Cabbage White


4.       Work and Leisure

                                                Cabbage White


Sarah and Jamie stood on their tiptoe and gave the card from their school to the tall man behind the counter of a farm. The man frowned and made a face.

"So you're looking for some work, And who are you?" "I'm Sarah. I'm twelve. This is my brother Jamie; he's eleven."
"Shouldn't you be at school?"
"We are on holiday. And would like to earn some money and support our parents." The man lifted his hat and scratched his head. "Working in the farm is a quite tough job for kids like you. I need somebody big and strong to work here," he said.
"There must be some work for us in this big farm. Could you please find one? Sarah pleaded.
"And right. Let's see. Do you know what a Cabbage White is?" the man asked.
"Yos. It's a beautiful white butterfly that lays its eggs on cabbages. And those eggs change into caterpillars.", answered Sarah.
"And do you know what the caterpillars do?"
"They eat the cabbage leaves!" shouted Jamie.
"Aren't you afraid of caterpillars?" asked the man.
"Alright. So, I think I have a job for you."
"Not at all." retorted Sarah.
"Oh! Thank you very much. And what is the work?", they said.
"I want you to check every single.
cabbage in the garden and eliminate all the caterpillars," replied the man.
"" wondered Jamie.
"You pick them off and collect them."
"Is it alright if we collect them in one of these pails?"
"How much will you pay us?" Sarah asked.
"Let me see how you get on, first. If I am happy with your work, I'll not disappoint you with the pay. I'll be in the greenhouse, Get started and I'll see you later."
Shortly, armed with a pail each, the children approached the cabbage patch. It was so enormous. "There must be a million cabbages here!" Jamie said.

"At least!" Sarah said. "And if there are ten caterpillars on each cabbage that makes there a billion caterpillars!"
Sarah stood open-mouthed. The job looked really tough. Jamie wondered about her arithmetic, but know better than to dispute, They started on the first row of cabbages. It was really a hideous job. The caterpillars wriggled as they were picked up. It took the two children ages to finish the first row, and already they couldn't see the bottom of their buckets for caterpillars. And all around them, the air was filled with Cabbage White butterflies. The insects seemed to be mocking them. They seemed to be saying: "We don't care if you kill our caterpillars. We can lay millions of eggs."
Sarah and Jamie were now very desperate.
Sarah struck out at a butterfly. She missed, of course. She watched it fly gaily away. Then she had an idea, as brilliant in its way as Einstein coming up with e=mc².
"Jamie, caterpillars come from eggs, right?" He nodded at her remarks. "And where do eggs come from? she inquired further.
"The Butterflies lay them." "Right. So", she reasoned, "if we get get rid of the butterflies, there won't be any more eggs or caterpillars."
"Right." Jamie agreed.
"So, why don't we get rid of the butterflies!"
"How?" he asked.
Nearby, there were beans climbing up bamboo poles. Sarah removed two poles. Two bean plants died. She handed one of the poles to Jamie, and then rushed into the cabbage patch, swinging her pole round and round trying to hit the butterflies. This seemed to Jamie like a good game, so he followed her. It is not easy to hit flying
butterflies, but it is not difficult to hit them when they settle on cabbages. Soon the ground was covered with dead butterflies. Sarah and Jamie fought on until they were completely exhausted. Then they stood back to admire their work. There were hardly any butterflies left. There were hardly any cabbages left, either. It is difficult to hit a butterfly on a cabbage without hitting the cabbage too. The cabbage patch looked like a battle-field. Not a cabbage was left standing. The children looked at each other. Without a word, they put down the bamboo poles and tiptoed out of the garden. "He knows our names," Jamie said.
"But he does not know where we live," Sarah said.
"Thank goodness," they both said.
(Adapted from Happy Days and Short Stories by Jake Allsop)


1. frowned - रिसाएको जस्तो गरे

2. scratched - कोट्यायो

3. pleaded - बिन्ती गर्यो

4. afraid - डराएको

5. retorted - जवाफ फर्कायो

6. eliminate - हटाउनु

7. pails - बाल्टिनहरू

8. patch - टालो

9. enormous - विशाल

10. dispute - विवाद

11. hideous - कुरुप

12. wriggled - जुम्राको जस्तो हल्लियो

13. desperate - निराश

14. struck - हान्यो

15. gaily - खुसीले

16. bamboo poles - बाँसका लौठहरू

17. swinging - जुलिरहेको

18. exhausted - थाकेको

19. admire - प्रशंसा गर्नु

 A. Match the following meanings in the left column with the correct words in the right.

a. to laugh at somebody in an unkind way - vii. mock

b. very unpleasant - v. hideous

c. to twist and turn body or part of it with quick, short movements - viii. wriggle

d. in a cheerful way - vi. gaily

e. very surprised or shocked - iii. open-mouthed

f. to ask for something in a serious and emotional way - plead

g. to make a facial expression indicating disapproval - i. frown

h. to argue or disagree strongly with somebody - iv. dispute


B. The word tiptoe refers to the way of walking with one's heels off the ground, in order to make them taller or to move very quietly. Consult a dictionary and find the meanings of the following words related to walking.

