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A Letter to God
By– G.L. Fuentes
Following is the complete question bank for A Letter to God-
Passage-1: (Page 3)
The house—the only one in the entire valley sat on the crest of a low hill. From this height, one could see the river and the field of ripe corn dotted with the flowers that always promised a good harvest. The only thing the earth needed was a downpour or at least a shower. Throughout the morning Lencho—who knew his fields intimately had done nothing else but see the sky towards the north-east.
Word-Meaning: Entire—whole, Valley—an area of low land between hills or mountains, Crest—top, ail Ripe—mature, Corn—(here) grain, Dotted with—spread out here and there, Downpour—heavy rain, Shower—light shower of rain, milk Intimately—closely, Supper—the last meal of the day,
(a) Where was Lencho’s house?
(b) What could one see from his house?
(c) Did the rainfall fulfil his expectation?
(d) Why did Lencho see the sky towards the north-east?
(a) Lencho’s house was at the top of a hill.
(b) One could see the river, the fields with ripe corn dotted with flowers from the height of his house were situated.
(c) No, along with rain very large hailstones began to fall which destroyed his crops.
(d) Lencho constantly saw the sky towards the north-east expecting some signs of rain.
Passage-2: (Pages 3 & 4)
It was during the meal that, just as Lencho had predicted, big drops of rain began to fall. In the north-east huge mountains of clouds could be seen approaching. The air was fresh and sweet. The man went out for no other reason than to have the pleasure of feeling the rain on his body, and when he returned he exclaimed, “These aren’t raindrops falling from the sky, they are new coins. The big drops are ten cent pieces and the little ones are fives.”
Word-Meaning: Predicted—made a forecast, Huge—very big, Approaching—to come near, Pleasure—happiness, Returned—came back, Exclaimed —cried with surprise,
(a) What happened during the meal?
(b) What could one see in the north-east?
(c) How did the pleasant rain turn into devilish one for Lencho?
(d) What is the mood of the narrator in this passage?
(a) Big drops of rain began to fall during the meal.
(b) One could see huge mountains of snow approaching in the north-east.
(c) The rain accompanied very large hailstones which proved to be devilish for Lencho.
(d) The narrator is very happy to see the rainfall.
Passage-3: (Page 4)
With a satisfied expression, he regarded the field of ripe corn with its flowers, draped in a curtain of rain. But suddenly a strong wind began to blow and along with the rain very large hailstones began to fall. These truly did resemble new silver coins. The boys, exposing themselves to the rain, ran out to collect the frozen pearls.
Word-Meaning: Satisfied—contented, Expression—show of feelings, Regarded—thought, Draped—dressed up, Curtain—veil, Suddenly—quickly and unexpectedly, Along—with, Hailstones—rain of snow, Resemble—to look like something, Exposing to—coming out in the open, Frozen pearls—(here) icy hailstones,
(a) Why was Lencho satisfied?
(b) What happened all of a sudden?
(c) What did ‘they’ truly resemble?
(d) What do the ‘frozen pearls’ refer to, here?
(a) Lencho was satisfied as it started raining heavily. He regarded the fields of ripe corn with its flowers covered with rain.
(b) Suddenly, a strong wind began to blow and along with the rain very large hailstones began to fall.
(c) The large hailstones resembled new silver coins.
(d) Here ‘frozen pearls’ refers to hailstones.
Passage-4: (Page 4)
“It’s really getting bad now”, exclaimed the man. “I hope it passes quickly.” It did not pass quickly. For an hour the hail rained on the house, the garden, the hillside, the cornfield, on the whole valley. The field was white as if covered with salt. Not a leaf remained on the trees. The corn was totally destroyed. The flowers were gone from the plants.
Word-Meaning: Quickly—fastly, Destroyed—spoiled,
(a) What was getting bad for Lencho?
(b) What did Lencho expect?
(c) Did it happen as he expected?
(d) What were the adverse impacts of hailstones on his crops?
(a) The falling of hailstones was getting bad for Lencho.
(b) Lencho expected that the falling of hailstones would stop soon.
(c) No, he expected that the falling of hailstones would stop soon. On the contrary, the hail rained for an hour.
(d) The falling of hailstones totally destroyed his crops.
Passage-5: (Pages 4 & 5)
Lencho’s soul was filled with sadness. When the storm had passed, he stood in the middle of the field and said to his sons, “A plague of locusts would have left more than this. The hail has left nothing. This year we will have no corn.”
Word-Meaning: Soul—spiritual part of a person believed to exist after death, Plague of Locusts—attack of insects or flies,
(a) What made Lencho so dejected and depressed?
