THE LITTLE GIRL
By- Katherine Mansfield
MPORTANT PASSAGES FOR COMPREHENSION
Read the following passages and answer the questions given at the end of each :
To the little girl, he was a figure to be feared and avoided. Every morning before going to work he came into her room and gave her a casual kiss, to which she responded with “Goodbye, Father”. And oh, there was a glad sense of relief when she heard the noise of the carriage growing fainter and fainter down the long road!
In the evening when he came home she stood near the staircase and heard his loud voice in the hall. “Bring my tea into the drawing-room……… Hasn’t the paper come yet? Mother, go and see if my paper’s out there—and bring me my slippers.”
(i) What was the name of the little girl?
(ii) What was her father’s routine before going to work?
(iii) When did the girl feel relieved?
(iv) What was her father’s daily routine after coming from the office?
(v) Give the meaning of ‘a figure to be feared’.
(i) The name of the little girl was Kezia.
(ii) Every morning before going to work he came into her room and gave her a casual kiss.
(iii) The girl felt relieved after her father had gone to work.
(iv) After coming from office in the evening he cried loudly for tea and newspaper.
(v) ‘a person to be feared.’
That night there was a hue and cry in the house. Father’s great speech for the Port Authority had bee lost. Rooms were searched; servants questioned. Finally, Mother came into Kezia’s room.
“Kezia, I suppose you didn’t see some papers on a table in our room ?”
“Oh yes,” she said, ” I tore them up for my surprise.”
“What!” screamed Mother. “Come straight down to the dining-room this instant.”
(i) Why was there a hue and cry in the house?
(ii) Why were the servants questioned?
(iii) What was Kezia’s surprise?
(iv) Give the meaning of ‘hue and cry’.
(v) Name the chapter and the author.
(i) There was a hue and cry in the house because the father’s great speech for the Port Authority had been lost.
(ii) The servants were questioned if they had seen the report anywhere.
(iii) A present of a pin-cushion to her father on his birthday was Kezia’s surprise.
(iv) ‘angry protest’.
(v) ‘The Little Girl’ by Katherine Mansfield.
The Macdonalds lived next door. They had five children. Looking through a gap in the fence the little girl saw them playing lag’ in the evening. The father with the baby, Mao, on his shoulders, two little girls hanging on to his coat pockets ran round and round the flower-beds, shaking with laughter. Once she saw the boys turn the hose on him—and he tried to catch them laughing all the time.
(i) Who were the Macdonalds?
(ii) What did Kezia see through the gap in the fence?
(iii) Name the child on Mr Macdonald’s shoulders.
(iv) What did the boys do with the hose?
(v) Was Mr Macdonald angry with his children?
(i) The Macdonalds were Kezia’s next door neighbour.
(ii) Kezia saw Mr Macdonald playing ‘tag’ will all his five children.
(iii) His name was Mao.
(iv) The boys turned the hose on Mr Macdonald.
(v) No. he was not angry with his children.
Tired out, he slept before the little girl. A funny feeling came over her. Poor Father, not so big, after all—and with no one to look after him. He was harder than Grandmother, but it was a nice hardness. And every day he had to work and was too tired to be a Mr Macdonald She had torn up all his beautiful writing She stirred suddenly, and sighed.
“What’s the matter?” asked her father. “Another dream?”
“Oh,” said the little girl, “my head’s on.your heart. I can hear it going. What a big heart you’ve got, Father dear.”
(i) Why did the father sleep before the little girl?
(ii) How did the girl feel her father’s hardness now?
(Ill) Who was Mr Macdonald?
(iv) What could the little girl hear?
(v) Who was Kezia lying with?
(i) The father slept before the little girl because he was much tired.
(ii) She felt that her father’s hardness was a nice hardness.
(iii) Mr Macdonald was Kezia’s next door neighbour.
(iv) The little girl could hear her father’s heartbeat.
(v) She was lying with her father.
On Sunday afternoons Grandmother sent her down to the drawing-room to have a “nice talk with Father and Mother”. But the little girl always found Mother reading and Father stretched out on the sofa, his handkerchief on his face, his feet on one of the best cushions, sleeping soundly and snoring.
She sat on a stool, gravely watched him until he woke and stretched, and asked the time — then looked at her.
