NCERT Solution for Class 7 English Honeycomb book Chapter 4 The Ashes That Made Trees Bloom Summary, Explanation and Question Answer
- The Ashes That Made Trees Bloom Introduction
- The Ashes That Made Trees Bloom Video Explanation Part 1
- The Ashes That Made Trees Bloom Video Explanation Part 2
- The Ashes That Made Trees Bloom Summary
- The Ashes That Made Trees Bloom Summary in Hindi
- The Ashes That Made Trees Bloom Lesson Explanation
- The Ashes That Made Trees Bloom Question Answers
The Ashes That Made Trees Bloom – Class 7 English Honeycomb book Lesson 4 -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. Take Free Online MCQs Test for Class 7 Click Here
Class 7 English (Honeycomb book) Chapter 4 The Ashes That Made Trees Bloom
The Ashes That Made Trees Bloom Introduction
This story is about an old couple and their beloved pet dog. The couple were poor but hardworking and affectionate to everyone around them, including the neighbours who were troublesome and cruel. The dog who gets killed by the hands of the neighbours helps the old couple in unexpected and unimaginable ways.
The Ashes That Made Trees Bloom Class 7 Video Explanation Part 1
The Ashes That Made Trees Bloom Summary
In the old days of the daimios, there lived an old couple who had a pet dog named Muko. Having no child, they cared for Muko as a human child. Muko, in turn, loved them back like a being with a soul. One day, when the old man was feeding the white heron, the dog ran upto him and tried to take him to a particular spot in the garden. At first, the old man just thought the dog was playing with him but after a while, he followed to the spot. The dog began scratching the ground as if a bone or a fish were buried in the ground. The old man brought out his hoe, struck it on the spot and found gold. Hence, the old couple began rich. They enjoyed a lot and even shared their fortune with the poor people. There also lived a couple who were wicked and cruel. When they got to know the old couple’s fortune, they coaxed the dog into their house and offered him food. However, the dog knew how cruel and insensitive the couple were, and he neither ate nor moved. Then they dragged out in their garden while carrying a hoe and spade with them. As they reached the pine tree, the dog began to paw and scratch the ground. The greedy couple, thinking that a mighty treasure must be buried, started working immediately. However, they found a dead kitten. Losing their tempers, they beated the dog to death and threw his carcass in a hole and buried him. When the old man got to know the news of his pet’s death, he mourned for him. And went at night under night and paid his respects. That night, as he was sleeping, the spirit of the dog came in his deam and told the old man to cut down the pine and make a mortar and a mill from it. The old man did as he was told to do. He worked hard and finally made the mortar and the mill. As the New Year came nearer, he wished to use the mortar and the mill to make rice pastry. With the help of his wife, he pounded the rice. When the old woman took the mill and began to grind the bean, heavy gold coins started falling from it. Again, the old couple had become rich. Meanwhile, the wicked couple were spying on them. They wanted the mortar and the mill so they borrowed it from the old couple the next day. As soon the old man began to pound the rice and the old woman began to grind, the rice and beans turned into worms. The wicked man turned angry and destroyed the tools and used the broken pieces as firewood. Not only after that, the old man had another dream. The dog’s spirit came and told his owner to take the ashes of the burnt mortar and mill and sprinkle them on the withered trees to make them bloom. The old man woke up and went to the wicked couple’s house. He humbly asked for the ashes. The couple treated him with contempt but let him fill his basket with the ashes. When he returned home, he took his wife to his garden where their cherry tree was withered as it was winter. The old man sprinkled the ashes on the tree and saw that the tree was full of blooming cherry blossoms. Everyone got to know about this and everyone went to see this wonder. The wicked couple also got to know this story and gathered all the remaining ashes and kept it safe. Meanwhile, the kind old man heard that the daimos was to pass along the high road near the village. He took his basket and set off to see him. As the train approached, he climbed up into an old withered cherry tree that stood by the wayside. Even though according to the customs of that timeperiod he was supposed to lie down, he was standing. However, the guards didn’t object, seeing that he was an old man. As the daimio’s palanquin drew nearer, he sprinkled some of the ashes on the withered cherry blossom tree which made it bloom. The daimio was delighted to see this and stopped the van. Calling the old man to him, he thanked him and ordered presents of silk robes, sponge-cake, fans and other rewards to be given him. He even invited him to his castle. The old man went home happily to share this news with his wife. However, the wicked neighbour, who heard this story, took some of the magic ashes and went out on the highway. He climbed a cherry blossom tree and when the daimio was directly under the tree. The man threw a handful of ashes which didn’t do anything. Instead, they fell on the daimio and when the wind blew, the ashes flew into the daimio andhis wife’s eyes and noses. They sneezed and choked, which ruined the dignity and elegance of the procession. The man was brought down from the tree and beaten to death. Meanwhile, the kind old couple lived a prosperous life.
