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1) Once upon a time, there was a farmer called Rip Van Winkle. He lived in a village in the mountains with his wife and two young children, a daughter and a son. Rip was a very happy and kind man and he got on very well with oil the children in the village. They loved him because he played games with them and often told them stories while he was sitting outside the ‘King George’, the village inn.

2) He spent a lot of time in the inn because he was, in fact, a very lazy man. Rip was happy to do just enough work to get by. Instead of working on his farm, he would go fishing or hunting, or sit in the village inn talking to his friends. His family was very poor and his wife used to get at him.

3) After arguments with his wife, Rip always went off hunting with his dog, Wolf. One day, after another argument, Rip went further than usual in the woods and came to a beautiful valley, high in the mountains. Suddenly, he heard a strange voice calling his name.

4) An old man, dressed in old-fashioned clothes, was trying to carry, a barrel and asked Rip to help him. Rip agreed. They took the barrel to a cave, where there were more people, all dressed in the same strange clothes. After that, the old man gave Rip a drink from the barrel. Rip immediately fell into a deep sleep.

5) Some time later, he woke up under a tree in the same valley, alone. He was worried about his dog and he knew he was going to get into more trouble with his wife. Then he noticed a curious thing — his hair was over his shoulders and his beard was over a foot long! Rip could not understand what had happened.

6) He decided to get back to the village. As soon as he got there, he realised that everything was different, and there were lots of new houses. The people in the village stared at him with his long hair and beard and old clothes. Rip thought their clothes were strange, and he did not recognise anybody at all.

7) When he got to his house, he saw that it was old and abandoned. He went to the centre of the village and everything there had changed completely.

8 ) The old King George Inn was now called the Union Hotel. Before he went in, he listened at the window. The people were talking about things he hadn’t heard of- the elections, the president, the war.

9) Rip went in and described his wife, family and friends and asked the people where they were. Apparently, his wife had died two years before and all of his friends had either died or left the village. But his children were still there. They pointed to a young man sleeping under a tree. Rip realised it was his son! Then a young woman carrying a baby came towards him. It was his daughter!

10) In the end, Rip went to live with his daughter. He still didn’t get round to doing much work though. He spent his time as before, fishing and hunting and telling stories to children outside the village inn. He told stories about life before the war, how he had met some strange people in the mountains — and how he had gone to sleep for twenty years!

#1. (…) What was his usual way of spending all his spare time which was so much loved by children?

#2. (…) How long did this unbelievably extraordinary sleep last?

#3. (…) Were all the people familiar to him when he came back?

#4. (…) Why did he go to the cave?

#5. (…) What struck him as strange and beyond his understanding when he overheard the people chatting?

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