girlfriend.7 His enemy, the big tomcat, killed him.


He ...................................................,......................... the big tomcat.

8 Tobermory was Cornelius Appin’s first and only successful student.


After Tobermory, Cornelius Appin successful students.

0 What’s your opinion?

1. In this story, who is Saki making fun of?

a. The upper classes and their stupid and petty secrets.b. Human beings in general.c. Language teachers who try to teach innocent students

irregular verbs.d. Other.

2. How would you describe Tobermory?

snobbish dandyish funny ironic cruel intelligent self-confident

3. Do you like Tobermory? Why or why not?

4. Is there any other character (a cat or a human) in some TV show, comic strip, film or book that reminds you of Tobermory?


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FCEl^ Read the text about talking animals and decide which answer A, B,C or D best fits each space. There is an example at the beginning (0).

Talking Animals(0) .A......... Saki was not the first or the (1) ............... writer to |(2) .............. talking animals. Books, films and cartoons are full ofthem.

Then, of course, the loving owners of dogs, cats and horses insist that their pets communicate just as well as any human being can. But what do scientists have to say (3 ) ............talking animals?

Well, as you might (4) ............ chimpanzees and gorillas have beenclosely studied in this regard since they are our closest relatives in the animal world (98% of the genes of chimpanzees and humans are the same!) Indeed some chimpanzees, can learn sign language, a language based on gestures. Some chim panzees have learned as many as 100 different signs.

More surprising though, w as the d isco very (5) in the prestigiousp e r io d ic a l Sc ien tific A m erican in 1996: an African Grey Parrot was taught to count up to six and to recogn ise and nam e of around 100differen t (6) ..................In cred ib ly , if the research er put threebottles in front of the parrot and asked it, How many?, the parrot could respond correctly.

S t il l , even though these exam p les of an im als learn in g to : com m unicate as we humans do are surprising, it is even more surprising to learn how anim als com m unicate in the wild. For example, the German scientist Karl von Frisch (1886-1982), who was

I o *f

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one of the (7) ............. of the modern study of animal behaviour,discovered the language of bees. He discovered that bees send out scouts to search for fields of flowers. After finding a field of flowers, these scouts return to the hive and do a specia l dance which(8) ............ the other bees of the direction, distance and size of thefield of flowers. This was a truly exciting discovery, perhaps even more exciting than talking cats!

0 A Obviously B Although C Particularly D Especially1 A latest B ultimate C last D latter2 A hear B fantasise C see D create3 A of B for C around D about4 A predict B expect C anticipate D believe5 A told B reported C said D revealed6 A words B articles C objects D pieces7 A founders B creators C inventors D builders8 A informs B reports C tells D says


Theme - Expressing possibility and uncertainty‘Tobermory is a very intelligent anim al. I taught him to speak English perfectly and completely.’Discuss this statement using these questions to help you.

a. How would you feel if you had a pet that could talk?

b. What do you think it would say to you?

c. How would the relationship between animals and people change?

d. Do you agree with the idea that animals have their own personalities? How do they demonstrate this?

I Ob'

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The guests wanted to poison Tobermory. Obviously, you should not treat your pets in this way and if you have a pet, you will know that they need a lot of


Before you connect to the Internet, make a list with your class of some general care advice you would give someone considering buying a pet.

Different animals also have very specific needs. Let’s find out more on the Internet.

Follow these instructions to be directed to the correct W eb site.

► Connect to the Internet and go to www.blackcat-cideb.com or www.cideb.it

► Insert the title or part of the title using our search engine.

► Open the page for W icked and Humorous Tales.

► Go down the page until you find the title of this book and click on ‘links’.

W ork in pairs and choose one of the animals listed below. Prepare a report on each animal, giving some basic facts as well as advice on what you should do or shouldn’t do if you have this animal as a pet.

► Budgies and canaries ► Cats

► Dogs ^ Ferrets

► Goats ► Hamsters

► Horses and ponies ► Rabbits

► Rats and mice ► Snakes and other reptiles

Prepare your report and present it to the class.


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1. Interlopers : intruders, people who interfere in other people’s business.

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Before you read

F C E ^ Listen to the beginning of Part One and choose the best answer A, B

a orC-1 What was Ulrich looking for in the forest?

