1st Year English Book 1 (A Mild Attack of Locusts) Exercises

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    • ##fa fa-info-circle##  Lesson 10: A Mild Attack of Locusts
      • This chapter is from the 11th class English book 1 and it has been written by Doris Lessing. we have presented the important questions of this chapter for the intermediate (part 1) FSc FA first year students.

Q: How did the farmers try to prevent the main swarm of locusts from landing on their farms?

The farmers of the area were warned of the attack of the locusts. They were fully prepared to face the situation. Old Stephen and his son Richard had cleared their farms at seven places. They had planned to burn big fires at these places so that the smoke might not allow the locusts to settle. Other farmers were also taking such steps. In addition to it, they were making a loud noise to disturb the settling insects. The whole area was full of thick smoke and a loud noise. Everyone feared that if the main-swarm settled down, it would lay eggs. But all their efforts failed. Soon the locusts ate up all the crops.

Q: Why, even after all the crops were destroyed, did the men continue to fight the swarm?

The men continued their struggle even if everything was eaten up. They did so because they had in their minds that the main swarm should not settle. They feared if they laid eggs there, those insects would keep on attacking their fields again and again. So to stop them from settling, they kept on making a loud noise. They also kept burning their fires and producing smoke.

Q: What was the condition of the land when the locusts had moved to the South?

The land was in a very bad condition when the locusts moved away. They had eaten up everything that looked green. Trees were bare and broken. Field were flat. Crops were totally destroyed. There was even not a single leaf for the cattle. Fire and smoke gave a sad look to the whole atmosphere. it looked as if a great war had been fought here. People were greatly depressed. They were consoling one another. Each farmer was sharing the other's misery.

Q: What are the measures the farmers should have taken to save their crops? Give five suggestions.

The measures taken by these farmers were great. They worked on self-help basis. Their collective effort was praiseworthy. They did what they could do. They got no help from their government. Anyhow, following five steps may be taken into account:
  • The government should play an important role in this regard. Pesticides can be sprayed on the flying insects with the help of helicopters.
  • The farmers should spray insecticides on the hills from where they come.
  • At this time they should have mope labour so that they could produce more Smoke.
  • They should destroy their eggs so that new locusts are not born next time.
  • The farmers should also spray insect-killing chemicals on their farms.

Q: Write a note on the character of Margaret.

Margaret is Richard's wife. Her conversation with old Stephen shows that she has never seen such horrible situations before. Locusts are new to her. The sight of these insects upsets her. She is kind and sympathetic. She is the only lady in the house and is aware of her responsibilities. Even in such a bad condition she does not lose courage. She keeps on encouraging the workers as well as the members of her family. She keeps the kettle ready for them. When she comes to know that the crops have been eaten up, she feels shocked. All these things show the strength of her character. She is a very nice fellow.

Q: Why were fires burnt on the fields?

Big fires were burnt at different places to produce heavy smoke so that the locusts might not settle anywhere. Wet leaves were added to these fires to make the smoke bitter and thick.

Q: Why did the farmers throw wet leaves on the burning fire?

Farmers burnt big fires to produce smoke. They thought that only smoke could keep the flying insects away. They were adding wet leaves so that the fire might give out bitter and thick smoke.

Q: Describe the farm of old Stephen.

It was a fertile piece of land and the newly-grown crop of maize covered the whole ground. It looked like a film of bright green. At seven different places, the soil was bared so that fires might be burnt.

Q: What impression do you gather of the family of old Stephen?

Stephen was an old farmer of Zimbabwe. He owned a big farm where his son Richard and other labourers helped him in raising crops. Richard's wife, Margaret, was a kind lady and ran the household.

Q: What happened with old Smith?

Old Smith, the neighbour of old Stephen, was completely ruined. The locusts ate up his crop to the ground.

Q: What was the desire of every farmer?

Every farmer secretly wished to remain safe. Everyone desired that the locusts might overlook his crops and settle on the farms of someone else.

Q: What activities were going on in the area of fifty miles over the countryside?

Smoke was rising from many fires and it caused a strange darkness in the air. The sunlight was thick and hot orange. It was not easy to breathe in this atmosphere.

Q: Describe how the locusts came rushing to old Stephen's farm. 

They came very fast and soon half the sky was darkened. The advanced guards were in front and made a reddish cover. Behind them was the mạn swarm in the form of a dark cloud reaching the sun.

Q: What was old Stephen's opinion when the locusts reached his farm?

He was quite hopeless about his crops. He suggested to his workers to keep on making a lot of noise till the Sunset. Only in this way, they could stop the insects from settling down there.

Q: What was the condition of the trees during the attack of the locusts?

All the trees were covered with locusts. These trees were motionless and looked strange. Their main branches were touching the ground due to the weight of the insects.

Q: What was the condition of the land during the attack of the locusts?

Locusts were crawling everywhere. The land was not visible. The earth seemed to be moving because of these crawling insects.

Q: How did the atmosphere look during the attack of the locusts?

The locusts were in Such a great number that they had covered the earth and the whole atmosphere. The sunlight had become quite dim. It was almost a half-night, as there was a distorted blackness.

Q: Describe how the tree broke down during the attack of the locusts.

A tree down the slope bent down due to the excessive weight of the locusts. Soon it came down to the earth. Such dreadful was the attack of the locusts.

Q: Did Margaret know what to do to keep the locusts away?

No, Margaret did not know how to keep locusts away. She had come to that place from somewhere else. She saw the attack of the locusts for the first time.

Q: Why were the farmers still beating the gong after the attack of the locusts?

The insects were finding some place to settle and lay eggs. The farmers did not want them to settle on their farms. This is why they were still beating the gong.

Q: How did old Stephen treat the stray locust which he found in his pocket?

Old Stephen picked up that stray locust. He split it with his thumbnail. It was full of eggs. It was, in fact, finding some place to lay its eggs.

Q: Why did old Stephen split a locuston his thumbnail?

Old Stephen wanted to show to Margaret that locusts were terrible insects. So he split one of them. Its inside was full of eggs. He told Margaret that those eggs could be multiplied by millions.

Q: What was old Stephen's future fear about the locusts?

He feared that once started, they would keep on attacking their farms for two or three years. The idea of the coming danger terrified him.

Q: Why did the farmers compare focusts with bad weather?

The farmers compared locusts with bad weather because they destroyed their crops unexpectedly. Like all farmers, they were badly shaken by this destruction.

Q: How did the evening look during the attack of locusts?

On trees, buildings, bushes and earth, these brown insects were moving. But the evening air was no longer black and thick. The sky was clear blue and the insects were flying across it.

Q: What did the farmers think when they went to their farms after the midday meal?

They thought of replanting everything as there was not a single blade of grass left. They hoped it would rain very soon and new grass would spring. Otherwise. the cattle would die.


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Honey Notes: 1st Year English Book 1 (A Mild Attack of Locusts) Exercises
1st Year English Book 1 (A Mild Attack of Locusts) Exercises
This chapter is from the 11th class English book 1 and it has been written by Doris Lessing. we have presented the important questions of this chapter for the intermediate (part 1) FSc FA first year students.
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