Chapter 3 The Little Girl
Thinking about the text
I. Given below are some emotions that Kezia felt. Match the emotions in Column A with the items in Column B.
1. fear or terror
(i) father comes into her room to give her a goodbye kiss
1. — (iii)
2. — (ii)
3. — (vi)
II. Answer the following questions in one or two sentences:
Why was Kezia afraid of her father?
Kezia was afraid of her father because he used to talk to her harshly. He was in a habit of finding out her mistakes.
Who were the people in Kezia’s family?
Kezia’s family had her grandmother, mother and father.
What was Kezia’s father’s routine?
- before going to his office?
- after coming back from his office?
- on Sundays?
- He used to kiss Kezia casually before going to his office.
- He would ask for the newspaper and tea after coming back from his office.
- On Sundays, he would take rest. He would enjoy sound sleep on the sofa.
In what ways did Kezia’s grandmother encourage her to get to know her father better?
Kezia’s grandmother sent her to her father’s room to have a nice talk with him. Besides, she asked her to make a gift of a pin-cushion on her father’s birthday.
III. Discuss these questions in class with your teacher and then write down your answers in two or three paragraphs each.
Kezia’s efforts to please her father resulted in displeasing him very much. How did this happen?
Kezia used to be afraid of her father because her father talked to her harshly. One day her grandmother told her to make a pin-cushion to gift him on his birthday which was approaching. Kezia took it an opportunity to please him. So, she stitched cotton cloth three sides and looked for the things that could be stuffed into the stitched cloth. Soon she found out many sheets of paper. Actually they contained her father’s speech for the Port Authority. She tore them into pieces and stuffed her case.
One day when her father looked for the papers, he did not find them. After some time, he came to know that Kezia had tom them into pieces to make a pin-cushion. He got infuriated and beat her with a ruler. Thus, her efforts to please her father resulted in displeasing him very much.
Kezia decides that there are “different kinds of fathers”. What kind of father was Mr Macdonald, and how was he different from Kezia’s father?
In Kezia’s opinion, her father was very harsh. He did not talk to her affectionately but rather he used to speak to her stringently. So she avoided him. She did not want to be in front of him because she was afraid of him. Moreover, her father never spent time with her.
Macdonald family lived next door to her house. One evening she saw him playing tag with his children. A baby was on his shoulders and two little girls were hanging on to his coat pockets. They were laughing. Also, she saw some boys turn the hose on Macdonald and he tried to catch them laughing all the time. She found them feel friendly with their father. So, she wished if her father were like them.
How does Kezia begin to see her father as a human being who needs her sympathy?
One night Kezia had a nightmare which made her too terrified. She was crying out of fear. When she woke up, she found her father beside her bed with a candle in his hand. He asked her what the matter was. When he came to know about her nightmare, he blew out the candle, bent down and caught up the child in his arms. He carried her to the big bedroom. He laid her on the bed and pulled the covers up around her. Apart from this, he lay down beside her.
After some time, still half asleep, she crept close to him, snuggled her head under his arm and held tightly to his shirt. Now she felt comfortable.
Her father told her to rub her feet against his legs and get them warm.
Now, Kezia realised that her father was not as harsh as she thought. She realised that her father had to work all day long and got so tired that he could not play with her. She realised that her father wanted her to understand his compulsion. At bottom, he was a very good person.
Thinking about language
I. Look at the following sentence.
There was a glad sense of relief when she heard the noise of the carriage growing fainter…
Here, glad means happy about something. Glad, happy, pleased, delighted, thrilled and overjoyed are synonyms (words or expressions that have the same or nearly the same meaning.) However, they express happiness in certain ways.
Read the sentences below:
- She was glad when the meeting was over.
- The chief guest was pleased to announce the name of the winner.
Use an appropriate word from the synonyms given above in the following sentences. Clues are given in brackets.
- She was ………. by the news of her brother’s wedding, (very pleased)
- I was ………. to be invited to the party. (extremely pleased and excited about)
- She was ………. at the birth of her granddaughter, (extremely happy)
- The coach was ……….. with his performance, (satisfied about)
- She was very …………. with her results. (happy about something that has happened)
Study the use of the word big in the following sentence:
He was so big—his hands and his
neck, especially his mouth…
Here, big means large in size.
