NCERT English - Class 7

Honeycomb (Prose)

Chapter 4: The Ashes That Made Trees Bloom

Comprehension Check

Page 60

Question 1:

Why did the neighours kill the dog ?


The dog did not guide the neighbours to the treasure. So they killed the dog in extreme anger.

Question 2:

Mark the right item.

(i) The old farmer and his wife loved the dog.

(a) because it helped them in their day-to-day work.

(b) as if it was their own baby.

(c) as they were kind to all living beings.

(ii) When the old couple became rich, they

(a) gave the dog better food.

(b) invited their greedy neighbours to a feast.

(c) lived comfortably and were generous towards their poor neighbours.

(iii) The greedy couple borrowed the mill and the mortar to make.

(a) rice pastry and bean sauce.

(b) magic ash to win rewards.

(c) a pile of gold.


(i) The old farmer and his wife loved the dog as if it was their own baby.

(ii) When the old couple became rich, they lived comfortably and were generous towards their poor neighbours.

(iii) The greedy couple borrowed the mill and the mortar to make a pile of gold.

Working with the Text

Answer the following questions :

Question 1:

The old farmer is a kind person. What evidence of his kindness do you find in the first two paragraphs.


The old farmer is a kind person. He has a pet dog. Having no children, he loves it as if it were his own son. The old couple used to feed him with titbits of fish from their own chopsticks.

Question 2:

What did the dog do to lead the farmer to the hidden gold ?


The dog tried to take him to some spot. He kept on running for some minutes. The old man followed his pet dog. At one place, the dog started scratching the earth. The old man dug the earth and found a pile of gold gleaming before him.

Question 3:

(i) How did the spirit of the dog help the farmer first? ..


The dog’s spirit asked his master to cut down the pine tree over his grave to make mortar for his rice pastry and a mill for bean sauce. The old couple made the dough ready for baking. As soon as he started pouring it, it turned into a heap of gold coins.

(ii) How did it help him next ?


The dog’s spirit told his master how the wicked neighbours had burned the mill made from the pine tree. He suggested him to take the ash and sprinkle it on the withered trees. It would make them bloom.

Question 4:

Why did the daimio reward the farmer but punish his neighbour for the same act ?


The old farmer scattered a pinch of ashes over the tree. It burst into blossom. The daimio was pleased to see and ordered some reward of silk clothes, cake etc to the farmer. But on the other hand the greedy neighbour sprinkled handful of ashes, the wind blew it and straight went into the eyes of the daimios and his wife. He got angry. He ordered to punish the wicked man to death.

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Working with Language

Question 1:

Read the following conversation.

Ravi : What are you doing?

Mridu : I’m reading a book.

Ravi : Who wrote it?

Mridu : Ruskin Bond.

Ravi : Where did you find it?

Mridu : In the library.

Notice that ‘what’, ‘who’, ‘where’, are question words. Questions that require information begin with question words. Some other question words are ‘when’, ‘why’, ‘where’, ‘which’ and ‘how’.

Remember that

  • What asks about actions, things, etc.
  • Who asks about people.
  • Which asks about people or things.
  • Where asks about place.
  • When asks about time.
  • Why asks about reason or purpose.
  • How asks about means, manner or degree.
  • Whose asks about possessions.

Read the following paragraph and frame questions on the italicised phrases.

Anil is in school. I am in school too. Anil is sitting in the left row. He is reading a book. Anil’s friend is sitting in the second row. He is sharpening his pencil. The teacher is writing on the blackboard. Children are writing in their copybooks. Some children are looking out of the window.


(i) Where is Anil ?

(ii) Where is Anil sitting ?

(iii) What is he doing?

(iv) Where is Anil’s friend sitting ?

(v) What is Anil’s friend doing ?

(vi) Who is writing on the black board ?

(vii) What are some children doing ?

Question 2:

Write appropriate question words in the blank spaces in the following dialogue.

NEHA : ……………… did you get this book ?

SHEELA : Yesterday morning.

NEHA :………….. is your sister crying ?

SHEELA : Because she has lost her doll.

NEHA : ….. room is this, yours or hers ?

SHEELA : It’s ours.

NETA : . ……………. do you go to school ?

SHEELA : We walk to school. It is nearby.


When, Why, Whose, How

Question 3:

Fill in the blanks with the words given in the box.

how ,what ,when ,where ,which

(i) My friend lost his chemistry book. Now he doesn’t know……………. to do and …………to look for it.

(ii) There are so many toys in the shops. Neena can’t decide …………. one to buy.

(iii) You don’t know the way to my school. Ask the policeman ……………. to get there.

(iv) You should decide soon ………………… to start building your house.

