A Horse & Two Goats Summary ICSE Class 10 English

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ICSE Class 10 English A Horse & Two Goats Summary

We have provided below a summary of Chapter A Horse & Two Goats. This is an important chapter in Standard 10th ICSE English. The summary provided below has been prepared by expert English faculty for ICSE based on the latest ICSE books. You should refer to all Chapter Summaries ICSE Class 10 English which will help you to understand all chapters and to get more marks in exams.

A Horse & Two Goats ICSE Class 10 English

About the Author

R.K. Narayan (10 October 1906 – 13 May 2001), holds his place among the best known and most widely read Indian novelists who wrote in English. Most of his stories are set in the fictional territory of Malgudi. His first novel ‘Swami and Friends’, was published in 1935. Besides novels, he wrote short stories, travelogues, condensed versions of Indian epics in English, and his memoir. He received numerous awards and adulations during his life time. These include the ‘Sahitya Akademi Award’ in 1958, the Padma Bhushan in 1964, and Padma Vibhushan in 2000. He was also nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1989. His other important works include ‘Malgudi Days’, ‘The English Teacher’, etc.


In, ‘A Horse & Two Goats’, Muni is a poor resident of Kritam, one of the thousands of unobtrusive villages situated in India. There are around thirty houses in the village but only one, the Big House, is built of bricks. The others are made of mud with bamboo thatch. The village has neither running water nor electricity. Muni was once a proud owner of a large flock of sheep and goats, but with time he lost most of the things and now he is the owner of just two scrawny goats. He and his wife have grown quite old now, without any offspring to depend on. They are forced to live in poverty and with insensitive remarks from fellow villagers. Muni has to run through his credit at all shops in the village. So when he asks his wife to cook drumsticks in a sauce, she asks him to get the ingredients from the shop failing to which she sends him away telling him to fast till the evening. He hopes that she will earn enough money somewhere for an evening meal. Muni then takes his goats to their usual place, a grass spot near the highway. Here Muni sits all day in the shade of the life-sized statue – a horse, rearing next to a fierce warrior – and Muni watches his goats and occasional passing vehicles.
As Muni waits for the time to return home, a yellow station wagon comes down the road and pulls over. A well dressed American in Khaki steps out and asks Muni about the nearest gas station. He looks at the statue and instantly gets attracted to it. Muni takes him for a policeman or soldier. The two begin to converse – two people talking to each other in separate languages, neither understanding the other.
The American is a New York based businessman. He lights a cigarette and offers one to Muni also, then presents his business card which Muni thinks is a warrant and gives a long explanation to prove himself innocent. The American thinks that Muni is the owner of the statue and being highly fascinated with it, shows his desire to buy it. Muni understands that something is being discussed about the statue, so he carries on to explain the myths behind it.
Finally, the American shoves one hundred rupees into Muni’s hand confirming the deal, leaving Muni to wrongly think that he has purchased the goats. He rushes home to give the money to his wife while the American stops a truck, with some help, removes the horse from the pedestal and drives away with his purchase. On the other hand, Muni’s wife does not believe in Muni’s story about how he got such a big amount and her doubts grew even more when the goats return home following Muni.

Word Meanings :

A Horse & Two Goats Summary ICSE Class 10 English
A Horse & Two Goats Summary ICSE Class 10 English

A Horse and Two Goats Important Questions and Answers

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


I. Of the seven hundred villages dotting the map of India………the flock to the highway a couple of miles away.

Question. Name the village in which Muni lived.
Ans. The name of the village in which Muni lived was Kritam. It was ‘probably the tiniest” of India’s 700,000 villagers. Of the thirty houses in the village, only one, The Big house is made of brick.

Question. What did the Big House look like?
Ans. The Big House, as it was known, was built from brick and cement and painted a brilliant yellow and blue all over with gorgeous carvings of gods and gargoyles on its balustrade.