Now, consult a dictionary and find out the meaning of big in the following sentences. The first one has been done for you.
- You are a big girl now. older
- Today you are going to take the biggest decision of your career …….
- Their project is full of big ideas …….
- Cricket is a big game in our country……..
- I am a big fan of Lata Mangeshkar……..
- You have to cook a bit more as my friend is a big eater ……..
- What a big heart you’ve got, Father dear ……..
- most important
- very popular
- very affectionate/large-hearted.
II. Verbs of Reporting
Study the following sentences.
- “What! ” screamed Mother.
- “N-n-no”, she whispered.
- “Sit up”, he ordered.
The italicised words are verbs of reporting. We quote or report what someone has said or thought by using a reporting verb. Every reporting clause contains a reporting verb. For example:
- He promised to help in my project.
- “How are you doing?” Seema asked. We use verbs of reporting to advise, order, report statements, thoughts, intentions, questions, requests, apologise, manner of speaking and so on.
Underline the verbs of reporting in the following sentences.
- He says he will enjoy the ride.
- Father mentioned that he was going on a holiday.
- No one told us that the shop was closed.
- He answered that the price would go up.
- I wondered why he was screaming,
- Ben told her to wake him up.
- Ratan apologised for coming late to the party.
Some verbs of reporting are given in the box. Choose the appropriate verbs and fill in the blanks in the following sentences:
were complaining, shouted, replied, remarked, ordered, suggested
- “I am not afraid” ………. , the woman.
- “Leave me alone,” my mother
- The children ……….. that the roads were crowded and noisy.
- “Perhaps he isn’t a bad sort of a chap after all” ……….., the master.
- “Let’s go and look at the school ground”……….., the sports teacher.
- The traffic police ……….. all the passers- by to keep off the road.
- were complaining
Form pairs or groups and discuss the following questions:
This story is not an Indian story. But do you think there are fathers, mothers and grandmothers like the ones portrayed in the story in our own country?
There is no doubt that the Indian families too have such fathers, mothers and grandmothers. In this world of cut-throat competition everyone aspires for success. So, the parents (father and mother) get employed to provide the children with all the worldly comforts. But they fail to comprehend the psychology of the tiny tots and make them feel isolated. Children need parents’ time and love. They want that then- parents should interact with them humbly and without hurting their feelings.
Was Kezia’s father right to punish her?
What kind of a person was he? You might find some of these words useful in describing him:
Kezia’s father was not right to punish her. He should have understood that she was only a child and a child tends to make mistakes. A child’s mistake should always be mended.
On the one hand, he was strict, unkind and short tempered. On the other hand, he was hard-working, responsible and caring to his family. He worked hard all day long and got tired. So, he was compelled not to give any time to Kezia. At heart he cared and loved Kezia very much. When she got frightened due to a nightmare, he immediately came to her with a candle to know what had happened to her. It shows that he cared her very much.
Has your life been different from or similar to that of Kezia when you were a child? Has your perception about your parents changed now? Do you find any change in your parents ’ behaviour vis-a-vis yours? Who has become more understanding? What steps would you like to take to build a relationship based on understanding? Write three or four paragraphs (150-200 words) discussing these issues from your own experience.
Extract Based Questions (3 marks, each)
Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow:
To the little girl he was a figure to be feared and avoided. Every morning before going to work he came into her room and gave her a casual kiss, to which she responded with ‘Good Bye Father’. And oh, there Was a glad sense of relief when she heard the noise of the carriage growing fainter and fainter down the long road! ,
- What was the daily routine of the father ?
- ‘When did the daughter feel relief ?
- Trace a word from the passage which means “answered”. (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-015)
- The daily routine of Kezia’s father was to visit her daughter’s room, meet her and give her a kiss before leaving for work.
- The daughter felt relief when the carriage went away from the house.
But the same old nightmare came the butcher with a knife and a rope who came nearer and nearer, with that dreadful smile, while she could not move, only stand still, crying out “Grandma!”. She woke shivering to see father beside her bed, a candle in his hand. “What is the matter ?” he said.
- Why did she get the nightmare ?
- Where was the butcher ?
- Find a word from the passage that means “shake in fear and cold”.
