A Legend of The Northland – Important Questions

Important Question and Answers

Q. Read the extracts given below and answer the questions that follow:

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;

  1. Who does ‘he’ refer to in the first line?
  2. What request did ‘he’ make to the woman?
  3. Why did the little woman punish?
  4. Give a word from the passage that means ‘fire place’.


  1. ‘He’ refers to Saint Peter in the first line.
  2. ‘He’ requested the woman to give him a cake.
  3. Little woman punished because
    1. she was greedy and mean.
    2. She was highly stingy.
  4. hearth

Q. Read the extracts given below and answer the questions that follow:

And being faint with fasting,
For the day was almost done,
He asked her, from her store of cakes,
To give him a single one.

  1. Who is ‘He’ in the extract?
  2. What did he ask her to give him?
  3. Who is the poet?
  4. Trace a word from the extract that means ‘weak’.


  1. ‘He’ is referred to Saint Peter in the extract.
  2. He asked her to give him one cake from her store.
  3. Phoebe Cary
  4. faint

Q. Read the extracts given below and answer the questions that follow:

Then Saint Peter grew angry
For he was hungry and faint
And surely such a woman
Was enough to provoke a saint

  1. Why was Saint Peter about to faint?
  2. How did the woman provoke Saint Peter?
  3. Who is the poet?
  4. The rhyming scheme of the given stanza is ___________.


  1. Saint Peter was about to faint as he had been preaching and fasting.
  2. The woman provoked Saint Peter by not giving him the cakes that were baked for him.
  3. Phoebe Cary
  4. abcb

Q. Who came knocking at the door of the old woman? Why was he there?

Ans. In the Northland, an old lady lived in a cottage. She was baking cakes when St. Peter came knocking at her door. He had become weak with fasting and travelling. He was looking for food and hence came knocking at the old lady’s door.

Q. Why does the poet say that the hours of the day are few?

Ans. In the poem, the poet uses a name Northland. In the area of Northland, the nights are longer and the days are shorter. As a result there are very few hours in a day.

Q. Is this poem correct in being known as a legend? Explain.

Ans. A legend is a partially true story, which has been passed on from one person to another through ages. This legend has an important meaning or symbolism for the culture where it originates. A legend includes an element of truth or is based on historic facts, but with mythical qualities. The saint in turn curses the old woman. This poem can also be regarded as a folktale which again is a story told by one generation to another.

Q. What punishment did Saint Peter give to the old lady ?

Ans. Saint Peter changed the old lady into a bird because he felt that she was too selfish to enjoy both food and shelter. As a bird, she had to bore throughout the day in the hard dry wood to get a little food.

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

Ans. This is a legend. It is not a true story. Even the poet feels that it is not true. The most important part of the poem is the point when we realize that the old woman is very greedy. She could not part with her cakes for a hungry man.

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