A strange woman comes to my door one day in early March. It’s a rich area so we often have people selling things 1 --dusters, make-up, frozen foods-but she doesn’t look like 2 saleswoman. She hasn’t got the patter （喋喋不休） either. She 3 smiles shyly and puts a card in my hand: “Amy Turner. Pet Portraits Undertaken.”
I 4 my fingernail along the cheap gold edge of the card and look at her, waiting for 5 .
“I’ll paint any animal in the 6 of your own home,” Amy Turner says. “Wouldn’t you like a nice picture of your loved one? I’ve had 7 of dogs, cats, parrots, prize bulls…”
“Prize bulls!” I can’t 8 looking up and down our street. The 9 of any of my neighbours 10 bulls in their back gardens makes me smile.
“I don’t have any animals,” I say as we look past each other. She must be 11 some little cat or dog would come running down the hall to give the game away 12 it is the first chance I’ve had to 13 the air outside. It is one of those spring mornings when you wake up and find winter’s gone. Even the camellia in the garden 14 has flowered over-night, pink blossoms which look shocking 15 the quiet greens and greys.
“Why are you still in your dressing gown?” Amy says, turning her 16 back to me. “It’s nearly lunchtime. Are you ill?”
“I’m fine,” I 17 . I’m not going to tell a stranger I’ve just been sick in the toilet upstairs and would still be 18 my fingers down my throat if the doorbell hadn’t rung. But now I’m not sure what to do next. Amy is still standing there. She doesn’t seem to think that not having a pet is a good enough 19 .
“I’m starving,” she says and I smile politely, nodding the 20 you do before you say goodbye.
1. A. side-by-side B. little-by-little C. back-and-forth D. door-to-door
2. A. an ordinary B. a professional C. a green D. a serious
3. A. even B. ever C. just D. simple
4. A. put B. touch C. place D. run
5. A. an excuse B. a deal