Gopal and the Hilsa-fish – Summary
Once upon a time, there was a fisherman during the hilsa fish season. Everyone in the kingdom, from sellers to buyers, couldn’t stop talking about it. Even the courtiers were obsessed with hilsa fish. One day, a courtier excitedly told the king about a huge hilsa fish he caught. The king, tired of hearing about it, scolded the courtier. Later, the king apologized and admitted that nobody could stop people from talking about hilsa fish during the season, not even the clever Gopal.
Gopal confidently claimed that he could actually stop people from discussing hilsa fish. Intrigued, the king challenged Gopal to bring a big hilsa fish to the palace without anyone asking about it. Gopal accepted the challenge and executed his plan the next day. He shaved half of his beard, smeared ash on his face, and ignored his wife’s questions about his odd behavior. He simply told her he was going to get a hilsa fish. People on the street laughed at Gopal’s strange appearance as he made his way to the palace with the hilsa fish. Some called him a madman, while others called him a mystic. Gopal embraced the names because it was part of his plan.
Upon reaching the palace, the guards questioned Gopal. He expressed his desire to see the king, but the guards refused him entry due to his shabby appearance. Unable to enter, Gopal started singing and dancing, causing a commotion that bothered the king. Irritated, the king ordered the guards to let the “madman” in. Everyone in the palace was astonished by Gopal’s appearance. The courtiers whispered among themselves, and the king demanded an explanation for Gopal’s bizarre fashion.
Textbook Questions Solved
Q1. Why did the king want no more talk about the hilsa-fish?
Ans. The king was tired of hearing about the hilsa-fish. Everyone was talking about it all the time, and he wanted a break from it.
Q2. What did the king ask Gopal to do to prove that he was clever?
Ans. The king asked Gopal to bring a hilsa-fish into the palace without anyone asking about it. He wanted to see if Gopal could do it to prove that he was clever.
Q3. What three things did Gopal do before he went to buy his hilsa-fish?
Ans. First, he didn’t shave one side of his face completely. Second, he put ash on his face. Third, he wore old and torn clothes instead of his usual nice clothes.
Q4. How did Gopal get inside the palace to see the king after he had bought the fish?
Ans. When the guards wouldn’t let Gopal inside the palace, he started singing and dancing loudly. His singing caught the attention of the king and the people in the court, and the king allowed him to come in.
Q5. Explain why no one seemed to be interested in talking about the hilsa-fish which Gopal had bought.
Ans. Nobody seemed to be interested in talking about the hilsa-fish Gopal had bought because they were too busy laughing and talking about his funny appearance. People were fascinated by how he looked, and they didn’t even notice the hilsa-fish he was carrying.
Q6. Write ‘True’ or ‘False’ against each of the following sentences.
(i) The king lost his temper easily. False
(ii) Gopal was a madman. False
(iii) Gopal was a clever man. True
(iv) Gopal was too poor to afford decent clothes. False
(v) The king got angry when he was shown to be wrong. False
Working with Language
Q1. Change the following sentences in the story to reported speech. The first one has been done for you.
(ii) Why is your face half-shaven?
Gopal’s wife asked him why his face was half-shaven.
(iii) I accept the challenge, Your Majesty.
Gopal told the king that he accepted the challenge.
(iv) I want to see the king.
Gopal told the guards that he wanted to see the king.
(v) Bring the man to me at once.
The king ordered the guard to bring the man to him at once.
Q2. Find out the meaning of the following words by looking them up in the dictionary. Then use them in sentences of your own.
Meaning – a dare or a test of one’s abilities.
Sentence – Sarah gave her friends a challenge to see who could jump the highest.
Meaning – a person who believes in spiritual or supernatural things.
Sentence – The old man claimed to be a mystic who could communicate with the spirits.
Meaning – funny or amusing.
Sentence – The clown’s silly antics were comical and made everyone laugh.
Meaning – a person who is a part of a royal court and advises the king or queen.
Sentence – The courtier presented a gift to the king on behalf of a foreign dignitary.
Meaning – spreading a substance on a surface.
Sentence – The children were smearing paint on their hands to create colorful handprints.