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Comprehension Test

Black Beauty
Anna Sewell

1 Match these characters with their descriptions: Reuben Smith, James, Jerry, Merrylegs,
Rob Roy.
a Black Beauty’s brother ................
b A London cab driver ................
c The groom who saved Black Beauty from the fire ................
d A fat pony that children liked to ride ................
e The groom who fell off Black Beauty and died ................

10 marks

2 Are these sentences true (T) or false (F)?


a Black Beauty hated the noise of trains.
b John was very kind to Black Beauty.
c Ginger had cruel masters before Mr Gordon.
d Merrylegs was good-tempered with children.
e Although Black Beauty went very fast, the doctor was too late to save Mrs Gordon.
f The bearing rein helped the horses to pull heavy carriages.
g Nobody blamed Black Beauty for Reuben Smith’s accident.
h When Black Beauty saw Ginger in London, she looked strong and happy.
i Jerry’s family helped to look after the horses and the cab.
j In his last home, Black Beauty met his old friend Merrylegs.

20 marks

3 Why didn’t Black Beauty want to go onto the bridge in the storm?

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10 marks

4 Fill in the gaps using these words: carriage, shoe, horses, head, saddle, slow, bite, carry,
collar, bit.
I learnt to wear a ................ on my back and to ................ a rider. I learnt to pull a ................, and

to go fast or ................ . I had a ................ in my mouth, and a bridle on my ................ . I had a 

Oxford Bookworms Library Stage 4 1


metal ................ on each hoof, and a ................ on my neck. And I knew I must not ................ or 

kick other ................ .

20 marks

5 Put the following events in the story in the right order. Number them 1–5.
a When York tried to put Ginger’s head up, she stood on her back legs and kicked.
b After four months wearing the tight rein, Black Beauty felt tired and miserable.
c Lady Gray told York to shorten the reins.
d After that, Black Beauty pulled the carriage with Max.
e The groom cut Black Beauty’s harness.

20 marks

6 Imagine you are James. Describe what happened on the night of the fire. James,

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20 marks

Total marks

Oxford Bookworms Library Stage 4 2


Multiple-choice Test

Black Beauty Anna Sewell

Setting

Choose the best answer.


1 Black Beauty’s first home was _____.
a [ ] a small stable with two horses b [ ] a pleasant field with a pond
c [ ] a large stable with his mother d [ ] a big field with a lake
2 His mother’s name was _____.
a [ ] Queen b [ ] Darkie c [ ] Duchess d [ ] Black Star
3 Their master called his mother _____.
a [ ] Pat b [ ] Duchie c [ ] Pet d [ ] Queenie
4 She told Black Beauty to be always _____.
a [ ] gentle and a willing worker b [ ] good at galloping
c [ ] independent and headstrong d [ ] aggressive to other horses
5 When Black Beauty was two, his _____, Rob Roy, died.
a [ ] father b [ ] uncle c [ ] friend d [ ] brother
6 It happened during a hunt to catch a _____.
a [ ] hare b [ ] fox c [ ] deer d [ ] criminal
7 Black Beauty was trained by _____.
a [ ] Mr Gordon b [ ] John Manly c [ ] George Gordon d [ ] Farmer Grey
8 He first had to learn to wear a _____.
a [ ] saddle b [ ] heavy collar c [ ] bit and bridle d [ ] pair of blinkers
9 Black Beauty’s next home was a stable with _____ good stalls.
a [ ] two b [ ] three c [ ] four d [ ] five
10 A _____ called Merrylegs was in the next stall.
a [ ] tall mare b [ ] little grey pony c [ ] little brown pony d [ ] tall pony

20 marks

Characters

Choose the best answer.


11 Black Beauty had _____ on his forehead.
a [ ] one white foot and a star b [ ] two white feet and a star

Oxford Bookworms Library Stage 4 3


c [ ] one white foot and two stars d [ ] four white feet and a star
12 Ginger had a bad habit of _____.
a [ ] running away b [ ] eating a lot c [ ] biting people d [ ] sleeping a lot
13 Ginger was _____ by her old master’s son.
a [ ] treated kindly b [ ] sometimes hit c [ ] liked d [ ] badly beaten
14 _____ was Mr Gordon’s groom.
a [ ] Mr Barry b [ ] John Manley c [ ] Sawyer d [ ] Rob Roy
15 Sir Oliver’s tail was cut off because _____.
a [ ] it was too long b [ ] of an accident
c [ ] it was fashionable d [ ] he wasn’t brave enough
16 The doctor advised Mr Gordon’s wife to _____.
a [ ] ride Black Beauty every day b [ ] live in a warm country for a few years
c [ ] eat more and drink less d [ ] move near the seaside for a few years
17 Lady Anne was injured when _____.
a [ ] Lizzie didn’t clear a ditch b [ ] she made Lizzie gallop too soon
c [ ] Black Beauty didn’t clear a ditch d [ ] Black Beauty hadn’t been trained
18 Reuben Smith’s one fault was _____.
a [ ] drinking too much b [ ] being too generous
c [ ] eating too much d [ ] singing too loudly
19 Jerry Barker’s son, Harry, _____ and good-tempered.
a [ ] was eight b [ ] was ten c [ ] was twelve d [ ] was thirteen
20 In the end, Black Beauty met _____ again.
a [ ] Mr Gordon b [ ] Joe Green c [ ] John Manly d [ ] Farmer Grey

20 marks

Dialogue

Who or what do the underlined words refer to?


