Class-9 Chapter-9.1 The Snake Trying- Extra Questions and Notes

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Extra Questions, Notes, Assignment and study material for Class 9th as Per CBSE Syllabus

Chapter- 9.1


ByW.W.E. Ross

 Introduction of the lesson- THE SNAKE TRYING


Most of us think snakes as fearsome symbols of death. But the poet has a different opinion about it. In his view that snakes are not harmful if they are not disturbed. They make harm to the human body only when they think him a danger for their own life. In this poem, the snake itself becomes a victim of human hardness.
(हम में से अधिकतर सांपों को मृत्यु के एक भयानक प्रतीक के रूप में लेते हैं ।  लेकिन इसके बारे में कवि का एक भिन्न मत है उसके विचार में यदि सांपों को तंग न किया जाए तो वे हानिकारक नहीं होते हैं । वे मानव को तभी क्षति पहुँचाते है जब उन्हें लगता है कि मानव उनके जीवन के लिए एक ख़तरा बन गया है । इस कविता में तो स्वयं सांप ही मानव की कठोरता का शिकार बन जाता है।)

Introduction (2):

 This small poem by W.W.E. Ross, written in unrhymed, free-verse with unequal lines, is the poet’s plea to human beings to treat snakes in a kind manner. Human beings generally tend to kill snakes to avoid being bitten, but the poet reveals that all snakes are not poisonous and all of them do not harm human beings.


 The poem is based on the theme of prevention of cruelty towards animals. The poet develops this thought by requesting people to maintain ecological balance and not to harm any species, in this particular case – the snakes. Since all snakes are not venomous, they are harmless and attack human beings only in self-defence. Hence they should be left on their own. They have a right to existence, too.


The title reveals that the snake is making an effort. This title is repeated in the opening line to reinforce the ‘trying’ by the snake. It makes the reader curious and he reads the rest of the poem to learn that the snake is a victim and is ‘trying’ to save himself from someone who is chasing him in order to kill him with a stick. Thus, the title is apt as it initiates the inquisitiveness of the reader and prompts him to find out about the snake’s efforts.


Transferred Epithet

A transferred epithet is an adjective that grammatically qualifies a noun other than the person or thing it is actually describing.


  • to escape the pursuing stick

Here, the adjective ‘pursuing’ is used with ‘stick’. But it is not intended to show that the stick is pursuing. Actually, it is to suggest that some person with a stick in his hands is chasing the snake. Hence, the epithet (adjective) is transferred from the person to the stick.


 As the poem is written in free verse with lines unequal in length and no metre, there is no rhyme scheme in the poem.


The poem, in very simple and clear words, conveys the message that all creatures of nature need to be treated in a kind and sympathetic manner. Even snakes must not be attacked because they do not bite unless they sense a danger to their life. Moreover, there are certain varieties of snakes that are not poisonous and are hence harmless.

Important Word-Meanings of difficult words from the lesson- THE SNAKE TRYING


Word-Meanings: Escape = to get clear away,बच निकालन ा; pursuing = chasing, पीछे लगी हुई  ; curving= turns, घुमाव; graceful = attractive, मनमोहक; glides = creeps, सरकता ह ै; stroke = hit, प्रहार । Reeds = hollow stems, सरकंडे ; hurt = injury, चोट; harmless= not dangerous,हानि रहित I  Observed = was seen, देख लिया गय ा; chased away = was followed, पीछा किया गया ; vanishes = get out of sight,अद्रश्य होना ; ripples = waves,लहरें ; slim = thin,पतले  I

Short and Simple Summary of the lesson in EnglishTHE SNAKE TRYING/ Summary in simple Words/ Critical appreciation of the lesson THE SNAKE TRYING


 This is a beautiful poem about a snake. One day a snake was lying on the sandy bank of a pond or a river. Some one observes it and runs after it with a stick. He wants to kill it. The snake is trying to escape from the pursuing stick. It runs with sudden curves in its body. It looks very beautiful and graceful. It glides through the water to save itself from the stroke. The poet sees all this. He asks the chaser to let the snake go away without any hurt. He says that it is a small green snake. It can’t make harm even to a small child. But the chaser does not listen to the poet. He is after the snake but it disappears in the ripples among the green slim reeds.

