Unseen Passage: Elderly Carpenter

Reading Comprehension

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his family. He would miss the pay cheque, but he needed to retire. The employer was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favour. The carpenter said ‘yes’, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior material. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

When the carpenter finished his work, his employer handed over the key of the house to the carpenter — “This is your house, my gift to you.”

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently! Now he had to live in a poorly built house. So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then, with a shock, we realize we have to live in the house we have built. If we could do it over, we would do it much differently. But, you cannot go back. You are the carpenter, and every day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Someone once said, your attitude, and the choices you make today, help build the “house” you will live in tomorrow. Therefore, build wisely!

Answer the following Questions:

  1. What did the carpenter tell his employer?
  2. What favour did his employer ask from the carpenter?
  3. What surprise did the employer have for the carpenter?
  4. Why was the surprise a ‘shame’ for the carpenter?
  5. Which word in the first paragraph means the same as ‘art or skill of a workman’?

Answers

  1. The carpenter told his employer of his plans to retire from his house building business and live a leisurely life with his family.
  2. The employer asked if he could build just one more house as a favour.
  3. The employer handed over the keys of a new house to the carpenter.
  4. As the carpenter had resorted to shoddy workmanship and had used inferior material in building the new house.
  5. Workmanship.

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