A Q a bear

« □ a man C □ some wolves

2 Ulrich began fighting with his neighbour because their grandfathers both wanted the same

a D woman.

B □ horse.C Q piece of land.

3 When Ulrich and Georg were boys they wanted to

A Q kill each other.

B Q hunt.

C Q] dance.

4 When Georg and Ulrich met each other in the forest, they were each carrying

A Q a knife.

B [^] a pistol.C Q a rifle.

5 What fell on Ulrich and Georg?

A □ a gigantic tree

B □ a gigantic rock

C □ a gigantic bear


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O n e M i e s

ne winter night a man stood in a forest in the

Carpathian M ountains. 1 He was carrying a

rifle and it seem ed that he was w aiting and

listening for some wild animal. But Ulrich von

Gradwitz was looking for a human enemy.

Ulrich had a lot of land. This land was full of all different kinds

of wild animals, but he always guarded carefully one particular area

of this land. It was mountainous and not many animals lived there. So why did Ulrich guard this land so carefully?

1. Carpathian M ountains : mountains in Romania.


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Many years ago Ulrich’s grandfather and a neighbour, Heinrich

Znaeym, had both wanted the same portion of land. They went to

co u rt1 and Ulrich’s grandfather won the case. Heinrich Znaeym,

however, did not accept the court’s decision ; he continued to

hunt on the land. The two fam ilies began fighting. U lrich and

H e in rich Z n ae y m ’ s g ra n d so n , G eorg , h a te d each oth er

passionately. When they were boys they wanted to kill each other.

Now they were men, and they each wanted the other to suffer.

This night Ulrich and his forest guards were out looking for

Georg and his men. It w as a storm y night and the w ind w as

strong. Ulrich saw deer running from the contested area of land.

Normally, during a storm deer stay in one place, so he knew that

his enemy was near.

He told his guards to wait at the top of a hill and walked off

in to the w o od s and dow n the h ill by h im se lf . He lis te n e d

carefully for the sound of branches 2 breaking.

T hope,’ he said to himself, ‘I will meet Georg Znaeym tonight

man to man. If I kill him here, no one will ever know.’

At that m om ent, as U lrich w alked around the trunk 3 of a

gigantic tree, he came face to face with Georg Znaeym.

The enem ies stared at each other for a long, silent moment.

Each man had a rifle in his hand, each man had hate in his heart,

and each man had murder in his thoughts. But it is difficult for a

c ivilised man to shoot his neighbour in cold blood. They had to

say so m e th in g . At th is m om en t, h o w e v er, the w in d b lew

1. court : place were legal decisions are made by a judge.2. branches : the ‘arm s’ of a tree.3. trunk : the central part of a tree.

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Rioter (a pcrs

particularly hard and there was a crash: a gigantic tree fell on top

of the two men. Ulrich von Gradwitz could not move. One arm

w as probably broken and the other arm was partly under the

trunk. His legs were under a large branch. His face was badly cut,

and he had to blink several tim es to move the blood from his

eyes.Alm ost next to him lay Georg Znaeym, alive and fighting to

move. Ulrich could see that he was in almost the same condition.

Ulrich was both happy to be alive and angry at his situation.

Georg was almost blind from the blood that flowed into his eyes

from cuts on his forehead. He stopped moving for a moment to

listen, and then he laughed angrily.

‘So you weren’t k illed ,’ said Georg, ‘but you’re caught anyway.

T h af’ s very funny: U lrich von G radw itz caught in his stolen

forest. Now that is real ju stice !’

And he laughed again angrily and ironically.

‘I’m caught in my own forest,’ replied Ulrich. ‘When my men

come to release me, you’ll be sorry that you were caught poaching 1

here in my forest.’

Georg was silent for a moment; then he answered quietly.

‘Are you sure that your men will find you first? I have men,

too, in the forest tonight. They’re near, and they’ll find me first. When they pull me out, perhaps, by accident of course, they’ll

push the trunk on top of you. Your men will find you dead under

th is tree. Then, b ecau se I am a gen tlem an , I sh a ll sen d my

condolences to your fam ily.’‘That’s a good idea,’ said Ulrich angrily and ironically. ‘I told

1. poaching : hunting illegally on someone else ’s property.

