A Legend of the Northland Extra Questions and Answers Class 9 English Poem

A Legend of the Northland class 9 English Poem Extra Questions and Answers are available here. All these questions are divided into short type questions answers, long type question answers and extract based questions. These Class 9 extra questions are prepared by our expert teachers. Learning these questions will help you to score excellent marks in the board exams.

Extra Questions for Class 9 English Poem A Legend of the Northland

Short Answer Type Questions

1. What is a legend? Why is this is called a legend?

Answer: A legend is a very old story from ancient times, which may not always be true, and one that people tell about a famous event or person. A legend often teaches a lesson. This poem is called a legend because it tells an old story of Northland. This is the story of an old greedy woman who angered St. Peter and was turned into a woodpecker because of her greed, and the poet herself says, ‘I don’t believe it is true’.

2. Where does this legend belong to and what kind of country is it?

Answer: The legend belongs to the “Northland”, an area that could refer to any of the extremely cold countries in the Earth’s north polar region, such as Greenland, the northern regions of Russia—Siberia, or the Scandinavian countries – Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Finland. It is a cold place where days are short and the nights are long.

3. Why does the poet say that the hours of the day are few?

Answer: In the poem, the poet says the legend is told Northland. The Northland is a cold snow-covered region near the North Pole. Here the days are shorter and the nights are longer. As a result there are very few hours in a day.

4. Why are the People unable to sleep through the night?

Answer: The people are unable to sleep through the night because the nights are very long and very cold.

5. ‘And the children look like bear’s cubs.’ What have the children been compared to? Why?

Answer: Northland is a cold place so the children have to wear funny furry dresses to protect themselves from cold. These dresses make them look like bear cubs.

6. What does the poet tell us about the story she is about to narrate? Why does she want to tell the tale?

Answer: The poet says that she is going to tell a strange tale told by the people of Northlands. She admits that though the story may not be true, still she wants to tell the story because it contains an lesson in generosity and philanthropy. She wants the readers to learn a lesson from the poem.

7. Who came to the woman’s house and what did he ask for?

Answer: Saint Peter, while preaching round the world, reached the woman’s door. He had been travelling the whole day and was tired and hungry. When Saint Peter saw the woman making cakes, he asked her for one of her large store of cakes.

8. Why was Saint Peter tired and hungry?

Answer: Saint Peter was an apostle of Jesus Christ. He travelled around the land, preaching the message of Christ. During the course of his journey, sometimes, he did not get food and water. Besides, he had to observe fasts also. This often left him tired and hungry.

9. What did Saint Peter ask the woman for? What was the woman’s reaction?

Answer: Saint Peter asked the old lady for a cake from her store of cakes. The woman, who was very greedy, did not wish to part with her cakes as she felt they were too large to be given away. So she made a small cake for him, but, that too, seemed to her too big to be given away. In the end, she made a very small and thin cake. But she did not give even that cake to St. Peter and she put it away on the shelf.

10. Why did the woman bake a little cake?

Answer: The woman in the poem has been shown as being highly stingy, miserly, greedy and mean by nature. Whenever she picked up a cake to give it away, it appeared to be too large to give away. Hence, she baked a ‘ very small cake for Saint Peter that was as thin as a wafer.

11. What happened to the cakes the woman baked for Saint Peter?

Answer: The woman was greedy. When Saint Peter, tired and hungry, after his travels arrived at her cottage and asked for a cake from her large store, she had no desire to share anything with him. The woman tried time and again to bake a smaller and smaller cake for Saint Peter. But even when the cake was as thin as water, the woman felt the cake was too big to be given away to Saint Peter and she put it on her shelf.

12. Explain: ‘And surely such a woman was enough to provoke a saint.’ Who was the lady and how did she provoke the saint?

Answer: The woman, who was making cakes when the saint visited her was mean and greedy. Though she could see the visitor was tired and hungry, she did not give him anything to eat. She baked cakes that were smaller and smaller, till she made one that was as thin as a wafer, but she could not bear to part even with that. The old lady did not help the hungry and tired saint. Saints are known for their patience, but her selfishness angered the saint, who cursed her.

13. Why did Saint Peter curse the woman? What did he turn her into?

Answer: Saint Peter cursed the woman because she had been miserly and selfish. He felt she was not fit to live in a human form and enjoy food, shelter and warmth. He turned her into a woodpecker who has to build its nest “as birds do” and gather its scanty food by boring in the “hard, dry wood” all day long.