The Ashes That Made Trees Bloom Summary in Hindi
डेमियोस के पुराने दिनों में, एक बूढ़ा जोड़ा रहता था जिसके पास मुको नाम का एक पालतू कुत्ता था। कोई संतान न होने के कारण, उन्होंने मुको को एक मानव बच्चे के रूप में पाला। बदले में, मुको ने उन्हें एक आत्मा के साथ एक प्राणी की तरह वापस प्यार किया। एक दिन, जब बूढ़ा सफेद बगुले को खिला रहा था, तो कुत्ता उसके पास दौड़ा और उसे बगीचे में एक विशेष स्थान पर ले जाने की कोशिश की।
पहले तो बूढ़े को लगा कि कुत्ता उसके साथ खेल रहा है, लेकिन थोड़ी देर बाद वह मौके पर चला गया। कुत्ता जमीन को खुजाने लगा जैसे कोई हड्डी या मछली जमीन में दबी हो। बूढ़े ने अपनी कुदाल निकाली, उसे वहीं मारा और सोना पाया। इसलिए, बूढ़ा जोड़ा अमीर होने लगा। उन्होंने बहुत आनंद लिया और यहां तक कि गरीब लोगों के साथ अपना भाग्य भी साझा किया। वहाँ एक जोड़ा भी रहता था जो दुष्ट और क्रूर था।
जब उन्हें वृद्ध दंपति की किस्मत का पता चला, तो उन्होंने कुत्ते को अपने घर में ले जाकर भोजन कराया। हालांकि, कुत्ता जानता था कि युगल कितने क्रूर और असंवेदनशील थे, और उसने न तो खाया और न ही हिला । फिर वे अपने साथ कुदाल लेकर उसे अपने बगीचे में घसीट कर ले गए । जैसे ही वे चीड़ के पेड़ के पास पहुंचे, कुत्ते ने पंजा मारना और जमीन को खरोंचना शुरू कर दिया।
लालची दंपति ने यह सोचकर कि एक शक्तिशाली खजाना दफन किया जाना चाहिए, तुरंत काम करना शुरू कर दिया। हालांकि, उन्हें एक मृत बिल्ली का बच्चा मिला। अपना आपा खोते हुए, उन्होंने कुत्ते को पीट-पीट कर मार डाला और उसके शव को एक छेद में फेंक दिया और उसे दफना दिया। जब बूढ़े को अपने पालतू जानवर की मौत की खबर मिली, तो उसने उसके लिए शोक मनाया।
और रात में जाकर प्रणाम किया। उस रात, जब वह सो रहा था, तो उसके सपने में कुत्ते की आत्मा आई और उसने बूढ़े आदमी से कहा कि वह चीड़ को काटकर उसमें से एक मोर्टार और एक चक्की बना ले। बूढ़े ने वैसा ही किया जैसा उसे करने के लिए कहा गया था। उसने कड़ी मेहनत की और अंत में मोर्टार और चक्की बनाई। जैसे-जैसे नया साल नजदीक आया, वह चावल की पेस्ट्री बनाने के लिए मोर्टार और मिल का उपयोग करना चाहता था।
उसने अपनी पत्नी की मदद से चावलों को पीस दिया। बुढ़िया जब चक्की लेकर बीन पीसने लगी तो उसमें से सोने के भारी सिक्के गिरने लगे। फिर से, बूढ़ा जोड़ा अमीर हो गया था। इस दौरान दुष्ट दंपत्ति उनकी जासूसी कर रहे थे। वे मोर्टार और मिल चाहते थे इसलिए उन्होंने अगले दिन पुराने जोड़े से उधार लिया।
जैसे ही बूढ़े ने चावल को पीसना शुरू किया और बुढ़िया ने पीसना शुरू किया, चावल और फलियाँ कीड़े में बदल गईं। वह दुष्ट क्रोधित हो गया और उसने औजारों को नष्ट कर दिया और टूटे हुए टुकड़ों को जलाऊ लकड़ी के रूप में इस्तेमाल किया। इतना ही नहीं उसके बाद बूढ़े ने एक और सपना देखा। कुत्ते की आत्मा आई और उसने अपने मालिक से कहा कि जले हुए मोर्टार और चक्की की राख ले लो और उन्हें मुरझाए पेड़ों पर छिड़क दो ताकि वे खिल सकें।
