1.2 Dick Whittington and his Cat – questions and answers

Std 8 English Balbharathi 1.2 Dick Whittington and his Cat


1. Discuss the following in groups and write the answers.

(a) Name the world famous personalities, who reached great heights from humble circumstances.

(i) APJ Abdul Kalam

(ii) Abraham Lincoln

(iii) Charlie Chaplin

(iv) Kalpana Chawla

(b) Guess the types of hardships they must have faced in their childhood and youth.

(i) APJ Abdul Kalam lived in a small island village in Rameswaran, and had to sell newspapers at a young age to support his family.

(ii) Abraham Lincoln was born to poor parents and lived in a one room log cabin. Due to poverty he could not go to school so he was mostly self – educated.

(iii) Charlie Chaplin was born to poor parents who were singers. When Charles was still a little boy his parents separated. Since his mother had no means of income and his father did not provided any financial support, he was sent to the Central London District School for the poor when he was just seven years old.

(iv) Kalpana Chawla joined Tagore Bal Niketan school in Karnal at a time when girls were hardly enrolled in schools. When she was ten she expressed her desire to become an engineer, her father dissuaded and advised her to take up medicine or teaching as a career. But she was determined and was the first girl to be enrolled in Punjab Engineering College for the Aeronautical Engineering programme.

(c) What strong qualities possessed by them, could have helped them achieve success and fame, all over.

(i) Determination

(ii) Hard work

(iii) Perseverance

(iv) Dedication

(d) How do stories / biographies of such famous people help youngsters?

(i) Inspire

(ii) Motivate

(iii) Encourage

(iv) Teach values

2. Syllable : A syllable is a unit of pronunciation that has one vowel sound and may or may not have consonant sounds before / after it.

Examples of words having :

One syllable : a, I, see, at, on, man, with, thread

Two syllables : mother, seated, giraffe, parrot, active, happy

Three syllables : happiness, wonderful, animal, surprising, adventure, ignorance.

More than three syllables : consequently, encouragement, responsibility, identifying, encyclopedia

Write down the names of any 5 of your classmates and write how many syllables each name contains.

Rohan : Ro – han

Anjali : An – ja – li

Tanisha : Ta – ni – sha

Soham : So – ham

Ptajakta : Pr – jak – ta


1. What innocent belief made Dick decide to go to London?

Ans. Dick had overheard someone say that the streets of London were paved with gold and so he decided to go there and pick his fortune up in gold pieces from the streets. This innocent belief made him decide to go to London.

2. What hardships did he face on arriving in London?

Ans.  Dick arrived in London just before nightfall and the carter left him so he was all alone. He was dismayed to see that they were no streets paved with gold. All he saw were dirty streets and lots of unfriendly people around. He had nowhere to sleep and so in the end he spent the night in the corner of an alley where he hoped he would come to no harm. The next morning Dick woke up cold, miserable and very hungry. He wandered around begging for food, but people shouted at him, and aimed angry blows at his head. At last he collapsed in the street lying weak to look further for food.

3. How did Mr. Fitzwarren favour Dick?

Ans. Mr. Fitzwarren ordered the cook to take Dick into the kitchen, feed him first and then find some work for him. So Mr. Fitzwarren favoured Dick by giving a home and a living.

4. What difficulties did Dick have to face at Mr. Fitzwarren’s house?

Ans. Dick had two difficulties to face at Mr. Fitzwarren’s. The first was that the attic he slept in was overrun by rats and mice. At night they scampered all over him and kept him awake. The other difficulty, which was not so easy to overcome, was the cook’s bad temper. She shouted and screamed all day, and would scold Dick and hit him with a wooden spoon, even when he was working as hard as he could.

5. How did the cat prove to be very useful?

Ans. The cat chased away all the rats and mice, so Dick was able to sleep peacefully. This way the cat proved very useful to Dick.

6. What inspired Dick to return back to Mr Fitzwarren’s home?

Ans. Early one morning Dick set out with his cat to seek his fortune elsewhere. On their way they sat down on a stone to rest. Since it was the first of November, All Saint’s Day, the church bells were ringing. As Dick sat and listened to them, it seemed they were ringing out a message for him: “Turn again Whittington, Thou worthy citizen, Lord Mayor of London?” A thought crossed his mind to be Lord Mayor and ride in a fine coach. He felt he would put up with a few scoldings from the cook if that is what was in store for him. So Dick and his cat returned to Mr. Fitzwarren’s house.

7. Why was the Captain of the ship so overjoyed?

Ans. The captain of the ship was delighted, for the cat was an excellent mouser and so he had no trouble with rats and mice on his voyage.

8. What happened when food was brought in, at the palace?

Ans. When the food was brought in, almost immediately rats and mice ran up and ate all the food. So, the captain sent a message asking for Dick’s cat to be brought to the palace. More food was laid out and the rats and mice appeared as before. The cat immediately pounced killing at least a dozen before they scattered.

