24. Reading Skills Comprehension: SOMETHING IS COMING

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:           12 marks

Something is coming

“Something is coming uphill”, said Mother Wolf, twitching one ear. “Get ready.” The bushes rustled a little in the thicket and Father Wolf dropped on his haunches under him, ready for his leap.  Then, if you had been watching, you would have seen the most wonderful thing in the world – the wolf checked in mid-spring.  He made his leap before he saw what he was jumping at, and then he tried to stop himself.  The result was that he had shot up straight into the air for four or five feet, landing almost where he had left the ground.  “Man!” he snapped.  “A man’s cub. Look!”

Directly in front of him, holding on a low branch, stood a naked brown baby who could just walk – as soft and as dimpled a little atom as ever came to a wolf’s cave at night.  He looked up into Father Wolf’s face and laughed.

“Is that a man’s cub?” said Mother Wolf.  “I have never seen one.  Bring it here.  How little!  How naked!  How bold!”  she said softly.  The baby was pushing his way between the cubs to get close to the warm hide. “Aha! He is taking his meal with the others.  And so this is a man’s cub.  Now, was there ever a wolf that could boast of a man’s cub among her children?”

“I have heard now and again of such a thing, but never in our pack or in my time,” said Father Wolf. “He is altogether without hair, and I could kill him with a touch of my foot. But see, he looks up and is not afraid.”

The moonlight was blocked out of the mouth of the cave, for Shere Khan’s great square head and shoulders were thrust into the entrance. Tabaqui, behind him, was squeaking: “My lord, my lord, it went in here!”

“Shere Khan does us great honour,” said Father Wolf, but his eyes were very angry. “What does Shere Khan need?”

“My quarry. A man’s cub went this way,” said Shere Khan. “Its parents have run off. Give it to me.”

(a)  Why did Father Wolf drop on his haunches?

(b)  Why did he stop in the middle of his jump?

(c)   What did a man’s club look like?                               

(d)   What did it do to keep itself warm?

(e)    What is meant by the word ‘bold’? (para 3)

      (i)      brave                                                    (ii) smart

     (iii)     bright                                                   (iv) thrust

(f)    What is meant by the word ‘spring’? (para 1)

      (i)       coil                                                         (ii) jump

      (iii)    cushion                                                  (iv) bed

(g)    What is meant by the word ‘altogether’? (para 4)

      (i)       combined                                            (ii) cleverly

      (iii)    completely                                           (iv) quiet

(h) What is the opposite of the word ‘uphill’?

      (i)      bottom                                                 (ii) plain

     (iii)     valley                                                   (iv) downhill

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