TEXTBOOK QUESTIONS SOLVED
THINKING ABOUT THE TEXT
Que I. Discuss in pairs and answer each question below in a short paragraph (30–40 words).
- How many characters are there in the narrative? Name them. (Don’t forget the dog!).
- Why did the narrator (Jerome) volunteer to do the packing?
- How did George and Harris react to this? Did Jerome like their reaction?
- What was Jerome’s real intention when he offered to pack?
- What did Harris say after the bag was shut and strapped? Why do you think he waited till then to ask?
- What ‘‘horrible idea’’ occurred to Jerome a little later?
- Where did Jerome finally find the toothbrush?
- Why did Jerome have to reopen the packed bag?
- What did George and Harris offer to pack and why?
- While packing the hamper, George and Harris do a number of foolish and funny things. Tick the statements that are true.
(i) They started with breaking a cup.
(ii) They also broke a plate.
(iii) They squashed a tomato.
(iv) They trod on the butter.
(v) They stepped on a banana.
Ans. 1. There are four characters in the narrative including the dog. They are the narrator, George, and Harris. The fourth is the dog named Montmorency.
- The narrator felt that he knew more about packing than any other person living. Moreover, he would get an opportunity to boss the job and George and Harris would do the job under his direction.
- They accepted the narrator’s suggestion readily. But Jerome did not like it.
- Jerome’s intention was to boss the job. He wanted Harris and George should work under his guidance and instructions. But they accepted the proposal and sat in the chairs comfortably.
- Harris asked to put the boots in the bag after strapping the bag. He was used to speak after the completion of work.
- Jerome was going to close the bag after putting the boots in it. He suddenly thought of his toothbrush. He always suffers because of the toothbrush.
- Jerome tried his best to find the toothbrush. He unpacked the bag but could not find it. He put the things back one by one held everything up and shook it. Then he found it inside a boot.
- Jerome packed his tobacco pouch in the bag. So he reopened the packed bag.
- George and Harris offered to pack because Jerome did not pack hampers. They decided to pack the rest of things themselves.
- The true statements are as follows: (i), (iii), (iv), (vi), (vii), (ix)
II. What does Jerome say was Montmorency’s ambition in life? What do you think of Montmorency and why?
Ans. Montmorency’s ambition in life is to get in the way and be sworn at. He wants to be a perfect nuisance and make people mad. If things are thrown at his head, he feels his day has not been wasted. To get somebody to stumble over him, and curse him steadily for an hour is his highest aim and object. He came and sat on things, just when they were going to be packed. He put his leg into the jam and worried the teaspoons and pretended that lemons were rats and got into the hamper and killed three of them.
It is the natural, original sin that is born in him that makes him do things like that.
III. Discuss in groups and answer the following questions in two or three paragraphs (100–150 words).
- Of the three, Jerome, George, and Harris, who do you think is the best or worst packer? Support your answer with details from the text.
- How did Montmorency ‘contribute’ to the packing?
- Do you find this story funny? What are the humorous elements in it? (Pick out at least three, think about what happens, as well as how it is described.)
Ans. 1. Of the three, Harris is the worst packer in this world. But none is the perfect packer. All of them are confused and do not know what is to be placed and where. So far as Jerome is concerned he unpacked the bag to find his toothbrush in a boot. He also packs his tobacco pouch in the bag. Harris and George start their work in a light-hearted spirit. There are piles of plates, cups, kettles, bottles, jars, pies, stoves, cakes and tomatoes. They break a cup. Harris packs the strawberry jam on top of a tomato and squashes it. They have to pick out the tomato with a teaspoon. George treads on the butter. He gets it off his slipper and puts it in the kettle. He puts it down on a chair and Harris sits on it. It sticks to him and then they look for it all over the room. In this way, they created chaos in the room.
2. Montmorency’s contribution cannot be forgotten. His ambition in life was to get in the way and be sworn at. He came and sat on things, just when they were going to be packed and he put his leg into the jam. He disturbed everything i.e. teaspoons, etc. He considered the lemons to be rats and got into the hamper and killed three of them.
Montmorency wanted to be a perfect nuisance and make people mad. If things are thrown at his head, he feels his day has not been wasted. To get somebody to stumble over him, and curse him steadily for an hour was his highest aim and objective. When he succeeded in accomplishing it, his conceit became quite unbearable.
