Gopal and the Hilsa-Fish – NCERT Solutions

Q. Why did the king want no more talk about the hilsa-fish?

Ans. The king was very much fed up with the common talk about the hilsa fish.

Q. What did the king ask Gopal to do to prove that he was clever?

Ans. The king asked Gopal to buy and bring a huge hilsa to the palace without anyone asking him about it.

Q. What three things did Gopal do before he went to buy the hilsa-fish?

Ans. Gopal half shaved his face, smeared ash on his body and put on rags before he went to buy the hilsa-fish.

Q. How did Gopal get inside the palace to see the king after he had bought the fish?

Ans. At first the gatekeeper would not let Gopal in. Gopal began to dance and cry. The king heard the noise and asked the guard to bring the noisemaker before him.

Q. Explain why no one seemed to be interested in talking about the hilsa-fish which Gopal had bought?

Ans. Gopal’s outfit and his peculiar look were such that no one bothered about the hilsa-fish he had bought.

Q. Write ‘True’ or ‘False’ against each of the following sentences.

  1. The king lost his temper easily.
  2. Gopal was a mad man.
  3. Gopal was a clever man.
  4. Gopal was too poor to afford decent clothes.
  5. The king got angry when he was shown to be wrong.


  1. False
  2. False
  3. True
  4. False
  5. False

Q. Change the following sentences in the story to reported speech.

  1. How much did you pay for that hilsa?
    The woman asked the man _____________________.
  2. Why is your face half-shaven?
    Gopal’s wife asked him _____________________.
  3. I accept the challenge, Your Majesty.
    Gopal told the king _____________________.
  4. I want to see the king
    Gopal told the guards _____________________.
  5. Bring the man to me at once.
    The king ordered the guard _____________________.


  1. The woman asked the man how much he had paid for that hilsa.
  2. Gopal’s wife asked him why his face was half-shaven.
  3. Gopal told the king that he accepted the challenge.
  4. Gopal told the guards that he wanted to see the king.
  5. The king ordered the guard to bring the man to him at once.

Q. Find out the meaning of the following words by looking them up in the dictionary. Then use them in sentences of your own.

challenge, mystic, comical, courtier, smearing


  • Challenge
    • Meaning: a call to fight
    • Sentence: No country can challenge the fact that man is more dangerous than any other animal.
  • Mystic
    • Meaning: occcult, having spiritual power
    • Sentence: A mystic is a person who can reach truth beyond human understanding.
  • Comical
    • Meaning: amusing
    • Sentence: Wearing the straw hat, she looked comical.
  • Courtier
    • Meaning: an assistant of a king at court
    • Sentence: The king and his courtiers were fools.
  • Smearing
    • Meaning: spreading grease or paint.
    • Sentence: The saint smeared ash on his body.

Q. Now ask your partner questions about each picture.

  1. Where is the stag?
  2. What is he doing?
  3. Does he like his antlers (horns)?
  4. Does he like his legs?
  5. Why is the stag running?
  6. Is he able to hide in the bushes?
  7. Where are the hunters now?
  8. Are they closing in on the stag?
  9. Is the stag free?
  10. What does the stag say about his horns and his legs?


  1. The stag is by the side of a pond.
  2. He is going to drink water. He sees the reflection of his horns in water.
  3. Yes, he feels proud of his beautiful horns.
  4. No, he laments that his legs are very thin and ugly.
  5. The stag is running on seeing the hunters.
  6. No, he is not able to hide in the bushes because of his horns.
  7. The hunters are now close in on the stag.
  8. Yes, they are closing in on the stag.
  9. Yes, the stag is free.
  10. He realises his folly. He has been proud of his horns but they could have caused his death. He was ashamed of his long, ugly legs. But they saved him.

Q. Now write the story in your own words. Give it a title.

The Foolish Stag

A stag in the forest was thirsty. He went to a pond. He saw the reflection of his beautiful horns in water. He felt proud of them. Then he looked at his legs. He felt ashamed of his thin and ugly legs. Just then he saw some hunters coming towards him. He ran for life. His horns were caught in the branches. He escaped somehow because his thin, ugly legs helped him run beyond the hunters’ reach. He realised his foolishness. He had felt proud of his horns which could have caused his death. On the other hand, his legs which he was ashamed of, saved him.

Q. Complete the following word ladder with the help of the clues given below.

  1. Mother will be very _______________ if you don’t go to school.
  2. As soon as he caught _______________ of the teacher, Mohan started writing.
  3. How do you like my _______________ kitchen garden? Big enough for you, is it?
  4. My youngest sister is now a _______________ old.
  5. Standing on the _______________, he saw children playing on the road.
  6. Don’t make such a _______________. Nothing will happen.
  7. Don’t cross the _______________ till the green light comes on.


  1. cross
  2. sight
  3. tiny
  4. year
  5. roof
  6. fuss
  7. street

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