Unseen Passage: Little Girl and the Pine Tree

Long, long ago, in a big forest, there were many trees. Among the cluster of trees, there was a very tall pine tree. He was so tall that he could talk to the stars in the sky. He could easily look over the heads of the other trees. One day late in the evening, the pine tree saw a ragged, skinny girl approaching him. He could see her only because of his height. The little girl was in tears. The pine tree bent as much as he could and asked her: ‘‘What is the matter ? Why are you crying ?’’

The little girl, still sobbing, replied, ‘‘I was gathering flowers for a garland for goddess Durga, who I believe, would help my parents to overcome their poverty and I have lost my way’’. The pine tree said to the little girl, ‘‘It is late evening. It will not be possible for you to return to your house, which is at the other end of the forest. Sleep for the night at this place.’’ The pine tree pointed out to an open cavelike place under him. The litttle girl was frightened of wild animals. The girl quickly crept into the cavelike place. The pine tree was happy and pleased with himself. He stood like a soldier guarding the place. The little girl woke up in the morning and was amazed to see the pine tree standing as a guard outside the cave. Then her gaze travelled to the heap of the flowers that she had gathered the previous night. The flowers lay withered on the ground. The pine tree understood what was going on in the girl’s mind. He wrapped his branches around the nearby flower trees and shook them gently. The little girl’s eyes brightened. But a great surprise awaited her. The pine tree brought out a bag full of gold coins which had been lying for years in the hole in its trunk and gave it to the girl. With teary eyes, she thanked her benefactor and went away.

On the basis of your reading of the above passage, answer the following questions briefly.

  1. Why was the little girl crying?
  2. Where did the pine tree want the little girl to sleep for the night?
  3. Why was the little girl disappointed when she looked at the flowers and what did the tree do to make her happy?
  4. What lesson does the story teach us?

Answer

  1. The little girl was crying as she had lost her way while gathering flowers for a garland of goddess Durga, who she believed, would help her parents to overcome their poverty.
  2. The pine tree wanted the little girl to spend the night in an open cave-like place under him.
  3. The little girl was disappointed because the flowers that she had gathered the previous night lay withered on the ground and she could not make a garland from them. To make her happy the pine tree wrapped its branches around the nearby flower trees and shook them gently.
  4. The story teaches us the lesson to be gentle and kind to others and help those in need. It also teaches us that devoting faith in the almighty always gives us positive results.

Write appropriate meaning of the given words:

  1. What is meant by the word, ‘cluster’?
  2. What is meant by the word, ‘approaching’?
  3. What is meant by the word, ‘wild ’?
  4. What is meant by the word, ‘withered’?

Answer

  1. group
  2. coming close
  3. dangerous
  4. shrunk

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