Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. - Mahatma Gandhi.

The Mouse and the Snake

One fine morning two small mice,
Much against their friend’s advice,
Visited a room where grain
Undisturbed for months had lain.
Other mice had entered; none
Lived to eat and tell--not one.
But the two friends, unpoliced,
Broke in and began to feast;
And their laughter fell and rose,
Till their blood with horror froze.

Gold and shiny, vicious, long,
Venom-fanged, hypnotic, strong--
Slid a snake towards the pair,
Swallowed one right then and there,
Hissed obscenely at the other:
“That’s the first; and here’s another!”
And, when she stood shocked and still,
Sprang at once to make his kill.
Glared at him, and twitched her nose.

Every time he slid or sprang,
Dripping venom from each fang,
Out beyond his reach she leapt,
Till the snake, grown tired, crept
To his hole, slid first his head,
Then his gleaming, overfed
Trunk in, so that just his tail
Jutted out to thrash and flail.

Swift as rage the little mouse
Rushed towards the killer’s house,
Bit his tail once, twice, again,
Clung to it till, wild with pain,
Hissing wrath, the snake backed out,
Swerved his body round about,
Lunged towards the mouse and tried
Swallowing her--but she leapt wide.

Every time he lunged, till he,
Wriggling back exhaustedly,
Slid inside his hole once more.
Then, exactly as before,
Down she clamped with might and main.
On his tail till, mad with pain,
Yet again the snake emerged.

This the battle ebbed and surged
And the mouse fought on and on
Till her strength was almost gone
When the snake, without a sound,
Spat the dead mouse on the ground,
And, with mangled slither, stole
Unopposed into his hole.

Then the mouse came up and cried
Bitter tears for her who’d died.
Squeaking sadly, and bereft,
Corpse in mouth, she sobbed and left.
This was seen by Mr. Yang.
When his friend the poet Chang
Heard the mouse’s story later,
Eager to commemorate her,
As he walked back to his house,
He composed “The Faithful Mouse"

Where in elegiac metre
He extols the Snake-Defeater
And in couplets sad and stoic
Celebrates her acts heroic
Acts that prove that shock and pain,
Death and grief are not in vain
Which fine lines, alive or dead,
Neither of the mice has read.

Summery: The Mouse and the Snake

The mouse and the snake is a beautiful poem written by Vikram Seth. It shows us the cleverness of a mouse and the greediness of a snake which makes him fool.
In this poem a mouse fells into a farmer's trap and is unable to free himself after so many failed attempts. suddenly he sees a beautiful snake which was very hungry and just woke up from his winter's sleep. The mouse is now in a dilemma that if he stays inside he will be killed by the farmer and if he breaks out he will be eaten by the snake. The snake patiently wait for the mouse to make his decision as he knows the mouse had no other way than to let him eat it.

The Mouse and the Snake Summery


Appreciating the Poem

A. 1. Read the poem and enjoy it. Read it again with expression.

Read the first nine lin es at a normal pace. Read the tenth line in a slow and emphatic manner. Read the next three lines in a tone that makes your listeners emphatic manner. Read the next three lines in a tone that makes your listeners see a mental image of the long, golden, slihering, vicious snake. Read the line about the mouse being swallowed, very fast. Read the line spoken by the snake in a hissing voice: 'That's the first; and here's another!' Emphatic again with: And, when she stood shocked and still, and as quick as a lunge when the snake lunges towards the little mouse.... Now you know what to do, carry on with ideas of your own and make this superb poem by a great poet come alive even though we do not know if the brave little mouse is alive or dead!

A. 2. Answer the following questions to understand the poem.

a. Why had the friend of the two small mice advised them not to go into the room where the grain had been stored?
Answer: The friend of the two small mice advised them not to go into the room where the grain had been stored because the mice who had gone in there had never come back and the evident danger made the other mice warn them.

b. Besides feasting, what else were the mice doing?
Answer: They were laughing and frolicking.

c. Why did the blood of the mice suddenly freeze? 
Answer: They saw a snake in the room. So the blood of the mice suddenly freeze.

d. How has the snake been described?
Answer: The snake is described as shining, golden, vicious, long, poisonous, hypnotic and strong.

e. What was the first thing the snake did? What happened?
Answer: The snake swallowed on of them right away and hissed at the other in a disgusting manner. Then he attacked the other mouse, but she jumped and moved out of its reach.