(Board Tenn 1,2012, ELI-018)
- She got the nightmare as she was alone with her father at home and her mother and granny were in the hospital.
- The butcher was in her dream.
“But it was for your b-b- birth day.” Down came the ruler on her little, pink palms. Hours later, when grandmother had wrapped her in a shawl and rocked her in the rocking-chair, the child clung to her soft body. “What did God make fathers for ?” she sobbed.
- Who is responding in the first line and before whom ?
- How did the father react ?
- Find a word from the passage that means “wept”. (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-019)
- Kezia is responding before her father.
- The father became angry and beat her pink palms with a ruler.
On Sunday afternoon, Grandmother sent her down to file drawing room to have a “Nice talk with Father and Mother”. But the little girl always found mother reading and father stretched out on the sofa, his handkerchief on his flee, his feet on one of file best cushion, sleeping soundly and snoring.
- Who was ‘she’ and why did the grandmother send her down ?
- What did she notice about her parents ?
- Trace a word that means “undisturbed”. (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-020)
- “She” is Kezia. Grandmother sent her down to have a nice talk with her parents.
- She noticed that her father was sleeping and snoring and mother was reading.
She sat on a stool, gravely watched him until he woke and stretched, and asked the time – then looked at her. “Don’t stare so, Kezia. You look like a little brown owl”.
- Who is Kezia watching gravely ?
- Why was she sitting there waiting for him to wake up ? ;
- Trace the word in the extract which means “seriously”. (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-026)
- Kezia was watching her father gravely.
- On a Sunday afternoon, her grandmother sent her to have a nice talk with father and mother. But Kezia always found her father sleeping on the sofa.
Short Answer Type Questions (2 marks each)
(About 30-40 words each)
What orders were passed to Kezia in the evening when father returned home from office ?(SA-1, DDE-2014) (Board Term 1, Sept, 2012, E21-017)
When Kezia’s father returned home from office she was supposed to come down, take off father’s shoes and put them outside. She was also to put her father’s teacup on file tea table.
Why did Kezia avoid her father ? (Board Term, Sept, 1,2013, K2G41GH)
Kezia avoided her father because according to her, her father was an emotionless person. He never spoke to Kezia lovingly and calmly. He scolded Kezia and reprimanded her for making mistakes. Kezia stammered in front of her father since he was a very huge and giant like figure far away from the warmth of a father.
Why did Kezia stammer in front of her father ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-013)
Why did Kezia stutter only with her father ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-043)
Kezia father always scolded her never spoke to her in a loving manner. So, Kezia stammered in front of her father because she was afraid of him and found it difficult to speak in front of him.
Why was Kezia afraid of her father ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-022)
Kezia was a little sensitive girl. Her father was aggressive and always spoke loudly. He always scolded her. He used to beat her. Even when she accepted her mistakes. He never played with her. This made her afraid of her father.
What made Kezia’s father punish her ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-025)
She tore important papers of her father to stuff in the pin cushion because she was making a gift to present to her father. Since the papers had her father’s speech written on it, she was punished for tearing it.
“Father’s great speech for the Port Authority had been lost.” What had happened to father’s speech ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-031)
Father’s speech had been tom to pieces by Kezia, the little girl. She was making a pin cushion as a gift to her father, for his birthday. As she was not able to find anything to stuff it with, she tore the speech and stuffed it in her cushion.
Why did Kezia’s grandmother send her to the drawing room every Sunday afternoon?
(Board Term 1,2012, ELI-034)
Kezia’s grandmother knew that she was afraid of her father and she felt that if she spoke to him more often, she would gq£ rid of that fear. So, every Sunday afternoon she used to send her to the drawing room to have a nice talk with her father.
What kind of a person was Kezia’s father? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-039)
Kezia’s father was a hard working man but short tempered. He was a strict disciplinarian too. When Kezia’s mother was hospitalized, Kezia realized that her father loved her but didn’t have the art of expressing his love.
What did Kezia find whenever on Sunday afternoons her grandmother sent her down to have a talk with her parents ?
(Board Term 1,2012, ELI-044)
Whenever Kezia was sent by her grandmother to talk to her parents on Sunday afternoons, she always found her mother reading and her father stretched out on the sofa, sleeping soundly and snoring.
