538.

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1) One December night, a long, long time ago a family sat around the fireplace in their home. A golden light from the fire filled the room. The mother and father laughed at something their eldest daughter had just said.

2) The girl was seventeen, much older than her little brother and sister, who were only five and six years old. A very old woman, the family’s grandmother, sat knitting in the warmest comer of the room. And a baby, the youngest child, smiled at the fire’s light from its tiny bed.

3) This family had found happiness in the worst place in all of New England. They had built their home high up in the White Mountains, where the wind blows violently all year long.

4) The family lived in an especially cold and dangerous spot. Stones from the top of the mountain above their house would often roll down the mountainside and wake them in the middle of the night.

5) No other family lived near them on the mountain. But this family was never lonely. They enjoyed each other’s company, and often had visitors.

6) Their house was built near an important road that connected the White Mountains to the St. Lawrence River. People travelling through the mountains in wagons always stopped at the family’s door for a drink of water and a friendly word.

7) Lonely travellers, crossing the mountains on foot, would step into the house to share a hot meal.

8 ) Sometimes, the wind became so wild and cold that these strangers would spend the night with the family. The family offered every traveller who stopped at their home a kindness that money could not buy.

9) On that December evening, as the rest of the family laughed at the elder girl’s joke, the wind came rushing down the mountain. It seemed to stop at their house — to knock at the door before it roared down into the valley.

10) The family fell silent for a moment. But then they realized that someone really was knocking at their door.

#1.(…) Why was this place in the mountains not safe for living?

#2. (…) Was this home a welcome place for every traveller?

#3. (…) The family chose a very appealing spot at the foot of the mountains, didn’t they?

#4. (…) What did they suddenly became conscious of?

#5. (…) They had lots of neighbours and had a very rich and eventful social life, didn’t they?

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