Sei sulla pagina 1di 26

WARNING ON GLOBAL WARMING

Global warming could cause drought and possibly famine in China, the source of much of Hong
Kong's food, by 2050, a new report predicts. Hong Kong could also be at risk from flooding as sea
levels rose. The report recommends building sea-walls around low-lying areas such as the new port
and airport reclamations. Published by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the report, which
includes work by members of the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, uses the most
recent projections on climate change to point to a gloomy outlook for China.
By 2050 about 30 to 40 per cent of the country will experience changes in the type of vegetation it
supports, with tropical and sub-tropical forest conditions shifting northward and hot desert
conditions rising in the west where currently the desert is temperate. Crop-growing areas will
expand but any benefit is expected to be negated by increased evaporation of moisture, making it
too dry to grow crops such as rice. The growing season also is expected to alter, becoming shorter in
southern and central China, the mainland's breadbasket. The rapid changes make it unlikely that
plants could adapt.
"China will produce smaller crops. In the central and northern areas, and the southern part, there
will be decreased production because of water limitations," Dr. Rik Leemans, one of the authors of
the report, said during a brief visit to the territory yesterday. Famine could result because of the
demands of feeding the population - particularly if it grows - and the diminished productivity of the
land. "It looks very difficult for the world as a whole" he said.
Global warming is caused by the burning of large amounts of fossil fuels, such as coal and oil,
which release gases that trap heat in the atmosphere. World temperatures already have increased this
century by about 0.6 degrees Celsius and are projected to rise by between 1.6 degrees and 3.8
degrees by 2100.
Dr. Leemans said China's reliance on coal-fired power for its industrial growth did not bode well
for the world climate. "I think the political and economic powers in China are much greater than the
environmental powers, and (greenhouse gas emissions) could accelerate," Dr. Leemans said. "China
is not taking the problem seriously yet, although it is trying to incorporate this kind of research to see
what is going to happen."
The climate change report, which will be released tomorrow, focuses on China but Mr David
Melville of WWF-Hong Kong said some of the depressing scenarios could apply to the territory.
Food supplies, for instance, could be affected by lower crop yields. "Maybe we could afford to
import food from elsewhere but you have to keep in mind that the type of changes experienced in
southern China will take place elsewhere as well," he said. Sea levels could rise as glaciers melted
and the higher temperatures expanded the size of the oceans, threatening much of developed Hong
Kong which is built on reclaimed land. Current projections are that sea levels worldwide will rise by
15 to 90 centimetres by 2100, depending on whether action is taken to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions.

"Hong Kong has substantial areas built on reclaimed land and sea level rises could impact on
that, not only on Chek Lap Kok but the West Kowloon Reclamation and the Central and Western
Reclamation - the whole lot," Mr Melville said, adding that sea-walls would be needed. Depleted
fresh water supplies would be another problem because increased evaporation would reduce levels.
Mr Melville said the general outlook could be helped if Hong Kong used water less wastefully and
encouraged energy efficiency to reduce fuel-burning. He also called on the West to help China
improve its efficiency.
Vocabulary
// drought - a long period of time during which no rain falls
// famine - a serious shortage of food in a country which may cause many deaths, as for example in Ethiopia
in the 1980's
// temperate- a climate which does not have extremes of heat or cold; a moderate climate
// bode - if something does not bode well, it makes you think that something bad might happen in the future.
E.g. Those rain clouds don't bode well for the weather tomorrow.
// glaciers - a huge mass of ice that moves very slowly down a mountain side, often in valleys
1. Overall, what sort of picture is painted of the future effects of global warming?
(a)disastrous
(b)potentially disastrous
(c)relatively optimistic
(d)on balance things are going to be satisfactory
2. What is this passage?
(a)a report
(b)a preview of a report
(c)an article describing a response to a report
(d)an article previewing a report
3. Mr David Melville suggests that in future more food could be imported into Hong Kong. He thinks these
measures could be:
(a)efficient
(b)sufficient
(c)insufficient
(d)inefficient
4. In paragraph 7 which point is Mr Melville NOT making:
(a)suggesting that there is a potential disaster in Hong Kong
(b)suggesting that reclamation areas are at risk
(c)criticising current safeguards
(d)making a call for action

5. The main point of paragraph 3 is to describe:


(a)effects of changes in the climate of China on food production
(b)future changes in the climate of China
(c)effects of changes in the climate of China on the growing season
(d)projected future changes in the climate of China
6. The main point of paragraph 5 is to describe:
(a)global warming
(b)the effects of global warming
(c)the causes and projected effects of global warming
(d)the causes and effects of global warming
7. How would you describe the Dr. Leeman's attitude towards China:
(a)mainly favourable
(b)critical
(c)supportive in theory
(d)admiring
8. In paragraph 7 'depleted' could be replaced by which of the following?
(a)reduced
(b)poor
(c)decaying
(d)decimated
9. In paragraph 1 'gloomy' is closest in meaning to:
(a)healthy
(b)gradually deteriorating
(c)declining
(d)pessimistic
10. In paragraph 1 'negated' is closest in meaning to:
(a)made possible
(b)made ineffective
(c)reduced
(d)paid for
11.Why does the writer add the information in brackets in paragraph 5?
(a)because the quote is from a second language user whose command of English is not perfect
(b)because, although they are not part of the original quote, the additional information given is necessary to
understand the statement
(c)because the writer is quoting from another source
(d)because the writer wants to emphasize the meaning of these words
12. In paragraph 1 'alter' is closest in meaning to:
(a)cause
(b)alternate
(c)change
(d)receed

