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There was once a king of Scotland whose name was Robert Bruce. He needed to be both brave and wise, for the times in which he lived were wild and rude. The King of England was at war with him, and had led a great army into Scotland to drive him out of the land. Battle after battle had been fought. Six times had Bruce led his brave little army against his foes and six times had his men been beaten, and driven into flight. At last his army was scattered, and he was forced to hide himself in the woods and in lonely places among the mountains. One rainy day, Bruce lay on the ground under a rude shed, listening to the patter of the drops on the roof above him. He was tired and sick at heart, and ready to give up all hope. It seemed to him that there was no use for him to try to do anything more. As he lay thinking, he saw a spider over his head, making ready to weave her web. He watched her as she toiled slowly and with great care. Six times she tried to throw her frail thread from one beam to another, and six times it fell short. "Poor thing!" said Bruce: "you, too, know what it is to fail." But the spider did not lose hope with the sixth failure. With still more care, she made ready to try for the seventh time. Bruce almost forgot his own troubles as he watched her swing herself out upon the slender line. Would she fail again? No! The thread was carried safely to the beam, and fastened there. "I, too, will try a seventh time!" cried Bruce. He arose and called his men together. He told them of his plans, and sent them out with messages of cheer to his disheartened people. Soon there was an army of brave Scotchmen around him. Another battle was fought, and the King of England was glad to go back into his own country. I have heard it said, that, after that day, no one by the name of Bruce would ever hurt a spider. The lesson which the little creature had taught the king was never forgotten.

1. How did Robert Bruce show he was both brave and wise?

He showed he was brave by continuing to fight even when he was being defeated again and again, and after he saw the spider’s determination to weave its web even after repeated failures, he decided to continue to fight against the King of England again.

He showed he was wise when he cheered and motivated his men before he went for the fight. This tells that wise that he knew his men would not be able to give their best if they were in a sad and hopeless condition.

2. What does the word rude mean when it says “Bruce lay on the ground under a rude shed?”
The shed is referred to as rude because it was creating an unpleasant noise and not letting Robert Bruce rest peacefully.

3. How does the King of England show he is different from Robert Bruce?

King of England gave up his fight even as he faced his first defeat. But Robert Bruce did not give up: It went on to fight five times after his first defeat and after seeing the determined spider he decided to fight again.

#2. 'Rude' = roughly built, simple.
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