Reading Comprehension PRACTICE 1



Read the following extract carefully and then answer all the questions set on it.

Pita panicked. There was nothing he could do. He was trapped. Trapped with hundreds of others. The monster had come and was slowly, surely dragging them from the deep. He swam through the excited crowd to try the bottom. Then he tried the top again. The great monster had encircled them completely. There were millions of holes in its great hands, but none large enough. If only they were a little larger.

Pita tried to push himself through one of the holes again. He squeezed and squeezed. Great tails lashed around him. Not only he but against his eyes. If only his head could get through. He pushed again, hard, and the pain quivered through his body. There was nothing he could do. He heard the breakers roaring above now. That meant they were nearing the shore. Pita whipped his tail in fury. The monster was gradually closing its hands. There were cries now above the surface. Below, the monster grated on sand.

The shore! They had reached the shore! Frantically, Pita flung himself against one of the tiny holes. He gave a cry as the scales tore from his back – then a cry of joy. He was free! Free! He lunged forward below the surface. Down he sped, rejoicing in his tinyness. If he was only a little bigger, he would have been dying on the shore now. The fateful shore!

There had been those who had actually come back from that world. This was one of the great mysteries. But some said they had been there, and had talked of that awesome place. There was no more blood now. Down he swam. Deep, deep until the sound of the breakers was only a bitter memory, and the sea was not sandy but blue and clear, and until, far, far away in the distance, green with fern and the tender moss, he saw the rocks of home. 

a) To whom or what does ‘he’ refer? (1 mark)

b) What effect is the author trying to create by using short sentences in the passage? (2 marks)

c) State ONE word which could describe Pita’s feelings when he realised, There were millions of holes … but none large enough. (2 marks)

d) Why does the author repeat ‘squeezed’ in line 6? (3 marks)

e) Who or what does the ‘monster’ refer to? (2 marks)

f) Why does the writer use ‘fateful’ to describe the shore? (2 marks)

g) Why does Pita utter a cry of joy? (1 mark)

h) Why was ‘the sound of the breakers’ a bitter memory? (2 marks) 



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