13. In paragraph 6 'keep in mind' is closest in meaning to:


(a)see
(b)analyse
(c)predict
(d)remember
14. In paragraph 6 'substantial' could be replaced by which of the following?
(a)considerable
(b)worthwhile
(c)well built
(d)strong
15. In paragraph 6 'depleted' could be replaced by which of the following?
(a)exhausted
(b)emptied
(c)reduced
(d)deplorable
16. In paragraph 3 'reliance' is closest in meaning to which of the following:
(a)stress
(b)emphasis
(c)dependence
(d)referendum

Question Answer Submit Score


1

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

FINDING A JOB

Not so long ago almost any student who successfully completed a university degree or
diploma course could find a good career quite easily. Companies toured the academic institutions,
competing with each other to recruit graduates. However, those days are gone, even in Hong Kong,
and nowadays graduates often face strong competition in the search for jobs.
Most careers organizations highlight three stages for graduates to follow in the process of
securing a suitable career: recognizing abilities, matching these to available vacancies and
presenting them well to prospective employers.
Job seekers have to make a careful assessment of their own abilities. One area of assessment
should be of their academic qualifications, which would include special skills within their subject
area. Graduates should also consider their own personal values and attitudes, or the relative
importance to themselves of such matters as money, security, leadership and caring for others. An
honest assessment of personal interests and abilities such as creative or scientific skills, or skills
acquired from work experience, should also be given careful thought.
The second stage is to study the opportunities available for employment and to think about
how the general employment situation is likely to develop in the future. To do this, graduates can
study job vacancies and information in newspapers or they can visit a careers office, write to
possible employers for information or contact friends or relatives who may already be involved in a
particular profession. After studying all the various options, they should be in a position to make
informed comparisons between various careers.
Good personal presentation is essential in the search for a good career. Job application forms
and letters should, of course, be filled in carefully and correctly, without grammar or spelling
errors. Where additional information is asked for, job seekers should describe their abilities and
work experience in more depth, with examples if possible. They should try to balance their own
abilities with the employer's needs, explain why they are interested in a career with the particular
company and try to show that they already know something about the company and its activities.
When graduates are asked to attend for interview, they should prepare properly by finding out
all they can about the prospective employer. Dressing suitably and arriving for the interview on
time are also obviously important. Interviewees should try to give positive and helpful answers and
should not be afraid to ask questions about anything they are unsure about. This is much better than
pretending to understand a question and giving an unsuitable answer.
There will always be good career opportunities for people with ability, skills and
determination; the secret to securing a good job is to be one of them.
1. In paragraph 3, 'their' refers to:
(a) job seekers
(b) abilities
(c) academic qualifications

(d) special skills


2. 'them' in paragraph 2 refers to:
(a) careers organizations
(b) three stages
(c) abilities
(d) available vacancies
3. Which of the following sentences is closest in meaning to the final paragraph?
(a) graduates should develop at least one of these areas to find a suitable career
(b) determined, skilled and able people can easily find a good career
(c) the secret to a good career is to possess skills, determination or ability
(d) people with the right qualities should always be able to find a good career
4. In paragraph 1, 'those days are gone, even in Hong Kong', suggests that:
(a) in the past, finding a good career was easier in Hong Kong than elsewhere
(b) nowadays, everyone in Hong Kong has an equal chance of finding a good career
(c) it used to be harder to find a good job in Hong Kong than in other countries
(d) even in Hong Kong companies tour the universities trying to recruit graduates
5. 'relative' in paragraph 3 could best be replaced by:
(a) family
(b) comparative
(c) considerable
(d) slight
6. 'prospective' in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to:
(a) generous
(b) reasonable
(c) future
(d) ambitious
7. In paragraph 6, the writer seems to suggest that:
(a) interviewees should ask a question if they can't think of an answer
(b) pretending to understand a question is better than giving an unsuitable answer
(c) it is better for interviewees to be honest than to pretend to understand
(d) it is not a good idea for interviewees to be completely honest in their answers
8. Which of the following does 'This' in paragraph 6 refer to?
(a) not being afraid to be unsure
(b) giving positive and helpful answers to the questions
(c) being prepared to ask questions about things they don't understand
(d) being unsure about the questions
9. 'Determination' in paragraph 7 is similar in meaning to:
(a) resolve
(b) finding out
(c) imagination
(d) intelligence
10. According to paragraph 4, graduates should:
(a) find a good position and then compare it with other careers

(b) ask friends or relatives to secure them a good job


(c) get information about a number of careers before making comparisons
(d) find out as much as possible and inform employers of the comparisons they want
11. The advice given in the first sentence of paragraph 4 is to:
(a) find out what jobs are available and the opportunities for future promotion
(b) examine the careers available and how these will be affected in the future
(c) look at the information on, and probable future location of, various careers
(d) study the opportunities and the kinds of training that will be available
12. According to paragraph 3, job seekers should:
(a) aim to give a balanced account of what the employer needs
(b) divide the time equally between listening to the interviewer and speaking
(c) discuss their own abilities in relation to what the employer is looking for
(d) attempt to show the employer they have balanced abilities
13. In paragraph 3 imply graduates should:
(a) only consider careers which are suited to them as people
(b) include information about personal attitudes and values in their job applications
(c) consider how lucky they are to be able to find careers that provide such things
(d) consider the values of their parents and families as well as their own wishes
14. According to the passage, which of the following is NOT true?
(a) until recently it was quite easy for graduates to get good jobs in Hong Kong
(b) job seekers should consider as many as possible of the factors involved
(c) businesses used to visit the universities in Hong Kong to recruit graduates
(d) graduates sometimes have to take part in competitions to secure a good career
15. In paragraph 5, 'in more depth' could best be replaced by:
(a) more carefully
(b) more honestly
(c) in greater detail
(d) using more words
16. In paragraph 2, 'highlight' is closest in meaning to which of the following?
(a) emphasize
(b) arrange
(c) accept
(d) offer

