The King’s Mission
Once there was a king who thought that to be a successful ruler he must know the answer of three questions. The questions were
- What is the right time to begin something?
- Which people should he listen to?
- What is the most important thing for him to do?
The Wise Men and their Solutions
The king sent messengers in all directions to find people who could answer these questions. Many wise men came, but their answers were all different. For the first question some of them felt that the king should follow a timetable, while there were others who felt that it is not possible to decide the right time for doing something in advance.
Similarly, for the second question, some wise men said that the king should follow his councilors while others thought it was the priest whom the king should listen to. Then there were those who felt that it was the doctor the king should obey while there were many who felt that in favor of soldiers. For the third question some wise men said science should be of highest priority for the king while others said religion.
The king was not satisfied with these answers as they were so different from each other. He didn’t give any reward to anyone and thought to seek consultation of a wise hermit who lived in the jungle. The hermit will see only ordinary people so the king dressed up like a normal man, leaving behind his horse and bodyguards and went to the hermit’s hut. The hermit was an old man and was busy diggings the ground in front of his house. The king told the hermit that he has come in search of answers for his three questions and repeated them.
The hermit didn’t respond and continued digging the ground. Sometime passed and the king seeing the hermit to be tired offered his help. The king continued digging the ground till evening. Sometimes passed and the king seeing the hermit to be tired offered his help. In the evening the king again requested the hermit to answer his questions, but at the moment someone came running towards the hermit’s hut.
The Wounded Man
A man came running towards them with a hand on his wounded stomach. The king cleaned the wound and dressed the wound controlling the flow of blood. The man felt better and asked for some water. Hermit and the king took the man inside the house. The man was lying quiet inside the house and the tired king too fell asleep on the ground.
In the morning when the king opened his eyes he saw the wounded man asking for forgiveness. The man told the king that he had come to take revenge from him because the king had killed his brother and had taken away all his property. He wanted to kill the king while returning from the hermit’s place.
But the king’s bodyguards found him and wounded him. He would have died if the king would not have helped him. He regretted his thoughts of killing the king and promised to be his faithful servant. The king was pleased to turn his enemy into a friend. He forgave him and returned all his property.
The King Sighed a Relief
The king then went to look for the hermit who was sowing seeds in the beds that they have dug the day before. He requested the hermit for last time to answer his questions. To this hermit replied that the king has already found the answers. If he would not have pitied hermit’s condition the day before then the man would have attacked him on his way and he might have the lost his life. So, the most important time was when he was digging the bed and the hermit was the most important man.
When the wounded man arrived, the most important time was when he was caring for him else he would have died of his wounds without the two of them reconciling for their acts. So at the moment, the wounded man was the most important man and nursing him was the most important business. The hermit said to the man that the most important time is ‘now’ because it is only time when we have the power to act. The most important person at a particular moment is we ourselves because future is unknown to all of us and there is always an uncertainty about meeting anyone else. The most important job is to do good to others because we have been sent to this world for this noble cause.
Word Meaning in English
In advance prior
Pleasures cheer, zeal
Council an advisory, a body of people formally constitute and meeting regularly
Councillors members of the council
Hermit a person living a simple life alone
Seek attempt to find
Digging break up or moving earth with a tool
Widely known familiar
Greeted sign of welcome
Heavily with a lot of force or effort
Spade a tool with a sharp edge
Breathed heavily gasping
Beds an area of ground typically where plants and flowers are planted
Stretching straighten or extend one’s body
Pressed apply pressure to
Bearded man a man with a beard
Re-dressed remedy or set right
Quiet peaceful, silent
Seized take hold of suddenly and forcibly
Swore to make a promise
Dressed treat or prepare something in a certain way
Sowing plant seed by scattering it on or in the earth
Came upon to meet
Escaped run away, get away.
Serve to be a servant
On his knees to bow down bending one’s knees
Pitied to sympathize
Caring for look after
Made peace with to establish peace
CHECK (NCERT Page 10)
- Why did the king want to know answers to three questions?
Ans. The king wanted to know answers of his three questions because he wanted to be a successful ruler.
- Messengers were sent throughout the kingdom
(i) to fetch wise men.
(ii) to find answers to the questions.
(ii) to look for the wise hermit.
(iv) to announce a reward for those who could answer the questions.
Ans. (i) to find answers to the questions.
CHECK (NCERT Page 14)
Complete the following sentences by adding the appropriate parts of the sentences given in the Bоx.
- Many wise men answered the king’s questions ………………………………………
- Someone suggested that there should be a council of wise men ………………
- Someone else suggested that the king should have a timetable ……………….
- The king requested the hermit………………….
- The king washed and dressed the bearded man’s wound …………………………
- but the bleeding would not stop.
- to answer three questions.
