Task 3 (8 points)

Read an extract from a short story and do the task. Choose from the sentences (A-J) the one which
fits each gap. Write the appropriate letter (A-J) in the gap. An example (0) has been given. There is
one extra sentence which you do not need to use. Use each sentence only once.


My earliest recollection of my father is a view from the floor of gigantic rubber boots and then of being suddenly elevated and having my face pressed against the stubble of his cheek. (0) I .

When I was very small, he took me for my first ride in the boat.  . I remember the sound of his rubber boots galumphing along the gravel beach, and the odour of the salt, then again the tune of the song he used to sing.

The floor of the boat was permeated with the same odour and in its constancy I was not aware of change.  . He tied the boat by its painter*, fastened the stern to its permanent anchor and lifted me high over his head to the solidity of the wharf. Then he climbed up the little iron ladder that led to the wharf’s cap, placed me once more upon his shoulders so I would have another look at the sea and galumphed off again.

When we returned to the house, everyone made a great fuss over my precocious excursion and asked, “How did you like the boat?” “Were you afraid in the boat?” “Did you cry in the boat?” They repeated ‘the boat’ at the end of all their questions.  .

My earliest recollection of my mother is being alone with her in the mornings while my father was away in the boat. When my father returned about noon, she would ask, “Well, how did things go in the boat today?” She ran her house as her brothers ran their boats.  . She grew miraculous gardens and magnificent lowers and raised broods or hens and ducks.

The most important room in our house was one of those oblong old-fashioned kitchens heated by a wood- and coal-burning stove.  . There were five wooden homemade chairs which had been chipped and hacked by a variety of knives. The south wall was dominated by a window which faced the sea and on the north there was a five-foot board which bore a variety of clothes hooks.

When he was not in the boat, my father spent most of his time lying on the bed, his discarded coat on the ever-ready chair and the sleeves of the woollen jumper drawn half way up to his elbows.  . At midnight and at one, two, three and four, one could sometimes hear the radio, his occasional cough, or the rustling thud of a completed book being tossed to the corner heap.  . They further overburdened the heroic little table and lay on top of the radio. They filled a baffling and unknowable cave beneath the bed, and in the corner by the bureau they spilled from the walls and grew up from the floor.

Thinking of the sea, my father would hum a song.  . Or perhaps, as I had always felt without really knowing it. I was ashamed yet proud, saved yet forever lost, and there was nothing I could do to control my legs, which trembled, nor my eyes which wept, for what they could not tell.
Adapted from ‘The Boat’ by Alistair MacLeod
*painter – a rope used for tying up a boat
 A  I knew it must be very important to everyone.
 B Magazines and books covered the bureau and competed with the clothes for domination of the chair.
 C In the harbour we made our little circle and returned.
 D I say this now as if I knew it all then.
 E The familiar yet unfamiliar voice made me feel as I had never felt before in my life.
 F Everything was clean and spotless and in order.
 G He seemed never to sleep, only to doze, and the light shone constantly from his window to the sea.
 H I rode the half-mile from our house to the wharf on his strong shoulders.
 I I remember how it tasted of salt and how he smelled of salt from his red-soled rubber boots
to the shaggy whiteness of his hair.
 J A heavy wooden table with leaves that expanded or reduced its dimensions stood in the middle of
the floor.
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