Std 7 English lesson 3.3 A Crow in the House – questions and answers.

Meaning of difficult words from the lesson:

fluttering – fly unsteadly

tonga – a horse drawn carriage in india

sorry condition – bad state

gaping  – wide open.

prizing – to use force

bring it around  – restore it to consciousness.

doses – small, measured quantities of something.

grubs – caterpillars, larvae of insects, etc.

investigating – exploring;

probing shreds – bits and pieces.

will be the ruin of us  – will be the cause of our destruction

flapping – moving the wings up and down violently.

run of the house – full freedom to do what one wants in the house.

inclination – wish or desire.

fidgeting – to make small nervous moments of hands and feet.

rip – tear or pull something away

shred – a torn strip of paper

ruin – destruction

grumbled – complaint about something in a bad tempered way

fierce – violent

contemptuous – scornful; expressing deep hatred or disapproval

raven – a large crow with mainly black feathers.

carrion crows – crows feeding on dead or decaying flesh (and other garbage).

snobbish – someone who is proud of oneself and looks down on others.

squabble – a noisy quarrel about a small mater.

perched – place where someone sits

cackled – made a rough, clucking cry.

engaging – charming or attractive.

took to visiting – visited regularly as a matter of habit.

to bring it round – to bring it back to consciousness

to tug at something – to pull something

to get rid of – to throw away

 to make one self at home – to make oneself comfortable

helping himself – taking something without permission.

ENGLISH WORKSHOP

I. Find the antonyms for the following from the story:

Motionless x restless

Captivity x freedom

Gentle x fierce

Humble x snobbish

Cooperated x objected

Dull x gleaming

Deep x shallow

Frequent x occasional

II. Find the synonyms for the following from the story:

Disapproved – objected

Bits/pieces – shreds

Rebuke – scold

Attracted – fascinated

Controlled – restricted

Nuisance – pest

Achievement – success

Mishap – disaster

2. Using your imagination, write how the other pets in the house could have objected to Caesar living in their house.

(i) Caesar, the crow would often tug at the dogs’ tails.

– The dogs maybe barking at him angrily and try to chase him away.

(ii) He would squabble with Harold the Hornbill. Perching on top of Harold’s cage, he would peck at the big bird’s feet.

  • Harold would swear and scold and try to catch Caesar through the bars.

3. Prepare a table to show ‘Caesar’s Pranks’ at home and outside.

Ans. Caesar’s Pranks

At home Outside
He danced about on the dining table. he took to visiting neighbouring houses
He was always restless, fidgeting about, investigating things. stealing pens and pencils, hair-ribbons, combs, keys, shuttlecocks, toothbrushes and false teeth.
empty a match-box of its content snatch sweets from the children
rip the daily paper to shreds Take off the clothes peg from the clothes hanging on the clothes line
overturn a vase of flowers Robbing bean’s from the neighbour’s garden.
tug at the tail of one of the dogs  
Perching on top of Harold’s cage, he would peck at the big bird’s feet  
knocked off  Aunt Mabel’s spectacles.  

4. Relate the life-story of Caesar, rearranging the facts in a proper sequence in the form of a flow chart:

• Caesar begins to upset things at home • Neighbour flings a stick at Caesar • Young crow is saved by the narrator • Caesar begins to trouble neighbours • The crow is named Caesar • Caesar passes away • Caesar objects to being caged.

5. Rewrite in your own words (a) One event from the story (b) One of the Caesar’s traits that makes you laugh.

Ans. (a) On one of Aunt Mabel’s visits, Caesar alighted on her arm and cackled, “Kiss, Kiss!” Aunt Mable was delighted-and possibly flattered -and leant forward for a kiss. But Caesar’s attention shifted to my aunt’s gleaming spectacles, and thrusting at them with his beak, he knocked them off

(b) Most of the neighbours were represented in our house by a toothbrush. Toothbrush sales went up that year. So did Grandmother’s blood-pressure. This trait makes me laugh when I imagine having people’s used toothbrushes in one’s house.

