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Read the passage carefully. Then choose the correct answer.
 
Animals are an integral part of our lives. The association between humans and animals (including insects) dates back to prehistoric times when people relied on hunting for their food supply. Animals also played an important role in the development of civilization.

As time went by, animals provided companionship as well. They were kept by the wealthy, the genteel and royalty for centuries before the practice became common among ordinary people. The average working person did not own pets until the 19th century when, with better wages and living standards, common people were able to keep animals as pets. Today, pets include all types of creatures such as snakes, turtles, iguanas and spiders.

Pets play an increasingly vital role in today's society. With smaller families and the likelihood of both parents working, pets provide a vital link in the family unit. They provide children with the opportunity to learn how to care for and nurture young growing creatures. Children also learn to express their emotions, show their love and concern, shoulder the responsibility of feeding, housing and training their pets. Many children also learn, eventually, to cope with the loss of a companion and to deal with the issue of death.

Pets, especially dogs, are also trained to aid handicapped people such as the blind or the wheelchair-bound. These dogs are trained to lead their master, pick up things or warn of any dangers ahead. Some of these dogs can even answer the telephone or dial for help in an emergency when they suspect their master is ill. The presence of these dogs has given new-found freedom to the handicapped as well as eases their isolation and loneliness.

Pets also provide loving companionship to the elderly who live alone or are lonely. Many elderly people's health improve tremendously with the presence of pets. These pets give them a purpose to live, a
reason to wake up in the morning and provide them with fun and laughter long enough for them to forget their aches and pains.

With the advancement of technology, many digital companions have been created for children. These include the 'Digimon' but such a `pet' cannot provide the same intensity of fun, laughter and love. A robotic dog which can walk or bark artificially can never take the place of a real dog. As for me, I cannot imagine my life without my pets, as they are a part of my family. Other than the various roles they
each play, they have provided much fun and meaning to my life.

     
  1. From paragraph 1, how did animals become associated with people ?
     
  2. From paragraph 2,
    (a) what new role did animals take on over the years ?
    (b) why didn't the average working person own pets until the 19th century ?
     
  3. From paragraph 3, what can a pet teach children ?
     
  4. From paragraph 4,
    (a) which phrase indicates that dogs give a new lease of life to the handicapped ?
    (b) name one important task of a dog for the blind.
     
  5. From paragraph 6, 'The robotic dog which can walk or bark artificially can never take the place of a real dog.' Explain why.
     
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    Answers
     
  1. People hunted animals for food, then used them for development in civilisation.
     
  2. (a) Pets played the role of companions.
    (b) It was expensive to keep pets./They could not afford it.
     
  3. It teaches children responsibility, how to care for others and how to cope with death.
     
  4. (a) 'a new-found freedom'
    (b) * It picks up things.   * It warns of any dangers   * It provides companionship.   * It acts as the eyes of its master.   * It can answer the telephone or dial emergency numbers. (Any answer)
     
  5. It cannot provide the same intensity of fun, laughter and love.
     
 
 
 
 

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