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LEVEL 1: BASIC SENTENCES
1. The waterfall was aquarium-blue. COLOUR
2. It was drizzling onto the rocks. SOFTSOUNDS
3. The larger waterfall was pounding the rocks. LOUDSOUNDS
4. It tumbled down the mountain. ACTION
5. The bliss-pool at the bottom was varnish clear. A DIVINITY-POOL
6. It looked like a wall of blue satin threaded with silver. TEXTURE
7. The flowers next to it were nodding gently. OTHER IMAGES
8. It was freezing and we were shaking with the cold. SENSATION
9. The flowers growing nearby had a honey sweet smell. SMELL
10. We ate an ice cream cone on the bank and it was divine. TASTE
LEVEL 2: A BASIC PARAGRAPH
The waterfall was Atlantis-blue. It was gushing over the rocks. At its widest point, it was surging and plunging down the mountain. It had a beautiful serenity-pool at the bottom. It was veneer clear. The waterfall flowed as smoothly as syrup. The frogscroaking nearby added to the wonderful sounds. We threw ourselves under the waterfall. It was so cold that we started shuddering. We collapsed on the bank and let the nougat sweet smell of flowers wash over us. Later we had some ham sandwiches and they were Godly.
LEVEL 3: CREATIVE PARAGRAPHS
The waterfall was Mediterranean-blue and magical. It was swishing over the rocks joyfully. It was thundering down into the pool like a gigantic water spout. When it toppled into the ecstasy-pool, it foamed it at the bottom. The rest of the pool was as clear as cellophane, enabling us to see down into the rocky bottom. Fronds of forest-green plants waved gently in the depths. The waterfall looked like a sheet of blue velour as it swished down. Its edges were hemmed with whipped-white lines.
We could see a gaggle of geesegrazing by the bank and the scene was picture perfect. A group of Amazonian ferns, edged with saw’s teeth and statue still, added a tropical flavour. We stood under the waterfall to cool down, but it was catacomb cold. It gave us goose bumps immediately. We ended up quivering and shivering on the bank. The nectar sweet smell of the spring flowers perked up our spirits. We had a cup of chocolate and it was Godlike after our moment of madness.
LEVEL 4: ADVANCED PARAGRAPHS
We gasped in astonishment at the clarity of the Caribbean-blue waterfall. It was spurting over the basalt rock, spilling eel-like over the ledges. Its clamorous passage at the foot of the mountain threw up bubbles of spray. They sparkled uneasily in the dying light and shimmered like the ghostly, blood drops of a phantom.
There was a whooshing vortex at the bottom. It was caused by the plummeting funnel of water that spiralled from on high. It looked like a drape of blue aluminium, such was its lushness. The cascade was sieved with silver at its fringes, lending a hallucinatory quality to it.
Wagtails were bobbing and dipping on a rock, foraging for juicy flies. The tip of the rock pierced the rhapsody-pool like the upturned nose of a dwarf. Run off water tingled the rock as it seeped away, distilled as pure and clear as an angel’s tears. There appeared to be a cave under the arch of waterfall. Quickly shedding our jumpers and shoes, the bravest of us plunged into it. The watery slide we passed through was so cold that our bodies were quaking when entering the cave.
At first, our only impressions were of a curtain of doom-black confronting us. Then our senses became fully attuned. The air was musty and rank, like sticking your head into an old dustbin. The reason why became obvious as our night vision kicked in. It was littered with fish bones, hundreds of them. Whether otter, heron or bear had done this over millennia, we did not know. The sooty darkness at the back of the cave seemed gloomy and dank and we felt that only impure, wicked things would be found there. None of us had the courage to delve any further. The bones seemed to grin up at our hesitation as we turned to go out.
We burst through the wall of water and looked up to see a hopeful, polestar-blue sky. A cup of hot soup was waiting for us and we sipped in silence. The fragrance of the marzipan sweet flowers added to the peace. It tasted unearthly and Arcadian after the experience of the cave. It gave a new meaning to the term comfort food.
LEVEL 5: COMPLEX WRITING: ROCK AND AWE
I ambled along the mountain path. An unusual humming sound vibrated in the air. It sounded like a swarm of bees. Then the buzzing transferred to the rock beneath my feet. It travelled through my body and I felt a tingle that ran up to my fingertips. I rounded the corner and the source of the sound revealed itself.
It was a whirruping waterfall. At this distance, it looked like silver tear tracks on the wrinkled face of the mountain. It was tiered and plunged into the depths of a paradise-blue pool. As I began to get closer, the noise of the cataract increased. It was growling and rumbling. Then it foamed into lather at the base. The waterfall seemed to fuse itself into distinct threads of watery fabric as I approached. It was as if a loom of liquid silver was pouring down the rocks. The sound was cacophonous now. The spout was hitting the cavernous hollow of the pool like a thunderclap. It rushed down the mountain, roiling and bubbling, boiling and churning. The pool fed two other smaller waterfalls, but they were not as deafening.
I walked along the edge of the rocks, leaving the swollen noise of the large pool behind. The sounds changed to a gentler swoosh-plunk and hiss-plop. It was still a salvo of sound, but it had a gentler slushiness to it. The two waterfalls streamed into one infinity pool of bliss. From it, the last spillway flowed, as smooth and fluvial as silver dew. It spilled over the gravelly bed with the honeyed sensuality of a lover’s kiss. It was chiming as it slid, svelte and slinky, past my feet. The chinking, tinkling sound was caused by its languid slickness echoing from rock. It looked like the sleek robe of a water witch as its glassy brilliance pinged and plinked. Its edges were seamed in silver and glinted in the aureate light.
Just then, the sun came out. Its rays caught the watery slide, giving it a trance-like quality. It turned it a-glitter, like shreds of silky silver. The airy sparkling of its spray was magical. It looked like a spritz of fairy dust, flickering in the slanted light. It had the dreamy and illusory façade of a Renaissance painting and the same shimmering sorcery a mirage brings. The drizzling spray created a filmy mystique above the pool, dazzling me with its beauty. It gurgled from the depths and tinkled on the surface, swishing with a sylph-like melody.
The noise subsided as I walked away. It became a distant humming again. I ventured one look back over my shoulder. The willowy waterfall flashed silver one more time. Its soul-swelling magic followed me all the way home.
...Pictures – English assignment Summary The story “Pictures” is about a girl with a conflicted belief. She is a second-generation immigrant who lives in England with her parents who are poor shop owners. At Christmas time Amina and the rest of her classmates were drawing pictures of Mary and baby Jesus. All of her classmate’s drawings got to hang on the wall except for Amina’s, because she had drawn a brown-faced Mary. The teacher told Amina a white lie, saying that Amina’s drawing was too pretty to hang on the wall, so she should take it home and give it to her parents instead. When Amina got home, she proudly handed her drawing to her Mother, who did not respond to it the way Amina had hoped. Her mother tore the drawing apart and explained Amina that Muslims, like herself, do not regard Jesus as the Son of God and they do not draw pictures of persons, especially not Mary and baby Jesus. Later that evening, Amina and her mother were drawing together. Her mother taught her to draw patterns from the Koran instead of pictures of persons, and the next day at school, when Amina drew patterns on her Christmas cards, her teacher was bewildered. The teacher asked her to draw the stable instead, and when Amina refused to do so, the teacher promised Amina, that if she would draw yet another picture of Mary and baby Jesus, the teacher would hang the picture on the wall, just...