Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat Workbook Solution

Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat poem solution, Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat workbook answers, workbook solutions, pdf, Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat icse workbook answers, Beeta publication, Evergreen treasure chest workbook answers, Treasure chest short stories question and answers, shout to learn,

Section B: Context Questions 

I. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

There's a whisper down the line at 11.39
When the Night Mail's ready to depart, 
Saying "Skimble where is Skimble has he gone to hunt the
We must find him or the train can't start

(i)What's the whisper down the line who all are whispering?

Ans: In the poem "Whisper down the line" refers to a message being passed along to the train staff at 11:39 pm when the Night Mail is ready to depart. The message is about Skimbleshanks, the railway cat, and asks where he is because the train can't start without him. The guards, porters, and even the stationmaster's daughters are all searching for Skimbleshanks.

(ii)Who is the Skimble? what work does he do?

Ans: Skimble is a "The Railway cat" in the poem Skimbleshanks. He is a cat who works on the Night Mail train and is responsible for supervising the train's crew, including the driver, guards, and bagmen. Skimbleshanks is described as being in charge of the Sleeping Car Express, and he is highly respected by his colleagues for his dedication and diligence. He is also known for his ability to solve problems and keep the train running smoothly.

(iii)What does "hunt the thimble" mean? What was Skimble doing at this time?

Ans: "Hunt the thimble" is likely a playful phrase used to describe Skimble's whereabouts. It refers to the doubt many have around the sense of responsibility that Skimble displays. On finding him missing at the platform they assume he's doing some off-work hobbies that is hunting the thimble. The struggle of this Skimbleshanks is that he is mistrusted by the indeterminate and suspicious voice of the wider society.

(iv)Why can't the train start without Skimbleshanks? How did the tray finally start?

Ans: The train cannot start without Skimbleshanks because he is the one who is in charge of the Sleeping Car Express. He supervises everyone from the driver and guards to the bagmen playing cards. When Skimbleshanks disappears, there is panic because the train cannot start without him.  He has been busy in the luggage van. He gives one flash of his glass-green eyes, and the signal goes "All Clear." And finally, the train starts its journey to the northern part of the Northern Hemisphere.

(v)Did it depend on time? How did the scene at the train change after Skimble appeared?

Ans: Yes, the train departed on time after Skimbleshanks appeared. The scene at the train changed from one of frantic searching and worry to one of relief and calmness. The guards and porters stopped searching for Skimble and the passengers were no longer frantic. Skimbleshanks' appearance and assurance that everything was under control gave everyone the confidence that the train would depart on time and without any issues.

II. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

All the guards and all the porters and the stationmaster's daughters
They are searching high and low, Saying "Skimble where is Skimble for unless he's very nimble
Then the Night Mail just can't go

(i) Identify and name two figures of speech used in this extract?

Ans: One figure of speech used in this extract is hyperbole, which is an exaggeration used to emphasize a point. The line "They are searching high and low" exaggerates the intensity of the search for Skimble. Another figure of speech used is alliteration, which is the repetition of the same sound at the beginning of neighbouring words. The line "Saying 'Skimble where is Skimble for unless he's very nimble" uses alliteration with the repeated "s" and "n" sounds.

(ii) Why is it important for Skimbleshanks to be on the train?

Ans: Skimbleshanks is important for the smooth operation of the train because he supervises and keeps control over the various workers on the train, including the driver, guards, and bagmen. He patrols the train, ensuring that everything is in order, and he can quickly respond to any issues that may arise. Additionally, he helps ensure that the passengers are comfortable and well taken care of. Without Skimbleshanks, it is suggested that the train would not be able to run as efficiently, and problems could potentially occur.

(ii) Why would Skimble need to be very nimble?

Ans: In the poem, Skimble is described as a cat who is responsible for supervising the train and ensuring that everything runs smoothly. As such, it is important for Skimble to be very nimble so that he can move quickly and efficiently throughout the train to perform his duties, whether it is checking the luggage van, patrolling the corridors, or helping passengers. 

(iv) Who are 'They' in the second line? Why are they frantic? Did they calm down? How?

Ans:'They' in the second line refers to the passengers waiting to board the Night Mail train. They are frantic because the train cannot start without Skimbleshanks, and they fear the delay may cause them to miss important appointments or connections. However, once Skimbleshanks appears and the train departs, the passengers become calmer and more relaxed, enjoying the comfort of their berths and the smooth journey provided by Skimbleshanks' watchful presence.

(v) Imagine you are onboard this train, describe the manhunt for Skimble.


III. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

 You may say that by and large, it is Skamble who's in charge
Of the Sleeping Car Express 
From the driver and the guards to the bagmen playing cards
He will supervise them all, more or less.
Down the corridor, he paces and examines all the faces
Of the travellers in the First and the Third; 
He establishes control by a regular patrol
And he'd know at once if anything occurred.

(i)Who will supervise them all (the staff)? Who are they who need supervision?

Ans: Skimbleshanks will supervise all the staff on the Sleeping Car Express, including the driver, the guards, and the bagmen playing cards. The passengers in the First and the Third classes also need supervision from Skimbleshanks, as he paces down the corridor and examines all their faces. 

(ii) Whose faces does the supervisor examine? What can he gauge from their faces?.

Ans: The supervisor, Skimbleshanks, examines the faces of the travelers in the First and Third class compartments of the train. By examining their faces, he can gauge their comfort level, satisfaction with the service, and any issues or concerns they might have. This helps him establish control and ensure that everything runs smoothly on the train.

(iii) Briefly describe how he establishes control. Why does he pace the corridor?

