"A MILD ATTACK OF LOCUSTS"
EXERCISE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q.1. What are locusts? (or) How are they dangerous?
Ans: Locusts are insects that fly in very large groups, eating and destroying crops. We describe them as swarms (big groups) of locusts. They are mostly found in Asia and Africa. They destroy standing crops in fields. Before flying onwards they lay eggs on plants from which are born hoppers for further large-scale destruction.
Q.2. Why did the farmers throw wet leaves on to the fire? What was its effect?
Ans: The farmers threw wet leaves on the fire to make the atmosphere or air unpleasant to smell and also black. This kind of air made the locusts leave the lands. Because of the smoke the locusts flew above the farms in large numbers. They were like black clouds rising towards the sun.
Q.3. What was the desire of every farmer? What can you say about it? (or) What did every farmer hope when the locusts were approaching the fields?
Ans: Every farmer desired locusts not to see or notice his farm. All wanted them to fly over their farms and go to the next ones. Everyone was selfish and wanted to save himself and did no think about his neighbours. This is human nature and we cannot change it.
Q.4. Did Margret know to do to keep the locusts away?
Ans: Margaret was trying to know how she could help others in keeping the locusts away. She got the idea from old worried Stephen. She agreed with Stephen when he said that they should make enough smoke to keep them away. They should beat the kettle to frighten them away make enough smoke to keep them away. They should beat the kettle to frighten them away make enough smoke to keep them away. They should beat the kettle to frighten them away.
Q.5. What was the condition of the trees?
Ans: The trees looked strange. They were all covered with thick layers (covers) of locusts. Their branches were bending under the weight of the locusts. They lost many of their leaves. The falling leaves with locusts on them could further damage the crops.
Q.6. How did old Stephen treat the stray (away from others) locust, which he found on his shirt?
Ans: Old Stephen picked up a lonely locust from his shirt. He divided it into parts with his thumbnail. It was full of eggs. He said that millions of young hoper would come out of the eggs in the bodies of the older ones. They will then devastate (completely destroy) standing crops for a long time to come.
Q.7. Are hoppers different from locusts? Why are hoppers still more dangerous?
Ans: Hoppers are the young locusts that are born from the eggs of the locusts. While locusts fly and jump fast, hoppers jump from point to point. The hoppers go on growing and developing. They are even more dangerous as they come in fresh strength to the fields after the departure of the locusts.
Q.8. Did Margaret lose hope at the loss of the crops?
Ans: Margaret did not become hopeless. She was ready to face the attacks of locusts for two or three years more. She wanted to struggle against them and to have new crops. This was the only way left to her to struggle against the locusts and to maintain her farm.
Q.9. Why are locusts compared to bad weather?
Ans: Locust can come again like bad weather, which visits us any time. Once locusts attack the fields, they can attack them later like bad weather. They can come like too much of rain, storms, etc. It is our duty to defend ourselves from them as we do against other natural disasters (unexpected destructive natural changes).
Q.10. Why did the men eat their supper (evening meal) with good appetites (desire to eat)?
Ans: All day they had been fighting against the locusts. They were tired and hungry, so they ate their evening meal with full desire. They had been burning fires and producing sounds with cans and metal pieces. They remained very active in their defence against the locusts.
Answer the following questions, each in about 40-50 words:
Q.1. How did the farmers try to prevent the main swarms of the locusts from landing on their farms?
Ans: The farmers produced loud sounds with tin cans and pieces of metal to make the locusts turn away from their farms. They made fires with wood and grass. They threw wed leaves on to the fires to produce thick black clouds of smoke.
Q. 2. Why, even after all the crops were destroyed, did the men continue to fight the swarms?
Ans: They did this because they feared that the locusts would lay eggs and produce millions of hoppers (baby locusts). This could further destroy their fields. The attack of the hoppers on their fields and new crops could continue for two or three years.
Q.3. What was the condition of the lands when the locusts had moved to the south?
Ans: The evening air was not black and thick (clouded) like earlier. The sky looked blue and the air was clear. The trees, bushes, buildings, and fields carried the destructive effects and the crops had been destroyed.
Q.4. What are some of the measures (steps) the farmers should have taken to save their crops?
Ans: The farmers should have arranged some advance warning systems to learn of the coming locust attacks. They could have got their fields sprayed with chemicals or medicines to kill the locusts or hoppers in large numbers. They and government agencies should have cut the crops that were ripe before the locust attacks.
Q.5. Who was Margaret? Write a note on her character.
Ans: Margaret was a farm owner. She was a very wise and thoughtful woman. When the locusts attacked the fields, she was upset and she cried. But she controlled herself and watched the air and the hills. She advised the neighbours by phone to take the right steps. She remained hopeful.