f. What made the snake go back into its hole? next?
Answer: The snake was not particularly hungry and the constant dodging of the mouse made him tired.

g. How did the mouse react on seeing the tail of the snake jutting out of the hole?
Answer: The mouse was very angry and rushed towards the snake's hole and bit its tail again and again. 

h. Why did the snake come out of its hole? Why did it go back the second time?
Answer: The snake couldn't bear the pain due to the mouse biting his tail, so he backed out from his hole. The game of attacking and dodging between the snake and the mouse continued till the snake was exhausted and slid back into its hole.

i. How did the snake show that it was ready to give up the fight?
Answer: the snake came out and spat out the mouse it had swallowed.

A. 3. Think and answer these questions carefully. HOTS

a. What was the first act of fearlessness the mouse displayed once it got over its initial fear?
Answer:  Their blood froze when they saw a long vicious snake approaching them but they still sprang at once to make him kill. Suddenly the mouse unfroze, glared at him, and twitched her nose.

b. Why did the snake leave its tail jutting out of the hole?
Answer: The snake couldn't bear the pain due to the mouse biting his tail. So the snake leave its tail jutting out of the hole.

c. Explain 'hissing wrath'?
Answer: The snake was vicious, long, poisonouspoisonous. It swallowed on of them right away and hissed at the other in a disgusting manner.

d. Why did the mouse not give up the fight? 
Answer: The mouse did not give up the fight because they were indeed brave.

e. Who saw the whole incident and who wrote the poem?
Answer: Mr. Yang saw the whole incident and Vikram Seth wrote the poem.

WRITING

B. 1. Explain the last stanza of the poem in your own words.
Answer: In the last stanza of the poem, "The mouse and the Snake", the poet said that Mr. Yang had seen all these incidents. The mouse fought bravely and died at last. The poet praises her brave act of fighting the snake compelling it to spit out the body of her friend. 

B 2. Explain Mahatma Gandhi's quote written above the poem. In what way does it relate to what happened in the poem?
Answer: Once our father of nation Mahatma Gandhi said “Strength does not come from physical capacity . It comes from an indomitable will” . He always tries to spread this message to the people to fight with the people with truth and non voilence . He played very crucial role to fight with the colonial power which brithsher’s have no solution to suppress . He always tries to motivate the people to fight with britishers with strong will power .

Ex- Now also Gandhian principles we see in the society as we know Jeetan Mashji , the man who carved a road through the mountain so that his people could reach a doctor in time.

SPELLING AND PRONUNCIATION

C. Write the adverb forms of these adjectives. Spell them correctly.

Adjectives Adverbs Adjectives Adverbs
accidental accidentally painful painfully
exhausted exhaustedly sensitive sensitively
horrible horribly shocking shockingly
hypnotic hypnotically sorrowful sorrowfully
incredible incredibly sudden suddenly
obscene obscenely vicious viciously

VOCABULARY

D. 1. There are a number of verbs that refer to bodily movements in the poem. Identify them and complete the table.

Movements of the Snake Movements of the mouse
slid broke in
swallowed stood
sprang unfroze
crept rushed
thrashed clung
flailed clamped
backed out bit

D. 2. Match the following and write down the sentences so formed. Underline the verbs related to bodily movement.

a. The trainer snapped his muscles and got ready for the match.
b. The boxer flexed to indicate that he wanted some more food.
c. The lady shook the table with their hands to show their approval.
d. The child nodded his fingers and the dogs ran towards him.
e. She waved her hand deeply and began his speech. 
f. He breathed to say goodbye.
g. They beat her head to show that she didn't want to anything more.

Answer: 
a. The trainer snapped his fingers and the dogs ran towards him.
b. The boxer flexed his muscles and got ready for the match.
c. The lady shook her head to show that she didn't want to anything more.
d. The child nodded to indicate that he wanted some more food.
e. She waved her hand to say goodbye.
f. He breathed deeply and began his speech. 
g. They beat the table with their hands to show their approval.


GRAMMAR

When you wish to give more information about someone or something, you use an Adjective Clause also called a Relative Clause. The dependent relative clause is placed next to the noun. The relative clause may be introduced by a relative pronoun: I know the girl who is walking towards us. This is the key that opens this door. There are many books which are about unsolved mysteries. The book which is on the desk belongs to me. The boy whose arm is in a sling, is my friend, Raghav, Use 'who', 'whom', 'whose', 'that' for people and 'which' and 'that' for things. You can often leave out the relative pronouns 'that', who', which': Look! It is the puppy (that) I was talking about.

