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Drawing a Snake That Has Feet 管理者 2011-06-15
 
Drawing a Snake That Has Feet
 
李旻珊老師 編寫
 
Once upon a time, there was a shop that sold herbal medicine.  The business was running so well that the shop owner employed six clerks to work for him.
 
One day, the shop owner received a bottle of wine as a gift.  He gave the wine to the clerks as a reward for their hard work. 
 
Unfortunately, all of the six clerks felt the wine was too little to share. They agreed that it would be much more fun to have the wine enjoyed by only one person.  But who was going to get that bottle of wine?
 
“Why don’t we just play a game?” one of clerks named Harry said.
 
“Every one of us has to draw a snake on the ground.  The one who finishes first wins the wine.  How does that sound to you?” Harry continued.
 
“Good idea!” the other clerks agreed.
 
Every one took a stick and began to draw a snake on the ground.  Tony was the first to complete the drawing.  When he reached out his hand to get the wine, he saw the other clerks were still far behind.
 
“There is still a lot of time,” he thought to himself, “let me put on some feet on my snake before I drink the wine.”
 
Tony began to draw feet on his snake.  A few seconds later, Harry was finished also.  He grabbed the bottle of wine from Tony’s hand.
 
“The wine is mine. Don’t you see I have finished first?” Tony yelled.
 
“Have you ever seen a snake with feet?” said Harry. “There is a saying from Confucius that says, “Overdoing is just like insufficiency.”  
 
“So this bottle of wine belongs to me,” Harry continued, and then he drank all the wine in one shot.
 
  
 


 
COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS
  1. What did the shop owner receive one day?
  2. What game did the clerks play for deciding on the winner?
  3. Why did Tony fail to win the game?
  4. Who won the game and drank the wine?
  5. What does the Chinese saying “Overdoing is just like insufficiency” mean?


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
Answers to the above questions
 
  1. A bottle of wine.
  2. Drawing a snake.
  3. He finished first drawing the snake, but he started to draw its feet. Then Larry finished drawing his snake before Tony.
  4. Larry.
  5. It means that we should not overdo things.

 
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Modern Cat 管理者 2011-06-14
 
Modern Cat
 
李旻珊老師 編寫
 
Seven mice had a meeting in a cave. The meeting was to discuss the delicious food outside the cave. The food was not far away from the mice, but they knew that beside the food was a cat staring at their cave.
 
The mice were cautious because they could soon become the cat’s food if any of them left the cave.
 
Suddenly, they heard a dog bark, “Woof! Woof! Woof!”. The mice were very happy because they thought the cat would run away from the dog. They peeked out. They didn’t see the cat.
 
One mouse was sent to make sure it was safe and to take some food. He ran out and ate some food. As he was returning to the cave, the cat caught him in one bounce.
 
The poor mouse asked sadly, “Why didn’t you run away from the dog when you heard it barking?” Surprisingly the cat answered, “Now the times are very different! I also have to learn to bark like a dog to get my food!!”
 
The moral of the story is: with one more skill, life can be easier.
 
 
 
 


 
COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:
  1. At the beginning of the story, how many mice were there?
  2. What were the problems for the mice?
  3. Why were the mice happy when they heard the dog barking?
  4. Did the cat catch the mouse?
  5. What can we learn from the story?


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
Answers to the above questions
  1. There were seven mice.
  2. The problems were that they couldn’t get to the food and the cat was stalking them.
  3. They thought the cat would run away from the dog, so they can get their food.
  4. Yes, it did.
  5. Suggested answer: We can learn more skills to enjoy life.

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Old Bamboo Chair 管理者 2011-06-13
 
Old Bamboo Chair
 
劉宇曙老師 編寫
 
Once upon a time, there was a boy called Harry.  He was wise and full of righteousness.
 
Harry’s granddad was over seventy years old.  He was too old to work and had to rely on Harry’s parents.  Unfortunately, Harry’s parents did not like Harry’s granddad.  They often said mean words to him and bullied him all the time.  One night, they even carried the granddad in an old bamboo chair and dumped him in a distant field.
 
Harry felt sorry about what their parents had done.  He tried several times to talk to his parents, hoping they could change their mind, but it was always in vain.  One day, Harry came up with an idea.  Early the next morning, he ran to the field where his granddad had been dumped.  He carried the old bamboo chair back home and put it in their living room. 
 
