Lesson one

1.1       Comprehension. (Short stories)

How to tame a husband

Once there was a woman who was greatly troubled by her husband. He no longer loved her. He neglected her and seemed to care less whether she was happy or sad. So the woman took her troubles to the local medicine man. She told him her story, full of pity for her herself and her dad plight.

 “Can you give me a charm to make him love me again?” She asked anxiously.

The medicine man thought for a moment and replied: ” I will help you,but first you must bring to me three hairs from the mane of a living lion. These I must have before I can make a charm for you”.

The woman thanked the medicine man and went away. When she came near to her home, she sat on a rock and began to think, “How shall I do this thing? There is a lion that often comes near my village, it is true. But he is fierce and roars fearfully. “Then she thought again and at last she knew what she would do.

And so, rising early next morning she took a young lamb and went to the place where the lion was accustomed to stroll about. She waited anxiously. At last she saw the lion approaching. Now was the time. Quickly she arose and leaving the lamb in the path of the lion, she went home. And so it was every day early in the morning the woman would rise and take a young lamb to the lion. Soon the lion came to know the woman, for she was always in the same place at the same time every day with a young lamb and tender which she brought for pleasure. She was indeed a kind and attentive woman.

It was not long before the lion began to wag his tail each time he saw her coming close to him, he would let her stroke his head and soothe his back. And each day the woman would stay quietly stroking the lion, gently and lovingly.

Then one day when she knew that the lion trusts her, she carefully plucked three hairs from his mane and happily set out for the medicine man’s dwelling. “See, she said triumphantly as she entered, here they are!” And she gave him three hairs from the lion’s mane.

“How is it you have been so clever?” Asked the medicine man in amazement.

And so the woman told him the story of how she patiently succeeded in winning the hairs from the lion. A smile spread over the face of the medicine man and leaning forward, he said; “Now tame your husband in the same way.” 


  1. What took the woman to the medicine man?
  2. What did the woman want the medicine man to do?
  3. Why do you think the medicine man requested the woman to bring hairs from the mane of a living lion?
  4. How was the woman able to get the three hairs?
  5. What lessons does a form two student learn from this story? Give two reasons.
  6. What is the meaning of the following words as used in the passage?
  1. Plight
  2. Stroll 


And now Emil and the man in the black hat were left alone. Emil was not very pleased about this. A strange man who gives away sweets and tells foolish stories is not very good company. Emil wanted to feel his money again, but he didn’t dare. Instead, as soon as the train had started again, he went into the wash-room at the end of the carriage. He took the little bag out of his pocket and counted the money. It was still all there, but he did not know how to make it safer. At last he put a pin through the notes and the bag, and fixed it inside his coat.

“Now nothing can happen to it,” Emil thought, and he went back into the railway carriage.

Mr. Green was a sleep in a corner of the carriage. Emil was glad that he didn’t have to talk to him, for he liked looking out of the window. Trees, fields, houses, went quickly past. Mr. Green went on sleeping, making a Little noise as he did so. Emil watched him. Why did he always keep his hat on? He had almost fallen asleep. He must not do this. He wished that someone else was in the carriage, but although the train stopped several times, no one came in. Emil kicked his foot to keep himself awake, as he did at school in the history lesson.

For a time this helped him. Emil wondered what his cousin Polly looked like. He had not seen her since she came to Newton two years before,and he could not remember her face.

He nearly fell off his seat! Had he been a sleep? He kicked his foot again. He tried counting the flies on the window. He counted them up and he counted them down,and then he counted them again. First there were twenty-four,then there were twenty-three. Emil fell back, wondering why this was so.

As he wondered, he fell asleep. When Emil awoke, the train was just beginning to move. He had fallen from the seat in his sleep, and he found himself lying on the floor of the carriage. He had had a bad dream, in which he thought that the policeman from Newton was running after him. He was caught and taken before the stone judge,who had come to life and said: ” You must go to prison for painting my nose.” He felt afraid.

Slowly he began to remember. Of course, he was going to the city. He must have fallen asleep, like the gentleman in the black hat…

Emil sat up quickly, rubbed his eyes, and said: “Why, he has gone!” His knees were shaking. He got up from the floor, brushing his dusty coat with his hand. He put his right hand into his pocket. The money had gone! 


  1. Where was Emil?
  2. What was the name of the man in the black hat?
  3. He wished that someone else was in the carriage. Does this mean that Emil was alone? Explain.
  4. Do you think Emil liked history lessons? Give a reason for your answer.
  5. In which town was Emil’s home?
  6. He kicked his foot again. Why?
  7. How do we know that the money could not have fallen out of Emil’s pocket as he slept?