Ans: Skimbleshanks establishes control by conducting regular patrols along the train corridor. He paces down the corridor, examining the faces of the passengers. He keeps a watchful eye on the train's activities and can identify any potential problems immediately. 
He paces the corridor to maintain a constant and visible presence, making sure that everyone knows he is in charge. This way, the staff and passengers feel that they are being watched, and they are less likely to break any rules or engage in any misbehaviour. 

(iv) Do you think the supervisor can do the same in other modes of transport plane, bus, metro? State how

Ans: The role of a supervisor in ensuring the smooth operation of transport services is essential and can be applied to other modes of transport such as planes, buses, and metros.

(v) Why do you think the train is called Sleeping Car Express? How does the supervisor ensure that the name holds true?

Ans: The train is called Sleeping Car Express because it likely has sleeping carriages or compartments where passengers can sleep during their journey. The supervisor ensures that the name holds true by regularly patrolling the train's corridors and checking on the passengers to make sure they are comfortable and secure. This helps create a safe and comfortable environment for the passengers, thereby fulfilling the train's name as a Sleeping Car Express.

IV. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow; 

Oh, it's very pleasant when you have found your little den
With your name written up on the door. 
And the berth is very neat with a newly folded sheet 
And there's not a speck of dust on the floor.
There is every sort of light-you can make it dark or bright; 
There's a handle that you turn to make a breeze. 
There's a funny little basin you're supposed to wash your face in
And a crank to shut the window if you sneeze.

(i) Why is the cabin called your little den? What kind of security does it offer the passengers?

Ans: The cabin is called a "little den" because it provides a personal and private space for the passengers to rest during the journey. It offers a sense of security to the passengers as they have their own space with their name on the door and not a speck of dust on the floor.

(ii) Describe the little den, as mentioned in the extract.

Ans: In the extract, the little den refers to the cabin on the train where the passengers sleep. The cabin is described as a pleasant and neat cabin with the passenger's name written on the door. It has a newly folded sheet and no speck of dust on the floor. There is an option for different types of lighting and a handle to control the breeze. It also has a small basin to wash the face and a crank to shut the window if needed.

(iii) Were the passengers scared of Skimbleshanke? Give reasons for your answer.

Ans: No, the passengers were not scared of Skimbleshanks. Passengers feel relax and tension free in the prersence of Skimbles. Skimbleshanks' presence had a positive effect on all staff of train. Skimbleshanks is described as a friendly and helpful presence on the train, and he is appreciated by both the staff and the passengers.

(iv) What were the arrangements made for the comfortable journey of the passengers?

Ans: The extract mentions several arrangements made for the comfortable journey of the passengers: 
  1. Passengers have their own private cabins or "little dens" with their name written up on the door. 
  2. The berths are neat with newly folded sheets and there is no speck of dust on the floor. 
  3. There are different types of lights that passengers can adjust to make their cabin bright or dark.
  4. There is a handle that passengers can turn to create a breeze. 
  5. There is a basin provided for passengers to wash their face. 
  6. There is a crank to shut the window if a passenger sneezes.

(v) Compare the facilities of the train cabin with the facilities of a cabin in today's train. Would you find a Skimbleshanks today? Why?

Ans: The facilities mentioned in the poem for the train cabin, such as a personal berth with a newly folded sheet, different kinds of lights, a handle to control the breeze, a washbasin, and a crank to shut the window, are still available in today's train cabins. However, modern trains offer more advanced facilities, such as charging ports, Wi-Fi, entertainment systems, and more comfortable seating arrangements. Regarding finding a Skimbleshanks on a train today, it is possible to find a supervisor who ensures the smooth functioning of the train and makes passengers feel secure. However, the specific character of Skimbleshanks may not exist in the same way.

V. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

But you saw him at Dumfries, where he speaks to the police
If there's anything they ought to know about 
When you get to Gallowgate there you do not have to wait-
For Skimbleshanks will help you to get out! 
He gives you a wave of his long brown tail
Which says: "I'll see you again! 
You'll meet without fail on the Midnight Mail
The Cat of the Railway Train"

(1) What does Skimble do at Dumfries station? Why?

Ans: At Dumfries station, Skimbleshanks speaks to the police if there is anything they need to know about. The reason for this could be to ensure the safety and security of the passengers, staff, and the train during the journey. Skimbleshanks is shown to be a responsible and reliable cat who takes his job seriously and ensures that everything runs smoothly on the train.

(ii) When do you think the train reaches its destination? Name the first and last stations of the Midnight Mail.

Ans: The train reaches its destination at midnight. The first station of the Midnight Mail is not mentioned, but the train passes through the town of Dumfries. The final station of the Midnight Mail is Gallowgate.

(iii) Why do the passengers not have to wait to get down at Gallowgate?

Ans: The passengers do not have to wait to get down at Gallowgate because Skimbleshanks, the Railway Cat, helps them to get out quickly and efficiently. He is responsible for ensuring that the train runs smoothly and that everything is in order, including the arrival and departure of the passengers.

(iv) How does Skimble bid goodbye to the passengers? What does the wave of long brown tail mean?

Ans: Skimbleshanks bids goodbye to the passengers by giving them a wave of his long brown tail. The wave signifies that he will see them again and they will meet without fail on the Midnight Mail. The gesture shows his friendliness and goodwill towards the passengers, making them feel appreciated and valued.

(v) Once the passengers fall asleep, what does the railway cat do?

Ans: Once the passengers fall asleep, the railway cat, Skimbleshanks, continues to work by patrolling the train and making sure everything is in order. He checks on the travelers in the first and third class cars, and he supervises the driver, guards, and bagmen playing cards. He also enjoys a cup of tea and takes breaks to catch a flea here and there. Skimbleshanks takes his responsibility as the railway cat very seriously and makes sure that nothing goes wrong on the train while he is aboard.