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Reading Practice: Intermediate Stories with Questions

Bird Room

bird room 

1. When I was young, I had two parakeets. One was very impressive. She could lift open the door of her cage with one foot and slip through the door. She would fly around and perch on a windowsill for a while. Eventually, she let herself back into her cage. I had a second parakeet who was not as smart. He would wait  beside the door and slip out along with her. However, he never knew when she would return. He would get stuck outside the cage and be waiting on a windowsill, hungry, when I arrived home from school.

2. Because of my smart parakeet's example, I imagined having a bird room some day. While I was in college, I continued keeping birds, though in a cage with the door left open. I thought that having several birds allowed me to spend time away from the house while knowing that my pets were not lonely. At last, in my thirties, I created my bird room.

3. By this time, I had regained an interest in music. I had played saxophone in high school, but did not continue in college. I had always wanted to be able to sing, so I took singing lessons. Having a bird room helped very much because I could tell myself that I was both practicing and spending time with my pets. Also, it was fun to see how the birds reacted. I had canaries and zebra finches. The male canaries sometimes sang with me, and all the canaries tilted their heads as if interested. The finches liked to sit together in couples like movie-goers.

4. For anyone who loves birds, a bird room is a feasible way to keep pets. If you put tapestries or sheets on the floor, you can wash them once a week which is the bulk of the cleaning. Birds are gregarious, and a room allows them to have ample companionship. You can attach hanging perches to the ceiling and watch them fly from one to another. You can put nests in places and put twine or string on the floor so that they can build dwellings. My room has a ceiling fan. It's funny to watch them land on one blade and have it slowly turn like a merri-go-round.

Answer the Questions (answers are at the bottom of the page):

1. What is the main idea of this story?

A. The author keeps birds as pets.

B. The author likes to make music and have birds.

C. The author has kept birds for years and recommends keeping birds in a bird room.

D. The author thinks bird rooms are feasible.

2. Which statement is an inference, not a fact?

A. The author does not recommend keeping only one bird as a pet.

B. The author believes birds like to make their own dwellings.

C. The author likes to sing in her bird room.

D. The author has kept canaries and finches.

3. Which details are in the story?

A. using tapestries or sheets, attaching perches, cleaning perches

B. putting twine on the floor, washing tapestries, attaching perches

C. putting string on the floor, attaching perches, buying birds

D. singing with birds, canaries singing, finches singing

4. Match the words with their definitions:

impressive               a. do-able
feasible                    b. plenty
gregarious               c. better than usual, great
ample                        d. homes
dwellings                  e. social

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answers: 1. c, 2. a, 3. b, 4. impressive: c, feasible: a, gregarious: e, ample: b, dwellings: d