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C n e w i e s

my men to fo llow me after ten m in utes. Seven of th ose ten

minutes have gone by already, and when they come I’ll remember

your idea! Only I can ’t decently send condolences to your family:

after all, you were poaching on my land.’

‘Good,’ growled 1 Georg, ‘good. We shall fight to the death, just

you and I and our g u ard s , w ith no in te r lo p e rs . D eath and

damnation to you, Ulrich von Gradwitz.’

‘The same to you, Georg Znaeym, forest-thief, poacher.’

But both men knew that it was a question of chance which

m an’s guards would come first.

1. growled : said in a low angry voice. A dog growls when it is angry.

I is

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Go back to the text

Q Complete the summary of Part One with the words below.

when and but so because (x 2) however

Georg and Ulrich hated each other 1....................... there was a terriblefight between their two families. This fight concerned an area of forest. Georg and Ulrich’s grandfathers had claimed the same pieceof land, 2........................ they went to court. The court said the landbelonged to Ulrich’s grandfather, 3........................ Georg’s grandfatherdid not accept the court’s decision.

One stormy night in this section of forest Ulrich was with his forestguards looking for Georg, 4....................... Georg was with his forestguards looking for Ulrich. They wanted to kill each other. But theywere both without their guards 5....................... they met each otherface to face. Georg and U lrich w anted to k ill each other, 6........................ it is difficult for a civilised man to shoot his neighbourin cold blood. At that moment of hesitation there was a crash of a fa llin g tree. Now they w ould have to w ait to k ill each other 7...................... the tree had trapped both of them.

They stared at each other for a long silent momentLook at the following sentences:

• Ulrich and Georg looked at each other. = Ulrich looked at Georg, and Heinrich looked at Ulrich.

• Ulrich and Georg looked at themselves in the mirror. = Ulrich looked at himself in the mirror, and Georg looked at himself in the mirror.

Reflexive pronouns - myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves and themselves - are used when the object of the verb is the same as the subject of the verb.

Note: that we do not use reflexive pronouns with the verbs remember, meet, dress, wash, shave, feel, relax and concentrate.


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Complete the sentences with the appropriate reflexive pronoun oreach other where necessary.


They helped each other with their homework.

The soldiers got up early, showered, shaved and then dressed.

a. We sat around the campfire and to ld ..................................frightening tales of wolves and interlopers.

b. We went to the seaside to re la x ....................................

c. They am used ................................... by singing songs of their youth.

d. We know that we are wrong, and we b lam e....................................forthe disaster. The next time we will be more careful.

e. With these new headsets for mobile phones, I always think thatpeople are talking t o ..................................., but in reality they arejust talking on the phone. It is very strange.

f. Jack and Rose had a terrible fight. They haven’t talked to ..................................for weeks.

g. My brother is so selfish. He only thinks o f ....................................

h. My friend and I were born on the same day, and we always give ..................................presents on our birthday.

0 What’s your opinion?

a. Do you think Georg Znaeym has the right to hunt on the land?Why or why not?

b. Do you think Georg and Ulrich could become friends? How?

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Q Complete the crossword to discover who will end the fight between Georg and Ulrich.

*• □ □ □ □ □ *• □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □

3- □ □ □ □ □*■ □ □ □ □■■ □ □ □ □ □

«• □ □ □ □»• □ □ □ □ □

»• □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □»• □ □ □ □ □


11. □ □ □ □ □ □

1. Say that something is yours.

2. The ‘arms’ of a tree.

3. Look at something fixedly.

4. Large wild animal that eats grass.

5. Loud sound that is made when something falls or breaks.

6. Ulrich and Georg were fighting because they both wanted this.

7. Hunt illegally on somebody else’s property.

8. The name of mountains in Romania.

9. Take something that does not belong to you.

10. The central part of a tree.

11. Large area of land with many trees.


I 1(9

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Before you go on

Look at the picture on page 119.

a. What is happening in the picture?

b. What do you think has changed in the relationship between Ulrich and Georg?

c. How do you think the story will end? And who are the interlopers?

FCE 0 Listen to beginning of Part Two and complete the sentences.