21 ‘I don’t like anyone who bites.’
a [ ] Black Beauty b [ ] Ginger c [ ] Merrylegs d [ ] Mr Gordon
22 ‘No one was ever kind to her before she came here.’
a [ ] Dolly b [ ] Miss Flora c [ ] Lady Anne d [ ] Ginger
23 ‘He’s fast, but the lightest touch of the rein will guide him.’
a [ ] Merrylegs b [ ] Blackbird c [ ] Black Beauty d [ ] Rob Roy
24 ‘Are you all right? Did you have an accident?’
a [ ] Jerry Barker b [ ] Black Beauty c [ ] Lady Anne d [ ] Mr Gordon
Oxford Bookworms Library Stage 4 4
25 ‘You must come at once, or she’ll die.’
a [ ] Mrs Gordon b [ ] Polly Barker c [ ] Miss Blomefield d [ ] Lady Anne
26 ‘Stop that at once, or I’ll call the police.’
a [ ] making the horses pull heavy carts b [ ] children riding a horse badly
c [ ] beating the horses d [ ] children hitting Black Beauty
27 ‘You used to stand up and fight when people were cruel to you.’
a [ ] Ginger b [ ] Merrylegs c [ ] Joe Green d [ ] Black Beauty
28 ‘I have to take my little boy there, and I’m a stranger in London.’
a [ ] Oxford Street b [ ] St Thomas’s Hospital
c [ ] Buckingham Palace d [ ] Paddington Station
29 ‘Get in the cab, and I’ll take you for nothing.’
a [ ] Mr Blomefield b [ ] Lord Gray c [ ] Nicholas Skinner d [ ] Jerry Barker
30 ‘I have no fields for sick horses. It doesn’t suit my business.’
a [ ] Mr Grant b [ ] Farmer Grey c [ ] Skinner d [ ] Reuben Smith

20 marks

Vocabulary

Choose the best answer.


31 the things that a horse rider holds
a [ ] reins b [ ] bits c [ ] blinkers d [ ] bridles
32 to chase and kill animals for food or sport
a [ ] race b [ ] hunt c [ ] search d [ ] ruin
33 the loud cry of a horse
a [ ] yo-yo b [ ] bark c [ ] neigh d [ ] scream
34 being horrible to a person or animal
a [ ] cold b [ ] tight c [ ] drunk d [ ] cruel
35 a taxi
a [ ] cob b [ ] cab c [ ] crab d [ ] cub
36 an adult female horse
a [ ] mistress b [ ] master c [ ] mare d [ ] pat
37 (of a horse) to run very fast
a [ ] trot b [ ] gallop c [ ] jog d [ ] sprint
38 how you feel
a [ ] dealer b [ ] harness c [ ] temper d [ ] carriage

Oxford Bookworms Library Stage 4 5


39 a kind of plant used as food for people and animals
a [ ] oats b [ ] hay c [ ] tail d [ ] grass
40 to clean and brush a horse’s coat
a [ ] pat b [ ] groom c [ ] ruin d [ ] treat

20 marks

Plot

Choose the best answer.


41 After a storm, Black Beauty knew something was wrong with a _____.
a [ ] road b [ ] bridge c [ ] stable d [ ] house
42 He became ill when Joe Green didn’t _____ after a long ride.
a [ ] feed him b [ ] give him water c [ ] put a warm cloth on him d [ ] wash him
43 Black Beauty and Ginger were sold to _____.
a [ ] a neighbour of Mr Gordon’s b [ ] a farm near Mr Gordon’s house
c [ ] a family with young children d [ ] an old friend of Mr Gordon’s
44 Black Beauty was badly injured when he _____.
a [ ] fell and hurt his knees b [ ] was hit by a carriage
c [ ] broke a leg while galloping d [ ] was beaten by a groom
45 He was next bought by _____ called Jerry Barker.
a [ ] a cab driver b [ ] an old gentleman c [ ] a baker d [ ] a groom
46 Jerry Barker _____.
a [ ] gave his horses too much food b [ ] took good care of his horses
c [ ] gave his horses too little food d [ ] made his horses work too hard
47 Jerry changed jobs _____.
a [ ] because he was bored b [ ] because his wife became ill
c [ ] when he became very ill d [ ] because he wanted more money
48 Black Beauty next worked for a _____.
a [ ] baker b [ ] butcher c [ ] farmer d [ ] grocer
49 He nearly died when he had to _____.
a [ ] pull a new cab b [ ] work in rain c [ ] pull a heavy cab d [ ] work all day
50 Black Beauty’s final home was _____.
a [ ] in a field at Birtwick b [ ] with another cab driver
c [ ] a small field with a pond d [ ] with three kind ladies

20 marks

Oxford Bookworms Library Stage 4 6


Total marks

Oxford Bookworms Library Stage 4 7


Black Beauty
1 a Rob Roy
b Jerry
c James
d Merrylegs
e Reuben Smith

2 a F
b T
c T
d T
e F
f F
g T
h F
i T
j F

3 Because he knew something was wrong / it wasn’t safe / it was broken.

4 saddle, carry, carriage, slow, bit, head, shoe, collar, bite, horses

5 a 2
b 5
c 1
d 4
e 3

6 Students’ individual answers.

Oxford Bookworms Library Stage 4 8


Black Beauty
Setting
1 b
2 c
3 c
4 a
5 d
6 a
7 d
8 c
9 c
10 b

Characters
11 a
12 c
13 d
14 b
15 c
16 b
17 a
18 a
19 c
20 b

Dialogue
21 c
22 d
23 c
24 d
25 a
26 c
27 a
28 b
29 d
30 c

Oxford Bookworms Library Stage 4 9


Vocabulary
31 a
32 b
33 c
34 d
35 b
36 c
37 b
38 c
39 a
40 b

Plot
41 b
42 c
43 d
44 a
45 a
46 b
47 c
48 a
49 c
50 d

Oxford Bookworms Library Stage 410