Hindi Notes

The Snake and the Mirror NCERT Solutions for Class 9 English Beehive Chapter 5

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Question 1.
Using some of the expressions given above in exercise III, talk about an incident when you were very scared. You may have a competition to decide whose story was the most frightening.

Try it yourself, for self-attempt.

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The following paragraph is about the Indian Cobra. Read it twice and close your book. Your teacher will then dictate the paragraph to you. Write it down with appropriate punctuation marks.

The Indian cobra is the common name for members of the family of venomous snakes, known for their intimidating looks and deadly bite. Cobras are recognized by the heads that they flare when angry or disturbed; the heads are created by the extension of the ribs behind the cobras’ heads. Obviously, the best prevention is to avoid getting bitten. This is facilitated by the fact that humans are not the natural prey of any venomous snake. We are a bit large for them to swallow whole and they have no means of chopping us up into bite-size pieces. Nearly all snakebites in humans are the result of a snake defending itself when it feels threatened. In general, snakes are shy and will simply leave if you give them a chance.

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Question 1.
Try to rewrite the story without its humour, merely as a frightening incident. What details or parts of the story would you leave out?

Do yourself.

Question 2.
Read the description given alongside this sketch from a photograph in a newspaper (Times of India, 4 September 1999). Make up a story about what the monkey is thinking, or why it is looking into a mirror. Write a paragraph about it.

NCERT Solutions for Class 9 English Beehive Chapter 5 The Snake and the Mirror Page 63 Q2

The fairest of them all

A monkey preens itself using a piece of mirror, in the Delhi ridge.

(‘To preen oneself ’ means to spend a lot of time making oneself look attractive, and then admiring one’s appearance. The word is used in disapproval.)
It was a sunny day. A monkey was walking in the garden. Fortunately, he came to the comer of the garden and found a piece of mirror. The monkey started looking in the mirror. First of all, he looked at his face in the mirror and was very happy. He thought that God has given him a human face. Again he looked at his hands and fingers in the mirror. He was very proud because he realised that his hands were long and he could hold things easily. At last, he decided to look at his body in the mirror. This time he was not so much happy because it was full of hair. The monkey was sad and his hands started trembling. Unfortunately, the mirror fell down from his hand and broke into several pieces. When he tried to look at his face in the pieces of the mirror, he saw his cut faces. This time he became angry and left the place.

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The text you read is a translation of a story by a well-known Malayalam writer, Vaikom Muhammad Basheer.

In translating a story from one language to another, a translator must keep the content intact. However, the language and the style differ in different translations of the same text.

– Here are two translations of the opening paragraphs of a novel by the Japanese writer, Haruki Murakami. Read them and answer the questions given below :


When the phone rang I was in the kitchen, boiling a potful of spa­ghetti and whistling along with FM broad­cast of the overture to Rossini’s The Thiev­ing Magpie, which has to be the perfect music for cooking pasta.

I wanted to ignore the phone, not only because the spaghetti was nearly done, but because Claudio Ab- bado was bringing the London Symphony to its musical climax.

I’m in the kitchen cooking spaghetti when the woman calls. Another moment until the spaghetti is done; there I am, whistling the prelude to Rossini s La Gazza Ladra along with the FM radio. Perfect spaghetti­cooking music!

I hear the telephone ring but tell myself, Ignore it. Let the spa­ghetti finish cooking. It’s almost done, and besides, Claudio Ab- bado and the London Symphony Orchestra are coming to a cre­scendo.

Compare the two translations on the basis of the following points :

  • the tense of narration (past and present tense)
  • short, incomplete sentences
  • sentence length

Which of these translations do you like? Give reasons for your choice.


  • The tense of narration (past and present tense)

Opinion: In Column A, sentences are written in the past tense whereas in Column B, they are written in the future tense.

  • Short, incomplete sentences Opinion: In Column B short sentences are used. They are framed in the present tense.
  • Sentence length

Opinion: Column B has short sentences. They are simple and easily comprehensible. Besides, they are framed in the present tense.

Reason: I like the paragraph marked as B. The sentences are framed in the present tense. They give out clear-cut ideas in its simple form. We can easily remember the facts expressed in the present tense.

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