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Read the passage carefully. Then choose the correct answer.
 
Salmiah felt a certain trepidation entering the tropical jungle located some 12 kilometers from their small town, but led by Ismail, a seasoned hiker, she felt calm. As the duo reached a cliff in the final leg of their trek, Ismail's legs became entangled in some thorny bushes. He tried to cut away the branches with his Swiss army knife and a moment later, cried out, "Oh, no !"

"What's wrong ?" Salmiah asked. Ismail was clawing at his jeans. Looking down, she saw, from his thighs to his ankles, a blanket of vibrating, probing black wasps. Within seconds, thousands of the small ground wasps had engulfed the tree trunk beside Ismail in a cloud of fury.

"We've to run !" Ismail yelled and leapt blindly into the tall grass below. His left leg landed on something rock-hard and buckled beneath him. A searing pain shot through his entire body.

"Miah, wait !" He dragged himself about a meter away. "Drop here ! The ground's softer."

Salmiah hesitated. How could the 12-year-old toss herself almost three storeys down ? The angry swirl hit her from behind. Screaming, she doubled over in agony, then tumbled down.

The siblings began brushing the wasps off them by rolling in the mud. "I've lost my glasses !" Salmiah mumbled as she fumbled through the mud in search of it. Ismail glanced at her and froze. Wasps covered her face like a writhing mask. Her cheeks and chin started to swell, a sign of allergic reaction that Ismail knew could send her into fatal shock.

"Move down the track, Miah !" he ordered.

Picking herself up, Salmiah stumbled away as far as she could from the wasps. The swarm finally stopped pursuing her. When she realized that Ismail was not behind her, she sensed that he must be too injured to walk. Head down, arms flailing, she re-entered the black storm.

"Try to walk, Is. I'll help you," she stammered between gasping breaths. Arms under Ismail's, she tried to lift him but was too weak. "What are we going to do ?" she cried, her speech beginning to slur.

Ismail knew they were in trouble. He was in terrible pain and Salmiah was going into shock. No one knew where they were and night was coming on fast.

"Listen to me, Miah," he uttered bravely. "You've to go get help."

I can't !" she wept.

"I'll only slow you down ! Go now, while you still can !"

Seeing her incapacitated brother and hearing the overwhelming buzz, Salmiah knew she had no choice. Ismail watched her stumble out of sight. He began to pray, asking for just one special person to come to their aid.

     
  1. Salmiah felt calm hiking with her brother because ______.
       
    (A) he was brave
    (B) she was a seasoned hiker
    (C) he was experienced in hiking
    (D) she trusted him to protect her
       
  2. Why do you think the wasps had attacked the siblings ?
       
    (A) The wasps wanted to chase them away.
    (B) The wasps wanted to send a warning to other hikers.
    (C) They were annoyed by the siblings for disrupting their sleep.
    (D) They were angry that Ismail had destroyed their nest with his army knife.
       
  3. Ismail ordered his sister to move down the track because ______.
       
    (A) her arms were swollen
    (B) she had developed a rash
    (C) she was immune to wasp stings
    (D) he wanted her to move away from the wasps
       
  4. Which of the following best explains why Ismail had difficulty walking ?
       
    (A) He had tripped over the wasps' nest.
    (B) He had been stung on the leg by the wasps.
    (C) He had injured his leg while escaping from the wasps.
    (D) His leg was having an allergic reaction to the wasps' stings.
       
  5. According to the passage, which of the following is not a reason why the siblings were in trouble ?
       
    (A) Salmiah was afraid of walking in the dark.
    (B) Ismail had injured his leg which meant that he had difficulty walking.
    (C) No one knew where they were so it would be difficult for anyone to rescue them.
    (D) Nightfall was soon approaching which meant that it would be difficult to find their way in the dark.
       
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  Answers : 1C   2D   3D   4C   5A
 
 
 
 

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