Question. How many houses were in the village? Describe the other houses. Where were Muni’s house located?
Ans. There were thirty houses in the village. The other houses were poor in appearances and were built of bamboo thatch, straw, mud and other unspecified materials. Muni’s was the last house in the forth street, beyond which stretched the fields.

Question. Describe Muni’s prosperous days.
Ans. In his prosperous days Muni owned a flock of sheep and goats. Muni lost several cattle under unknown circumstances. He lost them very quickly. As of now, he has now came down to only two scraffly goats, which were tethered to the trunk of a drumstick tree and neither be sold or eaten


II. He flungs himself down in a corner to recoup from the fatigue of his visit to the shop……Don’t come before the sun is down.

Question. Where had Muni gone and why?
Ans. Muni had gone to the shop to get the other things like dal, chilli, curry leaves, mustard, coriander, oil and potato.

Question. Did the shopkeeper give Muni what he needed? Why? Why not?
Ans. The shopkeeper refused to give Muni any more item on credit until he paid off his previous debt. He also humiliated Muni.

Question. How much money did Muni owe to the shopkeeper and what lie did Muni tell the shopkeeper?
Ans. Muni owed the shopkeeper five rupees and quarter. Muni told the shopkeeper that he had a daughter in the another town who had promised to send him some money.

Question. Why Muni’s wife was upset and angry with him?
Ans. Muni’s wife is upset, and angry because Muni is unable to get the ingredients, from the shopkeeper, required to prepare the supper, for both of them, and thus, told him to fast, and go away with the goats.


III. Unleashing the goats from the drumstick tree, Muni started out driving them ahead……not the miserable grawky goats that he had today.

Question. What did Muni do to urge the goats to move on? And Why he didn’t want to talk to anybody?
Ans. Muni uttered weird cries from time to time, in order to urge the goats to move on. He did not wanted to talk to anybody because he thought that he might had taken money from the strangers, and they might ask him to pay his debt, as he was not sure about from whom he had taken money from, he decided to ignore all the people that passed by him. Another reason is that they might mock him.

Question. Why did people prefer sheep?
Ans. The people prefer sheep because wealth lies in the sheep, as they can be sold for a good amount of money, plus, their wool can also be a good source of money as well.

Question. How had Muni lost the animals?
Ans. Some pestilence had struck and then Muni could not sell his animals at even half the price to his friendly butcher.

Question. Did Muni know his age?
Ans. No, Muni did not know his age. It was the shopkeeper who told him that he was seventy.


The horse was nearly life-size, moulded out of clay, baked, burnt, and brightly coloured, and reared……..like the nine gems at one time in his life.

Question. Describe its horse.
Ans. The horse was nearly life-size, moulded out of clay, baked, burnt, and brightly coloured, and reared its head proudly, prancing its foreleg in the air, and flourishing its tail in a loop. Next to the horse stood a warrior with sharp, scythe- like moustache eyes that protruded and a aquiline shaped nose. The image makers had made him have such eyes and nose to depict his strength.

Question. Why had the image makers given the warrior bulging eyes and aquiline nose?
Ans. The image makers believed that by giving a man bulging eyes and an aquiline nose in a statue they depicted his strength.

Question. What destruction did the village boys do to the things near the statue?
Ans. The young village lads damaged the things near the statue by gashing tree trunks with knives, and tried to topple off milestones, and inscribed lewd designs on all walls.

Question. What was the effect of the construction of the highway?
Ans. Before the highway was made the statue had been closer to the village as the spot had bordered the village but once the highway was laid the village has shifted more inland.

Question. Had anyone seen the splendour of the horse? Why?
Ans. The splendour of the house was that it was life-size. The people did not recognize it because no one even remembered its presence over there, as all of them were busy with their own work when they passed by the statue.

Bangle Sellers By Sarojinini Naidu

Comprehension Passages Read the lines given below and answer the questions that follow.


Bangle sellers are we who bear…..
For happy daughters and happy wives.

