Exercises for The Magic Cow

Back to the story


A. How much did you understand?


There are three parts to this story. In the first part, the two children lose their mother, but they find a magic cow in the forest who feeds them. In the second part, the children's stepmother kills the cow, and the children run away. In the third part, the older brother falls in love with the daughter of a chief, and in the end he marries her.


Part One


Put these sentences in the right order.

  1. The children of the second wife could not understand it.
  2. So the two children went into the forest, and there they found a cow.
  3. The mother died, and the two boys cried for many days.
  4. The older boy didn't want to tell his stepsister about the cow.
  5. Once upon a time there was a man who had two wives.


Part Two


Put these sentences in the right order.

  1. The woman put the meat into the pot and tried to cook it, but the meat refused to cook.
  2. Then the woman took the meat out of the pot, and ate it.
  3. So her husband brought the cow from the forest and gave it to his wife.
  4. When the meat was cooked, the woman tried to take the pot off the fire, but the pot didn't move.
  5. The woman tried to skin the cow, but the skin refused to come off the meat.


Part Three


Are these sentences true or false?

  1. The two brothers stayed together in the forest.
  2. The chief's daughter fell in love with the young man.
  3. The young man fought for the chief against his enemies.
  4. The chief's daughter had smallpox.
  5. The young man's head grew bigger and bigger.


 B. Who said these sentences?


Read the whole story again before you answer these questions.

  1. "My dear children, soon I will die."
  2. "If she doesn't give us food, what shall we do?"
  3. "Go away. I haven't got anything for you."
  4. "Why are you never hungry? And why do you go to the forest every day?"
  5. "We don't do anything in the forest."
  6. "Please, I'll die if I don't have some food."
  7. "I know my brothers' secret."
  8. "I want the cow that feeds your children."
  9. "Let the pot come off the fire."
  10. "Bring your husbands and your lovers here, so that I can see them all."
  11. "He is brave and strong."
  12. "Why are you all looking at me?"
  13. "Look! It's growing! It's getting bigger and bigger!"
  14. "Please let me marry this man."


C. Find the right word


Fill the gaps in these sentences with the right word from the list below.

  1. "Our father's second wife …… us."
  2. "We're …… Let us eat with you."
  3. "I know my brothers' ……"
  4. "You know that I'm …… and our new baby will soon be born."
  5. He picked up his knife and cut the cow's ……
  6. Now, there was a …… between the villages at that time.
  7. "Who is the …… who comes every night and fights beside me?"
  8. So the chief told everyone to come to a ……
  9. He didn't want his daughter to marry a man with ……
  10. At once his head stopped growing and became the right …… again.


pregnant, size, war, hates, smallpox, throat, meeting, secret, hungry, stranger


D. What do you think?


If the children's stepmother only had enough food for her own children, was she right to send the first wife's children away?

There are many children who live on the streets of our cities and beg for their food. Do you give them money to buy food? Is that the right thing to do?

Are there organisations which help street children in the place where you live?

What is the best way to help street children?


Check the answers