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Cambridge Checkpoint English 7 unit1 texts

UNIT 1 House and home
Text 1A
An acrostic poem
H aven from the noisy world
O pen door to my sanctuary
M akes me feel safe and snug
E ven when I am sad
© Cambridge University Press 2013
Cambridge Checkpoint English 7: My World
UNIT 1 House and home
Text 1B
Stolen food
This passage is an extract from Helen Keller’s autobiography, The Story of
My Life. An autobiography is someone’s life story written by that person.
Helen Keller was born in 1880 in the USA. She lost her sight and hearing
in an illness when she was two years old. Note that the spelling in this
extract is American.
I do not remember when I first realized that I was different from
other people, but I knew it before my teacher came to me. I had
noticed that my mother and my friends did not use signs as I did
when they wanted anything done, but talked with their mouths.
Sometimes I stood between two persons who were conversing and
touched their lips. I could not understand, and was vexed. I moved
my lips and gesticulated frantically without result. This made me
so angry at times that I kicked and screamed until I was exhausted.
I think I knew when I was naughty, for I knew that it hurt Ella,
my nurse, to kick her, and when my fit of temper was over I had a
feeling akin to regret. But I cannot remember any instance in which
this feeling prevented me from repeating the naughtiness when I
failed to get what I wanted.
In those days, Martha Washington, the child of our cook,
and Belle, an old hound, and a great hunter in her day, were my
constant companions. Martha Washington understood my signs,
and I seldom had any difficulty in making her do just as I wished.
It pleased me to domineer over her, and she generally submitted
to my tyranny rather than risk a hand-to-hand encounter. I was
strong, active, indifferent to consequences. I knew my own mind
well enough and always had my own way, even if I had to fight
tooth and nail for it. We spent a great deal of time in the kitchen,
kneading dough balls, helping make ice-cream, grinding coffee,
quarreling over the cake-bowl, and feeding the hens and turkeys
that swarmed about the kitchen steps. Many of them were so tame
that they would eat from my hand and let me feel them. One big
gobbler snatched a tomato from me one day and ran away with it.
Inspired, perhaps, by Master Gobbler’s success, we carried off to the
woodpile a cake which the cook had just frosted, and ate every bit
of it. I was quite ill afterward, and I wondered if retribution also
overtook the turkey.
© Cambridge University Press 2013
Cambridge Checkpoint English 7: My World
UNIT 1 House and home
Text 1C
Arriving at a new home
This passage, from the beginning of another autobiography, is about the
feelings of a young boy whose family moves from the town to the country.
I was set down from the carrier’s cart at the age of three; and there
with a sense of bewilderment and terror my life in the village began.
The June grass, amongst which I stood, was taller than I was, and
I wept. I had never been so close to grass before. It towered above
me and all around me, each blade tattooed with tiger-skins of sunlight.
It was knife-edged, dark, and a wicked green, thick as a forest and alive
with grasshoppers that chirped and chattered and leapt through the
air like monkeys. I was lost and didn’t know where to move. A tropic
heat oozed up from the ground, rank with sharp odours of roots and
nettles. Snow-clouds of elder blossom banked in the sky, showering
upon me the fumes and flakes of their sweet and giddy suffocation. High
overhead ran frenzied larks, screaming, as though the sky were tearing
apart. For the first time in my life I was out of the sight of humans.
For the first time in my life I was alone in a world whose behaviour
I could neither predict nor fathom: a world of birds that squealed, of
plants that stank, of insects that sprang about without warning. I was
lost and I did not expect to be found again. I put back my head and
howled, and the sun hit me smartly on the face, like a bully.
From Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee
© Cambridge University Press 2013
Cambridge Checkpoint English 7: My World
UNIT 1 House and home
Text 1D
From this daylight nightmare I was awakened, as from many
another, by the appearance of my sisters. They came scrambling
and calling up the steep rough bank, and parting the long grass
found me. Faces of rose, familiar, living; huge shining faces hung
up like shields between me and the sky; faces with grins and white
teeth (some broken) to be conjured up like genii with a howl,
brushing off terror with their broad scoldings and affection. They
leaned over me – one, two, three – their mouths smeared with red
currants and their hands dripping with juice…
And Marjorie, the eldest, lifted me into her long brown hair, and
ran me jogging down the path and through the steep rose-filled
garden, and set me down on the cottage doorstep, which was our
home, though I couldn’t believe it.
© Cambridge University Press 2013
Cambridge Checkpoint English 7: My World