Fable Questions and Answers

Poem Fable Substance

In the poem, the mountain and the squirrel gets into an argument. The mountain mocks at the squirrel for its self-righteous attitude and calls it ‘Little Prig’. The squirrel also does not hesitate to point out the truth that in spite of being so large, the mountain can neither move at its own will nor perform a simple task like cracking a nut. It says that though squirrels may seem small, they are equally important in the ecosystem like a mountain. Everything in this world has a unique place and purpose to serve. So, there is no need to feel inferior or disgraceful, no matter how big or small one is. Every single being has an important role to play in the grand scheme of nature.

About the Poem Fable

The main characters of the poem “Fable” are a mountain and a squirrel. The poem starts with a funny line, “The mountain and the squirrel Had a quarrel”. The mountain teases the squirrel by calling it ‘Little Prig’ and the squirrel humorously refers to the mountain as ‘doubtless very big.’ The poem includes a moral which is easy even for the young children to understand. It is good to be yourself than trying to be someone who is larger and more imposing. In this poem, Emerson tells us not to judge others from our individual perspective and to try to understand that people are not alike and that all have some unique qualities. The mountain may be able to carry the forest on his back but he cannot crack a nut like the squirrel.

Significance of Poem Fable

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Fable” is a short poem with animal characters and a moral. A fable usually has talking animals and a moral at the end. It refers to a fictional story or a poem that includes animals, mythical creatures, plants and inanimate objects who teach a lesson and give a moral. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem centers round a squirrel and a mountain. At the beginning of the poem, both of them get into an argument about their own reasons for existence. The theme of the poem is very delicate and this issue is established through humour. The end part of the poem delivers a moral, meant for the readers. Emerson given thus poem a playful tone with a suitable title “Fable”.

Questions and Answers on Poem Fable

Questions and Answers on Poem Fable

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Long Answer Type Questions:

Answer the following questions in brief.

Who had a quarrel with the squirrel ?
The mountain had a quarrel with the squirrel.

What is not a disgrace to the squirrel ?
To occupy its place is not a disgrace to the squirrel.

What is it that the squirrel doesn’t deny ?
The squirrel doesn’t deny that the mountain makes a pretty squirrel track.

What did the mountain call the squirrel ?
The mountain called the squirrel a Little Prig’.

Why did the mountain call the squirrel ‘Little Prig’ ?
The mountain mockingly called the squirrel ‘Little Prig’ because the squirrel played the role of a moralist who considered his opinions to be right.

What is the squirrel’s opinion of about the things needed to make a whole world ?
According to the squirrel, all sorts of things and weather must be taken in together to make a year as well as the whole world complete.

“And the former called the latter”- Who are referred to here as ‘the former’ and ‘the latter’ ?
In the poem ‘Fable’ by Ralph Waldo Emerson, the mountain is referred to as the former’ and the is referred to as ‘the latter’

Despite being small why does the squirrel feel it no disgrace to occupy its place ?
Though the squirrel is a very small animal, it thinks it has an important part to play in the grand scheme of nature. It feels no disgrace because it can perform many such tasks which a mountain

What is the opinion of the squirrel about itself and the mountain?
According to the squirrel, the mountain may be much bigger than it but the mountain doesn’t even have half the liveliness and energy of the squirrel.

What is it that the squirrel doesn’t deny ?
The squirrel does not deny the fact that the mountain is big in size and carries track for the squirrel and even gives them shelter.

What does Bun say about ‘Talents’?
Bun thinks that various species and things have different talents and all talents are well and wisely organised to maintain the balance of nature.

What does the squirrel think about the size of the mountain?
An The squirrel thinks that the mountain is very big without any doubt.

What are needed to make up a year and a sphere ?
All sorts of things and weather are needed to make up a year and a sphere.

What is the squirrel’s opinion about itself ?
The squirrel regards itself smaller than the mountain in size but not less important.

‘not half so spry’ – Who is ‘not half so spry’ ?
The mountain is not half so spry as the squirrel.

Who makes track for the squirrel ?
The mountain makes track for the squirrel.

Which adjective is used by the poet to describe a squirrel track ?
The adjective ‘pretty’ is used by the poet to describe a squirrel track.

What are the limitations that a mountain or a squirrel have ?
A squirrel being a very small animal cannot carry forests on its back. Similarly, though the mountain is very big, it cannot perform a simple task like cracking a nut.

Do you think the squirrel’s opinion is right ?
Yes, I think the squirrel is right. Though it is small, it is an energetic animal and a member of the forest ecosystem. Its seed-cracking abilities help to disperse tree seeds and its talent is truly wisely put.

Do you think mountains have any usefulness in nature ?
Yes, mountains play a very significant role in nature. They provide all organisms with water, food, fertile soil and medicinal products. Mountains also influence global climate.

What is the theme of the poem ‘Fable’ ?
Every living and non living thing in this earth exists for a special cause. None can be compared or criticised for their shortcomings as every creature has some unique talents. This is the theme of the poem ‘Fable’.

What is a fable ?
A fable is a short narrative in verse, generally with animals as characters, consisting a moral.

Why is the poem given the title Fable’ ?
The poem is a short narrative in verse where a mountain and a squirrel-the principal characters teach a moral lesson. That is why the poem has been titled ‘Fable’.

Does the poem ‘Fable’ has a moral ? What do you think?
I think the poem ‘Fable’ aims to give the readers a simple message or moral that every living or non-living being has their own importance in this world and none is replaceable.

Multiple Choice Questions:

Choose the correct alternative to complete the following sentences :

1. The poem has been written by –
(i) John Keats
(ii) John Clare
(iii) Ralph Waldo Emerson
(iv) Judith Wright

2. The nationality of the poet is
(i) Australian
(ii) Indian
(iii) British
(iv) American

3. One of his famous poems is the –
(i) Nature
(ii) Squirrel
(iii) Brahma
(iv) Hyperion.

4. The story of the poem is based on –
(i) a conversation
(ii) story telling
(iii) narration
(iv) description.

5. The rhyme scheme of the poem is –

6. The tone of the poem is-
(i) Satirical
(ii) Humorous
(iii) Critical
(iv) funny

7. The former called the latter ‘Little Prig’. Here the former is –
(i) the mountain
(ii) the forest
(iii) the squirrel
(iv) the nut