The Snake And The Mirror: Summary Class 9 English

The Snake And The Mirror: Summary & Word Meanings Class 9 English: Get here a short summary, long summary and key points of the story. Click here for more study materials for class 9.


The story revolves around a doctor recalling an incident from his past. One night, while he was alone in his small rented room, a snake, specifically a cobra, coiled around his arm. Frozen with fear, he felt the imminent threat of the snake’s deadly bite. In a moment of desperation, he contemplated the presence of God and tried to imagine seeking help. However, the situation took an unexpected turn when the snake, seemingly captivated by its own reflection in a mirror, released the doctor and slithered away. The doctor, filled with relief, escaped from the room. The story ends with the doctor humorously recounting that the thief who later robbed his room left behind his dirty vest, and the snake, infatuated with its own beauty, was never seen again.

Summary in detail

1. Introduction to the Incident:
The story begins with a group of people discussing snakes. The doctor in the group asks if anyone has ever experienced a snake coiling around them, particularly a cobra. He then proceeds to narrate his own encounter with a snake.

2. Setting the Scene:
The doctor describes his small rented room on a hot summer night. He had just started his medical practice and was not well-off. His room was infested with rats, and he had minimal belongings, including a black coat he cherished.

3. The Encounter with a cobra:
Unable to sleep due to the noise, the doctor inspects himself in a mirror, thinking about his appearance and contemplating his bachelorhood. Suddenly, he hears a noise from above. Upon investigation, he finds a fat snake coiled around his arm, just inches away from his face.

4. The Terrifying Moment:
Frozen in fear, the doctor feels the crushing weight of the snake on his arm. He contemplates the presence of God and the possibility of imminent death. The snake’s proximity and the fear of being struck paralyze him.

5. The Unexpected Twist:
As the doctor tries to remain still, the snake, seemingly fascinated by its own reflection, unwinds itself from his arm. It moves to the table to examine itself in the mirror, allowing the doctor to escape unnoticed.

6. The Aftermath:
The doctor runs out of the room, seeking refuge at a friend’s house. He returns the next day to find most of his belongings stolen by a thief, leaving behind only a dirty vest. The snake, captivated by its own beauty, is never seen again.

7. Humorous Resolution:
The doctor concludes his story, sharing that his wife is not fat, contrary to his earlier wish. He humorously reflects on the thief’s cleanliness in leaving the vest behind and the snake’s peculiar fascination with its reflection.

In summary, the story describes a doctor’s terrifying encounter with a snake in his room. Paralyzed with fear, he contemplates death but is unexpectedly spared when the snake becomes captivated by its own reflection, allowing the doctor to escape unharmed. The story ends with a humorous tone, highlighting the absurdity of the situation and the doctor’s witty observations about life.

Summary Key points

1. Introduction:

  • A homeopath doctor asks the group if anyone has ever had a snake coil around them.
  • He shares his own experience with a cobra in a discussion about snakes.

2. Setting the Scene:

  • The story takes place in a small, non-electrified rented room on a hot summer night.
  • The doctor is a new practitioner with meagre earnings and minimal belongings.

3. The Encounter Begins:

  • The doctor hears a familiar noise in his room and investigates.
  • He discovers a fat snake coiled around his arm, near his face.

4. Terrifying Moment:

  • The doctor is paralyzed with fear, feeling the weight of the snake on his arm.
  • He contemplates God’s presence and the possibility of imminent death.

5. Unexpected Twist:

  • The snake, instead of attacking, becomes fascinated by its own reflection in a mirror.
  • Seizing the opportunity, the doctor quietly escapes without being noticed by the snake.

6. Aftermath:

  • The doctor flees to a friend’s house and returns the next day.
  • He finds most of his belongings stolen by a thief, except for a dirty vest.
  • The snake, having left, is not seen again.

7. Humorous Resolution:

  • The doctor humorously remarks that his wife is not the fat woman he imagined marrying.
  • He finds humour in the thief’s cleanliness, leaving behind the dirty vest.
  • The story ends on a lighthearted note, emphasizing the absurdity of the situation.

Word Meanings

Here are the meanings of the important words and phrases grouped by the respective paragraphs in the given text:

Paragraph 1:

  1. Coiled: Twisted or wound around something in the form of a series of circles or rings.
  2. Cobra: A highly venomous snake found in parts of Asia and Africa, known for its hooded appearance and deadly bite.
  3. Homeopath: A practitioner of homeopathy, a system of alternative medicine based on the belief in the body’s ability to heal itself through the use of highly diluted substances.
  4. Attentively: With attention or alertness; in a manner that shows careful consideration or observation.

Paragraph 2:

  1. Electrified: Fitted with an electric power supply.
  2. Meagre: Lacking in quantity or quality; insufficient or inadequate.
  3. Dhotis: Traditional Indian garments, consisting of a piece of cloth wrapped around the waist and legs, worn by men.

Paragraph 3:

  1. Vest: An undergarment typically worn over a shirt or next to the skin.
  2. Gables: Triangular portions of a wall between the edges of a sloping roof.
  3. Ceiling: The upper interior surface of a room.
  4. Rats: Rodents often considered pests, known for their gnawing habits and ability to infest living spaces.

Paragraph 4:

  1. Materia Medica: A reference work used in homeopathy and other alternative medicines, containing information about the properties of medicinal substances.
  2. Parting: The line dividing hair on the head, typically created with a comb.
  3. Admirer: Someone who regards someone or something with deep respect, pleasure, or approval.

Paragraph 5:

  1. Earth-shaking: Having a significant or powerful impact; causing a major effect or change.
  2. Moustache: Facial hair grown prominently on the upper lip.
  3. Bachelor: An unmarried man.

Paragraph 6:

  1. Wriggled: Moved in a twisting or contorted motion.
  2. Lurked: To be present, yet unnoticed, in a situation; to exist without being immediately apparent.
  3. Suppose: To assume or consider to be true, without proof.

Paragraph 7:

  1. Slithered: Moved smoothly and quietly, like a snake.
  2. Hood: The expandable, hood-like part behind the head of a cobra.
  3. Imagination: The faculty or action of forming new ideas, concepts, or images in the mind.
  4. Stone image: A figurative expression indicating extreme stillness or stiffness.

Paragraph 8:

  1. Creator: One who brings something into existence; in this context, referring to God as the creator of the world and universe.
  2. Imagination: The ability to form a mental image of something not present to the senses.

Paragraph 9:

  1. Admiring: Regard with respect or warm approval; look at with pleasure.
  2. Vermilion: A bright red pigment, often used in cosmetics and traditional markings in Indian culture.

Paragraph 10:

  1. Unwound: Loosened or released from a coiled or wound state.
  2. Quarters: Living space or accommodation.
  3. Sprinter: A person who runs at a very fast pace, often referring to an athlete specializing in short-distance races.

Paragraph 11:

  1. Smeared: Spread or cover (a surface) with a sticky or greasy substance.
  2. Rascal: A mischievous or cheeky person, often used in a playful or affectionate way.

Paragraph 12:

  1. Cleaned out: Completely emptied or cleared of contents.
  2. Final insult: An action or gesture intended to offend or degrade someone, often used sarcastically to emphasize a petty or insignificant act.

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