- but their answers were so varied that the king was not satisfied.
- and follow it strictly.
- to help the king act at the right time.
- Many wise men answered the king’s questions, but their answers were so varied that the king was not satisfied.
- Someone suggested that there should be a council of wise men to help the king act at the right time.
- Someone else suggested that the king should have a timetable and follow it strictly.
- The king requested the hermit to answer three questions.
- The king washed and dressed the bearded man’s wound but the bleeding would not stop.
Working with the Text
(NCERT Page 14 )
Answer the following questions.
- Why was the king advised to go to the magicians?
Ans. Some of the wise men thought that in order to decide right time for doing something, one must look into the future and only magicians were able to do that. So, they advised the king to go to the magicians.
- In answer to the second question, whose advice did the people say would be important to the king?
Ans. In answer to the second question some people, suggested to seek advice of councillors, the priest or the doctors or the soldiers.
- What suggestions were made in answer to the third question?
Ans. For the third question some people said science was the most important business while there were others who believed it was fighting and then there were those who believed religious worship should take the first place.
- Did the wise men win the reward? If not, why not?
Ans. No, the wise men didn’t win the reward because their answers were so different from each other and king was not satisfied with their answers.
- How did the king and the hermit help the wounded man?
Ans. The king washed the wound and covered the wound of the man with his handkerchief and kept on dressing it until the bleeding stopped completely. The king also offered the wounded man water to drink. The hermit helped the king to bring the wounded man inside his hut and allowed the man to spend his night in the hut.
- (i) Who was the bearded man?
(ii) Why did he ask for the king’s forgiveness?
(i) The bearded man was an enemy of the king. He wanted to take revenge of his brother’s death by killing the king and taking away all his property.
(ii) The bearded man asked for the king’s forgiveness because he wanted to kill the king but the king has saved his life. He was grateful to the king now.
- The king forgave the bearded man. What did he do to show his forgiveness?
Ans. The king showed his forgiveness by promising the man that he will send his doctor and servants to look after him and also promised to return him all his property.
- What were the hermit’s answers to the three questions? Write each answer separately. Which answers do you like the most and why?
Ans. The most important time, the hermit said, is our present because it is the only moment when we have the power to act. The most important person at a moment is we ourselves because the future is unknown and we don’t know whether we will meet anyone in the future or not.
So, we should listen to ourselves. The most important business is to be kind and good to others because we have been sent in this world to serve this noble cause.
I liked the third answer the most because helping someone in need is like serving God. It makes us a good person and brings a sense of satisfaction and contentment.
Working with Language
(NCERT Pages 15 and 16)
- Match items in List A with their meanings in List B.
fainted: lost consciousness
(i) wounded got up from sleep
(ii) awoke give back
(ii) forgive small patches of ground for plants
(iv) faithful severely injured
(v) pity pardon
(vi) beds loyal
(vii) return feel sorry for
Use any three of the given words in sentences of your own. You may change the form of the word.
Ans. A B
(i) wounded severely injured
(ii) awoke got up from sleep
(ii) forgive pardon
(iv) faithful loyal
(v) pity feel sorry for
(vi) beds small patches of ground for plants
(vii) return give back
(i) The soldier was severely wounded in the war.
(ii) He awoke his wife and told her that the train has caught fire.
(iii) It took Arun several months to forgive Nasir.
- Each of the following sentences has two blanks. Fill in the blanks with appropriate forms of the word given in the brackets.
He has ……. to help me. Do you think he will remember his.. ..? (promise)
He has promised to help me. Do you think he will remember his promise?
(i) The….. said that only fresh evidence would make him change his.. . (judge)
(ii) I didn’t notice any serious…. of anoij opinion among the debaters, although they …… from one another over small points. (differ)
(iii) It’s fairly simple question to ……, but will accept my ….. as final? (answer)
(iv) It isn’t …… that …… should always be the mother of invention. (necessary)
(v) Hermits are …… men. How they acquire their … .no one can tell. (wise)
(vi) The committee has … to make Jagdish captain of the team. The …. likely to please everyone. (decide)
(vii) Asking for …. is as noble as willingness to …….. (forgive)
(i) judge, judgement
(ii) difference, differed
(iii) answer, answer
(iv) necessary, necessity
(v) wise, wisdom
(vi) has decided, decision
(vii) forgiveness, forgive
Speaking and Writing
(NCERT Page 16)
- Imagine you are the king. Narrate the incident of your meeting with the hermit. Begin like this:
The wise men answered my questions, but I was not satisfied with their answers. One day I decided to go and meet the hermit….