Question Answer Submit Score


1

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

THE SEPTEMBER PRINCESS

First the King of Siam had two daughters and he called them Night and Day., Then he
had two more, so he changed the names of the first ones and called the four of them after the
seasons, Spring and Autumn, Winter and Summer. But in course of time he had three others and he
changed their names again and called all seven by the days of the week.
But when his eighth daughter was born he did not know what to do till he suddenly thought of the
months of the year. The Queen said there were only twelve and it confused her to have to remember
so many new names, but the King had a methodical mind and when he made it up he never could
change it if he tried. He changed the names of all his daughters and called them January, February,
March (though of course in Siamese) till he came to the youngest, who was called August, and the
next one was called September.
`That only leaves October, November, and December; said the Queen. `And after that
we shall have to begin all over again.'
'No, we shan't,' said the King, 'because I think twelve daughters are enough for any
man and after the birth of dear little December I shall be reluctantly compelled to cut off your head:
He cried bitterly when he said this, for he was extremely fond of the Queen. Of course it
made the Queen very uneasy because she knew that it would distress the King very much if he had
to cut off her head. And it would not be very nice for her. But it so happened that there was no need
for either of them to worry because September was the last daughter they ever had. The Queen only
had sons after that and they were called by the letters of the alphabet, so there was no cause for
anxiety there for a long time, since she had only reached the letter J.
Now the King of Siam's daughters had had their characters permanently embittered by
having to change their names in this way, and the older ones, whose names of course had been
changed oftener than the others; had their characters more permanently embittered. But September,
who had never known what it was to be called anything but
September (except of course by her sisters, who because their characters were embittered called her
all sorts of names), had a very sweet and charming nature. The King of Siam had a habit which I
think might be usefully imitated in Europe. Instead of receiving presents on his birthday he gave
them and it looks as though he liked it, for he used often to say he was sorry he had only been born
on one day and so only had one birthday in the year. But in this way he managed in course of time
to give away all his wedding presents and the loyal addresses which the mayors of the cities in
Siam presented him with and all his own crowns which had gone out of fashion.
One year on his birthday, not having anything else handy, he gave each of his daughters
a beautiful green parrot in a beautiful golden cage. There were nine of them and on each cage was
written the name of the month which was the name of the princess it belonged to. The nine
princesses were very proud of their parrots and they spent an hour every day (for like their father
they were of a methodical turn of mind) in teaching them to talk. Presently all the parrots could say
God Save the King (in Siamese, which is very difficult) and some of them could say Pretty Polly in
no less than seven oriental languages. But one day when the Princess September went to say good
morning to her parrot she found it lying dead at the
bottom of its golden cage. She burst into a flood of tears, and nothing that her Maids of Honour
could say comforted her. She cried so much that the Maids of Honour, not knowing what to do, told
the Queen, and the Queen said it was stuff and nonsense and the child had better go to bed without
any supper. The Maids of Honour wanted to go to a party, so they put the Princess September to
bed as quickly as they could and left her by herself. And while she lay in her bed, crying still even

though she felt rather hungry, she saw a little bird hop into her room. She took her thumb out of her
mouth and sat up. Then the little bird began to sing and he sang a beautiful song all about the lake
in the King's garden and the willow trees that looked at themselves in the still water and the
goldfish that glided in and out of the branches that were reflected in it. When he had finished, the
Princess was not crying any more and she quite forgot that she had had no supper.
'That was a very nice song,' she said.
The little bird gave her a bow, for artists have naturally good manners, and they like to be
appreciated.
'Would you care to have me instead of your parrot? said the little bird. 'It's true that Pm not so pretty
to look at, but on the other hand I have a much better voice.'
The Princess September clapped her hands with delight and then the little bird hopped
on to the end of her bed and sang her to sleep. When she awoke next day the little bird was still
sitting there, and as she opened her eyes he said good morning. The Maids of Honour brought in
her breakfast, and he ate rice out of her hand and he had his bath in her saucer. He drank out of it
too. The Maids of Honour said they didn't think it was very polite to drink one's bath water, but the
Princess September said that was the artistic temperament. When he had finished his breakfast he
began to sing again so beautifully that the Maids of Honour were quite surprised, for they had
never heard anything like it, and the Princess September was very proud and happy.
'Now I want to show you to my eight sisters,' said the Princess. She stretched out the
first finger of her right hand so that it served as a perch and the little bird flew down and sat on it.
Then, followed by her Maids of Honour, she went through the palace and called on each of the
Princesses in turn, starting with January, for she was mindful of etiquette, and going all the way
down to August. And for each of the Princesses the little bird sang a different song. But the parrots
could only say God Save the King and Pretty Polly. At last she showed the little bird to the King
and Queen. They were surprised and delighted.
'I knew I was right to send you to bed without any supper,' said the Queen.
'This bird sings much better than the parrots,' said the King.
'I should have thought you got quite tired of hearing people say God Save the King,' said the
Queen. 'I can't think why those girls wanted to teach their parrots to say it too.'
The sentiment is admirable,' said the King, 'and I never mind how often I hear it. But I do get tired
of hearing those parrots say Pretty Polly.!
'They say it in seven different languages,' said the Princesses.
'I dare say they do,' said the King, but it reminds me too much of my councillors. They say the
same thing in seven different ways and it never means anything in any way they say it'
The Princesses, their characters as I have already said being naturally embittered, were vexed at
this, and the parrots looked very glum indeed. But the Princess September ran through all the
rooms of the palace, singing like a lark, while the little bird flew round and round her,
singing like a nightingale, which indeed it was.
Things went on like this for several days and then the eight Princesses put their heads
together. They went to September and sat down in a circle round her, hiding their feet as is proper
for Siamese princesses to do.
'My poor September,' they said. 'We are sorry for the death of your beautiful parrot. It must be
dreadful for you not to have a pet bird as we have. So we have all put our pocket-money together
and we are going to buy you a lovely green and yellow parrot '

