The Squirrel


The Squirrel by Mildred Bowers Armstrong from English Honeycomb

This tutorial covers the summary of the poem written by Mildred Bowers Armstrong named “The Squirrel”. The poem is taken from the English Honeycomb textbook for Class 7 NCERT following the detailed explanation of the poem.

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Synopsis of “The Squirrel”

The poem is set near a tree where a squirrel is sitting on the branch with his nut and the speaker is wonderful at the actions of that little creature. The poet depicts how the twisted tail of the squirrel looks like a question mark and his skin is just like a gray overcoat. He also notices that the squirrel is sitting in an aligned position when he eats a nut.

Also, the squirrel is high-spirited trying to mock the speaker, however, he gets scared when the speaker or any other person goes near the tree. The squirrel quickly escapes to the other side of the tree to save himself.

Detailed Explanation of The Squirrel

The poem is a short interpretation of about 6 lines only and revolves around the activities of a little squirrel whom the speaker is observing keenly. The speaker looks at the tail of the squirrel describing its shape as resembling a question mark. The speaker praises the beauty of the squirrel calling its body an 'overcoat' as it is covered with gray furry hairs.

The poem also suggests that the speaker might be somewhere around the tree on which this small creature is sitting with his nuts. He says that the squirrel seems to be very clever as he sits in a straight position while eating his nut. The speaker states that the squirrel is playful and mischievous trying to tease him from the high tree branch. But he gets scared even at the smallest movement around the tree and jumps to the other side to hide from people.


Qns 1. Why does the poet say the squirrel "wore a question mark for tail"?

Ans. The author says the squirrel wore a question mark for its tail in order to explain that the shape of the squirrel's tail is curled up. The twisted tale of the squirrel looked like a question mark to the speaker as the squirrel was standing on the tree. But if we keep the squirrel on the ground it wouldn't look like the question mark but a normal tale.

Qns 2. Do we normally say that an animal 'wears' a tail? What do we say instead?

Ans. No, we usually do not use the term 'wear' for describing the body parts of animals but here in the poem wear has a different meaning. The poet uses it as a verb that the squirrel has a tail and hair on his body which is similar to the clothes that humans wear in their daily lives.

Qns 3. "He likes to tease and play". Who is teasing whom? How?

Ans. Here he likes to tease and play indicates towards the mischievous squirrel who is encouraging the speaker/poet to chase him. The squirrel teases the speaker as whenever the poet tries to reach him he jumps on the other side of the branch. So this is how the squirrel was mocking and playing with the speaker without being caught.


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