बूढ़ा उठा और दुष्ट दम्पति के घर चला गया। उसने विनम्रता से राख मांगी। दंपति ने उसके साथ अवमानना की, लेकिन उसे अपनी टोकरी को राख से भरने दिया। जब वह घर लौटा, तो वह अपनी पत्नी को अपने बगीचे में ले गया जहाँ उसका चेरी का पेड़ सर्दी के कारण सूख गया था। बूढ़े ने उस राख को पेड़ पर छिड़का और देखा कि पेड़ खिले हुए चेरी के फूलों से भरा हुआ था। इसके बारे में सभी को पता चल गया और सभी लोग इस अजूबे को देखने गए।
दुष्ट दंपत्ति को भी इस कथा का पता चल गया और उन्होंने बची हुई सारी राख को इकट्ठा कर सुरक्षित रख लिया। इस बीच, दयालु बूढ़े ने सुना कि डेमो को गाँव के पास ऊँची सड़क के साथ से गुजरना है। वह अपनी टोकरी लेकर उससे मिलने चला गया। जैसे ही ट्रेन नजदीक आई, वह रास्ते के किनारे खड़े एक पुराने मुरझाए चेरी के पेड़ पर चढ़ गया। यद्यपि उस समय के रीति-रिवाजों के अनुसार उसे लेटना चाहिए था, वह खड़ा था। हालांकि, गार्ड ने यह देखकर कोई आपत्ति नहीं की कि वह बूढ़ा है।
जैसे ही डेमियो की पालकी नजदीक आई, उसने कुछ राख को मुरझाए चेरी ब्लॉसम के पेड़ पर छिड़क दिया जिससे वह खिल गया। यह देखकर डेमियो खुश हो गया और उसने वैन रोक दी। बूढ़े आदमी को अपने पास बुलाकर, उसने उसे धन्यवाद दिया और रेशम के वस्त्र, स्पंज-केक, पंखे और अन्य पुरस्कार देने का आदेश दिया। उसने उसे अपने महल में भी आमंत्रित किया।
बूढ़ा अपनी पत्नी के साथ यह खबर साझा करने के लिए खुशी-खुशी घर चला गया। हालाँकि, दुष्ट पड़ोसी, जिसने यह कहानी सुनी, जादू की कुछ राख ले गया और सड़क पर निकल गया। वह एक चेरी ब्लॉसम के पेड़ पर चढ़ गया और जब डेमियो सीधे पेड़ के नीचे था। उस आदमी ने मुट्ठी भर राख फेंक दी, जिससे कुछ नहीं हुआ।
इसके बजाय, वे डेमियो पर गिरे और जब हवा चली, तो राख डेमियो और उसकी पत्नी की आंखों और नाक में उड़ गई। वे छींके मारने लगे और घुट गए, जिससे जुलूस की गरिमा और शान नष्ट हो गई । युवक को पेड़ से नीचे उतारा और पीट-पीटकर मार डाला। इस बीच, दयालु वृद्ध दंपति ने एक समृद्ध जीवन व्यतीत किया।
The Ashes That Made Trees Bloom Class 7 Video Explanation Part 2
The Ashes That Made Trees Bloom Lesson Explanation
In the good old days of the daimios, there lived an old couple whose only pet was a little dog. Having no children, they loved it as though it were a baby. The old dame made it a cushion of blue crape, and at mealtime Muko—for that was its name—would sit on it as snug as any cat. The kind people fed the pet with tidbits of fish from their own chopsticks, and all the boiled rice it wanted. Thus treated, the dumb creature loved its protectors like a being with a soul.