(v) Do you know …………… to ride a bicycle ? I don’t remember ………….. and I learnt it.

(vi) “You should know ………………. to talk and ……………… to keep your mouth shut,” the teacher advised Anil.


(i) what, where

(ii) which

(iii) how

(iv) when

(v) how, when, how.

(vi) where, when

Question 4:

Add im- or in- to each of the following words and use them in place of the italicised words in the sentences given below. patient proper possible sensitive competent.

(i) The project appears very difficult at first sight but it can be completed if we work very hard.

(ii) He lacks competence. That’s why he can’t keep any job for more than a year.

(iii) “Don’t lose patience. Your letter will come one day,” the postman told me.

(iv) That’s not a proper remark to make under the circumstances.

(v) He appears to be without sensitivity. In fact, he is very emotional.


(i) The project appears impossible at first sight …..

(ii) He is incompetent. That’s why…..

(iii) “Don’t be impatient. Your letter…

(iv) That’s an improper remark to make …………

(v) He appears to be insensitive. In fact.. …………….

Question 5:

Read the following sentences:

It was a cold morning and stars still glowed in the sky. An old man was walking along the road. The words in italics are articles. ‘A’ and ‘an’ are indefinite articles and ‘the’ is the definite article. ‘A’ is used before a singular countable noun. ‘An’is used before a word that begins with a vowel.

  • a boy
  • an actor
  • a mango
  • an apple
  • a university
  • an hour

Use a, an or the in the blanks.

There was once ………….. play which became very successful. ………….. famous actor was. acting in it. In ………….. play his role was that of ………….. aristocrat who had been imprisoned in ………….. castle for twenty years. In ………….. last act of ………….. play someone would come on ………….. stage with ………….. letter which he would hand over to ………….. prisoner. Even though ………….. aristocrat was not expected to read ………….. letter at each performance, he always insisted that ………….. letter be written out from beginning to end.


a, A, the, an, a the, the, the, a, a, the, the, the.

Question 6:

Encircle the correct article.

Nina was looking for (a / the) job. After many interviews she got (a / the) job she was looking for.

A: Would you like (a / an/ the) apple or (a / an / the) banana ?

B : I’d like (a / an / the) apple, please.

A: Take (a / an / the) red one in (a / an / the) fruit bowl.

You may take (a / an / the) orange also, if you like.

B : Which one?

A : (A / An / The) one beside (a / an / the) banana.


A: an, a

B : an A: the, the, an

A : The, the.

Speaking and Writing

Question 1:

Do you remember an anecdote or a story about a greedy or jealous person and the unhappy result of his/her action? Narrate the story to others in your class. Here is one for you to read. Seeing an old man planting a fig tree, the king asked why he was doing this. The man replied that he might live to eat the fruit, and, even if he did not, his son would enjoy the figs. “Well,” said the king, “if you do live to eat the fruit of this tree, please let me know.” The man promised to do so, and sure enough, before too long, the tree grew and bore fruit. Packing some fine figs in a basket, the old man set out for the palace to meet the king. The king accepted the gift and gave orders that the old man’s basket be filled with gold. Now, next door to the old man, there lived a greedy old man jealous of his neighbour’s good fortune. He also packed some figs in a basket and took them to the palace in the hope of getting gold. The king, on learning the man’s motive, ordered him to stand in the compound and had him pelted with figs. The old man returned home and told his wife the sad story. She consoled him by saying, “You should be thankful that our neighbour did not grow coconuts.”


The students must read the above story thoroughly. As you know, greed is a curse. It will provide nothing but a shame. The unhappy result may create something negative in one’s behaviour. Don’t be jealous to others.

Question 2:

Put each of the following in the correct order. Then use them appropriately to fill the blanks in the paragraph that follows. Use correct punctuation marks.

  • English and Hindi/both/in/he writes
  • and only a few short stories/many books in English/ in Hindi
  • is/my Hindi/than my English/much better

Ravi Kant is a writer, and ……..

…………… Of course, he is much happier writing in English than in Hindi. He has written

I find his books a little hard to understand………………..


Ravi Kant is a writer, and he writes both in English and Hindi. Of course, he is much happier writing in English than in Hindi: He has written many books in English and only a few short stories in Hindi. I find his books a little hard to understand. My Hindi is much better than my English.

Question 3:

Are you fond of reading stories ? Did you read one last month? If not, read one or two and then write a paragraph about the story. Use the following hints.

  • title of the story
  • name of author
  • how many characters
  • which one you liked
  • some details of the story
  • main point(s) as you understand it

Tell your friends why they should also read it.


Read some story book yourself and describe the story you read in short by using the hints given above. Of course, I am fond of reading.