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Non Common Entrance Examination 2013

Third and Fourth Form Entry


Time Allowed : 1 hour

 Please answer on lined paper

 Clearly mark your name at the top of each sheet of paper used
 Dictionaries are not allowed
Section A

Read through the poem carefully and answer the questions that follow.
You should spend 30 minutes on this section

Esther’s Tomcat

Daylong this tomcat lies stretched flat

As an old rough mat, no mouth and no eyes.
Continual wars and wives are what
Have tattered his ears and battered his head.

Like a bundle of old rope and iron 5

Sleeps till blue dusk. Then reappear
His eyes, green as ringstones: he yawns wide red,
Fangs fine as a lady's needle and bright.

A tomcat sprang at a mounted knight,

Locked round his neck like a trap of hooks 10
While the knight rode fighting its clawing and bite.
After hundreds of years the stain's there

On the stone where he fell, dead of the tom:

That was at Barnborough. The tomcat still
Grallochs odd dogs on the quiet, 15
Will take the head clean off your simple pullet.

Is unkillable. From the dog's fury,

From gunshot fired point-blank he brings
His skin whole, and whole
From owlish moons of bekittenings 20

Among ashcans. He leaps and lightly

Walks upon sleep, his mind on the moon
Nightly over the round world of men
Over the roofs go his eyes and outcry.
Ted Hughes (1930-)
1. Look at the first stanza (line 1-4). Explain what the cat looks like in your own words.
(3 marks)

2. Look at line 5. What does the poet want to suggest about the cat in this line?

3. Why do you think the poet used the word “fangs” in line 8, rather than “teeth”?
(2 marks)

4. How, long ago, did a tomcat kill a knight?

(2 marks)

5. What might the word “Grallochs” (line 15) mean? It is an unusual word so make a guess.
(2 marks)

6. Look at line 16. A pullet is a young hen. What do you think the poet wants to suggest about the
way the tomcat can kill a hen with the phrase “clean off”? (2 marks)

7. What does “he brings his skin whole” (line 19) mean?
(2 marks)

8. Explain the ideas the poet suggests in lines 21- 24 (from “He leaps” to “outcry) in your own
words. What does he want us to understand about the tomcat in here?

(4 marks)

Section B
You should spend 30 minutes on this section

Choose one of the following tasks.

1. Write an imaginative piece entitled “The Incredible Animal”.

2. In this country, you have to be over 16 years old to buy a pet (unless you are with an adult.) Do
you think this is a good law? Explain your reasons.

3. Write an imaginative piece about two animals fighting. What these animals are is wholly up to

(20 marks)

Check your work carefully.

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