The man with the brown hat

    





    The man with the brown hat  

    Not long ago did a man wearing a brown hat on his head walked around the city.

    When he arrived at the train station, the man went to the hall and paused to watch the people that would come and go with their luggage, bags and purses. He watched and then suddenly, he yelled in a loud voice:

    - Well, oh well!

    He then abandoned the station abruptly and continued walking around.

    Just a bit after, the man with the brown hat arrived at a subterranean passage. He looked at the entrance of the tunnel closely and entered it through a narrow sidewalk, which was separated from the road by a small rail. And when he found himself in the middle of the tunnel he stopped to watch how the cars went by at high speeds in one and in the other direction. A bit after he yelled:

    - Well, oh well!

    Immediately he continued along while the echo of his words got mixed up with the noise of the cars.

    Right outside the tunnel was a very high building with dark windows. All the windows were closed and from the outside one could not see what the people inside were doing since the glass had a mirror effect and would reflect off the sky and clouds. The man with the brown hat stopped in front of the building to see if any of the people inside would open one of those windows. Time passed and the windows remained closed. So, the man screamed out:

    - Well, oh well!

    And waited once again to see if something would happen.

    When he saw that all the windows were still closed, he screamed once again, but this time around with much more strength:

    - Well, oh well!!!!

    Right after, he continued along his walk.

    After a while, the man with the brown hat arrived at a very nice park, which had a small lake. People walked placidly by the border of the lake and every now and then would sit on the red benches to watch how other people walked by the lake. There were also a lot of mothers and grandparents pushing baby strollers, old ladies throwing bread crumbs to the pigeons, children running towards them to scare them off and watch them fly off, people of all ages jogging, jumping and doing sports…..and, by the stoned pavement of the shore of the lake were couples in love and youngsters sitting down and playing the guitar.

    Right in the middle of the park was a sculpture which depicted a naked young man with a bird of prey right in front of him. The young man was pointing to the bird with his right hand and was raising his other hand to the sky.

    The man with the brown hat stopped before that sculpture. He then looked around and contemplated the people for a good while. And all of a sudden, he yelled once again right out of his lungs:

    - Well, oh well!    Some of the people walking in the park stopped and looked at the man to see if he would say or do something else. But he just limited himself to continue along his way without saying a word.

    Walking and walking along, the man with the brown hat arrived at a grey building that was on a wide avenue. There were a lot of police cars parked right in front of the building. The man stopped in front of the door and decidedly screamed:

    - Well, oh well!    Instantly, some police officers rushed out of the building, arrested the man with the brown hat and took him to the police station. There, the police searched the man to see if he carried any weapons and thoroughly interrogated him. After realizing that the man with the brown hat did not have bad intentions, they let him out of the police station and said to him:

    - It is not funny for any of us that you go around all over town yelling “Well, oh well!” However, since there is no law that prohibits people going by the streets yelling “Well, oh well!” we must let you go freely.

    And do you know what the man with the brown hat in that very moment replied to them?

    Yes, exactly that.

    Franz Hohler.  (Adaptation of The Block of Granite in the Cinema).






Instructions: Select one of the buttons with letters a, b and c. The selected answer will appear in red.


INTERACTIVE COMPREHENSION TEST 

1.- The man with the brown hat usually said:

a) Wait, wait!

b) Well, oh well!

c) Come, come!



2.- At the train station, he liked to:   

a) Watch the people come and go.

b) Help others take their luggage.

c) Look at the trains.



3.- In the subterranean tunnel, the man watched:

a) The narrow sidewalk.

b) The small rail.

c) The cars passing by at high speeds.  



4.- The echo of his words got mixed up with:  

a) The noise of the cars.

b) People talking.

c) The noise of airplanes.  



5.- Why couldn’t the inside of the building be seen?

a) Because the windows were closed.

b) Because the glass reflected off the light.

c) Because the crystals gave off a mirror effect.



6.- What was there at the park?  

a) Two fountains.

b) A small lake.   

c) Many elephants.



7.- At the park, the man of the sculpture pointed with his right hand to:

a) A naked young man.

b) The sky.

c) The bird of prey.



8.- Why did the police arrest the man?

a) Because he screamed in front of the police station.

b) Because he had a brown hat.

c) Because he did nothing useful.



9.- Why did they search the man?  

a) To check if he had any drugs.

b) To check if he carried weapons.

c) To distract his attention.



10.- Why did they let the man with the brown hat go free?

a) Because they had no more jail cells available.

b) Because they did not like his hat.  

c) Because there was no law prohibiting people from saying: Well, oh well! 

 

 

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®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain) No 141, of 29-IX-1999
Plaza Playa de Aro, 3, 1º DO 44002-TERUEL