Summary (2):

This small poem of sixteen-lines deals with the idea that human beings should not be cruel towards snakes. The snakes must be left alone to enjoy themselves.
The poem opens with the image of a snake being chased with a stick and trying to save itself from being struck. The long-bodied snake curves and curls its slender, thin body as it makes an attempt to avoid the stick flung at it. The poet finds different shapes of his curling body to be very elegant and fascinating.
The snake moves softly through the water of the pond to hide himself among the reeds growing densely in the marsh so that he is not hit by the stick. The poet wants the person, who is chasing the snake, to let him go safely to his hide-out among the reeds without being injured. This specific snake, green in colour and small in size, is non-poisonous and therefore, cannot harm even young children. He was lying comfortably and peacefully on the sandy bank of the pond before being noticed and chased with a stick by the people. But now he has taken shelter in the green, slender reeds beyond the pond where he creates ripples while slithering on the water.

 Summary in Hindi/ THE SNAKE TRYING

Go to the NCERT Solution “The Bond of Love”


यह सांप के बारे में एक सुंदर कविता हैं । एक दिन एक तालाब या नदी के किनारे रेत पर एक सांप लेटा हुआ था । कोई व्यक्ति इसे देख लेता है और डंडा लेकर उसके पीछे लग जाता है । वह उसे मारना चाहता है । सांप पीछे पड़ी हुई लाठी से बचने का प्रयास कर रहा है । वह अचानक अपने शरीर में घुमावदार मोड़ डालकर भागता है । यह बहुत ही सुन्दर और मनमोहक लगता है । वह अपने आपको लाठी के प्रहार से बचाने के लिए पानी के ऊपर से सरकता है ।

कवि इस सारे दृश्य को देखता है । वह पीछा कर रहे उस आदमी से कहता है कि वह सांप को बिना कोई चोट पहुँचाए चले जाने दे । वह कहता है कि यह एक छोटा-सा हरे रंग का सांप है । यह तो एक छोटे-से बच्चे को भी हानि नहीं पहुँचा सकता है । लेकिन पीछा करने कवि की बात नहीं सुनता है । वह सांप के पीछे पड़ा हुआ है लेकिन साँप हरे सरकंडों के बीच लहरों में ओझल हो जाता है ।

Following is the complete question bank for – THE SNAKE TRYING

 Read the extracts and answer the questions that follow.



The snake trying

 to escape the pursuing stick,

with sudden carvings of thin

long body. flow beautiful

 and graceful are his shapes!

 He glides through the water away

front the stroke.

हिंदी अनुवाद – सांप अपने पीछे पड़ी हुई छड़ी से बचने के लिए अचानक अपने लंबे और पतले शरीर में बल खाता हुआ जाता है । उस समय वह देखने में कितना सुंदर और मनमोहक लगता है । वह लाठी के प्रहार से बचने के लिए पानी के ऊपर से सरकता हुआ चला जाता है ।

 Questions :
(a) Name the poem and the poet.
(b) What is the snake trying to escape from?
(c) Why does he take sudden carvings of his body?
(d) What looks beautiful and graceful?
(e )Where does the snake go and why?

 Answers :
(a) The name of the poem is ‘The Snake Trying’ and the name of the. poet is `W.W.E. Ross’.
(b) The snake is trying to escape from the pursuing stick.
(c) He takes sudden curves of his body to escape himself from the stroke of the stick.
(d) His shapes of the body while taking curvings look graceful and beautiful.
(e) The snake goes through the water to save himself.


0 let him go over the water

into the reeds to hide

without hurt Small and green

he is harmless even to children.