(b) With whom did he share his sorrow?
(c) Why did he compare the hailstones with a plague of locusts?
(d) Did Lencho and his family go hungry that year?
(a) The hailstones completely destroyed his crops which made him very dejected and depressed.
(b) He shared his sorrow with his sons.
(c) A plague of locusts also destroys the crops but not as much as done by the hailstones.
(d) No, he got the help of 70 pesos from the post office staff to run his household expenditure and sow his field again.
Passage-6: (Page 5)
But in the hearts of all who lived in that solitary house in the middle of the valley, there was a single hope: help from God. “Don’t be so upset, even though this seems like a total loss. Remember no one dies of hunger.” “That’s what they say: no one dies of hunger.”
Word-Meaning: Solitary—alone, Upset—worried,
(a) Who lived in that solitary house?
(b) What single hope they ‘had’ left with?
(c) How did the speaker console his family?
(d) What does it show about the speaker?
(a) Lencho lived with his family in that solitary house.
(b) They had left with the single hope of getting some help from God.
(c) He consoled his family by reminding that no one ever dies of hunger.
(d) It shows the speaker’s unshaken faith in God and His mercy.
Passage-7: (Page 5)
All through the night, Lencho thought only of his one hope: the help of God, whose eyes, as he had been instructed, see everything, even what is deep in one’s conscience. Lencho was an ox of a man, working like an animal in the fields, but still, he knew how to write. The following Sunday, at daybreak, he began to write a letter which he himself would carry to town and place in the mail. It was nothing less than a letter to God.
Word-Meaning: Through—from the beginning to the end Instructed—directed, Conscience—soul, the inner sense of right or wrong, Still—yet, Daybreak—sunrise,
(a) What did Lencho think all through the night?
(b) What kind of a farmer was Lencho?
(c) What did he begin to write on the following Sunday?
(d) Why did he think of doing such a thing?
(a) Lencho thought all through the night about the help from God.
(b) Lencho was strong and active like an ox working in the field.
(c) He began to write a letter to God seeking His help to save him and his family.
(d) He needed God’s help because he and his family were on the verge of starvation.
Passage-4: (Page 5)
“God,” he wrote, “if you don’t help me, my family and I will go hungry this year. I need a hundred pesos in order to sow field again and to live until the crop comes because of the hailstorm. “He wrote “To God” on the envelope, put the letter inside and, still troubled, went to town. At the post office, he placed a stamp on the letter and dropped it into the mailbox.
Word-Meaning: Pesos—currency of several, Latin (South) American countries Envelope—paper cover to keep the letter, Inside—internal part, al Troubled—disturbed, Stamp—(here) postage Dropped—put in,
(a) What did he write about his family?
(b) What was the address written on the envelope?
(c) Was the letter received by the addressee?
(d) How did the receiver of the letter response to the letter?
(a) He wrote that he and his family were on the verge of starvation that year.
(b) Lencho wrote ‘To God’ as the address on the top of the envelope.
(c) No, the letter was not received by the addressee, instead, it was opened and read by the postman.
(d) The receiver of the letter first made fun of the sender, but later he passed it on to the postmaster who decided to help the sender.
Passage-9: (Pages 5 & 6)
One of the employees, who was a postman and also helped at the post office, went to his boss laughing heartily and showed him the letter to God. Never in his career as a postman had he known that address. The postmaster—a fat, amiable fellow—also broke out laughing, but almost immediately he turned serious and, tapping the letter on his desk, commented, “What faith! I wish I had the faith of the man who wrote this letter. Starting up a correspondence with God!”
Word-Meaning: Employees—workers, Boss—master, head, is caitiff Showed–displayed, Career—profession, Amiable—friendly and pleasant, tort! Fellow—person, Immediately—at once, Tapping—thumping, Commented—told, Faith—belief, Correspondence—(here) communicating through letters,
(a) Why did the postman laugh heartily?
(b) Had the postman ever known that address?
(c) Why did the postmaster become serious?
(d) What did the postmaster do to keep up Lencho’s unshakable faith in God?
(a) The postman laughed heartily to see ‘To God’ as the receiver’s name.
(b) No, the postman had never known any letter with such an address.
(c) The postman became serious as he was deeply moved by the faith the sender had in God.
(d) The postmaster collected money and gave part of his salary and sent 70 pesos to Lencho.
