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Birbal the wise
‘Birbal the wise’ is one of the widely read stories for children. Who doesn’t know about Birbal? His real name was ‘Maheshdas’. The character of Birbal is a common name everywhere as he is known for his outstanding wit and wisdom. He was a great poet and singer in the court of Emperor Akbar. He composed poetry by another pen name ‘Brahma’. His exceptional wit earned him a place of courtier among the narratives of Akbar. This story is one among many which shows his wit.
This story is about Surya Singh, Prince of Manipur. Once Surya Singh came to Delhi for a secret mission. On his way he saw a weak and tired man sitting on a road side. He stopped his horse and asked him which way he was going. The man replied that he was going to Delhi but was too tired to go any further. Surya singh felt sorry for him and offered his Horse up to Delhi. The man gladly got on the prince’s Horse. When they reached the city gates, Surya Singh asked the man to get down from the Horse, but the man refused to give him his Horse back.
Then they both went to Birbal to solve their matter, on listening their stories, Birbal told them to come next day. After both men had left, Birbal told the servant to take the horse and follow two men at a distance, then free the animal and see which one it follows. The next day, Birbal called Surya Singh and the traveller and took them to the stable. There were about a dozen of horses of same size and color. He said to the two men that their horse is there. The traveller could not recognize the Horse while as Surya Singh found him at once. The Horse knew his Master too. The traveller got fifty strokes of whip. The message of this story is that the lies have no legs.
Thinking about the Text (Questions Answers)
A. Answer these questions:
1. Who was Surya Singh? Who did he meet on his way?
Ans. Surya Singh is a character of story ” Birbal the Wise “. Surya Singh was the Prince of Manipur and came to Delhi on business. He was travelling alone because it was a secret mission. On his way he met a weak and tired man sitting on a road side.
2. How did Surya Singh help the traveller?
Ans. On his way Surya Singh saw a weak and tired man sitting on a road side.Surya singh felt sorry for him and offered his Horse up to Delhi. The man gladly got on the prince’s Horse.
3. Where did the two men go to settle the dispute?
Ans. The two went to Birbal to solve the dispute.
4. How did Birbal settle the dispute?
Ans. When the two men went to Birbal to solve their matter, on listening their stories, Birbal told them to come next day. The next day Birbal called Surya Singh and the traveller and took them to the stable. There were about a dozen of horses of same size and color. He said to the two men that their horse is there.The traveller could not recognize the Horse while as Surya Singh found him at once. The Horse knew his Master too.
B. Complete the following sentences:
a) Surya Singh was kind because he asked the man to ride his horse up to Delhi.
b) The traveller was dishonest because he refused to give him his Horse back .
A. Horses live in stables and cows live in sheds. In Column A, names of some animals are given. Match them with the places they live in Column B:
B. Phrasal Verbs: A phrasal verb consists of a verb and a particle (preposition, adverb or both).
Its meaning has to be understood as a whole e.g. look into means to investigate. Here are some phrasal verbs which have been used in the story. Use them in sentences of your own.
get off, get on, get down, ride away, bring back, put in, look at , arrange for
get off: escape a punishment or to avoid sth serious or dismount
She got off lightly
get on: to mount on hourse in order to ride
We would not let him get on the horse with him.
get down: to dismount or to demoralize
She carefully got from from the horse.
ride away: To depart (from some place) by riding a vehicle or animal.
They throw the criminal over a horse and ride away.
bring back: to come back with (something or someone)
What did you bring back from your vacation?
Put in: to spend (time)
Wahid has been putting in more hours at the office recently.
look at: to think about a situation or subject carefully, especially in order to make a decision.
We’re looking carefully at all the options.
arrange for: to put into a proper order
He arranged for a meeting with his friends.
A) Past Simple Tense
Look at the following sentence:
1. I met him yesterday.
The above sentence expresses some action which happened at some time in the past.
Thus, Past Simple Tense is used to show an action which happened or took place at some time in the past and the Second Form of the Verb is used with all Subjects.
But in Negative and Interrogative Sentences of Past Simple, ‘did’ is used to form the sentences.
Thus the Negative sentence of the above will be:
(a) I did not (didn’t) meet him yesterday.
Similarly, the Interrogative sentence of the above will be:
(b) Did I meet him yesterday?
NOTE: The Second Form of the Verb (met) is changed to the First Form of the Verb (meet) in both the Negative and Interrogative sentences.
This tense is also used to express some past habit, e.g.:
1. She never came here in the daytime.
2. She studied many hours every day.
Use the correct tense form (Simple Past Tense) in the following sentences:
1. I ___________ the zoo last Friday. (visit)
Ans. I visited the zoo last Friday.
2. He __________ the President last night. (see)
Ans. He saw the President last night. (see)
3. She _________ out half an hour ago. (go)
Ans. She went out half an hour ago
4. The snake ___________ the boy. (bite, not)
Ans. The snake did not bite the boy.
5. They ____________ their fields last week. (plough)
Ans. They ploughed their fields last week. (plough)
6. ______ they _________ the house last Sunday? (leave) .
Ans. Did they leave the house last Sunday?
7. He __________ her last Wednesday. (meet)
Ans. He met her last Wednesday.
8. We _____________ the party last week. ( enjoy, not)
Ans. We did not enjoy the party last week.
9. When ________ the rain _________? (stop)
Ans. When did the rain stop? (stop)
10. We ________ to the movie yesterday. (go)
Ans. We went to the movie yesterday.
B) Look at the following sentence used in the text:
He stopped the horse and asked him, “Which way are you going?’
This sentence is in direct speech or direct narration. The same sentence can be turned into indirect speech in the following way:
He stopped the horse and asked him which way he was going.
While turning a Wh-question into indirect narration we use the subject before the verb.
Note: Wh-question is a question which starts with a Wh-word e.g. What, Which, Why, Where, When, Who, etc.
Now turn the following sentences into indirect narration:
1. He said to him, “How old are you?”
He asked me how old he was.
2. He said to me, “Where do you live?”
He asked me where I lived.
3. “When did he arrive?” she asked me.
She asked me when he arrived .
4. You said to her, “Who told you?”
You asked her how old she was.
5. The teacher asked us, “Why are you late?”
The teacher asked us why we were late.
The stories regarding Birbal’s wisdom are very popular. Learn any such story and share it with your classmates.
Birbal and the Mango Tree
Ram and Sham were in a fight. Both of them said that they owned the same mango tree.
They went up to Birbal and asked him to decide the matter once and for all. “Who was the true owner of the mango tree?”
Birbal said, “There is only one way to settle the matter. First, you must take all the fruits off the tree. Each of you should take half the mangoes. Next you must cut down the tree and divide the trunk in half. Each of you should take half the wood, too. Then everything will be fair. That is what I say.”
Ram thought it was all a good idea and he said so.
But Sham said, “No! I have been taking care of that tree for seven years. If you must, please give the mango tree to Ram. But do not make us cut it down!”
“What you have said just now told me all that I need to know,” said Birbal. He
announced that Sham was the true owner of the mango tree.