Class 8 NCERT Solutions English Chapter 5 - Princess September
Princess September Exercise 38
The royal couple had nine daughters.
The King and Queen of Siam had many daughters, and the Queen
said that it confused her to remember so many names so they were named after the months of the year.
The King of Siam had a peculiar habit. Instead of receiving gifts on his birthday he gave them. It is called peculiar because he gave the gifts to his daughters on his birthday instead to accepting it. Most people receive gifts from their family and friends on their birthdays and don’t give away gifts.
(i) Princess September's reaction was that she burst into a flood of tears at the loss of her parrot, and nothing that her Maids of Honour could say comforted her.
(ii) The mother's reaction was unsympathetic. She said it was nonsense and said that she should better go to bed without any supper.(iii) The reactions indicate that the princess was very young, kind emotional and very sensitive and so was very sad at the loss of her parrot. The Queen her mother however was not so sensitive either to the loss of the bird or to the feelings of her daughter. Instead of consoling her in her grief, she was unsympathetic and ridiculed her daughter’s moaning for a parrot saying it was nonsense and told the maids of honour to send her to bed without supper.
The little bird pulled the Princess out of her gloom because when she lay in her bed, crying she saw a little bird hop into her room. She wiped her tears and sat up and the little bird began to sing for her.
The Maids of Honour came to know that the Princess and the bird had become intimate friends because when they brought in her breakfast the next morning, he ate rice out of her hand and he had his bath in her saucer. He then began to sing so beautifully that the Maids of Honour were surprised as they had never heard anything like it before.
The new bird was full of new songs but the old parrots always repeated themselves .They always repeated 'God save the king' and 'Pretty Polly'.
When the Princesses told the King that the parrots could say ‘Pretty Polly’ in seven different languages the king said they reminded him of his councillors. He was of the opinion that the councillors kept saying the same thing in seven different ways and it never meant anything in any way they said it.The king formed this opinion because he knew that the councillors were only saying it to please him but like the parrots they were just repeating what they had learnt and did not even know the meaning of what they were saying.
(i) The eight Princesses made an offer to Princess September that since they were sorry about the death of her beautiful parrot and knew that she was feeling dreadful about losing her pet they had all put their pocket-money together and were going to buy her a lovely green and yellow parrot.
(ii) They did it because they were vexed that the king had praised the bird and said it sang much better than the parrots, and the parrots also looked very glum indeed. Besides the princess too was happy again and ran through all the rooms singing like a lark while the little bird flew round and round singing like a nightingale. This made them very jealous of the Princess.
The sister's advised her to pop the bird in the cage so that it does not fly away. The sisters told the Princess to take their advice and pop the bird into the cage when it came back so that she was sure that it always remained with her.
Princess September Exercise 43
The phrase 'Under the circumstances' meant that his father-in -law was throwing a party and all of them wanted him to stay. The phrase 'very unfortunate remark' referred to that the bird was away for a long time and the princess was extremely worried for him.
Under the circumstances:
The circumstances were that Princess September’s sisters had already warned her that if she wanted to stay safe she should put the little bird in a cage or one day he might not come back. The bird had been away for a long time and she was very worried. She feared that his life was in danger or he had just forgotten her.
The very unfortunate remark:When the bird finally did return the very unfortunate remark it made was to tell September that it nearly didn’t come back at all as its father-in-law was giving a party and all wanted it to stay. This remark was unfortunate because it made September sad as she now realized that there was some truth in the warning given to her by her sisters that the bird might not come back and so she made up her mind not to take any more risks with it.
(i) To ensure the safety of her pet, the Princess put up her hand and took hold of the unsuspecting bird, carried him over to the cage, popped him in and shut the door on him.
(ii) At first the bird was so surprised that it could think of nothing to say. But in a moment or two he hopped up to the ivory perch and asked her if it was a joke. She lied to him and told him that it was just to keep him safe from the cats. Assuming that he would be set free in the morning he ate his supper, sang and fell asleep. However in the morning when September would not set him free he tried to slip through the bars of the cage, beat against the door, but he couldn't open it. He cried and never sang a note.
The bird refused to be taken out because it was not the same again. The rice-fields, the lake and the willow trees looked quite different when he saw them through the bars of the cage.
(i) One morning when the Princess wished the bird good morning she did not get any reply. She gave a startled cry, for she saw the little bird lying at the bottom on his side with his eyes closed looking as if he were dead. She opened the door and putting her hand in lifted him out and gave a sob of relief for she could feel his little heart beating still. She then realized that by trying to protect the little bird she had deprived him of its freedom. The bird was unable to sing unless it was free and if it couldn’t sing it would die. She loved the bird so much that she only wanted it to be happy and so set it free.(ii) The bird was happy and said that he would come to sing the loveliest songs he knew for her as he loved the Princess. He would go far away but would always come back and would never forget her.
(i) September kept her window open day and night so that the little bird might come into her room whenever he felt inclined.
(ii) It helped the Princess as it was very good for her and she grew extremely beautiful. When she was old enough she married the King of Cambodia and was carried on a white elephant all the way to the city in which the King lived.
The eight sisters never slept with their windows open, so they grew extremely ugly as well as disagreeable. It affected them because when the time came to marry them off they were given away to the King's Councillors with a pound of tea and a Siamese cat.