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Middle & High School - Reading Comprehension
1.30 The Wolf and the Seven Kids

Directions: Read the following story and answer the multiple choice questions. Also, on a sheet of paper, describe in your own words, the elements of the story -- the characters, the time, the setting, the events, the problem, and the solution.
Once upon a time . . . a Mother Goat lived in a pretty little house with her seven kids. Mother often had to leave home to do the shopping, and on that fateful day, she had given her children the usual warnings, before setting off to market.

"You mustn't open the door to anyone. Don't forget, there's a wicked wolf lurking about here. It's black, with horrible paws and a nasty deep voice. If it knocks, keep the door tightly shut!" Mother Goat's words were wise indeed, for as she was telling one of her neighbours about her fears, the wolf disguised as a peasant was hiding close by, listening to every word.

"Good! Very good!" said the wolf to himself."If the goat goes market, I'II drop by her house and gobble the kids!' Then,trying not to look too conspicuous, the wolf hurried along to the goat's house. There, he threw off his disguise. He then growled in a deep voice: "Open the door! Open the door! It's Mother! I've just come back from market! Open the door!" When the kids heard the deep voice, they remembered their mother's warning. From behind the barred door, they said to the wolf: "We know who you are! You're the wolf! Our mother has a sweet gentle voice, not a deep nasty one like yours! Go away! We'll never open the door to you!"

And though the wolf banged furiously on the door, the kids, though trembling with terror, refused to let him into the house, and so the door remained shut. Then the wolf had a brainwave. He dashed off to the baker's and got a big cake dripping with honey. He hoped this would sweeten his voice. And in fact, after eating it, his voice didn't sound quite so deep. Over and over again, he practised imitating Mother Goat's voice. You see, he'd heard it in the woods. When he felt certain he could easily be mistaken for Mother Goat herself, he rushed back to the house and the seven kids.

"Open the door! Open the door! It's Mother! I've just come back from market! Open the door!" he called. This time, the kids had doubts: the voice did rather sound like mother's, and they were about to unlock the door, when the black kid suspiciously cried: "Mother, let us see your foot!" Without thinking, the wolf raised a black hairy paw. And the kids knew that the wolf had come back.

"You're not our mother! She doesn't have horrid black paws!" cried the kids. "Go away, you wicked wolf!"

And once more, in spite of all his hard work, the wolf found the door locked against him. The wolf ran down to the mlll, and found a sack of flour. He thrust his paws into it until they were pure white.

"I'll trick them this time," he said. "Mmm! My mouth's watering already! I'm hungry! My tummy's empty and my trousers are falling off! I'll swallow these tender kids whole!" Again he knocked on the door.

"Open the door! Open the door! It's Mother! I've just come back from market! Open the door!" The voice seemed exactly like mother's, but the wary kids quickly called out: "Mother, let us see your foot!" The wily wolf lifted a snow white paw, and the kids, now reassured, threw open the door. What a shock they received! An enormous set of jaws with sharp fangs growled fiercely. Cruel claws reached out for their prey. The kids scattered in terror. One dived under the table, while other crawled below the bed. Another kid hid in the cupboard and one tried to hide in the oven, though the stove was still hot. One kid crouched inside a barrel and one hid in the grandfather clock. There he huddled, holding his breath, as the wolf hunted down his brothers. One by one, the kids were pulled from their hiding places. All except for the kid in the clock. The wicked wolf's appetite did not pass until he had found them and swallowed each in a single gulp.

The only one to escape was the little black kid, for the wolf never imagined that there was room for a kid inside the very narrow grandfather clock. In the meantime, Mother Goat had really come back from market. When, from a distance, she noticed that the door was ajar, she rushed home, her heart in her mouth. She had a sinking feeling: what she feared had really happened. The wicked wolf had gobbled up all her children. She dropped into a chair, sobbing bitterly, but as she cried, the door of the grandfather clock swung open and out ran the black kid.

"Mummy! Mummy!" wept the kid. "It was terrible! The wolf came, and I think he's eaten all my brothers!"

"My poor child!" sobbed Mother Goat. "You're the only one left! That evil brute has gobbled them all!"

Not long after, Mother Goat and her son left the house to take a stroll in the garden. Suddenly, she heard a low wheezing sound: someone was snoring heavily. It was the greedy wolf. His feast of kids had been too much for him and he was fast asleep, dead to the world. In a flash, Mother Goat had a brainwave. She said to her son: "Run and fetch me a needle and thread and a pair of scissors!" With these, she swiftly slit open the wolf's stomach. As she had hoped, the ravenous brute had swallowed every kid whole. There they were all stlll alive alive inside his tummy. One by one, out they popped from the wolf's tummy.

"Hurry! Hurry! Not a sound! We must get away before he wakens up! Wait! Fetch me a heap of stones!" And so they filled the wolf's stomach with stones and stitched it up again. The wolf woke later with a raging thirst.

"What a heavy tummy I have!" he said. "I've eaten too much! All these kids!" But when he went down the river to drink, his tummy full of stones tipped him over and he fell into the water. The weight took him straight to the bottom, and the goat and her kids shrieked with joy as he sank. The wicked wolf was dead and the kids trotted home happily with Mother.

Q 1: Why didn't the wolf find the black kid?
Because the oven was still hot.
Because he thought the grandfather clock was too thin to hide anyone.
Because he didn't think to look inside the grandfather clock.
Because the barrel was full of water.

Q 2: The kids were careful about opening the door. What was the last thing the wolf did that tricked them?
He practiced sounding like the mother goat.
He put on a peasant's dress.
He bought a honey dipped cake.
He put his paws in a bag of flour. He thrust his paws into it until they were pure white.

Q 3: The wolf found all of the kids except one. Where did the kid hide so the wolf didn't find him?
Under the bed.
In the barrel.
In the grandfather clock.
In the closet.

Q 4: How did the wolf know the mother goat would be at the market?
The wolf was outside the door when the mother goat left for the market.
She told him directly because he was disguised as a peasant.
The kids told their friends.
He overheard her telling her plans to a neighbor.

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