The Louse and The Mosquito Questions & Answers

Hi Everyone!! This article will share The Louse and The Mosquito Questions & Answers.

This poem is written by Vikram Seth. In my previous posts, I have shared the questions & answers of Rashid’s School At Okhla, The Postmaster and Mother To Son so, you can check these posts as well.

The Louse and The Mosquito Questions & Answers

Word Galaxy

  • Ancestral house – house which we get from our parents who got it from their parents
  • Brood – a large family
  • Discreetly – carefully
  • Nipped – bit
  • Canopied – covered
  • Quilt – a decorative cover for the bed
  • Parabolic – curved like path of an object thrown into the air and falling back on earth
  • Pleaded – begged
  • Heeded – accepted
  • Glib – here, clever
  • Hospitality – friendly and generous behaviour towards guests
  • Learned lore – here, knowledgeable sources
  • Stealth – (doing something) in a quiet or secret way

Question 1: How do you know that the louse’s family was a large one?

Answer: The word ‘clan’ and the names of the relatives like sons and grandsons, sisters, brothers, great-granddaughters, great- grandmothers, etc. shows that the louse’s family was a large one.

Question 2: How did the louse and her family live undetected in the king’s bed for so many years?

Answer: The louse and her family lived undetected in the king’s bed for so many years as they had the right knowledge and enough experience to bite the king discreetly when he was in deep sleep. Moreover, the king never felt any pain at their biting so, he hardly noticed their presence.

Question 3: What is so special about royal blood?

Answer: Royal blood contains ginger, honey, sugar, spice and cardamom which could give relief to aches and pains.

Question 4: Who is the “self-willed bumbler” under reference?

Answer: The “self-willed bumbler” has been referred to mosquito.

Question 5: What did the louse and her enormous brood do with the king when he was fast asleep?

Answer: When the king was fast asleep, the louse and her enormous brood quietly and carefully drank the king’s blood for their food.

Question 6: Which, according to the louse, seemed to be the best time to bite the king?

Answer: The best time to bite the king would be when the king would lapse into a deep sleep, full of dreams. Perhaps, the best time would be at night when he would be under the influence of wine or when he would be extremely tired at the end of the day.

Question 7: Why was the lady louse against the mosquito to let him bite the king?

Answer: The lady louse was against the mosquito to let him bite the king because she was afraid that the king would wake up and kill her brood.

The Louse and The Mosquito Questions & Answers

Question 8: Did the mosquito heed the louse’s warning? What was the result?

Answer: No, the mosquito did not heed the louse’s warning. The result was that before sleep could overcome the king, he was bitten abruptly by the mosquito on his back, which was highly sensitive to the sting. Thus, disturbed in his sleep, the king was furious. He ordered his men to hunt down and kill the parasite which had attacked him rashly.

Question 9: If the mosquito had not turned up, would life have continued to be the same for the louse and her family? Why do you think so?

Answer: Yes, life would have continued to be the same for the louse and her family because the king would never have discovered their presence. The lice had mastered the technique of biting the king without him feeling any pain. The mosquito had bitten the king in the most fierce manner while he was still half awake. This made the king realise that there were parasites on his bed. So, when his bed was inspected closely, the louse and her family were killed while the mosquito flew away.

Question 10: Read and answer the questions:

The three things that the mosquito might cause by biting the king are

i. pain, loss of sleep and noise
ii. pain, noise and a stain on the quilt
iii. pain, loss of sleep and a stain on the quilt

Question 11: Read and answer the questions:

Creep’s advice that Sir Leap finds stale and commonplace is that he ought to

i. descend on to the king’s back very quietly without a buzz.
ii. bite the king’s little toe only when he is in deep slumber.
iii. creep upon the king and take him by surprise.

Question 12: Read and answer the questions:

The King screamed because Sir Leap

i. stung him sharply in a fit of eagerness.
ii. slowly punctured his skin to drink his blood.
iii. bit the king again and again till he was awakened from sleep.

Question 13: Why did the louse not want the mosquito to get into the king’s bed? Do you think her fears were justified?

Answer: The louse was afraid that the mosquito would bite the king in a manner that would disturb and wake him up. This would make him realise their presence and seek out the parasites. The mosquito could fly and in an instant, he would be away. But, she and her brood would be caught. Her fears were justified since that is exactly what happened that night.

The Louse and The Mosquito Questions & Answers

Question 14: Why did the mosquito wish to drink the king’s blood? Do you think he was being honest?

Answer: The mosquito wished to drink the king’s blood as one would drink an elixir. He was in poor health and the nourishing blood of the king (fed on ginger, honey, sugar, spice, etc.) would help him heal his aches and pains. No, he was not being honest. He was simply hungry, greedy and selfish.

Question 15: Do you think the mosquito felt sorry for having caused the death of the louse and her family? Why do you think so?

Answer: I don’t think that the mosquito felt sorry for having caused the death of the louse and her family. The line, ‘Humming mildly on his way’ tells us this.

Question 16: Give three examples of personification from the poem.

Answer: Three examples of personification are:
She and her enormous blood.
Who may you be Lady Louse?
I can’t risk my family….

Question 17: The poem is also rich in sensory images like ‘Growing plump and smooth and white.’ (visual image)

Find an example of each of the following:

(a) Visual image

Answer: Canopied with gold

(b) Tactile image (touch and texture)

Answer: And the quilt/Smooth as banks of Ganges silt!

(c) Olfactory image (of smell)

Answer: Ah, what perfume

(d) Gustatory image

Answer: Just one bite – I ask no more –

Question 18: What is the hidden message of the poem?

Answer: The hidden message of the poem is that we should not believe anybody blindly. It warns us against the dangers of being too kind-hearted and in having a personality weal enough to be taken advantage of.

So, these were The Louse and The Mosquito Questions & Answers.

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