Now the two (1) ...................... had stopped trying to get free. Ulrichtried with his partially free arm to (2) ....................... out his wine-flask. (3 ) ...................... a few minutes he finally succeeded. Then afteranother (4) minutes he succeeded in pulling off thestopper. He (5) ....................... a little. It was truly wonderful. In this(6) .......................... weather the wine warmed his body. Then he(7) with pity at George who was (8) ...................... not toscream in pain.

‘Can you reach the flask if I (9) it to you?,’ Ulrich askedsuddenly. ‘There’s (10) ...................... wine in it and there’s no reasonwhy we (11) ...................... suffer. Let us drink, even if tonight one ofus (1 2 )......................... ’

‘No, I cannot see anything (13) ...................... I have dried blood onmy eyes,’ said Georg. ‘And in any case I don’t (14) ........................winewith an (15) ........................ ’

1 1 7

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ow the two men had stopped trying to get

free. Ulrich tried with his partially free arm to

pull out his wine-flask. 1 After a few minutes he

finally succeeded. Then after another few minutes he

succeeded in pulling off the stopper.2 He drank a little. It was truly

wonderful. In this cold weather the wine warmed his body. Then he

looked with pity at Georg, who was fighting not to scream in pain.

‘Can you reach the flask if I throw it to you ?’ U lrich asked

suddenly. ‘There’s good wine in it and there’s no reason why we

should suffer. Let us drink, even if tonight one of us d ie s.’‘No, I can’t see anything because I have dried blood on my eyes,’

said Georg. ‘And in any case I don’t drink wine with an enemy.’

Ulrich was silent for a few minutes, listening to the sound of the

1. flask : bottle that keeps liquids either hot or cold.

2. stopper : object used for closing bottles.


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Writer topers

wind. An idea was gradually formulating in his brain. This idea grew

clearer every time he looked at Georg fighting against his pain. In the

pain that Ulrich was feeling the old hate was beginning to die.

‘N eighbour,’ Ulrich said, ‘you can do what you want if your men come first. It was a fair agreem ent. But I ’ve changed my

mind. If my men come first, they will help you first, as though

you were my guest. We have fought all our lives over this stupid

portion of forest. Tonight lying here thinking, I have come to the

conclusion that we have been fools. What is so important about

this portion of forest? Neighbour, if you help me end this fight,

I’ll ask you to be my friend.’Georg Znaeym was silent for a long time. Ulrich began to think

that he had fainted because of the pain. Then Georg spoke slowly.

‘Everyone w ould be shocked if we rode into town together.

Nobody can remember a Znaeym and a von Gradwitz talking to each

other as friends. And there will be peace among the forest guards and

their families if we end the fight tonight. And if we choose to make

peace among our families, there is no one who will interfere, no

interlopers from outside. You could come to my house at Christmas

and I could come to your castle on other holidays. I would never

hunt on your land, if you didn’t invite me; and you could come and

hunt ducks in my marshes. 1 There is nobody around here who can

stop us if we want to make peace. I have always thought that I

wanted to hate you. But I changed my mind when you offered me your wine-flask. Ulrich von Gradwitz, I will be your friend.’

Then they were both silent. They were thinking about the

wonderful changes this new peace would bring. In the cold, dark

forest, w ith the w ind b low ing, they w aited for the help that

1. m arshes : very wet areas of land.


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would free both of them. And each man wanted his men to come

first, so that he could be the first to help his new friend.

Then the wind stopped for a moment and Ulrich spoke.

‘Let’s shout for help ,’ he said. ‘Now that the wind has stopped,

they might hear u s .’

‘It will be difficult in this forest,’ replied Georg, ‘but let’s try.

Together, then.’

The two men shouted together for help.

‘Together again,’ said Ulrich a few minutes later.

‘I heard something that time, I think,’ said Ulrich.

‘I only heard the w ind,’ said Georg.

There was silence again for a few m inutes, and then Ulrich

shouted joyfully.

‘I can see people coming through the forest.’

Both men shouted again.

‘They can hear us! T hey’ve stopped . Now they ’ve seen us.

They’re running down the hill toward u s ,’ cried Ulrich.

‘How many are there?’ asked Georg who could not see because

of the dried blood on his eyes.

‘I can ’t see distinctly,’ said Ulrich; ‘nine or ten.’

‘Then they’re your m en,’ said Georg. ‘I only had seven men

with me tonight.’

