I Want Something in a Cage – NCERT Solutions

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

  1. Mr Purcell sold birds, cats, dogs and monkeys.
  2. He was very concerned about the well-being of the birds and animals in his shop.
  3. He was impressed by the customer who bought the two doves.
  4. He was a successful shop owner, though insensitive and cold as a person.


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

Q. Why is Mr. Purcell compared to an owl?

Ans. Purcell appeared like an owl when he looked through his glasses.

Q. From the third paragraph pick out

  1. Words associated with cries of birds.
  2. Words associated with noise.
  3. Words suggestive of confusion and fear.


  1. Whispered, twitter, squeal, cheeps.
  2. Stir, rustling, scampered.
  3. Bewildered, blindly seeking.

Q. Mr. Purcell heard it no more than he would have heard the monotonous ticking of a familiar clock” (Read para beginning with “It was a rough day …………”)

  1. What does it refer to?
  2. Why does Mr Purcell not hear it clearly?


  1. ‘It’ refers to the chirping, squealing and moving of birds all around him.
  2. He has become so used to those noises that he does not mind them.

Q. Do you think the atmosphere of Mr Purcell’s shop was cheerful or depressing? Give reasons for your answer.

Ans. The atmosphere in Mr Purcell’s shop was dull and cheerless. The shop was full of movements of noising birds and pet animals. Mr. Purcell had become used to that noise. But the customer wondered how the owner put up with that noise.

Q. Describe the stranger who came to the pet shop. What did he want?

Ans. The stranger who came to Mr. Purcell’s shop had been released from jail after ten years of imprisonment. His suit though new looking was cheap and ill-fitting. He had close-cropped hair. His eyes moved all around in the shop. He wanted to purchase something in a case.

Q. The man insisted on buying the doves because he was fond of birds. Do you agree?

Ans. No, the man was neither fond of birds nor did he insist on buying the fair doves. He only wanted some birds in a cage.

Q. How had he earned the five dollars he had?

Ans. The man had spent ten years in prison. He had to work hard. He was paid only half a dollar per year. He left the jail with just 5 dollars and a cheap suit.

Q. Was the customer interested in the care and feeding of the doves he had bought? If not, why not?

Ans. No, the man had no love or liking for the doves. He did not mean to keep them as pets. So he paid no attention to what Mr. Purcell said about the feed and care of birds. Soon after stepping out of the shop, he freed the birds and dropped the cage.

Q. Why, in your opinion, did the man set the doves free?

Ans. The man set the doves free because he had got already the better taste of imprisonment. He knew the need and value of freedom. It was his love for freedom that he spent his hard-earned money on buying the doves and setting them free.

Q. Why did it make Mr. Purcell feel “vaguely insulted”?

Ans. Mr Purcell felt insulted because he had reduced the price of the doves and still made profit. He felt small to see ‘the customer’s love for freedom and his great sacrifice.

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