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It happened a few days before Christmas. John and Alice were on their way home from visiting their daughter at college. The drive was long and exhausting. Alice was thinking about the money they had given for their daughter’s last semester. It was a big sum for their family. Alice realized that they had no money for the next semester fee. She was in despair.

On their way home they stopped at a small town market. Alice got out of the car to walk a little. Suddenly an old woman approached her. She asked Alice to buy an old brass teapot*. Alice took the heavy teapot and gave the woman the money that she had asked for.

Alice, got into the car and placed the teapot on the back seat. She didn’t need the teapot but she could not refuse the old woman. The car set off and the rest of the way John and Alice argued about the money. John was angry with Alice because of her last purchase.

John’s arguments were powerful. The family’s budget was not at all promising. They had a lot of electric and gas bills to pay. What’s more, they had recently bought a new refrigerator. And the college fee ate up a good part of their budget. Alice kept silent.

When they arrived home, Alice decided to make tea. She found out that their electric tea kettle was broken and put the new brass teapot on the stove. When the tea was getting ready, they heard a door bell. It was Mr. Ramson, their neighbour. The old man lived alone and there were no relatives and friends to support him in town.

Alice invited Mr. Ramson in for some tea. At the table Mr. Ramson asked Alice and John if they could lend him some money. His only granddaughter, whom he loved dearly, lived far away and he wanted to visit her for the coming Christmas. Alice sighed but John, suddenly, nodded his head in agreement. Mr. Ransom thanked John and went home happy.

Alice was alone in the kitchen washing up after tea. She was thinking how to cut down their expenses if they gave the money to the old man. Suddenly she heard a sound of something dropping into the teapot. Alice took the teapot and, to her great surprise, she found two £50 notes inside. She called John to ask if he had by mistake dropped them into the teapot. John looked at her in surprise but answered that he had not.

At that moment Alice knew what to do. She removed the banknotes from the teapot and ran to Mr. Ramson.

When she came home, John smiled and gave her a warm kiss. The same dropping sound repeated. It came from the teapot. When Alice opened the top, she found a banknote inside. Christmas Magic! They could not understand how it worked, but the teapot produced some banknotes every time they were kind to each other and helped people around.

They put the brass teapot on the shelf in the kitchen and never used it for making tea. When their daughter came for Christmas, she could hardly recognize the house. The furniture was the same but the house looked warmer and cozier than before. Her parents did not argue about money any more.

When she asked where the money for her education had come from, they said it was a Christmas present from old Mr. Ramson.

*A brass teapot –– медный чайник

10. Alice was upset because they had failed to pay for her daughter’s studies.

1) True 2) False 3) Not stated

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11. The old woman gave the brass teapot to Alice as a present.

1) True 2) False 3) Not stated

12. In the car Alice and John had a quarrel over the brass teapot.

1) True 2) False 3) Not stated

13. At home Alice made tea in her new brass teapot.

1) True 2) False 3) Not stated

14. Mr. Rampson’s granddaughter visited him last Christmas.

1) True 2) False 3) Not stated

15. Alice found some money in the teapot.

1) True 2) False 3) Not stated

16. The brass teapot worked wonders only during Christmas.

1) True 2) False 3) Not stated

17. Alice and John gave the brass teapot to Old Mr. Ramson.

1) True 2) False 3) Not stated

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