हिंदी अनुवाद – अर े! उसे पानी के ऊपर से जाने दो ताकि वह बिना किसी चोट के सरकंडों में जाकर छुप जाए । वह छोटा –सा हरे रंग का सांप बच्चों को भी कोई हानि नहीं पहुँचा सकता है ।

 Questions :
(a) Name the poem and the poet.
(b) Who does ‘him’ refer to in the first line of the stanza?
(c) Where is he going?
(d) Of what size and colour is he?
(e) What is his nature?

Answers :
(a) The name of the poem is ‘The Snake Trying’ and the name of the poet is ‘W.W.E. Ross’.
(b) ‘Him’ refers to the snake.
(c) He is going over the water into the reeds.
(d) He is of small size and green colour.
(e) He is of good nature.


Along the sand

he lay until observed

 and chased away, and now

he vanishes in the ripples

among the green slim reeds.

 हिंदी अनुवाद – वह तब तक रेत के बीच में लेटा रहा जब तक कि किसी ने उसे देख नहीं लिया और उसका पीछा नहीं किया और अब वह हरे रंग के पतले सरकंडों के बीच लहरों में ओझल हो गया है ।

Questions :
(a) Who does `he’ refer to in this stanza?
(b) Where was he lying?
(c)When was he chased?
(d) Where does he vanish?
(e) Of what colour are the reeds?

 Answers :
(a) ‘He’ refers to the snake.
(b) He was lying on the sand.
(c) He was chased when someone observed him.
(d) He vanishes in the ripples among the reeds.
(e) The reeds are of green colour.

Go to the NCERT Solution “Kathmandu”

Very Short Answer Type Important Questions

Additional Very Short Answer Type Questions

I. What is the snake trying to escape from?

Ans. The snake is trying to escape from the pursuing stick.

2. How is the snake’s body??

Ans. The snake has a thin long body.

3. How does the snake go through the water?

Ans. He glides through the water away.

4. Where is the snake trying to hide?

Ans. The snake is trying to hide into the reed4.

5. What is the colour of the snake?

Ans. The colour of the snake is green.

6. What type of a snake is it?

Ans. It is a harmless snake.

7. What does the poet wish for the snake?

Ans. The poet wishes that the snake should escape unhurt.

8. Where was the snake before anyone saw it?

Ans. The snake was lying on the sand before anyone saw it.

9. Where does the snake vanish?

Ans. The snake vanishes in the ripples among the green reeds.

10. Who is the poet of the poem ‘The Snake Trying’?

Ans. W.W.E. Ross is the poet of this poem.

 Value Based Questions and Answers of THE SNAKE TRYING


(to be answered in about 30 – 40 words each)

Q1. What is the snake trying to escape from?                                        (Textual)

Ans:-The snake is trying to escape an assault on him. He is being chased by a man with a stick in his hand. The snake fears that the man wants to kill him by hitting him with the stick. The snake intends to evade being struck by the stick.

Q2. Why does the snake suddenly curve his body?

Ans:- The snake, lying comfortably on the sands on the bank of a pond, suddenly notices a person trying to kill him with a stick. Naturally, he cannot remain to lie at rest when face to face with death. He twists and wriggles his body to avoid being struck by the stick.

Q3. How does the snake look when he curves his slender body?

Ans:- While curving his slender body with quick movements to avoid being attacked, the snake looks quite fascinating and elegant to the poet. The various shapes formed by the twisting and turning of his body do not at all look frightening or ugly.

Q4. Where does the snake start moving to avoid being killed?

Ans:-The snake starts moving towards the pond to avoid being killed. He glides on the surface of the pond’s water to reach the bank on the other side which has slim and green reeds like the snake’s body. Here he can easily camouflage himself and avoid being detected and killed.

Q5.  Does the poet support the person with the stick?

Ans:- No, the poet does not at all support or approve of the person who intends to kill the snake with his stick. He does not find any reason why a harmless, non-poisonous, beautiful, and graceful snake should be put to death. He wants the snake to be spared and allowed to live.