No sooner had Harry’s dad seen the old bamboo chair when he began to scold Harry,“Why on earth did you carry this garbage back here?”
 
“Oh, this garbage is going to be very useful one day.  I will keep this bamboo chair in our home until you and mom are granddad’s age. Then, I will get rid of you both by using this bamboo chair, just like what you have done to granddad,” Harry answered.
 
His mom and dad were surprised by Harry’s words. They realized: “Everyone gets old.  If we do not want to be mistreated when we are old, we had better treat elders nicely right now.” 
 
Harry’s parents regretted their misbehavior to Harry’s granddad.  They ran into the field, they apologized sincerely to the granddad, and took him back home again.  After that day, they treated the granddad very nicely.
 
After being saved by his grandson, the granddad held Harry in his arms and tears flowed from his eyes.
 
 
 
 


 
COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS: 
  1. Did Harry’s parents treat Harry’s granddad well at the beginning?
  2. How did Harry’s parents take the granddad away?
  3. What did Harry explain as the reason for bringing back the old bamboo chair?
  4. Did Harry’s parents finally feel regretful about what they had done to the granddad? 
  5. Did Harry’s parents change their attitude toward the granddad?


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
Answers to the above questions
  1. No, they did not.
  2. They took him away by an old bamboo chair.
  3. He told his parents that he would use the chair to get rid of them when they were old.
  4. Yes, they did.
  5. Yes, they did.

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Simon and a Two-Headed Snake 管理者 2011-06-12
 
Simon and a Two-Headed Snake
 
曾鈺惠老師 編寫
 
There was a little boy named Simon.  He lived with his mom in a small house.  Every day, after school, Simon would help watch over his neighbor’s cows. 
 
One day, after Simon had just returned home from school, he went to the neighbor’s house and said to the neighbor, “Hello, Mrs. Lee. I am ready to take your cows to the countryside now.”  Mrs. Lee said, “Sure, but be careful.”  Simon answered, “I will. See you later.” 
 
When Simon and the cows reached their favorite place, Simon sat down under a tree.  Suddenly, Simon saw a two-headed snake.  According to a legend, whoever saw a two-headed snake would soon die.
 
He was very scared, but he still grabbed a big rock and hit that snake.  Then he dug a hole to bury it.  After taking the neighbor’s cows home, Simon cried all the way back to his own home.
 
His mom saw him cry and asked, “Why are you crying, Simon?”  Simon said, “I saw a two-headed snake today and I am afraid I will die very soon.”
 
His mother asked, “Where is that snake now?”  Simon said, “Because I didn’t want other people to see that unlucky snake, I killed and buried it right away.”
 
His mother smiled and said, “You did a good job, my son. Don’t worry. God always protects good people.”
 
Simon did not die until he was very old because God does protect good people.
 
 
 
 


 
COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:
  1. What did Simon do after school?
    (a. played with his friends  b. watched over his neighbor’s cows  c. did homework)
  2. What kind of animals did Simon see in the countryside?
    (a. a two-headed snake  b. a four-legged chicken  c. a three-tailed cow)
  3. What did Simon do after seeing that unlucky animal?
    (a. played with it  b. took it home  c. killed and buried it)
  4. What did Simon’s mom say after hearing his story?
    (a. You are a bad boy.  b. You did a good job.  c. Show me that snake.)
  5. In the end, what happened to Simon?
    (a. He died.  b. He lived.  c. He went to his neighbor’s house.)
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
Answers to the above questions
  1. ( b )
  2. ( a )
  3. ( c )
  4. ( b )
  5. ( b ) 

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Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child 管理者 2011-06-11

Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child
 
盧炳仁老師 編寫
 
One day, a schoolboy stole his classmate’s game card and took it to his mother. She praised him by giving him some candies instead of punishing him. Two weeks later, the boy opened the teacher’s locker and took the money from her purse. He proudly gave the money to his mother, and she was so happy that she bought him a toy car.
 
As time went by, the boy pick-pocketed someone’s wallet on the bus, rode someone’s bicycle on campus, and even robbed jewels and other valuables from strangers. Each time he brought his “rewards” home, his mother would praise him, which encouraged him to steal more.
 
However, one day he was caught in the act by a police officer in a convenience store and was put in prison. His sad mother went to see him. During the visit, he said that he wanted to whisper something in his mother’s ear. The moment she went up to him, he bit her ear.
 