‘They are running quickly. What brave men! said Ulrich gladly.

‘Are they your m en?’ asked Georg. ‘Are they your m en?’ he

repeated impatiently as Ulrich did not answer.‘N o,’ said Ulrich with a laugh. But it was the idiotic laugh of a

man who is very afraid.‘Who are they?’ asked George quickly, trying to see what the

other man would have preferred not to see.

‘ Wolves. ’


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Go back to the text

O Complete the sentences with the correct question word who, what, why or when, and then answer the questions.

a ................. couldn’t Georg see?

b ................. decided to end the fight?

c ................. did he decide to end the fight?

d ................ did Ulrich offer Georg?

e................. did Georg decide that he wanted to be Ulrich’s friend?

f. would everyone be shocked if Georg and Ulrich rode intotown together?

g................. did Ulrich think he saw running down the hill?

h................ did Ulrich really see running down the hill?

Number the following sentences in the correct order.

a. Q At first each man hoped that his men would come first sothat he could kill his enemy. Later, Ulrich offered Georg some wine because he saw that Georg was suffering.

b. Q One night they were in the forest looking for each other. Theweather was stormy.

c. Q In the end, however, some wolves came instead of Georg andUlrich’s men.

I SlSl

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d. Q Georg and Ulrich hated each other because there was a fightbetween their two families over a piece of land.

e. Q Then they became friends, and they each hoped that his menwould come first so that he could help the other first. Now that they were friends, there would be peace among the forest guards and their families.

f. Q When they saw each other they stared for a moment, and atthat moment a tree fell on them. They were both trapped under the tree.

O Which of the following statements, in your opinion, best sum up the story? Discuss with a partner.

a. □ Hate is easier than love

b. □ Make love not war

c. □ War is justified if you are defending your homed. □ Love your neighbour as you love yourself

e. □ Good fences make good neighbours

f. □ Do to others what you would want them to do you

8- □ If you want to be free, you must fight warsh. □ A simple twist of fatei. □ Other

Q Do you think this story has any significance in the world today? Give examples to support your answer.

O Do you think the title of this story is appropriate? Is it an important part of the story itself?

I SL2>

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Everyone would be shocked if we rode into town togetherWhen you talk about something that is unlikely, you use the second conditional.If + Past Simple would + infinitive I f I had more time, I would study French.Notice that in more formal English you generally use ‘were’ for all persons. If I were rich, I would buy that car. OR If I was rich, I would buy that car.

Also, could can be used for both were able to or would be able to.• If I could speak Spanish, I would take that job in Madrid.• If my brother were home, he could take you to the station.

© Write a second conditional sentence for the situations presented.

Example:Georg and Ulrich are enemies and nobody expects them to ride into town together.

Georg says, ‘I f we rode into town together, everyone would be shocked.’

a. She can’t go to his party because she has a bad cold.

She says, ‘If I .............................................................................................. ’

b. Ulrich and Georg are not friends, so Ulrich cannot hunt on Georg’s land.

Georg says, ‘If we .......................................................................................then you ...................................................................................................... ’

c. The wind is blowing so nobody can hear them.

Georg says, ‘If the wind .........................................................somebody

d. Georg does not shoot Ulrich immediately because he is a civilised man. But if Georg .............................................................................................he

e. The football match is tomorrow, but I have to work, so I can’t go.

If I ................................... ..... .............. .......................................................I ....................................................................................the football match.

ia « f

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F C E Choose the correct answer A, B, C or D.

er) \N(Tr>̂ o w1 Framton’s sister thought Framton should meet Mrs Sappleton and

her family because

A Q he should not be alone while he rested in the country.

B □ she thought Mrs Sappleton needed company after her tragedy.

C Q] she thought Framton would enjoy Vera’s amusing stories.

d □ she thought Framton would enjoy hunting with Mrs Sappleton’s brothers and husband.

2 Vera told her aunt and uncle that Framton ran away because A Q he was afraid of their dog.

B Q he had to go to the doctor.

C he had thought that her uncles were ghosts.

D Q he did not like being with a lot of people in one room.

Tlie (Penance1 Octavian thought that the children’s cat had killed the chickens


A Q cats had killed his chickens before.

B Q he saw the cat with feathers in its mouth.