'Thank you for nothing,' said September. (This was not very civil of her, but Siamese princesses are
sometimes a little short with one another.)'I have a pet bird which sings the most charm Sing songs
to me and I don't know what on earth I should do with a green and yellow parrot' January sniffed,
then February sniffed, then March sniffed; in fact all the Princesses sniffed, but in their proper
order of precedence. When they had finished September asked them:
-'Why do you sniff? Have you all got colds in the head?'
`Well, my dear,' they said, 'it's absurd to talk of your bird when the little fellow flies in and out just
as he likes.' They looked round the room and raised their eyebrows so high that their foreheads
entirely disappeared.
`Youll get dreadful wrinkles,' said September.
'Do you mind our asking where your bird is now?' they said.
'He's gone to pay a visit to his father-in-law,' said the Princess September.
`And what makes you think he'll come back?' asked the Princesses.
`He always does come back,' said September.
'Well, my dear,' said the eight Princesses, 'if you'll take our advice you won't run any risks like that.
If he comes back, and mind you, if he does you'll be lucky, pop him into the cage and keep him
there. That's the only way you can be sure of him '
'But I like to have him fly about the room,' said the Princess September.
'Safety first,' said her sisters ominously.
They got up and walked out of the room, shaking their heads, and they left September
very uneasy. It seemed to her that her little bird was away a long time and she could not think what
he was doing. Something might have happened to him. What with hawks and men with snares you
never knew what trouble he might get into. Besides, he might forget her, or he might take a fancy to
somebody else; that would be dreadful; oh, she wished he were safely back again, and in the golden
cage that stood there empty and ready. For when the Maids of Honour had buried the dead parrot
they had left the cage in its old place.
Suddenly September heard a tweet-tweet just behind her ear and she saw the little bird
sitting on her shoulder. He had come in so quietly and alighted so softly that she had not heard him.
'I wondered what on earth had become of you,' said the Princess.
'I thought you'd wonder that,' said the little bird. 'The fact is I very nearly didn't come back tonight
at all. My father-in-law was giving a party and they all wanted me to stay, but I thought you'd be
anxious!
Under the circumstances this was a very unfortunate remark for the little bird to make.
September felt her heart go thump, thump against her chest, and she made up her mind
to take no more risks. She put up her hand and took hold of the bird. This he was quite used to, she
liked feeling his heart go pit-a-pat, so fast, in the hollow of her hand, and I think he liked the soft
warmth of her little hand. So the bird suspected nothing and he was so surprised when she carried
him over to the cage, popped him in, and shut the door on him for a moment he could think of
nothing to say. But in a moment or two he hopped up on the ivory perch and said:
'What is the joke?
'There's no joke,' said September, 'but some of mamma's cats are prowling about tonight, and I
think you're much safer in there.'
'I can't think why the Queen wants to have all those cats,' said the little bird, rather crossly.

'Well, you see, they're very special cats,' said the Princess, 'they have blue eyes and a kink in their
tails, and they're a speciality of the royal family, if you understand what I mean.'
'Perfectly,' said the little bird, 'but why did you put me in this cage without saying anything about it
7 I don't think it's the sort of place I like.'
'I shouldn't have slept a wink all night if I hadn't known you were safe.'
'Well, just for this once I don't mind,' said the little bird, 'so long as you let me out in the morning.'
He ate a very good supper and then began to sing. But in the middle of his song he stopped.
`I don't know what is the matter with me,' he said, 'but I don't feel like singing tonight'
'Very well,' said September, go to sleep instead!
So he put his head under his wing and in a minute was fast asleep. September went to sleep too.
But when the dawn broke she was awakened by the little bird calling her at the top of his voice:
`Wake up, wake up,' he said. 'Open the door of this cage and let me out. I want to have a good fly
while the dew is still on the ground.'
'You're much better off where you are,' said September. 'You have a beautiful golden cage. It was
made by the best workman in my papa's kingdom, and my papa was so pleased with it that he cut
off his head so that he should never make another.'
`Let me out, let me out,' said the little bird.
'You'll have three meals a day served by my Maids of Honour; you'll have nothing to worry you
from morning till night, and you can sing to your heart's content'
'Let me out, let me out,' said the little bird. And he tried to slip through the bars of the cage, but of
course he couldn't, and he beat against the door but of course he couldn't open it. Then the eight
Princesses came in and looked at him. They told September she was very wise to take their advice.
They said he would soon get used to the cage and in a few days would quite forget that he had ever
been free. The little bird said nothing at all while they were there, but as soon as they were gone he
began to cry again: 'Let me out, let me out'
'Don't be such an old silly,' said September. 'I've only put you in the cage because I'm so fond of
you. I know what's good for you much better than you do yourself. Sing me a little song and I'll
give you a piece of brown sugar.'
But the little bird stood in the corner of his cage, looking out at the blue sky, and never
sang a note. He never sang all day.
'What's the good of sulking?' said September. Why don't you sing and forget your troubles?
'How can I sing? answered the bird. 'I want to see the trees and the lake and the green rice growing
in the fields.'
'If that's all you want I'll take you for a walk,' said September. She picked up the cage and went out
and she walked down to the lake round which grew the willow trees, and she stood at the edge of
the rice-fields that stretched as far as the eye could see.
'I'll take you out every day,' she said. 'I love you and I only want to make you happy.'
'It's not the same thing,' said the little bird. 'The rice-fields and the lake and the willow trees look
quite different when you see them through the bars of a cage.'
So she brought, him home again and gave him his supper. But he wouldn't eat a thing.
The Princess was a little anxious at this, and asked her sisters what they thought about it.
'You must be firm,' they said.
'But if he won't eat, he'll die,' she answered.

