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Pablo Ruiz Picasso was the favorite child of his family. He was the only boy among great many girl cousins. That was enough to make him important, but his father loved him especially, because he knew his son was going to be an artist. Pablo knew the word for himself making delightful little drawings of animals and people. If his mother sent him out to play in the square, he went on drawing in the dust under the trees. One of his favorite models was his younger sister, Lola.

Don Jose Ruiz, Pablo's father was director of the museum at Malaga in southern Spain. He earned only a small salary, but there was not much work to do and he was able to practice his hobby, which was painting pigeons. don Jose loved pigeons very much. He painted them dead or alive, in ones and twos and in dozens. Sometimes he painted them on paper, and then stuck them on to canvas (画布); sometimes he stuck real feathers on to his pictures. He knew a great deal about he technique of painting and he taught it all to Pablo.

Life in Malaga was very pleasant. In the hot, Mediterranean (地中海的) sunshine father and son would walk down to the beach to look at the boats on the shore or wander round the open markets. They made a strange pair. Don Jose was tall and thin, with red hair and beard, sad gray eyes and a fine set of whiskers (髯). He was so shy and correct that he was nicknamed "the Englishman". Pablo was quite the opposite. He had his mother's small, strong build; he had straight black hair, and bright black eyes that noticed everything that was going on around him.

1. Don Jose and Pablo were "a strange pair" because ___.

A. they liked to wander about the town

B. they noticed everything that was going on around them

C. they both painted

D. they looked so different from each other

2. Malaga is probably ___.

A. an island in the Mediterranean

B. a sea port in Spain

C. an inland city in southern Spain

D. a small country township

KEY: 1. D 2. B


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