Q6. What is the poet’s request to the person chasing the snake?

Ans:- The poet’s request to the person chasing the snake with a stick is to let the snake go free to lead his life. He wants the person to let the snake slither away through the water to the reeds where he may hide himself to safety.

Q7. Is it a harmful snake? What is its colour?                                         (Textual)

Ans:- The snake is green in colour and is small in size. It is absolutely harmless as it is non-poisonous. It is harmless even to the children and hence need not be feared or killed merely because human beings consider snakes as harmful creatures.

Q8. The poet finds the snake beautiful. Find the words he uses to convey its beauty.  (Textual)

Ans:-The poet uses the words ‘beautiful and graceful’ to describe the shapes of the snake’s body. He uses the words ‘small and green’ to describe the snake’s size and colour respectively. All these words connote admiration.

Q9. Why does the poet want the snake to be spared?

Ans:- The poet wants the snake to be spared because he is non-venomous and hence harmless. He is so safe that he cannot harm even a young child. Since the snake is not a threat to any human being, there is no rhyme or reason in killing him.

Q10. Where was the snake before anyone saw it and chased it away? Where does the snake disappear?                                                                             (Textual)

Ans:- Before being seen by anyone, the snake was lying comfortably on the sandy banks of the pond. After getting noticed and chased, he moved swiftly to the pond, got in the water and reached the other side to disappear in the slim and green reeds growing over there.

Q11.Where did the snake hide himself and how?

Ans:-The snake hid himself among the green reeds growing on the other side of the pond. He did this by merging his slender and green body with the slim and green reeds. This camouflage helped him deceive the person who was trying to kill him.

Q12. What idea do you form the poet’s attitude towards all living creatures?

Ans:- The poet seems to be an environmentalist who has a loving attitude towards all living beings. He seems to be conscious of the need to preserve the diversity of creatures to maintain balance in the environment. Moreover, he believes that most species of snakes are non-poisonous and they do not harm unless attacked.

Q13. What does the poet wish for the snake?                                          (Textual)

Ans:- The poet wishes a safe and free life for the snake. He does not want any human being to feel threatened by the snake and wants him to be left alone. He desires a peaceful coexistence for the snake and human beings.

Go to the NCERT Solution “A slumber did my spirit seal”


(to be answered in about 100 – 150 words each)

Q1. The poem “The Snake Trying” by W.W.E. Ross presents two divergent attitudes towards the snake. Discuss both the attitudes.


How does the attitude of the poet towards the snake differ absolutely from that of the man with the stick?

Ans:- The poem The Snake Trying” by W.W.E. Ross presents two divergent attitudes towards the snake. The man with the stick shows a cruel and unsympathetic attitude, He believes that all snakes are poisonous and a threat to human beings. Therefore, although this particular snake is lying comfortably on the sandy bank of the pond with no intention of harming anyone, the man gets ready to kill him the moment he sees him.

The poet, on the contrary, has a loving and kind attitude towards the snake. He does not find it to be ugly or terrifying. Instead, he finds beauty and elegance in his body and displays appreciation for the appealing looks of this creature.

Moreover, the poet seems to have a thorough knowledge of the behaviour of the different varieties of snakes. He informs the man with the stick that the snakes with thin, green bodies are absolutely harmless and cannot harm even children. He does not want such a harmless snake to be killed. Instead, he should be permitted to escape to safety by hiding himself among the reeds.

Q2. Which values can be noticed about the poet from his attitude towards snakes?

Ans:- The poet’s concern and caring attitude towards the snakes emphasizes his values of gentleness, kindness, and sympathy. His thoughtfulness towards all living beings can also be noticed after reading this poem. We know that his thoughts are based on sound scientific reasons when he tells that all snakes are not poisonous. The small and green ones, in particular, are absolutely safe and cannot harm even children.