Question. Who is the speaker in the poem?
Ans. The bangle Seller is the speaker in the poem. In the opening lines of the poem we see that it is Bangle Seller who says Bangle sellers are we who bear….. Our shining loads to the temple fair. He described himself and his bangles throughout the whole poem.

Question. How are the bangles described in the first stanza of the poem?
Ans. In the first stanza the bangles are described as lustrous, shining loads, rainbow-coloured, delicate and bright for happy daughters and happy wives.

Question. What is meant by, ‘rainbow tinted circles of light? What kind of literary figure is it?
Ans. The phrase, ’rainbow tinted circles of light’ refers to multi-coloured bangles which are in bright colours like the rainbow. The poet uses this metaphor for bangles and their diverse hues.

Question. What are these bangles for? Why has the poet repeated the word happy in the last line here?
Ans. The bangles are for maidens and wives. The poet has repeated the word happy as an oblique reference to the lives of these people who live a poverty stricken life and cannot be as happy as they appear to be. The bangles are happy tokens for happy lives.


Some are meet for a maiden’s wrist,…..
To the limpid glory of new born leaves

Question. Explain ‘silver and blue as the mountain mist’.
Ans. This is an instance of a simile. Here, the colour of the bangle is compared to the mist of the mountains. The bangle seller says that the blue and silver bangles are fit for the unmarried girls as they too are as pure and lovely as the mountain mist.

Question. Pick out the simile from this stanza.
Ans. a. Silver and blue as the mountain mist,
b. Some are flushed like the buds that dream.

Question. Explain:
Ans. Some are aglow with the bloom that cleaves To the limpid glory of the new born leaves. Sarojini Naidu here compares the colours of the bangles to the transparent glory of the new born leaves and flowers, The colours of the bangles are suitable for a unmarried girl as they are as pure and fresh as new leaves.

Question. Mention the colours that are given or hinted at to describe the bangles and to what are bangles are compared?
Ans. The bangles are blue, silver, red, and fresh green. The bangles are compared to morning mist, flowering buds and new born leaves.


Some are like fields of sunlit corn,
…..Like her bridal laughter and bridal tear.

Question. Why does the bride have preference for yellow coloured bangles for her wedding morning?
Ans. The bride prefers yellow bangles which are like sunlit corn fields because this colour represents her happiness on her wedding morning and her secret longings.

Question. Why has the red colour of bangles been compared to the flame of the bride’s marriage fire?
Ans. The red and orange bangles symbolises the brides passions and desire. They are luminous and transparent but also tender.

Question. Which literary device is used in the last two lines.
Ans. Tinkling, luminous, tender, and clear, Like her bridal laughter and bridal tear. The poet has used simile by comparing using the word like. He also uses paradox when her refers to the brides happiness on getting married and sadness at being separated from her parents.

Question. Why does the poet refer simultaneously to bridal laughter and bridal tear?
Ans. The poet simultaneously to bridal laughter and bridal tear to bring to the forefront the dilemma faced by all brides when on one hand is the joy of marriage and on the other side the sorrow of leaving their parents. The poet highlights this paradox.


Some are purple and gold flecked grey
…… And worships the gods at her husband’s side.

Question. What is the rhyming scheme of the poem?
Ans. The poem is made up of 4 stanzas , consisting of 6 lines each. Each stanza is divided into a quatrain and a couplet. The rhyme scheme the poem follows is aabbcc.

Question. What do the purple and grey colours of bangles signify in this stanza?
Ans. In the final stanza the poet talks about the pride of a woman who has lived girlhood and bridehood and motherhood, and earned a position as a matriarch. It is the phase in her life when her struggles have borne fruit. Therefore, this stanza has the air of royalty and pride etched in it. That is why the colours chosen to describe the bangles for a matriarch are purple and gold. The specks of grey add the touch of maturity that comes with age.

