Summary of ‘The Little Girl’ Class 9 English lesson in the textbook ‘Beehive’ 3 is given here. Click here for more study materials.
Summary: The Little Girl
The story revolves around a little girl’s perception of her father and the evolution of their relationship. To her, the father is a figure of fear and unease, with his stern demeanour and commanding presence. She dreads his arrival home and stutters nervously when speaking to him. The father seems detached and distant, often unaware of his daughter’s feelings.
The little girl longs for a different kind of father, as she observes the Macdonalds next door, where the father is playful and loving towards his children. However, circumstances change when her mother falls ill and she is left alone with her father. During a night of experiencing a recurring nightmare, her father comforts her, showing a tender side she hadn’t seen before. This newfound closeness allows the little girl to appreciate her father’s caring nature, despite his initial intimidating demeanour.
In the end, she realizes that her father, though different from other fathers, has a big heart and is capable of showing love. The story portrays the complexities of family relationships and how understanding and compassion can bridge the gap between a child’s fear and a parent’s expectations.
This story revolves around a little girl’s perception of her father and their complicated relationship. The girl sees her father as a figure to be feared and avoided. He kisses her goodbye every morning before leaving for work, and she feels relieved when he’s gone. When he returns home, she hears his loud voice and is afraid of his stern presence.
Her mother often sends her to take off her father’s boots as a reward for being a good girl. The girl is hesitant and afraid of her father’s gaze when she enters the room. He questions her about her behaviour and threatens to take her to the doctor for her stuttering.
The girl only stutters when speaking to her father because she tries hard to say the words correctly. She sees her father as a giant, with his large hands, neck, and mouth when he yawns.
On Sundays, her grandmother sends her to talk with her parents, but her father is usually sleeping on the sofa, snoring. The little girl patiently waits for him to wake up and asks for the time, only to be criticized for staring.
When she learns that her father’s birthday is approaching, she decides to make him a pin-cushion as a gift. She tears up her mother’s papers to fill the cushion, not realizing they were important documents. The household is thrown into chaos looking for the missing papers, and her mother confronts her. The girl is taken to her father, who becomes angry and threatens to beat her.
The girl is frightened and hides under the bedclothes, but her father finds her and proceeds to punish her with a ruler, leaving her with red, sore palms. Her grandmother comforts her afterward and tries to explain to her father, but the girl remains fearful of him.
She begins to notice other fathers, like their neighbours, who play and laugh with their children. One day, her mother falls ill and goes to the hospital with her grandmother, leaving the girl alone with the cook. The girl becomes scared at bedtime and has a nightmare. Her father comes to her room, comforts her, and takes her to his own bed.
As the girl lies beside her father, she realizes that he is not as big and fearsome as she thought. She appreciates his care for her and recognizes his hard work. She feels a sense of warmth and security, commenting on the sound of his heart. The story ends with the little girl finding comfort and solace in her father’s presence.