HOW THE RHINOCEROS GOT HIS SKIN

Once upon a time, on an uninhabited island on the shores of the Red Sea, there lived a Parsee. He had a hat which shone in the sun like the sun itself. And the Parsee lived by the Red Sea with nothing but his hat and his knife and a cooking-stove.

One day he took flour and water and raisins and plums and sugar and some other things, and made himself a cake which was two feet across and three feet thick. He put it on the cooking-stove and he baked it and he baked it till it was all brown and smelt wonderful. But just as he was going to eat it there came down to the beach one Rhinoceros with a horn on his nose, two piggy eyes, and no manners.

In those days the Rhinoceros's skin fitted him quite tight. There were no folds in it anywhere. He looked exactly like a toy Rhinoceros, but of course much bigger. All the same, he had no manners then, and he has no manners now, and he never will have any manners.

He said "How!" and the Parsee left that cake and climbed to the top of a palm-tree with nothing on but his hat, which shone in the sun like the sun itself. And the Rhinoceros upset the cooking-stove with his nose, and the cake rolled on the sand, and he put that cake on the horn of his nose, and he ate it, and he went away waving his tail.

Then the Parsee came down from his palm-tree and put the cooking-stove on its legs and sang the following song, which I will now sing to you:

He who takes cakes

That the Parsee-man bakes

Makes dreadful mistakes.

And there was a great deal more in that than you would think.

Five weeks later, it was very hot on the shores of the Red Sea, and everybody took off all the clothes they had. The Parsee took off his hat; but the Rhinoceros took off his skin and carried it over his shoulder when he came down to the sea to bathe. In those days the Rhinoceros's skin buttoned underneath with three buttons. He said nothing about the Parsee's cake because he had no manners then, and he has no manners now, and he never will have any manners. He went straight into the sea and he left his skin on the shore.

Soon the Parsee came by and found the skin, and he smiled. Then he danced three times round the skin and rubbed his hands. Then he went to his camp and filled his hat with cake-crumbs. The Parsee never ate anything but cake and he had plenty of crumbs in his camp. He took that skin, and he shook that skin, and he scrubbed that skin, and he rubbed that skin, and filled it with old, hard, tickly cake-crumbs and some dry raisins. Then he climbed to the top of his palm-tree and waited till the Rhinoceros came out of the water and put his skin on.

The Rhinoceros did so. He buttoned his skin up with the three buttons and it tickled like cake-crumbs in bed. Then he wanted to scratch, but the cake-crumbs tickled him worse; and then he lay down on the sand and rolled and rolled and rolled and the cake-crumbs tickled him worse and worse and worse.

Then he ran to the palm-tree and rubbed and rubbed and rubbed himself against it. He rubbed so much and so hard that he rubbed his skin into a great fold over his shoulders, and another fold underneath, where the buttons used to be (but he rubbed the buttons off), and he rubbed some more folds over his legs. And it spoiled his temper, but it didn't help him. The cake-crumbs were inside his skin and they tickled. So he went home, very angry indeed, and he scratched all the time. And from that day to this every rhinoceros has great folds in his skin and a very bad temper, because he has the cake-crumbs inside.

But the Parsee came down from his palm-tree, wearing his hat, and the hat shone in the sun like the sun itself; and he took his cooking-stove, and went away from that uninhabited island.



A. Answer the questions.

  1. Where did the Parsee live?
  2. What did he bake one day?
  3. Who ate the cake?
  4. Why did the rhinoceros come down to the sea?
  5. What did the rhinoceros leave on the shore?
  6. What did the Parsee do with the skin?
  7. What did the rhinoceros begin to do when he put on his skin?
  8. How did the rhinoceros change?
  9. What did the Parsee do when the rhinoceros went home?

B. Explain why:

  1. The Parsee climbed to the top of the palm-tree when he saw a rhinoceros.
  2. The rhinoceros carried his skin over his shoulder.
  3. The rhinoceros never said anything about the Parsee's cake.
  4. The Parsee smiled when he found the skin on the shore.
  5. The Parsee had a plenty of cake-crumbs in his camp.
  6. The Parsee put the cake-crumbs into the skin.
  7. The rhinoceros rolled on the sand.
  8. Three buttons from the rhinoceros's skin went off.
  9. The rhinoceros had a bad temper.

. Fill in the words:

cake-crumbs, manners, raisins, folds, cooking stove, flour, temper, shore, horn, tight, uninhabited, straight, underneath, scratch, bathe, rolled, buttoned, filled, rubbed, upset

  1. The Parsee lived on an island.
  2. One day he took and water and and plums and sugar and some other things and made a cake.
  3. He baked the cake on the .
  4. The rhinoceros had a on his nose, two piggy eyes, and no .
  5. The rhinoceros's skin fitted him quite .
  6. The Parsee climbed to the top of a palm-tree, and the rhinoceros the cooking-stove with his nose, and ate the cake.
  7. Five weeks later the rhinoceros came down to the sea to .
  8. The rhinoceros's skin buttoned with three buttons.
  9. He went into the sea and he left his skin on the .
  10. The Parsee the skin with old, hard, tickly and some dry raisins.
  11. When the rhinoceros his skin up, the crumbs tickled him.
  12. The rhinoceros wanted to but the crumbs tickled him worse.
  13. He on the sand, and then he himself against a palm-tree.
  14. He rubbed some over his shoulders, underneath and over his legs.
  15. It spoiled his , but it didn't help him.

D. Learn the words of exercise for the dictation.

E. Answer the questions.

  1. What is the setting of the story?
  2. The protagonist is the main character that the reader likes and is interested in.
  3. The antagonist is the character that makes problems for the protagonist. Who is the protagonist of the story? Who is the antagonist?
  4. Which of the characters is stronger the protagonist or the antagonist?
  5. What problem does the antagonist create for the protagonist?
  6. How does the protagonist punish the antagonist?
  7. Why does the protagonist leave the island?

F. Write down adjectives to characterize the protagonist and the antagonist.

G. Retell the story.

H. Tell the story from the point of view of:

a) the Parsee b) the rhinoceros.