daimios: (in 19th century Japan) wealthy landowners
dame: the woman of the household
tidbits: small pieces
a being with a soul: like a human child (showing emotion)
In the days of 19th century Japan, there lived an old couple who had a pet dog. The old couple had no children. So, they loved their pet dog, Muko as though it were their baby. The old woman made a cushion of blue crape for the pet dog and it would sit on as snug as any cat at mealtimes. The old couple was kind and fed the pet pieces of fish and lots of rice from their own chopsticks. As the pet dog was showered with so much love and affection, it loved the protectors back like a human child.
The old man, being a rice farmer, went daily with hoe or spade into the fields, working hard from morning until O Tento Sama (as the sun is called) had gone down behind the hills. Every day the dog followed him to work, never once harming the white heron that walked in the footsteps of the old man to pick up the worms. For the old fellow was patient and kind to everything that had life, and often turned up a sod on purpose to give food to the birds.
turned up: dug up on
sod: the surface of the ground, with the grass growing on it
on purpose: intentionally
The old man was a hardworking rice farmer. He went daily into the fields with his tools like hoe and spade, working from morning till the time till the sun had gone down behind the hills i.e. when the sun had set completely. Every day the pet dog followed him to work. Muko would never harm the white heron that followed the old man to pick up the worms. The old man was a patient fellow and was kind to everything that had life. This part of his personality made him dig a sod on purpose to give food to the birds.
One day the dog came running to him, putting his paws against his legs and motioning with his head to some spot behind. The old man at first thought his pet was only playing and did not mind it. But the dog kept on whining and running to and fro for some minutes. Then the old man followed the dog a few yards to a place where the animal began a lively scratching. Thinking it was possibly a buried bone or bit of fish, the old man struck his hoe in the earth, when, lo! a pile of gold gleamed before him.
whining: making high-pitched voices
gleamed: shone/ glittered
One day, the pet dog came to the old man. He put his paws against his legs and motioned with his head to some spot behind him, telling the old man to follow him. At first, the old man thought the dog was just playing him and, taking the dog’s gestures light-heartedly, he ignored the dog. But the dog wouldn’t stop whining and running to and fro. The old man then followed him to the spot the dog was motioning towards. The dog began a lively scratching on the spot. The old man thought that it was just a buried bone or a bit of fish and struck his hoe in the earth. That’s when he found a pile of gold gleaming before him.
Thus in an hour the old couple were made rich. The good souls bought a piece of land, made a feast for their friends, and gave plentifully to their poor neighbors. As for the dog, they petted him till they nearly smothered him with kindness.
plentifully: very much
After an hour of finding the pile of gold, the old couple became rich. The couple bought a piece of land, made a feast for their friends and shared their fortune with their neighbours who happened to be poor. The dog was petted for his findings till he was nearly suffocated by the quantity of the kindness and love.
Now in the same village there lived a wicked old man and his wife, not a bit sensitive and kind, who had always kicked and scolded all dogs whenever any passed their house. Hearing of their neighbours’ good luck, they coaxed the dog into their garden and set before him bits of fish and other dainties, hoping he would find treasure for them. But the dog, being afraid of the cruel pair, would neither eat nor move.
coaxed: persuaded; enticed
dainties: tasty food
In the same village lived another couple who were wicked and cruel, totally opposite of what the old couple having the pet were. The wicked couple had always kicked and scolded all dogs whenever any passed their house. However, after hearing of their neighbours’ fortune, they acted friendly to Muko and coaxed the dog into their garden. They set before him bits of fish and other dainties, bribing him to find treasure for them. But the dog, having an advanced sense of smell, could sense that the old pair were cruel. Hence he became afraid of them and neither ate nor moved.
Then they dragged him out of doors, taking a spade and hoe with them. No sooner had the dog got near a pine tree growing in the garden than he began to paw and scratch the ground, as if a mighty treasure lay beneath.