We learn that the poet is an environmentalist and believes in the preservation of animals when he dissuades the man with the stick from killing the snake.

His profound sense of love for the innocent snake is also revealed when he requests the man to let the snake go and hide amidst the slim, green reeds. The poet’s deep understanding of the behaviour of snakes can be seen when he remarks that the snake can camouflage and deceive the hostile person by merging itself into the green reeds.

The poet, with his great concern for the snake, inspires the readers to develop the values of love and concern towards all living beings.

Q3. The poem “The Snake Trying” has a deep moral lesson. Which moral values come out of it?


How is the poem “The Snake Trying” an inspirational poem?

Ans:- The poem has a deep moral lesson as it inspires the readers to cultivate a sympathetic and loving attitude towards all living creatures. The poet shows how there is beauty in all creations of God, even in the curling and curving body of the snake. He wants this beauty to be preserved. The poet’s plea to the man chasing the snake is, in fact, his request to all to preserve the diversity of nature.

The poem inspires in the readers a sense of justice by stressing that killing an innocent snake without any provocation is unfair. Animals may be killed only for self-defence, else they must be saved. The poem further motivates the readers to attain a deep knowledge about the phenomenon of nature. By gaining a thorough knowledge, one may be able to distinguish between the harmful and the harmless animals.

Thus, the poem motivates people to adopt humanistic and friendly feelings towards all living creatures.


1. What is our opinion about most of snakes?

   (A) fearsome symbols of death                                         (B) faithful friends

 (C) loyal to the human being                                                       (D) not harmful to us

 Ans. (A) fearsome symbols of death

2. In the poet’s views, the snakes are

(A) harmful to us                                                                        (B) not harmful to us

(C) enemy to us                                                                          (D) all of the above

Ans. (B) not harmful to us

3. What is the snake trying to escape?

 (A) stone                                                                                      (B) bullet

 (C) mud                                                                                        (D) stick

 Ans. (D) stick

4. The snake has a _____.

 (A) thin long body                                                                      (B) thick small body

 (C) huge body                                                                              (D) all of the above

 Ans. (A) thin long body

5. How does the poet describe the shapes of the snake’s body?

(A) graceful                                                                                    (B) beautiful

(C) ugly                                                                                             (D) both (A) and (B)

 Ans. (D) both (A) and (B)

6. What does the snake glide through?

(A) mud                                                                                            (B)ice

(C) water                                                                                          (D) all of the above

   Ans. (C) water

7.Of what colour snake is the poet talking about?

(A) red                                                                                                             (B) white

 (C) green,                                                                                                      (D) black

 Ans. (C ) green

8. Who is the Snake harmful to?

(A) men,                                                                                                         (B) Women

 (C) children                                                                                                    (D) none of the above

  Ans. (D) none of the above

9. What Is the nature of the green snake who is trying to escape?

 (A) harmless                                                                                                 (B) furious

(C) harmful                                                                                                     (D) annoyed

 Ans. (A) harmless

10. Where did the snake lie until observed?

 (A) in a tree                                                                                                    (B) on the water

  (C) on the sand                                                                                             (D) in the mud

 Ans. (C) on the sand

11. Where does the snake vanish?

  (A) in the water                                                                                          (B) in the reeds 

  (C) in a house                                                                                              (D) none of the above

 Ans. (B) in the reeds

12. Who chased the snake?

 (A) man                                                                                                            (B) Mongoose

 (C) crocodile                                                                                                   (D) eagle

Ans. (A) man

13. What does the poet wish for the snake?

  (A) killed                                                                                                          (B) escape unhurt

  (C) caught                                                                                                        (D) all of the above

  Ans. (B) escape unhurt

14. Who is the poet of the poem ‘The Snake Trying’?

  (A) Edward Lear                                                                                            (B) W.W.E. Ross

   (C) Gieve Patel                                                                                              (D) William Wordsworth

Ans. (B) W.W.E. Ross





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