What Happened to the Reptiles Summary, Explanation, and Question Answer

By Jyoti Verma

NCERT Class 6 English Chapter What Happened to the Reptiles Summary, Explanation and Question Anwers

What Happened To The Reptiles Class 6 English A Pact With The Sun book Lesson 9 detailed explanation of the lesson along with the meanings of difficult words.

Also, the explanation is followed by a Summary of the lesson. All the exercises and Questions and Answers given at the back of the lesson have been covered.



This story says that each person has his own unique importance and role. People in this world often fight and create disturbance in the name of religion. A Village Pambupatti in the story developed a new and different world. Their varied people lived together happily in perfect harmony irrespective of any kind of differences.

What happened to the Reptiles Summary

This lesson is a story of religious harmony depicted through reptiles who lived in the village of Pambupatti and retold by an old man to a boy named Prem who suffered religious riots in his village and while running to save his life reached Pambupatti. Prem, the narrator of the story was so scared of the riot incident that he was not willing to go back to the place. An old man shared the story of Pambupatti to change his mind.
Pambupatti was the land ruled and lived by reptiles alone. Makara was the crocodile who ruled the forest. He was the most powerful amongst all and was the biggest in size. One day, Makara held a meeting of the reptiles, misusing his power told the tortoises to leave the forest as they were stupid and slow.
After a few months, he repeated the order for snakes to leave the forest. Gradually, he told every animal to leave the forest except crocodiles. No one could ever dare to go against his orders and question him. After some time all the animals left. Consequently, very weird things started happening in the forest. The forest was full of foul smell and the rats and insects started coming out. Seeing the plight of the jungle, other crocodiles made a decision to call back all the animals of the forest .All the animals came back and the forest was back to normal again.
Hearing this , Prem changed his mind and thought of going back to his village and sharing all this with his people to help them have a better perspective of living together in harmony and to understand the unique role of each person in the society.


What happened to the Reptiles Summary in Hindi

यह पाठ पंबुपट्टी गाँव में रहने वाले सरीसृपों के माध्यम से दर्शाए गए धार्मिक सद्भाव की कहानी है और एक बूढ़े व्यक्ति द्वारा प्रेम नाम के एक लड़के को फिर से सुनाई गई, जिसने अपने गाँव में धार्मिक दंगों का सामना किया और अपनी जान बचाने के लिए भागते हुए पंबुपट्टी पहुँच गया। कहानी का सूत्रधार प्रेम दंगे की घटना से इतना डर ​​गया था कि वह उस स्थान पर वापस जाने को तैयार नहीं था। एक बूढ़े व्यक्ति ने अपना विचार बदलने के लिए पंबुपट्टी की कहानी साझा की।
पंबुपट्टी केवल सरीसृपों द्वारा शासित और रहने वाली भूमि थी। मकर मगरमच्छ था जो जंगल पर राज करता था। वह सबसे शक्तिशाली था और आकार में सबसे बड़ा था। एक दिन, मकर ने सरीसृपों की एक बैठक आयोजित की, अपनी शक्ति का दुरुपयोग करते हुए कछुओं को जंगल छोड़ने के लिए कहा क्योंकि वे मूर्ख और धीमे थे।
कुछ महीनों के बाद, उसने सांपों को जंगल से चले जाने का आदेश दोहराया। धीरे-धीरे उन्होंने मगरमच्छों को छोड़कर सभी जानवरों को जंगल छोड़ने के लिए कहा। कोई भी कभी भी उनके आदेशों के विरुद्ध जाने और उनसे पूछताछ करने की हिम्मत नहीं कर सकता था। कुछ देर बाद सभी जानवर चले गए। नतीजतन, जंगल में बहुत अजीब चीजें होने लगीं। जंगल दुर्गंध से भर गया और चूहे और कीड़े निकलने लगे। जंगल की दुर्दशा देखकर अन्य मगरमच्छों ने जंगल के सभी जानवरों को वापस बुलाने का फैसला किया। सभी जानवर वापस आ गए और जंगल फिर से सामान्य हो गया।
यह सुनकर, प्रेम ने अपना मन बदल लिया और अपने गाँव वापस जाने और अपने लोगों के साथ यह सब साझा करने के बारे में सोचा ताकि उन्हें सद्भाव में एक साथ रहने और समाज में प्रत्येक व्यक्ति की अनूठी भूमिका को समझने में मदद मिल सके।

What happened to the Reptiles Explanation

Passage – Pambupatti is a peaceful village, inhabited by a variety of people.
• Prem, the narrator of the story, flees his village under unfortunate conditions to reach Pambupatti by chance.
• An old resident of the village looks after him and tells him an interesting story.
YOU may not believe this story. But I can tell you it is true, because I have been to Pambupatti, a village on the edge of the jungle. It is on a cliff, and the vast forest stretches below like a mossy green carpet. There are many kinds of people in the village — dark, fair, tall, short. They speak many languages. Some eat meat, some don’t. Some pray in a small temple at the edge of the forest. Others pray in a mosque some miles away.