“Quick, wife, hand me the spade and hoe!” cried the greedy old fool, as he danced with joy.
After the dog refused to eat or move, the wicked couple dragged outside, taking a spade and hoe with them. As soon as the dog reached a pine tree growing in the garden, he began pawing and scratching the ground as if a mighty treasure ws lying beneath the ground.
The greedy old fool, who thought that they had at last found gold, ordered his wife to hand him the tools as he danced with joy.
Then the covetous old fellow, with a spade, and the old crone, with a hoe, began to dig; but there was nothing but a dead kitten, the smell of which made them drop their tools and shut their noses. Furious at the dog, the old man kicked and beat him to death, and the old woman finished the work by nearly chopping off his head with the sharp hoe. They then flung him into the hole and heaped the earth over his carcass.
crone: old woman (old man’s wife)
carcass: dead body
The greedy old man took the spade and the old crone a hoe. They began to dig. However, at the end of their digging, they found nothing but a dead kitten which smelled so bad that they dropped their tools and shut their noses. The old man, who had become furious at the dog, kicked and beat him to death. The old woman then finished the work by nearly chopping his head off with the sharp hoe. They threw him into the hole in which they had found the dead kitten and heaped the earth over his dead body.
The owner of the dog heard of the death of his pet and, mourning for him as if he had been his own child, went at night under the pine tree. He set up some bamboo tubes in the ground, such as are used before tombs, in which he put fresh flowers. Then he laid a cup of water and a tray of food on the grave and burned several costly sticks of incense. He mourned a great while over his pet, calling him many dear names, as if he were alive.
mourning: the expression of sorrow for someone’s death
When the old man heard of his pet’s death, he went to see the hole under the pine tree at night. He set up some bamboo tubes in the ground like the ones that are used before tombs, and in that he put fresh flowers. Then he put a cup of water and a tray of food on the grave and burned several expensive incense sticks. He mourned for a while while calling him many dear names as if he were still alive.
That night the spirit of the dog appeared to him in a dream and said, “Cut down the pine tree over my grave, and make from it a mortar for your rice pastry and a mill for your bean sauce.”
So the old man chopped down the tree and cut out of the middle of the trunk a section about two feet long. With great labour, partly by fire, partly by the chisel, he scraped out a hollow place as big as a small bowl. He then made a longhandled hammer of wood, such as is used for pounding rice. When New Year’s time drew near, he wished to make some rice pastry. When the rice was all boiled, granny put it into the mortar, the old man lifted his hammer to pound the mass into dough, and the blows fell heavy and fast till the pastry was all ready for baking. Suddenly the whole mass turned into a heap of gold coins. When the old woman took the hand-mill, and filling it with beans began to grind, the gold dropped like rain.
pounding: crushing; grinding
That night, the old man saw a dream in which the spirit of the dog appeared. The dog instructed the old man to cut down the pine tree over his tree and make a mortar and a mill for rice pastry and bean sauce.
The old man obeyed his pet dog and chopped down the tree. He cut out of the middle of the trunk a section about two feet long. After working really hard, using fire and chisel, he scraped out a hollow place as big as a small bowl. He then made longhandled hammer of wood which was the mill. When New Year came nearer, he wished to use the mortar and mill he made to make rice pastries. When the rice was all boiled, the old woman put it into the mortar. The old man lifted his hammer to pound it into dough. The blows fell heavy and fast till the pastry was all ready for baking. However, the mass had suddenly changed into a heap of gold coins. Even the beans in the hand-mill had turned into gold coins and when the old woman took the hand-mill, the gold coins dropped like rain.
Meanwhile the envious neighbour peeped in at the window when the boiled beans were being ground.
“Goody me!” cried the old hag, as she saw each dripping of sauce turning into yellow gold, until in a few minutes the tub under the mill was full of a shining mass of gold.
All of this was being seen by the wicked couple, who were jealous.
The wicked old woman cried in excitement as she saw each drop of the bean sauce turning into yellow gold, until in a few minutes, the tub under the mill was full of shining mass of gold.
