SEBA Class 9 English (Poem) |Chapter-5| A Legend Of the Northland

SEBA Class 9 English (Poem) |Chapter-5| A Legend Of the NorthlandNCERT/SCERT Class 9 English Beehive Question Answer to each chapter is provided in the list of SEBA ইংৰাজী Class 9 Question Answer so that you can easily browse through different chapters and select needs one. SEBA Class 9 English (Poem) |Chapter-5| A Legend Of the Northland Question Answer can be of great value to excel in the examination.


SEBA Class 9 English (Poem) |Chapter-5| A Legend Of the Northland

SEBA Class 9 English (Poem) |Chapter-5| A Legend Of the Northland Notes covers all the exercise questions in Assam Board SEBA Textbooks. The SEBA Class 9 English (Poem) |Chapter-5| A Legend Of the Northland provided here ensures a smooth and easy understanding of all the concepts. Understand the concepts behind every chapter and score well in the board exams.

About the poem – Phoebe Cary

Phoebe Cary was born on September 4, 1824, in Ohio near Cincinnati. Alice Cary, the famous poetess was her sister, four years elder to her. Though they had to do a lot of household work they were determined to study and persisted. Phoebe was a champion of women’s rights and was also editor of The Revolution, a newspaper, for a short time. In 1848, the poetry of the sisters was published in the anthology Female Poets of America and in 1959 Poems of Alice and Phoebe Cary. After this the sisters moved to New York City and wrote regularly for periodicals. Alice is more famous, but Phoebe is considered to be a finer poet. Alice died of tuberculosis in 1871 and Phoebe’s grief at her sister’s passing contributed to her own death five months later.

Summary :

Penned down by Phoebe Cary the poem “A legend of Northland” narrates a popular fable of Northern Europe in the form of a ballad. It tells the story of how a miserly woman once angered Saint Peter by her acts and was rebuked and punished by him for the same.

The poet begins by saying that far away in the Northland there is a common legend told and retold down the generations. Even though the poet questions the authenticity of the tale, nevertheless he recounts it, because he feels it might help the reader learn a thing or two.

The story is set in the time when the good Saint Peter walked our world in his earthly form, preaching the Holy word. During one of his travels, wearied and hungry, he reached the door of a cottage where a woman lived. She was baking cakes when he arrived. Exhausted from his travels and fasting, Saint Peter appealed to her good nature, asking her to give him a single cake from her store. The miserly woman baked a small cake for him but when it was about to be done, it seemed too big to part with. So she kneaded another, and another, each smaller than the earlier one but the stingy woman could not bring herself to give them away. She then made a wafer-thin tiny cake, but could not give it too. She realises when she eats the cakes she finds them too small, but even the smallest that appears too big to give away. All the while Saint Peter stood there, amazed at the woman’s miserly behaviour. His hunger and patience gave way to anger. He could not help but curse the miserly being. Reprimanding her for her actions, he pronounced that she was too selfish to be human and have easy access to food, shelter and clothing. Instead, he opined, she should live as a bird, boring into wood all day for the tiniest morsel of food. And as soon as he uttered this curse, the woman went up the chimney

and transformed into a woodpecker flew out of it and away. The tale ends with the poet saying that a woman now changed into a woodpecker can still be seen in the forest, boring into the wood of trees. The legend is a lesson for all not to be miserly.


Thinking about the Poem 

I. 1. Which country or countries do you think “the Northland” refers to?

Ans. Northland refers to the cold extreme-northern countries of the northern hemisphere, near the Arctic circle. Since the poet is American, she could be referring to Alaska.

2. What did Saint Peter ask the old lady for? What was the lady’s reaction?

Ans. Saint Peter asked the old lady to give him a single cake from her store of cakes. In response to this request, the old lady proceeded to bake Saint Peter a tiny cake. 

3. How did he punish her?

Ans. Saint Peter punished the miserly lady by turning her into a woodpecker bird which would have to get her food by boring into the trees all day.

4. How does the woodpecker get its food?

Ans. As the name suggests, the woodpecker pecks into wood of trees, boring in and out till it catches some insect living inside the tree.

5. Do you think that the old lady would have been so ungenerous if she had known who Saint Peter really was? What would she have done then? 

Ans. No, I believe if the old lady knew the true identity of Saint Peter, she would not have been so ungenerous. She might have even shared her biggest and tastiest cake with him. Or if her miserly mindset prevented her from doing that, at the very least she would have given him one cake as he had asked for. feel

6. Is this a true story? Which part of this poem do you think is the most important?

 Ans. No, this is not a true story but a legend.

The part of the poet which I felt was most important was when Saint Peter chided the woman for being so selfish, even when she had excess to spare, and when he turned the ungenerous lady into a woodpecker so as to teach her a lesson. This goes on to show just how easy our life is compared to the birds and the animals. Unlike us, they have to scourge the entire day for the tiniest scrap of food. Yet we humans flinch at the idea of having to share our opulence with people less fortunate than us.

7.What is a legend? Why is this poem called a legend? 

Ans. A legend is a non-historical or unverifiable traditional old story that has been passed down through the ages. This poem is called a legend because it is a traditional story popular in the northern countries, that has been told through the ages, but has no historical evidence of being true.

8.Write the story of ‘A legend of the Northland’ in about ten sentences.

Ans. Once upon a time, when Saint Peter lived on earth he moved from place to place spreading the word of the Lord. During one such trip, he arrived at the door of a woman who was baking cakes. Tired and hungry from fasting, he asked her for a single cake. Not wanting to part with her big cakes, the miserly woman made him a little cake. However she found it too, too big to give away and hence made an even smaller one. This went on until she made a wafer-than tiny cake. Her greed did not allow her to give him this too, and she said to herself that cakes that appeared too small when she ate them, seemed too large for giving away, and set all the cakes on the shelf. Saint Peter was enraged at the woman’s penurious nature and pronounced that she did not deserve to be a human and enjoy the comforts of life. He decided that she would now have to bore through wood to get even scanty food. Saying so he transformed her into a woodpecker, and to this day she pecks wood in the forests to look for food.

