Very Short Questions
Question 1 : Why did Prem leave his village?
Answer : Prem left his village because of violence. People fought with each other and burnt temples and mosques over religion. His house was also burnt in the communal violence.
Question 2 : Who was Makara?
Answer : Makara was the President of the meetings. He was the biggest crocodile in the forest. Everyone obeys his orders and he was strong and powerful.
Question 3 : Who all lived in the Pambupatti forest?
Answer : All kinds of reptiles such as snakes, crocodiles, turtles, lizards etc live in the Pambupatti forest.
Question 4 : What are reptiles?
Answer : Reptiles are creatures with scales all over their bodies. They lay eggs, Crocodiles, snakes , turtles, lizards etc are reptiles.
Question 5 : Who was Ahistay?
Answer : Ahistay was the big star tortoise with black and yellow pictures on his shell. He was very angry over Makara’s decision to throw out all the tortoises.
Question 6 : How did Makara prepare himself for the meeting?
Answer : Before the meeting, Makara polished his teeth with red flowers of the tree by the river till they sparkled.
Question 7 : Who was Naga? What was his request?
Answer : Naga was the head of the snakes in the forest. He pleaded to Makara to give all the snakes more time to leave the forest.
Question 8 : What do you mean by ‘the forest was back to normal’?
Answer : The forest was back to normal meant that the rats, insects and the smell disappeared from the forest. All the reptiles returned to the forest.
Question 9 : Why did Prem want to return to his village?
Answer : Prem wanted to return to tell the villagers a story and teach them a lesson of non-violence and peace.
Question 1 : How did the old man take care of Prem?
Answer : The old man looked after Prem, putting food in his mouth and bringing him sweets and cold water from the stream.
He rubbed Prem’s feet gently and made the pain go away. Neighbours as well as strangers came to see him.
Question 2 : Why did Makara made the tortoises leave the forest?
Answer : Makara made the tortoises leave the forest because they were slow and stupid. According to Makara, the tortoises carry their houses on their backs. He said the tortoises were slowcoaches and gave them a week’s time to leave the forest.
Question 3 : What happened after a month when the tortoises left the forest?
Answer : After a month, Makara wrote a letter to snakes. The snakes have to leave the forest because they were slimy and made funny noises.
Since they were fast, they were give one-day time to leave the forest along with their families.
Question 4 : How did rats have a wonderful time?
Answer : The rats had a wonderful time because they grew in numbers as they were no snakes in the forest to eat them up. They ate up the eggs of the lizards and crocodiles in the forest. The rats also destroyed Makara’s nest, containing his eggs.
Question 5 : How those creatures return to Pambupatti?
Answer : All the crocodiles realised that their happiness lay in their fellow creatures’ happiness and homecoming, so they sent urgent messages all over the place for the tortoises, snakes and lizards to come back to the Pambupatti forest. They all returned thereafter.
Question 1 : How did Makara harass other reptiles in the forest?
Answer : All the animals in the forest were scared of Makara because it was powerful and strong. The animals follow what Makara says and nobody objected when Makara sent a letter to tortoises not to come in the meeting and leave the forest. Makara later wrote a letter to the snakes to leave the forest in a day. All the animals were aware that it was injustice, but nobody could oppose it. No one dared to oppose Makara and the snakes left the forest.
Makara never realised his mistake and shouted when somebody tired to intervene. Makara even told the lizards to leave the forest on short notice.
Question 2 : How did Prem meet the old man in Pambupatti?
Answer : Prem lived in a village close to a forest. People in his village fought in the name of religion and went mad, burning temples and mosques. Many people fled from the village, including Prem.
His house was also burnt in the fire. He took his clothes, some coins and his little Ganesh statue and ran away. He jumped on to a train without tickets.
Prem reached Pambupatti and fainted near a well. He later found himself in a house of an old man with white hair and beard.
The old man took care of Prem and provided him food, water and shelter. The old man told him a story about Pambupatti.
Question 3 : Why did the man narrate a story to Prem?
Answer : Prem fainted after he reached Pambupatti. He found himself in a house of an old man. The old man looked after him, putting food in his mouth, bringing him sweet, cold water from the stream.
Neighbours as well as strangers came to see him. Prem asked the old man the reason behind such generosity. He asked how could people of his village are so friendly and good with each other.
He said that people in his village fought in the name of religion. The old man told a story to Prem to make him realise the importance of peace and non-violence. May be the story can heal their wounds and bring people together.
Value Based Questions
Question 1 : What is the underlying message hidden in the story ‘What happened to the reptiles’?
Answer : Prem ran away from his village after a communal violence broke out in his village. People fought with one another and burnt temples and mosques. Prem reached Pambupatti and fainted. An old man took care of him. Prem realised that people in Pambupatti were generous and friendly. Neighbours as well as strangers came to see him. He wanted to know the reason behind it. The old man told him a story to make him realise the importance of love and happiness. Prem realised that one can be happy if others are happy. Happiness does not lie in violence and hatred. Prem later wanted to spread his message to people in his village.