Passage-10: (Page 6)
So, in order not to shake the writer’s faith in God, the postmaster came up with an idea to answer the letter. But when he opened it, was evident that to answer it, he needed something more than goodwill, ink and paper. But he stuck to his resolution: he asked for money from his employees, he himself gave part of his salary, and several friends of his were obliged to give something ‘for an act of charity’. It was impossible for him to gather together the hundred pesos, so he was able to send the farmer only a little more than half.
Word-Meaning: Shake—to move, Idea—plan, Opened—unsealed, Evident—clear, Needed—required, Goodwill—nice feeling, Stuck—remained firm, Resolution—firm determination, Several—many, Obliged—asked to do a favour, asked to be generous Act—work, Charity—help given to the poor people, Impossible- not possible, Together—with one another,
(a) Why did the postmaster decide to answer the letter?
(b) Why did the sender need something more than goodwill?
(c) How did the postmaster collect money?
(d) Why could the postmaster collect only 70 pesos, not 100?
(a) The postmaster was deeply moved and impressed by the sender’s unshaken faith in God.
(b) The sender needed something more than goodwill — a help of one hundred pesos.
(c) The postmaster collected money by giving a part of his salary and taking contributions from his employees.
(d) It was an act of charity, so whatever amount was given by the staff at their sweet will, he accepted and he also added some part of his salary to the charity but could not collect 100 pesos.
Passage-11: (Page 6)
He put the money in an envelope addressed to Lencho and with it a letter containing only a single word as a signature: God. The following Sunday Lencho came a bit earlier than usual to ask if there was a letter for him. It was the postman himself who handed the letter to him while the postmaster, experiencing the contentment of a man who has performed a good deed, looked on from his office.
Word-Meaning: Addressed—written to special name, Containing—having, Signature—sign, a bit—Earlier—before the beginning of a period of time, Usual—common, Experiencing—feeling something, Contentment—satisfaction, Performed—done, Deed—act,
(a) Why did the postmaster put the signature ‘God’ on the letter?
(b) What unusual act was done by Lencho on the following Sunday?
(c) Who handed over the letter to Lencho?
(d) What sort of ‘good deed’ did the postmaster perform?
(a) He put the signature ‘God’ so that Lencho’s unshaken faith in God did not break.
(b) On the following Sunday, he reached the post office a bit earlier than usual to ask if there was a letter for him.
(c) The postman himself handed over the letter to Lencho.
(d) The postmaster helped a person who, if not helped by him, would suffer from starvation.
Passage-12: (Page 6)
Lencho showed not the slightest surprise on seeing the money; such was his confidence—but he became angry when he counted the money. God could not have made a mistake, nor could he have denied Lencho what he had requested.
Word-Meaning: Slightest—not even a little, Surprise—astonishment, Confidence—trust, Counted—calculated the total number, Mistake—fault, Denied—refused, Requested—the act of asking something,
(a) Why did Lencho not show any surprise on seeing the money?
(b) Why did he become angry when he counted the money?
(c) Could God have denied Lencho what he had requested Him?
(d) What was the help he demanded from God?
(a) Lencho had so much confidence in God that he showed no surprise when he saw the money.
(b) He became angry as he received thirty pesos less than what he had demanded from God.
(c) No, God couldn’t have denied Lencho what he had requested Him.
(d) He demanded a sum of one hundred pesos from God as a special help to him.
Passage-13: (Pages 6 & 7)
Immediately, Lencho went up to the window to ask for paper and ink. On the public writing-table, he started to write, with much wrinkling of his brow, caused by the effort he had to make to express his ideas. When he finished, he went to the window to buy a stamp which he licked and then affixed to the envelope with a blow of his first. The moment the letter fell into the mailbox the postmaster went to open it. It said, “God: Of the money that I asked for, only seventy pesos reached me. Send me the rest, since I need it very much. But don’t send it to me through the mail because the post office employees are a bunch of crooks”. Lencho.
Word-Meaning: Wrinkling—crease, Brow—the part of face above the eyes, Caused—to make something happen, Effort—try, Express—to show feeling or opinion, Licked—strike with tongue, Affixed—glued, Fist—closed palm, Moment —a particular point of time Need—to require Bunch—group, Crook—cheats,
(a) Why were there much wrinkles on Lencho’s brow?
(b) What did he do when he finished the letter?
(c) What was Lencho’s request regarding the amount of money?
(d) Were the post office employees indeed ‘a bunch of crooks’?
(a) Lencho was not much educated so he had to put pressure on his mind to express his ideas on the letter.
(b) When he finished it, he stamped and put it into the mailbox.
(c) Lencho requested God to send the remaining thirty pesos as he needed them badly.
(d) No, the post office employees were generous men as they helped Lencho.