14. ‘For she was changed to a bird.’ Who was she and why was she changed to a bird?
‘You are too selfish to dwell in a human form.’ Who said this and to whom? Why did he say so?

Answer: A woman of Northland, who was miserly and selfish was changed to a woodpecker by Saint Peter. She had refused to give even a cake as thin as a wafer to the tired and hungry saint. So, as a punishment, she was turned to a bird who would have to live in a nest and bore into wood for her food.

15. How is the woman seen by the people of Northland?

Answer: Boys going to the forest have seen the woman, as a woodpecker in the wood. She lives in a nest in the tree and bores into the hard dry wood for her food.

16. Do you think that the woman would have been so ungenerous if she had known who Saint Peter really was? What would she have done then?

Answer: No, she would not have been so greedy and turned Saint Peter away. On the contrary, since she was a greedy woman, she would have wanted a reward from Saint Peter, and would likely have given him a large piece of cake to make him happy.

17. Describe the theme of the poem ‘A legend of the Northland ‘?

Answer: Saint Peter once asked a woman baking cakes for something to eat. She was selfish and did not give any cake . to the hungry saint. It made the saint angry. He turned the lady into the bird. The bird keeps on searching for her food the whole day. We should not be greedy and always help the needy person.

18. What is a ballad? Is this poem a ballad?

Answer: A ballad is a song narrating a story in short stanzas. Ballads are part of the folk culture and are passed on orally from one generation to another. The poem ‘A Legend of the Northland’ is also a ballad as it contains the story of an old selfish woman and has been passed on from generation to generation, “They tell them a curious story”.

19. What do you learn about the woman in the poem?

Answer: The woman in the poem is greedy and selfish. She has a large store of cakes but refuses to give away even one that is as small as a wafer to a tired and hungry traveller.

20. What do you learn about Saint Peter in the poem?

Answer: Saint Peter goes about the land preaching the message of God. As he goes on his journey, sometimes, he does not get food and water. Besides, he has to observe fasts also. This often leaves him tired and hungry. Despite being a saint, he is provoked to anger and he curses the woman, and she is turned into a woodpecker. Being a saint, he should have forgiven the woman and shown her some mercy.

Long Answer Type Questions

1. Describe Northland as done by the poet?

Answer: The Northland is the area around the North pole, an area that includes any of the extremely cold countries in the Earth’s north polar region, such as Greenland, the northern regions of Russia—Siberia, or the Scandinavian countries Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Finland. It is a cold, snow-covered place where days are short and the nights are long.

In this region, hours of the day are few and nights are so long and so cold in winter that people are unable to sleep through the whole night. When it snows people harness their reindeers to pull their sledges. Because of extreme cold children look like bear’s cubs in because of funny and furry clothes.

2. Briefly narrate the legend of the old woman and St Peter?

Answer: Once Saint Peter stopped by an old lady’s cottage because he was feeling hungry and weak after the day’s fasting. The lady was baking cakes on the hearth. When Saint Peter asked her for one of cakes, she tried to make a tiny cake for him. But as it was baking, she found it too large to be given away.

She tried baking two more times but even the smallest of cakes seemed too large to her. Such greedy behaviour of the lady annoyed the hungry saint. He cursed her saying that she was far too selfish to be a human, to have food, shelter and fire to keep her warm. Thus, she was transformed into a woodpecker.

All her clothes except her scarlet cap were gone as she went up the chimney and flew out of the top. Every country schoolboy is said to have seen her in the forest, boring into the wood for food till date.

3. What is the message of the poem?

Answer: This poem teaches us that true happiness lies in sharing things with the persons who are in need. If we are greedy, we cannot have happiness in our life. On the other hand our charitable nature makes us think about pains and sorrows suffered by the other people. The little woman baking cakes was asked for something to eat by a tired and hungry traveller. The woman, who had a large store of cakes, was greedy and selfish.

She made smaller and smaller cakes, but in the end refused to part with any. Her greed and miserliness angered the weary traveller, Saint Peter, who told her that she was too selfish to dwell in human form, where she had food, warmth and shelter. He cursed her to become a bird and live in a nest and search for scanty food by digging all dry and hard wood.