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THE BIG ORANGE SPLOT

 

1. Read the story by Daniel Manus Pinkwater.

Mr. Plumbean lived on a street where all the houses were the same. He liked it that way. So did everybody else on Mr. Plumbean’s street.

“This is a neat street,” they would say. Then one day . . .

A seagull flew over Mr. Plumbean’s house. He was carrying a can of bright orange paint. (No one knows why.) And he dropped the can (no one knows why) right over Mr. Plumbean’s house. It made a big orange splot on Mr. Plumbean’s house. “Ooooh! Too bad!” everybody said. “Mr. Plumbean will have to paint his house again.”

“I suppose I will,” said Mr. Plumbean. But he didn’t paint his house right away. He looked at the big orange splot for a long time; then he went about his business.

The neighbors got tired of seeing that big orange splot. Someone said, “Mr. Plumbean, we wish you’d get around to painting your house.”

“O.K.,” said Mr. Plumbean. He got some blue paint and some white paint, and that night he got busy. He painted at night because it was cooler. When the paint was gone, the roof was blue. The walls were white. And the big orange splot was still there. Then he got some more paint. He got red paint, yellow paint, green paint, and purple paint.

In the morning the other people on the street came out of their houses. Their houses were all the same. But Mr. Plumbean’s house was like a rainbow. It was like a jungle. It was like an explosion. There was the big orange splot. And there were little orange splots. There were stripes. There were pictures of elephants and lions and pretty girls and steamshovels.

The people said, “Plumbean has popped his cork, flipped his wig, blown his stack, and dropped his stopper.” They went away muttering.

That day Mr. Plumbean bought carpenter’s tools. That night he built a tower on top of his roof, and he painted a clock on the tower.

The next day the people said, “Plumbean has gushed his mush, lost his marbles, and slipped his hawser.” They decided they would pretend not to notice.

That very night Mr. Plumbean got a truck full of green things. He planted palm trees, baobabs, thorn bushes, onions, and frangipani. In the morning he bought a hammock and an alligator.

When the other people came out of their houses, they saw Mr. Plumbean swinging in a hammock between two palm trees. They saw an alligator lying in the grass. Mr. Plumbean was drinking lemonade.

“Plumbean has gone too far!”

“This used to be a neat street!”

“Plumbean, what have you done to your house?” the people shouted.

“My house is me and I am it. My house is where I like to be and it looks like all my dreams,” Mr. Plumbean said.

The people went away. They asked the man who lived next door to Mr. Plumbean to go and have a talk with him. “Tell him that we all liked it here before he changed his house. Tell him that his house has to be the same as ours so we can have a neat street.”

The man went to see Mr. Plumbean that evening. They sat under the palm trees drinking lemonade and talking all night long.



Early the next morning the man went out to get lumber and rope and nails and paint. When the people came out of their houses they saw a red and yellow ship next door to the house of Mr. Plumbean.

“What have you done to your house?” they shouted at the man.

“My house is me and I am it. My house is where I like to be and it looks like all my dreams,” said the man, who had always loved ships.

“He’s just like Plumbean!” the people said. “He’s got bees in his bonnet, bats in his belfry, and knots in his noodle!”

Then, one by one, they went to see Mr. Plumbean, late at night. They would sit under the palm trees and drink lemonade and talk about their dreams — and whenever anybody visited Mr. Plumbean’s house, the very next day that person would set about changing his own house to fit his dreams.

Whenever a stranger came to the street of Mr. Plumbean and his neighbors, the stranger would say, “This is not a neat street.”

Then all the people would say, “Our street is us and we are it. Our street is where we like to be, and it looks like all our dreams.”

 

2. Choose the correct answer.

1. At the beginning of the story, why does everyone say, “This is a neat street”?

 

a. All the houses are alike.

b. All the houses are built well.

c. All the houses are cleaned every day.

d. All the houses are owned by the same person.