Ans. ….. I knew the hermit used to help only ordinary men, so I left behind my servants and bodyguards. I went to meet him wearing simple clothes. The hermit was an old man and used to live in a hut amidst the woods. He was digging the ground in front of his hut when I arrived there. He greeted me and continued his work. I informed him the purpose of my visit, but still he continued digging, the ground. He looked tired so I offered my help. He agreed, so I took the spade from him and started digging the ground.
After digging for many hours I again repeated my questions, but the hermit did not answer.
Evening was approaching and now I thought of returning. Suddenly, the hermit showed me a bearded man who was running towards us.
- Imagine you are the hermit. Write briefly the incident of your meeting the king. Begin like this:
One day I was digging in my garden. A man in ordinary clothes came to see me. I knew it was the king….
Ans. ………….. but still pretended to be unaware of his identity. He told me that he has come to me to get answers for his three questions.
I greeted him and continued digging the ground. I was tired digging the ground; the king noticed this and offered his help. I agreed and gave my spade to him.
After digging two beds in the ground the king repeated his questions, I ignored him again and rather asked him if he was tired and would like me to dig the ground. But he refused to do so and continued the task.
Evening was approaching and it seemed that he was ready to leave, at that very moment we saw a man running towards us.
Questions and Answers
Very Short Answer Type Questions
(NCERT Page 16)
- Why did the king send two messengers throughout his kingdom?
Ans. The king sent his messengers to look for wise people.
- How did the king promise to reward the person who would answer his questions correctly?
Ans. The king promised to reward the person with a huge sum of money.
- Whose advice did the king finally think of seeking?
Ans. The king finally thought of seeking the hermit’s advice who lived in a distant jungle.
- Who did go along with the king to meet the hermit?
Ans. No one went along with the king.
- During which time of the day would the hermit would leave the forest and go out?
Ans. The hermit never used to go out of the forest.
- Why did the bearded man press his stomach with his hand?
Ans. The bearded man pressed his stomach because he was wounded and wanted to stop blood flowing out from his wound.
Short Answer Type Questions
- Why was the king advised to listen to his soldiers?
Ans. Some wise men thought that it were soldiers who used to fight wars for the king and help him extend his territory and power. So, according to them they thought soldiers were the most important people whom the king should follow.
- Why did the king refuse to give reward to anyone?
Ans. The king was not satisfied with the answers of the wise men.
They all had given different answers to the same questions because of which he was unable to come to a conclusion, so he refused giving the reward to anyone.
- Why the king changed his clothes and left behind his bodyguards and horse before meeting the hermit?
Ans. The king was aware that the hermit would meet only simple people.
So, he dressed up like an ordinary man, left behind his horse and bodyguards and went to meet the hermit in his hut in the woods all alone.
- Describe the hermit in one or two sentences.
Ans. The hermit was a weak old man and used to live amidst the woods which he would never leave. He was digging the ground in front of his hut for sowing seeds when the king arrived and the tedious task had made him tired.
- “Here comes someone running”. Who has been referred to in this sentence?
Ans. The bearded man is being referred to in these lines. He had planned to attack the king, but was instead attacked by the king’s bodyguards, as they had recognized him. He had received a wound in his stomach. He was rushing towards the hermit’s hut for help.
Long Answer Type Questions
- What were the replies the king received for his first question?
Ans. In reply to his first question, the king was advised to follow a timetable by some men. There were some people who were of the opinion that it was impossible to decide the right time in advance. The king was suggested to keep a note of all the happenings around him, avoid indulging in excessive pleasure and do everything that seemed important at any particular time. Alongwith this he should have a team of intelligent people to guide to him to the right thing at the right time.
- Describe the king in your own words.
Ans. The king wanted to be a good ruler. He was seeking answers for the three questions which he thought would help him in his mission. The king was kindhearted, when he found the old man tired of digging the ground, he offered him his help. He kept on bandaging the bearded man’s wound until blood stopped coming out from it. He was down to earth, he dressed up like a common man and spent the night sleeping on floor at the hermit’s hut.
- Describe the bearded man in your own words.
Ans. The bearded man was courageous. He wanted to avenge his brother’s death killing the king. He lacked patience because when the king didn’t return by evening, he became anxious and left his hiding place. He was thankful and obliged by the king’s act.
He repented for his act and asked for forgiveness. He returned the favour by promising the king faithfulness of his entire family for the kingdom.
- The king had done right things at the right time. Explain giving three examples.
Ans. The king had known the hermit’s nature of meeting only ordinary men. So, he gave up his king’s attire, left behind his soldiers and the horse and went alone to meet him.
He offered the hermit his help in digging the ground. He did this till evening. This helped him avoid the attack planned by the bearded man.
He helped the bearded man bandaging his wound and offered him water. He saved his life. This helped him made friends with his enemy.
Value Based Questions
- Do you think we should help people in need? Why so?