Question. Purple and golden coloured bangles represent motherhood. How?
Ans. Purple and golden coloured bangles represent motherhood. These colours are associated with the feelings of pride and fulfilment in the heart of the mother.

Question. What fulfils the life of an Indian wife and mother?
Ans. Rearing her sons, serving her family and sharing the proud place of being by the side of her husband at religious rituals fulfil the life of an Indian wife and mother.

Question. What in the passage will repel a modern woman?
Ans. A modern woman will be repelled by the patriarchal notions inherent in the passage; gender discrimination and insubordination of women in the social and religion set-up.

Question. Give the meaning of the word’ Kritam’ in Tamil. Where did Muni live in the village?
Ans. Kritam in Tamil means ‘coronet’ or ‘crown’. Muni along with his wife lived in one of the huts.

Question. Give a brief description of the village Kritam.
Ans. Kritam, meaning ‘crown’ or ‘coronet’ in Tamil, is one of the smallest of India’s seven hundred thousand villages. It is a village that has fewer than thirty houses. Most of the houses are made of bamboo, thatch, straw and mud. The only sophisticated residence in the village is the Big House built from brick and cement.

Question. Describe the ‘Big House’.
Ans. The Big House was the only sophisticated residence in the village made from brick and cement. It was painted in a brilliant yellow and blue colour. There were paintings of gods and gargoyles on several posts.

Question. How many sheep and goats did Muni have in his prosperous days. What happened to most of them later?
Ans. In his prosperous days, Muni had a flock of 40 sheep and goats. Most of them had died due to years of drought, a great famine and an epidemic. Now he is left with only two goats.

Question. Where did Muni usually go to graze his goats? Where would he rest?
Ans. Muni usually went to the highway to let his goats graze. While he was there, he would sit on a pedestal at the base of a life sized clay statue of a horse.

Question. What was Muni craving for?
Ans. Muni was fed up of eating drumstick leaves alone. He had a craving to relish them with sauce for a change.

Question. Explain why the shopkeeper was reluctant to give Muni any items on credit.
Ans. Muni tried to convince the shopkeeper to give him items on credit by engaging in conversation and laughing at his jokes. This time however he refused. He showed Muni a ledger of past debts that he owed and told him to clear them before asking for credit.

Question. From where did Muni say that he would get money?
Ans. Muni said that his daughter would be giving him money for his fiftieth birthday. The shopkeeper did not believe him because he appeared to be almost seventy.

Question. Describe the statue of the horse.
Ans. The statue of the horse was life-sized and moulded out of clay. It was as white as a dhobi washed sheet and had on its back a cover of pure brocade of red and black lace.

Question. What did Muni see on the highway? Why did it stop?
Ans. Muni saw a yellow station wagon coming towards him down the highway. The car had run out of gas and had come to a stop on the road in front of the statue.

Question. Looking at the clothes of the foreigner, what did Muni think he could be?
Ans. The foreigner was wearing khaki clothes. It made Muni think that he was a policeman.

Question. Explain why Muni spoke about the murder with the foreigner.
Ans. Muni mistook the foreigner’s khaki dress and thought the foreigner was a policeman who had arrived to investigate the dead body that was found on the border of Kritam and a neighbouring village. Muni thought that the foreigner had come to arrest him.

Question. How does Muni react when the American gives him his business card?
Ans. Muni feared that he was going to be arrested and that the business card was a warrant for his arrest, so he stepped back He was immediately suspicious and afraid.

Question. How did the American businessman conclude that Muni was the owner of the statue?
Ans. The American concluded that Muni was the owner as he was sitting on the pedestal of the horse statue and when the American asked about it Muni gave an explanation of its history and origin.

Question. How did Muni’s wife react when she saw the money?
Ans. Muni’s wife was furious on seeing the hundred rupee note and accused Muni of stealing it. She threatened to leave him and return to her parents’ house.

A Horse & Two Goats Summary ICSE