3. The story is really humorous and funny. Jerome’s episode of packing, Harris’ and George’s way of packing, and Montmorency’s contribution have made the story funny and interesting. Jerome was confused about his toothbrush and found it in a boot. He also packed his tobacco pouch in the bag. The incident of butter makes the reader laugh. George treads on the butter and it sticks to his slipper. Later he put it on the chair. Harris sits on the chair and it sticks to his bottom. They squash the tomatoes by putting the strawberry jam on them.
Montmorency’s contribution of considering the lemons to be rats is also fascinating and funny. These incidents are described in an orderly and perfect way.
THINKING ABOUT LANGUAGE
I. Match the words/phrases in Column A with their meanings in Column B.
II. Use suitable words or phrases from column A above to complete the paragraph given below.
A Traffic Jam
During power cuts, when traffic lights go off, there is utter ___ at crossroads. Drivers add to the confusion by ____over their right of way, and nearly come to blows. Sometimes passers-by, seeing a few policemen ____at regulating traffic, step in to help. This gives them a feeling of having ___ something.
Ans. chaos, getting into a row, slaving, accomplished.
III. Look at the sentences below. Notice that the verbs (italicised) are all in their bare form.
- Simple commands:
– Stand up!
– Put it here!
- Directions: (to reach your home)
Board Bus No.121 and get down at Sagar Restaurant. From there turn right and walk till you reach a book shop. My home is just behind the shop.
- Do’s and don’ts:
– Always get up for your elders.
– Don’t shout in class.
- Instructions for making a fruit salad:
Oranges – 2
Pineapple – one large piece
Cherries – 250 grams
Bananas – 2
Any other fruit you like
Wash the fruit. Cut them into small pieces. Mix them well. Add a few drops of lime juice. Add sugar to taste. Now add some cream (or ice cream if you wish to make fruit salad with ice cream.)
- Now work in pairs. Give
(i) two commands to your partner.
(ii) two do’s and don’ts to a new student in your class.
(iii) directions to get to each other’s houses.
(iv) instructions for moving the body in an exercise or a dance, or for cooking something.
Ans. (i) Don’t waste time. Don’t spit here.
(ii) Do’s Don’ts
(a) Respect your teachers. Don’t make a noise.
(b) Behave properly. Don’t come late to the class.
(iii) Go straight on M.G. Road. Walk for 10 minutes. Look to the left. There is a park nearby. Across the park, there is my house. It looks like a bungalow with a Holy Cross structure.
(iv) One instance. Sit cross-legged. Raise your palm. Put the thumb on one nostril. Breathe into the air. Then close the open nostril with the tip of the first finger. Remove the thumb from the first nostril. Breathe out the air through the first nostril. This is the yoga called ‘Lom Vilom’.
2. The table below has some proverbs telling you what to do and what not to do. Fill in the blanks and add a few more such proverbs to the table.
You have seen how Jerome, George and Harris mess up their packing, especially of the hamper. From their mistakes you must have thought of some do’s and don’ts for packing. Can you give some tips for packing by completing the paragraph below?
First pack all the heavy items, especially the ones you don’t need right away. Then…
Here are some words and phrases you can use to begin your sentences with:
- Don’t forget
- At last/Finally
Ans. Do yourself.
Look at this sentence.
‘‘I told George and Harris that they had better leave the whole matter entirely to me.’’
The words had better are used
- in an advice or suggestion:
You had better take your umbrella; it looks like rain.
- in an order
You had better complete your homework before you go out to play.
- as a threat
You had better leave or I’ll have you arrested for trespass! When we speak, we say you’d/I’d/he’d better, instead of you had better, etc.
Work in pairs to give each other advice, orders or suggestions, or even to threaten each other. Imagine situations like the following: Your partner
- Hasn’t returned a book to the library.
- Has forgotten to bring lunch.
- hasn’t got enough change for bus fare.
- has found out a secret about you.
- has misplaced your English textbook.
- You had better return the book to the library; the librarian charges a fine for any delay.
- You had better not to forget to bring lunch.
- You had better get change for bus fare or alight from the bus.
- You had better keep your secrets or he will make them public.
- You had better keep your English textbook; your brother will misplace it.
- NCERT Solutions for Class 9
- NCERT Solutions for Class 9 English Language & Literature
- Packing Class 9 Notes English Chapter 7