Before you read


Have you ever read a comic book? A comic book contains stories told mainly through pictures.

Gopal and the Hilsa-fish

Screenshot from 2021-03-10 10-24-24h6.tif




Working with the Text

Answer the following questions.

1. Why did the king want no more talk about the hilsa-fish?

2. What did the king ask Gopal to do to prove that he was clever?

3. What three things did Gopal do before he went to buy his hilsa-fish?

4. How did Gopal get inside the palace to see the king after he had bought the fish?

5. Explain why no one seemed to be interested in talking about the hilsa-fish which Gopal had bought.

6. Write ‘True’ or ‘False’ against each of the following sentences.

  (i) The king lost his temper easily. 994.png 

  (ii) Gopal was a madman. 996.png 

  (iii) Gopal was a clever man. 998.png 

  (iv) Gopal was too poor to afford decent clothes. 1000.png

  (v) The king got angry when he was shown to be wrong. 1002.png

Working with Language

1. Notice how in a comic book, there are no speech marks when characters talk. Instead what they say is put in a speech ‘bubble’. However, if we wish to repeat or ‘report’ what they say, we must put it into reported speech.

Change the following sentences in the story to reported speech. The first one has been done for you.

(i) How much did you pay for that hilsa?
    The woman asked the man how much he had paid for that hilsa.

(ii) Why is your face half-shaven?

Gopal’s wife asked him 1004.png


(iii) I accept the challenge, Your Majesty.

Gopal told the king 1008.png 


(iv) I want to see the king.

Gopal told the guards 1012.png 


(v) Bring the man to me at once.

The king ordered the guard 1016.png


2. Find out the meaning of the following words by looking them up in the dictionary. Then use them in sentences of your own.

challenge             mystic               comical

courtier                     smearing


Picture Reading

1. Look at the pictures and read the text aloud.

Screenshot from 2021-03-10 10-26-41
Screenshot from 2021-03-10 10-27-58

2. Now ask your partner questions about each picture.

(i) Where is the stag?

(ii) What is he doing?

(iii) Does he like his antlers (horns)?

(iv) Does he like his legs?

(v) Why is the stag running?

(vi) Is he able to hide in the bushes?

(vii) Where are the hunters now?

(viii) Are they closing in on the stag?

(ix) Is the stag free?

(x) What does the stag say about his horns and his legs?

3. Now write the story in your own words. Give it a title.
















4. Complete the following word ladder with the help of the clues given below.




1. Mother will be very 1051.png if you don’t go to school.

2. As soon as he caught 1053.png of the teacher, Mohan started writing.

3. How do you like my 1056.png kitchen garden? Big enough for you, is it?

4. My youngest sister is now a 1058.png old.

5. Standing on the 1060.png, he saw children playing on the road.

6. Don’t make such a1062.png. Nothing will happen.

7. Don’t cross the1064.png till the green light comes on.

The Shed

Do you know what a shed is? A cow shed, a tool shed, a wood shed, for example. It’s a small room, away from the main house, for storing or keeping things, animals, tools, vehicles, etc. Ask your partner if she/he has ever seen a shed. Let her/him describe it to the class.

Now read the poem.

There’s a shed at the bottom of our garden

With a spider’s web hanging across the door,

The hinges are rusty and creak in the wind.

When I’m in bed I lie and I listen,

I’ll open that door one day.



There’s a dusty old window around at the side

With three cracked panes of glass,

I often think there’s someone staring at me

Each time that I pass,

I’ll peep through that window one day.

My brother says there’s a ghost in the shed

Who hides under the rotten floorboards,

And if I ever dare to set foot inside

He’ll jump out and chop off my head,

But I’ll take a peek one day.

I know that there isn’t really a ghost,

My brother tells lies to keep the shed for his den;

There isn’t anyone staring or making strange noises

And the spider has been gone from his web

since I don’t know when,

I’ll go into that shed one day soon,

But not just yet...

Frank Flynn

Working with the Poem

1. Answer the following questions.
(i) Who is the speaker in the poem?
(ii) Is she/he afraid or curious, or both?
(iii) What is she/he planning to do soon?
(iv) “But not just yet...” suggests doubt, fear, hesitation, laziness or something else. Choose the word which seems right to you. Tell others why you chose it.

2. Is there a room in your house or a house in your neighbourhood/locality where you would rather not go alone, and never at night? If there is such a place and a story to go with it, let others hear all about it.