'That would be very ungrateful of him,' they said. 'He must know that you're only thinking of his
own good. If he's obstinate and dies it'll serve him right and you'll be well rid of him.'
September didn't see how that was going to do her very much good, but they were eight to one and
all older than she, so she said nothing.
'Perhaps he'll have got used to his cage by tomorrow,' she said. And next day when she awoke she
cried out good morning in a cheerful voice. She got no answer. She jumped out of bed and ran to
the cage. She gave a startled cry, for there the little bird lay, at the bottom, on
his side, with his eyes closed, and he looked as if he were dead. She opened the door and putting
her hand in lifted him out. She gave a sob of relief, for she felt that his little heart was beating still.
'Wake up, wake up, little bird,' she said.
She began to cry and her tears fell on the little bird. He opened his eyes and felt that the bars of the
cage were no longer round him.
'I cannot sing unless I'm free and if I cannot sing, I die,' he said. The Princess gave a great sob.
'Then take your freedom,' she said, 'I shut you in a golden cage because I loved you and wanted to
have you all to myself. But I never knew it would kill you. Go. Fly away among the trees that are
round the lake and fly over the green rice-fields. I love you enough to let you be
happy in your own way.'
She threw open the window and gently placed the little bird on the sill. He shook
himself a little.
'Come and go as you will, little bird,' she said. 'I will never put you in a cage any more.'
'I will come because I love you, little Princess,' said the bird. 'And I will sing you the loveliest
songs I know. I shall go far away, but I shall always come back, and I shall never forget you.' He
gave himself another shake. 'Good gracious me, how stiff I am,' he said. Then he opened his wings
and flew right away into the blue. But the little Princess burst into tears, for it is very difficult to put
the happiness of someone you love before your own, and with her little bird far out of sight she felt
on a sudden very lonely.
When her sisters knew what had happened they mocked her and said that the little bird
would never return. But he did at last. And he sat on September's shoulder and ate out of her hand
and sang her the beautiful songs he had learned while he was flying up and down the fair places of
the world. September kept her window open day and night so that the little bird might come into
her room whenever he felt inclined, and this was very good for her; so she grew extremely
beautiful. And when she was old enough she married the King of Cambodia and was carried all the
way to the city in which he lived on a white elephant. But her sisters never slept with their windows
open, so they grew extremely ugly as well as disagreeable, and when the time came to marry them
off they were given away to the King's councillors with a pound of tea and a Siamese cat.
1. What would the King have to do if he had more than twelve daughters?
2. What names did the King give to his sons?
3. What kind of girl was September?
4. Why did Princess September and her sisters have a parrot?

5. What kind of bird was the one that flew to Septembers window after
the parrot had died?
6. When the bird went away for a long time, where did he go?
7. When September locked the bird in the golden cage, why wouldnt she
let him out?
8. Why did September set the bird free again?
9. Composition (130-150 words) Give your opinion about the story
Princess September.

The Death Car


It was a cold night in September. The rain was drumming on the car roof as George and
Marie Winston drove through the empty country roads towards the house of their friends, the
Harrisons, where they were going to attend a party to celebrate the engagement of the Harrisons'
daughter, Lisa. As they drove, they listened to the local radio station, which was playing classical
music.
They were about five miles from their destination when the music on the radio was interrupted
by a news announcement:
"The Cheshire police have issued a serious warning after a man escaped from Colford Mental
Hospital earlier this evening. The man, John Downey, is a murderer who killed six people before
he was captured two years ago. He is described as large, very strong and extremely dangerous.
People in the Cheshire area are warned to keep their doors and windows locked, and to call the

police immediately if they see anyone acting strangely."


