Mar 13, 2022

The Tongue-cut Pigeon 🐦


  The Tongue-cut Sparrow -  A Japanese folk tale retold by Mary Mahoney    A long time ago in Japan there lived an old farmer and his wife. The old man was kind and gentle and always had a smile for everyone he met, but his wife was cold and very bad-tempered. They had no children to help them, so as they got older, they had to work even harder just to survive. The old man found and tamed a little sparrow, and taught it many kinds of tricks. When he came in from the fields at the end of each day, the sparrow would welcome him home, and sing and dance for him; so in spite of his hardships the old man went to bed happy each night. One day the old man had to go far into the forest to cut wood. It was laundry day, and his wife was in a bad mood as she prepared the starch for the clothes and set it outside to cool. While she was washing the clothes, the sparrow flew down to the starch and, as the old man had taught it to, pecked at the starch until it was gone. When the old woman came to get the starch and saw that the sparrow had eaten it, she went into a rage. She grabbed the bird in one hand and with the other she picked up her scissors and cut off the tip of its tongue. Then she threw the sparrow out the door, and it flew away as fast as it could go. That night when the old man came home there was no sparrow to greet him and warm his heart. When he questioned his wife, she admitted what she had done, adding, “And good riddance! That bird has always caused more work for me.” The poor man was devastated. Before dawn the next morning he took off to look for his little sparrow. He wandered through fields and forests, calling, “Mr. Sparrow, Mr. Sparrow, where are you now? How can I help you, my poor little tongue-cut sparrow?” After a long time searching he came to a large bamboo wood, where he finally met the sparrow again. The old man ran forward to greet his little pet. They talked for a while, and the old man could see that the sparrow no longer suffered from any injury. The sparrow invited the old man home. He introduced his family and asked his wife to prepare a delicious feast. During the meal the sparrow’s daughters danced and sang for the old man. It was the best hospitality the old man had ever experienced! When it was time for the old man to return home, the sparrow brought out two wicker baskets, one large and one small. He said, “Here is a parting gift for you. Choose the one you want.” “Thank you.” said the old man, “Since I’m not as strong as I used to be, and I have a long way to go, I’ll take the smaller one.” So he strapped the smaller one to his back and returned home. Immediately his wife began to scold him for being away so long, and didn’t stop until he opened the basket and onto their floor spilled gold and silver and all kinds of precious jewels. With the sparrow’s gift, they had enough to be comfortable in their old age. But the woman didn’t stay happy for long. “Why didn’t you choose the bigger basket?” she scolded. “Then we could be very rich indeed and live in a bigger house and have servants. How could you be so stupid?” The old woman decided to visit the sparrow. She went into the forest and walked and walked until she found the sparrow’s house in the bamboo wood. The sparrow and his family were not pleased to see her, but they were kinder than she, so they invited her in. She ate quickly and then called for her gift. When the two baskets were set out before her she chose the larger one. Without even thanking them she strapped it to her back and returned home. When she opened the basket a horde of demons sprang out and tormented her to death. The old man was comfortable and happy for the rest of his days.   COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS 1.What was the old couple's life like?   A It was difficult.   B  It was easy. 2.Why was their life so difficult? (Choose three answers.) A.They had no children to help them. B.It was winter. C.They were poor. D.They were old. 3.What did the old man teach the sparrow to do?   A    The laundry.   B    Sing and do tricks.   C    Cut wood 4.Why did the old man go to bed happy?   A    He was well-fed.   B    The sparrow was his friend.   C    He liked to work hard. 5.Why was the old woman in a bad mood?   A    The old man was away and she was         alone.   B    The sparrow didn't help her.   C    Doing laundry was a long, hard job. 6.Why did the old woman go into a rage?   A    The sparrow ate the starch.   B    She had no one to help her.   C    She had no soap. 7.What did the old woman NOT do to the sparrow?   A    She told the sparrow to go away.   B    She cut the sparrow's tongue.   C    She threw the sparrow out the door.   D    She said "Good riddance!" 8.The old woman never liked the sparrow because...   A    The sparrow wasn't her friend.   B    The sparrow always caused her more work.   C    The sparrow was hungry. 9.The old man was devastated. This means he felt...   A    excited.   B    curious.   C    shocked and upset. 10.What did the old man want to do next? (Choose two answers.) Find his little friend. B.  Punish his wife. C. Help the sparrow. 11.When did the old man meet the sparrow again?   A    After a long time searching.   B    The next day.   C    Before dawn. 12.When the old man met the sparrow again, he saw that the sparrow was ...   A    happy and healthy again.   B    unhappy.   C    still suffering. 13.Choose three answers that tell us that the sparrow was generous. The sparrow invited the old man home. The sparrow gave a gift for the old man's wife. The sparrow fed the old man a delicious meal. The sparrow gave the old man a gift. 14.Why did the old man choose the smaller basket? (Choose two answers.) He wasn't strong anymore. He didn't want to share with his wife. He had to walk a long distance. 15.Choose three answers that show the old woman was bad-tempered. She wanted to be rich. She often scolded the old man. She didn't like her husband's pet. She wasn't happy with the sparrow's gift. 16.How do we know that the sparrow was kinder than the old woman? (Choose three answers.) He invited her into his home. He gave her a gift. He didn't like her. He gave her a meal. 17.Do you think the old woman deserved her ending? Why or why not?     VOCABULARY TEST PART 2   1.Make these two sentences into one using the conjunction "because": The Harrisons were having a party. Their daughter was getting engaged.    2.Join these two sentences into one using the transition "therefore": The police issued a warning on the radio.  A dangerous man had escaped from hospital.    3.Link these two sentences using the transition "however": Marie was worried about the killer. Her husband was only worried about the car.    4.Link these sentences using the conjunction "so": George went to find help. The car broke down.    5.Link these sentences using the conjunction "since":  Marie could not walk in the rain.  Her clothes were not suitable.    6.Link these sentences using the conjunction "so that":  No-one could see her.  Marie hid under a blanket.    7.Link these sentences using the conjunction "as a result":  Marie heard a strange sound on the roof.  She became very frightened.    8.Link these sentences using the conjunction "as":  The knocking continued all night.  Marie could not sleep.    9.Link these sentences using a conjunction: Several policemen leapt out.  One of them rushed towards the car.    10.Link these sentences using a conjunction:  The policeman told Marie not to look back.  She could not help it.    ENGLISH LANGUAGE CENTRE Continuing Studies Building University of Victoria Campus 3800 Finnerty Road | Victoria BC | Canada Tel 250-721-8469 | Email elcreg@uvic.ca      2022 © Continuing Studies at UVic Legal Notices | Sitemap

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