Word meaning
Cliff :
a pointed high end point of a rock

Explanation of the above passage – The story is narrated by Prem who fled his village due to a riot and reached Pampubhati by chance. An old man from the village gave shelter to Prem and told him a story. The narrator tells us that we may not believe the story but it is true. He had been to Pampubhati, a village on the outskirts of a jungle. It was on a cliff and a huge forest spread out like a carpet of moss, beneath. Pambupatti was a peaceful village where people of different sizes, color, religion, language, taste lived together.

Passage – My name is Prem and I live many hundred miles away from Pambupatti. I had heard about the village, but I’d never been there. Then last year, something terrible happened. The people of my own village went mad. Far, far away in a place they have never even been to, a temple or mosque had been burnt down, and they went mad. They started fighting with one another. Some had to run away in the middle of the night. And at three in the morning, as I lay in my house, half awake to the sounds of hate and violence, there was a fire. Many houses were burnt down in the fire. One of them was mine.

Explanation of the above passage – The narrator tells that he used to live far away from Pambupatti and he had heard a lot about the village. He had a wish to visit it but somehow couldn’t. But last year, horrible riots happened in his village. People went mad and were fighting with each other. The Mosques and the temples were burnt. His own house was also burnt. People had to run away.

Passage – I managed to grab a few clothes, some coins, my little Ganesh statue, and I ran! I ran for a day and a night, resting whenever my legs would not carry me any further. I jumped on to a train, then on a bus. No tickets. Never mind, everyone seemed to be running. Finally, I found myself in Pambupatti, and I saw some villagers gathered near a well. I ran to them, and before I could say a thing, I fainted.

Word meaning
Grab :
to hold, to catch

Explanation of the above passage – The narrator managed to take a few things with him and ran throughout day and night. He took rest whenever his legs were not in a position to support him. He travelled by bus and train all without a ticket. Finally, he reached Pambupatti and noticed some villagers near a well. He ran to them and before saying anything, fainted.

Passage – When I opened my eyes, I saw an old man with white hair, white beard and shining black eyes bending over me. For the next few days, he looked after me, putting food in my mouth and bringing me sweet, cool water from the stream. He rubbed my feet gently and made the pain go away. Neighbours,strangers — everyone came to visit me.

Explanation of the above passage – When he came to his senses, he saw an old man leaning over him. For a few days he took care of him, gave him food, sweets, water and all. He rubbed his feet softly and made him free from pain. Everyone from the neighbourhood though strangers, visited him.

Passage – “Tell me, Grandfather”, I said to him one day. “I have never seen people like the villagers here! In my village, people fight with those who pray to another god. But here … this seems like a very strange place!”

Explanation of the above passage – The narrator asked the old man to tell him about the place as it seemed very strange to him. He had seen people fighting with others in the name of religion but here it was different.

Passage – “Prem,” replied the old man, “I will tell you the story of Pambupatti. You can take this story back to your village. Maybe it will heal some of its wounds, and dry some of its sores.”

Explanation of the above passage – The old man told him the story of the place. And asked him to take that story to his village, hoping to heal the wounds of the people of that place.

Passage – “Oh, Grandfather,” I said anxiously, “don’t say that. What I have seen in my village makes me burn with shame. I never,never want to go back there.”

Word meaning

Explanation of the above passage – The narrator spoke with anxiety and asked the old man not to ask him to return to that village as after witnessing the riots there, he did not wish to return.

Passage – “But that’s exactly why you must go back,” he said, in a soft voice. I kept quiet. I didn’t want to argue with him, and I wanted to hear his story.

Explanation of the above passage – The old man told him firmly that the disturbance of the place was a biger reason for him to go there. The narrator was more interested in the story so he didn’t argue.