C Q he saw the cat with blood around its mouth.

d □ he saw the cat walking around the coop.

2 Octavian was very happy when he received the message ‘Un-Beast’ from the children because

A Q it meant that they would hurt Olivia again.

B Q he did not have to do any more strange penances.C Q he really cared about the children’s feelings so he was

happy that they had finally forgiven him.D it meant that he would not have to buy them any more



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/Iferlvera1 Emmeline got her ideas about Morlvera from

A Q her own vivid imagination.

B □ what she had read about in newspapers.C Q what she had read about in romantic novels.

D Q what she had heard about in romantic novels.

2 Emmeline imagined that Victor was

A Q the rich lord in love with Morlvera.

B Q Morlvera’s son.

C Q] Morlvera’s cousin.

d □ an actor from a film.


1 Every Thursday Conradin

A Q went to Mrs De Ropp’s church.

B □ worshipped his god with flowers and fruit.

C Q brought his god nutmeg.D Q played in the garden with his hen.

2 How did Conradin’s way of worshipping his god change when Mrs De Ropp took away his hen?A Q] He started bringing it red fruit and flowers on Thursdays.

B □ He started asking it for a favour instead of just praising it.

C Q He started bringing it nutmeg when it did him a favour.

d □ He started singing hymns to it.

) A < s

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TeberMerij1 When Cornelius announced his great scientific discovery the

other guests thought that

A Q] he was a liar or crazy.

B □ he was a great scientist.C Q he was making fun of them.

D □ he was the most entertaining guest at the house-party.

2 How did Tobermory die?

A Q] Sir Wilfrid drowned him.

B □ Mrs Blemley poisoned him.C Q The gardener killed him.

D Q The tomcat killed him.

TRe ^riterle^ers1 The fight between Ulrich’s family and Georg’s family began


A Q their grandfathers had claimed the same piece of land.

B Q their grandfathers had hated each other passionately as children.

C Q Ulrich would not let Georg hunt on his land.

d □ Georg would not let Ulrich hunt on his land.

2 Which sentence best summarises the story?

A Q Hurting others we hurt ourselves.

B Q Don’t trust anybody.

C Q Hate never really dies.

d □ A civilised man always does the right thing.


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Below are some quotations from some of the characters of all six stories. Match them to the characters who said them and then match them to the reasons why they said them. Write the letter that represents each character in the spaces in the first column and the letter of the reason why in the second. Be careful! There may be more than one quotation from each character.

WhoVictor (Vi) Mrs De Ropp (DR)Octavian (O) Vera (Ve)

1. Do you like flowers?2. I thought you liked toast.3. A fat little girl of eleven.4. Possibly, but only one liver.5. Do you know many of the people round here?6. Now that is real justice.7. I think he ran away because he saw the dog.8. She is a bad one and her husband hates her.

Whya. He/she is inventing the character of someone or something.b. He/she is trying to make peace with others.c. He/she is expressing his/her happiness at seeing his/her enemy in

a difficult situation.d. He/she is telling lies.e. He/she is telling someone why he/she doesn’t want to eat.f. He/she is commenting on why another person doesn’t want to eat.g. He/she is trying to see if he/she can invent one of his/her stories.h. He/she is talking about someone he/she knows.

\ sl(

Tobermory (T)Emmeline (E)Georg (G)

WhatWho Why

□ □■ □ □ .□ □□ □□□ □□ □□ □

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I l m

A selection of am azing stories by Hector Hugh Munro, alias m aster short-story w riter Saki.A nervous man is deceived by a teenage girl’s extravagant stories... A farm er a sk s three sm all children to forgive him... Two children create a shocking story about a doll... A boy battles to enjoy life with the help o f his own personal god... A cat brings scandal to British society... A dram atic intrusion finally ends a disagreem ent between two long-time enem ies...

Wide range of activities practising the four skills FCE-style exercises Trinity-style exercises (Grade 7)

• Internet projectExit te stText recorded in full

Step One Step Two

Step Three Step Four Step Five Step Six


CEF B1.1 Exam Preparation PET

CEF B1.2 Exam PET

CEF B2.1 Exam Preparation FCE

CEF B2.2 Exam FCE

CEF C1 Exam Preparation CAE


This volume without the side coupon is to be considered a sample copy not for sale.