Questions for the Old Man and the Figs

Listen to the story, the Old Man and the Figs which is about seven minutes long. Then answer the following questions.

Comprehension Questions

1) Why is the Emperor surprised that the old man is planting a fig tree?

2) Why does the old man think it is worth his while to plant the fig tree?

3) Why does the crafty woman tell her own husband to take figs to the emperor?

4) Why is the Emperor not pleased with the woman's husband?

5) Why would it have been worse for the husband if the story had been about coconuts, not figs?

Vocabulary and Grammar

1) "When the old man XXX departed, the courtiers said to the emperor:"

Is the missing word:

a) is
b) will
c) has
d) had

2) "She filled an immense basket with figs".

What is another word for "immense"?

a) small
b) big
c) enormous
d) heavy

3) "Ten years went XX, the tree bore fruit, and the old man enjoyed its figs for his breakfast."

What is the missing word?

a) on
b) over
c) by
d) away

4) "When she heard of her neighbour’s good fortune, she was filled with envy."

What is the alternative (American) spelling of "neighbour"?

a) neighber
b) nieghbour
c) neighbor
d) neybour

5) "Never you mind, you should look XX the bright side"

What is the missing word?

a) in
b) on
c) towards
d) for


Describe some various types of fruit, such as figs, strawberries, apples, oranges, lemons, grapes etc. Write about how they look and taste, their size and shape, how you choose the best ones to buy, where they grow, and any associations they have for you.

Write about the moral of the story, "The Old Man and the Figs". You might mention envy, spirituality, old age, providence, and just deserts.