Skimbleshanks Workbook Solution : ICSE Treasure Chest

Skimbleshanks Workbook Solution : ICSE Treasure Chest

Welcome to “Skimbleshanks Workbook Solution: ICSE Treasure Chest,” where we embark on a journey through the captivating narrative of ICSE English Literature Treasure Chest Part 1. Within these pages, we meticulously unravel the essence of “Skimbleshanks” through comprehensive workbook solutions. This post offers comprehensive answers to multiple-choice and contextual questions, deepening your understanding of this timeless tale. Meet Skimbleshanks, the endearing protagonist, and delve into the nuances of character development and thematic exploration. Each question serves as a gateway to dissecting the text, urging readers to analyze subtle nuances and extract deeper meanings. Contextual inquiries broaden our canvas for exploration, encouraging critical engagement with socio-cultural backdrops and universal themes. Through this examination, readers sharpen analytical skills and develop a profound appreciation for literary craftsmanship. Whether a student navigating ICSE English Literature or an avid reader unraveling beloved stories, “Skimbleshanks Workbook Solutions” promises valuable companionship. Join us on this literary journey as we illuminate the path to understanding, one workbook solution at a time.


Table of Contents

Poem Summary :

The Poem in Detail
Skimbleshanks, the title character is portrayed as a bright and energetic brown tabby cat who lives and works on the mail trains. The poem begins with the journey in the train that is all ready to leave the station.

Lines 1-4
The Night Mail is about to leave at 11.39 and there is a lot of commotion with everyone whispering Where is Skimble?’ and wondering if he has gone to play the frivolous game of hunting the thimble. The train can’t start without Skimble.

Lines 5-8
Everyone the guards, the porters and even the stationmaster’s daughters are looking for Skimble in every nook and corner because unless Skimble is brisk and comes soon, the Night Mail would be delayed.

Lines 9-12
At the last minute, just before the scheduled departure time of the train at 11.42 Skimble appears out of the luggage van from the rear of the train. He was busy in the luggage van.

Lines 13-16
As soon as Skimbleshanks appears he flashes his glassy green eyes towards the signal and it turns green in response. The train heads north.

Lines 17-20
It is very clear that Skimble is in charge of the train as he supervises the driver, the guards and the card-playing bagmen.

Lines 21-24
As he goes through the corridors of the train, he checks the faces of all the passengers, both in the first class as well as the third. It appears that he is patrolling the train and is aware of whatever is happening in every corner of the train.

Lines 25-28 
He stares intently into the eyes of everyone giving them the feeling that he can read their thoughts. Everyone is very quiet when Skimble is on his rounds as riotous behavior is not approved by him.

Lines 29-32
Skimbleshanks is serious about his work so nobody dares to play pranks on him. Nothing could go wrong on the train when he is aboard.

Lines 33-36
It is an absolute pleasure to enter the train coupe bearing your name. The berth is neat with a freshly folded clean sheet. There is not a speck of dust around.

Lines 37-40
The coupe has all kinds of facilities-a handle to open the window to let the air in, a basin to wash your face and a handle to shut the window if you find the breeze too cold to make you sneeze.

Lines 41-44
When you are settling in, a guard comes to ask how you would like your morning tea-weak or strong. Skimble would be right behind the guard to ensure that he gets you your morning tea to your liking because if the guard forgets, Skimble could remind him and thus with Skimble around nothing can go wrong.

Lines 45-50
As you pull off the bedspread to sleep in your cosy berth, you can be assured there would be no mice under your bed, all thanks to the railway cat.

Lines 51-54
On his night watch Skimble is alert and fresh. This is because he has tea, possibly with a shot of whiskey. The only time he stops is to catch a stray flea on the train.

Workbook MCQs :

1. What was the cause of confusion at 11.39 pm?
(a) The signal was not working.
(b) The train was late.
(c) The train was not ready.
(d) Skimble was no where to be found.

Answer: (d) Skimble was no where to be found.

2. The word “nimble’ means.
(a) quick
(b) short
(c) eat
(d) sleep

Answer: (a) quick

3. “He gives one flash of his glass-green eyes” and what happens?
(a) The stationmaster gives the signal
(b) The train begins its journey
(c) Skimbleshanks drives the train
(d) Ticket Collector checks the tickets.

Answer: (b) The train begins its journey

4. How does Skimble establish his absolute control?
(a) By speaking to the stationmaster
(b) By a regular patrol
(c) By following the guard
(d) By talking to the passengers

Answer: (b) By a regular patrol

5. When Skimbleshanks is aboard
(a) no one could play pranks.
(b) all the passengers are tense.
(c) he drinks tea.
(d) he creates a havoc.

Answer: (a) no one could play pranks.

6. Which of the following is pleasant for the passengers?
(a) The berth is neat and clean
(b) There’s not a speck of dust on the floor
(c) The light and fan are operative
(d) All of the above.

Answer: (d) All of the above.

7. What does Skimble remind the guards?
(a) The passengers choice of morning tea
(b) To wake up the passengers
(c) That he won’t let anything go wrong
(d) That the station would arrive soon.

Answer: (a) The passengers choice of morning tea

8. The Railway Cat is
(a) bright and energetic.
(b) lazy.
(c) bored.
(d) loving.

Answer: For Full Answers Get The Workbook Answers PDF – View )

9. The whispering started at ____ and Skimbleshanks appeared at___

(a) 11:39 pm, 11:47 pm.
(b) 11:49 pm, 11:52 pm.
(c) 11:39 pm, 11:42 pm.
(d) 11:49 pm, 11:50 pm.

Answer: For Full Answers Get The Workbook Answers PDF – View )

10. When everyone was looking for Skimbleshanks where was he?
(a) Eating
(b) In the luggage van
(c) Sleeping
(d) Playing games

Answer: For Full Answers Get The Workbook Answers PDF – View )

11. The Railway Cat speaks to _____ at the Dumfries station.
(a) his friend
(b) a passenger
(c) the guards
(d) the police

Answer: For Full Answers Get The Workbook Answers PDF – View )

12. How did Skimble bid goodbye to the passengers?
(a) By shaking hands
(b) By waving his tail
(c) By making loud noises
(d) By hugging the passengers

Answer: For Full Answers Get The Workbook Answers PDF – View )

Workbook Questions :

Extract 1

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?

Answer : 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?

Answer : 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?

Answer : “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?

Answer : 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?

Answer : 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.

Extract 2

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?

Answer : 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?

Answer : 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.

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

Answer : 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? 

Answer : ‘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.

Answer : Being onboard this train, the atmosphere was filled with anxiety and urgency. Everyone, from the guards to the porters and even the stationmaster’s daughters, was searching every nook and corner. There were whispers and murmurs all around, and a palpable tension filled the air. The entire scene resembled a dramatic manhunt, with everyone eager to find Skimble and ensure the train’s timely departure.

Extract 3

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?

Answer : 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?

Answer : 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? 

Answer : 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

Answer : 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?

Answer : 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.

Extract 4

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?

Answer : 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.

Answer : For Full Answers Get The Workbook Answers PDF – View )

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

Answer : For Full Answers Get The Workbook Answers PDF – View )

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

Answer : For Full Answers Get The Workbook Answers PDF – View )

(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?

Answer : For Full Answers Get The Workbook Answers PDF – View )

Extract 5

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”

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

Answer : 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. 

Answer : For Full Answers Get The Workbook Answers PDF – View )

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

Answer :For Full Answers Get The Workbook Answers PDF – View )

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

Answer : For Full Answers Get The Workbook Answers PDF – View )

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

Answer : For Full Answers Get The Workbook Answers PDF – View )