2. Narrative usually involves expressing what happens IN TIME so it is important to do some practice in TENSE use. Below you are presented with another Celtic story. Read the story and decide on the most appropriate VERBAL TENSE as the narration goes.

Why do this? Cloze tests give you:
    To become aware of what is/are the verbal tense(s) most frequently used when narrating.
    To have a model for future narrative writings you may want/have to do.

"Once upon a time a king called Lir who had four children: a daughter and three sons.
Their mother was dead, and the children were sad because they her terribly. They missed the stories she used to tell them, the games she used to play, and the songs she at bedtime as she hugged them to sleep.

The king saw that his children needed a mother, so he decided to marry again. His new bride was called Aoife. She was beautiful but she was not the kind-hearted person the king thought she was.

Aoife grew jealous of the four children because their father loved them so much. She wanted the king all to herself, so she to get rid of the children. She and a druid thought up a terrible spell. In the castle grounds there was a lovely lake which the children spent most of their time beside. One day, as the children played in the water, Aoife suddenly pulled out a magic wand and waved it over them. With a flash of light, the children vanished. In their place were four beautiful white swans.

-"What to us?"- they asked, in a frightened voice.
-"You will be swans for nine-hundred years, partly on this lake; later you will go to the Sea of Moyle and, finally to the island of Glora. Only the sound of a church bell can break the spell. Now everything you have will be mine .".

When the children did not return home that evening, the king worried and went to the lake. He was amazed when he saw the four swans calling out: "Father, father we are your children".

Back to the castle, the king pleaded with Aoife to change the swans back into children, but she refused. The king realised how selfish she was and her from the kingdom.

Lir spent the rest of his life beside the lake talking to his children. One day he died. The swans were heartbroken because nobody ever came to see them.

Three hundred years passed and it was time for the swans to move to the cold and stormy Sea of Moyle between Ireland and Scotland. The poor swans about by the wild waves and dashed against sharp rocks. There was little food and the years passed slowly. When the time came to move to the Island of Glora the swans were old and tired. Although there was lots of food on the island and it was much warmer, they were still very lonely. Then one day they heard the sound of a church bell. An old man stood outside the church. He listened to their sad story in astonishment. He fetched some holy water from the church and it on the swans as he prayed. As soon as the water touched them, the swans miraculously began to change into old people. The old man talked to them about god because he saw that they were scared. The woman, Fionnuala, put her arms around her brothers and they all fell to the ground, dead.

The old man buried them in one grave. That night he dreamed he saw the four swans up through the clouds on their way to heaven to be with their father and mother again.


-An Irish legend for children- retold by Yvonne Carrol




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