Marie shivered. "A crazy killer. And he's out there somewhere. That's scary."
"Don't worry about it," said her husband. "We're nearly there now. Anyway, we have more
important things to worry about. This car is losing power for some reason -- it must be that old
problem with the carburetor. If it gets any worse, we'll have to stay at the Harrisons' tonight and
get it fixed before we travel back tomorrow."
As he spoke, the car began to slow down. George pressed the accelerator, but the engine only
coughed. Finally they rolled to a halt, as the engine died completely. Just as they stopped, George
pulled the car off the road, and it came to rest under a large tree.
"Blast!" said George angrily. "Now we'll have to walk in the rain."
"But that'll take us an hour at least," said Marie. "And I have my high-heeled shoes and my
nice clothes on. They'll be ruined!"
"Well, you'll have to wait while I run to the nearest house and call the Harrisons. Someone can
come out and pick us up," said George.
"But George! Have you forgotten what the radio said? There's a homicidal maniac out there!
You can't leave me alone here!"
"You'll have to hide in the back of the car. Lock all the doors and lie on the floor in the back,
under this blanket. No-one will see you. When I come back, I'll knock three times on the door.
Then you can get up and open it. Don't open it unless you hear three knocks." George opened the
door and slipped out into the rain. He quickly disappeared into the blackness.
Marie quickly locked the doors and settled down under the blanket in the back for a long wait.
She was frightened and worried, but she was a strong-minded woman. She had not been waiting
long, however, when she heard a strange scratching noise. It seemed to be coming from the roof of
the car.
Marie was terrified. She listened, holding her breath. Then she heard three slow knocks, one
after the other, also on the roof of the car. Was it her husband? Should she open the door? Then
she heard another knock, and another. This was not her husband. It was somebody -- or something
-- else. She was shaking with fear, but she forced herself to lie still. The knocking continued -bump, bump, bump, bump.
Many hours later, as the sun rose, she was still lying there. She had not slept for a moment. The
knocking had never stopped, all night long. She did not know what to do. Where was George?
Why had he not come for her?
Suddenly, she heard the sound of three or four vehicles, racing quickly down the road. All of
them pulled up around her, their tires screeching on the road. At last! Someone had come! Marie
sat up quickly and looked out of the window.
The three vehicles were all police cars, and two still had their lights flashing. Several
policemen leapt out. One of them rushed towards the car as Marie opened the door. He took her
by the hand.
"Get out of the car and walk with me to the police vehicle. miss. You're safe now. Look straight
ahead. Keep looking at the police car. Don't look back. Just don't look back."
Something in the way he spoke filled Marie with cold horror. She could not help herself. About
ten yards from the police car, she stopped, turned and looked back at the empty vehicle.
George was hanging from the tree above the car, a rope tied around his neck. As the wind blew

his body back and forth, his feet were bumping gently on the roof of the car -- bump, bump,
bump, bump.
1. Where were the Winstons going a
when this incident happened?
)
b
)
c)
d
)

home
to Colford Mental Hospital
to a party
to the police station

2. What was the reason for the news a


announcement on the radio?
)
b
)
c)

Six
people,
including
John
Downey, had been murdered.
A
dangerous
prisoner
had
escaped.
The police were warning of
accidents on the roads in the bad
weather.
d Some people had been seen
) acting strangely in the Cheshire
area.

3. What did George think was causing a


the trouble with the car?
)
b
)
c)
d
)

the carburetor

4. Why did he pull the car off the road? a


)
b
)
c)
d
)

to have a rest

5. Why did Marie stay in the car when a


George left?
)
b
)
c)

She was afraid to go out in the


dark.

the rain drumming on the roof


the accelerator
he had no idea

to go for a walk
to walk to the nearest house
it broke down

So no-one would steal the car.


Her clothes weren't suitable for
the rain.

d
She wanted to get some sleep.
)
6. Where did George set off to walk to? a the Mental Hospital
)

b
the nearest house
)
c) the Harrisons' house
d
the police station
)
7. What made Marie so frightened as a
she waited in the car?
)
b
)
c)

There was a strange sound


coming from the roof.
She could see a man acting
strangely outside the car.
Some police cars came racing
down the road.
d She was afraid of the rain and the
) dark.

8. Why did the policeman tell her not to a


look back when he brought her out of )
the car?
b
)
c)

He didn't want her to see the


body of her husband.

9. Marie says, "There's a homicidal a


maniac
out
there!"
What
does )
"homicidal maniac" mean?
b
)
c)
d
)

terrible storm

10. In "Several policemen leapt out," a


"leapt" means
)
b
)
c)
d
)

threw

The killer was waiting behind her.

He
wanted
her
to
forget
everything that had happened
during the night.
d He didn't want her to see the
) damage done to the car.

