A Legend of the Northland Class 9 Notes English Poetry

SUMMARY OF THE POEM

In this poem, the poet tells us about an incident that took place in Northland. Nights in Northland are very long and the people can not stay asleep for the whole night. People residing there harness the reindeer to pull their sleds. Their children wear furry clothes. Then the poet narrates a story. However, the poet does not believe it to be true.

Once, Saint Peter was traveling around the earth. He came across a little woman who was baking cakes in a hearth in Northland. The Saint was feeling very weak due to fast. Therefore, he requested the lady to give him a cake. The lady was very greedy. She made a small cake and placed it on the hearth to bake it. But it became large in size after it was turned. She changed her mind and placed it on the shelf instead of giving it to the saint. Then she took a little scrap of dough and baked it. But she again failed to part with it. She said that when she eats them, they look small to her; but when she gives them to others, it looks too big to give away.

At this, the saint tells her she is too selfish to dwell in human form in the warmth of a house. Saying this, he transforms her into a woodpecker. Now she will get very little food and will keep boring the holes in the dry hardwood. At this, she entered the chimney and when she escaped from the top of it, her clothes were burnt in the flames except her scarlet cap and now she was a woodpecker. Every country schoolboy can see her boring in the woods even today.

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