Heartbroken and hurt, she scolded him for his cruel behavior, but her son said calmly, “If you had punished me when I committed my first crime, I would not have ended up in jail.”
 
 
 
 


 
COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:   
  1. What’s the first thing the schoolboy stole?  (A) a bicycle  (B) a purse  (C) a game card  (D) money
  2. In the story, the boy didn’t steal  (A) money  (B) candies  (C) jewels  (D) wallets
  3. The thief was caught in a  (A) police station  (B) jail  (C) school  (D) convenience store
  4. What did the boy steal the second time?  (A) a locker  (B) a purse  (C) money  (D) a toy car
DISCUSSION :  Who is responsible for the boy’s wrongdoing?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
Answers to the above questions   
  1. (C)
  2. (B)
  3. (D)
  4. (C)

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The Fox and the Tiger 管理者 2011-06-10
 
The Fox and the Tiger
 
李虹菱老師 編寫
 
Once upon a time, a dreadful tiger caught a cunning fox.  The tiger wanted to eat the fox for dinner.  The frightened fox said, “This tiger is very hungry. I don’t have a chance to survive.”
 
Eventually, the fox calmed down and came up with an idea. 
 
“You can’t eat me.  I am sent by God to rule the animal world,” the fox said with great dignity.
 
“You are the king, little fox?  You are cunning, aren’t you?”  The tiger laughed.
 
“If you don’t believe me, follow me and you will see.  Every creature will be scared of me and run away,” the fox replied, with his chin up and chest out.
 
The tiger was suspicious but he wanted to see if it was true.  He released the fox and followed him into the forest.  Just like what the fox had said, all of the other animals ran away as soon as they saw him.  The tiger, however, did not know that the animals were scared of him and not the fox.  He, therefore, believed that the fox was indeed the king of the forest and he set him free.
 
 
 
 


 
COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:
Are these statements true (T) or false (F)?  
 

  1. The fox was the king of the animal world.
  2. At the end the tiger ate the fox.
  3. All the animals were scared of the tiger and not the fox.
  4. The tiger believed that the fox was the king of the forest.
  5. If you were the fox, what would you say to the tiger in order to stay alive?


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
Answers to the above questions 
  1. (F)
  2. (F)
  3. (T)
  4. (T)
 

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The Magic Bell 管理者 2011-06-09
 
The Magic Bell
 
劉宇曙老師  編寫
 
A long time ago, Mr. Lloyd was the chief of a remote village.  He was smart and knowledgeable.  Whenever there was a difficult legal case, people always came to see him for advice.
 
Once, a villager reported to the police that his antique vase had been stolen. It was an expensive vase from the Ming dynasty.  The police soon brought in a few suspects.  They were all jobless people hanging around the neighborhood but none of them admitted to committing the crime. 
 
This case was soon given to Mr. Lloyd.  Mr. Lloyd thought about this case over and over again, and finally came up with a good plan.  He got all the suspects together and talked to them, 
“One of you is the thief, but no one dares to confess.   There is a magic bell in the nearby temple.  It is able to tell who is guilty and who is innocent.  I am going to ask the magic bell to deal with this case.”
 
Afterwards, they went into to the temple and stood in front of the magic bell.  Mr. Lloyd bowed and prayed to the bell sincerely.  Then he turned and told the suspects, “Now take turns to touch the bell.  If you are innocent, the bell won’t make any sound but if you are the thief, it will begin ringing.” 
 
Mr. Lloyd covered the bell with a tent.  Then he asked the suspects to go into the tent and to touch the bell one by one.  Every one of them went in, and came out.  But not a sound was heard.
 
“The magic bell doesn’t work,” people murmured but Mr. Lloyd did not seem to be worried. 
“Now put your hands out,” Mr. Lloyd ordered the suspects.
 
He checked their hands carefully.  When Mr. Lloyd went up to Ted, one of the suspects, Mr. Lloyd shouted, “You stole the vase!  Take him away.”
 
No one knew what was going on.  Mr. Lloyd smiled and explained,“Actually, this is only an ordinary bell.  I have sent people to rub dark ink on the bell before we arrived.  Those who are innocent were not afraid of the bell ringing.  They all touched the bell and it left ink on their hands.  On the other hand, the guilty one worried that the magic bell would ring.  He dared not touch the bell, of course.”
 
All the villagers admired Mr. Lloyd’s wisdom.  Ted, the thief, could say nothing but confessed to stealing the antique vase.
 