Passage – It happened a long, long time ago, he began. So long ago that there were no schools and no teachers. Children lived in caves with their parents and helped them to collect fruit and berries from the forest. At that time, there were no tigers or panthers or elephants in Pambupatti forest. There were only reptiles, many kinds of reptiles. Now you know what reptiles are. Snakes, crocodiles, turtles, lizards. And you know that a reptile has scales on its body and it lays eggs. Every month, the reptiles of Pambupatti had a big meeting. Everyone came — the pretty excited snakes, the slow thoughtful tortoises, the clever quick lizards,and the moody crocodiles, grumpy because they were out of water. The president of these meetings was Makara, the biggest crocodile of the forest. All the animals thought he was very important. When someone is strong and powerful, you know, it is difficult not to go along with what he says or does.

Explanation of the above passage – The old man said that during olden times there were no schools, children lived in caves with their parents and used to help them at that point of time there were no other animals in the jungle but only reptiles had their existence. A large variety of reptiles were ruling the forest. The strongest and the biggest was Makkar- the crocodile. All the animals thought of him as important. They often had a meeting once in the month which was attended by each one of them.

Passage – Now, one day, a strange thing happened. It was a week before one of the monthly meetings. Makara sent a letter to the tortoises, asking them not to come to the meeting. Ahistay, the big old star tortoise with black and yellow pictures on his shell, was very angry.
“What does this mean?” he shouted. “How dare they!” But not one of the tortoises had the courage to attend the meeting— they were so few, the others so many!

Explanation of the above passage – One day a very strange thing occurred. Just one week before the monthly meeting, Makkar sent a letter to the tortoise to tell him not to attend the meeting as he was too slow and carried his home on his back. The big old star tortoise with black and yellow pictures on his shell felt angry and shouted at this. How could they speak like that to them. But not a single tortoise had the courage to attend the meeting as they were lesser in number.

Passage – Before the meeting, the giant Makara polished his teeth with the red flowers of the tree by the river till they sparkled. Everyone was waiting for him at the meeting place.

Word meaning
very big

Explanation of the above passage – Before the start of the meeting the big Makara polished his teeth with red flowers by the river side till they started sparkling. Everyone was waiting for him.

Passage – “Brothers and sisters,” he began. All the reptiles, even the beautiful king cobras, stopped talking. Makara continued his speech. “I have decided that we don’t need the tortoises! I have told them not to come today. Brothers and sisters, can you tell me why we don’t like the tortoises?”

Explanation of the above passage – Makara addressed the meeting by calling them all brothers and sisters and everyone stopped talking to listen to him. He said that he had decided that they did not need tortoises. He had told them not to come. He adressed the gathering as brothers and sisters and asked if they knew why they did not like the tortoises.

Passage – The reptiles looked this way and that. They felt very uncomfortable. The snakes hissed anxiously, the lizards wriggled their tails, the crocodiles opened their jaws even wider.

Word meaning
to move body in small quick movement

Explanation of the above passage – The reptiles looked here and there as they did not feel easy. They all started moving. The snakes hissed, lizards shook their tails and the crocodiles opened their jaws bigger.

Passage – “But…” said one little lizard. “No BUTS!” shouted Makara. There was silence.
“I think …” said a baby crocodile. “No I THINKS!” screamed Makara, so loudly that the fruit in the tree above him rained down. After that, no one had the courage to speak.

Explanation of the above passage – The Lizard started to speak with ‘but…’. Makara screamed ‘No Buts’ and silenced her. Then the baby crocodile commenced with ‘I think’ but Makara silenced it too by saying ‘No I think’. He spoke so loudly that the fruit from the tree above fell. After this no one had the courage to speak.

Passage – Makara cleared his throat and showed a few more teeth. “Well,” he said, “I will tell you why we don’t like the tortoises. They are so slow! So stupid! They even carry their houses on their backs. Whoever heard of such a stupid thing? Now you lizards, you live in trees. Would you ever carry a TREE on your back? Would you?”
Small, frightened voices answered together, “No, we wouldn’t. But…”

Explanation of the above passage – Makara cleared his throat and clarified the reason why they didn’t like the tortoises. He explained that they were slow and stupid. They carried their houses on their backs. He asked lizards if they would carry their home- tree on their back ever. The Lizard answered in a fearful voice- no and tried to speak further saying ‘But’.

Passage – “No BUTS! Now, listen. I have told the tortoises that they will have to move out of Pambupatti. When they go, we will have more of everything. More food, more water, more space.I want them out by tomorrow. But because they are such slowcoaches, I have given them one week. By next Tuesday we won’t have a single tortoise left in this jungle!”