1. sneak: to move silently and secretly, often to avoid being noticed

2. stroll: to walk in a leisurely and relaxed way

3. lurch: to move suddenly and unsteadily, often forward or to one side

4. stagger: to walk or move unsteadily, as if about to fall

5. stride: to walk with long, decisive steps

6. stumble: to trip or lose balance while walking or running


C. Answer these questions.

a. Why do you think the man frowned his face when Sarah and Jamie gave him their school card?

   - The man likely frowned because he was surprised or puzzled to see children looking for work on a farm instead of being in school.

b. Why were Sarah and Jamie looking for a job instead of going to school?

   - Sarah and Jamie were on holiday and wanted to earn some money to support their parents.

c. Why was the man ready to give them work in his farm?

   - The man was initially reluctant but decided to give them a chance after realizing they were determined and knew about the Cabbage White butterfly and its caterpillars.

d. What work were they supposed to do at the man's farm?

   - They were supposed to check every cabbage in the garden and eliminate all the caterpillars.

e. Were there really a million or billion caterpillars in the cabbage field? If not, what do Sarah and Jamie mean by a million or billion caterpillars?

   - No, there weren't really a million or billion caterpillars. Sarah and Jamie were exaggerating to express how overwhelming the number of caterpillars seemed to them.

f. What were Sarah and Jamie desperate about?

   - They were desperate because the job of picking off all the caterpillars seemed overwhelming and impossible with so many Cabbage White butterflies around.

g. What was Sarah's brilliant idea?

   - Sarah's brilliant idea was to get rid of the butterflies, so they wouldn't lay more eggs, which would prevent more caterpillars from hatching.

h. Were the children happy with their work? Give reasons for your answer.

   - No, the children were not happy with their work. Although they managed to kill many butterflies, they also destroyed the cabbages in the process, realizing they had made a mess of the farm.

i. Why did they run away from the farm secretly?

   - They ran away secretly because they had ruined the cabbage patch in their attempt to kill the butterflies and didn't want to face the consequences from the farm owner.


D. Read the story and write 'True' for true statements, and 'False' for false ones. If the information is not given in the text write 'Not Given'.

a. Sarah and Jamie's parents were unable to work to support the family.       - Not Given

b. Sarah and Jamie have never been to school.                                                   - False

c. The man decides to pay them upon the completion of their work.              - True

d. Sarah and Jamie had not expected to find so many caterpillars in the cabbage field.


e. Sarah's idea finally worked to finish off their job.                                         - False

f. They were caught by the farm owner while running away.                           - Not Given


Grammar I
A. Read the story below and tell what the underlined words are used for.

A Heron was walking *sedately* along the bank of a river. All he could see on the clear water was a little fish. "This might be a good breakfast for me," thought the Heron. Suddenly his eyes fell upon a big octopus passing by. "Master Heron should not be happy with such a tiny fish," he said to himself. "I wouldn't even trouble to open my beak for anything like that while I may have a lovely dinner. But I must play a trick on the octopus or it will escape." The fish and the octopus were smarter than the Heron. They swam into the depths of the river and disappeared. The poor Heron had to be content for breakfast on a tiny Snail.


 might: Used as a modal verb to express possibility or a suggestion.

 should: Used as a modal verb to express obligation or a recommendation.

 may: Used as a modal verb to express possibility.

 must: Used as a modal verb to express necessity or an obligation.

 had to: Used as a phrase indicating an obligation or necessity in the past.


B. Complete the sentences below with the correct words given below.

a. This can't be Safal's coat. It is too small for him.

b. Could you please tell me the way to the airport?

c. Would you like to stay with us at the weekend?

d. Do you know where Jack is? He must be in his office.

e. The sky is overcast. It may rain in the afternoon.

f. Sanam has been working in the field all day. She must be tired.

g. The film is really wonderful. You should see it at least once.


C. Complete the sentences below with must or can't in the blank spaces.

a. The man is looking around. He must be lost.

b. He can't be a doctor. He has not studied medicine.

c. Sushmita failed the test although she is a smart student. She must have prepared well this time.

d. The restaurant always serves really good food. They must have employed excellent chefs.

e. There must be something wrong with the fan. It is making an unusual sound.

f. This can't be Sumana's book. There is a stamp of the library on it.

g. He must have had hard times. He has lost his job and has to support his elderly parents.

Post a Comment (0)
Previous Post Next Post