NCERT Solutions Class 9 English - Beehive Poem Chapter 5 A Legend of the Northland

NCERT Solutions

Thinking About The Poem

Question.1. Which country or countries do you think “the Northland” refers to?
Ans. “The Northland” could refer to any extremely cold country on the Earth’s North polar region, such as Greenland, the northern regions of Russia, Canada, Norway etc.

Question.2. What did Saint Peter ask the old lady for? What was the lady’s reaction?
Ans. Saint Peter asked the old lady for one of her baked cakes as he was about to faint due to fasting. The lady tried to bake a small cake for the Saint.

Question.3. How did Saint Peter punish the lady?
Ans. He punished the lady by changing her into a woodpecker. Saint Peter put a curse on the woman, telling her she was too selfish to live in a human form, having food, shelter and warm fire. He added that in the future, she would have to build her nest as the birds do and get scanty food by boring all day in the hard, dry wood.

Question.4. How does the woodpecker get her food?
Ans. The woodpecker gets her food by boring holes into trees. Woodpeckers drill and drum on trees and extract insects with their long sticky tongues from deep within a hole of a tree.

Question.5. Do you think that the old lady would have been so ungenerous if she had known who Saint Peter really was? What would she have done then?
Ans. No, the old lady would not have been so ungenerous if she had known who Saint Peter really was. Instead, she would have tried to please him with her cakes for the fulfillment of her greedy desires.

Question.6. Is this a true story? Which part of this poem do you feel is the most important?
Ans. No, this is not a true story; it is a legend. I feel that the part where the old lady is changed into a woodpecker is the most important because the poet tries to imply here that every action has a consequence, and the outcome of selfish actions is difficult to bear.

Question.7. What is a legend? Why is this poem called a legend?
Ans. A ‘legend’ is an old traditional and popular semi-true story that shows the values of human life. It is considered to be historical with mythical qualities. This poem is called a ‘legend’ because the poetess himself says that she doesn’t believe this tale to be true. The story is about Saint Peter. It conveys the lesson of sharing and caring for people and moreover it also has the presence of a supernatural element at the end of the tale.

Question.8. Write the story of ‘A Legend of the Northland’ in about ten sentences.
Ans. Once Saint Peter stopped by an old lady’s cottage because he was feeling tired and hungry after the day’s fasting. The lady was baking cakes on the hearth. Since he was feeling weak with fasting, he asked her for a cake from her store of cakes. The selfish lady tried to bake small cakes but each time they seemed too big for her to give away. Finally, she baked one that was as thin as a wafer. Unable to part with it too, she put it on a shelf and did not give any cake to the Saint.

So, Saint Peter was very angry with her behaviour and said she was too selfish to live as a human and have food, shelter and a fire to keep her warm. He punished her by changing that lady into a woodpecker that would have to build a nest to live in and bore for food in the trunks of trees. Her clothes were burned and she was left with her scarlet cap on her head as she flew out through the chimney. Even today, she lives in the woods boring and boring for food. Every country school boy has seen her.

Question.1. Let’s look at the words at the end of the second and fourth lines, viz., ‘snows’ and ‘clothes’, ‘true’ and ‘you’, ‘below’ and ‘know.’ We find that ‘snows’ rhymes with ‘clothes’, ‘true’ rhymes with ‘you’ and ‘below’ rhymes with ‘know’.
Find more such rhyming words.

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Question.2. Go to the local library or talk to older persons in your locality and find legends in your own language. Tell the class these legends.
Ans. Yes, there are many legends in my language. (Do it yourself)

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