Question on Text B
7 . Read the following passage once. Underline the key words while
reading and retell the story to your partner.
Now I know why birds sit on telephone lines. They
I am either nine or ten years old. At the orphanage
they call me Miguel.
When I want to feel improtant, I say, "Call me Don
Miguel. " I used to act important all the time because 1 felt I
Back then, no one liked me very much because I didn't
like other peo
But last year, I began to learn two important things: I
was learning to see, not just look. And I was learning to listen, not just
I used to lie in the dark and make up relatives that I
didn't have. My favorite relative was a nice old man who spoke Spanish,
One day a man came to see me. He said he was my uncle.
"I don't have an uncle," I said.
"Now you do , " he said.
He was an old man who liked children. He had a boy once
who went to Korea. His daughter moved to the City. He said the City can be
a difficult place in which to live. He taught me how to see and listen. I
don't know if he is my uncle or not; neither did he, but he came to see me
often. I guess if you act like an uncle all the time, you are one.
I was not a good student before my uncle came along. He
took me walking in the fields. At one point he spread his arms and said.
"It is all here. "
"What?" I said.
"Everything you need to know," he replied.
At first it appeared to be nothing more than just a few
trees. I thought I was nowhere. Then he had me close n-.y eyes. First I
heard the breeze in the grass, then in the trees. I also heard a faraway
train and a barking dog. For a while I heard nothing. I was almost scared.
He said to listen harder.
I heard my heart beat.
beause I used to be so sad, I had almost forgotten that
I had a heart.
Once I asked him who he was.
"An experiment , " he said.
"What kind of an experiment?" I said.
He grinned and said, "Nobody knows. Like you,
there is no one in the world like me. So who is to say what I will be.
One day in the field he showed me the way the breeze
made the trees move. The rustling of the leaves made a sound that
frightened a nearby bird. It flew away.
We watched the bird drop an acorn.
"The bird , " he said , "cari make a
seed move. From that seed the oak can grow fifty feet tall. It will be a
friend to those who want one. "
I always knew that trees were there, but I never knew
they were real like me.
One Sunday I was angry. When my uncle came , I said :
"I don't have anything. I wish I had something. "
"You have everything worth having," he said.
"And I will give you even more. I will give some secrets of the
Universe. Do you believe me?"
"Yes," I said, wanting to believe him.
He gave me three small seeds.
"Put each seed into a small box filled with dirt.
Then care for them. Talk to them if you wish. They will grow with you.
Now they are in larger boxes. One of t.he plants has
grown up to my knee. I sometimes wonder what else it is up to.
Another time we were walking in the field when we saw
two birds on a telephone line. They seemed so peaceful. Then suddenly they
flew away. My uncle just laughed.
"See," he said."Someone said something
they didn't like.& careful what you tell the birds."
One night I passed by the office of the orphanage. A man I don't iike very
much was on the phone. He was angry and loud.
When he'left, I went into the office and picked up the
phone. I heard the funniest sound.
"Listen," I said. "Listen, liirds. Come
on back, never mind what he says. We like you. "
One day-Unele did not come: I waited and waited but he
did not come. The man I don't like at the orphanage said Uncle was sick.
"May I go and see him?" I asked.
"No," he said. "He may be contagious.
"May I call him?"
"No, " he said. "I'll call him for you.
"Don't do that," I said.
"Why not?" .
"You'll make the birds fly away. "
I sneaked into the office one night and called Uncle.
"Are you all right?" I asked.
"Yes, but I must go away. "
"To make room for something else. "
"Will you come back?"
"I will help you remember me, if you want me to.
"I do. . . . Ido. . . ."
When I went to bed at night, I would try to imagine
that he was there. He was harder and harder to see. One night, he was not
there at all. There was only a grcen ficld.
I went back to our field. It was raining. T'he sky was
dark, the way I was inside. I looked for Uricle everywhere. I called his
I was angry for a while. I said some things out loud
that I shouldn't have said. Two birds flew out of the trec.I made them get
On the way back, I saw something that was only an inch
or two tall. It was where that hird dropped the acorn. I didn't tell
anybody, but I knew.
Someday Uncle will be fifty feet tall.