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COURTESY OF ATIKA SCHOOL
Read the passage below and then answer questions 26 to 38.
Stasha considered herself a very lucky little girl. She had the most loving parents . Her parents were immensely rich. She lacked for nothing. Hr favourite time was bedtime when her parents would tell her wonderful inspiring stories. However, all was shattered one afternoon when her mother died suddenly of an unknown illness. Stasha and her father were heart brocken. He suddenly looked old. Decisding to devote himself to stasha, he swore never to remarry.
It wasn’t long, however, before it became clear that he couldn’t manage to bring his daughter up on his own. He therefore remarried and got two other daughters. If Stasha had hoped to gain another loving mother and siblings to share things and play with, she was badly mistaken. Her stepmother turned her into a servant- one could even say a slave. She was expected to do all the household chores and the farm work as well. Heavy beating awaited her if she failed to finish the work. She always looked dirty, overworked, weak and farmished for she never had enough to eat.
One day when Stasha’s father was travelling to another country, he asked his three daughters what they would like him to bring each of them. The step sisters asked for expensive shoes, clothes and jewellery. Stasha, on the other hand, paused for a long time and then requested, “ please bring me the most beautiful plant that you can find.” And for once in a long time, her father did not fail her. The plant was truly beautiful. She planted it on her mother’s grave and watered it faithfully. As if to respond on her tender loving care, it blossomed and produced the most beatiful flowers ever seen. It attracted colourful birds and insects. One particular bird, called Chapchap, became Stasha’s best friend and advisor. Whenever the stepmother and sisters tried to uproot the plant, Chapchap ordered the insects to attack them viciously.
Days turned into years, then one day, the son of the king declared that he wanted nto marry. He ordered that all the beautiful young girls of the land attend a three-day party at the palace. It was from among them that he would choose his bride. Each girl adorned herself in her best clothes and jewellery. Poor Stasha had no such but her friend, Chapchap, came in handy. He not only gave her beatiful clothes and shoes but also helped her finish her chores in good time. At the palace, the prince was simply enchanted with her beauty. On the second day, Chapchap gave her gold bracelets for her small shapely wrists. The prince could hardly take his eyes off her. He danced with her all evening. Stasha’s stepsisters were green with envy and wondered which heaven this rival had dropped from. They were relieved when she left early but the prince was very disappointed.
On the final day of the party, Stacha lost opne bracelet as the prince tried to stop her from escaping early yet again. The following day, the prince swore that his bride would be the girl that the discarded bracelet would fit. He went from home to home looking for the girl. When he eventually came to stasha’s home, her stepsisters found a golden opportunity to try their luck. The elder one tried to cut hr thumb so that the bracelet could fit her but Chapchap alerted the prince. The younger one, whose hand was too small had herself stung by a bee in the wrist, but once again, Chapchap blew the wistle on her.
Chapchap then advised the prince to try the bracelet on the dirty covered-girl in the garden. It fitted her perfectly. The prince immediately ordered that plans for the wedding commence. Even more colourful was the wedding that followed a few days later. Stasha, against the advice of Chapchap, had invited even her stepmother and stepsisters.
Maurice A. Nyamoti is a teacher by profession and has passion for assisting students improve performance
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