Cats and Secrets
In English, there is a common idiom “ let the cat out of the bag.” It means to tell a secret. But where did this idiom start?
It came from a section of England. Long ago, people there went from town to town to sell things like vegetables, clothes, and pigs. They had strong beliefs about honesty. They didn’t like lying. One day, a man went to the section’s center to sell thing.
“ I have a baby pig for sale! It won’t cost much,” he said. He held the animal above his head. His style was different from honest people’s style. He was a master of tricking people and lying.
A woman named Beth scanned his pig. He offered her the pig for one gold coin. That was a very small amount. Beth gave him the coin. He put it in his pocket. He walked ahead of Beth to get the pig.
He gave her a closed bag and said, “Here’s your pig.” He then left very quickly.
Beth looked at the bag’s surface. It was moving. She opened it to let the pig out. A cat was inside! “He tricked me! That isn’t proper,” she said.
Later, the man returned to trick more people. Beth saw him and the memory of the cat came back. She told her friends. They stopped him. But no one knew what to do next.
Someone said, “We need an independent and fair person to decide that.” They went to the judge. Beth told him about the cat in the bag.
The judge asked, “ Is there evidence? Can you demonstrate how he did it?”
“Look in his bag,” said Beth. She opened it and let a cat out of the bag. They learned the man’s secret, and he went to jail.
That’s how the idiom “ let the cat out of the bag” came to mean to tell a secret.
Answer the questions.
1. What is the main idea of this story?
a. It is about a common belief about cats.
b. People should scan evidence carefully.
c. Masters of lying will go to jail.
d. It is about the origin of an idiom.
2. What did Beth say after she was tricked?
a. That’s not proper.
b. That’s a very small amount.
c. Can you demonstrate how he did it?
d. We need an independent and fair person to help.
3. Where did the man hold the pig?
a. In a pocket
b. On the surface of the bag
c. Above his head
d. In the section’s center
4. Why did Beth look at the bag?
a. The surface was moving.
b. The man had a different style.
c. The man was ahead of her.
d. He offered the pig for so little money.
5. When did the memory of the cat come back to Beth?