E. 1. Use the simple sentences and the additional Information in the brackets to form sentences with Relative Clauses. You will notice that the relative clauses are nestled in the middle of the main clauses near the nouns they refer to. Use the subordinating conjunctions who', 'whose', 'which' and 'that' to introduce the clauses.


a. The girl was in my class last year. (She is standing near the escalator.) 
Answer: The girl who is standing near the escalator was in my class last year.

b. The huge dog belongs to my neighbour. (It is on a leash.)
Answer: The huge dog that is on a leash belongs to my neighbour. 

c. The bag is just like my mother's one. (It is displayed in the shop window.)
Answer: The bag which is displayed in the shop window is just like my mother's one.

d. The boy is standing near the food stall again. (He stole a burger a while ago.)
Answer: The boy who stole a burger a while ago is standing near the food stall.

e. The man is talking to the policeman. (His car was damaged in an accident.)
Answer: The man whose car was damaged is talking to the policeman.

f. The scarf just fell off that old lady's head. (It is lying on the road.) 
Answer: The scarf that is lying on the road just fell off that old lady's head.

g. Mom's ring was found under the cushions on the sofa. (It has been lost since May 31.)
Answer: Mom's ring that had been lost since May 31st, was found under the cushions on the sofa.

h. The story was written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. (I was reading the story.)
Answer: The story I was reading was written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

i. The man has reported the theft to the police. (The man's car was stolen.)
Answer: The man whose car was stolen has reported the theft to the police.

E. 2. Read these sentences and decide whether you need to put in the relative pronouns 'who', which' and 'that' or leave the sentences as they are. Put (/) where the missing word should be placed and write the word in the space provided by the side of the sentence. Put a cross (x) in front of sentences that are to be left as they are.

a. I know the boy is sitting next to the lady in the blue saree.
Answer: I know the boy / is sitting next to the lady in the blue saree.
"Who" is missing.

b. The bag I lost last week was in my cupboard all the time.
Answer: Sentence is correct

c. We enjoyed the film we saw last week.
Answer: Sentence is correct

d. The kitten is playing with that ball looks really cute. 
Answer: The kitten / is playing with that ball looks really cute.
"that" is missing.

e. The policeman tried to stop the car was speeding down the road.
Answer: The policeman tried to stop the car / was speeding down the road.
"that" is missing.

f. I told them to stop making the irritating noise was disturbing us. 
Answer: I told them to stop making the irritating noise / was disturbing us. 
"that" is missing.


A Defining Relative Clause is an essential part of a sentence. If you leave it out, the person or thing being talked about is not identified properly: I saw the film. (Which film?) I saw the film that you liked so much.

A Non-defining Relative Clause is not required to make your meaning clear. It is just additional information. Such a clause is placed within commas: The Taj Mahal, which is located in Agra, is one of the wonders of the world.

E. 3. Add non defining clauses to each one of these sentences. You may have to look up some information about each one of the sentences.

a. The Great Wall of China is one of the wonders of the world.
Answer: The Great Wall of China, which is in Asia, is one of the wonders of the world.

b. New Delhi is the capital of India. 
Answer: New Delhi, which is on the banks of river Yamuna, is the capital of India.

c. Sri Lanka was earlier called Ceylon.
Answer: Sri Lanka, that is an island country, was earlier called Ceylon.

d. Amitabh Bachchan became popular after his early films Deewar and Zanjeer.
Answer: Amitabh Bachchan, who si a megastar of the Hindi film industry, cecame popular after his early films Deewar and Zanjeer.

e. Sachin Tendulkar has retired from all forms of the game of cricket. 
Answer: Sachin Tendulkar, who is my hero, has retired from all forms of the game of cricket.

f. Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru was our first Prime Minister.
Answer: Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who was a bar-at-law from Trinity College, Cambridge University, was our first Prime Minister

g. Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world. 
Answer: Mount Everest, which is situated in the north of the India, is the highest mountain is the world.

h. The Gir Forest National Park and Wild Life Sanctuary is the sole home of the Asiatic lion.
Answer: The Gir Forest National Park and Wild Life Sanctuary, that is located in Gujrat, is the sole home of the Asiatic Lion.