busy road
crazy killer
policeman

jumped
shouted
drove

The American Pepper


"Mummy! Mummy!" shouted little Murna racing from the front door through to the
kitchen. "There's a parcel. The postman's brought a parcel!"
Her mother, Savni, looked at her in surprise. She had no idea who could have sent them a
parcel. Maybe it was a mistake. She hurried to the door to find out. Sure enough, the postman was
there, holding a parcel about the size of a
small brick.
"From America, madam," he said. "See! American stamps."
It was true. In the top right-hand corner of the brown paper parcel were three strange-looking
stamps, showing a man's head. The package was addressed to Savni, in big, clear black letters.
"Well, I suppose it must be from Great-Aunt Pasni," said Savni to herself, as the postman went
on his way down the street, whistling. "Although it must be twenty years since we heard anything
from her. I thought she would have been dead by now."
Savni's husband Jornas and her son Arinas were just coming in from the garden, where Murna
had run to tell them about the parcel. "Well, open it then!" said Arinas impatiently. "Let's see what's
inside!"
Setting the parcel down in the middle of the table, Savni carefully began to tear open the paper.
Inside, there was a large silver container with a hinged lid, which was taped shut. There was also a
letter.
"What is it? What is it?" demanded Murna impatiently. "Is it a present?"
"I have no idea," said Savni in confusion. "I think it must be from Great-Aunt Pasni. She went
to America almost thirty years ago now. But we haven't heard from her in twenty years. Perhaps the
letter will tell us." She opened the folded page cautiously, then looked up in dismay. "Well, this is
no help!" she said in annoyance. "It's written in English! How does she expect us to read English?
We're poor people, we have no education. Maybe Pasni has forgotten her native language, after
thirty years in America."
"Well, open the pot, anyway," said Jornas. "Let's see what's inside."
Cautiously, Savni pulled the tape from the neck of the silver pot, and opened the lid. Four heads
touched over the top of the container, as their owners stared down inside.
"Strange," said Arinas. "All I see is powder." The pot was about one-third full of a kind of lightgrey powder.
"What is it?" asked Murna, mystified.
"We don't know, darling," said Savni, stroking her daughter's hair. "What do you think?" Murna
stared again into the pot.
"I think it's coffee," she announced, finally. "American
coffee."
"It's the wrong colour for coffee, darling," said Jornas thoughtfully. "But maybe she's on the
right track. It must be some kind of food." Murna, by now, had her nose right down into the pot.
Suddenly, she lifted her head and sneezed loudly.
"Id god ub by doze," she explained.
"That's it!" said Arinas. "It must be pepper! Let me try some." Dipping a finger into the powder,

he licked it. "Yes," he said, "it's pepper all right. Mild, but quite tasty. It's American pepper."
"All right," said Savni, "we'll try it on the stew tonight. We'll
have American-style stew!"
That evening, the whole family agreed that the American pepper had added a special extra taste
to their usual evening stew. They were delighted with it. By the end of the week, there was only a
teaspoonful of the grey powder
left in the silver container. Then Savni called a halt.
"We're saving the last bit for Sunday. Dr. Haret is coming to dinner, and we'll let him have some
as a special treat. Then it will be finished."
The following Sunday, the whole family put on their best clothes, ready for dinner with Dr.
Haret. He was the local doctor, and he had become a friend of the family many years before, when
he had saved Arinas's life after an accident. Once every couple of months, Savni invited the doctor
for dinner, and they all looked forward to his entertaining stories of his youth at the university in
the
capital.
During dinner, Savni explained to the doctor about the mysterious American pepper, the last of
which she had put in the stew they were eating, and the letter they could not read.
"Well, give it to me, give it to me!" said the doctor briskly. "I speak English! I can translate it
for you."
Savni brought the letter, and the family waited, fascinated, as the doctor began to translate.
"Dear Savni: you don't know me, but I am the son of your old Great-Aunt Pasni. She never
talked much to us about the old country, but in her final illness earlier this year, she told us that
after her death, she wanted her ashes to be sent back home to you, so that you could scatter them on
the hills of the country where she was born. My mother died two weeks ago, and her funeral and
cremation took place last week. I am sending her ashes to you in a silver casket. Please do as she
asked, and spread them over the ground near where she was born. Your cousin, George Leary."
1. Where does this story take a America
place?
)
b
Arinas
)
c) India
d
The text doesn't say
)
2. How was the parcel wrapped?

3. Who was Savni?

a in
)
b
in
)
c) in
d
in
)

brown paper
silver paper
grey paper
tape

a a little girl
)

b
the Great-Aunt
)
c) the mother of the family
d
the son of the family
)
4. Why don't the family read the a They are too impatient to look in
letter?
) the container.
b
It is addressed to the doctor.
)
c) It is in English.
d
It is missing.
)
5. What does Murna think is in a dust
the pot?
)
b
ashes
)
c) coffee
d
pepper
)
6. Why does Arinas think that the a It tastes very hot.
powder is pepper?
)
b
It makes Murna sneeze.
)
c) It is written on the pot.
d
The letter says so.
)
7. What does the family do with a They
the powder?
)
b
They
)
c) They
d
They
)

keep it to give to the doctor.


send it back to America.
make drinks with it.
put it on their food.

8. Why does Savni save the last a as a souvenir


bit of the powder?
)
b
for Dr. Haret
)
c) to analyse it
d
to spread it on the hills
)

9. How does Dr. Haret solve the a He


mystery?
)
b
He
)
c) He
d
He
)
10. What was really in the pot?

analyses the powder.


recognizes the powder.
is a friend of Pasni.
translates the letter.

a coffee
)
b
Great-Aunt Pasni
)
c) dust
d
special American pepper
)