Ans. We should always help people in need. We have been sent to this world to do good to others. If we are good and kind towards other, people will respect us for our kindness. Being kind and helpful keeps us happy from within. We feel happiness when we bring smile on the face of others. We earn their good wishes and blessings in return. It makes us a good human being. To help others is the greatest motto of humanity and we should adhere to it.
- The king helped the hermit in digging the beds. He even slept on the floor of the hut and lived like a simple man in the hermit’s hut. What lesson we learn from this?
Ans. The king found the old hermit tired digging the beds so he offered his help to the man. He was accustomed of comfort and lavishness in his palace still at hermit’s home he slept on the floor. At our homes we get all the luxuries but if one day there comes a situation where we have to live without them we should be prepared for that.
In life we might become very rich and affluent one day still we should be simple from heart and must not be ashamed of embracing it at any moment.
Extra Questions and Answers
Directions (Q. Nos. 1-6) Read the extract given below and answer the following questions.
The Sun went down behind the trees and at last the king stuck the spade into the ground and said, “I came to you, wise man, for an answer to my questions. If you can give me no answer, tell me so and I will return home.” “Here comes someone running,” said the hermit.
- What was the king doing all this while?
Ans. The king was digging beds on the ground in front of the hermit’s hut.
- Why the king is asking the man to answer his questions?
Ans. The king had invited many people to answer his questions, but wasn’t satisfied with their answers. He has heard about the hermit to be a wise man. So, he approached him.
- Which hour of the day has been referred to in these lines?
Ans. Sun was setting down at that time so it was dusk.
- What follows immediately after this incident?
(a) The king got the answer for his questions
(b) The king offered water to the man
(c) The king and hermit bandaged the man’s wound
(d) The king left the hermit’s place
Ans. (c) The king and hermit bandaged the man’s wound.
- “I came to you, wise man, for an answer to my questions. If you can give me no answer, tell me so and I will return home.” In the above lines the king
(a) gives an order
(b) makes a request
(c) passes a sarcastic comment
(d) cracks a joke
Ans. (b) makes a request
- The king had stuck the spade in the ground because
(a) he was tired digging the ground the whole day
(b) it was evening
(c) the bearded man arrived
(d) Both ‘a’ and ‘b’
Ans. (d) Both ‘a’ and ‘b’
Directions (Q. Nos. 1-6) Read the extract given below and answer the following questions.
“Now if I live, I will serve you as your most faithful servant and will order my sons to do the same. Forgive me.” The king was so happy he had made peace with his enemy so easily and to have won him over as a friend.
- Mention the author and name of the chapter from which the above lines have been taken.
Ans. The author of the chapter is Leo Tolstoy and the chapter is ‘Three Questions’.
- Why the man is asking for king’s forgiveness?
Ans. The man had planned to kill the king, but the king had saved his life, so he was asking for king’s forgiveness.
- From the above lines what kind of information do you get about the man’s character?
Ans. The above lines spoken by the man confirm that he is a thankful human being and is ready to repay for his wrong doings.
- The king was happy because
(a) he had found a new friend
(b) the man had given up his animosity to the king
(c) he had saved the life of the man
(d) he had found faithful servants
Ans. (b) the man had given up his animosity to the king.
- From the above passage find the past tense of ‘win’.
(d) None of the above
Ans. (b) Won
- After this incident the king
(a) went to the hermit seeking answers for his questions
(b) bandaged the wounds of the man
(c) left the hermit’s place
(d) went to sleep
Ans. (a) went to the hermit seeking answers for his questions
Directions (Q. Nos. 1-6) Read the extract given below and answer the following questions.
“You have already been answered!” said the hermit still bending down to the ground and looking up at the king as he stood before him. “How have I been answered? What do you mean?” “Do you not see?” replied the hermit. “If you had not pitied my weakness yesterday and had not dug these beds for me, you would have gone away.
- What is being answered in the above lines?
Ans. The above lines refers to the answers of the three questions that the king had asked the hermit.
- How the king had been answered?
Ans. The king through the acts of the previous day has got the answers for all his questions. The king had helped the hermit dig the beds.
- Which question has been answered here?
Ans. The king with his act has answered his first questions. He has done the right act at the right moment.
- …the hermit still bending down. The hermit was in such a posture because he was
(a) standing in front of the king
(b) sowing the seeds
(c) bowing before the Sun
Ans. (b) sowing the seeds
- What would have happened to the king if he would have not have helped the hermit?
(a) He would have found answers of his questions
(b) The bearded man would have attacked him
(c) He would have reached his bodyguards
(d) The hermit would not have allowed him to stay in his hut
Ans. (b) The bearded man would have attacked him.
- Why did the king take up the task of digging the beds?
(a) For passing the time
(b) To get answers for his questions
(c) To please the hermit
(d) To help the hermit
Ans. (d) To help the hermit