Topic outline

    • Jakes and the Lady (Extract adapted from ‘Black Beauty’ by Anna Sewell)

      About the passage

      A.  Read to understand

      1. State whether the following statements are true (T) or false (F).

           a)   Black Beauty’s new owner was good to him, much like his previous owner. T

           b)   Jakes was unaware that the foreman had doubled Black Beauty’s load. F

           c)   The lady believed that pain did not have the same effect upon animals and humans. F

           d)   Jakes agreed that the lady’s suggestion was quite sensible. T

      2. Answer the following questions.

               a)   What two things made it difficult for Black Beauty to pull the load?

           Ans. The two things that made it difficult for Black Beauty to pull the load were:

                           i.        the heavy loads and

                          ii.        the steep uphill route


               b)   Who came to Black Beauty’s rescue when he was being flogged by Jakes? What advice did the person give Jakes?

       Ans. A friendly-looking lady came to Black Beauty’s rescue when he was being flogged by Jakes. She advised him not to whip his good horse anymore and to take off the check-rein.


                c)   ‘….. you do not give him a fair chance’

            i. Who said this and to whom?

            Ans. The lady said to Jakes.


            ii. Why did the speaker feel that a ‘fair chance’ was not given?

      Ans. The speaker felt that a fair chance was not given because he was not able to use all his power with his head held back like that with the check-rein.


            iii. What happened once a ‘fair chance’ was given?

      Ans. When a fair chance was given to him, he used all his strength and pulled the load steadily up the hill.



                d)   ‘….. for he was just going to hitch it up again.’

      i. Who does ‘he’ refer to here?

      Ans. ‘He’ refers to Jakes here.


      ii. What was ‘he’ going to ‘hitch up again’?

      Ans. The Jakes was going to hitch check-rein again.


      iii. Why did he want to do so?

      Ans. He wanted to do so because he did not want to be a laughing-stock of all the carters.


                e)   ‘Is it not better to lead a good fashion than to follow a bad one?’

      i. What is the ‘bad fashion’ referred to here?

      Ans. The bad fashion referred here is to put check-rein on.


      ii. What is the ‘good fashion’ recommended?

      Ans. The fashion recommended here is not to put check-rein and let the horse be free.


      B.  Read to infer

      A fact is a statement of truth, which does not change. An opinion is a statement of feelings, which changes with how a person feels.

      1.   State whether the following statements are facts (F) or opinions (O). Support the facts with evidence from the next.

           a)   Jakes was sensible, but the foreman overruled him. O

           b)   I often had to pull a heavier load than I should. F

          One day, he was loaded more than usual.

           c)   Jakes always put the check-rein on, which prevented me from pulling easily. F

         What was worse, Jakes always put the check-rein on, which prevented him from pulling easily; He got tired soon and had to stop several times.

           d)   I am sure that he is doing his best. O

           e)   I am sure he is a fine-tempered creature, and I dare say has known better days. F

         He was quite willing to pull the load when he was given chance.


      2.   Answer these questions.

           a)   Why had the foreman doubled the weight? What was ironical about it? (A situation is ironical when exactly the opposite of what is intended or expected happens.)

            Ans. The foreman doubled the weight to save him trouble. But the irony was that it was impossible for him to go on with such a heavy loads on a steep uphill road.


           b)   Do you think encouragement is a better motivation than punishment? Give reasons for your answer based on the story.

            Ans. Yes, encouragement is better motivation than punishment because when check-rein was taken off he felt comfortable and when Jakes behaved kindly with him, he was able to do better and finally pulled the load steadily up the hill.


           c)   ‘We have no right to distress any of God’s creatures’. Discuss this statement.

            Ans. We have no right to distress God’s creatures without a very good reason because though they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less as they have no words. So, we should not take undue advantage of animal and treat them cruelly.


           d)   At the beginning of the passage, you read that ‘Jakes was sensible’. In the light of what happened later, would you still agree with the statement? Give a reasoned answer.

            Ans. Jakes was not sensible as he always put the check-rein on, which prevented the horse from pulling the load easily and used to beat him with a whip in order to control him. Moreover, Jakes wanted to hitch check-rein up again because he was more concerned about what carters would talk about him than to think about Blackie’s comfort.


      C.  Discuss

      1.   What possible reasons could have forced Jerry to sell Black Beauty to the corn dealer? Share your guesses with your partner.

      Ans. Possibly the need of money could have forced Jerry to sell Black Beauty to the corn dealer.


      2.   ‘Oh, how it hurt! It hurt more because I knew I was doing my best.’ Does this stand true for human beings also? Have you ever felt the same way? Share your experience.

      Ans. Yes, this stands true for human beings also. Yes, I felt the same way when I was scolded at home, when I failed to score good marks despite of putting so much effort.


      3. Would you agree with the statement,” The treatment animals receive affects their behaviour’? Share any experiences that you have witnessed in this regard with your class.

      Ans. The treatment animals receive really affects their behavior.


          Mr. Prakash house is on the same lane. Whenever I use to pass from Mr Prakash house, his dog that is chained near the main gate becomes aggressive and starts barking. I started putting some biscuits near the gate every day. After few days, one day I saw him waving his tail on seeing me. There was change in his behavior, now no more he considers me a stranger.


      4. What words would you use to describe the lady? Think of at least five qualities and the share them with your partner.

      Ans. Five words that describe the lady are:

                       i.        Friendly

                      ii.        Kind hearted

                    iii.        Caring

                    iv.        Polite

                     v.        empathetic