(i) Why did Grandmother girl send the little girl to the drawing-room?
(ii) What did she always find her mother doing?
(iii) What did she always find her father doing?
(iv) Where did the little girl sit and wait?
(v) Name the chapter and the author.
(Page 33) She never stuttered with other people — had quite given it up — but only with
Father. because then she was trying so hard to say the words properly.
” What’s the matter? What are you looking so wretched about? Mother, I wish you would teach this child not to appear on the brink of suicide ………Here, Kezia, carry my teacup back to the table carefully.”
He was so big — his hands and his neck, especially his mouth when he yawned.
Thinking about him alone was like thinking about a giant.
1.”She never stuttered with other people – but only with her father.” Why?
2. What did Kezia think about the size of her father?
3. What made Kezia’s father look like a giant?
4. Was Kezia’s father really indifferent towards her?
(Page 34) One day, when she was kept indoors with a cold, the grandmother told her that father’s birthday was next week and suggested she should make him a pin-cushion for a gift out of a beautiful piece of yellow silk.
Laboriously, with double cotton, the little girl stitched three sides. But what to fill it with? That was the question. The grandmother was out in the garden, and she wandered into the mother’s bedroom to look for ‘scraps’. On the bed-table, she discovered a great many sheets of fine paper, gathered them up, tore them into tiny pieces, and stuffed her case, then sewed up the fourth side.
That night there was a hue and cry in the house. Father’s great speech for the Port Authority had been lost. Rooms were searched — servants questioned. Finally, the mother came into Kezia’s room.
1. Why was Kezia kept indoors?
2. Why did Kezia make a pin-cushion?
3. What did Kezia fill the pin-cushion with?
4. Why was there a hue and cry in the house?
1.Because she had a cold.
2. She wanted to gift it to her father on his birthday.
3. She filled it with pieces of paper.
4.Because Father’s speech for Port Authority had been lost.
(Page 35) “What did God make fathers for ?” she sobbed.
“Here’s a clean hanky, darling. Blow your nose. Go to sleep, pet; you’ll forget all about it in the morning. I tried to explain to Father but he was too upset to listen tonight.”
But the child never forgot. Next time she saw him she quickly put both hands behind her back and a red colour flew into the cheeks.
1. What did Kezia feel about her father?
2. Why did grandmother give a hanky to Kezia?
3. Why did Father not listen to anything that night?
4. Why did Kezia put both hands behind her back on seeing him?
(Page 37) But the same old nightmare came – the butcher with a knife and a rope, who came nearer and nearer, smiling that dreadful smile, while she could not move, could only stand still, crying out, “Grandma! Grandma !” She woke to shiver to see Father beside her bed, a candle in his hand.
“What’s the matter ?” he said.
“Oh, a butcher — a knife — I want Grannie.” He blew out the candle, bent down and caught up the child in his arms, carrying her along the passage to the big bedroom. A newspaper was on the bed — a half-smoked cigar was near his reading lamp. He put away the paper, threw the cigar into the fireplace, then carefully tucked up to the child. He lay down beside her. Half asleep still, still with the butcher’s smile all about her, it seemed. She crept close to him, snuggled her head under his arm, held tightly to his shirt.
1. What was Kezia’s nightmare?
2. Did Kezia have the nightmare only once?
3. What did Kezia’s father do when she had a nightmare?
4. Was Kezia’s father indifferent towards her or did he love her?
1. A smiling butcher with a knife and a rope came towards Kezia in her nightmare.
2.No, she had it many a time.
3. He took her to his own bed.
4. Kezia’s father loved her very dearly.
(Page 37) Then the dark did not matter; she lay still.
“Here, rub your feet against my legs and get them warm,” said Father.
Tired out, he slept before the little girl. A funny feeling came over her. Poor Father, not so big, after all, and with no one to look after him. He was harder than the grandmother, but it was a nice hardness. And every day he had to work and was too tired to be Mr Macdonald… She had torn up all his beautiful writing ….. She stirred suddenly and sighed.
“What’s the matter ?” asked her father. “Another dream ?”
“Oh,” said the little girl. “my head’s on your heart. I can hear it going. What a big heart you’ve got, Father dear !”