So the old couple were rich again. The next day the stingy and wicked neighbour came and borrowed the mortar and magic mill. They filled one with boiled rice and the other with beans. Then the old man began to pound and the woman to grind. But at the first blow and turn, the pastry and sauce turned into a foul mass of worms. Still more angry at this, they chopped the mill into pieces, to use as firewood.
Again the old couple had become rich. The next day, the wicked old couple came and asked for the magic mortar and mill. Since the old couple were kind and generous, they didn’t object. So, when the old couple reached home, they filled one with boiled rice and the other with beans. The old man then began to pound and the woman to grind. However, the result was completely different. At the first blow and turn, the pastry and bean sauce transformed into a foul mass of worms. The couple became angry and chopped the tools into pieces. They decided to use the pieces as firewood.
Not long after that, the good old man dreamed again, and the spirit of the dog spoke to him, telling him how the wicked people had burned the mill made from the pine tree. “Take the ashes of the mill, sprinkle them on the withered trees, and they will bloom again,” said the dog-spirit.
withered: bare and dry
Not long after the wicked couple had destroyed the tools that the old man saw the dog’s spirit in his dream. The spirit told him how cruelly the wicked couple had burned the tools made from the pine tree. The dog-spirit then instructed the old man to take the ashes of the mill and sprinkle them on the withered trees to make them bloom again.
The old man awoke and went at once to his wicked neighbour’s house, where he found the miserable old pair sitting at the edge of their square fireplace, in the middle of the floor, smoking and spinning. From time to time they warmed their hands and feet with the blaze from some bits of the mill, while behind them lay a pile of the broken pieces.
spinning: becoming dizzy
After the dream got over, the old man awoke and at once, he went to the wicked couple’s house. There, he saw the wicked couple sitting at the edge of their fireplace which was a square in shape in the middle of the floor. They were smoking and becoming dizzy and from time to time they kept their hands and feet near the blazing fire made from some bits of the mill, and made themselves warm. Behind them lay a pile of the broken pieces which the couple were using to keep the fire blazing.
The good old man humbly asked for the ashes. Though the covetous couple turned up their noses at him and scolded him as if he were a thief, they let him fill his basket with the ashes.
On coming home, the old man took his wife into the garden. It being winter, their favourite cherry tree was bare. He sprinkled a pinch of ashes on it, and, lo! it sprouted blossoms until it became a cloud of pink blooms which perfumed the air. The news of this filled the village, and everyone ran out to see the wonder.
turned up their noses: treated him with contempt
bare: not covered
wonder: things which cannot be explained why or how they happened
The old man politely asked for the ashes. The greedy couple treated him harshly and scolded him as if he were a thief. Nevertheless, they let him fill his basket with ashes as they had no idea that the ashes would have the power to make trees bloom.
On coming home, the old man brought his wife into the garden. In the garden, there was a cherry blossom tree which was withered due to the winter season. The cherry blossom happened to be the couple’s favourite tree. So, the old man decided to make that tree bloom. He took just a pinch of the ashes and sprinkled it on the tree. Instantly, the tree sprouted blossoms until it became so filled that it looked like a pink cloud which perfumed the air with a cherry blossom fragrance. The news of this phenomenon spread throughout the village. Everyone ran out to the old couple’s house to see the wonder.
The covetous couple also heard the story, and, gathering up the remaining ashes of the mill, kept them to make withered trees blossom.
The kind old man, hearing that his lord, the daimio, was to pass along the high road near the village, set out to see him, taking his basket of ashes. As the train approached, he climbed up into an old withered cherry tree that stood by the wayside.
wayside: edge of the road
The greedy old couple also heard the story. They gathered up the remaining ashes of the mill and kept it safe with them to make withered trees bloom.
The old man heard that his lord who was the daimio, was going to pass along the high road near the village. He set out to see the lord, taking his basket of ashes with him. As the procession approached, the old man climbed up an old withered cherry tree that stood at the edge of the road.
