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Grade 8 Reading Comprehension Exercises

Grade 8 Reading Comprehension

Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow.

This passage is about a lioness named Elsa, and her human companions.

The light plane that would take Joy Adamson south to re-join her husband at the Game Reserve, taxied onto the tarmac and took off. Joy leaned back as it gained height and remembered their life with Elsa.

It didn’t seem possible that she was dying. They had seen her only the Christmas before when she had brought in her three cubs to visit their camp.

Her mind went back over the years. How Elsa had grown up with them and had become their friend, until the day that Kendall, the District Commissioner had told them it would be impossible for them to keep her any longer, and that she would have to go to the zoo.

Joy had not wanted to do that, and patiently they had tried to return Elsa to the wild. Twice she had returned to them, too weak and hardly able to walk. Joy smiled grimly now as she remembered her answer when George had taunted her with the charge of cruelty.

“She was born free and she has a right to live free.”

They had been successful at last. Elsa had got accustomed to the wild, and given birth to three cubs. Each time they had gone to that part of the reserve, Elsa and the cubs had visited them, but as equals now, each showing the respect that was called for with their different ways of life.

And now she was dying. Joy’s first thought was that she had been shot or poisoned by poacher, for poachers were the only enemies that George and the reserve had. As Senior Games Warden for the province, it was his job to root them out, and they had tried to strike at the Adamsons before through Elsa.

As the dawn came up, Joy waited anxiously for the little plane to locate the camp and land.

George emerged wearily from his tent as he heard the sound of the plane. He walked down to the improvised strip where he knew it would land, and was waiting to come forward as Joy opened her door and jumped down into his arms.

The look on his face told her what she wanted to know. Elsa was already dead.

They went in silence to the camp, and only after George had settled his wife in a chair and made her a cup of coffee, did he speak, to say that she had died the evening before.

“Was it poachers?”

“No, some kind of infection. But it is strange. I haven’t seen her mate. One of the scouts reported that a large male lion was killed near here. It could have been him.”

“And the cubs?”

“They’ve disappeared too.”

“George, they are too young to fend for themselves. We have to find them.”

  • What news had brought Joy Adamson to the Game Reserve?
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • Give two phrases from the text that shows that the lioness Elsa had an emotional bond towards Joy Adamson and her husband.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • Why did Joy Adamson refuse to give Elsa to the zoo?
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • In your own words, describe Joy Adamson’s character.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Answers

  • The news was that Elsa was dying.
  • The two phrases are
    “Twice she had returned to them..”
    “Elsa and the cubs had visited them..”
  • Joy Adamson felt that Elsa was born free and she had a right to live free.
  • (Own words question. Key points are given below.)
    a) Cared enough for Elsa to travel to the Game Reserve
    b) Kind enough to allow Elsa to return to the wild
    c) Loving towards her husband as she “jumped down into his arms.”
    d) Worries about the cubs being too young to “fend for themselves.”

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