“That only leaves October, November, and December; said the Queen. ‘And after that we shall have to begin all over again.”
i) Who is the Queen in the extract? Where is she at the present moment? Who else is with her? What are they talking about?
Answer : The Queen here is the Queen of Siam. She is presently in her castle. The King of Siam is also present with her. She is worried that if hey have any more daughter then they will have to be renamed again.
ii) What does the Queen mean to say by that they will have to begin all over again?
Answer : The King of Siam named his daughters according to the names of the months in a year. But the Queen thought that if they had more than twelve daughters then like earlier, they would have to find new names for them.
iii) What does the listener reply to this?
Answer : The King of Siam said that they would not have more than twelve daughters as twelve daughters were enough for any man and after the birth of December, he would reluctantly cut off the head of the Queen.
iv) What strange habit did the listener have related to his birthday?
Answer : The King of Siam had a very unusual habit related to his birthday. He would not take gifts, rather he gave away gifts. He was sorry that he was born on one day and so had only one birthday.
v) What unfortunate thing happened with the gift of Princess September?
Answer : Once, the King on his birthday, gave each of his nice daughters a beautiful green parrot. On each cage was written the name of the months which was the name of the princess it belonged to. The nine princesses were very proud of their parrots and spent an hour everyday to teach them to talk. However, the parrot of Princess September died.
“September felt her heart to go thump, thump against her chest, and she made up her mind to take no more risks?”
i) Who was Princess September? How did she get her name?
Answer : Princess September was the daughter of the King of Siam. The King had named his daughters by giving them the names of the months in a year. Princess September was born after his eighth daughter.
ii) Why did Princess Spetember’s heart thump?
Answer : Princess September’s new pet, the nightingale informed her that it might have not returned that day. Thinking that it might not return, Princess September grew anxious and her heart thumped.
iii) Who had put such thoughts in her mind? Why?
Answer : The other eight Princesses had put such thoughts in her mind. They told her that her pet might go away never to return. They did this out of jealousy as everybody like Princess September’s nightingale.
iv) What did Princess September do next?
Answer : The seed of poison had been planted in Princess September’s mind by her sisters. When the nightingale told her that it might have not returned, she deceived it to get inside a golden cage.
v) What were the consequences of the action taken by Princess September to avoid risks?
Answer : Princess September had told the nightingale that she would let it out of the golden cage the next morning but she never had that thing in mind. She wanted the nightingale caged. As a result, the nightingale stopped eating and singing. It wanted to be free. It did not have to desire to do happy things.
Long Answer Type Question
Answer : The King of Siam had two daughters and named them Night and Day. Then he had two more and named the four according to seasons. But he had three more and called the seven by the days of the week. However, when the eighth daughter was born, he got confused. He wanted to name them by the months in a year. The Queen was worried that the months were twelve and what would they do next. The King was worried that after the birth of December, he would cut the Queen’s head off. Though nothing of that sort happened and September remained their last daughter.
On one birthday, the King gave each of his daughter, a beautiful green parrot. The princesses taught them to speak and they could say “God Save the King” and some of them could also say “Pretty Polly” in seven oriental languages. But one day, the parrot belonging to September died. September was inconsolable. She kept weeping and did not eat that day.
She went to bed empty stomach. Suddenly, another bird came into her room. It was a nightingale. It was very good at singing and it could also talk. It wanted to be September’s pet. September was very delighted.
The bird sang beautifully and surprised everyone. The nightingale sang a different song for September’s eight sisters. The King and the Queen were very impressed. A few days later, the other princesses came to September and expressed their sympathy at the death of her parrot. But they were more anxious about her new pet. They wanted her to cage the bird so that it might not fly away, never to return. This made September uneasy.
That day, the nightingale returned late. It informed her that it might have not returned that day. This was too much for September and she put it in the golden cage saying that it was safe as her mother’s cats were out. The nightingale was not suspicious. But the next day, she refused to take it out. The bird had not expected this. It stopped singing and eating. September’s sister told her to be firm in her resolve and not let the bird out.
However, the bird kept longing for it’s freedom. It would not sing in the garden. One day, September found it passed out. She was taken aback. She was killing the bird. She had to let it go for its happiness and had to put her happiness behind. The bird promised to return to her and also kept it’s promise.
From that day, September kept the windows of her room open. The bird came and went as it wished. This had a very deep impact on September. She grew up to be extremely beautiful and was married to the King of Cambodia. However, her sisters kept their windows shut and grew up to be extremely ugly. They were married to the King’s councillors.