 
 
 


 
COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:
  1. What was stolen in the village?
  2. According to Mr. Lloyd, why was the bell magic?
  3. What had Mr. Lloyd done before the suspects came to the temple?
  4. Why did Mr. Lloyd know that Ted was the thief?
  5. Was the bell really magic? 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
Answers to the above questions
 
  1. An expensive antique vase.
  2. The bell could tell who was innocent or not.
  3. He sent people to rub dark ink on the bell.
  4. Because his hands were clean.
  5. No, it was not magic at all.

 
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The Man Who Moved the Mountain 管理者 2011-06-08
 
The Man Who Moved the Mountain
 
蔡雅惠老師 編寫
 
Once upon a time, in a remote village, there lived a ninety-year-old man. He never changed his mind so people called him “Old Donkey.” Right in front of his house, there was a high mountain. Whenever the villagers wanted to go to the town for business, they had to either climb over the mountain, or go around the mountain. It always took a whole day to travel. 
 
Old Donkey decided one day, to remove the mountain rock by rock. When the Wise Old Man of the village heard the news, he went to visit Old Donkey. The Wise Old Man said, “You do not have enough people to do this.” But Old Donkey replied with confidence, “When I die, my sons will carry on; when they die, there will be my grandsons, and then their sons and grandsons; and so on, forever.  Although the mountain is high, it cannot grow any higher. And with every bit we dig, the mountain will be that much lower.” 
 
God was touched by Old Donkey’s determination and sent down a giant to remove the mountain.  And to this day, with the mountain gone, the happy villagers cross the plain and are able to reach town within a few hours. And as the villagers go, they say, “ Where there is a will, there is a way.”
 
 
 
 


 
COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS: 
  1. How old was Old Donkey?
  2. Why did Old Donkey want to remove the mountain?
  3. Did the Wise Old Man think that Old Donkey could remove the mountain?
  4. Who was sent down to help Old Donkey at the end of the story?
  5. Which word describes Old Donkey best? (a)  lazy (b)  bad  (c)  persistent (d)  sad


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
Answers to the above questions
  1. He was over ninety years old.
  2. He wanted to remove the mountain so that the villagers could go to town for business faster.
  3. No, he didn’t.
  4. The giant.
  5. (c)

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The Wolf of Zhongshan 管理者 2011-06-07
 
The Wolf of Zhongshan
 
董崇選教授 編寫
 
It was a long time ago.  Some say it was in the Tang Dynasty.  Others say it might have been earlier.  Anyway, there was a teacher in ancient China.  The teacher was named Dongguo, and people called him Master Dongguo.  The Master was a pedant.  That is, he was very learned, but he was also very narrow-minded.  He often insisted upon certain things, but he often could not judge right from wrong.  Therefore, things often went wrong with him.
 
One day, Master Dongguo was on a journey on a mountain.  The mountain was called Zhongshan in Chinese.  Now, on the way through Zhongshan, Dongguo came across a wolf.  The wolf was wounded, and it was being pursued by a hunting party.  At that critical moment, the wolf stopped the Master and asked him for help.  “Good Sir,” the wolf said, “I am a poor wounded animal.  I did nothing bad to those men.  But they are chasing me and trying to capture and kill me.  I know you are not like them.  You are kind.  Wouldn’t you please help me?”  The wolf looked very worried and very sad and he pleaded so urgently that Master Dongguo was moved.  It chanced that the Master carried a big traveling bag.  He thought that the wolf could hide in it.  So he took his books and other things out of the bag and put the wolf in it at once.  When the hunting party came, they asked, “did you see a wolf running up here?”  “No,” the Master lied on purpose.  So the hunters galloped on and the wolf was saved.
 
When the wolf was let out of the bag, however, he showed his true nature.  “Good Sir,” the wolf said to Dongguo, “since you were kind enough to have helped me once, you might as well help me a second time.”  At this new request, Master Dongguo said, “I’d like to help any poor creature, but I wonder what more I can do for you except letting you go wherever you like.”  “Yes,” the wolf went on, “you can do me a bigger favor, Good Sir.  You know I’ve been running so hard.  I am very hungry now.  Wouldn’t you be so kind as to become my food?  I’ll be very grateful to you if you do.”  After saying this, the wolf immediately leaped upon the Master, caught hold of his arm, and added, “Just now you nearly suffocated me in this bag.  Can’t I punish you for that?”
 