II I. Let’s look at the words at the end of the second and fourth lines, viz., ‘snows’ and ‘clothes’, ‘true’ and ‘you’, ‘below’ and ‘know’. We find that ‘snows’ rhymes with ‘clothes’, ‘true’ rhymes with ‘you’ and ‘below’ rhymes with ‘know’.

Find more such rhyming words.

Ans. snows-clothes, true-you, below-know, earth-hearth, done-one, lay-away, flat-that, myself-shelf, faint-saint, form-warm, food wood, word-bird, same-flame, few-through.

SEBA Class 9 English Question Answer

Sl. NOChapters NamesLink
Chapter 1The Fun They HadClick Here
The Road Not TakenClick Here
Chapter 2The Sound Of Music
Part-IEvelyn Glennie Listens to Sound without Hearing ItClick Here
Part-IIThe Shehnai of Bismillah KhanClick Here
WindClick Here
Chapter 3The Little GirlClick Here
Rain on The RoofClick Here
Chapter 4A Truly Beautiful Mind Click Here
The Lake Isle Of InnisfreeClick Here
Chapter 5The Snake And The MirrorClick Here
A Legend Of the NorthlandClick Here
Chapter 6My ChildhoodClick Here
No Men Are ForeignClick Here
Chapter 7PackingClick Here
The Duck And the KangarooClick Here
Chapter 8Reach for the TopClick Here
Part-ISantosh YadavClick Here
Part-IIMaria SharapovaClick Here
On Killing A TreeClick Here
TreesClick Here
Chapter 9The Bond Of LoveClick Here
The Snake TryingClick Here
Green SnakeClick Here
Chapter 10KathmanduClick Here
A Slumber Did My Spirit SealClick Here
Fear No MoreClick Here
Chapter 11If I Were YouClick Here
Chapter 12A Visit to Kaziranga and SivasagarClick Here
Chapters no.Chapters NamesLink
Chapters 1The Lost ChildClick Here
Chapters 2The Adventures of TotoClick Here
Chapters 3Iswaran The StorytellerClick Here
Chapters 4In the Kingdom of FoolsClick Here
Chapters 5The Happy PrinceClick Here
Chapters 6Weathering the Storm in ErsamaClick Here
Chapters 7The Last LeafClick Here
Chapters 8A House Is Not A HomeClick Here
Chapters 9The Accidental Tourist Click Here
Chapters 10The BeggarClick Here


Answer the following questions: 

1. Describe ‘Northland’ as done by the poet in the poem “A legend of the Northland”. 

Ans. Northland as described by the poet is a distant land where the nights are longer than the days, lasting so long in winter that people cannot sleep all through the night. It is the land where the inhabitants harness swift reindeers to their sledges and use them to travel over the snow. The children wear furry clothes to keep out the cold, which according to the poet make them look like bear’s cubs.

2. Who did the lady anger? How? 

Ans. The old lady angered Saint Peter.

She angered Saint Peter by her selfishness. Tired and hungry, Saint Peter had requested her to give him a single cake from her store of cakes but the miserly woman could not bring herself to do so. She could not share even the smallest of her cakes and kept baking smaller and smaller ones while keeping Saint Peter waiting, a wait which proved to be in vain, as in the end she refused to give him any cake. This behavior of hers angered Saint Peter and he cursed her, turning her into a woodpecker.

3. Why did not the lady give Saint Peter any cakes? 

Ans. The lady was selfish and mean spirited and could not bear the thought of parting with even the smallest of her cakes, each of which appeared too big to her, to give away. And so she failed to accede to Saint Peter’s request and give him a cake. 

4. What do you learn from this poem?

Ans. This poem teaches us that we should not live only for ourselves, thinking just about our loss and gain. Because while we fret about petty things, there are many who are less fortunate than us and it is them we should be thinking about and share our good fortune with others. We should be kind and considerate towards all fellow human beings. If not we might not be changed into a bird, but we will definitely turn into a mean-spirited, selfish person whom everyone dislikes.

Reference to the context :

1. “He came to the door of a cottage,

In travelling round the earth 

Where a little woman was making cakes

And baking them on the hearth” 

(a) Who is the ‘he’ referred to in here? Why was he travelling round the earth?

Ans. ‘He’ in the above given lines refers to Saint Peter. Saint Peter was travelling around the earth in his human form spreading the word of the Lord.

(b) What was the woman baking?

Ans. The little woman was baking cakes on her hearth. 

(c) The word ‘hearth’ means

  1.  area around a fireplace
  2. oven
  3. kitchen
  4. fire

Ans.(1) area around a fireplace

(d) Give the noun form of the word ‘travelling’.

Ans. Travel or Traveller

2. “And every country schoolboy

Has seen her in the wood,

Where she lives in the trees till this very day, Boring and boring for food.”

(a) Who is the ‘her’ referred to in here? 

Ans. The little woman who refused to share her cakes with Saint Peter is referred to as ‘her’ in the above given lines.

(b) Why does she live in the trees? 

Ans. The little woman lived in the trees because angered by her selfishness, Saint Peter had turned her into a woodpecker and banished her into the trees. 

(c) The word ‘boring’ here means 

  1.  make holes into the wood of a tree
  2. to get bored 
  3. irritate someone
  4. cutting down the tree

Aus.(1) make holes into the wood of a tree

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