Explanation of the above passage – Makara again silenced them by saying ‘No buts’. He further informed that he had told the tortoises to leave Pambupatti and once they leave, all the reptiles who are left in the jungle would have more of everything – be it water, food or space. He wanted them to leave the very next day but because they were slow, he gave them one week’s time. He called them slowcoaches.

Passage – And by the following Tuesday, they were all gone. At first the animals were sad, but then they realised that what Makara had said was true. There was more food, more water, and more space for them! But soon, a strange smell began to fill the forest. It was the smell of rot — rotting fruit on the ground, rotting animals in the river. This was what the tortoises used to eat. And even Makara had to go about holding his nose with his big claws.

Explanation of the above passage – By next Tuesday all tortoises left the jungle. Initially, all the animals were sad but gradually, they agreed with Makara as they were able to have more of everything but very shortly, a strange smell began to spread in the jungle. It was the smell of rotten fruits and animals which tortoises used to eat. They helped keep the jungle clean and fresh. The smell was so strong that even Makara had to pass through the jungle by covering his nose.

Passage – A month passed by, and then the same thing happened all over again. But this time, it was the snakes. Makara wrote them one of his letters. They were to leave the forest and,since they could move fast, they had to go in a day!

Explanation of the above passage – After a month the same thing was repeated with snakes. Being fast, the snakes were told to vacate the place in a day.

Passage – Naga, the head of the snakes, pleaded for more time, but Makara would not give in. At the meeting, he silenced the others — the lizards and crocodiles — with even louder shouts and threats. “Snakes are slimy,” he said, “and they make funny noises. Who wants such weird creatures around?” Again, no one dared to disagree with Makara, and so the snakes left.

Word meaning
Slimy :

Explanation of the above passage – Naga, the head of the snakes asked for more time but Makara did not agree. At the meeting he silenced everyone- lizards, crocodiles with his louder shouts and threats. He gave the argument in support of his decision that snakes were unpleasant animals to have around. They made funny noises. To this no one could have the courage to oppose Makara’s decision.And the snakes left.

Passage – For a while, the animals of the forest were happy because they had been a little afraid of the snakes. You never knew when one of them might lose his temper and spit some venom at you! And it took only a little poison to kill you, after all.

Word meaning
Venom :

Explanation of the above passage – For some time the animals were happy because of the fear of snakes. As they were very unpredictable and at anytime they could spit poison in anger against anyone which was dangerous and could kill the other person.

Passage – A few weeks passed and the animals of the forest looked tired and fed up. The RATS! Now that there were no snakes to eat them, the rats had taken over the forest. And they were having a wonderful time. They were everywhere, on the trees, in the grass, in the bushes, on the ground. They ate up the eggs of the lizards and crocodiles. There would be no babies that year. Makara’s own nest of eggs had been chewed up.

Explanation of the above passage – After a few weeks all the animals in the forest felt tired and irritated. The rats were happy as there were no snakes who would eat them. Everywhere in the forest rats could be seen having good times. They even ate eggs of crocodiles and lizards. Because of that no new babies came in the forest that year.

Passage – Then Makara had a great idea. He called a meeting of the crocodiles and said, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we, the crocodiles, could have the WHOLE jungle for ourselves? No one but us? These lizards, now, just look at them! They have the strangest habits, and some of them even change colour! How can we trust someone who is green one minute, red the next? Let’s get rid of them.”

Explanation of the above passage – Now Makara thought of keeping the whole jungle for themselves alone. So he called a meeting of crocodiles and expressed his wish before them. He kept his opinion saying that the lizards were not trustworthy as they kept changing color.

Passage – By now, the crocodiles were really scared of Makara. So they clapped and cheered. Makara was pleased. The lizards left the forest, some with their babies on their backs.

Explanation of the above passage – By that time the crocodiles were afraid of Makara so they supported and said yes to his idea. As a result, the lizards left the forest with their young ones lying on the parents’ backs.

Passage – But now, when life should have been wonderful for the crocodiles of Pambupatti, all kinds of awful things began to happen. To begin with, the rats grew bolder by the day. They became so fearless that they jumped and turned somersaults on the crocodiles’ backs! And there were too many frogs. They seemed to be growing larger, and there was no one to eat them but the crocodiles. These huge frogs began to eat the baby crocodiles. And the insects! Now that the lizards were gone, there were millions of them, growing bigger and nastier by the day.

