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Sashe put his arrows into his quiver, took up the bow and spears and set off towards the plains. The sky was getting brighter. He wanted to call his brother-in-law to come along but decided against it because he had not hunted alone for some time.

Sashe travelled for a distance till finally, he saw an antelope. With his arrow aimed at the target, he took in a deep breath and released the arrow. The arrow, with its tip laced with a potent substance, buried itself in the belly of the antelope. It fell heavily to the ground. Sashe just had to wait for a minute before death took over. By now, Sashe was bursting with pride. He was still skilful despite his recent recovery from a bout of illness.

It was almost midday when Sashe returned home. He walked to the fireplace in front of his hut and sat quietly. Toma noticed that his son-in-law had returned from hunting. He went up to him to ask about his hunting trip.

"So did you kill anything this morning, Sashe?" Sashe was startled by his father-in-law's sudden appearance but he was secretly pleased that he asked. It was a great achievement and one that deserved attention. Sashe knew how he must answer, so in traditional fashion, he said, "No, not at all.... Maybe I did something ... a tiny one."

"A small one, eh? We'll get some of the men to take a look at it later this afternoon," Toma said with a smile. In his heart, he knew that Sashe had killed a big one.

Later that afternoon, a group of five men left the village to carry the antelope back to the village. The five men soon heaved the heavy animal home. Toma saw the huge animal but reacted indifferently.

There was great excitement in the village. Everyone was impressed. Karu's brother, Gumi, stepped up to Sashe and said, "Look at this antelope! It's hardly enough to feed all our families."

Sashe was not surprised to receive the insult from him. In fact, he was expecting it. Not that Gumi was a mean person, but he was doing it out of tradition. Every hunter who brought home meat was subjected to the same treatment. His forefathers were all fine hunters who had received similar insults. He was a part of this heritage.

The animal brought home had to be ridiculed. They called it 'insulting the meat'. It helped to curb the growth of the successful hunter's pride. Their way of living did not tolerate feelings of superiority. It was also a tradition to maintain equality. The meat must be distributed to all the families in the village. Selfishness was another intolerable trait.

Sashe's train of thoughts was broken when he was called away to help carve the animal. He took up his machete and joined the rest of the men.

Answer the following questions using complete sentences
  1. Based on paragraph 1, at what time of the day did Sashe go hunting ?
  2. Why did Sashe change his mind about asking his brother-in-law to hunt with him ?
  3. Sashe 'just had to wait for a minute' (paragraph 2) before the antelope would be dead. How did Sashe know for sure that the antelope would die almost instantly ?
  4. Why was Sashe proud about killing the antelope ?
  5. Why was Sashe secretly pleased with Toma's question ?
  6. What does 'reacted indifferently' (paragraph 6) mean ?
  7. What were the villagers 'impressed' (paragraph 7) about ?
  8. Why was Sashe not surprised when Gumi insulted him ?
  9. Quote the sentence from paragraph 8 that suggests Sashe's hunting skills were just as good as his forefathers'.
  10. In what way did the tradition of 'insulting the meat' affect the successful hunter ?
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He went hunting in the early morning or just after dawn.


He wanted to hunt alone as he had not done so for some time.


The arrow that Sashe used had a tip that contained a deadly substance that would kill the antelope instantly.


It showed that his hunting skills had not been affected despite his recent illness.


The killing was a great achievement and Sashe wanted his family to know about it.
  6. It means to not show any emotion as if nothing unusual or interesting had happened. / It means to behave uninterestedly.
  7. They were impressed that Sashe had managed to kill such a huge animal.
  8. He expected it and he knew Gumi had done it out of tradition.
  9. The sentence is 'His forefathers were all fine hunters who had received similar insults.'
  10. The tradition made sure the successful hunter did not feel superior to the other hunters and become too proud of himself. / The successful hunter was not supposed to be too proud of what he had done and feel superior to the other hunters. / The hunter was supposed to be modest about his success and not feel superior to others.

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Comprehension 1


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