Class 7 NCERT English Poem ‘The Squirrel” Textbook question answers are given here for students. Only three questions are given in the NCERT book. The answers are written here comprehensively to make them creative to help students develop such type of intellect. Short version of answers is also given if students wish to prefer them.
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Working with the Poem (Page 17)
1.Why does the poet say the squirrel “wore a question mark for tail”? Draw a squirrel, or find a picture of a squirrel sitting on the ground. How would you describe its tail?
Ans. The poet describes the squirrel as “wore a question mark for tail” to create a vivid image of how the squirrel’s tail curls up and over its back, resembling a question mark punctuation symbol. The description also adds a playful and whimsical tone to the poem.
If a squirrel were sitting on the ground, its tail would be curved up and over its back, forming a shape similar to a question mark. The tail is bushy and typically has a mix of darker and lighter shades of brown or gray. Squirrels use their tails for balance, communication, and warmth.
The poet uses the phrase “wore a question mark for tail” to describe how a squirrel’s tail curls up and resembles a question mark. This creates a playful and whimsical tone in the poem. Squirrels use their tails for balance, communication, and warmth.
2.Do we usually say that an animal ‘wears’ a tail? What do we say? (Think: Does an animal wear a coat? Consult a dictionary if you like, and find out how ‘wear’ is used in different ways.)
Ans. No, we do not usually say that an animal ‘wears’ a tail. Instead, we typically say that an animal has a tail. The word ‘wear’ is often used to describe the act of putting on or having on one’s body, such as wearing clothes or accessories. In this stanza, ‘wore’ is used figuratively to describe the squirrel’s tail, emphasizing its distinctive shape and appearance.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, ‘wear’ can also be used in other ways, such as to indicate the effects of time or use on an object, as in “The chair is starting to wear out.” It can also refer to the act of enduring or tolerating something, as in “I can’t wear this constant noise anymore.”
The word ‘wear’ is not commonly used to describe an animal’s tail, instead we say that an animal has a tail. However, ‘wear’ can be used in other ways, such as to indicate the effects of time or use on an object, or to refer to the act of enduring or tolerating something. In the context of the stanza, ‘wore’ is used figuratively to describe the distinctive shape and appearance of the squirrel’s tail.
Normally, we express that an animal possesses certain characteristics rather than saying it “wears” them. Nonetheless, the poet employs the term “wear” to convey the external features of the squirrel. The definition of “wear” in the dictionary implies an outer layer, such as clothing.
3. “He liked to tease and play”. Who is teasing whom? How?
Ans. The stanza in the poem suggests that the squirrel is the one doing the teasing and playing. It is described as wearing a question mark for a tail, and sitting up straight to eat a nut. The line “He liked to tease and play” further reinforces the idea that the squirrel is the one engaging in playful behaviour.
The stanza does not provide information on who the squirrel might be teasing, but it could be interpreted as the squirrel teasing the poet and perhaps anyone else who runs around its tree. The line “And if we ran around his tree, he went the other way” suggests that the squirrel is aware of the poet’s presence and actively avoids them, which could be seen as a form of teasing or playfulness.
‘He’ has been used for the squirrel. The poet enjoyed teasing and playing with the squirrel, but whenever the poet approached the squirrel, it would scurry away in the opposite direction.