NUCLEAR WEAPONS

It is generally well known that in a number of particularly dangerous parts of the world, for
example the Middle East and the India/Pakistan border region, there are countries which either
possess, or have the technology to produce, nuclear weapons. It is also worth remembering,
however, that the country which possesses more nuclear weapons than any other, the United
States, is the only power ever to have used nuclear weapons against people.
Nuclear weapons were first developed in the United States during the Second World War, to
be used against Germany. However, by the time the first bombs were ready for use, the war
with Germany had ended and, as a result, the decision was made to use the weapons against
Japan instead. Hiroshima and Nagasaki have suffered the consequences of this decision to the
present day.
The real reasons why bombs were dropped on two heavily-populated cities are not altogether
clear. A number of people in 1944 and early 1945 argued that the use of nuclear weapons
would be unnecessary, since American Intelligence was aware that some of the most powerful
and influential people in Japan had already realized that the war was lost, and wanted to
negotiate a Japanese surrender. It was also argued that, since Japan has few natural
resources, a blockade by the American navy would force it to surrender within a few weeks,
and the use of nuclear weapons would thus prove unnecessary. If a demonstration of force
was required to end the war, a bomb could be dropped over an unpopulated area like a desert,
in front of Japanese observers, or over an area of low population inside Japan, such as a forest.
Opting for this course of action might minimize the loss of further lives on all sides, while the
power of nuclear weapons would still be adequately demonstrated.
All of these arguments were rejected, however, and the general consensus was that the
quickest way to end the fighting would be to use nuclear weapons against centres of
population inside Japan. In fact, two of the more likely reasons why this decision was reached
seem quite shocking to us now.
Since the beginning of the Second World War both Germany and Japan had adopted a policy
of genocide (i.e. killing as many people as possible, including civilians). Later on, even the US
and Britain had used the strategy of fire bombing cities (Dresden and Tokyo, for example) in
order to kill, injure and intimidate as many civilians as possible. Certainly, the general public
in the West had become used to hearing about the deaths of large numbers of people, so the
deaths of another few thousand Japanese, who were the enemy in any case, would not seem
particularly unacceptable - a bit of 'justifiable' revenge for the Allies' own losses, perhaps.
The second reason is not much easier to comprehend. Some of the leading scientists in the
world had collaborated to develop nuclear weapons, and this development had resulted in a
number of major advances in technology and scientific knowledge. As a result, a lot of
normal, intelligent people wanted to see nuclear weapons used; they wanted to see just how
destructive this new invention could be. It no doubt turned out to be even more 'effective' than
they had imagined.

Vocabulary
// Allies - Countries working together for mutual benefit, during a war, for example.
1. In paragraph 1, the writer is suggesting that:
(a) the United States should, if necessary, use nuclear weapons again
(b) the United States is more likely than other countries to use nuclear weapons
(c) the United States is one of several countries to have used nuclear weapons
(d) the United States could potentially use nuclear weapons again
2. The writer refers to 'a demonstration of force' in paragraph 3 refer to:
(a) a show of strength
(b) a full attack
(c) a parade of weapons
(d) a meeting between the armies
3. According to paragraph 3, a blockade would have been successful because:
(a) Japan has to import most of its natural resources like coal and steel
(b) Japan would not be resourceful enough to beat a blockade
(c) an attack would probably destroy Japanese resources within a few weeks
(d) the Americans could defeat Japan's navy since it was short of resources
4. In the last sentence of paragraph 6, the writer implies that:
(a) he agrees with the decision to use nuclear weapons against Japan
(b) he thinks the decision to drop nuclear bombs on Japanese cities was wrong
(c) nuclear weapons worked much better than the scientists probably expected
(d) the weapons proved to be effective because Japan surrendered soon after
5. The first sentence of paragraph 6 suggests the writer believes that:
(a) the decisions were made by intelligent people and were difficult to follow
(b) his presentation of the argument in paragraph 5 is difficult to understand
(c) the reasons given for the decision are hard for us to accept nowadays
(d) the decisions were complex and made by highly intelligent people
6. According to paragraph 5, which of the following is true:
(a) people in the West had got used to hearing the sounds of people dying
(b) it would probably not be wise to inform people in the West of the deaths
(c) scientists thought only a few thousand people would die if the bombs were used
(d) people in the West would accept that some people had to die to end the war
7. How many reasons against using the weapons are given in paragraph 3:
(a) two
(b) three
(c) four
(d) five
8. From the last sentence of paragraph 4, we can infer that:
(a) the real reasons for the decision may never have been made clear
(b) the writer probably expects us not to agree with his opinion
(c) the writer has not done much research on this subject to establish the facts
(d) the writer has attempted to present the facts as objectively as possible

9. Which of the following could be used instead of 'in any case' in paragraph 5:
(a) all the time
(b) anyway
(c) any time
(d) in this respect
10. Which of the following is closest in meaning to 'blockade' in paragraph 3:
(a) siege
(b) bombing
(c) attack
(d) defence
11. What does 'this' refer to in paragraph 3:
(a) blockading Japan and dropping a nuclear bomb on an area of low population
(b) using a bomb against some Japanese observers or on an area of low population
(c) dropping a bomb in an area of low population in front of Japanese witnesses
(d) dropping a nuclear weapon over a forest in Japan
12. Which of the following could best replace 'natural resources' in paragraph 3:
(a) characteristics such as determination and resourcefulness
(b) ports and harbours
(c) workers with natural ability
(d) materials such as coal and iron
13. Which is closest in meaning to the last sentence of paragraph 2:
(a) the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were badly damaged when they were bombed
(b) Hiroshima and Nagasaki suffered because Japan would not agree to end the war
(c) the awful effects of dropping nuclear bombs on these cities can still be felt
(d) the end of the war with Germany meant that Hiroshima and Nagasaki would suffer
14. Which of the following does a demonstration force in paragraph 3 refer to:
a) a show of strength
(b) a full attack
(c) a parade of weapons
(d) a meeting between the armies
15. In paragraph 6, 'collaborated' is closest in meaning to:
(a) argued about
(b) decided
(c) worked together
(d) held conferences
16. 'justifiable' in paragraph 5 is in inverted commas because:
(a) the word is used in an unusual way
(b) the writer is quoting from the decision makers
(c) it is not really correct English
(d) it might not be altogether appropriate here
Question Answer Submit Score
1

10

11

12

13

14

15

16