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COMPREHENSION WEEK 34 Q1

By and by the Eldest Magician met the Man on the banks of the Perak river, and said, ‘Ho! Son of Adam, are all the Animals obedient to you?’

‘Yes,’ said the Man.

‘Is all the Earth obedient to you?’

‘Yes,’ said the Man.

‘Is all the Sea obedient to you?’

‘No,’ said the Man. ‘Once a day and once a night the Sea runs up the Perak river and drives the sweet-water back into the forest, so that my house is made wet; once a day and once a night it runs down the river and draws all the water after it, so that there is nothing left but mud, and my canoe is upset. Is that the play you told it to play?’

‘No,’ said the Eldest Magician. ‘That is a new and a bad play.’

‘Look!’ said the Man, and as he spoke the great Sea came up the mouth of the Perak river, driving the river backwards till it overflowed all the dark forests for miles and miles, and flooded the Man’s house.

‘This is wrong. Launch your canoe and we will find out who is playing with the Sea,’ said the Eldest Magician. They stepped into the canoe; the little girl-daughter came with them; and the Man took his kris—a curving, wavy dagger with a blade like a flame,—and they pushed out on the Perak river. Then the sea began to run back and back, and the canoe was sucked out of the mouth of the Perak river, past Selangor, past Malacca, past Singapore, out and out to the Island of Bingtang, as though it had been pulled by a string.

Then the Eldest Magician stood up and shouted, ‘Ho! beasts, birds, and fishes, that I took between my hands at the Very Beginning and taught the play that you should play, which one of you is playing with the Sea?’

Then all the beasts, birds, and fishes said together, ‘Eldest Magician, we play the plays that you taught us to play—we and our children’s children. But not one of us plays with the Sea.’

Then the Moon rose big and full over the water, and the Eldest Magician said to the hunchbacked old man who sits in the Moon spinning a fishing-line with which he hopes one day to catch the world, ‘Ho! Fisher of the Moon, are you playing with the Sea?’

‘No,’ said the Fisherman, ‘I am spinning a line with which I shall some day catch the world; but I do not play with the Sea.’ And he went on spinning his line.

Now there is also a Rat up in the Moon who always bites the old Fisherman’s line as fast as it is made, and the Eldest Magician said to him, ‘Ho! Rat of the Moon, are you playing with the Sea?’

And the Rat said, ‘I am too busy biting through the line that this old Fisherman is spinning. I do not play with the Sea.’ And he went on biting the line.

Then the little girl-daughter put up her little soft brown arms with the beautiful white shell bracelets and said, ‘O Eldest Magician! when my father here talked to you at the Very Beginning, and I leaned upon his shoulder while the beasts were being taught their plays, one beast went away naughtily into the Sea before you had taught him his play.’

 

Text adapted from Just So Stories, by Rudyard Kipling, which is in the public domain.

 

Which of the following is FALSE?