Now, in the days of the daimios, it was the custom, when their lord passed by, for all the loyal people to shut up their high windows. They even pasted them fast with a slip of paper, so as not to commit the impertinence of looking down on his lordship. All the people along the road would fall upon their hands and knees and remain prostrate until the procession passed by.
custom: prevailing tradition
impertinence: rudeness, lack of manners
prostrate: lying on the ground face downward
In this paragraph, we get to know that in the old days, it was the custom for all the loyal people to either shut their high windows or to remain prostrate if they were on the road until the train passed by. The people even pasted their windows with a slip of paper if somehow their windows wouldn’t get closed properly. This was done in order to have a good image in front of the daimio.
The train drew near. One tall, competent man marched ahead, crying out to the people by the way, “Get down on your knees! Get down on your knees!” And every one kneeled down while the procession was passing.
Suddenly the leader of the van caught sight of the aged man up in the tree. He was about to call out to him in an angry tone, but, seeing he was such an old fellow, he pretended not to notice him and passed him by. So, when the daimio’s palanquin drew near, the old man, taking a pinch of ashes from his basket, scattered it over the tree. In a moment it burst into blossom.
palanquin: royal van/ cart
The procession was getting near. A tall and skilful man was marching ahead, who was ordering people to get down on their knees. Everyone obeyed.
However, the old man, who was on the cherry blossom tree, was standing rather than being in a prostate position. The leader of the van caught sight of him. He was about to order him angrily when he saw that he was an old fellow and that it would be better to ignore him. As the van drew nearer, the old man took a pinch of the ashes from his basket and sprinkled on the tree. In a moment, the flowers bloomed.
The delighted daimio ordered the train to be stopped and got out to see the wonder. Calling the old man to him, he thanked him and ordered presents of silk robes, sponge-cake, fans and other rewards to be given him. He even invited him to his castle.
So the old man went gleefully home to share his joy with his dear old wife.
The daimio was delighted to see a withered cherry blossom tree suddenly sprout beautiful cherry blossoms. He ordered the train to be stopped and got out to see the wonder. He called the old man and thanked him. He ordered presents of silk robes, sponge-cakes, fans and other luxurious things to be given to him. The daimio even invited him to his castle.
The old man gleefully went home to share this good news with his dear old wife.
But when the greedy neighbour heard of it, he took some of the magic ashes and went out on the highway. There he waited until a daimio’s train came along and, instead of kneeling down like the crowd, he climbed a withered cherry tree.
When the daimio himself was almost directly under him, he threw a handful of ashes over the tree, which did not change a particle. The wind blew the fine dust in the noses and eyes of the daimio and his wife. Such sneezing and choking! It spoiled all the pomp and dignity of the procession. The man whose business it was to cry, “Get down on your knees,” seized the old fool by the collar, dragged him from the tree, and tumbled him and his ash-basket into the ditch by the road. Then, beating him soundly, he left him for dead.
a particle: even a little bit
soundly: a lot
The story of the wonder spread throughout the village and eventually the wicked couple got to hear it. The greedy man took some of the ashes which had magical powers and went out on the highway. He did just as the old man did – He waited till the lord’s train came by and instead of following the custom of remaining prostrate, he climbed a withered cherry blossom tree.
When the lord himself was right under the tree he threw not a pinch but a handful of the ashes over the tree. The ashes didn’t transform the withered tree into a blooming one. Instead, the ashes remained ashes only. The ashes fell on the lord and his wife, and since they were a lot, it made the couple sneeze and choke, which ruined the pride and dignity of the procession. TThe man who had the duty of ordering people to get down on their knees, seized the wicked old fool by the collar, dragged him from the tree, and threw him and his basket full of ash into the ditch by the road. As a punishment, he beat the old man soundly and left him on the spot to die.
Thus the wicked old man died in the mud, but the kind friend of the dog dwelt in peace and plenty, and both he and his wife lived to a green old age.
green: healthy, active and prosperous
The Ashes that made Flowers Bloom Question Answers
Q1. Why did the neighbours kill the dog?
Ans. The neighbours were wicked and cruel who lost their tempers when the dog, Muko found a dead kitten buried in the earth instead of gold.
Q2. 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.
Ans. (b) as if it was their own baby.
(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.
Ans. (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.
Ans. (c) a pile of gold.
Working with the Text
Answer the following questions.
Q1. The old farmer is a kind person. What evidence of his kindness do you find in the first two paragraphs.