 

2. The neighbours most likely think that Mr. Plumbean will

a. cover the splot.

b. cover the walls.

c. make the house bright.

d. make the roof stronger.

 

3. According to the story, why does Mr. Plumbean work at night?

a. He can find supplies easier at night.

b. The street is too busy during the day.

c. The weather is too hot during the day.

d. He gets his best ideas working at night.

 

4. In the story, the hammock, the palm trees, and the alligator are all things that

a. make Mr. Plumbean happy.

b. cause Mr. Plumbean to complain.

c. Mr. Plumbean draws on his house.

d. Mr. Plumbean sees on other houses.

 

5. What does the story mostly show about Mr. Plumbean’s house?

a. It is old.

b. It is large.

c. It is colourful.

d. It is crowded.

 

6. What are Mr. Plumbean and his neighbour most likely doing?

a. Looking at pictures.

b. Building new homes.

c. Sharing their dreams.

d. Meeting new neighbours.

7. Based on the story, what does Mr. Plumbean mean when he says, “My house is me and I am it”?

a. His house is all that he thinks about.

b. He can only fit one person in his house.

c. He has lived in his house for a long time.

d. His house shows the kind of person that he is.

 

8. Based on the story, what do the neighbours learn?

a. Travel often to new places.

b. Try your best to help others.

c. Respect the differences of others.

d. Listen carefully to what people say.

 

 

HELP! I’VE SEEN A GHOST!

 

1. Read the text. Five sentences have been removed from the article.

 

Do you believe in ghosts? Some people do.

1. ________________________________________________________________. They report feeling cold, not being able to move, and, above all, a terrible feeling of fear. But it’s very hard to prove you really have seen a ghost. Without a photo, how can your friends and family believe you?

If you ever want to meet a ghost, the Tower of London is a good place to start. It’s nearly 1,000 years old, and many terrifying things have happened there.

2. __________________________________________________________________. Perhaps it’s not a surprise, then, that people say they’ve seen her ghost walking through the Tower gardens.

Another famous ghost of the Tower is Sir Walter Raleigh. He was an explorer who lived in the 16thcentury, and Queen Elizabeth I (first) put him in prison in the Tower. Many people say his ghost haunts the Tower on moonlit nights.

3. __________________________________________________________________. In 1976, one of the guard’s wives was alone in her apartment in the Tower when she felt an ice-cold hand on her back. She knew it wasn’t her husband, but she didn’t scream – she just said, quietly, ‘Oh, go away, Raleigh.

Of course, ghost hunters can now use technology to help them prove a ghost has visited.

4. __________________________________________________________________. One group of ghost hunters did manage to get photos of some strange lights. About 90% of what was in the photos was easy to explain, but 10% wasn’t …

In 2001, the same group decided to hunt for ghosts in the Tower of London, which had never been done before. They used equipment that could tell if the air got colder or hotter, and they also set up special cameras which could see in the dark.

They linked their cameras to a website, and over two days, you could watch some of their film on your computer, sitting in your warm home.

5. __________________________________________________________________. But at least if you got a strange feeling, you could turn the computer off!

 

2. Choose the most suitable sentence from the list A – F for each part (1 – 5) of the text. There is one extra sentence which you do not need to use.

 

A. If you work or live in the Tower, you have to be good with ghosts!

 

B. Nearly 500 years ago, Queen Anne Boleyn, the wife of King Henry VIII (eighth), had her head cut off there.

 

C. Although you were safe, it was still frightening, as you were watching a ‘real’ film.

 

D. Anne is also spotted in the Chapel of Saint Peter ad Vincula where she watches over her own grave under the altar.

 

E. They’re absolutely certain that they’ve seen or felt something strange.

 

F. If they don’t want to wait for hours in a dark, empty building, they can just set up a camera to do it for them, and take a picture!

 

 

Level B 1


Date: 2015-04-20; view: 1188


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