NCERT Solutions Class 9 English Beehive A Legend Of The Northland Poem

NCERT Solutions Class 9 English A Legend Of The Northland Poem PDF

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The NCERT Solutions are provided to students for easy comprehension in understanding different topics present in the chapters. Students can refer to these solutions to prepare themselves for the final exams. To know more about the NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Beehive, A Legend Of The Northland, check out the summary and the bullet points below:

Subject English
Class 9
Book English Beehive
Chapter A Legend Of The Northland

A Legend of the Northland summary

This poem was written by Phoebe Cary. A Legend of the Northland is a ballad based on a story from the Old Testament in the Bible. This poem is about an old lady who angered Saint Peter from her greed. Northland is a region where the days are short and nights are too long and chilly and it is very difficult to sleep through them. The children are kept warm in fur. In this region, people tell of a strange story that can not be believed true but one must listen to it because it has a moral to teach. 

Once St. Peter went about preaching from place to place and reached the door of a cottage. There lived an old woman, she was making cakes and baking them. He asked for one of her cakes as he had been hungry by fasting the whole day. The woman felt the cake that she was baking was too big to be given away by charity. She kneaded the dough again and made a smaller one but did not want to give it away either. She again took a small ball of dough and made a cake which was very thin as a wafer but decided not to give that away too. She said that the cakes that seemed to be very small to fill her own stomach and stored them on the shelf. St.Peter became very angry with the old woman and said that she was not fit to be on a human farm and enjoy food and warmth, because she was very selfish. He cursed her and transformed her into a woodpecker who has to be bored in hard and dry wood to get scanty food. She was wearing a red cap on her head and the woodpecker’s head is also red. The rest of the clothes were burnt in the chimney and the rest of the body is black. She can be seen boring in the trees for food all day. 

Important points from the poem A Legend Of The Northland

  • This chapter teaches students about the Legend of the Northland Poem. Saint Peter comes into a cottage where a woman is being punished for her sins.
  • She is making cakes and Saint Peter requests her to give him one as Saint Peter had been fasting and preaching.
  • The woman denies him a cake and this makes him very angry as he had been feeling faint.
  • The saint cursed her and transformed her into a woodpecker, by saying that she was not fit to live on a human farm because she was very selfish. 

NCERT solutions for class 9 English beehive chapter 5. A Legend of the Northland.

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Thinking about the Poem.

  1. Which country or countries do you think “the Northland” refers to?
  2. What did Saint Peter ask the old lady for? What was the lady’s reaction?
  3. How did he punish her?
  4. How does the woodpecker get her food?
  5. Do you think that the old lady would have been so ungenerous if she had known who Saint Peter really was? What would she have done then?
  6. Is this a true story? Which part of this poem do you feel is the most important?
  7. What is a legend? Why is this poem called a legend?
  8. Write the story of ‘A Legend of the Northland’ in about ten sentences.


  1. “The Northland” could refer to any extremely cold country in the Earth’s north polar region, such as Greenland, the northern regions of Russia, Canada, Norway etc.
  2. Saint Peter asked the old lady for one of her baked cakes to satisfy his hunger. The lady tried to bake a small cake for the saint.
  3. He punished the lady by changing her into a woodpecker that was built “as birds do” and gathered scanty food by boring in the “hard, dry wood” all day long.
  4. The woodpecker gets her food by boring holes into trees.
  5. No, the old lady would not have been so ungenerous if she had known who Saint Peter really was. Instead, she would have tried to please him with her cakes for the fulfilment of her greedy desires.
  6. No, this is not a true story; it is a legend. I feel that the point in the story where the old lady is changed into a woodpecker is the most important. This is because the punishment meted out to the lady teaches us the value of generosity and charity.
  7. A ‘legend’ is a popular story from the past which is believed by many but one cannot prove whether it is true or not. It usually contains a message or a moral and is narrated to children. The poet himself says that he doesn’t believe this tale to be true. This poem is called a ‘legend’ because it preaches generosity towards fellow beings.
  8. Once Saint Peter stopped by an old lady’s cottage because he was feeling hungry and weak after the day’s fasting. The lady was baking cakes on the hearth. Since he was weak with fasting, he asked her for a cake from her store of cakes. The selfish lady tried to bake small cakes but each time they seemed too big for her to give away. Finally, she baked one that was as thin as a wafer. Unable to part with it too, she put it on a shelf and did not give any cake to the Saint. Saint Peter was very angry with her behaviour and said she was too selfish to live as a human and have food, shelter and a fire to keep her warm. He punished her by changing her into a woodpecker that would have to build a nest to live in, bore for food in the trunks of trees. Her clothes were burned and she was left with her scarlet cap on her head as she flew out through the chimney. Even today she still lives in the woods and is seen by all the country schoolboys. 


  1. 1. Let’s look at the words at the end of the second and fourth lines, viz., ‘snows’ and ‘clothes’, true’ and ‘you’, ‘below’ and ‘know’. We find that ‘snows’ rhymes with ‘clothes’, ‘true’ rhymes with ‘you’ and ‘below’ rhymes with ‘know’.

Answer The rhyming words are:

‘Few’ and ‘through’

‘Earth’ and ‘hearth’

‘Done’ and ‘one’

‘Lay’ and ‘away’

‘One’ and ‘done’

‘Flat’ and ‘that’

‘Myself’ and ‘shelf’

‘Faint’ and ‘saint’

‘Form’ and ‘warm’

‘Food’ and ‘wood’

‘Word’ and ‘bird’

‘Same’ and ‘flame’

‘Wood’ and ‘food’

  1. Go to the local library or talk to older persons in your locality and find legends in your own language. Tell the class these legends.


Echo was a nymph who talked too much. She was very fond of having the last word. One day she spoke rudely to the great Juno, who said that for this offence Echo should never use her voice again unless to repeat what she had just heard, but since she was so very fond of last words, she might repeat the last words of others.

This was almost as bad as if Juno had changed her into a parrot. Echo was very much ashamed and hid in the forest.

Narcissus, a young man who had hair as yellow as gold and eyes as blue as the sky, – a very rare thing in Greece, where most people were very dark, – used to hunt in the forest where Echo was hiding. As she was peeping out shyly from some cave or from behind a great tree, Echo often saw Narcissus, and she admired him very much.

One day Narcissus became separated from his friends, and hearing something rustle among the leaves, he called out, “Who’s here?”

“Here,” answered Echo.

“Here I am. Come!” said Narcissus.

“I have come,” said Echo; and, as she spoke, she came out from among the trees.

When Narcissus saw a stranger, instead of one of his friends as he had expected, he looked surprised and walked quickly away.

After this, Echo never came out and allowed herself to be seen again, and in time she faded away till she became only a voice.

This voice was heard for many, many years in forests and among mountains, particularly in caves. In their solitary walks, hunters often heard it. Sometimes it mocked the barking of their dogs; sometimes it repeated their own last words. It always had a weird and mournful sound and seemed to make lonely places more lonely still.

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