Reading Comprehension Exercise for Class 9 and 10

Read the passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

One day Gandhiji and Vallabhbhai Patel were talking when Gandhiji remarked, ‘At times even a dead snake can be useful.’ And he narrated the following story to illustrate his point. Once, a snake trespassed into the house of an old woman. She was frightened and cried out for help. Hearing her loud cries, the neighbours rushed in and killed the snake. Then they went back to their homes. Instead of throwing the dead snake far away, the old woman flung it on to her roof.

Sometime later, a kite was flying overhead when it spotted the dead snake. The kite was holding a pearl necklace in its beak. When it saw the dead snake, it dropped the necklace on the roof and flew away with the dead snake. When the old woman saw a bright, shining object on her roof, she pulled it down with the help of a pole. When she found that it was a pearl necklace, she danced with immense joy.

One day a trader found a snake in his house. He couldn’t find anyone to kill it for him and hadn’t the courage to kill it himself. Besides, he hated killing any living creatures. So he covered the snake with a pot and left it there.
As luck would have it, that night some thieves broke into the trader’s house. They entered the kitchen and saw the overturned pot. ‘Ah’, they thought, ‘the trader has hidden something valuable here.’ As they lifted the pot, the snake hissed and the thieves ran for their life.

Read the given questions and write the answer in a sentence.

1. Why did the woman cry out for help?

2. What did the kite do when it saw the dead snake on the roof?

3. How did the live snake help the trader?

4. Why was the old woman happy?

5. Find the word from the passage which means

(a) to make the meaning of something clear
(b) a long thin straight piece of wood / metal


1. The woman cried out for help because a snake had trespassed into her house.

2. When the kite saw the dead snake, it dropped the pearl necklace it was carrying in its beak and flew away with the dead snake.

3. The live snake helped the trader by scaring away the thieves who had broken into his house.

4. The old woman was happy because she got a precious pearl necklace.

5. (a) illustrate; (b) pole

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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