How was Kezia’s father different from Mr. McDonalds ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-050)
Mr. McDonalds played with his children. The girls would hang on to his coat, they would laugh together. Kezia’s father had no time for such things. He really worked very hard for the family.
How did the father comfort the little girl, Kezia, when she got scared in her sleep ?
(Board Term 1,2012, ELI-051)
The father came to Kezia’s room with a candle, lifted her up in his strong arms, lay beside her and made her stay close to him. She held his shirt and snuggled herself close to her father. This comforted Kezia when she got scared in her sleep.
Long Answer Type Questions (4 marks each)
(About 80-100 words each)
How did Kezia’s negative attitude towards her father change ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-015)
What were the circumstances that forced Kezia to change her opinion about her father?
(Board Term 1,2012, ELI-021)
When her mother was hospitalized, her grandmother went to stay with her. Kezia used to sleep alone at night. She was so scared that she started shouting at night. She had nightmares and trembled a lot with fear. Then her father came to her room and took her into his aims to comfort her. She felt secured with her father near her. Then she realized that her father was busy with work and had no time to play. She even realized that her father loved her but didn’t have the art of expressing it. Thus, her attitude towards her father changed towards positive.
How did Kezia’s efforts to please her father resulted in displeasing him veiy much ? Elaborate.(Board Term 1,2012, ELI-027)
Kezia was very scared of her father and stuttered while talking to him. This annoyed him a lot. When she waited and stared at him to have a nice long chat, he did not like it. She unknowingly destroyed some of his important papers while stuffing a cushion which die wanted to present to . him on his birthday. This made him very angry and he beat her up badly. Therefore, Kezia’s efforts to please her father resulted in displeasing him very much.
Kezia decides that there are “different kinds of fathers”. What kind of father was Mr. McDonald, and how was he different from Kezia’s father ? (Board Term 1,2012fcELl-028)
How is Kezia’s father different from Mr. McDonald ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-037)
Mr. McDonald was their next door neighbour. Once Kezia saw her neighbours playing “tag” together in the evening. Mr. McDonald with the baby Mao, on his shoulders and the two little girls ‘ hanging on to his coat pockets. They ran round and round shaking with laughter. On the other hand, her own father was very disciplined and strict. He never played with her and neither interact much. He even beat her up for her little mistakes.
Why was Kezia scared of her father and how did she get over her fear ?
(Board Term 1,2012, ELI-031)
Kezia’s father was big like a giant and was very strict. He punished Kezia when she tore his important speech. One day, when Kezia’s mother fell ill, her mother and grandmother were in the hospital. Kezia was left alone with her father at home. She had a nightmare and screamed with fright. Her father then carried Kezia in his lap to comfort and soothen her. That closeness with her father during those days made her forget all fears.
How did Kezia feel in present* of her father ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-035)
Kezia was scared of her father as he looked like a giant. Every morning he used to give her a good bye kiss. She used to feel uncomfortable till her father was at home. She even stammered while answering him. He scolded her one day and even beat her for tearing some of his important papers.
But when Kezia used to cry during the night, he would carry her to his room. She then realized that her father was actually tender and affectionate and this changed her perception towards him.
Value Based Questions (4 marks each)
(About 80-100 words each)
Kezia in the story “The Little Girl” was afraid of her father because he never communicated with her. Imagine you are parenting councellor, based on your reading of the story write a paragraph advising the parents to make communication with their children priority. (SA-1,2014-15)
In the story, Kezia is always scared of her father. Her father was a strict disciplinarian who was always strict towards her. He never spoke to her softly and in a loving manner. He always scolded her and even beat her up for small mistakes. Parents should not let their stress and workload interfere in their family life. Parents should always spend quality time with their children. Bonding and understanding should always be there so that the children can open up their feelings and problems with their parents. Their should be no communication gap between the parents and theif children.
‘ The relation between a parent and child should be distant and formal or should it be close and warm.
In today’s modem context parents and children should be more like friends. The relationship between them should be warm and close. This would be very helpful in developing the overall personality of the child. It also helps in boosting the confidence of the child and making him more strong in his relation. Therefore, it is necessary that children share a close relation with their parents and there should be no fear but only respect and love.