Hide and Seek Poem Solutions, Summary and Meanings

‘Hide and Seek’ is a beautiful poem written by Vernon Scannell that uses a popular game to highlight the importance of grabbing opportunities in time to achieve your goals to come out as a winner after facing difficulties and sufferings. Find here solutions, summary and meanings of the poem ‘Hide and Seek’

Video Tutorial: Hide and Seek

Word Meanings

scuffle of words- an indistinct exchange of words

damp- slightly wet

elsewhere- at in, at, or to another place

hunt- search and seek to find out and catch

stir- move slightly

seek- looking for or trying to get

Summary: Hide and Seek

The poem starts with a boy hiding in the tool-shed, which is dark with a salty smell around him. The poet tells the boy that he should position himself so that his feet are not visible, as he hides behind the sacks of sand. The poet cautions him against making another call and he should be careful not to sneeze. Finally, the seekers come and the boy does hear them mutter and stumble but the boy holds his breath, shuts his eyes and hopes that they would not find him. Soon, the voices fade as the children move away. Finally, after a long time, the boy decides to come out. However, he finds the garden empty and all quiet. All the children had gone home without him. The poet narrator now asks him where his friends are. Thus, the poem ends on a note of mystery about the boy and his false notions and satisfaction of being a winner.

The poem gives us a deep message for life also. We should grab opportunities in time as too long may lose those chances of achieving something or our desired goals. The boy took too long to come out to celebrate his victory. He came out when all had gone and such win does not have any meanings when opponents are gone and no one is there to see you win.

Textbook Solutions

Practice: Comprehension


  1. a. ‘You’ is the child hiding in the toolshed.
    b. ‘They’ are the friends of the child hiding in the toolshed. They are playing hide and seek.
    c. ‘Salty dark’ is used for the atmosphere or the state of the toolshed where the child is hiding.
    The sacks in the toolshed smelled of the seaside and it was dark. Hence, the ‘salty dark.’
    d. It would be wiser not to ‘risk another call’ as the other children, looking for the child hidden in the toolshed might be close.
  2. a. ‘I’ refers to the child hidden in the toolshed.
    b. The garden is described as ‘darkening’ as it is evening time and no one is around. It is just the child hiding in the toolshed.
    c. The garden watches the child hiding in the toolshed.
    d. Anything doesn’t stir probably because it is the evening time, when everyone including birds and insects have gone home. There is no activity and perhaps the wind is also not blowing.
    Everything is quiet and still.
  3. a. The child has been hiding for long and sitting cramped in a position to hide himself from the other children.
    b. The child should be there for ‘a little longer’ as the child is assuming that the others might be nearby and on a look out for him. So he must stay inside the toolshed for a little longer.
    c. ‘They’ refers to the children who were playing along with the child hiding in the toolshed. Now that he has been hiding for long, they have given up on him and probably gone back.
    d. ‘Push off the sacks’ means the child has been hiding for a long time. He should get up, push off the sacks and go out and look for his friends

B. Answer these questions.

  1. Where is the child hiding?
  2. What makes the child think that the others will never be able to find him?
  3. How is the shed described?
  4. What advice does the speaker give to the one who is hiding?
  5. What shows you that the shed is uncomfortable?
  6. Do you think the child is happy for not being found by the others in the end? Give reasons for your answer.
  7. Do you think the child experiences both pleasure and pain during this game? Comment.
  8. Explain the line: Yes, here you are, but where are they who sought you?


  1. The child is hiding in the toolshed in a garden.
  2. The child thinks so because had hidden at a place which was not visited much. Moreover, it was assumed as an unusual place from the point of view of the game.
  3. The shed is described as a dark, dingy place not frequently used. The sacks in the shed smell of seaside and it is cold inside. It has a dark, damp smell of the sand.
  4. The speaker keeps guiding the child how to hide well from the others while playing hide and seek game. The speaker advises not to risk another call and also warns against sneezing.
  5. The dark damp smell, the cold and the general atmosphere of the poem indicate that the toolshed is not a comfortable place.
  6. The boy was happy for a moment but his happiness vanishes when he finds that his friends are gone.
  7. Yes, the boy experiences pleasure of being the winner but soon experiences the pain of being not able to share the victory with his friends. His friends were not there to acknowledge his victory. Infact he had lost his friends in the game by hiding too long to keep the interests of his friends alive in the game
  8. This line holds an important message for the readers. Since the poem is about a game, hide and seek but it has larger connotations. It hints at the irony of the situation. The poem gives the message that too much too much wait can spoil the game as other stakeholders can lose interest and quit you alone. The irony of the situation is that the boy lost the game even after winning it by rules of the game. No one was there to cheer, acknowledge, witness and recognise his win.

Poetry Appreciation


A. 1. darkening garden watches 2. the bushes hold their breath

B. 1.Alliteration: The sacks in the toolshed smell like the seaside.

2. Alliteration: dark damp; smell of sand



1.toolshed 2. seaside 3. creep 4. scuffle 5.unpleasant 6. greenhouse 7. darkening
Message : They played hide and seek.


A. 1. troupe; grace 2. pod; safety 3. audience; appreciation 4. jury; justice 5. team; success, perseverance


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