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The Wish (Story) Exercise




Understanding the text

a. What did the child do to the scab on his knee?

Answer: The child observed his knee cap's scab at first. He gently picked that scab with his fingernail and put it on his thigh. Finally, he flipped it with his finger.

b. What kind of effect did the carpet have on the child?

Answer: The child thought an imaginative story by seeing the red carpet. The different colours of carpet were taken as different images. He started to play a game walking on the carpet. He was thoroughly lost in those colours and his imagination.

c. What was he afraid of while walking across the carpet?

Answer: While walking across the carpet, he was afraid of red and black coloured spots of the carpet. He thought the red colour spots as the lumps of burning coals and the black colour spots as poisonous snakes. He was afraid of  the burning coals and poisonous snakes during the game. 

d. What motivated and encouraged the child to start and continue on his journey?

Answer: A puppy he would be given on his birthday as a birthday gift motivated and encouraged the child to start and continue on his journey.

e. What did the child see as he looked down on the black patterns of the carpet?

Answer: The child saw saw the poisonous snakes, adders mostly and cobras, thick like tree trunks round the middle to catch or bite him as he looked down on the black patterns of the carpet.

Reference to the context

a. The writer creates two voices in the story. Who are they?

Answer: Yes, the writer creates two voices in the story. They are the author (narrator) and the boy (main character of the story).

b. Read the extracts given below and answer the questions that follow. “…the black parts are snakes, poisonous snakes, adders mostly, and cobras, thick like tree-trunks around the middle, and if I touch one of them, I'll be bitten and I'll die before tea time. And if I get across safely, without being burnt and without being bitten, I will be given a puppy for my birthday tomorrow.”

i. What does ‘the black part’ mean?

Answer: The black part means the difficulty, challenges and suffering in the journey.

ii. Who is the speaker?

Answer: The speaker is a young child.

iii. Why doesn’t the speaker want to be burnt?

Answer: The speaker doesn't want to be burnt because he wants to get a puppy as a birthday gift the following day.

c. Which images and metaphors are used in the story?

Answer: In the story many images and metaphors are used. They are as follows:


i. Scab (knee of the boy).

- It represents the boy's curiosity, desire, interest to go ahead in his journey.

ii. Black parts of carpet (snake).

- It depicts hardship, difficulty, suffering and troubling in life.

iii. Red patches (fire)

- it shows about fire i.e danger because it can burn a little child.

iv. Yellow patches (happiness)

- the yellow patches of the carpet represents relief, pleasure, hopefulness, happiness, and self-confidence in his life.


The carpet represents a conflict in his life. He may be unable to take the right decision or choose the right option. We may suffer a lot due to the wrong choice. If we go with the right option, it leads to the right path and we do not have to feel any difficulty in our life. Otherwise, we will suffer if we take the wrong decision or path at the wrong time.

d. Summarise the short story “The Wish” in about 200 words.

Answer: At the beginning, we find a boy who is unnamed. He is looking at his kneecap’s scab. It is an old cut and its scab is brown. He examines around the edges of scab, pulls out the scab from the wound, and throws it away. The scab falls upon the edge of the carpet. The carpet is big and has different colours which attracts the boy. Then the boy starts to make his own imagination. Here, the carpet denotes a conflict, causing to suffer for wrong choice. It points out to the lesson that only the right decision and hard labor lead to the right path to fulfill our needs and desires.

The boy imagines that the red squares of the carpet are red-hot lumps coals and the black parts of carpet as poisonous snakes, whereas the yellow colour is only the colour where he is allowed to walk on and it is safe for him. By keeping these imageries in his mind, he starts to play a game. According to his rule, the snakes will bite him, and burning coals will burn him, if he touches them. He makes up a story that he can go forward walking only on the yellow parts. If he gets inside, he will be rewarded with a puppy. While trying that out, he loses his balance and his hand falls on a black 'snake'. He cries out. Actually, this is a story about self-confidence overcoming fear. The scene before him as witnessed through his emotionally participated mind is vivid and suspenseful. The story ends with his mother looking for him far away behind the house.


e. The story shows the events through the eyes of the narrator and the child. Comparing the two styles, who presents a more interesting or effective view for the readers? Why?

Answer: Obviously, the story shows the events through the eyes of the narrator and the child. They use their own styles. Between them, the child presents a more interesting and effective view for the readers than the narrator because of his curious, challenging and intense imagination. It is full of suspense. The birthday gift as a puppy stimulates and encourages him to continue his journey. He is determined to complete his journey.

f. Is “The Wish” a story about self-confidence overcoming fear or about greed? Give your arguments.

Answer: The story "The Wish" is all about self-confidence overcoming fear. This story is also inspiring and motivational story too because the child gets success in his journey overcoming the challenges. At the beginning, the child seems fearful while observing his scab. He thinks much about picking it. He picks out his scab and throws it away being panic. But when he sees the carpet, he imagines a game to play. He creates his obstacles supposing the colours as coals and snakes. The birthday gift as a puppy stimulates and encourages him to continue as well as to get success in his journey.

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