Unseen Passage: Be the Best

Reading Comprehension

Be the Best

If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill,
Be a scrub in the valley—but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill,
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree
If you can’t be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway happier make;
If you can’t be a muskie then just be a bass
But be the liveliest bass in the lake!
We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew,
There’s something for all of us here
There’s big work to do and there’s lesser to do,
And the task we must do is the near.
If you can’t be a highway then just be a trail
If you can’t be the sun, be a star,
It isn’t by size that you win or you fail
Be the best of whatever you are!

Answer the following Questions:

  1. What is the poet’s tone in the poem?
  2. What should be our attitude towards our work?
  3. What is the message of the poem?
  4. Winning does not depend on ………………….
  5. Which word in the poem means the same as ‘piece of work’?


  1. Optimistic
  2. Whatever we do, we should do it whole-heartedly.
  3. One should try to do one’s best with whatever one is.
  4. Size
  5. Task

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