Scientific Series


The Lion or The Lady

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The Lion or The Lady (From Mr NANA, Provincial High School of Kaya)

There was a King who had a strange way of deciding if an accused person was guilty or not guilty. On a chosen day, the King and all his people gathered on a small hill. In front of the hill, was a big building with two doors, exactly alike and side by side. At the King’s signal, the accused would walk to the doors and open one of them. Behind one door was a hungry lion which would eat the prisoner as a punishment for his crime. Behind the other door was a beautiful woman to whom the prisoner would be married as a reward for his innocence.

Now, it happened that the King’s beautiful daughter, whom he loved above all things, had fallen in love with a poor but handsome Soldier. When the King found out that they loved each other, he put the young man into prison and set a day for his public trial. The King asked for the biggest lion and the most beautiful girl.

One the day of the trial, the young man entered the field.
He was so handsome that the crowd greeted him with a hum of admiration and fear. Advancing towards the doors, the young handsome soldier turned, as was custom, and bowed to the King; but he fixed his eyes on the princess who was sitting on her father’s right. The young man saw in her eyes that the princess knew on which side the lion was and in which the lady was. There was not a moment to lose. His eyes asked her; “which door shall I open?”

The princess knew that the lady her father had chosen was the loveliest in the land. In the past; she had seen this woman throw admiring glances at the soldier. Sometimes, she even suspected that these glances were returned. How could she bear to lose her lover to another woman? How could she bear to see her lover torn apart by a lion? The princess paused. Then, acting on the decision she had made after days and nights of weighing the terrible choice, she nodded to the right… The young man saw and without hesitating, walked to the right door and opened it…

Considering the heart and mind of a woman in love, whose conflict is so great, which do you think came out: The lion or the lady?

Story by Frank Stockton.


I- Vocabulary (2 pts)

Explain the meaning of the words underlined in the text:
- a guilty person
- a reward
- to bow to someone
- to throw admiring glances at someone.

II – Comprehension questions (5 pts)

1) What was the punishment of a guilty person?
2) How was an innocent person rewarded by the king?
3) Why did the King send the soldier into jail?
4) Did the princess know the chosen woman for the soldier? How do you know?

III – ESSAY (3 pts)

Suppose you were the princess; would you show the right door? Why or why not? (5-7 lines)

IV – Translate the 3rd paragraph into French. (4 pts)

V - Grammar

A – Choose the correct answers (a, b, c or d). (2 pts)

1 – I’m sure he……… agree with you.
a) will not
b) must be
c) is not
d) has not

2 – I have not seen………..yet.
a) somebody
b) anybody
c) nobody
d) no one.

3 – I want to be………..air hostess.
a) a
b) Ø
c) an
d) no

4 – He works very………..
a) fastly
b) hard
c) hardly
d) few.

B – Make sentences to show you know the difference between the following words. (4 pts)

Sensible - Sensitive
lend - borrow


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