Right at this critical moment, an old man happened to come by.  And this time it was Dongguo that had to ask for help.  As soon as he saw the old man coming, he said to the wolf, “Wait!  Let the man judge if you have the right to eat me.  I won’t complain if he says you do.”  The wolf looked at the old man and thought that he was only a weak dotard.  So he agreed to let the old man judge the case.  And so the old man was asked to come forward and learn the case.  After hearing what had happened between Dongguo and the wolf, however, the old man said, “I don’t quite understand the real situation.  I can’t make any judgment right now unless you can show me step by step how it happened.  You, the wolf, for instance, show it first.  You say you were put in the bag.  But did you really feel choked inside?  Can you show me how you were suffering in it?”
 
When the wolf heard the suggestion, he gave no thought to any trick or guile.  He quickly leaped into the bag and said, “Isn’t it nothing but discomfort in here?”  And before he was let out again, the old man seized the opportunity and urged Dongguo, “Quick! Tie up the bag!  What are you waiting for?  Do choke it to death if you hate ingratitude.”
 
So, with the aid of this wise old man, the pedant was able to save himself from the ingrate.  And the wolf of Zhongshan was killed for his ungrateful conduct.
 



 
COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:
Fill each blank with one word.
 
1. Master Dongguo was a p_______.  He was very l_____, but he was also very n_________.  He often insisted upon certain things, but he often could not j_____ right from wrong.

2. Master Dongguo came across a w_____ on a mountain called Zhongshan.  The wolf was being p________ by a hunting party.  The Master helped the wolf by letting it h_____ in a big bag he carried.

3. The wolf was an in_______.  It was not g________ to Master Dungfuo.  Instead of thanking him for saving its life, the wolf wanted to e_____ the Master.

4. When the wolf leaped upon the Master and caught hold of his arm, it complained that Dungguo had nearly s_________ it in the bag, and said that it wanted to p______ him for that.

5. At the critical moment, a w_____ old man came by.  He was asked to j______ if the wolf had the r_______ to eat Dungguo.

6. The old man was not a weak d_______.  After learning the case, he pretended that he did not quite u_________ the situation.  He then asked the wolf to l_____ into the bag again and show how he had felt ch______ inside the bag.

7. The wolf gave no thought to any trick or g______.  It leaped into the bag at once.  But before it was let out again, the old man urged Dongguo to t____ up the bag and ch_____ the wolf to death.

8. The story is about the in_______ of the wolf and the w_____ of the old man.



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
Answers to the above questions

1.pedant, learned, narrow-minded, judge
2.wolf, pursued, hide
3.ingrate, grateful, eat
4.suffocated, punish
5.wise, judge, right
6.dotard, understand, leap, choked
7.guile, tie, choke
8.ingratitude, wisdom

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Waiting for Rabbits under a Tree 管理者 2011-06-06
 
Waiting for Rabbits under a Tree
 
劉宇曙老師 編寫
Fred was a poor farmer in a small village.  He worked very hard, but was barely able to make ends meet.

One day while Fred was working on the farm, he saw a rabbit running across the field, and then the rabbit bumped his head on a tree.  Fred put down his shovel and went closer to see what was going on.  He found that the rabbit was dead.

Fred took the rabbit home and cooked it for dinner.  All the family was happy, as they have not tasted meat for a long time.

The next day, Fred went out to work as usual.  The sun was so hot that sweat was dripping off his forehead.  Fred wiped the sweat from his forehead and began to think of the delicious rabbit he had eaten the previous night.

“How wonderful it would be if there were a rabbit knocking himself out on that tree every day.  Then the family would not worry about food, and I would not have to work so hard,” Fred thought.

From that day on, Fred no longer worked as hard as he had before.  He just stayed under the tree and waited for another rabbit to come.  However, ten days passed, then half a month, and then a whole month passed by, but no rabbit ever showed up again.  In the fall, while other farmers were happy to reap their crops, there were only weeds on Fred’s farm.
 
 
 
 


COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:
  1. What did Fred see while he was working on the farm?
  2. What did Fred do with the dead rabbit?
  3. What did Fred wait for under the tree?
  4. Did any rabbits show up again?
  5. How did Fred’s crops grow in the fall? 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
Answers to the above questions
  1. He saw a rabbit bumping his head on a tree.
  2. He cooked the rabbit for dinner.
  3. He was waiting for rabbits to come.
  4. No, they did not.
  5. There were no crops but weeds.

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