9. Why was the queen afraid of the cat?

Ans. The queen was afraid of the cat at first because she had seen how fiercely the cat had attacked the rats and the mice.

10. How much did the king pay for the cat?

Ans. It was agreed that the king would buy the whole cargo from Mr. Fitzwarren’s ship to pay a fine price for it and for the cat alone the king paid ten times the sum again.

12. What changes had the cat brought to Dick’s life?

Ans. The cat was a good mouser so Dick could sleep peacefully at night. The King of Barbary agreed to buy the whole cargo from Mr. Fitzwarren’s ship and for the cat alone the king paid ten times the sum again. Dick became a successful merchant. He married Mr Fitzwarren’s daughter Alice and three times he was elected Lord Mayor of London. He was also in time knighted by the king and became Sir Richard Whittington. He was not only famous, but he was popular too.


1. (A) Arrange the following set of words in the alphabetical order in your notebook.

ship, small, successful, scoldings, stone, saving, someone, stood, streets, still, screamed, sat, seemed, saint, share.

Ans. saint, sat, saving, scolding, screamed, seemed, share, ship, small, someone, still, stone, stood, streets, successful.

(B) Remove the Affixes (Prefix and Suffix) and write the Root-word. (1) successful (2) immediately (3) retrace (4) mouser (5) unfriendly (6) fallen (7) unkind (8) wooden (9) luckily (10) belonging

1. successful – success                       

2. immediately – immediate

3. retrace – trace

4.mouser – mouse

5. unfriendly – friend

6. fallen – fall

7. unkind – kind

8. wooden – wood

9. luckily – luck

10. belonging – belong

2. (A) Find from the story one word for the following.

a) a small room just below a sloping roof – attic

b) a very narrow passage between buildings – alley

c) the highest – ranking officer in the Municipality of a city/down – Mayor

d) the highest ranking official who commands a ship – capital

e) any animal that catches mice – mouser

f) a low constant sound made by cats – purr

(B) Make sentences of your own using the following expressions.

(1) overcome: After attending the new Maths teacher’s class, I was able to overcome my fear of the subject.

(2) put up with: Though my mom does not like it, yet she has to put up with my younger brother’s tantrums.

(3) bargain: Mr. Sonu bargained with the shopkeeper to reduced the price of the watch.

3. Rearrange the following events as they occur in the story.

Put the correct number in the boxes.

(a) Mr Fitzwarren provided shelter to Dick. 4
(b) A carter gave Dick a lift to London. 2
(c) A cat sailed to the African coast. 6
(d) The captain sold the cat for a very high amount of money. 8
(e) Dick left his village on foot, to go to London. 1
(f) Dick became rich, and later, the Mayor of London. 9
(g) Dick was homeless, helpless, cold and hungry. 3
(h) Dick bought a cat to get rid of the mice. 5
(i) The rats and mice ate up all the dinner, laid for the king and queen. 7
4. Think and answer.

(a) What decision taken by Dick changed his fortune?

Ans. The decision of turning back and returning to Mr. Fitzwarren’s house and work for the cook, changed Dick’s fortune.

(b) What message does this story bring out for youngsters?

Ans. The message that this story brings out to the youngsters is that we should always work hard and one day we will be able to enjoy the fruits of our labour.

5. (A) Break the words below into syllables as shown in the first one.

(a) belonging: be – long – ing

(b) unfriendly: un – friend – ly

(c) anything: any – thing

(d) difficulty: di – ffi – cult

(e) captain: cap – tain

(f) morning: morn – ing

(g) citizen: citi – zen

(h) message: mess – age

(i) mayor: may – or

(j) elected: e – lec – ted

(B) Degrees of Comparison of Adjectives.

Read the sentences.

(i) Yatin is strong.

(ii) Amit is stronger than Yatin.

(iii) Pravin is the strongest of all.

In sentence (i) the Adjective ‘strong’ is in its simple form. It is called Positive Degree.

In sentence (ii) the Adjective ‘stronger’ refers to a higher degree, when there is a comparison of two nouns. It is called Comparative Degree. (-er is added to the basic Adjective)

In sentence (iii) the adjective ‘strongest’ refers to the highest degree of comparison of one with more than two nouns. It is called Superlative Degree. (-est is added to the basic Adjective)

Complete the table of degrees of comparison.

Positive Comparative Superlative
(1) great greater greatest
(2) famous more famous most famous
(3) easy easier easiest
(4) bad worse worst
(5) poor poorer poorest
(6) lazy lazier laziest
(7) little less least
(8) worthy worthier worthiest
(9) popular more popular most popular

6. Select any one of the famous personalities mentioned in ‘Warming up 1’ on page no. 5. From the library or internet find out their story of success. Write it in your own words in about 20 to 30 lines of your notebook. Give your write-up a suitable title.

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