Ans. The old farmer was a kind person. He loved Muko as though it were their human child. He fed the pet with tidbits of fish from their own chopsticks, and all the boiled rice it wanted. The old man was not only kind to his pet dog but also towards the white heron which used to follow him into the fields and the birds for whom he used to turn up a sod on purpose.
Q2. What did the dog do to lead the farmer to the hidden gold?
Ans. The dog came running to the farmer. He put his paws against his legs and motioned with his to the spot where the hidden gold was. However, the old man, thinking that the dog was just playing with him, ignored him. The dog started whining and running to and fro and wouldn’t stop doing so. Finally, the old man gave in and followed the dog to the spot he was motioning towards. When they reached the spot, the dog started pawing it and began scratching it lively. The old man then struck his hoe at the spot, thinking it was just a bone or a bit of a fish buried there. Instead, he found the hidden gold.
Q3. (i) How did the spirit of the dog help the farmer first?
Ans. The spirit of the dog first asked him to cut down the pine tree near his grave. The dog-spirit instructed the old man to make a mortar for the rice pastry and a mill for thebean sauce from it.
(ii) How did it help him next?
Ans. The dog-spirit again came in the old man’s dream after the mill and mortar had been destroyed by the wicked neighbours. That time, the spirit asked the old man to collect the ashes of the burnt mill and mortar, and to sprinkle it over the withered trees to make them bloom.
Q4. Why did the daimio reward the farmer but punish his neighbour for the same act?
Ans. The daimio rewarded the farmer but punished his neighbour for the same act because even though the actions were the same, the results were different from one another. When the farmer spread the ashes on the withered cherry blossom tree, it bloomed whereas when the neighbour spread the ashes on the withered cherry blossom tree, it didn’t bloom at all. Instead, due to the wind, the ashes went into the mouths and noses of the daimio and his wife, which caused a lot of sneezing and choking. This ruined te pride and dignity of the procession which angered the daimio.
Working with Language
Q1. 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.
Ans. (i) Where is Anil?
(ii) Where is Anil sitting?
(iii) What is he doing?
(iv) Where is Anil’s friend sitting?
(v) What is he doing?
(vi) Who is writing on the blackboard?
(vii) What are some children doing?
Q2. 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.
NEHA : ___________ do you go to school?
SHEELA : We walk to school. It is nearby
Ans. NEHA : When did you get this book?
SHEELA : Yesterday morning.
NEHA : Why is your sister crying?
SHEELA : Because she has lost her doll.
NEHA : Whose room is this, yours or hers?
SHEELA : It’s ours.
NEHA : How do you go to school?
SHEELA : We walk to school. It is nearby.
Q3. Fill in the blanks with the words given in the box.
(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.
Ans. (i) My friend lost his chemistry book. Now he doesn’t know what to do and where to look for it. ‘
(ii) There are so many toys in the shops. Neena can’t decide which one to buy.
(iii) You don’t know the way to my school. Ask the policeman how to get there.
(iv) You should decide soon where to start building your house.
(v) Do you know how to ride a bicycle? I don’t remember how and when I learnt it.
(vi) “You should know how to talk and when to keep your mouth shut,” the teacher advised Anil.
Q4. Add im- or in- to each of the following words and use them in place of the italicised words in the sentences given below.
(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 but it can be completed if we work very hard.
(ii) He is incompetent. That’s why he can’t keep any job for more than a year.
(iii) “Don’t be impatient. Your letter will come one day,” the postman told me.
(iv) That’s an improper remark to make under the circumstances.
(v) He appears to be insensitive. In fact, he is very emotional.
Q5. 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.
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.
Ans. There was once a play which became very successful. A famous actor was acting in it. In the play his role was that of an aristocrat who had been imprisoned in a castle for twenty years. In the last act of play someone would come on stage with a letter which he would hand over to a prisoner. Even though the aristocrat was not expected to read the letter at each performance, he always insisted that the letter be written out from beginning to end.
Q6. Encircle the correct article.
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.
Ans. A : Would you like an apple or a banana?
B : I’d like an apple, please.
A : Take the red one in the fruit bowl. You may take an orange also, if you like.
B : Which one?
A : The one beside the banana.