6. Hold a debate on – ‘Pets or Pests?’

Group 1:

Many people keep pets at home. Pets are adorable, playful and help us relieve stress. Pets are good companions. They make us active and responsible as we have to take care of them. Dogs as pets help us keep fit as we have to take them out for walks. They are very loyal and will not leave us easily.

Group 2:

Pets are pests as they can be a nuisance. They are dependent on us and so we have to spend a lot of time in feeding and taking care of them. We have to spend a lot of money on their food and upkeep. They may dirty the house if not properly trained. They may not be friendly with visitors and therefore guests may dread coming to our house. With pets in the house one can’t go travelling long distance as we cannot take them with us. We get emotionally attached with our pets, and when we lose them, it takes a long time to overcome the loss.

7. Do you have pet animals? Write an interesting story about your own or your friends’ pet.

Ans. I do not have a pet, but my friend has a pet dog. Once she requested me take it for a walk. I was super excited and readily agreed. As we were walking on the sidewalk, the dog saw a cat and started barking at it. The cat started running away. Suddenly the dog pulled so hard that it released itself from the leash that I was holding and started chasing the cat.  For a split second, I was frozen and did not know what to do. All the people were amused at the sight. But then, the dog, having lost the cat, came back. I heaved a sigh of relief and returned back, promising myself to be more alert and careful next time.

8. Language Study : Complement : There are two types of complement : subject complement and object complement. Subject complement is a word or a phrase used after a verb that describes the subject. The underlined words and phrases in the following sentences are subject complements.

1. I am hungry. 2. My sister became a teacher.

The word ‘hungry’ and the phrase ‘a teacher’ describe the subjects of the verbs. Therefore, they are subject complements.

An object complement comes after the object of a verb and gives us information about the object. The underlined words and phrases in the following sentences are object complements.

3. The class made her the monitor.

4. The teacher found my answer correct.

The phrase ‘the monitor’ gives us information about the object ‘her’. The word ‘correct’ gives us information about the object ‘my answer’.

Textual Questions:

1. What dangers were likely to befall the young crow?

Ans. The young crow was in the danger of being crushed by a cart or a tonga, or seized by a cat.

2. Who were the other members of the author’s family living in the same house?

Ans. The others members of the author’s family living in the same house were his grandfather, grandmother and aunt Mabel.

3.  Did the author’s Grandfather like animals? How do we know that? Give two examples to support your answer.

Ans.  Yes, the author’s grandfather loved animals. We know that grandfather liked animals because he helped the author in nursing the young injured crow back to life. And Grandfather also had many pets in his house.

4. What is implied in ‘He took over the administration of the house?

Ans. This statement implies that the crow would do whatever he wanted to and all others had to simply give in to it including the other pets.

5. Guess how Caesar learnt to say ‘Hello, hello’.

Ans. The author may have taught Caesar to say ‘Hello’ as we know that the author taught him to say ‘kiss’.

6. What is meant by ‘Aunt Mabel never was a success with the pets’? Can you think of the reasons why it was so?

Ans. Aunt Mabel never was a success with pets means that Aunt Mabel did not like pets and so the pets too did not like her.

7. What is implied in the following sentence: ‘Most of the neighbours were represented in our house by a toothbrush.’

Ans. Caesar used to visit the neighbour’s houses and steal things.

He was particularly fond of toothbrushes and had made a collection of them on top of the cupboard. That is why the author states that, ‘Most of the neighbours were represented in our house by a toothbrush.’

8. What actions of the author show that he loved Caesar?

Ans. The author had taught Caesar to sit on his arm and say ‘Kiss, kiss’, while he placed his head gently against the author’s mouth.

He had allowed Caesar to keep all the things that he would take from the neighbours homes, on top of is cupboard. The author had carried the bird home when he was injured after being hit by the neighbour’s stick. When Caesar died the author dug a hole and buried him along with all the toothbrushes and clothes pegs he had taken so much trouble to collect. All these actions show that the author loved Caesar.