Word meaning
physical exercise, movement
Nastier: unclean

Explanation of the above passage – And now being all alone in the jungle, instead of having a wonderful time, weird and strange things started happening. The rats became bolder and danced on the crocodiles’ backs, many frogs came and grew larger and they all were fearless as no one was there to eat them. These bigger frogs rather started eating babies of crocodiles. Insects also grew in number as lizards were gone. They grew bigger and daring.

Passage – It was a terrible time for the crocodiles. They couldn’t understand what had happened to their happy forest home.

Explanation of the above passage – All this gave a very difficult time to the crocodiles. They were not able to understand what had happened to their happy forest home.

Passage – Then one day, a squeaky little voice piped up at one of their meetings, “We know why the forest has gone crazy, don’t we?”

Word meaning
Squeaky :
making a very high sound

Explanation of the above passage – One day in the meeting, a squeaky voice was raised, saying that they all knew what wrong had been done to the forest.

Passage – Suddenly everyone was silent. They looked at Makara fearfully, but to their surprise, he looked nervous. He shook a rat off his tail and asked the small crocodile. “Why, little fellow?”
“It all began with the tort—”
“Okay, okay”, said Makara. “There’s no need to talk so much.” Makara didn’t want to admit he was wrong, but it didn’t matter. All the crocodiles knew now that he was not all that strong or powerful. Or always right. They sent urgent messages all over the place for the tortoises, snakes and lizards to come back to Pambupatti. And what a great day it was when these creatures came back, family after family, with their little ones on their backs or straggling behind, shouting at their parents to wait for them!

Word meaning
Straggling :
to move and spread in a very shabby manner

Explanation of the above passage – Everyone became silent being fearful of Makara but Makara himself was nervous. He became weaker but was not ready to accept his mistake. But all the crocodiles knew and they took a decision and wrote letters all over to send messages to the animals to come back to the forest. It was a great day as all the animals started coming back, one family after another, shouting at each other, children on the backs, moving shabbily and hurriedly.

Passage – In two months, the forest was back to normal. The rats disappeared, and the insects, and the smell, and the world finally went back to its familiar old self.

Explanation of the above passage – In just two months, the forest became normal. The rats were not visible. The insects and the smell were also gone. The world became normal.

Passage – “Well, Prem,” said the old man, “have you fallen asleep? Did my story send you off to dreamland?”
I shook my head. “No, Grandfather, I was just thinking. Maybe it’s time I went back to my own village, because I have a story to tell them. But what if they don’t listen to me?”
“We can only keep at it, my son — tell these stories again and again, to more and more people. Some of them may laugh at you or say your stories are not true. But they may remember them one day, and understand that each of us has a place in this strange, funny world of ours.”

Explanation of the above passage – The old man asked Prem if he had fallen asleep and whether his story had sent him to dream land. Prem shook his head and said that no, actually he was thinking that it was the right time to go back to the village and share this story with them. But he was scared that no one would listen to him.The old man advised him that they had to tell that story again and again to more people. They might laugh at it or call the story a fake one. But they had to keep telling it with hope that one day they would understand that each person has his own unique place in this world.

What Happened to the Reptiles Question Answers

Q1. In what way is Pambupatti different from any other village?
People of varied religions were living together in harmony.

Q2. Why is Prem determined not to return to his village?
He is determined not to return to his village because he has seen a lot of hatred and violent riots in his village where people were not just fighting but were also killing each other.

Q3. Why did Makara dislike tortoises, snakes and lizards? Write a line about each.
Makara disliked tortoises because they were very slow and carried their homes with them.
He disliked snakes because they were slim and venomous and could kill anyone in anger with their venomous spit.
He didn’t like lizards because of their habit of changing color of their body.

Q4. What went wrong when the tortoises, snakes and lizards left the forest?
Every animal has its own role so whenever any kind of animals left there was imbalance. When tortoises left the forest was filled with the smell of rotten fruits.
When snakes left the number of rats was increased which was disturbing for other animals as it ate their eggs.
When lizards left there was an increase in the number of frogs and insects. They caused disturbance by eating baby crocodiles.

Q5. Why do you think Prem wants to tell the story of the reptiles to the people of his village?
Prem was impressed by the people of Pambupatti.He found their togetherness exemplary so he thought of sharing it with the people of his village so that he could inspire them to live together joyfully.


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