Extra Questions:

1. Describe the condition in which the author found the crow?

Ans. The crow was in a sorry condition, beak gaping and head dropping.

2. How did the author and his grandfather nurse the crow?

Ans. The author and his grandfather fed it by prizing its beak gently open with a pencil, pushing in a little bread and milk, and then removing the pencil to allow it to swallow. They varied this diet with occasional doses of Grandmother’s home-made plum wine.

3. Explain the statement, ‘He was offered his freedom but he did not take it?

Ans. When the injured crow had fully recovered, he was not kept in a cage but was given the freedom to fly away. The crow did not fly away but stayed on, in the author’s house.

4. How did Caesar demand food at the dining table?

Ans. He danced about on the dining table and gave the family no peace until he had been given his small bowl of meat and soup and vegetables.

5. What were some of the mischievous acts of Caesar?

Ans. Caesar would hop across a table to empty a match-box of its content, or rip the daily paper to shreds, or overturn a vase of flowers, or tug at the tail of one of the dogs.

6. Was Caesar kept in a cage? Why?

Ans. No Caesar was not kept in a cage. Once they did try keeping Caesar in cage, but he was so angry, and objected with such fierce cawing and flapping, that it was better for everyone’s nerves and peace of mind to give release him.

7. Why according to grandfather did the crow not show any inclination to join the other crows in the banyan tree?

Ans.  According to grandfather the crow did not show any inclination to join the other crows in the banyan tree because he was really a jungle crow-a raven of sorts-and probably felt a little contemptuous of very ordinary carrion crows.

8. What was reason according to the author for Caesar not joining the other crows?

Ans. The author felt that Caesar, having grown used to living with humans on equal terms, had become snobbish and did not wish to mix with his own kind.

9. How did Caesar treat Harold?

Ans. Caesar would squabble with Harold the Hornbill. Perching on top of Harold’s cage, he would peck at the big bird’s feet, whereupon Harold would swear and scold and try to catch Caesar through the bars.

10. How did Caesar talk and what did he learn to say?

Ans. Caesar learnt to talk a little – as ravens sometimes do -in a cracked, throaty voice. He learnt to say the words, ‘hello and kiss’

11. How did Caesar welcome the author when he returned from school?

Ans. He would sit for hours outside the window, banging on the glass with his beak and calling, ‘Hello, hello’. He seemed to recognise the click of the gate when I came home from school, and would come to the door with a hop, skip and jump, saying, ‘Hello, hello!’

12. Describe the incident with Aunt Mabel?

Ans. On one of Aunt Mabel’s visits, Caesar alighted on her arm and cackled, “Kiss, Kiss!” Aunt Mable was delighted-and possibly flattered -and leant forward for a kiss. But Caesar’s attention shifted to my aunt’s gleaming spectacles, and thrusting at them with his beak, he knocked them off.

13. What did grandmother considered Caesar to be, a pet or pest? Why?

Ans. Grandmother considered Caesar to be a pest because he was not afraid of anyone at home; he would create a nuisance by spilling and dropping things and even by irritating other pets in the house.

14. What were some of the things that Caesar brought from the neighbouring houses?

Ans. Some of the things that Caesar brought from the neighbours homes are, pens, pencils, hair-ribbons, combs, keys, shuttlecocks, toothbrushes and false teeth.

15. Why did the sales of toothbrushes go up that year?

Ans. Sales of toothbrushes went up that year as Caesar would steal them from all the neighbouring homes.

16. What did Caesar rob from the children? How did he do that?

Ans. Caesar spied on children going into the bania’s shop, and often managed to snatch sweets from them as they came out.

17. Describe the incident that led to Caesar’s end.

Ans. Caesar was helping himself to the neighbour’s beans when a stick was flung at him, breaking his leg. He never recovered from the injury and later died.

18. Where did the author bury Caesar? What things did he put in the grave?

Ans. The author dug a shallow grave in the garden, and buried him there, along with all the toothbrushes and clothes pegs he had taken so much trouble to collect.

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